JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
The following job interview questionsandanswers have been compiledand modified from:
I hopethe answers providedin this compilationwill help youdo yourbest in future job interviews!!
Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: CO-WORKERS & SUPERVISORS
For the mostpart, the following questionsmay be askedto determine if youare a teamplayer. Even if
youknowthe answer, take a few seconds, when askeda difficult question, before youanswer. An
interviewer is notexpecting you to havea ready answer. However, the Boy ScoutMotto - Be Prepared
- - certainly applies here as well. Oh, never mentionreal names (it’s unethical without permission...),
just say “let’s call him John ” or “let’s call her Jane”.
How are youa good team player / worker?
I havethe ability to work co-operatively within a groupand acrossthe company toachieve ourgoals
in an effective, integrative, and respectful manner. I foster a collegiate environment. I understand
andam aware of differing needs and viewpoints. Beinga team playeris importantfor a company:
Internally – Employeeswork co-operatively togethersharingbest practice, breaking down
departmentalbarriers and communicatingfully andopenly on new initiatives and priorities.
Externally - The employees within the company work in partnershipswith other bodiesto develop
anddeliver joint programmes, research, teaching & learning, procurementand training&
development, inthe interests of increasing efficiency, improvingquality, enhancingflexibility and
I am someonewho:
Worksco-operatively andis a supportivememberof the team / group;
Contributespositively tothe achievement of team objectives;
Fostersa collaborative team-workingenvironment;
Actively helps and supportsotherstoachieve team goals;
Establishesteams andmanagesthe team process;
Is aware of campusdiversity andincorporatesthis into forminga team / team objectives.
Tell me abouta time when youhadto deal witha co-worker who wasn't doinghis/her fair share of the
work. Whatdid youdo and what was the outcome?
I worked closely with someonewho, for the mostpart, always carried her fair share of the work load.
During a stressful time, working on a project with a deadline, I realized thatperson'scontributionsto
the project were almost minimal. I made the decision towait until after the project to speak with her.
I'm glad I did, because I learned she'd been goingthrougha very toughtime in her personal life and
she appreciated my willingness to go the extra mile so the project was completed on time. As a result,
our ability towork well together significantly increased.
Give me an example of a time whenyoutook the time toshare a co-worker'sor supervisor's
At my mostrecent position, one of my co-workers didan outstandingjobof calming an irate
customer, solvingthe customer'sproblemand completinga sale. Whenour bossaskedme how
thingswere going, I told him everythingwas going fine and that my coworker hadjust completed
calming an irate customer andclosing a sale. It was a win-win-win- for our boss, my co-worker, and
Tell me abouta time that you didn'twork well witha supervisor. What was the outcome andhow
would youhave changed the outcome?
Early in my career, I had a supervisor(lets call her Jane) whowas in a fairly goodmoodonMonday,
butit deteriorated each day until by Friday, the supervisorwasfinding fault with everythingI did. I
didn'trealize, until I left thatposition, thatI had been a contributortothe decline in her mood. Judy
would ask me how my weekend was (on Monday)andduringthe week she would ask how it was
going. I would tell her how muchfun I was having(I was single) and how I was lookingforward to the
weekend plans. After I left, I realized my life was in complete contrastto hers and I remindedher of it
almostdaily. Whenshe askedthe questions, I shouldhave hada quick answer, andthen askedher
how she was doing!!
Have you workedwithsomeone you didn'tlike? If so, how did youhandle it?
Yes, I'veworked with someonewhom I founddifficult to like as a person. However, when I focused on
the skills they broughtto the job, their ability to solve problemsandthe two things I didappreciate,
slowly my attitude towardsthem changed. We were never friends, butwe did work well together.
Tell me abouta time that you helped someone.
Mostrecently, we hada new hire (let’s call him John)that was really struggling with getting to work
on time, and I knew the boss(let’s call him Harry) was getting irritated. Over lunchone day I explained
to Paulhow importantit was to our bossfor everyone tobe there at least 10 minutesearly. It was
personalwith Harry, butyou couldreally get on hisbad side when youwere frequently late. The new
employee was grateful for the advice. At his previousemployment, thebosswas only concerned
aboutthe work getting doneon time; he/she did not"watch the clock".
