Job Interview Questions

Job Interview Questions

Aggressiveness and Enthusiasm

Your energy level and commitment to the task at hand will be measured by your responses as will your ability to convey a sense of excitement and a willingness to "go the extra mile" for the company.

Employers seeking new employees want people who believe their function is critical to the organization. Similarly, they are looking for people who have enthusiasm for the organization, its products and services.

  • Interview Question: Why do you feel you can be successful in this position?

Winner Answer: I have the skills necessary to succeed in this position (tell a brief story to prove it). I consider myself energetic and willing to learn. Previous employers will attest to the fact that I am a very hard worker.end

  • Interview Question:Why should I hire you?

Winner Answer: I am a go-getter. I believe in setting goals to achieve success. I am willing to learn new ideas and sales concepts. Previous employers will tell you that I am organized, self motivated, and result oriented. *Refer to the Employment Seminar Book.end

  • Interview Question:What is your greatest strength and weakness, and how will these affect your performance here?

Winner Answer: I believe my greatest asset is that I am organized and am capable of creating order out of confusion. My greatest weakness is that I have little patience for people who don't value the same sense of order that I do. I believe my organizational skills will help this organization achieve its goals more quickly.end

Communication Skills

The only way to increase your effectiveness in this area is to practice. Career Services recommends practicing with a friend or a parent who won't laugh at you, or using a tape recorder to rehearse/review your prepared interview responses. Warning: At first, this will be very uncomfortable, but with practice it will become easier. Practicing interviewing skills will make you feel more at ease during an actual interview.

  • Interview Question:How do you go about influencing someone to accept your ideas?

Winner Answer: That's something I've worked very hard on over the years. At some point I realized that good ideas, even great ideas, sometimes aren't received that way. The way you present an idea is just as important as the idea itself. When trying to influence people, I usually try to put myself in their position and think about their perspective. I'm then able to present thoughts to them in a way more likely to end in success.end

  • Interview Question:What experience have you had in making oral presentations? How do you rate your skills in this area?

Winner Answer: I read somewhere that public speaking was the number one fear of people in this country. After I read that, I figured that if most people are scared of it, addressing my own fear and mastering the skill of oral presentation would probably make me more competitive in the job market. So I do presentations every chance I get and find the more I do them, the more comfortable I am -- and the better I get.end

  • Interview Question:How would you compare your verbal skills to your writing skills?

Winner Answer: It seems as if organizations are more dependent than ever on the ability of employees to be articulate both orally and in writing. I am constantly taking advantage of opportunities to develop my oral and written communication skills.end

  • Interview Question:How should superiors and subordinates interact?

Winner Answer: I believe that clear communication throughout the hierarchy of an organization is critical to the organization's success. I'd like to think I've developed good strong skills in that area. I am always trying to increase my skills in that area. In terms of superior-subordinate relationships, I think it's most important to realize that each person and each relationship is different. The best approach for me is to begin without assumptions and see how the relationship develops over time, always keeping a positive attitude.end

  • Interview Question:How do you get along with your co-workers?

Winner Answer: I generally get along very well with coworkers Occasionally I might run into a conflict with someone. When this happens, I usually focus on what the conflict is about rather than on personalities. I find that approach helps me to maintain a successful relationship with anyone -- and often leads to resolution and strengthened relationships.end

Record of Success

Your record of success is your most important credential for gaining access to the best companies. Effectively conveying a view of yourself as a person with an impressive track record will do more for your chances than any other single tactic.

There are two tracks you can take here, depending on the material you have to work with and the job you're applying for. If your background vividly illustrates your ability to do the job in question, you merely need to choose the best examples and present them.

You should specifically point out how your past relates to what the company needs. This will demonstrate the skills you've used in the past are directly transferable and applicable to the tasks required on the job in question. For example: In my previous position, high sales were very important. My first year working with ABC Company, I averaged top sales in the department, because I was focused on reaching my goals. In summary, if I worked for your organization, I would apply that dedication to your company by focusing on higher productivity and professional development.

  • Interview Question: What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment and why?

Winner Answer: Rather than give you a specific line of thought to work with, I suggest you think of something you've done that highlights your uniqueness. Some examples: Won first prize in a math competition, I was elected class officer, managed a family crisis, rebuilt a car engine from scratch, reorganized a department. If at all possible, give a work-related example.end

  • Interview Question: Under what conditions have you been most successful in any undertaking?

Winner Answer: My approach to problem solving involves a systematic process of gathering relevant information about a problem, clearly identifying the problem, setting a strategy, and then implementing it. As long as I have enough information and a clear view of the problem, I can tackle anything.end

  • Interview Question: How hard do you work to achieve your objectives?

