Young man in a job interview

25 Common Interview Questions (and How To Answer Them)

“Test” Interview Questions

18. What do you know about our company?

The only reason an interviewer asks this question is to test you. He wants to know if you did your homework and prepared for the interview by researching the company in advance. In other words, he wants to find out if you are really serious about this position and company or if you just need a job. Show him how important this position is to you by giving a succinct rundown of the company’s business, competitors, customers, products, recent news, and so on. What you choose to focus on will vary depending on the job and interview.

19. Why do you want to work here?

This is another test question asked to determine if you’re serious about working for the company or just looking for a job. Therefore, use some of your research knowledge to offer specific reasons why you want to work for the company. Is it one of the top 10 companies in its industry? Does it have a global presence? Is it know for its social responsibility and philanthropic ventures? Choose a few specific reasons why the company would be a great place for you to work and use them to answer this question.

20. If your boss gives you a mountain of tasks at 3:00 and says she needs them by 5:00, but you know you can’t finish them in time, what do you do?

This question is asked to test your work ethic and could be asked in many ways to put you in a problem situation and ask how you would deal with it. Do you ask for help? Do you go home and pick up the tasks again in the morning? Depending on the job you’re interviewing for, your answer to this type of test question might vary. Certainly, an entry-level employee would act differently in this situation than a seasoned executive. Therefore, tailor your response to fit what you know about the position and the company culture.

21. If your boss or another higher-level colleague does something wrong, or asks you to do something wrong what would you do?

This is another business ethics question meant to ensure you’re an honest employee. Explain to the interviewer that you would always do what’s right for the company, and you would always act in a professional manner.

22. What motivates you?

Money might be your greatest motivator, but don’t tell that to the person interviewing you for a job. Instead, mention things that are related to the job. For example, if you’re applying for a sales job, say that you’re motivated by closing the deal and fulfilling customers’ needs. If you’re interviewing for a technical support role, explain that you’re motivated by solving difficult problems and making things work.

23. Where else have you applied?

This test question is intended to learn how serious you are in your job search. It’s also asked to determine if you’re applying to companies within similar industries or if you’re applying to any job opening you can find. Mention a few other companies in your response, but don’t go into detail. You want the interviewer to know that you’re serious in your job search and that includes your strong interest in the company and position he’s interviewing you for.

24. What was the last book you read?

This question is intended to reveal a bit more about you personally, but could also be a test. Similar questions include, “Do you belong to any organizations related to our industry (or your field)?” and “Do you read any websites or magazines about our industry (or your field)?” The interviewer might be genuinely curious, but he might be trying to determine how committed you truly are to your field and the company’s industry. For example, if you’re applying for a job in a company’s marketing department, the interviewer might be trying to learn if you read books, magazines, and websites or belong to professional association’s dedicated to the marketing field. Consider the position and the company, and provide a relevant response. However, be truthful. If the interviewer asks follow-up questions to get more details, you could get caught if you lie.

25. Do you have any questions to ask me?

The common thread throughout all of these interview questions and answers is making sure you do your homework and research each company you interview with in advance. The more you know about the job and the company, the better prepared you’ll be to answer the common questions and surprise questions. You’ll also be prepared to answer the last question asked by recruiters in most interviews, “Do you have any questions for me?” Show you’re motivated by asking when the company expects to extend an offer for the position, and show you’re interested in learning more details about the job by asking what the first priorities and projects would be for the person who fills the position.

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Join the Discussion

  • http://twitter.com/smarter_au Laura

    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