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What Are Great Interview Questions

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Whats One Misconception Your Coworkers Have About You

Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More

Umbrella co-founder Sam Gerstenzang once wrote that its not the presence of weakness, but rather a failure to recognize it that usually holds people back and accordingly, his go-to interview question centers around self-awareness.

I’ve found this question tends to open up a candidate, he tells us. By asking for a misconception rather than something coworkers simply don’t know about you, the interviewer often receives a more important and revealing truth while also understanding how the candidate relates to their co-workers.

In Gerstenzangs experience, the misconception is often something a candidate wishes they had more or less of, which helps understand their underlying motivations. A less-than-great answer often reveals an underdeveloped sense of self or poor communication with co-workers, he says.

Asking about misconceptions is a powerful tool. It speaks to both your conception of yourself, and your understanding of how others perceive you both of which are critical.

What Interests You About This Role

Hiring managers often ask this question to ensure you understand the role and give you an opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. Study the job description carefully and compare its requirements to your skills and experience. Choose a few responsibilities you particularly enjoy or excel at and focus on those in your answer.

Example answer:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to grow in my career. Im also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.

Read more: Interview Question: Why Are You Interested in This Position?

Can You Tell Me About A Difficult Work Situation And How You Overcame It

This question is often used to assess how well you perform under pressure as well as your problem-solving abilities. Keep in mind stories are more memorable than facts and figures, so strive to show instead of tell. This is also an excellent opportunity to show your human side and how when faced with adversity you are able to persevere.

For this question, consider sticking to the STAR method:

  • Situation
  • Action
  • Result or learning

Example answer:It was the first day of my bosss two-week vacation and our agencys highest-paying client threatened to leave because he didnt feel he was getting the personalized service he was promised. I spent my lunch hour on the phone with him talking through his concerns. We even brainstormed ideas for his next campaign. He was so grateful for the personal attention that he signed another six-month contract before my boss even returned from her trip.

Related: Interview Question: “What Is the Biggest Challenge You’ve Faced In Work?”

Read Also: What Are Questions You Get Asked At A Job Interview

What Are Your Biggest Strengths

There are two answers you could go for here: what your actual strengths are, and what you think the hiring manager or HR representative wants to hear. We would most certainly suggest you go with the first answer.

For this question, you would want to narrow your answer down to at most three strengths. Pick 1 or 2 skills that would help you really excel at the job, and 1 or 2 personal skills.

Not sure which ones are your top strengths? Check out the table below to learn which ones perfect for your field:

After picking your strengths, back it up with a situation or story that shows how you have used it to benefit you on the job.

After all, words are just that – words. The HR cant know whether your natural leadership is an actual strength, or just means that you were super active in your high school class.

As you probably already know, this is one of the most common interview questions out there, so make sure youre prepared for it before facing the HR manager!

Possible answers:

  • Sample Answer 1:

My biggest strength is that Im good at picking up new skills. Ive worked a variety of different odd jobs – things like working as a waiter, house-keeper, cook, and a lot more .

For most of those jobs, I ended up picking up all the needed skills within 1 or 2 weeks .

So, Im pretty sure while I dont have any experience as a bartender, I have the right certification, and I believe I can get good at it within a week or two.

  • Possible answer 2:

From Your Resume It Seems You Took A Gap Year Would You Like To Tell Us Why That Was

[INFOGRAPHIC] Checklist of the Best Job Interview ...

Gap years are more popular in some cultures than others. In some professions, gap years may have a negative connotation .

Let your interviewer know that your gap year wasnt about procrastinating over your transition from childhood to adulthood, but that it added value to the confident professional you have become. Based on what part of the world youre in and how common these are, employers are likely looking to hear stories of what you did and how your experiences have benefitted and prepared you for this role.

Provide a short explanation of why you decided to pursue a gap year, then focus on what came out of it that made a positive difference for your future.

Example: During my last year of high school, I didnt feel ready to choose my educational path, so I took a wilderness course for a few months to sort out my life goals. It may seem a little random, but the time I spent actually helped my develop so many new skills in the areas of leadership, communication, . During that time, I realized that I wanted to earn a degree in to align with my passion .

To make a winning impression, youll need to answer each question with poise and passion. But practicing first really helps. Meticulous preparation will allow you to appear confident and in control, helping position you as the ideal candidate when the competition is tough.

