10 Killer Job Interview questions and Answers

Written by Carole Martin

Behind every interview question there is a concern or another question. Your job is to process the question thinking about what the interviewer’s concern might be. In other words, why is the interviewer asking you this question?

Q#1 – How long have you been looking for a job? (Concern – is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?)

A#1 – “After I was laid off from my last job, I took the opportunity to take some time out to examine my career goals and where I was going with my life. I have just begun my search in the last few weeks. I have a definite goal in mind and have been selective about the positions I consider. Your company and this position are of great interest to me.”

Q#2 – How did you prepare for this interview? (Concern – are you interested enough to do some research, or are you going to “wing it”?)

A#2 – “When I found this position posted on the internet (monster.com) I was immediately interested. I checked out the company website and mission statement, looked at the bios of company founders and executives, and was impressed. Once I had the interview appointment, I talked with friends and acquaintances in the industry. And, I’m sure I’ll find out a lot more in today’s meetings.”

Q#3 – What is your salary expectation for this job? (Concern – Can we afford you? Can we get you for less than budgeted?)

A#3 – “I’ll need more information about the job and the responsibilities involved before we can begin to discuss salary. Can you give me an idea of the range budgeted for this position?”

Q#4 – How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industries that you have worked in? (Concern – Once you get the job do you continue to learn and grow – stay challenged and motivated?)

A#4 – “I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in my industry. I do a lot of reading – the business section of the newspapers and magazines. I belong to a couple of professional organizations and network with colleagues at the meetings. I take classes and seminars whenever they are of interest, or offer new information or technology.”

Q#5 – Tell me about a time when you had to plan and coordinate a project from start to finish. (Concern – behavioral questions – seeking an example of specific past behavior)

A#5 – ” I headed up a project which involved customer service personnel and technicians. I organized a meeting to get everyone together to brainstorm and get his or her input. From this meeting I drew up a plan, taking the best of the ideas. I organized teams, balancing the mixture of technical and non-technical people. We had a deadline to meet, so I did periodic checks with the teams. After three weeks, we were exceeding expectations, and were able to begin implementation of the plan. It was a great team effort, and a big success. I was commended by management for my leadership, but I was most proud of the team spirit and cooperation which it took to pull it off.”

Q#6 – What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with? (Concern – ability to be flexible and work in a diverse environment?)

A#6 – “In my last three jobs I have worked with men and women from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. The only time I had difficulty was with people who were dishonest about work issues. I worked with one woman who was taking credit for work that her team accomplished. I had an opportunity to talk with her one day and explained how she was affecting the morale. She became very upset that others saw her that way, and said she was unaware of her behavior or the reactions of others. Her behavior changed after our talk. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes what we perceive about others is not always the case if we check it out.”

Q#7 – We expect managers to work more than 8 hours a day. Do you have a problem with that? (Concern – are you a work-aholic or a person who requires balance?)

A#7 – “I have no problem working long hours. I have worked 12 or 14 hour days. What I have found works for me is to work smarter, not necessarily longer. My goal is to get the job done, whatever that takes, in the most efficient manner.”

Q#8 – When have you been most satisfied in your career? (Concern – what motivates you? Or demotivates you?)

A#8 – “The job before the one I am currently at, was my most rewarding experience for me. I worked in a wonderful team environment. There was a lot of camaraderie. I worked with a team of four people and we did some really original thinking. It is that kind of environment I want to be involved in again.”

Q#9 – Why do you want this job? (Concern – are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you really know what you want?)

A#9 – “I’ve been very careful about the companies where I have applied. When I saw the ad for this position, I knew I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of experience, and knowledge of the industry, plus my ability to communicate and build customer relationships. That, along with my flexibility and organizational skills, makes me a perfect match for this position. I see some challenges ahead of me here, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.”

Q#10 – We are ready to make an offer. Are you ready to accept today? (Concern – we don’t want you to go away and think about it and change your mind – we want you.)

A#10 – “Based on my research and the information I have gathered during the interview process, I feel I am in a position to consider an offer. I do, however, have a personal policy that I give myself at least 24 hours to make major life decisions. I could let you know by tomorrow.”

There is no way you can accurately predict the questions that will be asked in an interview, but you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the factors that might concern an interviewer or employer before the interview.

——————

Carole Martin, America’s #1 Interview Coach, is a celebrated author, trainer, and mentor. Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Get a copy of her FREE 9-part “Interview Success Tips” report by visiting Carole on the web at The Interview Coach http://www.interviewcoach.com

112 thoughts on “10 Killer Job Interview questions and Answers

  1. Darrell

    No 7 is an interesting one.
    According to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes that “the income of a young man in his 30s is now 12 per cent below that of a man his age three decades ago”.

    He adds that families have coped by putting women to work, by working longer hours, and by using more credit.