Tell me abouta time that you misjudged a person.
There was a long-timeemployee (let’s call him George) at my second company whowas very gruff
when he spoketo me. At first, I went out of my way towin the George's approval. Then I realized that
was compoundingtheproblem. SoI observedhow he interacted with otheremployees and
discoveredI wasn't alone. He was gruff to mostpeople. I quit tryingto gain his approvaland, in the
process, discoveredhe'd learned his behaviorfrom a former bosshe'd had whomhe admired.
How do youget along with older (younger) co-workers?
Suggested answerif yourco-workersareolder:Thereare times when I just know thata new way of
doingsomethingmakesmore sense to me; but, first hand, I learned that my "better way" may notbe
the best way toget the job done. As a consequence, I respect my older co-workersknowledge and
I've learned how to makea suggestionat the appropriatetime.
Suggested answerif yourco-workersareyounger:I quickly realized it was not my job to "parent" the
youngerpeople with whom I work; it was my job to get to know them andfor usto find common
groundwhere we could effectively work together. It took time, butthe result was worth the effort.
Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about your: ABILITIES
How goodare you atdevelopingrelationships?
I havethe ability to build andmaintain effective relationshipsand networks. Thismay be in relation to
contacts, bothinside andoutside the company whocan provideinformation, assistanceand support.
I understandthatthe quality of the relationshipswe developwith external contacts andwith
colleagues has a direct impacton perceptionsof the effectiveness of ourwork and ourcompany. I
understandthevalues of flexibility, diversity, dignity andrespect, andcollaboration’ for professional
I am someonewho:
Buildseffectiveworkingrelationshipsinordertoprovide informationandenhance service;
Nurturesrelationshipsandcontacts, bothinternal andexternal,assourcesof information
Uses internal /external networksandrelationshipstoidentifyanddevelopopportunities
whichmay be of relevanttoUL / Department/Division;
Buildsandexpandsnetworksandcoalitionstoachieve bothoperational andstrategicgoals.
Tell me abouta time that you workedconveying technical informationto a nontechnical audience.
The Interviewerwantsto knowhowyou relateto peopleoutsideyourarea ofexpertise.
While I worked for [let’s call him] Mr. Smithin the accountingdepartment, I was selected to explain
the financial section of the employee'spaycheck toall new hires. After my first two sessions, I realized
I needed to reframe my informationso the new hires would have anaccurate understandingofthe
impact of their decisions as it related totheir pay. I workedwith colleagues in humanresourcesand
marketing, anddeveloped a trainingoutline that was implementedat the other locationsthroughout
Tell me abouta time that you workedwithdata, interpreting data, and presenting data.
If you arein a non-technicalprofession, thisquestion isdesigned to seeif you arecomfortablewith
information notdirectly related to your position.
While at the GHI corporation, oneof my job assignmentswasto work with the IT departmentto
prepare the annualmeeting brochure complete with financial data, graphsandrelated SEC
requirements. I became proficient at designinggraphsthat gave an accurate picture of the financial
data, as well as editing the legal informationinto a more readable format.
Why do youthink youwill be successful at this job?
The interviewer is concerned asto whetheryou see thisas a career move, or stop-gap employment.
As my resumereflects, I have been successful at each of my previousplaces of employment. My
research of yourcompany, thejob descriptionoutlined, and the informationwe've exchanged today,
lead me tobelieve I havethe skills and experience for which youare looking;and I'meager to be a
Tell me abouta time that you participated in a team, what was your role?
Companies, forthemostpart, do notwant"Lone-Rangers"- - they are looking foremployeeswho will
adaptto thecompany cultureand getalong with others.
In highschool, I enjoyed playing basketballandperforming with the marching band. Each required a
different kindof teamplay, butthe overall goal of learning tobe a member of a groupwas invaluable.
I continuedto grow as a team member while onmy sorority'sdebateteam andthroughmy advanced
marketingclass where we hadnumerousteam assignments.
On occasions, whenI not havea large numberof cases toreport or any specific task to doat that
moment, I to assistother colleagues who have got slammedwith a large numberof cases or with a
particularly difficult case. Inthese situations I often walk aroundandask if I can assist. The result is
thatthe jobgets done to the benefit of everybody, boththeinternaland external customers. It’sa
How do youdevelop effective partnerships?
