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Questions to Ask On an Interview That Help You Stand Out

Always ask questions in your job interview

 

Stand Out - CopyYou might be thinking: “I have to ask questions? I thought I was supposed to ANSWER questions at an interview.” You do have to ask questions if you want the job.  But which questions?

While there are many questions you want to ask, there are two questions you must ask at every interview, every single time:

  • “What are you looking for?” or “What does your ideal employee look like?” is the first question you must ask, and you want to ask it as early in the interview as you can manage. The answer to this question will help you orient your presentation of skills, abilities and experience towards their specific needs. That’s how you can be super-effective with your time.  Rather than talk about your technical abilities to a hiring manager who is looking for a ‘people person’ you will be able to rank your social, customer service skills slightly above your technical skills and have a better interview.
  • The second ‘must ask’ question comes at the end of your interview. Before you leave, you must find out if the hiring manager sees any reason they would not hire you. Or, to put a more positive spin on the question, you will ask something like: “Can you see me as being successful in this role?” This question is asking, or closing, for the job. The answer you get will allow you to address any shortcomings or concerns the interviewer has about your abilities to do the job.  Very often, it’s something simple that’s easy to clear up.  It’s hard to ask, but it’s important.

Besides the two ‘must ask’ questions here is a list of other questions that will help you stand out and improve your chance of getting the job offer:

  • Ask about the future of the company; this shows your long-term interest in working for them and gives you clues about your own future
  • Ask why the position is open
  • Ask how they determine if an employee is ‘successful’
  • Ask what a typical day looks like for a person in this position
  • Ask what are the biggest challenges this position presents
  • Ask what characterizes a successful employee so you can explain how you embody those characteristics

All-in-all the questions you ask in an interview are just as important as the answers you give. (But whatever you do, never ask about money.)  It’s necessary to remember that having both the right questions and the right answers will help you stand out from the rest and get you the right job.

Be ready for every interview with your research, questions, and answers when you check out this Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Prep.

How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71

Job Interview Question

What questions do you have for us?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

By the end of the job interview, when they ask if you have any questions for them, you probably feel like you’re toast.  You’re just done, and you want to go home.  That’s the way most people feel, so the most common response to this question is, “I don’t have any questions, I think you’ve covered everything.”

That’s bad, bad, bad.  It’s one of the things you should never say in a job interview.  It makes you look uninterested in the job.

The best questions to ask are those that make it clear you’ve been listening to what their main problems and concerns are.  Clarify, elaborate, or dig deeper.  There are lots of good questions to ask.

You can ask about the timeline:  “How soon do you want to have someone in the role?”  That shows you are motivated to get started quickly.

You can ask about the last person who was in this role.  If the person who had the position before was promoted, ask, “Is that a traditional track for this job?”  If the person who was in the role before wasn’t meeting expectations, ask, “Can you tell me how they weren’t meeting expectations so I could understand?”

If you’re speaking with your direct future boss, ask about the biggest challenges of the job and can he see you meeting those challenges?

If you’re speaking with the Human Resources Manager, ask about the company, the growth of the department, where it fits in relation to the rest of the company, and so on.

If you’re speaking with upper management, ask questions that demonstrate your understanding of the industry as a whole and this company’s place in it and its plans for the future.

This is not the time to ask about anything that would benefit you, like salary, vacations, or perks.  At this point, they’re like your customer.  It’s all about them right now, not you.  Remember that the job interview is a sales process and you have to keep selling, or keep showing them all the different reasons why you’d be a good fit for them until they say, “yes, we want to hire you.”

Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

You don’t have to keep asking an endless round of more and more questions.  Just ask a few more questions that show your interest, enthusiasm, and concern for their problem (which is the job that isn’t getting done until they put someone in that role).

Continue the conversation and ask questions to find out more details that will help you move in the direction of uncovering more of their motivations, needs, and wants you can so you can better position yourself as the candidate they want.

--------------------------------------------------------------

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35

Job Interview Question

Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you’d like to know?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Toward the end of the interview, hiring managers will ask some version of, “Do you have any questions for me?”   Your answer is ALWAYS going to be “yes.”

