Interviewing questions 50 most common… and additional jobs search advice to help job seekers.

Interviewing questions 50 most common…

Article and other interviewing tips for job seekers…

Tell me about yourself.

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

Why did you leave your last job?

What are your accomplishments?

Why do you want this job?

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Why do you want to come to work here?

What are your personal and professional goals?

What do you like most about your current job?

What do you like least about your current job?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Tell me about your favorite boss and what you like about him or her?

How would you describe yourself?

What was the most difficult situation you have faced? How did you react?

How would a close friend describe you?

What are your accomplishments?

Give an example of a time when you took the initiative to work.

Think of a crisis situation where things got out of control. Why did it happen and what

was your role?

Have you ever failed?

If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?

What are your goals?

Why did you select your college or university?

What college subjects did you enjoy the most and why?

What college subjects did you enjoy the least and why?

What are your hobbies?

How did you like school?

Did you hold any positions of leadership in any organizations?

If you had the chance to repeat your career, what would you do differently?

What past jobs have you held?

What job did you enjoy the most?

Why should I hire you?

If you could meet anyone in history, living or dead, who would you meet and why?

What words best describe you?

What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?

What do you know about our company?

Describe your ideal boss.

Interviewing questions 50 most common… Continued…

Give an example of when you have gone the extra mile.

Describe your management style?

Are you willing to relocate?

How do you feel about working overtime?

Have you ever been fired?

Why should we choose you over any other candidate?

What’s the most important thing you want me to remember about you, based on this interview?

Those are the Interviewing questions 50 most common…

Now pause and as you prepare your interview, think about this…

It’s amazing to me that people will spend 4-6 years or more in college but take maybe

only one or two classes on the subject of how to interview. I cannot think of any one skill

you could invest time in, become great at, and then get a better return on your investment.

Imagine yourself as a ship at sea. All the way of your 40-year career voyage, people and

companies make judgments about you. You move up here and there as you bump into

accidental rapport with persons and opportunities to advance in your career. Mostly,

however, you are adrift, subject to the accidental advancement caused by chance rapport.

I went to the San Francisco Main Library a number of times in writing this book. Six

floors, 5 elevators and 376,000 square feet and the entire combined knowledge of man.

Pretty mind-boggling, isn’t it? It got me to thinking that if all of the shared knowledge of

man is so available, then how come people don’t study something as valuable as

interviewing? Maybe people don’t fully comprehend the value of interviewing well.

Maybe they don’t get honest feedback on interviews. You see, the feedback you get,

when you go on interviews is that they really liked you, but in the end, someone was just

a smidge better than you.

Usually that’s not the truth. It’s something you did tactically wrong in the interview. The

librarian and I discovered that while there were more than 1000 books with “interview”

in the title there were only about 30-40 books on “How to Interview.” Many of the

interview books were “An interview with Winston Churchill,” or some other famous

person, and not “How to Interview” books.

What if you read 10 of the 30-40 books on “How to Interview” which puts you in the top

1% of job-hunters? Imagine investing the time that others refuse to. You become great at

building rapport with people. You do role-play interviews with a friend or relative. You

take a Dale Carnegie or Toastmasters or related class. Honing your people skills to the

point where you maximize your natural charisma and, more importantly, using your

earned stripes to put you in the position of the Master and Commander of the ship of your

career. Mastering the interview is one of the most career leveraging moves you can make.

Now, at every turn you are out there commanding the sail, directing your career. In each

interaction and opportunity to advance you make a choice. Because you have great

people and interviewing skills, you have charisma. Imagine yourself now as a

“Networking Natural.”

I can’t really imagine a bigger career payoff than becoming great at networking and

interviewing. Will it take some work and self-study? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely YES!

Will most people do it? No. Will you do it? My friend, if you will, you are a rare bird

indeed. That’s why it’s so easy to get ahead in life. Most people will be taking a right on

“I Give Up Avenue,” just before the “Heights of Success.” I am telling you…it is

there…continue, on past I Quit Avenue…past I Give Up, past Procrastination. Make the

right turn on “Whatever It Takes” and it will turn into “The Heights of Success.”

Start now to follow the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” It’s much better to get prepared

and have no opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared for it! The

average bear will say, “When I am given a chance I will be ready.” Like the stubborn

man who sits in front of the fire and says, “Give me heat and THEN I will give you


You MUST get ready now. Opportunity favors the prepared mind. In any new job your

first assignment is to update your resume. Listen, I don’t propose you attend the Pogo

Stick School of Career Planning, bouncing around from job to job until no one wants to

hire you. But, we have studied the Ostrich School of Career Planning for nearly 20 years

now. The only thing sure to happen if you attend the Ostrich School of Career Planning is

sooner or later someone comes along and kicks you in the butt! I don’t think it hurts to go

out on an interview every year or two just to see what’s out there. Just because you look,

you don’t have to leap, right?