Winner Answer: For me, the question is not how hard I work. It's a given that if I've set an objective or if I've been given an important assignment I work as hard as necessary to achieve the desired results. The question for me is how smart do I work -- in other words, what can I do to make the completion of the task come as easily and smoothly as possible so I can move on to other things.end

  • Interview Question: Has the competition had any positive or negative impact on your accomplishments? How?

Winner Answer: If I were afraid of competition, I wouldn't be applying for a job in an organization like yours. The most important thing to me is knowing the competition and being clear about what it is we're competing for. When I'm in a competitive situation I like to make sure I understand what's at stake. Once I understand the game plan, I enjoy competing wholeheartedly.end

  • Interview Question: What do you consider your earning potential to be five years from now?

Winner Answer: I believe my talents can earn a decent living; that's why I'm applying to a prestigious company such as yours. I plan to make enough money to live comfortable and am willing to do what it takes to ensure that I am well paid throughout my career.end

Rational Thought Process

Rational thought process refers to the capability and tendency for a person to think and act in a careful and somewhat predictable fashion.

Rational thought process is one of those categories that could make the difference in a close interview. If two equally qualified candidates give acceptable performances in an interview,the job would probably go to the one who seemed most rational. To the interviewer, a rational thought process translates to a higher level of productivity and fewer mistakes on the job.

  • Interview Question: What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in a job and why?

Winner Answer: I'm looking for a job that utilizes my strongest skills, such as [name specific skills]. I think it's also important that my role in the organization be clearly tied to the goals in the organization. I'm working for an entry-level position within a company with opportunities for advancement. Ultimately, it would also be great to have a job that is at times challenging, one that stretches me beyond my current abilities.end

  • Interview Question: How do you think our company determines success?

Winner Answer: I've watched the growth of Baker College over the past few years. It seems to me that you would measure success by the extent of new programs being offered, meeting the needs of potential students, and by the enthusiasm and desire to produce results relating to individuals working for the college.end

  • Interview Question: How did you determine your career choice?

Winner Answer: The summer before my senior year, I decided it was time to focus on a specific direction. Even though I was a business major, I wasn't sure which business I would end up in. I spent some time thinking about my goals, what I was good at, and what I really wanted out of work, and decided that the __________ industry would fit my interests. I also met with a variety of business professionals to discuss career information.end

  • Interview Question: What do you consider most valuable: a high salary, or job recognition and advancement?

Winner Answer: For me, those things are inseparable. Although I am not obsessive about money, I assume that with success and advancement and recognition it brings will come greater financial rewards.end

  • Interview Question: What qualities are most important to determine whom you would hire for this position?

Winner Answer: I think the 1990's offer real challenges for corporations. If I were doing the hiring, regardless of the position, I would look for several things. I'd want somebody who wasn't afraid to make decisions, yet was a team player. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are important also. Finally, I'd want someone who realized that quality and service are the keys to a company's success.end

  • Interview Question: Do you agree that grade point average is an indication of how successful you would be in this company?

Winner Answer: (for someone with poor grades) I think it's important that someone show the ability to get good grades. If a person has a poor track record in every subject it might make me nervous. The important thing from my perspective is that there should be some highlights in an individual's academic career that point to potential.

Winner Answer: (for someone with good grades) While managing an academic career is less complex than a demanding job, I do believe there is a correlation. To me, the most important thing about a strong academic record is that is reflects a commitment to excellence.end


Applicants confronted with the maturity issue must be able to convey their capacity to think and act in a highly responsible fashion. The key here is convincing the interviewer of your ability to see the whole picture and make judgments that reflect sound thinking.

  • Interview Question: In what ways have you been a leader?

Advanced Response: I've had several jobs where I've played a leadership role, responsible for seeing that jobs get done, and I've always had successful outcomes. Most important though, I feel in the past few years that I've developed an ability to spot potential in others and have been able to foster their development. For me, that's the real challenge of leadership -- helping others meet their potential.

Winner Answer: In my classes, I have often volunteered to do extra work or be group facilitator. Also, at work I have had leadership experience. I am a waitress in charge of training new staff. Generally, many of my coworkers come to me for assistance with work-related questions and with difficult customers. I enjoy being in a leadership role. I thrive on the challenge.end

  • Interview Question: In your adult life, what accomplishment has given you the most satisfaction?

Advanced Response: In my last job, I took over my boss' responsibilities for two months while he was ill. Although I was relatively new to my position, I was able to pick up the additional responsibilities and effectively meet the demands of both positions. It really felt satisfying to be able to respond to a crisis like that and deliver. (Provide a personal example)

Winner Answer: Completing my education has been my number one goal. It has been difficult working full time and going to school full time. If I can do that, I know I can do anything.end

*POWER INTERVIEWS, Neil Yeager and Lee Hough

The Baker College System