No two job interviews are exactly alike. You might only meet with Human Resources and your future boss, or interview panel-style with several teammates and stakeholders, or fill a day with one-on-one conversations. But no matter how the employer sets up your interview, there are two things they want to figure out: can you do this job, and do you want to?
We’ve collected 100 of the most-asked questions you’re likely to encounter in a job interview. Don’t panic: you don’t have to memorize 100 answers. But as you prepare to impress the company with your skills, experience, professionalism, and enthusiasm, it helps to understand the 10 kinds of question interviewers ask.
To that end, here’s how to use this list. First, scan the 10 section headers for an overview of the types of things interviewers ask about. Next, read the questions carefully, highlighting the ones you don’t yet have a ready answer for. Now you have a valuable collection of jumping-off points you can use to practice framing your experience in terms of the lessons you’ve learned and your desired next steps on your career path.
The List: 100 Interview Questions You’re Likely to Be Asked
Motivation & General Career Path Questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What kind of job are you looking for?
3. Why are you leaving your current job?
4. Why did you leave your previous job(s)?
5. What’s been your favorite job to date, and why?
6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
7. Why did you get into this field in the first place?
8. What sets you apart from other people?
9. What inspires you? What are you passionate about?
10. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Motivation Questions (Related to This Job)
11. Why do you want this job?
12. How does this role fit into your ideal career path?
13. What do you think you’d learn from this role?
14. What makes you interested in this (industry/sector)?
15. What’s the greatest strength you’d bring to this role?
16. Why would you take this role instead of another one?
17. Why should we hire you?
18. What excites you about (this job)?
19. If we hired you and you grew within the organization, what role would you ideally grow into, and why?
20. If you weren’t applying for this role, what other roles would you be interviewing for and why?
21. Walk me through your background.
22. Tell me about your specific experience that relates to this role.
23. Tell me about (particular job on your resume).
24. What skills do you have for this role that others might not?
25. What experience do you have with (each bullet point in the job description)? (Here’s a helpful article that tells you how to turn each bullet point into different types of possible questions.)
26. What role have you held that is the most similar to this one?
27. Have you ever managed (x function) previously?
28. (If managerial) – tell me about your management experience.
29. Have you ever used (emerging technology in your industry)?
30. What’s the proudest accomplishment in your career?
Questions About Your Organizational Knowledge/Research
31. What do you know about our company/organization? What is our mission?
32. Pitch (name of organization that’s hiring) to me as if you’re talking to a client or partner.
33. What do you think our strengths and weaknesses are as an organization?
34. What has (recruiter/other interviewer) told you so far about us?
35. How do you think (our offering) stacks up against our competitors?
36. Who would you say are the competitors we need to worry about the most?
37. Have you ever used our product/service or attended one of our events?
38. Have you spent any time on our website? What did you learn?
39. What have you heard about us in the marketplace?
40. What can I tell you about our product/company?
Questions About Your Industry Knowledge
41. What industry best practices would you bring to this role?
42. What kind of certifications or training have you taken recently (or are thinking about taking)?
43. What’s your understanding of what’s emerging in our field?
44. What’s your take on (current idea or trend)?
45. We’re thinking about introducing (industry standard/trend), what advice would you give us as we think about whether or not to do it?
46. What do you read/follow about our industry in order to stay current?
47. (If changing into the industry) What do you know about our industry?
48. (If changing into the industry) How would you get up to speed on our industry?
49. How do you think we stand out from our competitors?
50. What do you think it would take for us to become #1 in our space?
Questions About Your Skills (Specific to this job)
51. What software programs have you used in the past to do your work?
52. Tell me about your experience with (each of the skills in the requirements section).
53. How are you staying current with the skills/technology we need?
54. Walk me through how you do (a core task for this role).
55. What part of this process do you currently work on? At what point does the work come to you, and at what point do you hand it off to others?
56. What metrics do you track for your work?
57. Give me an example of how you’ve used (skill they need).
58. What gap do you have in your skillset that you’d need to fill quickly in this job?
59. How would you rate yourself (beginner, intermediate, advanced) on the following skills?
60. Teach me about (skill) as if you’re explaining it to a new hire.
Personality/Culture Fit – General Questions
61. How would your coworkers/boss describe you to me?
62. Who’s the best (or worst) boss you’ve ever had, and why?
63. What is your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?
64. What are you working on about yourself right now?
65. Why have you left each of the roles on your resume?
66. What motivates you?
67. Tell me what you’ve improved at your current/most recent role.
68. Give me an example of a team member you didn’t work well with, and why.
69. What demotivates or frustrates you at work?
70. Tell me what opportunities for improvement have come up in your past few reviews.
Personality/Culture Fit – Behavioral Questions
71. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a coworker. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
72. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your supervisor. What was the situation and what did you do to work it out?