The CEO of WR Grace runs a two billion-dollar operation like this. He actually

encourages his employees to go out into the market to look for better opportunities every

few years. He figures if they find something better he can match it or allow them to

proceed in their career. He’d rather do that than hold them back. In exchange, he gets the

loyalty of someone who knows the boss cares about their best interest. Furthermore, he

says when they look around and realize what a good job they have, which happens more

often than not, they become much better employees.

The average bear is unable to answer the knock of opportunity because he or she

does not have a current resume. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called

someone with a great opportunity but the person didn’t have his or her resume

ready. By the time they got it together…well, opportunities knock

at funny times. Always be ready.

OK, so you got laid off and you need a job. You can’t believe you got caught flat-footed

but it happens to the best of us. Take a break if you want, then get ready to work.

Getting a job is a job. It’s a 40-hour a week job, according to Jeffery Allen, author of

“How to Turn an Interview into a Job.” Allen says you should get up every day and get

your suit on. Make it a goal to get at least one face-to-face interview per day. I

recommend reading Allen’s book and others while job searching.

Here is my recommended reading list during your job search:

Dress for Success, by John T. Malloy

Hire Me! : Secrets of Job Interviewing, by Patricia Noel Drain

Knock ’em Dead, 2001 by Martin Yate

Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million+: Your Insider’s Lifetime Guide to

Executive Job-Changing and Faster Career Progress in the 21st Century, by John


How to Turn an Interview into a Job, by Jeffery D. Allen

Interviewing questions 50 most common… Continued

Someone once said the definition of a consultant is a person too proud to go to the

unemployment office and pick up a check. If you are unemployed reading this get

yourself signed up for unemployment. Then go to the bookstore and buy several books.

If you cannot afford the books, go to the library. Reading is to the mind what exercise is

to the body and you’ll need to be in good shape during your job search.

Get a good interviewing suit. Even if you think the old suit is just fine, it probably isn’t.

Master the First Impression

A UCLA study found that when 2 people meet for the first time they make 20

distinctions about each other in the first 20 seconds, then spend the next 20 minutes

finding out whether or not they were right! The same study found that a handshake is

worth an hour’s conversation between two people. THIS NEXT BIT OF ADVICE IS



To make the right first impression, try this. Pick a seat facing the hallway or door that

your interviewer will come from. Watch the door like a hawk. Greet every person that

comes out that door with a smile and that famous, “Hi, you must be my interviewer”

look. The people who come out first, who are not your interviewer, will think you are

either selling something or on something! 😉 Doesn’t matter what they think; you can

explain it to them later, after you get the job. What matters is that when your

interviewer emerges, you’ll make your look. The interviewer will make the “You must

be my interviewee” look, and that will get you off to the right start. VERY

IMPORTANT!!! Some experts say this first impression is even more important than the Interviewing questions 50 most common…

His or Her this first impression is as much as 80%-90%

of the interview. This is the way you start a good interview.

First, pay attention to speed. I tell people to gauge this in terms of miles per hour. If

your interviewer comes out let’s say at 80 miles an hour and you are at 30, you are out.

Period! You may as well end the interview right then and there. The same goes the

other way if your interview is relaxed at 40 miles per hour and you are at 80 miles per


50 of the most commonly asked interviewing questions.

People like people who are like themselves. The word like offers us two meanings: “I

like you and I am like you” and that didn’t happen by accident. Come out neutral

leaning towards high energy. Gear up or gear down to match your interviewer.

Someone asked me, is it OK to stand? Yes. Is it OK to read? No. It’s not that you can’t

read and get the job. It’s just that you’re not playing the percentages. If you’re reading

not only do you have to close your book but now you have to shuffle up all your papers

and put them away. Plus how can you watch the door like a hawk, your top priority!

Can’t recommend it; no reading while waiting, even if they have your favorite


Come in for your handshake at a little bit of an angle to get maximum thumb lock. Ever

shake hands with someone who had a bad handshake? Weren’t you impressed with

them? Seriously, the most successful people have the best handshakes.

Interviewing questions the 50 most common...

Practice with a

friend or family member ‘till you can get a great thumb lock 95% of the time. The little

things make all the difference.

Let the interviewer run the show. A lot of people get ruled out because they ask a lot of

well thought out questions too early, throwing interviewers out of their rhythm, thus

frustrating the interviewer. One of your goals is to get into a conversation. Sometimes

you can score more points on your interview by smiling and nodding, smiling and

nodding, smiling and nodding. Try less to impress and more to be impressed.

