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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54

Job Interview Question

What did you earn at your last job?

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.

For most candidates, “What was your salary?” is a very uncomfortable, Too Much Information-kind of a question.  But all potential employers are going to ask at some point in the process, usually very early on, sometimes as early as the initial application.  So why do they ask?  And how do you handle it?

If your recruiter or Human Resources asks, it’s because they’re trying to make sure you won’t embarrass them by refusing an offer over money.  If you make $60,000 a year and this job only pays $40,000, chances are you won’t take it and they want to know about that up front.  They get yelled at if they get hiring managers involved with a candidate they can’t afford.

If you manage to avoid it during the application process, the hiring manager will probably ask you in the interview.   The reasoning is the same.  They want to know, “Can we afford you?”

If you feel strongly about not revealing that information, you can try saying something like, “Can you help me understand what information you’re really asking for here?  I’m not very comfortable discussing my past salary because it doesn’t really relate to this job.  There are a lot of other factors involved than just straight numbers.  I would love to answer questions about my skills and qualifications for this job.  I think this is a great company, and I’m excited about the possibility of working here.  I know that if we agree that I’m the best fit for the position, we’ll be able to come to an agreement on salary.”

Or you could avoid answering by asking a question: “What’s the salary range for this position?”  When they tell you, assure them that you’re comfortable with that range and if they make you an offer, you won’t refuse it over the money.

If you try to avoid answering, you may face opposition and may even lose the opportunity over it.  But if you keep the opportunity and get the offer, then you’re in a very strong negotiating position, which is a great place to be.

The whole process is a dance and the steps are not hard-and-fast moves.  You’ve got to take the temperature of your own situation and see what you think you can manage doing.

In my personal opinion, it’s not a big deal to tell them how much you made at your last job.  Why?  It’s easy to research salary and find out what the going rate is for this job and know if what they’re offering is in the ball park.  And, it’s easy to argue that what you made on your last job doesn’t have any bearing to what you’ll make at this one, because they’re different jobs with different responsibilities.  Usually this new job is going to have more responsibilities and a higher level of authority, so it only makes sense that you’d be paid more.

In my experience as a recruiter for well over a decade that most companies have a range they’re offering for a position and they won’t make an offer outside of that range, even if what you made before was below it.

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 How to Answer Interview Questions? 


FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

If they do try to lowball you, you have options.  Now you’re in the negotiation process.  They want you, but you haven’t come to an agreement on the price of doing business yet.  I strongly encourage you to read Jack Chapman’s book, Negotiating Your Salary:  How to Make $1000 a Minute.  It’s the best book I’ve ever seen for gaining insight on this subject.

Another option is my 10-minute podcast on Salary Negotiations, where I walk you through what to say and when to say it in the negotiation process to keep the situation positive and still end up a winner.

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