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Where Do You See Yourself In The Next 5 Years

An ambitious professional with a clear set of goals for the short, medium, and long term, is an invaluable asset to the company. This is true especially if they parallel their career growth with the company they are interviewing at.

As they grow professionally and financially, the company grows and expands too.

During the interview, confident job seekers will discuss that they seek a company with upward mobility as they help the company prosper.

How Did You Prepare For This Interview

When he asks this question, Jonah Greenberger is testing for three things: proactiveness, resourcefulness and passion.

Those qualities are critical for almost any position, says the CEO of Bright . I also like that this multi-purpose question is so open-ended. It gives room for candidates to show how concise, creative, and clear they are.

Also Check: What Questions To Ask At The End Of An Interview

What Do You Plan To Do If

Every business faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends. There’s rarely one of Warren Buffett’s moats protecting a small business.

So while some candidates may see your company as a stepping-stone, they still hope for growth and advancement. If they do eventually leave, they want it to be on their terms, not because you were forced out of business.

Say I’m interviewing for a position at your ski shop. Another store is opening less than a mile away: How do you plan to deal with the competition? Or you run a poultry farm : What will you do to deal with rising feed costs?

Great candidates don’t just want to know what you think they want to know what you plan to do — and how they will fit into those plans.

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What Would Your First 30 60 Or 90 Days Look Like In This Role

TOP 21 Interview Questions and Answers for 2020!

The goal for every new hire should be to hit the ground running. The best answers will be well thought out.

Before diving in, top candidates will talk through the things that they’ll require to get ramped up. In the first 30 days, they’ll need to familiarise themselves with your process, sit down with key employees and get acclimatised to their new surroundings.

60-90 days should give them time to make key contributions in a number of different areas and bring at least one major initiative through to fruition. This is a pretty complex question, so feel free to break it up into 3 separate questions if you prefer.

Also Check: How To Write A Post Interview Email

Whats A Time You Disagreed With A Decision That Was Made At Work

The ideal anecdote here is one where you handled a disagreement professionally and learned something from the experience. Zhang recommends paying particular attention to how you start and end your response. To open, make a short statement to frame the rest of your answer, one that nods at the ultimate takeaway or the reason youre telling this story. For example: I learned early on in my professional career that its fine to disagree if you can back up your hunches with data. And to close strong, you can either give a one-sentence summary of your answer or talk briefly about how what you learned or gained from this experience would help you in the role youre interviewing for.

Can You Describe How You Handle Tight Deadlines

Does your team frequently face challenging time constraints? Do you need someone who can work quickly and accurately while under pressure? Ask this interview question of a potential employee and youll at least get their opinion as to how they handle stress and whether they can keep up with the pace of work at your organization. You could also follow up by asking if theyve ever missed a deadline and, if so, how they handled the situation.

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What Attracted You To Apply For This Position

By asking this question you, as the interviewer, should be able to gauge if job seeker has an enthusiasm for the job opening or if they just applied blindly to the position.

You could also review the experience in their resume with the job opening and ask them how they would react to specific situations.

Favorite Interview Questions From Some Of The Sharpest Folks We Know


Here at First Round, were always searching for advice that gets overlooked or goes unshared, hoping to find the stones that company builders dont even know to turn over.

Whether its through in-person events, online discussions on First Round Network , or the articles and interviews we share here on the Review, were driven by an ambition to create the space founders and startup leaders need to exchange that trapped knowledge.

And in those spaces, weve seen time and time again how the conversation inevitably drifts back to a single topic. Whether its a Fast Track mentorship pairing, an intimate Co-Founder Forum dinner or a CTO unconference, hiring always seems to be top of mind.

Theres no shortage of challenges that could benefit from a dose of outside perspective, from finding hiring practices that scale to bringing on a new exec to nabbing a great in-house recruiter. And then there’s the interview.

When youre scaling quickly, moving at warp speed, and sitting on several hiring panels, interviewing can seem like a task you just need to get through. But its worth pausing to remember that the decision to hire someone is an expensive and far-reaching one. And since youre forced to make it after spending a few hours together, maximizing what you can learn about candidates in those precious few minutes becomes all the more crucial.

Of course, weve shared a fair amount of interview best practices in the past here on the Review. .