    “The typical American now works two weeks more each year than 30 years ago,” says Reich. He adds that “we…put in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese”.

    So anyone on the receiving end of a question about hours of work should have no illusions about what is expected, and what it will take to succeed.

    1. garry

      I have sched for phone interview tomorrow. Please give me an answer to the ff questions:

      - what do you see ahead for yourself in the next 9 years?
      - How do you see the future for this industry?
      - What do you consider to be your jobs most important assets?
      - What is the overall structure of your job and how did you fit the structure?
      - what are the career paths in this position?
      - what would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
      - what you value most for someone being hired for this position?
      - have you previously successful in this position progressed to within the company you have worked with?
      - Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? What are the challenges facing this position?
      - What are the most immediate challenges of this position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
      - What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
      - How will you be evaluated in this company and how often?
      - What are the next steps in the interview process?
      - What level of management did you consider the position to be?
      - Tell me about a suggestion you have me?
      - Tell me about yourself?
      - Why did you leave your last jobs?
      - What experience do you have in this field?
      - Do you consider yourself a leader?
      - What do co-worker say about you?
      - What do you know about our company?
      - What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
      - Are you applying for other jobs?
      - Why do you want to work for this company?
      - Do you know anyone who works for us?
      - What kind of salary do you need?
      - Are you a team player?
      - How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
      - Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
      - What is your philosophy towards work?
      - If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
      - Explain how you would be an asset to this company?
      - Why should we hire you?
      - What irritates you about co-workers?
      - What is your greatest strength?
      - Tell me more about your experiences in this qualification and since when you have been working in this profession till date?
      - Why do you think you would do well at this job?
      - Explain about your dream job?
      - What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
      - What is more important to you: the money or the work?
      - What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
      -What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
      - Do you have any blind spots?
      - If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
      - Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
      - How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
      - What qualities do you look for in a boss?
      - Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others
      - what position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
      - Describe your work ethic?
      - What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
      - Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job?
      - Do you have any question for me?

  2. Alan

    It’s funny how every interviewing SO-CALLED expert has an opinion…the internet and it’s tips do nothing but give out false information and will in most cases hurt the person interviewing…#9 How much money do you want to make? NEVER give them a dollar figure….money is important YET MY CAREER IS MORE IMPORTANT…the money will come. IF THEY PUSH…..Ask them what their top performer makes….$80,000…you smile and tell them I want to make $81,000…I want to be your top performer.

    http://www.interviewthebest.com

  3. J Penny

    What about thsoe wierd interview questions that seem completely unrelated to the position? For example “What animal would you choose to be?”. They are used to evaluate how you react to the unexpected, your ability to think on your feet and give a coherent answer! There is no wrong or right answer.
    Best Job Interview

  4. budi

    Dear sir
    Introduce me first, my name budi martanto from indonesia, I have interview jobs question and need your help to answer it, below are the question:
    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?
    10. Give us details of your present Employment Status.
    11. How soon can you travel down to any Location posted U?
    12. What three Specific Job Positions do you target from the Company?

    14. What is your Future Plans for the Company if Permanently Employed?
    15. What is your current Salary?
    16. What is your expected Salary?

    finnaly, thank you very much

    regard

    budi martanto

  5. hakim

    Can I hav please as best answers to questions bellow for an interview an thanks in advance:
    1-how does your past or present jobs experience fit to the requirement of this job.
    2- tell about a time you had difficulties working in a team.
    3- tell about a time when it was necessary to plan several alternative of actions in response to a change in organization,s direction.
    4- talk about a time you found it particularly tough to make a decision.

  6. sheila may

    helo!
    wow!
    thanks a lot!
    it is really a big hepl to me most especially that i’ll be having an interview right now!
    at least i have now an idea!
    but then, i hope that you are going to post here about those people who is not yet employed eversince and just seeking for a job!
    thanks you again!
    gooddluck to me!
    heheheh!

  7. SlingDing

    I have a few job interviews lined up this week and this was a definite refresher. I have been out of the job hunt scene for 3 years so I know I am a bit rusty.

    Thank you for sharing this resource.

  8. Richard Adofo Frimpong

    please i need answers to the following interview questions
    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?
    10. Give us details of your present Employment Status.
    11. How soon can you travel down to any Location posted U?
    12. What three Specific Job Positions do you target from the Company?

    14. What is your Future Plans for the Company if Permanently Employed?
    15. What is your current Salary?
    16. What is your expected Salary?
    thanks you.

