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Common interview questions

type With examples

... -. , . . . . . .
General questions about yourself
Tell us about yourself.
How would you describe yourself?
How would your fellow students/colleagues describe you?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What interests do you have outside work?
Questions on your education, work experience and skills
Why did you choose to study ... (at university)?
Why did you choose a career in ... ?
Couldyou tell me what your responsibilities were during the work
placement / are in your job?
Can tell me about your present job?
What have you learned in your past jobs that you think would help
you in the position you're applying for?
What do you think of the last company you worked for?
What skills can you bring to this company?
Kr10wledge questions
Which programming languages do you know?
Are you used to working with electronic booking systems?
Behavioural questions
Describe a time when you worked in a team. What role did you play?
Describe a situation when your work was criticized. What was your
Tell me about a time when you felt you didn't achieve your goal.
Describe the situation and tell me how you reacted.
Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
What has been your greatest achievement/disappointment?
How would you motivate people?
Questions on your motivation
Why did you apply for this job?
Why do you think you would be a good candidate for this job?
What makes you qualified for this job?
Why do you want to work for this company?
What interests you about our product (or service)?
What do you know about our competitors?
Why do you want to work abroad?
Would you be prepared to relocate?
Why do you wish to leave your current employer?
What are your short-, medium- and long-term goals?
What do you expect to achieve in the next five years?
Have a short, interesting and well-structured
introduction of yourself ready, which relates to the job.
Be honest and always relate your answers to a working
Show that you are self-aware and able to utilize your
strengths and work effectively on any weaknesses.
Talk about the aspects of your studies/internships/jobs
that are most relevant for the job you are applying for.
Mention your achievements as well as your
Try to bring in similarities between your experience and
the job you are being interviewed for. Back up any
claims you make about your skills with examples.
Never talk badly about your current orprevious
These are questions related to your field. Answer
honestly and at the appropriate level of technical detail.
These questions on your (past) behaviour mostly begin
with "Tell me about a time when ... " or "Describe a
situation/time when ... ". Before you answer, try to think
which of your skills are being tested, e. g. problem-
solving, communicative or.team skills.
Give a structured answer: explain the describe
the action you took and the resul t(s).
When asked about disappointments, show how you
reacted to a negative situation in a positive way: Show
that you know the ups and downs of a j ob and that you
can learn from mistakes.
Show that you have researched the company well and
know what the job is about.
Stress the positive aspects which have attracted you to
apply to this company for this position. Be as positive
and specific as possible.
Talk about your (real istic) goals and where you would
like to progress with your career.
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Useful language for speaking
Questions on negative things or gaps in your CV
You studied for a rather long time. Why is that?
Why have you changed your job twice within the last year?
You don't have much experience in ... Do you think this would be a
Questions you can ask the interviewer(s)
I would like to know if this post is a new or an existing one.
Could you tel! me what kind of training is given to new employees?
Who would I report to?
What would be the starting salary? (if you don 't already know from
the job ad)
Do you have programmes to support continued education?
What do you consider this group's / the company's biggest
challenge in the year ahead?
What are the priorities of the company this year?
What ace the next stages of the selection process?
Phrases for interviews
Clarifitation and playing for time
I'm sorry, could you say that again?
Could you explain what you mean exactly by ... ?
So, if I understand you correctly ...
I don't quite understand what you mean by ...
What I mean is ...
Let me just think about that for a moment.
That's an interesting question. I think I would start by ...
Well, it depends on ...
Talking positively about yourself
rhave the ability to ...
I consider myself to be a ...
... would be one of my strengths.
I am particularly good at ...
I've gained considerable experience
at/in ...
Avoid being negative or apologetic. Explain the situation
and what positive lessons you have learned from it.
Explain how you will improve the skills you need for the
Be prepared to ask questions yourself. They are your
chance to show your interest in the company and the
job. If you ask intelligent questions, you will leave a
positive lasting impression.
Giving your answers a clear structure
There are two reasons ...
Firstly, ... /Secondly, .. ./Finally, .. ./As a result, ...
When I was still at university ...
Alongside my studies, I ...
In my first job as ... I ...
Recently, I ...
At the moment, ... / Currently, ...
Ever since I ...
Up to now / in the past few years ...
So to sum up ... / All in all ...
Coming from ... I ...
Having studied ... I .. .
I've specialized in .. .
When I ... I discovered my interest
for ...
As a ... I ...
I am used to vvorking with ... /
managing a huge workload .. .
I have a good knowledge of .. .
I love working in/with ...