Read Also: What To Ask During Exit Interview

What’s One Part Of Your Previous Company’s Culture That You Hope To Bring To Your Next One What One Part Do You Hope To Not Find

Ben Kamens, the founder and CEO of Spring Discovery finds this question to be an effective way to probe candidates thoughtfulness when it comes to working with others, uncovering their understanding of how team dynamics and culture intersect.

Do they immaturely rant about the failings of past teammates? Do they thoughtfully consider why certain problems existed, maturely discussing the tradeoffs their previous company had to make? he says. Can they reason through why one company or industry’s problems or culture might not apply to another’s?

Tell Me About The Best And Worst Bosses Youve Ever Had Specifically In Your Career What Was The Difference

As the CEO of Foursquare, Jeffrey Glueck finds that candidates arent usually prepared for this question. They often reveal what makes them tick through their answers, he says. While the best one is interesting for picking up insight on how to get the most growth out of them, I often find that the worst boss answer is more interesting. You might learn that they react strongly to micromanagement, are fiercely independent, or are very individual comp focused.

The key is pushing candidates to get specific. Dont let them off with vague answers, says Glueck. They dont have to name names, of course, but you need to insist they talk about two specific bosses at specific companies, not generalizations.

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Can You Tell Me About A Time When You Had A Disagreement With A Boss Or Colleague And How You Handled The Situation

This is one of the best questions to ask an interviewee because youll get a sense of their conflict resolution abilities. What tone does the person use when talking about the other people involved? Were they able to handle the situation described appropriately? Did they find common ground? Emotional intelligence is keenly needed in almost every job.

Why Are Good Interview Questions Important


Good interview questions are important because they allow employers to learn relevant information about job candidates. After advertising a job opening and reviewing resumes and cover letters, an employer can conduct interviews to meet applicants in person. Talking in real-time with candidates can show their communication, social and interpersonal skills. You can also discover their personalities, sense of humour and personal hobbies.

Asking good questions enables you to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the role and company. By conducting a good interview, you can also show potential employees your professionalism and experience. This way, they can be more likely to remain interested in the job.

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Questions To Assess Emotional Intelligence

In a recent report that surveyed more than 600 HR managers, it was determined that emotional intelligence is critically important in work settings where professionals interact with a wide range of people. The report stresses the importance of hiring managers being prepared to ask the following types of questions to help determine capacity for emotional intelligence:

  • If you’ve previously reported to multiple supervisors at the same time, how did you get to know each person’s preferences and juggle conflicting priorities?
  • Tell me about a workplace conflict you were involved in, either with your peers or someone else in the company. How did you manage that conflict, and were you able to resolve it?
  • What would a previous boss say is the area that you need to work on most? Have you taken steps to improve in this area, and if so, what have you tried to change?
  • Tell me about a day when everything went wrong. How did you handle it?
  • What Will I Do Every Day

    Use this question to learn more about the specific responsibilities associated with the role. Reassure the interviewer you read and understand the job description, but ask about what you will typically do on a day-to-day basis. This may help you learn more about the organization’s expectations for you and the position.

    Recommended Reading: How To Prepare For An Interview For A Teaching Position

    Best Interview Questions For Managers

    via: Bigstockphotos / deagreez

    Arguably, no one is more important to an organization than its managers. They have to be the go-between for those above and the organizers for those below.

    So, it’s crucial you hire the right managers by asking interview questions for managers that really show who has what it takes.

    Here are the 7 best interview questions for managers:

    16. Describe a time when your team managed to achieve ambitious goals you set. How did you support and motivate them?

    They need to have stories like this to prove they are deserve the job.

    17. How do you delegate tasks to your team?

    Good delegating instincts can make or break a project.

    18. Imagine youre assigned an important task but your team members keep interrupting you with questions. How do you complete the task, and how do you respond to your team?

    In other words, how do you manage a meeting?

    19. Would you rather know a lot about a little or a little about a lot?

    Philosophical, but it speaks to their curiosity and their comfort with “need to know” projects.

    20. How do you handle conflict between team members?

    They’re inevitable, so they have to be able to handle it.

    21. Pretend youre , what three concerns about the firms future keep you up at night?

    Managers, when left alone, are almost mini-CEO’s, so see how they view that role.

    22. If you had to rate risk, client satisfaction, and accuracy, which would you say is most important and why? Integrity or authority?

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