Congratulations on being selected for a job interview! Now you need to prepare the answers to your interview questions to give yourself the best chance at success.
To begin, research the sector, company and position you’re being interviewed for and use that information as you answer the questions. As well, make sure that you really understand the duties, skills, relevant experience and other requirements listed in the job posting so that you can weave that information into your answers.
Here is a list of common general interview questions, as well as common sector-specific ones, to help you prepare your answers.
General Interview Questions
Regardless of the industry or job, some questions will be asked in every interview. Here are a few examples:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
- Tell me how you organize your work and schedule your time?
- Why should we hire you?
- Tell me about how you contributed your skills to a recent job and how you think you can contribute or add value to this team or company?
- What are your salary expectations for this role?
- What interests you most about working for this company? Tell us what you know about our company.
- Do you have any questions?
Common Behavioural Questions
Behavioural questions explore your actual experience and knowledge while gauging your judgment, ability to think on your feet, creativity and understanding of complex situations. Have a S.T.A.R. (situation, task, action, result) answer ready for each question. Here are a few examples:
- What would you do in situation X?
- Tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem. What was your approach?
- Describe your work style.
- How do you determine success?
- What qualities would you bring to this job and to this company?
- Tell me about a time when you had to adjust your working style to accommodate changes in the workplace.
- Describe a time when you had difficulty communicating an idea to your colleagues. How did you overcome this?
- Tell me about a time when you had an innovative idea. How did you go about implementing this idea?
Sector Specific Questions
Some questions will be specific to your role or industry. Here are a few examples:
Engineering Interview Questions
- What new engineering specialty skills have you developed during the past year?
- Give me an example of a time when you applied your ability to use analytical techniques to define problems or design solutions.
- Describe a time when you used your engineering knowledge to solve a problem for which there appeared to be no answer.
- Describe your experience working in a team to deliver a project goal.
- Give me an example of something that you have learned from a mistake that you made on a job at a client site.
- Give me two examples of technical decisions that you had to make on your last job.
- What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer?
Financial Services Interview Questions
- What are your key technical skills?
- What is your leadership style?
- Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a client. How did you resolve it?
- Tell me about a time when you had an unexpected deadline. How did you manage your other conflicting priorities?
- How would your team members describe you in terms of your personality and working style?
- If I were to look at your performance review, what would be an area of improvement?
IT Interview Questions
- Tell me about how you contributed your skills to a recent job. How do you think you can contribute or add value to this team/company?
- Have you planned and implemented significant changes to an organization’s IT infrastructure? Describe your contribution.
- What automated-build tools or processes have you used?
- How do you keep current with technology considering how quickly it advances?
- You seem overqualified for this position. Why are you interested in it?
- Describe your ideal working environment.
Supply Chain Interview Questions
- What does Supply Chain Management mean to you?
- What are some of the ways materials may be purchased?
- If we were introducing a new product, how would you go about forecasting the demand?
- What are the characteristics of an effective RFP?
- Provide an example of how you have dealt with a problem, such as a supplier not meeting your shipping deadline?
- Describe a situation where you have made process improvements.
Sales & Marketing Interview Questions
- How do you keep current on your target market?
- In your last position, how much time did you spend cultivating customer relationships vs. hunting for new clients, and why?
- We have a new product coming out in three months. How would you launch it?
- Tell me four to five things a former client would use to describe you (both positive and negative).
- What’s your approach to handling customer objections?
- Can you tell me about a successful marketing/sales campaign you have developed?
- What do you know about our product/business?
HR Interview Questions
- What do you think are the most important roles of the HR department in relation to employees in an organization?
- What is the role of the HR department in creating the company’s work environment for people?
- If you were the decision maker, what programs would be your priority in an organization?
- In your past roles, how have you kept HR policies and procedures current in terms of new legislation and regulations?
- What are the main challenges facing Human Resources Management today?
- Describe the work environment that you developed for people in your last HR position. What were the key characteristics that you were trying to maintain and reinforce?
- How did your HR department contribute to planning, creating, maintaining, and changing the corporate culture? What were your significant contributions to establishing the work environment for people?