Salary Negotiation

My favorite salary related poem comes from my favorite book, Think And Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill. It goes like this:

I bargained with Life for a penny,

And Life would pay no more,

However I begged at evening,

When I counted my scanty score.

For Life is a just employer,

He gives you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,

Only to learn dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life,

Life would have willingly paid.


In salary negotiation, often he who speaks first loses. Try to get the employer to give

you the first number. ALWAYS act as if salary is the last thing you are interested in

even if it’s first. If pressed, give a salary range, not a number.


Bring several copies of your references and resumes with you on every interview.

When they ask for references you hand them a sheet. It’s a nice touch and shows you

are organized. On the sheet are 12-15 references. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but better

too many than not enough. If you are getting your references checked and not getting

an offer, you may have a bad reference. Test your references by having a friend call

them and find out what’s really being said about you. They don’t need to lie; just have

your friend say, “My name is ___ ____, I’m with _____ Company, ___ ____ has listed

you as a reference. What can you tell me about him?”

Study the company

These are my favorite sites for research.

often has videos about the company and of course research the website and the website for the company with which you are interviewing.

Your Mental State

Psychologists say it’s OK to talk to yourself, even OK to answer yourself, (as long as

the answer isn’t… Huuuuuuuuuuuunh!! 😉 Talk to yourself before your interview and see

yourself having a good interview and getting the job or the second interview. To

capture the proper mental state, you MUST arrive early. Sit in the car and review your

best interview ever. Review this many, many times in your mind. Get ready for a

winning interview. Each of us has had one great interview in our lives where everything

worked. I don’t know what interview that is for you but there’s one in your history that

you will want to find then run back in your mind several times before you go in.

Now that you have the Interviewing questions 50 most common…

Below are some of the most commonly asked Interviewing Questions. Practice

answering these with a friend, spouse, mentor or family member. Better you make your

mistakes with them, rather than out on the career interview of your life. My Vice

President, Dennis Billingsley says, “If you are answering these types of questions for

the first time in an interview, you’re in trouble.” You know the questions you will get.

Have your answers ready. Practice answering these questions with your “Interviewer”

‘till you like your answers. Writing your answers down will give you better answers

and more self-confidence.

In addition to practicing answering the Interviewing questions 50 most common… above Think about the Interviewing Questions you should have

20 written interviewing questions to ask on each interview. You may not ask them all but just having

them with you will boost your confidence. Remember MOPFI, taught by Dale

Carnegie. It stands for: Make Other People Feel Important.

Here’s a great interview question using MOPFI. See how many more you can think of

and write them down! “You seem like the kind of person who could work anywhere

you want.

“Why did you choose to work for this company?”

I know you already know not to ask these, but just to be safe, DO NOT ASK:

What are your benefits?

What’s the salary?

Let them ask you.

Thank You

In addition to mastering the Interviewing questions 50 most common…

Send a thank you letter after every interview. Email is fine. When you get a job, be a class act, and send an announcement to EVERYONE you talked to during your entire job search.

Thank them for their assistance during your search and inform them of where you are

going to work. Note: 18 out of 20 people skip this last step so it’s an easy way to show

the world you are a class act and be in the top 10 percent.

Biggest part of interviewing is your attitude and mental state.

The Man Who Thinks He Can!

If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t!

If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,

It’s almost a cinch that you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will,

It’s all in the state of mind!

If you think you’re outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself

Before you can win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the strongest or fastest man.

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can!

Better to be an hour early than a minute late. Get there early so you have time to get

your head right. Ninety-five percent of the first impression is based on what you wear

and how you present. Anthony Robbins says style is more important than substance


The problem with wearing the wrong clothes is that most people don’t have the courage

to tell ya. So they’ll rule you out giving you some other reason. And you won’t upgrade

your wardrobe, you won’t go to the library and you won’t get the books. So now I give

you permission to take your Visa and charge up all the suits, shirts and ties you want.

It’s going to come back to you, they are going to think of you as a higher level

candidate and they’re gonna offer you more money.

Remember employers are looking for confidence and energy. Step confidently with

energy to the receptionist’s desk and say, “My name is___ _____, I have an

appointment with ___ _____,” handing off your business card or your resume.

Interviewing questions the 50 most common...
Return to: 50 of the most commonly asked interviewing questions. There are nine career development guides available free at our Website Go to and look for the 9 Free Career Development Guides. To watch Joe Pelayo’s 18 Interviewing tips video Free on YouTube click here

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