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Interview questions: 100 questions, answers, examples

Job interview: questions about opening an interview

A typical question with which the interviewer opens the interview is as follows:

Tell me something about yourself. Who are you?

The most important thing here is how you respond. The person you are talking to gains a first impression of your rhetorical and communicative skills and sees your facial expressions and gestures. In any case, do not answer as stated. Humorous but confident. And don't tell your life in chronological order - boring! Why don't you start with a bang? With something that arouses interest in the other person. In general, applicants can use this triad as a guide when answering an opening question: I am, I can, I want.

Interview questions - here are more to open the conversation:

  • Why did you apply to us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you do that others cannot?
  • Why are you late? (as pure provocation)

Interview: questions about strengths and weaknesses

A typical interview question is:

What are your weaknesses?

Gone are the days when you were on the safe side with a strength disguised as a weakness - impatience, for example. Be honest without being too naked. Of course, taboos are weaknesses that give you the knockout. would move: dishonesty, laziness, indifference, ruthlessness, irresponsibility. Choose a subordinate weakness - preferably one that you can work on intensively and realistically improve. Speeches in front of a large audience, English skills or special IT skills could be acceptable weaknesses.

Interview questions - here are more questions about strengths and weaknesses:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What good would your last boss say about you?
  • And what negative would he say?
  • What training would you like?
  • What ideas or projects have you already implemented?
  • What did you learn from your biggest mistake?
  • Which three positive character traits would you like?
  • When did you achieve above average and when did you achieve below average?
  • How did you feel when you were criticized for your work?
  • What do you have problems with in other people?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What is your greatest achievement that has nothing to do with your job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • In the best case scenario, how should your career go?
  • What else do I need to know about you?
  • What dreams do you have in life?

Job interview: questions about motivation

A typical interview question is:

Why did you apply to us?

Companies want employees who are highly motivated and stay with the company for as long as possible. This increases productivity and reduces fluctuation - and thus costs. Applicants who convincingly explain why they are passionate about the position as well as the company and its products earn points.

Interview questions - here are more questions about motivation:

  • Why do you want to give up your old job?
  • Why are you still looking for a new job?
  • What do you want to achieve in this new job?
  • What was your last boss like?
  • What did you dislike at all in your old position?
  • And what will you miss?
  • Are you ready to move for the new position?
  • What was your last salary?
  • What salary expectations do you have?
  • Do you actually know our company?
  • What can you tell me about our industry?
  • If you had to write your own first year job description, what would it look like?
  • If you were in my position, what would you look for in an applicant?
  • When would you be ready to make a substantial contribution to our company?
  • Do you have anymore questions?

Job interview: questions about working methods

A popular interview question is:

What did you do when a task was too difficult for you?

Two characteristics are particularly important in this context: willingness to learn and ability to work in a team. As an applicant, you don't have to act as a superman who can do everything. Feel free to admit that you struggled with this or that task. The only important thing is that you were ready to take up the challenge. For example, if you signal that you have trained yourself specifically to master the task in question, this clearly speaks for you. Or if you got help from a colleague internally. This is how you prove teamwork - and an ego that has not yet got out of hand.

Interview questions - here are more questions about the way of working:

  • How do I have to imagine your working style?
  • Where do you get your motivation from?
  • What tools or techniques do you use for self-organization?
  • How was the last project you worked on?
  • How do you create a basis of trust in a new team as quickly as possible?
  • If you knew that there was no way you could possibly do all of your daily chores, what would you do?
  • How do you deal with change?
  • What do you think when you get a "no" answer?
  • When you have to criticize a colleague, how do you do it?
  • How do you deal with it when there is a colleague on your team who rests on the work of others?
  • What did you do when a task was too difficult for you?
  • What will you do in the first 30 days in the new job?

Character questions in the interview

A popular interview question is:

What are you proud of?

