Whether you’re a fresh grad and it’s your first interview or you’re an experienced individual looking to switch jobs, the level of tension you get for getting ready for the interview is almost the same. Knowing the most common job interview question and preparing accordingly can significantly reduce the stress.

No matter, how well written resume you have posted, the anxiety of the interview remains there. This is mainly because you don’t really know what will be the questions, and you get an overwhelming feeling which may also make you anxious or nervous. The anxiety may further be the reason for not performing well in the interview.

So, for your ease and quick interview preparation, here’s a big list of common job interview questions that can possibly be asked in your next interview. Do check all of these before dropping by somewhere for an interview and you’ll certainly feel confident!

Here goes the categorized list of the most common job interview questions.

common job interview questions

Basic Common Job Interview Questions

Most of the basic job interview questions are for getting started, but at times the hiring managers may start tough, so be prepared for your next interview with the following:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Why do you want this job?
  3. Why should I hire you?
  4. How do you think you’re the best candidate for this job?
  5. What’s your strength?
  6. What are your abilities you’re proud at?
  7. What are your major weaknesses?
  8. Where do you see yourself after five years?
  9. What’s in your opinion is an ideal company?
  10. What made you to apply for job in this company?
  11. What do you like least about your last job?
  12. What was the best part in your last job?
  13. When were you most satisfied in your career?
  14. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  15. What was your job description in last job?
  16. Why are you leaving your present employer?
  17. How well you know about this industry?
  18. What do you know about our company?
  19. What do you know about our target market?
  20. What do you know about our competitors?
  21. Are you willing to relocate?
  22. Do you have any questions for us?

Common Job Interview Questions from Behavioral Point of View

Behavioral job interview questions are aimed to evaluate both your aptitude and attitude, i.e. your professional and personal behavior; how well you know your job and how good you are at working with teams and individually, and so on. They may ask you questions like these:

  1. What was your last project and how did it go?
  2. Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
  3. Which of your work was ever criticized?
  4. How did you feel when your work was criticized?
  5. Have you ever been on a team where you had to carry someone else? How did you handle it?
  6. Have you ever happened to give someone difficult feedback? How was it?
  7. What was your greatest failure?
  8. What did you learn from your failures?
  9. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
  10. How do you handle a situation when you actually disagree with the supervisor on something?
  11. What was the most difficult period in your career?
  12. What did you learn from difficult times in career?
  13. What was your biggest mistake and how did you handle?
  14. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
  15. Tell us about a conflict on the job which you successfully handled.
  16. If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?
  17. Can you perform better under pressure?
  18. If you’re working under pressure, what would you compromise on; quality or quantity?
  19. Are you a hard worker or a smart worker?
  20. What would you do if you happen to find your company involved in something against law?
  21. What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?
  22. Have you ever made a difficult decision ever? How did it go?
  23. Describe how you will handle a situation if you’re given a deadline and you know you need some more time?
  24. If you’re hired and a competitor makes an offer to you; what would you do?

Common Job Interview Questions Related to Salary

Of course, it is one of the most important sections, as this is where both the parties have greater interest. Ideally, you should know your worth with proper market research and self-assessment. Here are some of the questions they may ask:

  1. What salary you’re looking for?
  2. What makes you feel that you deserve this amount of salary?
  3. What was your last drawn salary?
  4. Can you provide previous salary slip for verification?
  5. If I were to give you this salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?

Related Reading

Salary Negotiation Tips

Common Job Interview Questions Related to Career Growth & Development

Just like the way you want to grow in your particular career, the organization also wants to step up to the next level and they need to ensure that they have the right people who can grow with the organization. These are some of the questions from the growth point that you may be asked during an interview.

  1. What’s your plan for career development?
  2. What are your career goals for next year?
  3. What are your career goals for next five years?
  4. What kind of goals would you have in mind with this job?
  5. What would be the comments of your previous supervisor about your performance?
  6. How you keep yourself updated about the industry trends?
  7. What’s latest news in your industry?

