Essential Questions to Prepare for any job Interview
The following is a collection of questions from hiring managers across different industries.
Grab a pen, write an answer with three bullet points for each question, and read it aloud. Practice as many times as necessary. Look at yourself in the mirror while reading the answers, or record yourself and analyse your diction, enunciation, and pace.
And practice until you feel comfortable and confident you are ready to nail that interview!
● Tell me about yourself (5-minute elevator pitch. Make it relevant to what the company wants to hear from you as a person, culturally and technically for the job)
● Why do you want to work for our company?
● What are three strengths you have?
● What are three weaknesses?
• Tell about the most significant change you have had to deal with. How did you cope with it?
• Describe a situation where you had to explain something complex to a colleague or a client. Which problems did you encounter, and how did you deal with them?
• Describe a situation when you had to communicate a message to someone, knowing that you were right and that they were wrong and reluctant to accept your point of view.
• Tell about a situation when you failed to communicate appropriately.
• Tell about a time when you had trouble remaining focused on your audience. How did you handle this?
• What positive and negative feedback have you received about your writing skills? Give an example where one of your reports was criticised.
Sensitivity to Others
• What problems have one of your staff or colleagues brought to you recently? How did you assist them?
• How do you deal with "time wasters"? Give a recent example.
• When was the last time that you argued with a colleague?
• Tell about a situation where you played an important role in a project as a member of the team (not as a leader)
• Give an example where you worked in a dysfunctional team. Why was it dysfunctional, and how did you attempt to change things?
• How do you build relationships with other members of your team?
• Tell about a time when you felt that conflict or differences were a positive driver in your organisation. How did you handle the conflict to optimise its benefit?
• Tell about a situation where conflict led to a negative outcome. How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn from it?
Creativity and Innovation.
• Tell about a project or situation where you felt the conventional approach would not be suitable. How did you derive and manage a new approach? Which challenges did you face, and how did you address them?
• Tell about a situation where you trusted your team to derive a new approach to an old problem. How did you manage the process?
• What big decision did you make recently? What did you do?
• Why do you want to change jobs? How did you decide? How long did it take you?
• Tell about a time when you had to decide without knowing the facts.
• Tell about a situation where you made a decision that impacted negatively on others. How did you make that decision, and how did you handle its consequences?
• What type of responsibilities do you delegate?
• Give examples of projects where you made the best use of delegation.
• Give an example of a situation where you reluctantly delegated to a colleague. How did you feel about it?
• Give an example where you delegated a task to the wrong person. How did you make that decision, what happened and what did you learn from it?
• Describe a situation where you had to change your approach halfway through a project or task following new input into the project.
• Describe a situation where you were asked to do something you had never attempted.
• Describe your most vital and your weakest colleagues. How do you cope with such a diversity of personalities?
• If we gave you a new project to manage, how would you decide how to approach it?
• Which decisions do you feel able to make on your own, and do you require senior support?
• Describe a situation where you disagreed or argued with a superior. How did you handle it?
• When do you feel it is justified to go against accepted principles or policy?
• When did you make a decision that wasn't yours to make?
• Describe a situation where you could influence others on an important issue. What approaches or strategies did you use?
• Describe the project or idea you were most satisfied with selling to your management.
• Describe a time when you failed to sell an idea you knew was right.
• When have you had to lie to achieve your aims? Why did you do so? How do you feel you could have achieved the same aim differently?
• Tell about a time when you showed integrity and professionalism.
• Have you ever been asked to do something illegal, immoral or against your principles? What did you do?
• Tell about a situation where you had to get a team to improve its performance. What were the problems, and how did you address them?
• Describe a situation where you needed to inspire a team. What challenges did you meet, and how did you achieve your objectives?
• Tell about a situation where you faced reluctance from your team to accept the direction that you were setting.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)
• Give an example of a situation or project where a positive outcome depended on the work of people from a wide range of backgrounds and ideas
• Describe a project where you needed to involve input from other departments. How did you identify that need and ensure buy-in from the appropriate leaders and managers?
• How important is D&I to you as a person?
Resilience and Tenacity
• Tell about a situation where things deteriorated quickly. How did you react to recover from that situation?
• Tell about a project where you succeeded despite the odds stacked against you. How did you ensure that you pulled through?
• Tell about your biggest failure. How did you recover, and what have you learnt from that incident?
• Tell about what you are the proudest of. How did you recover, and what have you learnt from that incident?
• How do you deal with stress? Give an example of a situation where you worked under pressure.
• What is the most significant risk that you have taken? How did you handle the process?
• Please describe one of your current or recently completed projects, setting out the risks involved. How did you make decisions? How do you know that you made the correct decisions?
Sustainability and Environmental
• How important are these to you?
• What do you understand about sustainability and environmental trends in your work? Where do you see the future of these areas?
Data and Technology-Based Questions
• Tell me about a time when a data-driven decision made an integral positive change of direction for the team or company? What was the outcome?
• Tell me about a time when your KPI structure had to be changed because of a change in company technology or technological advancement.