Top Job Interview Questions Revealed
Welcome to July and Happy 4th of July weekend. July is “National Grilling Month” and typically, this post would be about BBQs and grilled steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. However, I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t really focus on BBQs much, except for grilled corn on the cob, grilled veggies, and grilled pizza -- all of which are delicious, by the way! -- so I’m going with a different spin on “grilling”. Let’s discuss the top interview questions that people are asked/grilled on during an interview.
I’m sure we all have a story about the most unique/bizarre question you’ve ever been asked during an interview, and I definitely do. I was on an interview for a technical marketing position years back and was asked the question “What is the worldwide market for Mother’s Day cards?”. Note: This was a technical marketing position and not for a greeting card company. I was stumped -- mainly because I’d never really given any thought to just how many people there are in the world (Spoiler alert: The last reported estimate was over 7 billion people. I’ll never forget that factoid.) -- and had no idea how to answer that question or even where to start due to my embarrassing lack of knowledge. The interviewer later told me he was asking just to see how my thought process worked, but I was so stuck on the actual number that I had no thought process besides just how horrified I was at myself.
When you’re interviewing, some of the more common questions you should be ready to answer include:
- What did you like the most and didn’t like the most about your last position?
- What made you apply for this job?
- What kind of management style do you prefer?
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered at a job and what did you do?
- What is the biggest success you’ve had at a job and why?
On the flip side, when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them, you really should have some ready. If you don’t ask any questions, the interviewer will think you’re not interested in learning more about the company and not interested in the job. Typically, I advise people to ask questions like these when they’re being interviewed for a job:
- Why is this position available? Where is the person who used to hold this job? (You want to know if the person who used to have the job was promoted, fired, or quit, or if it is a brand new position.)
- What are the qualities of someone who would fit in well with this team and, conversely, someone who would NOT fit in well?
- Is there anything from our conversation that makes you think I’m not a good candidate for this position? (This gives you the chance to clear up any misunderstandings the interviewer may have from your discussion.)
Now: Tell me about some of the most unique/strange questions you’ve been asked in the comments below.
BIO: Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that will help you reach the right people at the right time. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.