11 Most Common Interview Questions

The following 11 questions are those that we all know and love, and they do still serve a good purpose in the standard interview. They can be used as openers, closers, or as a transition from one topic to the next.

1. What questions do you have for us?

Great candidates ask questions that not only demonstrate that they’ve thoroughly researched the company’s strategic direction, but also envision themselves in the role, contributing to that direction.

2. Why are you looking to leave your current role?

I ask this question because I want to see if the candidate is negative about the existing employer or state that they are being let go.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This question will give you some insight into how much thought a candidate has put into where they are going in life or where they want to go and will give you some insight into how much passion and drive they have!

4. What two or three things would be most important to you in your ideal job, and why?

I ask this question to understand the candidate better. It can let me know several things, including what their priorities are.

5. Describe the last significant conflict you had at work and how you handled it?

Savvy hiring authorities respond well when I say, “We hire them for what they know, we fire them for who they are.” The question now is how do we determine who they are? Questions (like this) help to discern who a candidate is.

6. Tell me about yourself.

Like many managers, I like a tell me about yourself question for all positions. This question is a good icebreaker.

7. Walk me through your resume and explain to me how you got to where you are today.

I love hearing people’s stories. I suppose that is why I am in HR and recruiting! People are fascinating, and you can learn a lot from this simple question. You should also look for someone to volunteer why perhaps they have an employment gap or another anomaly in their resume.

8. What is your dream job? Describe it to me.

This is a great question to ask younger candidates and new graduates. I end up getting a lot of information, like “I really just want to work from home.” That tells me if they will be a good long-term fit.

9. Why were you let go from your last position?

For candidates who are unemployed, they should have an answer to this question ready for you. Candidates who were subject to a financial restructuring will easily be able to tell you that. Candidates who were fired should have some insight into why and show maturity about the situation.

10. How would your last boss or your coworkers describe you?

This is a classic interview question. It’s an opportunity to see how a candidate thinks others perceive them, and I like to see how genuine someone is in their response from their body language.

11. What are your salary requirements or expectations?

You’ve got to talk about money with a candidate at some point. You’d be surprised how many don’t read all the way through a job posting to see the salary range, and that can tell you something right there! But there is no point in entertaining a candidate who expects twice what you can afford, and this simply saves time.

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