Samples of Interview Questions:


Accomplishments / Results

  • Please describe the professional accomplishment of which you are most proud.
  • Have you ever accomplished something professionally that others doubted you could? If so, please describe your accomplishment.
  • Please describe a time when you were not able to accomplish a goal, task or complete a project
  • Please describe something you have done in your previous work to improve performance, quality, customer satisfaction, or reduce costs.
  • Please describe your most significant achievements while in your current position.
  • What professional objectives did you establish for yourself this year and which have you accomplished?
  • What goals did your manager set for you this year? What progress have you made toward achieving these goals?

Adaptability

  • Describe a time when your manager's priorities did not match your own. How did you handle the situation?
  • Describe a time when you were given an assignment that you thought would be a waste of your time to complete. What did you do?
  • Have you ever been told you could not implement an idea you thought was very good? How did you react?
  • Describe a major organizational or policy change that occurred at your previous place of employment. What did you think of this change?
  • Please describe a stressful situation you encountered in the workplace, and how you handled it.

Budget / Resource Management

  • Are you responsible for managing a budget in your current position? If so, what processes have you put in place to assure expenses don't exceed budgeted levels?
  • What have you done in previous positions to keep expenses within budget?
  • Describe steps you have taken to complete projects on time and within budget?
  • Describe some steps you have taken to reduce costs on the job.
  • Describe any steps you have taken to maximize the productivity of your department.

Commitment to a Diverse Work Environment

  • Do you prefer to work with those who have similar ideas and backgrounds as you, or with those who are quite different? Why?
  • As a manager, what have you done to encourage diversity of opinions among your staff members?
  • Have you ever heard a co-worker make an inappropriate comment or joke in the workplace? If so, what did you do?
  • As a manager, what have you done to create a work environment that is welcoming to diverse individuals?
  • What have you done to recruit employment candidates from diverse backgrounds?

Commitment to Professional Development

  • What have you done to stay informed of developments within your field?
  • What have you done over the last year to develop your professional skills?
  • What professional conferences, meetings, or training have you attended over the past year?
  • What strategies do you use to stay informed of best practices in your field?

Conflict Management

  • Please describe a time when you had conflict with a co-worker. How did you react and what did you do to resolve it?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you handle the situation?
  • Have you ever had to work with someone who was uncooperative or difficult? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
  • Describe a time when you got angry at work.

Customer Focus

  • Please describe how you've used the input of colleagues or customers to make an improvement.
  • Please explain how, in your current job, you've addressed an internal or external customer's need?
  • What have you done in previous jobs to assess your internal or external customers' expectations?
  • In your current position, who are your internal customers and what things have you done to provide good customer service?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to balance the needs of a diverse constituency.

Decision Making / Problem Solving

  • Please describe a time when your manager was not available and you had to make a decision independently.
  • What process do you use to make decisions when there is no clear right or wrong answer?
  • Would you please describe a difficult work-related decision you've made recently, and the outcome of your decision?
  • Have you ever made an unpopular decision? If so, please describe your reasons for making this decision.
  • Please describe a risky decision you've made on the job.
  • Describe a time when you had to "think on your feet" or make a quick decision. What was the outcome of your decision?
  • What kinds of decisions do you make in your current position without first consulting your manager?
  • Please describe the last risk you took in the workplace, and the outcome.
  • Describe a complex problem you solved.
  • Do you use a particular method for solving problems? If so, please describe your method.
  • Describe the types of problems you routinely encountered on your last [current] job. How did you handle them?
  • When solving problems, do you rely more on facts or your "gut feelings"? Why?

Engagement

  • Why do you want to become part of this company
  • What first interested you about employment at this company?
  • What contributions do you think you will make to this company?
  • What do you think you will enjoy about working at this company?
  • Why do you want to work in this industry?

Fit / Work Style

  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a group? Why?
  • Describe the characteristics of the manager you have most/least enjoyed working for.
  • Describe the type of co-worker you most/least enjoy working with.
  • Do you prefer to be given detailed instructions for completing work assignments, or do you prefer to figure things out on your own?
  • Do you prefer a more relaxed, casual business environment or a formal, "all-business" working environment?
  • What are your typical work hours on your current job?
  • Are you able to work occasional weekend and evening hours?
  • What type of work do you find most rewarding? Most frustrating?

General

  • Why do you think you'd be successful in this position?
  • What are your strengths & weeknesses?
  • Is there anything else you'd like me to know about your qualifications for this position?

Goal Setting / Planning

  • What professional goals have you set for yourself this year? What progress have you made toward achieving them?
  • Please describe a work-related goal you set for yourself, and what you've done to achieve your goal.
  • Briefly describe any long-range plans you've developed for your department. What have you done to help assure your plans stay on track?
  • Would you describe yourself as more process oriented or result oriented? Why?
  • How have you involved your staff members or colleagues in establishing goals for your department?

