10 Responses to 30 Common Interview Questions and Answers

  1. Great resource here. When I was in the private sector I sure did see a lot of these questions. The public service is a different beast however as there is a lot of HR over sight, competency based questions and essentially a point based system: know the keywords, use them well, win the job.
    (it is a given you have experience or else you would be screened out prior to the interview)

  2. @Sustainable PF … Thanks so much for pointing out the difference between the public and private sector. You make a great point! I’ve been reading “Sway” by Ori Brafman and it proposed the idea that competency questions and reviews of past experience make a lot more sense in hiring than the traditional interview does even though it’s still what many employers are using.

  3. Actually I’ve heard from many sources that the question of starting/ending rate of pay should be handled more like the one about expected compensation. Namely that your pay at your other jobs is really not material to the current job situation. Any mention of numbers always puts you at a disadvantage in the negotiation of salary. For example, say you made 50k in your last job, but were underpaid because of some other intangible benefits. The pay range of the job your are interviewing for is roughly 70-80k and you are completely qualified for it. Saying you made 50 at your last job is only going to give them ammo to pay you less than you deserve.

  4. Q: What are your career goals?

    I will be 63 this month. Last year, HR rep asked me this question. What can I possibly have any career goals at the age of 62? I just want to continue what I have been doing. I had been laid off and wanted to continue working till I die (and not retire.)

    HR gets these questions from experts in the industry. They jot them down on paper or memorize some of them and ask candidates questions. I bet HR rep is not even interested in hearing the answers. These questions are asked by HR not by department managers.

    We all know HR is the biggest firewall of any kind on the face of the earth especially in the U.S. They can reject you because you part your hair on the right instead of left.

  5. “I’d rather be respected (than liked or feared)” … that’s a great answer to that question. I once got the question “Is it better to be kind or fair?” The correct answer is fair. If you’re loved for your kindness, and the day comes when you have to assert your boundaries, then you’ve lost the only thing for which you’re loved. If you’re loved for your fairness, you can carry that quality with you into any situation.

  6. i want a very short answer for this question

    Please tell us what values you will be adding to our company.

    • this question depends what position you are apply, and know what values THEY require Abdulla. When I was young and applied for customer services, I know that customer is their key (DUH) so I always said ” I would welcome customers with great smiles and helped them to ensure their satisfaction is maximized, so that they would come back and visit us again”. The interviewer always loved this answer. After I got into accounting field, accuracy and reliability is the key, so I would tell the interviewer ” I would ensure all information are recorded and updated accurately, and thus the company won’t suffer financial losses due to carelessness”. They seem to like that as well. Always put yourself in their shoes and think what they like to hear. Hope it helps

  7. At some point, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to discuss compensation. I don’t see the point in totally side stepping the question as suggested above. In fact, I think that if you phrased it exactly as above, I might even find it a little rude.

    Look at this as a mark of interest from the interviewer and an opportunity to begin negotiations. Companies have a budget and a cap for the positions that they are hiring for. Likewise, job seekers have expectations and bills to pay. If the company’s pay range tops out at 40k, and you are looking for a minimum of 55k, wouldn’t you rather know early on rather than after you’ve spent hours on interviews and skills tests (possibly taking time off from a current position)?