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What Questions Should I Expect In An Interview

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What questions should I ask in an interview?

Are you ready to ace your upcoming job interview? One of the most important parts of interview preparation is being ready to respond effectively to the questions that employers typically ask.

Since these interview questions are so common, hiring managers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.

You don’t need to memorize your answers, but you should think about what you’re going to say so you’re not put on the spot.

Your responses will be stronger if you know what to expect during the interview and have a sense of what you want to focus on. Knowing that you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you minimize interview stress and feel more at ease.

Here are the top 10 interview questions employers are likely to ask, plus 100+ more common job interview questions, example responses, tips for giving the best answer, and advice on how to ace the interview.

Questions About Your Job Performance

You want to have an in-depth conversation related to the metrics they’re using to evaluate your performance. The way the hiring manager answers these questions give you clues about the leadership structure of the company.

  • What are the most important goals to meet during the first 90 days of employment?

  • What are your performance expectations for my first 12 months with the company?

  • What does the performance evaluation process look like?

  • What metrics will you use to critique my performance?

  • How often will I be updated about my performance?

  • What type of mistakes do people make in this role?

  • What is your viewpoint of mistakes and their relationship to long-term performance?

  • Is there one area of performance you prioritize as of right now?

  • Who is responsible for tracking my performance?

  • Is it expected to reach this performance benchmark right away?

Have Questions Ready To Ask During An Interview

Asking questions is a great way to dig into the company culture and the specific day-to-day responsibilities of the job so that, should you be hired, your first week or so in the position won’t be accompanied by any major surprises.

Asking questions can also give you the opportunity to further highlight some of your qualities, skills, and experience, and show the employer why you’re a terrific match for the job.

Melissa Ling / The Balance

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Tell Me About This Gap In Your Resume

This is one of several very common HR interview questions that may refer to anything out of the ordinary or interesting in a candidates resume, such as a job that lasted for only a few months or that was seemingly unrelated to the candidates background, or an outright gap in the candidates employment history. The purpose of these HR interview questions is to clarify these points and make sure there arent any red flags.

Sample answer:

After I finished my masters degree, I started working non-stop for six years. Thats why I decided to take a break from work and travel to other countries to volunteer. This helped me clear my mind and help other people, while acquiring new skills .

What Other Positions Are You Looking At

Top 10 Questions College Students Should Ask Employers ...

How to Answer: We believe its best not to name names. Nobody really wants to hear that youre interested in or applying to their competitors and saying that may turn some hiring managers off.

On the other hand, if you say you are not looking at any other position, it might seem far-fetched or make you look like youre not aware of your market worth and ability to get a job elsewhere.

Example: Similar roles at companies in this industry where I think I can make a real difference.

Recommended Reading: Prepare For System Design Interview

How Do Software Engineers Prepare For Phone Interviews

During a phone screening, keep your answers brief and concise so the interviewer hears you clearly.

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • What are some of your interests outside of work?
  • How did you hear about our company?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you know about the software our company develops?
  • What Are Your Goals For The Future

    Hiring managers often ask about your future goals to determine whether or not youre looking to stay with the company long-term. Additionally, this question is used to gauge your ambition, expectations for your career and ability to plan ahead. The best way to handle this question is to examine your current career trajectory and how this role helps you reach your long-term goals.

    Example answer:I would like to continue developing my marketing expertise over the next several years. One of the reasons Im interested in working for a fast-growing startup company is that Ill have the ability to wear many hats and collaborate with many different departments. I believe this experience will serve me well in achieving my ultimate goal of someday leading a marketing department.

    Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Future Goals?

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    How To Research Job Salaries

    When preparing an answer to a question about your ideal salary, its crucial you provide not only a number you feel comfortable with but the appropriate compensation for the job based on real data. Luckily, its easier than ever to find this information.

    Start by using Indeed’s Salary Calculator for a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience. You can also use Indeed Salaries to find the average pay for the position youve applied for. These salary estimates come from data submitted anonymously to Indeed by users and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed.

    In addition, Indeed Company Reviews includes salaries by company reported by current and former employees. Searching for job titles through Indeed Job Search can also help you get an idea of what other employers are offering for similar roles75% of new jobs posted directly on Indeed include salary information.

    Keep in mind that salaries vary not only by career level and company but also by geographical location. When researching the typical salary range for a position, remember to consider where the role is located and the cost-of-living in that area. For example, a job located in a big city like Los Angeles will likely pay a higher salary than the same position located in rural Texas. When using Indeed Salaries, be sure to select the location from the drop-down menu.

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    Questions About The Organization

    The knowledge that a hiring manager has on a company can determine if they’re the right person to be in a management role. It also depends on how long they’ve been with the company. For example, the hiring manager of a startup might know less than one at a corporation.

    • Can you tell me about the founding of the company?

    • Where do you see the organization heading in the next 10 years?

    • Can you describe the trajectory of the company’s strategy for expansion over the next five years?

    • What type of goals is the company trying to accomplish right now?

    • What makes you energized about the organization’s future?

    • Are you increasing staff in other areas of the company?

    • Can you speak more about your product’s growth shortly?

    • How would you describe the company’s

    • How important is the sales team’s role in helping achieve your goals and continue to scale?

    • How has your product’s growth inspired employees within the company?

    Questions To Ask About The Company

    In addition to those questions about the specific job, you can leverage the research youve done beforehand to ask questions that showcase your interest in the company and industry. Here are some examples:

    Question 13: What do you like best about working here?

    This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level while gaining valuable insights into their experience with the company. If appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style.

    Question 14: Who do you see as your biggest competitor and why?

