60 Interview Questions

(Editor’s note: With so many new ERE members coming on all the time, we thought that each week we’d republish one popular classic post. Here’s one, below.)

You’ll find in the interview questions below some you are asking already, some you haven’t been but would like to, and others that just don’t fit for your company and your jobs.

These interview questions are used by permission from Job Interview Skills 101, the Course You Forgot to Take For New Grads and College Students.

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Comment on any, or add your own interview questions to share in the comments section.

  1. Tell me about a time when you were a member of a great team. What role did you play in making the team great?
  2. Tell me about a time when you were given a task to accomplish without any direction.
  3. Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone you did not get along with.
  4. Tell me about a time when you felt that a decision was unfair. How did you handle it?
  5. Tell me about a time when someone asked you for assistance outside the parameters of your job. What did you do?
  6. Tell me about a time you had to multitask.
  7. Tell me about a time when you were creative in solving a problem.
  8. Tell me about a time when you were the leader of a team and the team disagreed with your decision. How did you handle it?
  9. Tell me about a time when you were a team leader and had to mediate with members who disagreed with each other.
  10. Tell me about a project that did not go well.
  11. Tell me about a time that you worked hard to accomplish something but didn’t.
  12. Tell me about a time when you suggested a better way to do something.
  13. Tell me about a time when you had to handle conflict within your group.
  14. You are a team member and you disagree with an important decision that you believe will have a negative impact on the project. How will you proceed?
  15. Tell me about a time when someone told you that you had made an error. Describe how you would react and what you would say in your defense.
  16. You are a new employee at our firm and I have asked you to speak to a group of 10 employees. What would you talk about and what would you say?
  17. You are part of a team working on a project with a one-week deadline. The team leader does not seem to be on top of things and you are worried about reaching the deadline. What do you do?
  18. How do you handle a crisis? Describe one that you handled well.
  19. Describe one that you didn’t handle well and what you would have done differently.
  20. It’s five o’clock on Friday and your supervisor gives you an assignment that needs to be finished by 8:00 am Monday morning. You have plans to be away for the weekend. What do you do?
  21. Describe a situation that was a great learning experience.
  22. Describe a challenge you faced in school and how you handled it.
  23. Describe an experience that you felt was rewarding.
  24. Describe a situation where you were mentored.
  25. Describe a situation where you were given feedback on your performance that wasn’t what you had hoped for.
  26. Describe a situation where you resolved a problem.
  27. What would your last boss/manager say about you?
  28. How would your co-workers describe you?
  29. What do you think is the best part of working in teams?
  30. What do you think is the worst part of working in a team?
  31. How do you define “work ethic”? How would you describe yours?
  32. How do you make decisions?
  33. What type of people do you like to work with?
  34. What motivates you?
  35. Give me 10 adjectives to describe yourself.
  36. How do you like to be managed?
  37. Tell me about your best manager. Why do you consider them the “best”?
  38. Tell me about your worst manager. Why do you consider them the “worst”?
  39. What book are you reading now?
  40. What books have you read about leadership?
  41. Describe your ideal job.
  42. What was the most creative thing you have ever done?
  43. What are you most proud of?
  44. How do you handle stress at work?
  45. What would you liked to have done more of in your last internship?
  46. What would you like to have done less of in your last internship?
  47. Why did you choose your last job/internship?
  48. Why did you choose your school?
  49. If you could have done anything different during your college career, what would it have been?
  50. What are your short- and long-term career goals?
  51. In what areas would you like to develop further?
  52. What skills did it take to succeed in your internships?
  53. What do you know about our company?
  54. What makes you the best candidate?
  55. Why should we hire you?
  56. What made you apply for this job?
  57. Where else are you interviewing?
  58. How would you describe client satisfaction?
  59. What do you think is most important in great customer service?
  60. What will you do if you don’t get this job?

Ellyn Enisman has more than 27 years of experience in interview coaching, career counseling, corporate recruiting, employer relationship development, human capital management, human resource consulting, job placement, job search strategy coaching, interview skill workshops, and more. She has held senior executive management positions in the staffing, corporate recruiting, and manufacturing industries. She has recruited, interviewed, hired, and has been instrumental in helping new college grads and college students succeed in their job search. Enisman has coached students from leading colleges and universities and is the founder of http://www.collegetocareercoaching.com, a professional coaching firm with a unique and successful approach to empowering college students and recent college grads to prepare for the job market.


11 Comments on “60 Interview Questions

  1. Would like to know the meaning of the answers and how they relate to being eliminated or considered for a specific job. Example 20. It’s five o’clock on Friday and your supervisor gives you an assignment that needs to be finished by 8:00 AM Monday morning. you have plans to be away for the weekend. What do you do?

  2. Claudia,

    These questions are not necessarily explicitly related to a particular task but attempts to predict how you might behave with a particular kind of situations.

  3. Is this the best we can do? This is the sort of stuff that gives recruitment a bad name. It is just so predictable, easy to prepare for and delivers very little insight to the whole person – I hate it and hardly ever use any of it, but still hold down a job after 12 years in recruitment. It’s time we moved on from such dogmatic adherence to behavioural interviewing. At least Lou has given us a competency model to work with – has anyone else got something new to offer?

  4. The purpose of an interviewer is to seek EVIDENCE of a candidate’s skills, competencies and motivation. Job performance is a function of these three components.

    A number of these 60 questions are asking for opinions or knowledge eg Q34 ‘What motivates you?’ Q35 ’35.Give me 10 adjectives to describe yourself’. As candidates are not being directed to provide specific behavioural examples from the past the real risk is that the candidate tells the interviewer what they think the interviewer wants to hear or information that is literally made up on the spot.

    The link between opinions and theoretical knowledge and on-the-job performance is, at best, weak.

  5. Are these supposed to be good questions? More importantly, who are all these self-described counselors and coaches? Are companies actually paying people to talk about this stuff? If so, I’d like to see some articles on how I can persuade some HR moron to “engage” my services to talk about “human capital” management and “skill workshops”. This seems like easy work…like the Dire Straits tune talked about.

  6. Despying your potential clients may not help…
    As long as there is no entry test for this kind of advisors, there will be no standard. Good and poor so-called experts will coexist in a world where the best could not deliver for everyone and not everyone could afford the best.

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