I strongly believe that, in a partnership, authority andtitle are meaningless in the effective delegation
of tasks, decision-making, andconflict-resolution. Instead my personalvisionof successlies on making
all thoseinvolvedin my team to have a sharedmission, andfor partnersto perceive themselvesto be
equal in value, contribution, andresponsibilities.
What’s your leadership style?
Here, you arenotsupposed to knowaboutthedifferentstyles, justsay:
I don’tknowaboutactual leadership styles. I like to think of myself more like a facilitator thana
banner-holdingleader. I facilitate ideas and the sharingof information with the end goal of arriving at
a decision or solution. Withme, the final decision ultimately rests on the leader (whether it is myself
or a superior) but all considerationsandfactors of a decision will come from the collective input.
How are youa good leader / manager?
I havethe ability to lead, encouraging, andsupportingothersto deliver their best. I understandhow
individuals, atall levels, operate and howbest to use thatunderstandingtoachieve objectives in the
mostefficient andeffective way. I believe in equal opportunitiesandin meritocracy.
I ensure thatall my staffs consider themselvesas leaders. One shouldlead by example, by
encouraging, motivatingandsupportingindividuals/work colleaguesto use their energy andtalents
towardsachieving a commongoal. We are all equally importanttoachieve the company’sgoals.
I am someonewho:
Uses appropriate interpersonal stylesandmethodstoinspire andguide individualstoward
Capable of adaptingleadershipstyle;
How do youuse initiative toachieve your goals?
I havethe ability to focus efforts andenergy onsuccessfully achieving standardsofexcellence in
delivery of goals andobjectives. I think ahead, identify opportunities, andtakeaction to influence
eventswhere appropriate. I alwayshold myself accountable for meeting objectives to the required
standardandoften aim to surpassthem.
I am someonewho is:
Goal oriented, setsachievable goals;
Clear career direction;
Personalvalues align with thoseof the organisation;
Interestsare aligned with role;
Generates creative solutions;
Usesdifferent / novelapproachesto resolve issues/ developopportunities;
Generates ideas for improvement;
Takes productiveactionwithout being asked.
How goodare you at decision making and problem solving?
I naturally analyse situations, identify the problems andother key issues, I considera variety of
coursesof action, consider the outcomeof the different solutions, andproducea practical and
I am someonewho:
Draws on experiences of self andothers;
Able tosolve complex problems.
How goodare you atinnovationandcreative thinking?
I like to think I have the ability todevelop new insights into situationsandapply innovativesolutions
to makeimprovements. I strive to create a work environmentthatencouragescreative thinkingand
innovationinthe design of programmesandprocesses.
I pride myself on beingsomeone whoknowsthe box and can think outsidethe box. It is importantfor
a company todeliver services that are creative, innovativeandappropriate. I like to be and act
creatively and be forward in my thinking.
I am someonewho:
Thinkscreatively and implementssolutionsfor everyday problems;
Strivesto continually improveown processes andareas of business;
Implementsnew progressiveprogrammes/ processes;
Identifies gapsagainst bestpractice (nationally andinternationally);
Putsforward proposalsanddevelopsstrategic implementationplans tointroduce new and
How are youable to adapt to a changing environment?
I am flexible and comfortable adaptingcurrent work practices andprocedures torespondto
changing/different situations. I am always keen to embrace change, take intelligent/measured risks,
andsupportothersto engage in the change process. To be able to adapt is aboutmakingchanges
thatincrease the effectiveness of our work as a team. It is also aboutcreating an environmentthat
respondspositively tochange and encouragesan understandingthateveryonecan makea difference.
I am someone:
Successful performance in varyingenvironments;
Willing touse new techniquesand / or tackle new challenges;
Successfully modifies behaviourtorespondto / embrace change.
How do youcommunicate effectively?
I can effectively communicate, bothverbally andin writing, with individualsandgroups of the most
diverse background. I ensurethere is an effective flow of informationin terms of awareness and
understanding., thatiswhy I often ask, “does thatmake sense to you?”. I am flexible and often use
varyingstylesand methodsof communication. Theway I see it, effective communication is the ability
to communicatewith others in a mannerthat conveysthe key messagesand is appropriateto the
audience. Whencommunication is effective it will lead toa highquality andaccessible service.