I'm very enthusiastic about .. ..
I'm also fascinated by ...
I've been interested in ... for a long
I am particularly interested in ...
I am very impressed by ...
I like the way ...
... has always fascinated me.
What I like about ... is ...
I am keen/eager to ...
Talking about yourself
I am .. . and apply a[n) ... approach to my work. I can speak Spanish Fluently / reasonabl y well / a little.
I believe in .. I work well under pressure! in a team I autonomously.
This enables me to .. I think I'm suitable for the position Of .. because .
I'm also able to . In this way I am i;lble to ,
For example. in my last job ... I feel that I am ...
in my Idst job I was responsible for negoti ating deals I I have recently started to ... to improve.
European sales etc.
When I was at uni versity I used to be ...
I am used to dealing with customers I managing big budgets
I used to be .... but I've started .... which has enabled me to ..
I enjoy ..
I have a good knowledge of ..
I'm a keen ..
Talking about specific experiences
At the time . I wanted to be a bit more I decided to ..
There was a time when .. What needed to be done was. Therefore I .
There was one situation when . UnFortunately this meant that ... I organised a(n) .
The problem was. It was very important that .. 50 in order to ... I ...
Probably the best example is . It was clear that. This resulted in .
I discovered that. We actually ended up . This led to
I realised that .. Anyway. what happened was. In the end.
I agreed to . I managed to ...
Talking about the company
Before applying For this position i to university. I did a lot of research into ..
In the end I decided to ... as it was clear that " .
I had a look at your website and could see that you.
I definitel y feel. from everythi ng I've learnt"about .... that this is the type of organisation I'd like to work for.
You came across on your website as .
It's really something that attracted me to .
I want to work with your company because yo u.have a really excellent/strong/outstanding reputation.
The work you do seems to be very Fulfilling/worthwhile/satisfying.
I think working for you would be very enjoyable/challenging/fulfilling.
Structuring your answer
When I was at ... Ever since. So to sum up ..
years ago Following my degree / that etc.
That 's really when. Firstly; ... Secondly ... Finally.. .
Softening negative information
I can be a bit (Of a) .. I'm keen to develop ..
I can occasionally be a little ... I'm looki ng for an opportunity to .
I can .ge t .. at times I feel J"m best suited to .
I occasionally have difficulty making decisions i handling I'm seeking the possibility to develop further professionally.
criticism etc.
Im seeking fresh challenges.
From time to time I .
Emphasising positive information
I put as much effort/energy as possible into . I am extremely/very .
I pay a lot of attention to detail. I enjoy a great deal about my current job.
I make sure that every single.
50 common interview
1 Why did you choose to study your degree subject?
2 What did you most/least enjoy about your time at university?
3 What skills did you develop at university? .
4 What was the most challenging aspect of your degree course?
How will your degree help you in this position?
6 Tell us something about yourself.
7 What do you like doing in your.spare time?
8 Why do you want this job?
9 Why should we hire you? / /
What can you bring to this position? .
11 What do you consider to be the key skills necessary for this position?
12 What will you do if you don't get this job?
1 3 What are your strengths/weaknesses?
14 What is your biggest achievement?
What do you know about our company?
16 What attracted you to our company?
17 What do.you think of our website?
18 Who would you consider to be our main competitors?
19 What trends are likely to affect our industry over the next few years?
How do you typically approach new projects?
21 Describe your management style.
22 What sorts of things do you like to delegate?
23 What qualities do you look for in a manager?
24 How do you handle stress?
Tell me about your-ability to work under pressure.
26 In what environment do you work best?
27 What -motivates you in terms of work?
28 What interests you most/least in your current work?
29 What"would you change about your current job if you could?
Why are you considering leaving your current job?
31 Why did you leave your' last job?
32 What are you looking for in a job?
33 What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of this role?
34 What kinds of decisions do you find difficult to make?
Tell us about a time when you demonstrated good customer service / leadership skills etc:
36 Tell us ab04t a time when you have been innovative at work.
37 Tell us about a time you encountered a problem and how you resolved it.
38 Tell us about a time when you had to make a difficult decision ..
39 Tell us about a time when you successfully managed a difficult situation at work.
Describe a situation in which you took a risk. What were the results?
41 How do you work in a team?
42 How would your colleagues describe you?
43 How would your manager describe your work?
44 When were you happiest at work?
You seem not to have too much experience in X. Do you think would be a problem? .
46 Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
47 How have you changed over the last five years?
48 Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
49 How do you hope to develop your career further?
Do you have any questions you would like to ask us?