Skip to main content

Interview Question Database

Common Q's

These are basic and general questions that may be commonly found in any kind of job interview. If you don't know where to start in preparing for your interview, try practicing with these questions.

Personal and Career Objectives

QUESTION INTENT

An interviewer may be curious about your overall personal and career objectives. This is because they are interested to learn more about your professional motivation(s) and level of initiative, self-awareness as well as your professional management commitment to work-life balance. They may be assessing your personal goals and objectives to verify they are in alignment with their organization's values and mission.

TIPS FOR RESPONDING TO PERSONAL AND CAREER OBJECTIVES Q'S
  • Clearly articulate your ability to identify, set, and achieve goals.
  • Demonstrate your interest to learn and grow as a professional.
  • Present a clear image of who you are and what your values, goals, and expectations are.

What motivates you?

Interviewers ask this question to understand several aspects of their future employees. From a candidate's answer, interviewers are able to see what type of employee the candidate is and if they would fit in with the company culture or a specific team.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

When asked this very broad and general question, you don't want to assume the interviewer is what motivates you at work. You can clarify to what specification they would like to address.  When preparing an answer for this question, think of your strengths, interests and what you are passionate about. Secondly, if applicable, connect your strengths with the company's values. Most importantly, be honest when answering this question. 

Tell me about yourself.

To get to know you more and see whether you are a good fit for the organization.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Before the interview, think about questions such as 1) what interests you about this position and 2) the positive traits that you can bring to this role. Now think about how you can relate your skills to this role. Try to make connections between your skills and the job requirements. Tell about those skills or traits that connect to the job.   

Can you pinpoint any specific things in your past experience that affected your present career objectives?

This question is intended to test your skills in goal setting and your ability to achieve your goals.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

The most important thing to keep in mind is that employers like goal-driven people that like to challenge themselves. Use this opportunity to show the interviewer that you're a hard-working individual who reflects and is able to improve from that reflection. 

Describe one of your major achievements.

This question is intended to assess your problem solving skills.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Try to describe a situation you have in the past where you overcome some obstacles and become very successful at the end.

Do you participate in any extracurricular activities? Why do you participate in those activities?

Employers like rounded employees that have a balanced life with interests out of the workplace. Believe it or not, the perfect employee does not work eighteen hours a day, seven days a week and employers realize that. They're looking for an employee that will spend a number of successful years at the company, not someone who will quickly burnout.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Most honest answers are acceptable here. Be sure to include outdoor and team pursuits. Someone whose only pastimes are playing computer games and listening to their personal stereo may give the perception that they're insular in nature and would not fit in well in a team environment. Any pursuits that can be perceived to bring benefit to the workplace (such as captain of a sports team) are greatly respected.

What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?

Expressing the rewards you hope to achieve will give the interviewer an insight into the strength of your ambition and your desire to succeed.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Be ambitious in your aspirations without being unreasonable.

What are your goals for the next 5 years?

The interviewer wants to understand your career goals and how the position in question fits into your goals and plan.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

It is important to keep in mind that they will hire an individual who is motivated, proactive and work hard if they hired. It is bonus if your goals are aligned with the company's. Be honest and reiterate your interest in a long-term position or growth within the company. 

What are your major achievements in terms of your career, education and life to date?

This question is intended to allow the interviewer to determine your work ethic and motivation by probing into whether you have made significant achievements in different areas of your life. This question is also designed to reveal your values, your understanding of cause and effect, and your attitude (i.e. - are you a pro-active or a passive individual).

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Prepare a number of relevant examples that highlight your accomplishments in different areas of your life. Remember to explain how you set about achieving your goals and the learning, benefits, and outcomes that have resulted from these achievements.

What have you achieved that has given you the most satisfaction?

This question gives you an opportunity to impress the interviewer.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

You should certainly prepare an answer to this question prior to the interview by make a list of all your past achievements and focus on the major and the most significant one(s). If you have to strain to think of a suitable incident during the interview, the interviewer will assume that you've got very little to be satisfied about.

What have you learned from each of your past jobs?

The interviewer would like to know how your past experiences have helped you develop your professional skills and how they have changed you as an employee.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

When answering this question, narrow your previous experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Explicitly explain how these professional experience have developed your skills. The best answer will clearly align your skills with the position's requirements. 

Which is more important to you, the job itself or your salary?

This type of question lets the interviewer knows your preference as well as your ability to provide solid reasoning.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

This is a tough question but not a trick one. You should be honest in expressing your preference, providing you are willing to back it up with solid reasoning. Be wary of coming across as greedy or power-hungry.

How would you define 'success'?

The interviewer would like to understand the motivation behind your goals and how you measure these accomplishments. Overall, this questions help them understand you as an employee.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

When preparing to answer this question, consider your proudest achievements and the process required to achieve it. A solid answer will have a specific example to clearly explain. Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result.

What specific goals, including those related to your occupation, have you established for your life?

This question is intended to find out whether you are the type of person who plans ahead, as well as to find out how much you are committed to the company.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Strike a delicate balance between honesty and ambition when responding to this kind of question. Emphasis on your desire to be working at this company. Avoid responses like starting your own business, running for Congress. It is not totally inappropriate to mention the personal (marriage, family), but focus on professional goals.

What do you think you can learn from this job, and how does that fit your future goals?

For the interviewer to learn more about you and see where your interests lie and if they line up with what you would be doing in their position.

Answer Tips