Sample Interview Questions and Answers

 

 

Tell me about yourself

OBJECTIVE: The interviewer wants to know about your professional life and to ascertain your suitability for the role.

TIPS

  • Keep your response below two minutes to uphold the interviewer’s interest and maintain a formal tone.
  • Talk about your professional and educational background, and highlight the skills and experiences you gained from prior positions that are relevant to the role.
  • Point out some accomplishments to justify why you are best suited for the post.
  • You may include an example of what you enjoy doing outside work that is related to the position.
  • Avoid talking about your personal life, such as your marital status, political or religious views. 
  • Do not repeat your resume verbatim as the hiring manager will have read it before your interview.
  • Steer clear from mentioning goals that you won’t be able to achieve when hired for the job.

SAMPLE ANSWER 1

I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Pennsylvania, and I’m also a Certified Internal Auditor with six years of internal audit experience. I currently work at Deloitte in New York as Internal Audit Manager, where I perform many of the same duties listed in your posting. Before that, I was an Internal Audit Assistant Manager. In this position, I assisted with management duties such as training new hires, preparing reports, and creating documents that recorded the information found in the audits.

I have the skills to create and implement audit plans, monitor internal audit operations, and make suggestions for improvements. I can perform operational audits to determine how employees use company resources and compliance audits to ensure adherence to all local, state, and federal regulations. Additionally, I have the skills to conduct annual risk assessments and create audit plans.

SAMPLE ANSWER 2

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Penn State University with a GPA of 3.85. I currently practice as a General Nurse with MarinHealth Medical Center. I provide nursing care both by personal intervention, through assignment and delegation to team members.  I also participate in planning and executing medical care for asthma, hypertension, and diabetes patients.

Last year, I saved the life of a child using an effective treatment plan within limited resources in collaboration with a physician. I’m seeking a General Nursing position to leverage my experience and high-level skills set.

SAMPLE ANSWER 3

I possess a remarkable eight years’ experience in human resource management. After graduating from Berry College with a Bachelor’s degree in Administration, I secured employment with Starbucks in Washington as a Senior Human Resource Officer. Subsequently, I rose to the position of Human Resource Manager.

At Starbucks, I prepare appropriate human resource plans to support critical business needs, and counsel employees to enhance and correct performance issues and deficiencies. I also provide communication on changes and updates on all human resource programs, policies, and benefits.

I’m familiar with federal and state employment laws and can advise management on associate relations issues. I have extensive knowledge of payroll, compensation, recruiting, and performance management. My background has prepared me to obtain a Human Resource Manager position in a highly reputed organization like yours.

SAMPLE ANSWER 4

I majored in Computer Science from Columbia University in New York and currently work at OSZ Microsystems as a software developer. My experience is in the development of Java applications. I’m very familiar with Swaps, Hibernate, and Websphere and can support enterprise-wide and service-oriented Java systems. I always enforce strong object-oriented design principles and use these skills to engineer unit testing frameworks around projects and programs for quality assurance.

I’m highly organized and can manage complex projects to meet goals efficiently. I have experience managing small teams as I was a team leader on many projects. I’m confident that I’m qualified to fulfil the requirements of the position.

SAMPLE ANSWER 5

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and have spent the last five years working at Preston North High School. I have an outstanding record for being dependable and excellent with the students. I implemented a research-based district curriculum and developed students’ capacity to see science as a way of thinking and investigating.

 I set up experiments for students and encourage them to follow health and safety procedures in the laboratory. I also stay updated on all the latest research and information concerning biology, making it easier to relay current information to my students.

My goal as a teacher is to develop students’ interest in biology by making the subject exciting and breaking down complex words into their roots. I can spot those who have the potential to become biologists, and I’m ready to help them find the right path.

What is your greatest strength?

OBJECTIVE: This question establishes how you assess your strength and if it complements the position requirements. Your response may reveal your personality, which the hiring manager may use to evaluate your suitability.

TIPS

  • Before your interview, consider your strengths, which correlate with the job by identifying the job description’s core competencies.
  • Pick the strength that relates to you, which you can support with examples from most recent experiences.
  • Include a mix of both skilled-based and character-based strengths, and ensure that your response achieves a balance of humbleness and confidence.
  • Demonstrate how you continuously try to improve on your strength.
  • Ensure you do not over-sell your strength as it could come off as boastful or arrogant, but strike a balance between overconfidence and underselling yourself.

SAMPLE ANSWER 1

My greatest strength lies in my ability to adapt to changes. Last year, my company introduced a new accounting system. Although all employees were given basic training on the system, I was able to train myself further, became very conversant with it, and extended help to other colleagues.

