The Most Common Questions Employers Ask During Interviews

It takes just one great employer search, one great resume, and one great interview to find yourself in the perfect job.-- simplyOPT

Here is a list general questions that employers commonly ask during interviews. Of course, this is not a complete list.  if you are a college grad with no work experience, assume these questions focus on your college experience.  If you also have work experience, then assume the employer will alternate between your college and work experiences. This list does not include questions that directly examine skills and accomplishments relating to the job, so be prepared to answer these types of questions as well.

Seeks to understand your level of research on the industry, company and job

1. How did you learn about this position?
2.What do you know about our company?
3.What interests you about this job?
4.What interests you about our products / services?
5.What relevant experience do you have?
6.Why do you want to work here?
7.Who is our CEO?
8.Who are our competitors?
9.What criteria did you use to select companies to work for?
10.Where else have you applied?
11.What other jobs are you considering?

Seeks to know if your talents match company needs 

1. Describe your resume
2. Describe your educational background
3. What can you contribute to this company?
4. Describe how your education has prepared you for this job?
5. Describe how your part-time jobs or internships prepared you for this job?
6. Why should we hire you?
7. Why are you the best person for this job?

Seeks to understand what you wish to gain from the company

1. What are you salary requirements?
2. What are your long-term career objectives?
3. What career growth do you expect to gain from our company?
4. How do you plan to achieve your career goals and objectives?
5. Where do you see your career in 5 years?

Seeks to understand your ability to contribute immediately

1. What do you hope to accomplish in the first 60 days / 90 days?
2. How much training do you think you'll need before making a contribution?

Seeks to understand your level of confidence

1. What is your greatest strength?
2. Why should I take a risk on you?

Seeks to understand how you approach your career

1. Why did you choose this career?
2. Why did you choose the school you attended?
3. Why did you choose your major? minor?
4. Why did you choose the courses you took?
5. What are your career goals?
6. What challenges are you looking for in your next position?
7. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
8. If you were to start college over again, what would you do differently?
9. What was your favorite class-- and why?
10. What was your least favorite class-- and why?
11. What are you doing to continue your education and keep current?

Seeks to understand your personality, work style and team fit

1. What motivates you?
2. Describe your work style
3. How would you describe yourself?
4. How would a classmate (or co-worker) describe you?
5. How would your favorite professor (or boss) describe you?
6. How would your least favorite professor (or boss) describe you?
7. Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
8. Do you prefer to work in a structured or a more flexible environment?
9. How well do you adapt to new situations include classroom (or workplace)?
10. How would you describe your work pace in the classroom (or on the job)?
11. Which is more important--creativity or efficiency? Why?
12. What was your most memorable classroom (or work) experience?
13. What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work?
14. Have you ever tutored an underclassman? If so, explain
15. Do you think college changed you as a person? If so, how?

Seeks to understand your leadership and management style

1. Are you a leader or a follower?
2. How would you describe your leadership skills?
3. Describe some of your leadership experiences
4. Describe how you handled a disagreement with your professor (or boss )
5. Would you rather be liked or respected?
6. What was your professor's (or bosses') strengths/weaknesses?
7. If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for in a college grad?
8. How would you fire someone?

Seeks to understand what motivates you

1. What gets you up in the morning?
2. What motivates you?
3. What is your dream job?

Seeks to understand your level of integrity

1. What would you do if you found out the company was doing something illegal?

Seeks to understand how you handle adversity

1. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation
2. How do you handle pressure?
3. Describe a time when you had a deadline to meet and worked under pressure
4. How would you deal with an angry customer or irate co-worker?

Seeks to understand your attitude at work

1. Describe your most recent professor (or boss)
2. What are your classmate (or co-worker) pet peeves?
3. Have you ever had difficulty dealing with a professor (or manager)?
4. Have you worked with someone you didn't like?
5. What makes you uncomfortable in the classroom (or workplace)?

Seeks to understand how you handle your limitations

1. Name three things you would like to improve on
2. What is your greatest weakness?
3. What was your biggest failure in college (on the job)?
4. Tell me about a time you made a mistake?
5. What have you learned from your mistakes?

Seeks to understand your level of commitment

1. Describe a time when you went above and beyond the requirements on a project
2. Describe a time when you exceeded expectations in the classroom (or workplace)?
3. How long do expect to remain employed with this company?
4. What will you miss most about your last job?
5. What won't you miss about your last job?
6. What is your dream job?

Seeks to understand your flexibility

1. What's your availability?
2. Are you willing to travel?
3. Are you willing to relocate?
4. Are you willing to be on-call during evenings?
5. Would you work holidays / weekends?

Seeks to learn more about you as a person

1. Who's your mentor?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. What is your favorite website?
4. Describe your extracurricular activities while attending college
5. What was the last book you read that was not for a classroom assignment?

Seeks to understand what is on your mind

1. Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?
2. What questions do you have for me?