  9. Shakil Ahamed

    Dear sir
    Introduce me first, my name SHAKIL AHAMED from BANGLADESH, I have interview jobs question and need your help to answer it,As early as possible before next 12 hour,s. Below are the question’s:

    1. How would you describe your self….?
    2. How would you describe your ideal job…..?
    3. Why did you choose this careers….?
    4. What goals do you achieve in your career…?
    5. How do you plan to achieve these goals….?
    6. What exactly do you look for in a job….?
    7. What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life….?
    8. What motives you to do a good job….?
    9. Which post do you like to apply for…..?
    10. Have you ever been to LONDON before…..?
    11.What is your present job and what is your present salary…..?

    finnaly, thank you very much

    regard

    Shakil Ahamed
    Dhaka,Bangladesh
    E-mail: shakilnisa@yahoo.com

  10. Shakil Ahamed

    Dear sir,
    Introduce me first,
    I am ” SHAKIL AHAMED from BANGLADESH.
    I have interview jobs question and need your help to answer it,

    I want to build my career in a 5 star’s hotel.
    The hotel name is “Abba queens gate hotel” location london.
    My applying post “It management”
    My interview question is below.Please solv my question’s as early as possible before
    next 4 hour’s and reply my mail account.

    Below are the question’s.

    1. How would you describe your self…….?
    2. How would you describe your ideal job……?
    3. Why did you choose this careers….?
    4. What goals do you achieve in your career…?
    5. How do you plan to achieve these goals….?
    6. What exactly do you look for in a job….?
    7. What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life….?
    8. What motives you to do a good job….?
    9. Which post do you like to apply for…..?
    10. Have you ever been to LONDON before…..?
    11.What is your present job and what is your present salary…..

    finnaly, thank you very much
    regard
    Shakil Ahamed
    Dhaka,Bangladesh
    E-mail: shakilnisa@yahoo.com

  11. Livinus Ashio

    Those interviews questions and their answers were simply great. Could you please tell me how I can answer this question? “Tell us about yourself.”

  12. Livinus Ashio

    Those interview questions and their answers were simply great. Could you please tell me how I can answer this question? “Tell us about yourself.”

  13. ASH

    Hi folks,

    I have been laid off since March and going for my first job interview tomorrow. Have been working in accounts payable but going for cashier or helper work at a new supermarket chain store.

    Any tips for me

  14. emily

    i wish i would’ve read these questions before i went to my interview, i was asked every single question here by 4 different people . i am so mad…………

  15. davinci

    hello, Carole Martin iam having aninterview sooon. Iam anenglish teacher .the interview will be held in institute of plastic company . so i need your help what are the questions that will be asked . if possible with their answer.can you?

  16. Nazan

    Hi All,
    Please provide some good answers for following Qs:
    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?
    10. Give us details of your present Employment Status.
    11. How soon can you travel down to any Location posted U?
    12. What three Specific Job Positions do you target from the Company?

    Regards,
    Nazan
    asknazan@gmail.com

  17. Arif

    Hi All,
    Please provide some good answers for following Qs:
    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?
    10. Give us details of your present Employment Status.
    11. How soon can you travel down to any Location posted U?
    12. What three Specific Job Positions do you target from the Company?

    Regards,

  18. Majda OUAHID

    Hello Carole Martin,

    I am having an interview on Monday for a position of customer service team leader. What is the best answer for : Describe yourself?

    With many thanks and best regards.

    Majda

  19. anisul

    hello Carole Martin ,

    I am having an interview on 23/12/2009 for a position of Marketing Executive in a telecom company .

    Please provide some good answers for following Qs:

    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?

    waiting for ur answer….

  20. Alex Mayan

    In regards to some of the questions in the comment section, http://www.InterviewCrusher.com has many of those answers to these and more.
    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?
    2. Why did you choose this career?
    3. What goals do you have in your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work here?
    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?

  21. Boban Kacanski

    Thank you very much for this A/Q… I found them very useful, but it would be great if you offer some templates about the job interviews for graduate people, without any work day !!!!

  22. Mary

    I AM Mary Adams OF MITCO TEXTILES, A TEXTILES MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
    – WE NEED A HONEST, SELF-MOTIVATED PERSON WHO CAN WORK FOR US AS A
    PAYMENT RECEIVABLE PERSONAL DUE TO US NOT HAVING AN OFFICE IN THE STATES
    AND EARN ON A DAILY BASIS.
    – FOR MORE DETAILS PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING: +FULL NAME: +FULL ADDRESS(Not
    P.O BOX): +CITY: +STATE: +ZIP CODE: +PHONE #:

  23. Sushanta Barman

    Hello Sir,

    This is Sushanta Barman from INDIA doing B.E. in CSE department. I have some interview question and need your help to answer it, below are the question:

    1. So, Sushanta are you tired for waiting long time?
    2. How would you describe your self?
    3. Which quality of leader do you find in your self?
    4. What is your weak points and strong points? Give some examples in your life?
    5. Tell about your experience after left your house?
    6. How do you handle stress / pressure?
    7. What are the qualities of a good leader?
    8. How would you describe your ideal job?
    9. Why did you choose this careers?
    10. What goals do you achieve in your career?
    11. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    12. What exactly do you look for in a job?
    13. What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?
    14. What motives you to do a good job?

