One of the best (and easiest) ways to prepare for your interview is to read through and practice sample interview questions that you’re likely to be asked.
Why? Even if they don’t ask the exact questions you read, these questions will give you ideas you can use in many answers.
Reading through sample questions or common interview questions will also help you identify areas you need to brush up on, or areas you’re not confident in talking about (so you can work on them before the interview).
It’s better to find out now that a topic makes you nervous, rather than waiting for the interview when it’s too late, right? If you practice these questions before going on interviews, you’re going to get more job offers and feel MUCH more relaxed in the hot-seat.
Top 128 Common Sample Interview Questions
First we’ll cover 75 standard interview questions, broken up into a few different categories.
Then you’ll get 53 behavioral interview questions to practice (these are interview questions that start with phrases like, “tell me about a time you had to…”)
Let’s get started…
Part I: Standard Interview Questions
Sample interview questions about your job search:
- Why did you leave your last job?
- How has your job search gone so far?
- What other types of jobs have you been applying for?
- What other companies are you interviewing with?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- What is one thing you’re looking to either have or to not have in your next position?
- What are your salary requirements?
- How soon could you be available to start?
- Would you work holidays/weekends?
- Are you willing to relocate/travel?
- What are your career goals?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Sample interview questions about the job and company:
Common interview questions about your background:
Common interview questions about your personality and motivation:
- If I had your three best friends sitting with us now, how would they describe you to me?
- How would your previous coworkers describe you?
- How would your current or former boss describe you?
- If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
- How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?
- What’s your leadership style?
- How do you make decisions?
- How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
- Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you
- What will make you love coming to work here every day?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
- What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?
- How do you handle pressure?
- What role do you tend to move into in group or team work, and why?
Common interview questions about your interests:
- What motivates you?
- What is your dream job?
- Who do you look up to or idolize?
- What was the last book you read for fun?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your favorite website?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
- What was your favorite job you ever had and why?
- What was your favorite part of your last job?
Common hypothetical job interview questions:
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What would you do in the first 90 days of this position to succeed?
- What would you do if you made an important business decision and a coworker challenged it?
- What would you do if management made a decision you didn’t agree with?
- What do you do when you make a mistake at work?
- What would you accomplish in the first 30 days on the job?
- Assume that you come to work here. One year from now you go home one Friday afternoon thinking that accepting this job was the best thing you ever did. What happened during the year for you to feel that way?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- How would you fire someone?
- If you have had a million dollars, what kind of work would you do and why?
- How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
(or any number of other brain-teaser questions. Hint: It’s not about getting it 100% right with these. They want to see your thought process and how you break it down into smaller pieces to get an answer that’s “pretty close”)
Section II: Free Sample Behavioral Interview Questions
Sample questions about teamwork:
- Talk about a time you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours
- Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it
- Give me an example of how you have worked on teams. What role did you play?
- Describe a time you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you overcome it?
- Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague
- Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very cooperative. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time you exercised leadership
- Describe a time when you didn’t agree with others. What did you do?
- Tell me a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager’s actions?
- Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise
Sample behavioral interview questions about motivation and values:
- Describe a time when you saw a problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it
- Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose supervision. How did you handle that?
- Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
- Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied in your work. What could have been done to make it better?
- Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty in order to complete the job
- Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work
- Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy you didn’t agree with
- Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it
- Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What happened and what did you do about it?
Sample interview questions about interacting with customers:
- Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you approach things?
- Give me an example where you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened and how did you attempt to fix the situation?
- Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was required to make sure a customer was happy
- Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult client. What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
- When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to all of them. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
Sample questions about adapting and problem solving:
- Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
- Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some changes you had no control over. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
- Tell me about the first job you ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
- Tell me about a time you failed
- Describe a difficult work situation and what you did to overcome it
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work, what happened?
- Tell me about a time you were under a lot of stress at work and how you dealt with it
- Describe a crisis you faced at work. What was your role? How did you resolve it? What were the results?
- Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do. How did you adapt?
- Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to solve a problem
- Tell me about a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem arose. How did you handle that situation?
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem
- Sometimes it’s easy to get in “over your head.” Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment
- What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
- We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example of how you have done this
- Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision
Sample questions about time management:
- Tell me about a time you had to juggle multiple high-priority tasks. How did you handle it?
- Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along in a timely manner?
- Sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything on your to-do list done. Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
- Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
Sample behavioral questions about communication:
- Describe a time where you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way
- Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client or coworker. How did you make sure they understood you?
- Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit
- Describe a time when you had to use your written communication to get an important point across
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when they may not have personally liked you (or vice versa)
- In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or team member? What steps did you take? How did you prepare yourself?
- Tell me about a time you thought you communicated clearly but were misunderstood. What happened and how did you handle the situation?
How Should You Practice Your Interview Answers?
Okay, now you know the questions you’re likely to face, but what’s the best way to practice? I recommend you record yourself speaking or practice in front of a mirror.
And don’t just memorize a ton of answers word-for-word. It’s going to get all jumbled up in your head and come out wrong in the heat of the moment! And if they ask something slightly different than what you prepared for, you’ll panic.
So practice talking about general topics and ideas…
- What you’re looking for in your job search
- Why you’re searching right now
- The most impressive pieces of your experience (accomplishments)
- What your strengths are and how they relate to the company’s needs
Note: If you want more help preparing for these questions, I recently created a Complete Guide To Job Interview Answers with word-for-word answers to every question above, and my best tips and strategies to help you prepare for ANY question they ask you. You can learn about it here.
Everything in there is hand-picked to give you the best chance at get a job offer in your next interview… quickly and easily… and without all the stress. More details here: http://careersidekick.com/job-interview-answers-guide/