Initiative / Innovation

  • Please describe some improvements you've initiated while in your current job.
  • Tell me about a time when you went "above and beyond the call of duty".
  • Please describe a time when you had to take on a new assignment with very little training or guidance. What did you do?
  • Tell me what motivates you to do your best work.
  • Have you ever had a professor or supervisor who really motivated you to perform well? If so, what did he/she do to motivate you?
  • If offered this position, what will you do during your first month on the job?
  • If offered this position, what would you like to accomplish during your first year on the job?
  • Do you agree with the saying, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it"? Why or why not?
  • How much of your success do you attribute to natural ability vs. hard work and practice?
  • Think of a recent accomplishment; to what do you attribute that accomplishment?

Interpersonal Skills

  • What have you done to make your current work environment more welcoming to a diverse employee population?
  • Tell me about a particularly difficult or awkward conversation you had to have with a co-worker.
  • Would your co-workers describe you as competitive or cooperative? Why?
  • Describe a time when you assisted a colleague from another department with a project.
  • Describe a time when someone criticized your work performance, a proposal, or a project you completed. How did you respond?

Judgment

  • Describe a time when you ignored one of your employer's policies or rules in order to accomplish something.
  • Have you ever been asked to do something at work that you did not think was ethical? If so, briefly describe the situation and how you responded.
  • Have you ever had to bend the rules at work? If so, describe the situation and what you did.
  • Describe a time when you exaggerated the benefits of a new program, product, or policy in order to "sell" it to your colleagues or customers.
  • Describe a time when you felt it was justified to ignore company policy or standard operating procedures.
  • Describe the types of confidential information to which you routinely have access.
  • Describe a time when you felt it was necessary to reveal confidential information to a colleague.
  • Have you ever encountered a colleague who was "slacking off" on the job? If so, what did you do?

Leadership

  • Would your last manager describe you as a leader or a follower? Why?
  • In what ways have you communicated department objectives to your staff members?
  • Provide some examples of how you have involved your staff members in key business decisions.
  • How would your former co-workers describe your leadership style?
  • Describe some things you have done to build rapport or enhance team work among your staff members.

Negotiation / Influencing Skills

  • Please describe a work-related assignment in which you had to gain the agreement or cooperation of your colleagues in order to accomplish your objectives.Tell me about a time when you had to persuade your colleagues to accept your ideas
  • Please describe the most challenging agreement you had to negotiate.

Professional Experience / Prior Work Experience

  • Please tell me about your prior work experience.
  • Please describe any professional experiences you have had that helped prepare you for the position we have available.
  • Why did you leave your last place of employment?
  • You've been employed with several different employers during the past few years. Why have you left your previous employers?
  • You've changed jobs frequently within the past several years. Why?
  • Please describe the primary responsibilities of your current [or most recent] position.
  • Which of your current responsibilities do you find most challenging? Why
  • Which of your current responsibilities do you find most rewarding? Why?
  • Describe something about a recent position that you did not like.
  • If you could change anything about your current place of employment, what would you change?
  • What prior experience have you had to prepare you for the position we have available?

Supervisory / Management Experience

  • Have you had supervisory experience? If so, what have you done in the past to recognize your employees' good performance?
  • As a supervisor, what things have you done to promote team work within your department?
  • As a manager, what things have you done to establish common goals / a shared vision among your staff members?
  • Please describe some things you've done to help develop the skills of those who report to you, or work with you.
  • Would you please describe a difficult situation you encountered as a manager, and how you dealt with it?
  • In your role as a manager, please describe a situation in which you had to coach a colleague to encourage better performance.
  • Please describe a change (policy change, procedural change, staffing change, compensation change, etc.) you had to implement in your workplace. How did you prepare your employees for the change?
  • What do you think are the most important responsibilities of a manager?
  • Please tell me about the most difficult performance appraisal you've had to conduct in your role as a supervisor.
  • Tell me about the most difficult individual you had to supervise. What did you do to handle the situation?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to address the poor work performance of a direct report. How did you handle it?
  • Describe some things you've done recently to motivate an employee to improve his/her performance.
  • In your role as a manager, please explain ways in which you've gathered feedback from those who work for you.
  • Do you believe the work activities of employees should be monitored closely by their managers? Why or why not?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to delegate a complex assignment. What did you do to assure the assignment would be completed properly?
  • What has been your most rewarding experience as a supervisor?
  • What has been your most challenging experience as a supervisor?

Time Management / Prioritization / Organization of Work

  • What techniques have you used to manage your time when you've had too much to do?
  • Please describe a project you've coordinated recently, and describe how you organized your work.
  • What methods have you used to prioritize your work?
  • What techniques did you use to assure you completed tasks or goals on time?
  • Describe a project or assignment you could not finish on time. What did you do?
  • If you arrived at work in the morning and had 6 phone messages, 25 email messages, a morning meeting to prepare for, and a colleague waiting to speak to you, what would you do first and why?
  • Please describe a typical day in the office. What techniques do you use to stay organized?