Around the same period, my boss asked me to relieve my supervisor on sick leave. I took on these additional responsibilities while doing my regular duties and enjoyed the challenge. I hope to improve further on my adaptability to remain valuable to my employer.

SAMPLE ANSWER 2

I believe my communication skills stand out as my greatest strength. However, I know there is still room for improvement. I always strive to improve my company’s overall customer satisfaction ratings by handling customer complaints.

I mostly enjoy communicating face-to-face and by phone. I’m naturally curious and have the patience to understand complaints, queries, and requests for additional information if I have to. Besides, I can speak English, French, and Spanish and have a good understanding of anybody I encounter by reading their emotions and needs through the way they talk and look.

SAMPLE ANSWER 3

Having the opportunity to collaborate always brings out the best in me. Therefore, I’ve identified working well with others as my greatest strength. On one project that I directed, I inspired a diverse team, which increased productivity by fifty percent. I hope to maintain this strength in the next stage of my career.

SAMPLE ANSWER 4

I consider creativity as my greatest strength. Being a 3D artist requires more than just technical skills. Creativity is what makes art comes to life, and it shows throughout my work. With over eight years of experience working on the production of computer games, you can trust me to raise the bar to the highest level possible with my creativity. 

I can create photo-realistic high poly CGI of products and packaging to high technical and aesthetic standards on time. I’m also very familiar with Zbrush, animation, VFX, concept drawing, traditional art mythology, UV unwrapping, and basic modeling.

SAMPLE ANSWER 5

My greatest strength is my excellent attention to detail. I have five years of experience as an Accountant, and I pride myself on being dedicated to comprehensive review and analysis of financial records and general business management.

Last year, while reviewing a set of expense vouchers, I noticed that the company had purchased a particular item at two different rates. When I enquired a little deeper, I found out that one specific employee submitted the request for payment in all the instances of purchases. I took the matter up with my supervisor, who promised to look into it. A week later, he informed me that my observation has led to the detection of fraud.

What is your greatest weakness?

OBJECTIVE: This question is to test your level of self-awareness and your ability to reflect upon your weaknesses. It is also to establish whether you are willing to improve on these flaws. The interviewer may use this question to identify any critical deficiencies that might affect your ability to perform.

TIPS

  • Pick a weakness that is not essential but pertinent to the role and describe it concisely.
  • Discuss how you realized it’s a problem and demonstrate the steps you are taking to improve upon it.
  • If you lack experience, pinpoint specific things you noticed about yourself during your education, volunteering, or internship.
  • Avoid giving a strength concealed as a weakness, as it will appear to the interviewer that you are trying to avoid the question.
  • Do not say that you don’t have a weakness. It shows a critical lack of self-awareness, and that may depict you as dishonest or deluded.

SAMPLE ANSWER 1

I sometimes find it challenging to delegate my responsibilities when working on multiple assignments.  I tend to rush through each task aiming to meet deadlines, but I’ve realized it’s affecting my work quality. To address this shortfall, I decided to step back and make effective use of my subordinates by frequently assigning them work while focusing on a review of their work and other higher-level tasks.

Since then, I’ve seen an improvement in their output. Effectively delegating my responsibilities has also led to increased efficiency, productivity, and time management.

SAMPLE ANSWER 2

I would say that the area that I need to improve upon is public speaking. I tend to get nervous when presenting to a large group. As a freelance Graphic Designer, I spend a lot of time alone working on projects from home, which contributed to my lack of social contact.

Even though I don’t usually do much public speaking, I realized it’s hindering my progress as an individual and a professional. To combat it, I volunteered to provide free weekend lessons to refugees in my community who wanted to improve upon their computer skills. After a few months of delivering these lessons, I started to feel comfortable when presenting to a large group.

SAMPLE ANSWER 3

I sometimes find it extremely difficult to ask for help. When I was doing my pharmacology research project, I tried out an unfamiliar technique and made mistakes. If I had asked for a demonstration from my supervisor beforehand, I would have saved myself some repeated work. I have since learned to stop and get advice when necessary.

SAMPLE ANSWER 4

For some years now, I’ve been struggling with my office organizational skills. Although this weakness hasn’t affected my output so much, I noticed this flaw could affect my efficiency, so I took steps to do something about it.

Every morning, I make a list of things I need to do for the day so that I don’t forget anything. At the same time, I make a schedule giving each task a prescribed time to achieve it. I also try to have an effective filing system so that it can be easier to locate each document. The step I’ve taken is improving my efficiency level each day

SAMPLE ANSWER 5

On a few occasions, I’ve been told by colleagues that I can sometimes come across as too blunt. Naturally, I’m a very straightforward person, so when I truthfully express my opinions instead of sugar-coating it the way others expect me to or will generally do, they often see it as rude. Sometimes others would respond with confusion, sadness, anxiety, frustration, anger, or worse.

