Sample Interview Questions



Behavior-based interviewing is an approach that looks at past behavior as a predictor of future performance.  This type of interview allows the interviewer to evaluate a candidate's experiences and behaviors in order to determine the applicant's potential for success. The following list of sample interview questions will assist in identifying job-related experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities.

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Questions that reveal integrity/honesty/trustworthiness

  1. Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?
  2. What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical?
  3. Have you ever experienced a loss for doing what is right?
  4. In what business/work-related situation do you feel honesty would be inappropriate?
  5. If you saw a co-worker doing something dishonest, would you tell your supervisor? What would you do about it?
  6. Please describe your work ethic.

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Questions that reveal personality/temperament/ability to work with others

  1. How would you describe your personality?
  2. What motivates you the most?
  3. If I call your references, what will they say about you?
  4. What kind of environment would you like to work in?
  5. What kinds of people would you rather not work with?
  6. What are two or three examples of tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing?  Indicate how you remain motivated to complete these tasks.
  7. Describe the appropriate relationship between a supervisor and subordinates.
  8. What sort of relationships do you have with your co-workers, both at the same level and above and below you?
  9. How have you worked as a member of teams in the past?
  10. What is your management style? How do you think your subordinates perceive you?
  11. As a manager, have you ever had to fire anyone? If so, what were the circumstances, and how did you handle it?
  12. What aspects of this job do you think would be the most stressful to you?  Why?

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Questions that reveal learning from past mistakes

  1. Tell me about an objective in your current/last job that you failed to meet and why.
  2. When is the last time you were criticized?  How did you deal with it?
  3. What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. Tell me about a situation where you abruptly had to change what you were doing.
  5. If you could change one (managerial) decision you made during the past two years, what would that be and why?
  6. Tell me of time when you had to work on a project that did not work out the way it should have. What did you do?
  7. If you had an opportunity to change anything in your career, what would you have done differently?

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Questions that reveal creativity/creative thinking/problem solving

  1. When was the last time you “broke the rules” (thought outside the box) and how did you do it?
  2. What have you done that was innovative?
  3. Describe a situation in which you had to meet two different deadlines given to you by two different people and you could not do both? What did you do?
  4. What type of approach to solving work problems seems to work best for you? Give me an example of when you solved a tough problem.
  5. When taking on a new task, do you like to have a great deal of feedback and responsibility at the outset, or do you like to try your own approach?

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Miscellaneous Questions

  1. How do you measure your own success?
  2. What are your short-term or long-term career goals?
  3. Why should we hire you for this position?
  4. What responsibilities do you want, and what kinds of results do you expect to achieve in your next job?
  5. If you had to rank in order the top five things you are looking for in a good job, what would they be?

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