    I will be greatly thankful to you!

    My email id: sbarman565@gmail.com

  24. jad achkar

    After reading many pages of job interview, i found out that this page is the most powerfull page saw..there are really plenty of killing questions.after reading the questions i guess that the answers helped me alot.
    best regards.

  25. amardeepkumar

    I'm fully agree with you, You have done great job. I like this article very much. but i want to say one thing. If you have a lot of answer, please give the two answer for each questions.

  26. majaja

    i remember that it's my first interview of the company and i could not even know what
    i response of the interviewer, my knees was trembling and i fell got sick of that moment,

  27. Snowy

    This is so politically correct, Interviewers are losing the art of common sense and feel the need to google questions like above to do their job. Life experience provides the ability to select good candidates.

  28. Bclean

    Somehow I fully agree on this.
    Couple of points:
    Now a days we, the professionals need to face interviews day-in, day-out, on eother side of the table. However, keeping the pace of life and work, I feel people really get very little time to do some home work before being an interviewer or interviewee.
    Specifically in IT markets, it is a real problem.
    Being an Interviewer is an art, you need to learn it, it just doesn't come thru the air.
    Most of experience is, while looking for a mid to denior level or management, often the interviewer starts very irrelavant questions, like …” What is the arts and science of becoming a Manager?” . And believe me this is the first question asked. There are thousands of such examples.
    What I feel, either people are really not serious about the interviweing job or they just want to impose the vission they think they are mastered with or they are just trying to play around with you and the time since they had already in such a posistion and so called AUTHORIZED to harras people. They always take a negative approach to interrogate rather taking a positive approach to know abt you or how you really can fit for the job.
    Such stupid elements are actually just wasting time and morale of others. As a part of enterprise change management and organizational quality improvement process, these people need to be assessed and probably kicked out first.

  29. Lyndon

    The toughest question:
    “Out of 400 applicants, you and (name) are the only two remaining candidates for this position. Both of you have identical credentials. Tell me; Why should we hire you instead of (name)?

  30. Alan

    Education is #1. Tackling the economy and creating jobs is very important, but when the time comes for individuals and they don’t know how to interview it won’t do them much good because they won’t get the jobs that are being created.

    When someone is taught how to interview they feel empowered, they become so much more confident, they become inspired and motivated, they feel they can accomplish something that was unreachable. Millions of people need jobs and need to be taught how to find and interview for jobs, hopefully we can help millions of Americans and their families in these tough economic times.

    http://www.interviewthebest.com

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/interviewthebest

  31. Abiola

    please sir. I am Abiola,seeking for post of mechanical engineer.my interview is on 30 April,2011. i need answers to the
    following interview questions
    1. Briefly describe your ideal
    job?
    2. Why did you choose this
    career?
    3. What goals do you have in
    your career?
    4. How do you plan to achieve
    these goals?
    5. Can you work well under
    deadlines or pressure?
    6. Tell us about a time when
    you failed to meet a deadline.
    What were
    the repercussions?
    7. Do you have reference list?
    8. Why do you want to work
    here?
    9. Why should we hire you
    over the others waiting to be
    interviewed?
    10. Give us details of your
    present Employment Status.
    11. How soon can you travel
    down to any Location posted
    U?
    12. What three Specific Job
    Positions do you target from
    the Company?
    14. What is your Future Plans
    for the Company if
    Permanently Employed?
    15. What is your current
    Salary?
    16. What is your expected
    Salary?
    thanks you.
    My Email is altaoheedabiola@yahoo.com

  32. Tony aham

    Hi, i’m having an aptitude test 2moro with a marine company 4crewing as a marine engineer, its my 1st time, i have all my required documents but with theory experience only, which they know. What do u think they might ask me. Thanks.

  33. kabira

    sir i have compleated my physiotherapy course..i have applied for the physiotherpist job in hospital .and my interview questions are…so plz help me….reply me on abu_tannu@yahoo.com

    1. Briefly describe your ideal job?

    2. Why did you choose this career?

    3. What goals do you have in your career?

    4. How do you plan to achieve these goals?

    5. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?

    6. Tell us about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What were the repercussions?

    7. Do you have reference list?

    8. Why do you want to work here?

    9. Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?

    10. What is your Current Monthly Salary Package in US Dollars?

    11. How soon can you travel down to start your new Job?

    12. What job position/s are you currently holding with your current employer?

    13. What two Specific Job Positions do you target from HOSPITALS U.K?

    15. What is your Country of Nationality? Is it different from your
    Present Location? If yes please state your Current resident Country.

    16. What are your Future Plans for HOSPITALS ?
    plz reply me soon

Leave a Reply