73. Tell me about a project that went sideways. What happened and what did you do to turn it around?
74. Walk me through a situation where you had to take a leadership role.
75. If you had two projects due the same day and one of them was running significantly behind schedule, what would you do?
76. Tell me about a time there was team conflict. What happened and what did you do?
77. Tell me about a time when you had an idea but it wasn’t accepted. What was the situation and what did you do?
78. Tell me about a situation where you felt disappointed by the outcome of something. What was the situation and what did you do?
79. What’s been your greatest failure – walk me through the situation and what you learned.
80. Tell me about a time when you needed to communicate something complicated or politically sensitive. What was the situation and how did you go about it?
Questions Assessing Your Perspective/Approach to the Role
81. Based on your experience and your interactions with our company/team, what do you think we could improve?
82. How would you approach getting up to speed quickly?
83. What would your 30/60/90 day plan look like for this role?
84. We’re currently dealing with (broken process). How would you help us redefine it?
85. What ideas do you have for increasing (metric that’s important)?
86. What ideas do you have for how this role could improve company growth?
87. What systems, processes or tools would you use to help us achieve our objectives?
88. (If managerial) – tell me about your management style and how you’d manage this team.
89. How would you measure performance or success in this role?
90. How would you work cross functionally with other groups in this role?
Salary/Benefits/Work Life Balance Fit/Pre-Offer Questions
91. What are your salary expectations?
92. What are you currently making (note: this question is illegal in some states, including MA)
93. What would this commute be like for you?
94. This role requires (travel, evening work, etc.); is that OK with you?
95. This role is (part time/remote/55 hours a week); is that OK with you?
96. (If a step down) The title/pay is X, how does that fit for you?
97. What other roles/offers are you considering at the moment?
98. If we were to offer you the role, what kind of notice would you need to give?
99. Would you be prepared to (take an assessment, do an evaluation exercise, give a presentation) as the next stage of this process?
100. (Last but very much not least): What questions do you have for me?
“Help! I Prepared a Great Answer–And Then I Drew a Blank”
You have these answers to prepare, but you may get thrown a curve ball. Even when you’ve prepared to knock your interviewers’ socks off with your well-thought-out answers, sometimes it’s possible to draw a blank under pressure.
Here’s a professional way to recover and make a great impression. First, acknowledge that it’s a good question. Then, you say you’d like to provide a thoughtful answer, and you’d choose from a few options. You could ask them a follow-up/clarifying question (“I’m having trouble thinking of a very specific example at this moment, would you mind reframing or asking the question behind the question?”. You could buy yourself a minute by asking a brief “Happy to answer that, would mind letting me know how that plays out here?” to help you frame your answer. You could expand upon a related answer that you’ve already given.
Or, if you truly can’t think of a single example or idea, ask them if they’d be open to you giving it some thought getting right back to them that day. Finally, bring it up in your thank-you note (you are going to email them after the interview, right?). Mention their question, then take the opportunity to answer it thoughtfully. Not only will they have more valuable information that puts you in a good light, they’ll appreciate your follow-up skills and professionalism. You’re unlikely to lose out on a job because of blanking on a single answer, so keep going through the rest of interview with confidence and clarity.
How to Stand Out from the Pack: Ask Your Own Interview Question
Finally, a word of wisdom from countless job seekers. Did you notice question #100? It might be the most important one on the list. If an interviewer asks you, “What questions do you have for me?”, you don’t want to miss this additional chance they’re giving you to shine. Whether you ask about company culture, request clarification about the job description, or turn it around and ask your interviewer what they like about working there, asking your own interview question shows you’re engaged in the conversation and are giving this opportunity your full attention. That’s an attitude that’s sure to leave a great impression.
“Chance favors the prepared mind,” goes the famous quote by scientist Louis Pasteur. Whatever you do, don’t show up at an interview and expect to wing it. Although some interviews are structured, and some seem conversational or all over the map, you should spend at least six hours preparing for each interview/interview day, if not more. Whether it’s the first job interview or your fortieth, your practice WILL pay off soon enough. In the meantime, your preparation and research will lead you to one final question: Do you want to take the job?
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