How are youcustomer / patient / user oriented atwork?
I understand whothe customeris and am willing andable todeliver highquality services; one which
meets the needs andexceeds the expectationsof customers. I constantly striveto find new waysto
increase customersatisfaction. The business /clinical environment operatesin an increasingly
competitive environment;soit is importantto havethe ability to attract users, staff and funding and
it all dependson all the team being focused on the customer, whether internal (staff) or external.The
key is to fully understandingcustomerneedsin order to developanddeliver appropriateservices.
I acknowledge the customer, actively listen andseek informationfrom customer – displaying
empathy;identify customer’sneeds andcheck for understanding, strivetomeet or surpassthe
customer’sneeds, assessandconfirm satisfaction, takeresponsibility for my individualand my team
Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: YOURSELF
When the questionsare "personal", aboutyou, itcan be a very slippery slope. The answers below are
guidelines so youcan write outyouranswers long before yougo to the interview. Then, when the
questionis asked, youcan take the few seconds(expected by the interviewer) tothink aboutthe
questionandhow youwill frame youranswer (which youalready know).
What would youdodifferently if youcouldstartyour working life over?
The interviewer is looking fora detourthatcontinuesto bea professionalblock in yourcareer.
Lookingback overmy career, I would have returnedto schoolmuch earlier to complete my
Masters/PhDdegree. EventhoughI got my degree later thanI had originally anticipated, I never lost
sight of the goal.
How do youbalance life and work?
The interviewer wondersif you'vemadearrangementsforthedayswhen yourchild is too sick to go to
schooland/ordaycareorif you're"outofthere" assoon asit's quitting time.
Being organized helpsme balance my professionallife andpersonal life. Consequently, I canbe fully
engaged while I'mat work. Forthose unexpected times, I have a goodback-upsystem ofchild care
for my children / family.
How goodare you atplanning and organizing?
I am someonewho organisesown time effectively, creates own work schedules, prioritises workload,
prepares in advanceand setsrealistic timescales. Monitorsprogresstowardsoperational or strategic
objectives. Makes sureall activity andresources are used efficiently and effectively. Inmoving
forward professionally, we need to demonstrateafocus on integrated businessplanningandensuring
value for money. This meansthat we mustplanand makethe best possibleuse of ourresources in
line with the Strategic Plan.
I am someonewho plansandprepares for future events, formulatesa clear and structuredplan,
effectively coordinatespriorities, tasksandresources to achieve work outcomes; establishesrealistic
milestones, reviews progress andadjustsaccordingly;efffectively managesresources (human,
financial, physical) andtime, and I am flexible and adaptableto changingcircumstances.
What is your preferred way to communicate?
This is a good opportunity to showyou understandtheimportanceof adjusting yourpreferenceswhen
At home, I enjoy talking onthe phoneand emails. At work, I follow the established protocols. Each of
my bosses, in the past, has hada preferred methodI've followed their lead.
Do you check voicemail andemail when on vacation?
The interviewer is wondering whetherthey will alwaysbe ableto find you.
While onvacation, I can be reached for emergencies; however, I alsoknow thatthe people with
whomI work are very capable of makinggooddecisionswhile I'm away. I understandtheimportance
of recharging my battery.
What is your favorite book?How about your favorite movie?
The interviewer wantsto knowwhetheryou read to stay currentand if you will you fit into the
I read many different kindsof books. My all-time "favourite" book is Jonathan LivingstoneSeagullby
Richard Daniel Bach. My favorite movie? The Martian.
What historical figure do you admire and why?
The interviewer wantsto knowwhetheryou are well read and what characteristicsyou admire.
Best Answer (include historical figures you personally admire): Personally, I mostadmireAbigail Adams,
JohnAdam'swife, because she was able towork with her husbandtoachieve great changes outof
the reach for a womanof her time [you are for equalopportunities];professionally I admiredthe
leadership style of RonaldReagan.
How do youensure personal and teamcontinuous professional development?
