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General interview question examples

review these questions to banish the butterlfies

An appreciation of the types of questions you may be asked at an interview is very important. Ensure you have thought through your responses. You don't have to memorise your answers, as this will be apparent, but you must give them prior consideration.

Match your experience and capabilities with those requested by the employer the job description and ensure your responses are specific to you and are not 'stock' answers.

A selection of general interview questions are listed under the categories below:

Skills related interview questions
    • Tell me about yourself.

    • What are your main strengths?

    • What is your main weakness?

    • Why should we employ you rather than any of the other applicants?

    • What would your colleagues and friends say your best qualities were?

    • Why should we hire you?

    • What information technology skills do you possess?

    • What skills do you need to develop most?

    • Tell me about your asset finance/leasing skills.

    • What specific skills have you learnt which make you a good {job title}?

    • What could you do to improve the organisation and running of your current work environment?

    • How would you rate your communication skills and what would you do to improve them?

    • What makes a good {job title}?

    • How do you handle stress?

    • How do you handle pressure?

    • What difficult decisions have you made?

    • How do you measure success?

    • How would you handle a non-performing colleague?

    • What would you do if you noticed one of your colleagues getting stressed?

    • How would you react if one of your colleagues was about to do something that might be detrimental to the company?

    • How would you react if your boss insisted that you carry out a course of action that you knew to be wrong?

    • Have you ever been in a conflict situation with one of your colleagues and how did you handle it?

​Prospective employer-related interview questions
    • Why do you want to join our company?

    • What do you know about our company?

    • What interests you about our company?

    • What can we offer that your previous company cannot offer?

New job-related interview questions
    • What will the main tasks and responsibilities be in this job?

    • What do you think the main challenges will be?

    • What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this job?

    • What would you do on the first day/week/month/year?

    • What concerns you about the job?

    • Why do you want this job?

    • What qualities do you think will be required for this job?

    • How long do you think it would be before you are making a significant contribution to the team/company?

    • What are you looking for in a new job?

    • What would you like to avoid in your next job?

    • Are you over/under qualified for this position?

    • How long have you been looking for a new job?

    • What would your ideal job be?

    • Are you considering any other positions at the moment?

    • How long you would stay in this new job? (usually only asked if you’ve changed jobs frequently)

    • How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for? What are the differences?

    • Why do you wish to leave your present job?​

Ambition related interview questions
    • What are your goals?

    • What is your career ambition?

    • Where do you see yourself in two/three/five/ten years time?

    • If you were to start your career again what would you change?

    • How ambitious are you?

    • Would you compete for my job?

​Experience related interview questions
    • Take me through your CV.

    • Why did you leave your last job?

    • Why do you want to leave your current job?

    • Tell me about a typical day in your current/previous job.

    • What experience have you got from previous jobs?

    • Are you worried about your lack of experience?

    • Tell us about your asset finance/leasing experience.

    • What job have you particularly liked/disliked?

    • Tell us about your management experience.

    • How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for?

    • What are the differences between this job and your last job?

    • Why did you choose a career in …?

    • Why are you changing careers?

    • Why did you join your previous company?

    • Explain the organisational structure in your last company and how you fitted into it?

​Motivation related interview questions
    • What motivates you?

    • Which tasks do you get the most satisfaction from?

    • How would your manager motivate you?

    • Do you enjoy working?

    • What would you do in life if money was no concern?

    • What made you choose this career?

    • Are you prepared to relocate?

    • Are you willing to travel?

    • What level of salary are you looking for now?

    • Do you need other people around to stimulate you or are you self-motivated?

Product/Service related interview questions
    • What do you think of our products/services?

    • What do you know about our products/services?

    • Can you think of any improvements to our products/services?

    • What interests you about our products/services?

Teamwork related interview questions
    • What makes a good team?

    • What makes a good team player?

    • What makes a good leader?

    • Do you work better as part of a team or alone?

    • Are you accepted into a team quickly?

​Personality related interview questions
    • ​How would you describe yourself?

    • How would your friends describe you?

    • Give us three adjectives that describe you best.

    • What will your referees say about you?

    • What type of things makes you angry?

    • Do you ever lose your temper?

    • How would you cope with criticism and a complaint against you?

    • What was the most important event in your life?

    • How would you describe your management style?

    • How do you deal with criticism?

    • What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?

    • What is your approach to resolving conflict?

    • Describe an instance where your work was criticised.

    • Tell us about your best/worst manager.

    • Tell us about your best/worst colleague.

    • Are you a leader?

    • What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

    • Do you consider yourself successful?

    • What was your greatest success?

    • How did you achieve it?

    • What has been your biggest failure?

    • How could you improve yourself?

    • How do you run a meeting?

    • What management style gets the best results out of you?

    • Are you competitive?

    • Are you aggressive?

    • What do you dislike doing?

    • Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?

    • Can you work under pressure?

    • How many hours are you prepared to work?

Interests related interview questions
    • ​What was the last film you watched?... Why?

    • What was the last book you read?... Why?

    • Tell me about your hobbies?

    • What interests do you have after work?

    • What conflicts of interest do you foresee between work and your passion for ........?

Unusual interview questions
    • If you had your own company, what would it do and why?

    • How do you correct a mistake?

    • If you were asked to draw a picture, what would you draw and why?

    • If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be and why?

    • If you were a biscuit, what type of biscuit would you be and why?

    • If you were a car, what kind would you be, what colour and why?

    • Why do you look so nervous?

    • If you were the interviewer, how would you interview me?

    • Imagine you have had a significant lottery win, what will you do with the money and in what way will it change your life?

    • If you were trapped in a forest what would you do?

    • Name a person past or present) with whom you would like to have dinner and why?

    • If you were stranded in the desert what will be your strategy to escape?

    • What is the most fearsome act you have undertaken?

    • If you only had the choice between living in a colony or in a castle on a lonely island, which would you choose and why?

    • You have access to a time machine; what would you do and why?

If you would like to discuss these or any other points in relation to general interview questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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