You always want to have a list of questions to ask in the interview.  If you don’t have any, it makes you look like you’re not that interested in the role.

Here are some examples of great questions to ask:

Why is the position open?

Either the person before you failed so miserably at the role they were fired (in which case you want to know so you don’t make the same mistakes), or they were so good at it they got promoted (in which case you want to know so you can see what worked and get a head start on being successful yourself).  Or maybe the company is growing, so they’ve created this new role to deal with that.  The answer you get will tell you a lot about what’s going on.

When do you want to have it filled?

A few candidates will be afraid to ask this question, but don’t be.  It is not too bold.  You’re just getting information that will help you be professional in your follow up.  After you send your thank you note, you need to know when you should be calling to check on the status of the job.  You need a timeline so you’re not left hanging, wondering what’s going on.  Hopefully, you’re following several job leads and have lots of interviews scheduled.  You don’t want to turn something else down because you’re waiting on this one.

How does this role fit as a part of the whole of the company?

This is a great way to find out about advancement opportunities without coming right out and asking about them.  And you can find out about what other departments you’ll be working with.  It might uncover some company culture or organizational issues you need to know before you start.

Where did the person who was in this role before go?

Were they promoted?  Where were they promoted to?  Is that the advancement track the company generally follows?  Do they like to promote from within?  All this is great information for you.

Were they fired?  Why were they fired?  Is there something they did or tried that should be a warning for you?

Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

What is it you like about the company?  (Alternative questions:  What do you find most impressive about the company? Why do you like working here?)

The answer you get from this question should uncover a lot about the corporate culture, and whether this organization is a good fit for you.  It might even uncover some perks that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise….like maybe there’s an on-site gym or childcare, or maybe there are stock options you didn’t know about that would have an effect on your salary negotiations later.

PS - Really, I hope you ask questions all the way through the interview, as part of a give-and-take conversation.  It’s more relaxed, it builds better rapport with the interviewer…it’s just all-around better for you.  30 60 90 day plans are great tools to facilitate that kind of conversation, help you be more impressive as a candidate, and uncover more information that helps you sell yourself for the job.

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10

Job Interview Question

 

Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

 

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

If you get asked to describe a time you went above and beyond the call of duty on the job, be thrilled because this is a great behavioral interview question that has the potential to make you look like an amazing candidate.

You should ALWAYS have one of these stories. It’s always a great thing to talk about how you not only met, but exceeded the expectations of your employer. That’s value.

Before you go into the interview, as part of your job interview prep, think about what story you’d tell in this situation. You should always try to choose one that not only describes a past success but also speaks to your potential success on this job.

Good choices would be ones that highlight skills you need on this job or tasks you’ll need to accomplish, although stories that highlight good character traits are also helpful. Relate your story to the job you’re trying to get in some way.

Your answer or your story should talk about a difficult situation that you overcame in some way. Conflict and resolution always makes for a good story. And you should always tell it along the lines of “Here was the situation….we needed X done, these were the tasks that needed to be done, these were the actions I took, and these were the results.”

That’s the STAR method. STAR stands for the Situation or Task you faced, the Action you took, and the Results you received. It’s just a process to follow to make sure you get all the necessary elements in your answer. I’ve also seen it called CAR: Circumstance, Action, Result. Same thing.

Do not be afraid to brag. This is your shot. In fact, this is also an excellent time to pop open your brag book and do a little show and tell. Show them the note you got from a customer or your supervisor that congratulated you on a job well done. Show them the graph of the stats that improved dramatically after you took action.

Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

Brag books are excellent communication aids for job interviews. They’re visual, which gives you another interesting element in the interview. Not everyone takes the time to put them together and bring them, so they’ll help you stand out. And they provide powerful evidence that backs up your story: I can do what I say I can do, and here’s proof.”

Combine a great story with the brag book, and you’ve got a solid point in your favor in the interview.

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9

Job Interview Question

 

Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.