I am very much aware thatcontinuousdevelopmentisessential for successin any role, andtake
stepsto develop self, andhelps others toexcel at what they do. I communicatewith Human
Resources aboutCPDwith the aim to addvalueto the organisationsstrategicgoals within and across
all businessareas. Together, by ensuring thatthere is a culture of continuousdevelopment
employeescan be encouragedto reach their full potential. Thusensuringmaximumeffectiveness
anda spreadof expertise at appropriatelevels todeliver on the key strategic goals of the company.
Specifically, I amsomeonewho:
Respondspositivelytodevelopmentneedsthatare broughtto his/ herattention;
Takesa positive approach towardsdevelopmentof self andothers;
Providesregularinformal constructive feedbackonperformance toothersinorderto
Stayscurrent inownfieldof expertise;
Leadscontinuousprofessionalandpersonal developmentinsupportof the Department/
What did you do during this [six month] gapin employment?
Everyone, atsomepoint, will probably havea gap in employment. Do not"wasteit".
For the first month, I worked on my "todo list" at homeand accomplisheda great deal. Then I began
buildinga planto re-enter the workplace. While it took a little longer thanI'd anticipated, I've learned
a great deal aboutmyself, am rested and lookingforward to new challenges in the workplace.
How are youa strategic thinker?
I am someonewho understandsthepurpose, context, goals, andobjectives of the company, their
own area, andhow there are strategically interlinked. I understand howactions will impact onlonger
term businessobjectives. Being a strategic thinkeris importantto understandthecomplex
environmentin which the company operates. I am able to think andact uponthebig picture. I create
andshape a visionof the future thatfits in with the company’s longterm objectives.
Specifically, I amsomeonewho:
Understandsandis able tolinkownworkto the goalsandobjectivesof the Department/
Understandsthe culture andgoalsof the company as theyrelate toown area;
areas withinthe company orotherdeliverypartners;
Contributestothe developmentof strategyandkeygoals;
Contributesactivelyto corporate strategy.
What led youto this point in your life?
The interviewer wantsto knowif you areunhappy, frustrated, orlost?
My "roadof life" hasbeen interesting, sometimeschallenging andalways rewarding. The steps along
the way thathave led to this pointin my life are, in some ways, very different thanI hadimagined;
however, I like who I amtoday in part because of my past. An example is when the secondcompany
on my resume suddenly closedtheir doorsduringa down-turninthe economy. For a very brief time,
the road aheadwas unknown;however, I discoveredI had previously untappedstrengthssuchas
How do youhandle pressure?
I actually work better under pressureand I'vefound thatI enjoy workingin a challenging
environment. Also, I find thatwhen I'm under the pressureof a deadline, I focus and can dosome of
my mostcreative work. Under stress or pressure, I do the bestpossible job. I make sure I have the
correct balance between goodstress andbad stress. I need goodstressto stay motivatedand
productive. I deal with the badstress in the gymor going for a longwalk. Prioritizing my tasks sothat
I havea clear idea of what needs to be done and when, hashelped me effectively managepressure
on the job. If the people I ammanagingare contributingto my stresslevel, I discussoptionsfor
better handlingdifficult situationswith them.
Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: YOUR CAREER GOALS
The overall theme for each of the answers below is: haveyouthoughtaboutthe impactof your
decisions at the time youmade them - or do youhavea reactive responseto mostsituations. Fartoo
often, a person'scareer appearsto have happenedby chance. Intodaysfast-paced, ever changing
world of work, employer'swant to knowif they can counton youtomake gooddecisions, not knee-
Start withyour graduationfrom college andexplain the rationale behind eachof your career moves.
When I graduatedfrom college, I was immediately recruited by the ABC Company. Asmy resume
reflects, I received two promotionsandthena recruiter contactedfor the positionatthe XYZ
Company. I'vebeenthere for the past 4 years andhave learned a great deal, while makingsignificant
Also, explain thethinking processthatwentinto makeeach ofthosedecisions.
For my first job, I was happy to knowI would be workingin a job thatutilized my education. Itwas
exciting to knowthatwithin just a few weeks of graduation, I had my first paycheck. My thinking
behindthe XYZ positioncentered on the fact that they have a global presence, it was a definite
promotionandpositionedme tobe a viable candidatefor the marketingpositionwith yourcompany.
