When working with my clients I often help them to prepare for an interview, role-playing interviews and working on their CV, and sometimes I help people who need to recruit others – such as managers, team leaders, or HR professionals.
The following examples include questions that are often or nearly always asked during an interview, as well as some less common and more creative questions.
They’re great just for speaking practice too.
If you’re planning to interview someone, I hope they can help get inspiration, and if you’re preparing for your own interview – practise answering the common questions out loud. Once you have planned and practised your answers, you’ll feel much less edgy before the interview and you’ll be able to speak more fluently in the meeting itself!
Some common questions:
Tell us about yourself.
Why are you interested in working with our company?
What do you know about our company?
What motivates you?
Why do you think you’re the right person for this position?
Do you prefer working individually or in a team?
What’s your experience with … so far?
How do you think your previous managers/coworkers would describe working with you?
How do you think your friends and family would describe you?
How do you deal with different personalities in the workplace?
What personal or professional mistakes have you’ve learned the most from?
If you get the job, what do you hope to accomplish in your first week, month and year?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What should an ideal manager be like?
Describe a time when you weren’t pleased with your work and why?
What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
How do you manage your time?
How do you delegate tasks to your team?
What kind of work environment do you prefer to work in?
Do you find that working with others comes easily to you or do you prefer to work on your own?
What qualities do you value in your colleagues?
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
Tell us a challenge you once had at work. Describe the situation you were in, the task you wanted to complete, the action you took and the result it had. (STAR model)
Would you be interested in upgrading any of the skills you currently have?
Would you say that you’ve taken the lead on projects in the past? Could you give some examples?
What are your salary expectations?
How much would you like to earn?
What’s your notice period?
When would you be available to start working?
Some less usual questions:
If you don’t get this job, what’s your backup plan?
How do you handle criticism?
What is your philosophy towards your work?
How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?
What do you work toward in your free time?
What’s your definition of hard work?
Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
What is the story behind your name?
Which of the two animals would you say you are most like — a sheep or a wolf — and why?
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Describe the colour yellow to someone who’s blind.
Name A Person, Alive Or Dead, That You Would Want To Meet And Why?