Vice President – Director – General Management – Plant Management - Department Management – Department Supervisors
Production – QC/R&D – Engineering – Project – Maintenance – Warehouse – Finance – HR

Interview Questions

It is important that you devote time to preparation for answering some of the most commonly asked interviewing questions.  Below we have listed a number of these questions, with some guidance on answering critical ones. Our advice is that you jot down your answers, or at least key content points, to guide you. Then —

  1. Tell me about yourself.

    Also could be phrased, “Give me a summary of your background.” This could be answered via a two-minute verbal resume, highlighting career strengths in relationship to each company/position of interest.

  2. Why are/did you leave your present company?

    Keep this as neutral as possible, eliminating emotional words. Emphasis should be positive. Be very concise.

  3. How do you feel about your previous employer?

    Again, emphasize positive items and experiences. Avoid negativism.

  4. What are your strengths?

    Tailor these to fit the opportunity. Give examples. It is crucial that you are well prepared for this question.

  5. What are your weaknesses?

    Be as positive as possible. Think of one of your actual areas which need improvement. Discuss your awareness of it and how you have resolved it or are working on it. Also, you may discuss a weakness that could also be perceived as a strength. Be prepared to give an example.

  6. Describe one of your most challenging assignments.

    Be positive, give detail concisely, and provide results.

  7. Describe one of your most difficult assignments.

    Keep it positive. Perhaps you can discuss a tough project you mastered.

  8. What did you like most about your last position?

    How does this relate to the position for which you’re interviewing? Tie it in.

  9. Least?

    Be prepared, and as positive as possible.

  10. What would your ideal job be? What are you looking for in a job now?

  11. What do you know about our company?

    Show tactfully that you have done your homework.

  12. Why should we hire you?

    Express confidence, not conceit.

  13. How long would you stay with us?

    Indicate that this company and position helps you achieve your current career goals and that you would like to achieve future goals while working with this company.

  14. Why have you changed companies so frequently?

    Be brief and crisp. Stay away from analyzing friction points.

  15. Have you ever been fired?

    If yes is the answer, be prepared to give a concise, unemotional reason.

  16. What makes you think you are a good manager?

  17. What would people who have worked for you say about you?

    Be as positive as you can, but be honest, too. They can check your references easily.

  18. Did you ever fire anyone? Why? How did you do it?

  19. As a manager, what do you find is the most difficult thing you have to do?

  20. How do you motivate your employees?

    Describe the techniques that you like to use to bring out the best in people.

  21. How did you get along with your superior?

    Be as positive as you can, and avoid discussing conflicts.

  22. What would your previous supervisor say about you?

    Recount good things you did for him/her.

  23. What have you been criticized for in the past?

    Be specific and brief, and finish with a positive resolution.

  24. How do you respond to criticism?

    Mention that you use information (good or bad) to improve yourself.

  25. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Where possible, try to relate strengths to the position for which you’re interviewing.

  26. What motivates you? Discourages you?

  27. Do you consider yourself a “self-starter?” Why?

    “Yes” should be the answer. Give a couple of examples.

  28. Can you work under pressure?

    It is a way of life in the business world. Provide examples.

  29. Have you had to work in a heavy overtime environment? How did you react?

  30. Are you a team player, or do you prefer to work solo?

    Show that you can do both well. Mention that you can take instruction from both peers and management.

  31. Tell me about your goals. What have you done (are going to do) to reach them?

    Relate your answer to the company with whom you are interviewing. Do not arrive at the interview without career goals.

  32. Would you prefer to work on one task until completion or juggle multiple tasks simultaneously?

    In your response, stress “efficiency.”

  33. Do you prefer a small, mid-sized or large company?

    Tailor your answer to the company at hand.

  34. Do you prefer line or staff work? Why?

    Illustrate your strengths in managing others.

  35. Describe your personality.

  36. Are you creative? In what way?

    “Yes” should be the answer. Give examples.

  37. Are you primarily a numbers or a people person?

    Show strengths in both areas.

  38. How extensively have you had to travel? To where? How would you (and/or your family) feel about it?

  39. If the industry is new to you, what makes you think you can switch to our industry? What difficulties would you foresee?

    Emphasize your transferable skills, giving detail.

  40. If attempting to change careers, why are you considering this change? What problems can you foresee if you make the change?

    Show that you look at this change as an investment, and that you have the courage and patience to wait for results.

  41. Why has it taken you so long to find a job?

    It is not uncommon for some candidates to take time to assess their career direction. If this applies to you, mention it. Some candidates are also limited to opportunities in select geographical regions. Keep it positive.

  42. Did you ever consider changing jobs before? If not, why not?

  43. Where do you want to be five years from now? Ten years?

    Relate your answer to the company with whom you are interviewing.

  44. You seem overqualified for this position. Why are you interested in it?

  45. How do you evaluate our company as a place to build your future?

    Research the organization’s structure before the interview and see what the promotional opportunities may be.

  46. How do you feel about relocating?

  47. How does your family feel about relocating?

  48. What other jobs (companies) are you looking into?

    Do not mention company names; only industries.

  49. How much money have you earned at any one time? What were you making in your last job?

  50. How much do you think you should earn in this position? If we were to offer you the job, how much money would you want?

    Start negotiations with a range, and emphasize that the starting figures of you and this position, if not the same, may not be far apart. Keep an open, relaxed communication style when discussing salary.

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