Even though honesty is a good thing to uphold, I’m beginning to be more cautious with my views and utterances to avoid being misunderstood and prevent any unnecessary confrontation at the workplace.

How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industry that you are working in?

OBJECTIVE: By asking this question, the hiring manager attempts to form an impression of how interested and passionate you are about your career.

TIPS

  • Stress your interest and the importance of remaining current and informed about your industry, and how it would help you perform better.
  • Talk about the resources and sources you use to stay current.
  • Avoid providing answers that show that it is only through your employer’s initiative that you remain informed about your chosen industry.

SAMPLE ANSWER 1

As a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, I regularly receive newsletters, journals, and magazines, which keep me informed. I also attend conferences, industry events, and training sessions where I can speak with colleagues and listen to expert panelists. Furthermore, I’ve subscribed to LinkedIn to contribute to discussions in the relevant group. All these help me stay abreast of developments.

SAMPLE ANSWER 2

I get updated about the latest information and opinions in my industry by following experts and industry leaders on social media like Facebook and Twitter. I also keep abreast of developments and track changes in best practices through professional journals and trade magazines. By reading these regularly, I’m able to improve my practice.

SAMPLE ANSWER 3

I enrol in courses to refresh the skills I need for my job and be up to date with the finance industry. With online and part-time courses, I can keep working while I study. I also take professional development courses through vendor-taught classes, traditional universities, and training institutions, which helps me meet my Continuing Professional Education requirements and maintain my professional licenses.

SAMPLE ANSWER 4

When I was in college, I had always shown keen interest in using computers and software to ensure that I was never behind in the information age.  I regularly visit my school library to learn and training center to keep myself updated. After college, while waiting to be employed, I joined a social group that practices reverse mentoring, where we meet regularly to teach each other new accounting software.

SAMPLE ANSWER 5

I try to keep up-to-date with developments in my industry by engaging with our customers to see the industry from an audience’s perspective. I do this by soliciting feedback in the form of surveys or merely replying to customers’ posts on social channels. I also encourage my team to have their eyes and ears on the ground and use search engines to search for keywords in the industry to read articles published by others.

Describe your management style

OBJECTIVE: This question’s objective is to evaluate your leadership qualities and determine how well you would manage your team or fit in the company’s culture.

TIPS

  • Read the job requirements and mention some of the existing management styles that will fit the role.
  • Illustrate your ability to understand potential problems that could arise in the new position as a supervisor or a manager and indicate how you would solve them.
  • Support your answer with examples of how you applied your management style in the past to address challenges.
  • Ensure that your response demonstrates some flexibility in your managerial methods to addressing different issues under different situations.

SAMPLE ANSWER 1

In my previous roles as a manager, I try to implement the best style that suits the situation after gaining a thorough understanding of my team’s needs. However, I see myself as a transformational manager.

I believe change and growth are the way to stay ahead of the curve, so I push my employees to move from their comfort zone, work hard, and stay ahead. By this, they realize that they are more capable like anyone else and keep raising the bar of achievement to the benefit of the company.

SAMPLE ANSWER 2

There are many management styles out there, but a democratic management style tops it all, in my opinion. I let my staff participate in the decision-making process because I value the diversity of ideas and understand that people usually uphold decisions they have accepted.

However, I would ultimately be the one to approve most decisions at the end and give reasons for not accepting others. When employees are involved in the decision-making process, they feel valued, part of the company, and motivated to think outside the box.

SAMPLE ANSWER 3

I’m a visionary leader who believes in communicating my purpose and direction to my team. However, after helping to identify the goal and providing the strategy to help achieve it, I usually let my staff get to work on their terms, as long as they’re productive. I occasionally check on them to make sure they’re on the right track.

I have grown to realize that the more power I give my staff, the more confident and motivated they are to get the job done. As a supervisor in a civil engineering company, I’ve gotten a lot of projects completed in time using this approach.

SAMPLE ANSWER 4

The management style I usually adopt is coaching and overseeing my team’s individual development so that they can deliver on any task assign them. I strive to improve my staffs’ long-term professional development while watching them grow to their full potential.

Based on performance, I recommend individual team members for additional responsibilities and subsequently for promotion if possible. Through my staff’s constant motivation, some of them have gone ahead to attain professional certification in their chosen fields, which has proved to be very beneficial to our organization.

SAMPLE ANSWER 5

A manager has to implement the best management style needed to enhance his/her teams’ potentials with consideration to the work environment. Throughout my management experience, there have been times when I have to change my style to conform to the job at hand. Therefore, I adapt my management style as I go along to achieve organizational goals. 

 

Sample interview questions and answers

 

 

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