How many hours a day/week doyou need to work toget the jobdone?
I use my time efficiently at work and, for the mostpart, it's notthe numberof hoursI work; buthow
effective my time has been to accomplishthe job. I'msure my references will tell youI was more than
willing to putin the time tobe sure the job was completedas quickly and as professionally as
If youstayed withyour current company, whatwouldbe your nextmove?
The upward mobility at my current company wouldmost likely be in the clinical management
How do youmeasure success?
I measure professionalsuccess by the standardsof the company forwhich I work, the feedback I
receive from my peers, supervisorsandsubordinates. Personally, itis to knowI'm regardedas a good
husband, fatherandmember of society.
Describe your dream job.
As a child, I dreamed of being the starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. WhenI realized I did nothave
a fast ball, or a change -up;I concentrated onmy skillsin marketingbecause I realized it is an area
where I notonly can make significant contributions, butI enjoy usingmy talent in a corporate
Interview Questions and Answers about: YOUR FUTURE PLANS
What are youlooking for in your next job? What is importantto you?
One of the interview questionsyoumay be askedis what youare lookingfor in your next job. The
interview wantsto knowwhether your goalsare a matchfor the companiesneeds.
What is importanttoyou?Two things are very importanttome. One is my professionalismat
work; the secondis my family life.
What are your goals for the next five years/ tenyears?
The bestway to respond to theinterview question "Whatareyourgoalsforthefuture?" or
"Wheredo you see yourselfin five years?" is to refer to the position and thecompany youare
interviewing with. Don'tdiscussyourgoalsforreturning to schoolorhaving a family, they are not
relevantand could knock you outofcontention forthejob. Rather, you wantto connectyour
answerto thejob you areapplying for.
Examples of goodresponsesinclude:
My long-termgoals involvegrowing with a company where I can continueto learn, take on
additionalresponsibilities, and contributeas muchof valueas I can.
I see myself as a topperforming employee in a well-established organization, likethis one. I
plan onenhancing my skills andcontinuingmy involvementin(related) professionalassociations.
Once I gain additionalexperience, I would like to moveon from a technical positionto
In the XYZCorporation, whatis a typicalcareer pathfor someonewith my skills and
How do youplan toachieve those goals?
I plan ongaining additionalskills by taking related classes and continuingmy involvementwith a
variety of professionalassociations.
I noticed thatXYZ company (thecompany youare interviewing with) providesin-housetraining
for employees andI would certainly be interested in taking classes thatwould be relevant.
I will continue my professionaldevelopmentmy participating in conferences, attendingseminars,
Where do yousee yourself 5 years fromnow?
They wantyou to outlinea career path.
Start With Your Interest in This Job
My first interest is to thoroughly master theinitial positionbefore movingon. After all, my
managerswill probably wantsomeonewho will be happy andcompetent in thisspecific position.
I decided to apply for this job because my interests and skillsequip me to do the job I ambeing
When There is No Clear Career Path
Notall jobs are steppingstonesto higher positions. Forpositionslike counselling, sales, event
planning, teaching, and computerprogramming, forexample, it will be perfectly appropriateto
emphasizemastery of thatjob as yourfive year goal. Think aboutcomponentsofthe job in which
youcan excel. For example for a sales job:
"Within 5 yearsI would like to be recognized asan expertin termsof productknowledge,have
developed very close relationshipswith clients, havesignificantly expanded theclientbasein my
region and perhapshavebeen assigned somemajornationalclients".
Goals = Results
Statingyourgoals in terms of results which youwould like toproduce is anotherangle for
responding. So, for example, a prospectiveteacher for a district which is tryingto upgrade
performance on standardizedtestsmightsay:
"I would like to significantly increasethepercentageofstudentsreading atorabovegradelevel
through creativeinstructionalmethods including previousknowledgeapplication and motivation
MovingUpthe Career Ladder
There are a few jobswhere youare expected to moveon after a couple of years, including some
analystpositionsin investmentbankingandconsulting, aswell as legal assistantsandscientific
research assistants(for new college grads). In thosecases, youwill have more leeway in your
answers, but youwill still want toestablish how the job at handmakessense giventhe skills and
interests youwould bringto the employer.