 

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Even though a good STAR story is the backbone of answering Behavioral Interview questions, here’s one interview question where it’s actually a good thing NOT to have a great story for. Asking you for an example of a time when you folded under pressure is a situational interview question that’s even worse than “Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it.” At least in that one you can come out looking like you’ve overcome something. In this one, there’s not any way to make yourself look good.

Because think about your choices with this question:

Did you not want to conform to the policy because it was unethical—but then you did? You may think of yourself as the martyr in that situation, but you’ll just come across as someone who is OK with being unethical. That’s not the image you want to project.

Did you not want to conform because you knew best? Saying that you knew more than your previous boss is a bad tactical error in an interview because then you’re badmouthing them—and that’s always a no-no. That answer sets you up as an adversary for your future boss even before she hires you—and she won’t. Not with that attitude.

The truth is that the vast majority of directives, instructions, etc. at work you just won’t be able to have any influence on. The few things that you can influence are still limited. You can try to communicate, grab more information, educate, and so on. But in the end, you’re going to have to execute or you might lose your job.

But this question does get asked in interviews, so how do you answer it?

The interview wants to know how you would really react in a difficult situation. What’s your communication style? Did you confront your boss? Did you avoid the whole discussion?

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FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

Your best answer probably sounds something like, “Sorry, I can’t think of a time when that happened.” If they press, you might say, “I might ask questions or express concerns over a policy because I believe it’s part of my job to support the team and that includes spotting potential issues before they become actual problems…but in the end the decision belongs to my supervisor and I always respect that.”

With that answer, you’ve shown you’re a critical thinker, a team player, and respect the chain of command. What potential boss wouldn’t be comfortable with that?

Get more help with shining in behavioral interviews.

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8

Job Interview Question

 

Do you prefer working in a team or alone?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Even though asking if you prefer working independently or as part of a team is a standard job interview question, it’s also a bit of a tricky one. I can’t think of any job that doesn’t at some point require both work styles. So even though you probably do prefer working one way or the other, you will shoot yourself in the foot if you say so. It’s better if you are comfortable with both, and very important that you indicate that. However, there are subtle distinctions in the wording you use that can make the difference between an adequate answer and a standout answer.

The standard answer that most people give: ‘I work well either way—I’m great as part of a team, and I’m comfortable working alone” is an OK answer, but you can do better. The way to be strategic about this question is to really know the typical working conditions of the job you’re going for and how much of your time will be spent on a team or by yourself. That requires some research on your part—but that kind of job interview prep is an essential part of creating your 30-60-90-day plan, which you should be doing anyway.

business team with a businesswoman leading it - isolated over a white background

If the majority of the time you’ll be working alone, you can say, “I prefer to work alone, but I find that occasionally working with a team feels creative because we can bounce ideas off each other. I like to learn from other’s experiences.”

If the majority of the time you’ll be working on a team, you can say, “I like the dynamics of working in a group, but appreciate sometimes having a part of the project that’s my own personal responsibility.”

The general idea is to say what you prefer without being negative about the thing you don’t.

Maintaining a positive attitude is important, and it will make the hiring manager feel good about hiring you. Everyone wants to work with people who are flexible rather than rigid.

Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

But here’s one neat trick: Instead of just offering an answer, add a question to toss the conversational ball back to them. Say something like, “About how much time do you think will be spent working on my own vs. working with a team in this position?” Or, “Does the corporate culture encourage one style over another?”

Asking questions of your own like this during the course of the interview gains you more information while keeping the tone conversational and helpful.

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7

Job Interview Question

Describe yourself to me in one word.

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Sometimes job interviewers try to get inside your head--why? Hiring you feels like a gamble to them.  Companies worry about who they're hiring. The person who hires you has a big stake in you doing well on the job.

Remember the 4 basic questions of every interview: Do you understand the job? Can you do the job? Will you do the job? Do you pose a risk to their own continued employment? You pose a real risk to their job if you don’t do well. (This is a prime reason why 30-60-90-day plans are such great interview tools—they answer all those questions VERY well.) The result of all this is that they sometimes ask you weird interview questions like, “Describe yourself to me in one word.”

