Frequently Asked Interview Questions

As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, it’s an interviewer’s job to determine if you’re the best candidate for the job and the types of questions asked are often similar from company to company. Although they may be worded differently, they generally address the same issues. Let’s cover some more common questions from common categories that address; your Interest Level in the Company and your Ability to Handle Authority and Get Along with Others. Then we’ll end with the question that really “turns the tables!”

Category – Interest Level in the Company

1.)  Why do you want to work here?
Purpose is to show the interviewer your interest in the company and if you have taken the initiative to research the company.

Recommended Responses: I want to work for _______ because it is a stable company with potential for growth. I feel that I am well qualified for this job and can be an asset to the company.

This company is a leader in the industry and I feel that I can learn a lot about the industry as well as contribute to the company’s success. I have talked to a few employees that work here and they recommend it highly and consider it a place that treats its employees fairly and rewards them for a job well done. I know I can do a good job in this position and want to work in a company that realizes the importance of a good work environment to promote the best out of their employees.

2.)  What do you know about our company?
Purpose is to determine if you have any knowledge about the company, if you took the initiative to research the company, and if you are a serious job seeker. This response will be different for each company. Remember to emphasize the positive characteristics of the company.

Recommended Responses
I know that ______ has been in business for _____ years and is one of the top leaders in the industry. Products/Services provided are ______ and you’ve had steady growth over the last three years.

(Include other positive aspects that your company research might have uncovered) You have an excellent reputation for providing a quality service/product and the company encourages their employees to contribute ideas about new products/services.

3.)  Where do you expect to be five or ten years from now?
Purpose is to determine what you want in the future and if this company can meet your goals so you will be a long-term employee. It also indicates that you have thought about your future needs and wants.

Recommended Responses 
Five years from now, I would like to still be working for this company in a lead or supervisory position being recognized as an excellent employee who has contributed to the success of the company.

Ten years from now, I would like to have moved further up into a management role due to my work performance and supervisory skills and be a part in the future growth of the company. During this time I would also like to further my education to serve the company better.

In the future, I hope to continue my education on a part-time basis to broaden by knowledge of the medical field.

Category – Ability to Handle Authority and Get Along with Others

4.)  Why did you leave your last job?
Purpose is to find out if you had a problem on your last job and the reason for you leaving. Try to respond positively even if you were fired. Never say anything negative about your past boss or company. For example if you did not get along with your coworkers or boss on your last job, you may not get along with your coworkers or boss at this job. Remember your references will be checked so be honest about your reason for leaving. If you were fired for poor attendance or for another reason try to show how you corrected that problem and that it will not occur on this job.
Recommended Responses: Unfortunately, the last company I worked for did not have any openings in the _____ field, so I decided to devote all my energies to finding a job I really wanted and trained very hard for.

Because I was really serious about my new career in _____, I decided to leave my old job and devote all of my time and energy to my training and education. Now, I can find a job in a career that I really want and am well trained in.

I had a problem with attendance because I lacked transportation. I have a car now so that will present no further problems.

5.)  How would your coworkers or classmates describe you?
Purpose is to get more details about your personality and/or your relationship with your coworkers.

Recommended Responses: I think my friends would describe me as friendly, good natured, responsible, and a family oriented person.

My friends would describe me as fun to be with, someone they can count on and energetic.

I think my coworkers would describe me as hard working, a good team player, ethical, responsible, friendly, considerate, as well as competent in my job.

6.)  Did you like or dislike your last boss?
Purpose is to determine if there were problems with your work and your attitude about your supervisor and people in authority. Never criticize or bad mouth an old boss or company.

Recommended Response: My boss was fair minded, a good teacher, and a good leader. We worked well together. I respected my boss and learned a lot from him. We had a mutual respect for one another.

7.)  What did you like most/least about your last job?
Purpose is to determine if you will be a problem employee and focus on the negatives about your past job or if you can pick out the good in any situation.

Recommended Responses:  I think I liked the people I worked with the most. They were hard working and we all worked well together as a team to get the job done.

I liked the ability to suggest changes in the operation with my supervisors who were open to change and always willing to improve the way things were done.

I really liked my job but, due to the small size of the facility, we are responsible for many duties, which did not allow me to concentrate on clinical procedures. That is why I am looking for a position in a large facility so that I can concentrate on my clinical skills.

I really liked my job but, because the facility was so large and everyone was assigned a specific area, I was unable to contribute my full potential to the total operation. That is why I want to work for your facility so I can contribute to different areas and broaden my overall skills.

A Question that “Turns the Tables”

8.)  Do you have any questions?

Wow, here’s a shift ! That’s right, “the tables have turned,” now it’s your turn to ask questions.

More than likely, you will be asked “Do you have any questions?” and your response will provide the interviewer another view of what he or she perceives might really be important to you – you’re in control of the questions – don’t take it lightly.

What do you think are some good questions to ask on an interview?

I’ll cover my thoughts in my next post.

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