Here we are dealing with a so-called value test. You should describe yourself - and thus show how reflective you are. It is important that you demonstrate self-confidence without falling into self-adulation. Name projects from the past that you have successfully completed and in which you have fully demonstrated your strengths. You are also welcome to digress into private life. Power human! Example: I'm so proud of my daughter.

Interview questions - here are more character questions:

  • What was the most important lesson you learned in school?
  • And which ones that you learned during your studies?
  • Who has shaped you the most in your life and why?
  • Which person changed you?
  • Which five words best describe your character?
  • What three characteristics would friends use to describe you?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What do you do when you find out that your employer is doing something that is prohibited?
  • Which car do you drive?
  • Which personalities do you get along with best?
  • Which manager would you consider a role model?
  • What was the hardest decision in your professional life?
  • Suppose you order a steak for lunch, English. The waiter will serve it well done. How do you react?
  • How do you deal with it when you do something wrong?
  • What do you regret most?
  • If you had to work for someone who knows less than you, how would you feel?

Interview: questions about culture and fitting

A popular interview question is:

What are the characteristics of a good manager?

As an applicant, one would prefer to name the qualities that the manager sitting in front of one actually possesses. However: you don't know them. Instead, applicants can first cite basic virtues that they consider essential: honesty, conscientiousness, caring. Anyone who likes a modern management approach that adds that a manager should take employees with them, inspire them and - in new German - empower them. Anyone who feels more comfortable in a conservative company could emphasize: Provide orientation and direction, take responsibility. Ultimately, employers and applicants both want to find out whether they are culturally compatible.

Interview questions - here are more questions about the Cultural Fit:

  • What were you responsible for in your old job?
  • What was your interest in the company?
  • How does the perfect company have to be for you?
  • And what does the perfect job look like for you?
  • When was you most satisfied in your last job?
  • In your opinion, is the better boss more loved or feared?
  • What are the characteristics of a good manager?
  • And what are the characteristics of a bad manager?
  • Do you like a structured or an entrepreneurial work culture?
  • Would you describe yourself more as a love of detail or as visionary?
  • Which conflicts have you already dealt with in your previous jobs?
  • Please describe the difference between good and extraordinary.
  • Suppose your boss asks you to do something that you are not convinced of, what do you do?

Interview: Trick questions about social media

A Trick question in the job interview could read:

Why are you practically invisible on social media?

You first have to grasp a trick question as such - and digest it. So take your time answering. A spontaneous answer is of no use to you. It is quite possible that the interviewer has researched you online and wants to test you. Be prepared for that. Keep a cool head and don't panic or hectic. You can save time by smiling in amusement or by using an empty phrase such as: Oops, I wasn't expecting that question. The same applies to questions about stress and spontaneity (see below).

Interview questions - here are more trick questions:

  • A video on the net shows you at a soccer tournament how you foul your teammates without the referee noticing. Do you break rules more often when it benefits you?
  • You often write on Twitter that you don't feel like working at the moment. Are you someone who needs a lot of motivation?
  • According to your application, you supposedly have many contacts in your industry, but are networked with very few people on Xing. How does that fit together?
  • According to our research, you were always online at your previous job and posted lots of comments. Was that allowed in the company or were they just not being used to capacity?
  • Have you already insulted someone personally with a comment on a blog? Like with this blog that we found the other day ... What was it called?
  • You are on Facebook in a group of women who are flirting with not wearing underwear. Don't you think that it could disturb our peace of mind if our customers find out about it?
  • On Facebook you are linked to a party picture that shows you in a pitiful state. And that wasn't the only picture we found. Does that explain the final grade of 3 in your bachelor's degree?
  • According to your résumé, you completed your training last summer. But I only found holiday photos on your Facebook profile. What kind of training was that?
  • In your blog you write that you do not want to work with people who do not understand German. Given that we have many international customers, how do you rate your intercultural competence?
  • On Instagram, you almost exclusively follow porn actresses. Do you know them from somewhere?

