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Lessons in Leadership

Sample Interview Questions

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Here are some questions that might be asked in a job interview. If you are a hiring manager, consider whether some of these could be useful in your situation. If you are a job seeker, try answering some of these questions for interview practice.

Ability

  • Describe your qualifications for this job.
  • Describe two or three things that you learned from your last (or present) job.
  • What have you learned in school that would help you in this job? (new grads only)
  • Give me some examples of the kind of decisions you made in your last job.
  • What is the biggest mistake you've made during your career?
  • Describe some difficult problems that you have had to deal with.
  • In your last (or present) job, what did you spend most of your time on?
  • What are your special abilities? How have they helped you succeed in the past?
  • What about yourself would you like to improve? Give an example of how these characteristics have caused you problems in the past.
  • What have you done that you're particularly proud of?

Motivation

  • Why did you choose this field of work?
  • What jobs have you enjoyed most? Least? Why?
  • What did you like about your last job? Not like? Why?
  • What motivates you? Give me an example from your previous work experience.
  • Why are you considering a job change at this time?
  • What would it take to keep you in your present job?
  • Describe some of your accomplishments and talk about the reasons for your success.
  • What are some things that you would like to accomplish in your career?
  • What would cause you to get tired of a job?
  • What have you found most frustrating about your previous jobs?

“Fit” with Employer

  • What is it about our organization that interests you? Why do you think you would like this position?
  • Think of some people you have worked well with. What made those relationships successful?
  • Think of someone you found it hard to work with. What made that relationship difficult?
  • If you could have made one suggestion to management in your last job, what would it be?
  • What kinds of things have bothered you most at work?
  • Describe your last three managers. What kind of manager do you prefer? Why?
  • What were your last manager's strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Describe the best boss you have had. The worst boss.
  • Why have you decided to leave jobs in the past?
  • Describe your ideal working environment.

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