I used to pride myself in asking screwball interview questions that would take people off guard. I wanted to see how they would be able to think under pressure. Posing standard questions doesn't usually test that because a lot of people have their responses to those ready to go in big elementary school teacher ink on the flash cards in their heads. They've rehearsed. And frankly, so should everyone. Save yourself for when you really need to think in the interview and don't get thrown by a standard, "So where are you from," type question.
I've compiled some common ones that I've come across, but please, this is a group exercise, so please chime in with ones that you get again and again.
Ultimately, if the job interviewer is any good, they’ll ask you things specific to the position and specific qualities of the person that they are looking for to fill it. But more general, common questions may arise. So aside from becoming intimate with the job description, the company’s website, the company’s business strategy and what their CEO had for breakfast, you should think through your responses to some of these…
(IDEA: turn these into perforated flash cards and write your answer on the other side)
- Tell me about yourself…
- What was your salary at your last job?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What interests you about this job?
- Why should we hire you? What makes you qualified for this job?
- What did you like and/or dislike about your last job?
- What major challenges did you face in your career and how did you overcome them?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are some of your biggest professional accomplishments?
- Tell me about a professional failure and what you learned from that?
- How would you describe your work style?
- What motivates you?
- What are you looking for in your next job?
- Why would you want this job?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Describe your perfect job?
- Do you have any questions for me?