Tough Interview Questions

from 60 Seconds and You're Hired by Robin Ryan
Published by Penguin Books, New York, NY 2000


  1. Why did you leave your last job?

  2. Tell me about your proudest accomplishments.

  3. Describe your ideal supervisor.

  4. Describe the worst supervisor you've ever had.

  5. What features of your previous job did you like?

  6. What features of your previous job did you dislike?

  7. What is your greatest weakness?

  8. What are your strengths?

  9. Describe a time when you were criticized for poor performance.

  10. I'm a little worried about your lack of . . .

  11. You have a lot of experience.  Why would you want this job?

  12. Describe a difficult co-worker you've had to deal with.

  13. Describe how you work under pressure, deadlines, etc.

  14. What do you know about our company?

  15. What are the 2 or 3 things most important to you in your job?

  16. Why did you change jobs so frequently?

  17. What do you think of your present boss?

  18. This is a very high pressure job.  Do you think you are up to it?

  19. Why do you want to leave your present job?

  20. Do you mind routine work?

  21. Have you ever been asked to resign?

  22. Tell me about one of your failures.

  23. We work a lot of late nights here.  Is this going to cause any trouble at home?

  24. You have too much experience for this job.  Why would you want it?

  25. You've been with the same company for so many years, how will you cope with a new one?

  26. What was it about your last job that bothered you the most?

  27. What motivates you?

  28. How creative a problem solver are you?

  29. Describe a large mistake you made at your last job.

  30. How would you describe your ideal job?

  31. How do you think your present / last boss would describe you?

  32. How would you rate yourself as a leader?  A supervisor?  An employee?

  33. You've been working for yourself for a while, so why do you want to work for our company?

  34. Give me an example of a time when you had to deal with criticism from your boss.

  35. What is the most difficult challenge you've faced in your life?

  36. What are you doing now to improve yourself?

  37. How do you influence someone to accept your ideas?

  38. Could you explain in detail your experience with computer software programs.

  39. Tell me about something your boss did that you disliked.

  40. How do you organize and plan for major projects?

  41. What was the last book you read?

  42. Tell me about a personal goal that you still want  to achieve.

  43. Describe your typical workday.

  44. Have you ever had a problem with poor attendance?

  45. Have you ever been responsible for managing financial budgets or departmental expenses?

  46. What are the 3 most important responsibilities in your present job?

  47. Tell me about an unpopular decision you had to make.

  48. Give me an example of when it was necessary to reach a goal within a very short period of time and what you did to achieve it.

  49. Do you consider yourself successful?

  50. What would you do with an individual who is very angry and complaining to you?

  51. Tell me about a time when your work performance was low.

  52. Describe a time that you dealt with a stressful work situation.

  53. Describe a time when you reprimanded an employee for poor performance.

  54. Describe a time when you felt you made a poor decision.

  55. Describe the environment that motivates your productivity.

  56. Can we check with your current employer?

  57. Describe your management style in dealing with staff and coworkers.

  58. What would you find difficult from what you understand about this job?

  59. What makes you qualified?

  60. How do you handle stress?

  61. What was the most frustrating thing about your current (or last) position?

  62. What do you find most challenging in working with customers (clients) or coworkers?

  63. Name the one work characteristic that you'll bring to this job that makes you successful.

  64. Were you fired from you last job or why did you heave your last job?

  65. I've noticed there was a period of time when you weren't employed.  Tell me about it.

  66. You've been unemployed for quite a while; why haven't you obtained a job before this?

  67. Are you pregnant or do you have any plans to have children in the near future?

  68. What does your spouse think about your traveling so much?

  69. What does your spouse think about having to move all the way to Nebraska?

  70. Who's going to care for your kids while you're at work?

  71. What country are you from?

  72. The job requires you to work on Sunday.  Will your religion cause a problem with that?

  73. How will you adapt to this new job?

  74. What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives?  How are you preparing yourself to achieve them?

  75. Describe your ideal job and location.

  76. What 2 or 3 accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?  Why?

  77. What led you to choose your field or major?

  78. What college subjects did you like best?  Least?  Why?

  79. Do you have plans for continued study?  An advanced degree?

  80. In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested?  Why?

  81. What have you learned from the jobs you've had?

  82. If you were on an 8 hour transatlantic flight, who would you want to sit next to you and what would you talk about?

  83. How do you think a former boss or professor who knows you would describe you?

  84. Riddles . . .

  85. If you were an animal, what would you be?

  86. If you are part of a salad, what part are you?

  87. Give me an example of when you've demonstrated your customer service skills on the job.

  88. Give me an example of a time you've worked on a team or in a group.

  89. Give me an example of a problem you've had here at college and how you solved it.



Last Updated 04/09/01 08:39 AM

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