    This question can show that you have an interest in the bigger picture of the company and industry. It can also be an opportunity for you to share that you did research on the company by following up the interviewer’s response with what you found when you looked into this before the interview.

    Question 15: What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years?

    This is a great question if youre interviewing with managers or senior leadership. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give you insight into the pain points they experience. If applicable, you can follow up their response by any experience you bring to the table that can help with these pain points/challenges.

    Question 16: What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?

    Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo During An Interview

    What Makes You Unique

    Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates theyre interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. Since you dont know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong candidate.

    To help you prepare this answer consider the following:

    Example answer:”What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion.”

    Read more: Interview Question: What Makes You Unique?

    Technical Interviews: Software Engineering Two Sigma

    10 Questions You Should Definitely Ask An Interviewer ...

    How to prepare for technical interviews in software engineering at Two Sigma.

    If you join us for the afternoon, well cover the rest: Your afternoon will consist of additional interviews that cover a wide variety of topics to further gauge your technical skills, previous experience and interests. These meetings typically last around 60 minutes and you will likely be asked to discuss specific projects and contributions youve made in previous roles.

    • A few more things to expect:
    • How to nail your SE interview:
    • Brush up on the basics:
    • Check out our mock interview:

    The morning is technically focused: The first half of the day is very technical in nature and is broken up into three, hour-long interviews. You will be asked technical questions covering a range of computer science topics such as data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented design patterns. You will definitely be asked to write code on the desktop and may be asked to take part in a systems-design exercise on the white board. Other CS areas that we may cover could include concepts such as: big O notation, tree/graph traversals, recursion, searching/sorting, hash tables, concurrency, and other similar topics.

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    How Would I Be Evaluated In This Role

    Don’t just look for a job you can do â you should look for one you can do well. This question âtells you how success is measured and what the expectations for success are in this role,â so you can determine exactly what would be expected of you and whether or not you can meet it. Beware the companies with outrageous expectations, or those that canât even articulate how to define success.

    When you get a clear idea of what the objectives and key accomplishments for the role are, you can not only make sure theyâre realistic â you can also keep them in mind from day one should you accept the role, which will help you hit the ground running and find success quickly. Can you say performance bonus?

    Read Also: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview

    Why Are You Looking For A Job Or Why Are You Looking For A Different Job

    This question might seem innocuous, but this is how interviewers weed out the people who are either a) just looking for any job b) were fired from their last position or c) might have a high turnover rate, meaning you wonât be sticking around for too long. Focus on the positives and be specific. Think about why you are looking for a job: did you just graduate and this will be your first real job? Are you switching career paths? Are you leaving a current job for this one?

    If you are currently working somewhere, you should also be prepared to answer, âwhy do you want to leave your current job for this one?â

    How Did You Hear About This Position


    How to Answer: While this question may not seem all that important, its actually a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your interest in the company. Perhaps its been your longtime dream to work at the organization, and you peruse the company website. If thats the case, say so!

    Maybe you heard about it from an acquaintance who is a current employee. In that case, mention the employees namethis can help you establish a connection, which can help you achieve a more favorable impression.

    Or you might have come across the position on a job board. Still, something caught your eye, so rather than dwelling on the fact that youre just looking for any job, explain why you chose to apply to this one in particular.

    Example: My former colleague, Angelica, who works in your design department, sent the details my way as soon as she heard. I quickly searched it and applied directly through the company website.

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    How Do See Yourself In 5 Years

    How to answer where do you see yourself in five years?in an interview

  • Get clear about your career goals. Take some time to brainstorm what your career goals are for the next five years.
  • Find connections between your goals and the job description.
  • Ask yourself if the company can prepare you for your career goals.
  • Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job

    There are many acceptable reasons for leaving a job. Prepare a thoughtful answer that will give your interviewer confidence that youre being deliberate about this job change. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current or previous role, focus on the future and what you hope to gain in your next position. Consider the following when crafting your response:

    1. Focus on your skills:”Ive been refining my project management skills with volunteer opportunities and side projects with other teams, and I received my PMP last quarter…”

    2. Keep it positive:”…Im looking for an opportunity where I can put those abilities to work for a mission Im passionate about…

    3. Relate it back to the job:…I was also excited to read in the job description that this role will require regular presentations to key stakeholdersone of my key motivators is the ability to connect with colleagues and communicate my teams work, so this is an especially exciting part of this opportunity…

    4. Provide a recap:…Ultimately, Ive learned a lot in my current role, but Im looking for the next step where I can continue to grow and use the skills Ive honed to contribute to a company I love, and this opportunity seems to be the perfect fit.

    Read more: Interview Question: Why Are You Looking for a Job?

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    What Happens In A Phone Interview For Software Engineer

    Best Phone Interview Questions to Ask Developers

    • How are you today?
    • What do you know about our company and the software that we develop?
    • Tell me about the largest scale development process problem that you or your team have faced and worked through.
    • What method of collaboration has been most successful for you?

    Describe A Time You Had To Make A Difficult Decision At Work

    Best Job Interview Question to Ask In Your Interview

    How to Answer: No matter what your position is, chances are, there has been a time when youve had to make a tough call. Perhaps you had to fire someone. Maybe you decided to confront your manager about something with which you disagreed.

    Demonstrating your rationale for making this decision gives the interviewer insight into your judgment and thought process. Walk her through the pros and cons and the different aspects you considered before coming to closure to show that youre thoughtful and understand the ramifications and impact of your ideas.

    Example: I was once tasked with firing someone for not fulfilling their responsibilities. While it is never easy to fire someone, I had to take the emotion out of it, understanding that I had to do my own job, too. Fortunately, I was able to quickly replace that person with someone else who has exceeded my expectations.

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