25 Common Interview Questions (and How To Answer Them)

Goals and Salary Interview Questions

13. Where do you see yourself in five years?

The interviewer asks this question to make sure you don’t plan on leaving the company a month after you’re hired. Depending on the job you’re interviewing for, this question can also flag unmotivated employees who want a job anywhere rather than a career with this specific company. Therefore, state your desire to stay with the company for many years where you can learn, grow, and advance in your career. Depending on the job, you might need to ramp up your answer to demonstrate you’re a go-getter.

14. Can you describe your dream job?

This is another way that an interviewer tries to determine if you’re a good fit for the job and the company. Model your response after the job description and company culture. Demonstrate that you want to continue to advance in your career but be realistic. It’s great to dream big, but the hiring manager just wants to know that you’ll be happy at the company for more than a few years.

15. What is your ideal working environment?

Again, the hiring manager wants to make sure you’re going to be happy working at the company. This is a particularly important question for companies with highly unique working environments or highly structured working environments. Do your homework and have a clear understanding of the work environment at each company where you interview. When asked what your ideal working environment is, make sure you match the company in your response.

16. What salary are you looking for?

This is always a difficult question to answer because you don’t want to undervalue yourself or price yourself out of a great position and company. Know how much you need to make, and if you’re forced to disclose a figure, go higher than that amount. However, the best response to this question is to turn it back on the interviewer by saying something like, “What is the salary range budgeted for the position? I’m sure we could negotiate something that would work for everyone if I were to be offered the job.”

17. What is your salary history?

This is a touchy question because the only information you should have to disclose is your starting and ending salary for your most recent job. That’s all corporate personnel departments disclose when they receive employment verification calls, so an interviewer who knows what he’s doing shouldn’t ask for more information than that. Unfortunately, most interviewers have no idea what they should or shouldn’t ask in an interview, so this question may come up. If an interviewer asks you this question, tell them what you’re currently making and be sure to include any bonus amounts as well as benefits and other perks. Your goal is to show the full package of your earnings which could be quite different than what is actually reflected in your paycheck.

  • Wow Susan, this is great!
    I only learned in recent years that it’s okay to say “can I come back to that question later?” if you’re struggling to think of an answer to an interview question. Such an empowering response to have up your sleeve if you need time to think something through.

    • Susan Gunelius

      Laura, I’m glad to hear the article is useful to you!

      • Guest

        can u please help me to my interview?

  • Alin

    Thanks Susan from Moldova