Common Workplace Related Questions

No organization wants troubled employees, and they would want to ensure this right from the interview stage. Here are some of the common job interview questions that are workplace-specific:

  1. Are you a team player?
  2. When you provide maximum output, i.e. in isolation or in a team?
  3. How much time will it take for you to get adapted to the new work environment?
  4. How will you earn credibility quickly with the team?
  5. How will you manage your subordinates who are difficult to deal with?
  6. Can you do late sitting?
  7. Can you work on weekends in case if it’s a deadline?
  8. How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution to our organization?
  9. What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?
  10. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?

Tricky Questions That You Must Answer While Being Highly Attentive

Other than the major categorial questions, there may be some surprises, i.e. questions that cannot be answered objectively, and the subjective part must be prepared carefully. Here are some of these common job interview questions.

  1. What’s your work style?
  2. What is your ideal working environment?
  3. Do you like listening to the music while working?
  4. What do you look for in terms of culture — structured or entrepreneurial?
  5. Give examples of ideas you’ve had or implemented at workplace?
  6. What tools and tricks do you use to keep yourself organized?
  7. Are you a pig picture person or a detailed oriented one?
  8. If you have to hire one, who would you consider; a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  9. What is your biggest achievement so far?
  10. Who was your favorite supervisor and why?
  11. What do you think of your previous boss?
  12. Who is your ideal in professional career and why?
  13. Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
  14. What kind of people do you work best with and why?
  15. What’s your pride?
  16. What do you like to do when there’s no work at workplace?
  17. What is your lifelong dream?
  18. What’s your ultimate career goal?
  19. What is your personal mission statement?
  20. What are the best comments of your ex boss about you?
  21. What negative things would your last boss say about you?
  22. What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?
  23. What are three positive character traits you don’t have?
  24. If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
  25. List five words that describe your character.
  26. Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
  27. What is your greatest fear?
  28. What is your biggest regret and why?
  29. What’s the most important thing you learned in school?
  30. What’s the most important thing you learned in college/university?
  31. Why did you choose this particular major?
  32. What’s missing in your present/last job?
  33. What is your greatest non career related achievement?
  34. What are the qualities of a good leader in your opinion?
  35. Who do you think is a bad leader?
  36. Do you think a leader should be feared or liked? Why?
  37. How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
  38. How would you feel about working under someone who knows less than you?
  39. How do you rate me as an interviewer?
  40. Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want me to know.
  41. Tell me the difference between good and exceptional worker?
  42. Which car do you drive?
  43. Which places in the world you want to visit?
  44. What’s the last book you read?
  45. What magazines do you subscribe to?
  46. What’s the best movie you’ve seen so far?  Why is that best?
  47. What would you do if you won the lottery?
  48. Who is your hero?
  49. What do you like to do for fun?
  50. What do you do in your spare time?
  51. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
  52. Are you brand conscious?
  53. Which is your favorite clothing brand?

Brainteasers That Might Be Part of an Interview Session

And last but not least, you may be tested with some everyday science and math questions. Some employers do it to make the interview a little harder and ensure they hire the best of the people only. While some may do it as a standard part of evaluating candidates. Here are some examples.

  1. How many seconds are there in a day?
  2. Which is the most expensive metal in world?
  3. Which is important to excel in career; luck or mind?
  4. How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
  5. How would you weigh a plane without scales?
  6. What are 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing?
  7. Sell me a car!
  8. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
  9. Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
  10. If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

The Bottom Line

No matter what stage of career you are in, getting overwhelmed for a job interview is normal for everyone, however, a quick review of the common job interview questions above would surely help you reduce your anxiety and increase confidence to perform better in the interview.

Moreover, do not forget to spend some time knowing the employer before a job interview through quick research, as it will help you prepare better. And yes, make sure to dress appropriately for the interview to make a good impression.

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