Sample Interview Questions
Here are three sample interview questions that might trip you up if you're not prepared. When interviewers ask
questions that use definitive adjectives -- "toughest challenges"..."significant accomplishments"..."biggest project"...
"hardest decisions"...these require more than a casual answer. The interviewer is looking for substance in your
responses. Again, you want to keep your answers work related.
WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST DECISION YOU'VE MADE
IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS?
Your answer to this sample interview question will give the interviewer some
insight into a couple things. First, how you evaluate a tough
decision from one that's relatively routine; and secondly, in
answering, you'll give the interviewer a glimpse into your
decision making process. Expect follow up interview questions to
probe why this decision comes to mind and how you made
the decision you ultimately arrived at. You might also be
asked to evaluate the outcome -- was the right decision
made...and how do you know?
WHAT OTHER OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU
Although your interviewer may ask this, you are under
no obligation to answer. This sample interview question will be more
common from the recruiting community than the direct
hiring authority, but you might encounter it in both places.
In terms of recruiters, they want to know how serious a
candidate you are -- and how likely you are to stick with
them through whatever the hiring process is. The less
ethical among us will push for names...and then try to
pitch the other companies you're working with on hiring
them for their search.
It is fair for you to indicate where
you are in the process with other companies, and how this
position compares to others you're looking at. However,
don't mislead the interviewer. Don't try to leverage one
offer against another. You can be honest on this front.
If you're actively interviewing, it's OK to say so. If you're
in 2nd or 3rd round discussions, it's OK to divulge that
If you have interest in the job at hand, it's a good
idea to indicate that while you have other opportunities
you're considering, this opportunity compares favorably.
To the extent that you can say this is the spot you want,
let the hiring company know.
When you're having this discussion, honesty is always the
best policy. If you say that you're getting an offer next week,
and an offer doesn't come, you'll lose some credibility with
the hiring authority. If you feel you're getting close to an
offer because you've had 3 interviews and one more is
scheduled, communicate that as well. If you're really the
right candidate, a company will often try to accelerate
their hiring process to accommodate your timing.
IF YOU COULD DO IT ALL OVER, WHAT CAREER
WOULD YOU BE IN?
Be careful! Now is not the time for true confessions!
Successful candidates like what they're doing and rarely
would they go back and change professions. You might
arrive at your current place by making different choices,
but most companies will frown on someone who suddenly
decides that they should have been a doctor, or lawyer, or
whatever, rather than the top Operations person for their current
company! In terms of different choices, you might have
had more variety in industries, or in companies of different
sizes. But, a radical career shift won't play well, especially if
you're applying for a senior level spot.