This is a tough one. My personal answer would be “dynamic,” because I change, I adapt, I do whatever I need to do to succeed. That’s a good, all-purpose word that could apply to many different jobs.

But I don’t want you to think only about a word that describes you. That could lead you down the path to picking something like “happy” or “resilient” that might describe you very well but doesn’t speak to the job at all.

oneAs in all things in the job search and interview process, I want you to be strategic. Every part of the process is a step that needs to lead you to your ultimate goal—the job offer. Be mindful of all the steps.

Try to think about answering this question not just by thinking about what you are, but by thinking about what you are in relation to the job…what the job requires, what would make someone a standout employee in this position, what you’re going to do for them.

So “bright,” might accurately describe you because you’re smart, but “successful” might mean more to them. (If you’re successful in other areas, you’ll probably be successful for them.)

Responsible, motivated, dedicated, those are all good words.  So are: strategic, flexible, creative, dependable, reliable, helpful, fair, honest, focused, steady, organized, enthusiastic, or maybe even valuable.

Would you like some free training on  How to Answer Interview Questions? 

FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

Bottom line: Think about the job itself and what a fantastic characteristic would be for someone in that role, and tell them the one that applies to you.

But here’s an extra hint:  They might not let it go with just your one-word explanation.  The follow up might very well be “Really?  Can you give me an example?”  So have a story that tells about how you embodied that trait at least once in your work life.

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6

Group of 4Job Interview Question

Describe your work style.

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Do you know what your work style is? This is a popular interview question, but a lot of people go wrong in their answers because they don’t understand what that employer really wants to know. They’re not interested in your personality or your likes and dislikes with this question. (They're not interested in how you dress for work, either.) They want to know how you work.

So some people really shoot themselves in the foot with the ‘work style’ question because they say things like, “I’m really laid back.” First, that’s a personality trait. Second, no one wants to hear that. No one wants to pay for your moseying along through your day. They want to get their money’s worth out of your salary.

It’s not about your personal preferences, either. For instance, some people will say things like, “I’m not a fan of conflict.” What’s that got to do with your work style? Nothing.

Work style has to do with the work.

First, you want your answer to mesh nicely with the job itself. How does your style fit with that job?

If it’s a data-driven role, you don’t want to talk about how you like to come up with creative solutions for problems. That’s not needed so much in that job. Those are basics.

What they really want to know are things like: Do you like to work alone, or as part of a team? You may actually prefer one or the other, but you should know what the job requires. Most companies appreciate someone who can do both. Teamwork is important, but sometimes you’ve got to just saddle up and go it alone. Talk about how you are comfortable with both.

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Are you comfortable with minimal direction, or do you need lots of details before you complete a task? I think it’s important to be upfront with this one if you really can only function one way. If you hate being micromanaged and your future boss believes in it wholeheartedly, then you are not going to want that job and it won’t be a highlight on your resume.

You always want to pick out a few of your best qualities (again, that fit especially well with the job you want) and talk about those: Are you organized? Do you work quickly? Are you a good multi-tasker? Do you enjoy taking on extra projects? Are you a great planner? Are you consistently a top performer?

You can’t be all things, but you can successfully approach this question like you do all interview questions: with a strategic answer that thoughtfully addresses the question and provides an answer that meshes your best qualities with the needs of the job.

 

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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3

Job Interview Question

 

Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.

 

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Have you ever been asked this question? I know…to you, it feels like oral surgery without the Novocain…but interviewers love behavioral interviews because they tell them so much about you—in the story you choose to tell, how you tell it, with what kind of attitude, and the results you’re capable of producing under pressure. They just can’t get as good a picture of what life would be like with you on the job from only asking about your skills and qualifications.

The criticism question is one of those adversity pieces that you’ve always got to have a story or two about in your back pocket for interviews.

The truth is, to be a good employee (or an overall successful person), you’ve always got to be open to criticism. If you’re not open to criticism, then you’re not coachable. If you’re not coachable, then you’re less valuable than you could be.