Sample Interview Questions

Practicing questions in advance of your interview will increase your confidence and allow you to better articulate your strengths to an interviewer. While this list is not comprehensive, it is a good starting point when preparing for an interview. Make sure that you verbalize the answers, it is not enough just to think about them.

Questions About Your Personality, Traits, and Skill Sets

  1. Tell me about yourself (3-5 minute walk through of your resume, background, etc).
  2. Why are you interested in this position or industry?
  3. Why are you leaving the military (or your current position)? Why did you join the military?
  4. Name three of your strengths. (Pick points that are aligned with the type of job your pursuing. Have examples prepared that demonstrate your strengths.)
  5. Name three of your weaknesses. (How are you fixing them? Do not pick points that are critical to the job.)
  6. Describe a time that you have:
      • failed
      • took a risk
      • handled conflict
      • led a team through a challenging situation
      • demonstrated creativity
      • took initiative
      • worked without a lot of direction
      • sold an idea to another individual (discuss how you were convincing)
      • set a goal for yourself and the steps you took to achieve it
      • experienced your greatest failure/made a mistake (what you learned and how you fixed it)
      • experienced your greatest achievement?
  7. Who is your favorite leader and why? How did they handle conflict?
  8. Are you open to shift work? To working overtime?
  9. How many days in a month are you willing to travel?
  10. Have you ever had a mentor? If so, what did he or she do for you?
  11. How would you characterize your leadership style?
  12. Describe a time when you had to deal with a poor performer.
  13. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? In the next 10 years?
  14. How do you motivate people?
  15. What was the last book that you read and why?
  16. What was the last movie you watched and why?
  17. What are your location preferences?
  18. If you had to give me a 5K range, what would your annual salary expectations be?
  19. Have you interviewed with any companies in the past 6 months? Which ones and for what locations?
  20. Do you currently have any offers from any companies? If so, which companies and for what salary?
  21. Why should I hire you?
  22. Describe a situation in life where your request or demand was rejected. How did it feel? What did you do?
  23. Describe an experience in which you felt you gained something because you persisted and saw it through to success.
  24. To what or whom do you compare yourself?
  25. What is the one thing that really motivates you?
  26. I am... (Fill in the blank with traits)
  27. How do you feel when you lose?
  28. What has been your greatest disappointment?
  29. Word Association Scenarios #1 - Complete the sentence
      • I want
      • I need
      • I dislike
      • Winning
      • Losing
      • I wish
      • I should
      • I like
  30. Word Association Scenarios #2 - How do you feel about each of these?
      • Weekends
      • Mornings
      • Work is
      • Rankings
      • Responsibility
      • Team
      • Goals
      • Competition
  31. List as many descriptors of yourself as possible in sixty seconds.
  32. What do you do in your spare time?
  33. Define stress. How do you relieve stress?
  34. Define pressure. How do you relieve pressure? Is pressure different from stress?
  35. How do you impact your family, your friends, and your associates?
  36. Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
  37. Would you prefer to follow the rules or make the rules?
  38. What has been the toughest decision you ever had to make?
  39. Have you ever been aggressive to the point where you pushed someone too far?

Questions About Your Current Career

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your current position?
  2. Why have you been successful in the past?
  3. Under what conditions do you work best?
  4. What do you consider your most significant achievement?
  5. What is the most stressful situation you have encountered in your current position? How did you handle it?
  6. How are you evaluated where you work? How do you work with your peers?
  7. Explain how your boss would describe you.
  8. What are the two toughest decisions you have had to make? Which was the best/worst decision?
  9. What are some additional responsibilities you have taken on recently that are not in your job description?
  10. What is the most striking fact about your present company?
  11. Do you see yourself in your current job 6 months from now?
  12. What has been the biggest disappointment in your professional career to date?
  13. What is the most important thing you learned from your last job?

Sample Questions to Ask an Employer

General Questions:

  1. What are you looking for in an employee for this position? What traits or skill sets are most important?
  2. Is this position a newly created position or is it a back-fill position?
  3. How did the person do that was in this position before me?
  4. What mistakes are common to someone new to this position?
  5. What is unique about the product that we make in comparison to the competition?
  6. What do you see as the biggest challenge I would face as a new _______?
  7. How is an employee evaluated and how often is this done?

Management Position Questions:

  1. As you look at the plant's workforce, what area(s) requires the biggest focus right now (e.g. quality, quantity, people, maintenance, scheduling, safety)?
  2. Has anyone tried any leadership techniques or tactics that have not worked well?
  3. How does this workforce like to be motivated in general? What has worked in the past in your plant?
  4. How would you characterize the management-employee relationship in the plant?
  5. How did you (the interviewer) get started with the company? What has been your experience?

Sales Position Questions:

  1. What is the current ranking of the territory? What does it encompass? Is there room for growth?
  2. Where do you expect me to take the territory in my first year?
  3. What can I do to prepare myself before I come to work?
  4. Are there any particular books or magazines that you recommend that I read to further prepare myself?
  5. I understand that the product's main competitors are ______. Who will be my main competition in this territory / which products are the market leaders in this territory?
  6. How do reps differentiate our products from theirs?
  7. How did you (the interviewer) get started with the company? What has been your experience?
  8. I have read that the company has been doing a lot of research and development in (field). Can you tell me if the company has any new (field) products in the pipeline?

Continue to the next topic: Sales Interview Preparation

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