Job interview: Spontaneity and stress questions

A Stress question in the job interview could read:

How do you find me as an interviewer?

This question is not - or only superficially - about feedback. It's more about whether you have or show your backbone and self-confidence. Anyone who breaks out in cheers and praises the green clover turns out to be a slimy. But of course you don't want to be overly critical either. One possible way out: switch to the meta level! For example like this: “Is that a trick question? I would much rather talk to you about the job… ”In principle, questions of stress are supposed to upset the applicant and get out of hand. Stay cool and take your time. The result that you arrive at is not necessarily important. What is important is the path you take. This allows the HR manager to see what makes you tick and whether you can think logically and analytically.

Interview questions - here are more spontaneity and stress questions:

  • How often do the hands of a clock overlap each other during the day?
  • How would you measure an airplane without a yardstick?
  • What superpower would you have if you could be a superhero?
  • If you were an animal what animal would you be?
  • Where on earth would you be right now if you could choose freely?
  • What is the felt on a tennis ball used for?
  • What three things do you take with you on a desert island?
  • What do you do with a lottery win?
  • What do you do to have fun?
  • Sell ​​this pencil to me!
  • What 10 other things can you use a pen for?

Job interview: stupid questions

With the Interview questions that's such a thing - and with the queries too. Who dont asks stays dump. But anyone who asks can also look stupid. Because of course there are also stupid questions that you shouldn't ask at the job interview as an applicant.

It would not be so clever, for example, to ask a question that could easily have been answered by clicking on the company website. Or a question to which the answer has basically already been determined:

  • How is the working atmosphere?
    (In short: Planet of the Apes.)
  • Are the colleagues nice?
    (No, we are all bullying each other!)
  • Does the company have good prospects?
    (No, we will file for bankruptcy tomorrow.)

Anyone who asks this way maneuvers himself out of the way, seems unprepared, naive or even stupid.

Also unwise: Questions about vacation or working hours, Additional benefits, perks or early salary increases. In this phase they question your motivation enormously. You can still clarify monetary matters in a second round of talks or during contract negotiations. Now you first want to convince with your suitability for the position.

And finally: never ask at the end of the interview how you did or what your chances are. In this way you make yourself small and do not appear confident and self-confident.

In return, you shouldn't exude arrogance, but the basic tenor must be:

Dear company, this is your chance to hire me. Use it!

Interview: Good questions

When it comes to the own queries it is much more professional if you take notes during the interview and ask detailed questions about your area of ​​work afterwards. Examples:

  • What are your expectations of me in the first year?
  • Where should I be deployed specifically?
  • How many members is the team?
  • Who do I have to report to and who reports to me?
  • Could I maybe even take a quick look at the workplace?

You are also welcome to dig a little and dig deeper. Just don't overdo it. But above all: turning the tables and asking the HR manager the same questions that he asked you before (“Why should I choose your company?”) Is taboo (see also “Taboo topics” below).

Job interview: questions from well-known companies

At least a few Interview questions the correct answer is yes or no, right or wrong. Rather, many questions in the job interview are aimed at asking about the applicant's creativity, self-reflection and associative thinking.

We show you which questions and killer questions well-known companies like to confront their candidates with:

  • If you could choose a song that would play as soon as you walk into a room - which one would it be? (Google)
  • What was the best day of your life in the past four years? (Apple)
  • How would you try to stand out in a crowd? (Microsoft)
  • How much fee would you charge to clean all of the windows in Seattle? (Facebook)
  • How would you develop a Facebook for blind people? (Facebook)
  • At this point in your life, would you rather study or make money? (Google)
  • When do you want to retire? (Adobe)
  • If you could be remembered with just one sentence - what would it be? (Google)
  • Which executive do you most admire? (Boston Consulting Group)
  • How would you calculate the value of a cow? (Bain)

Interview questions: taboos

There is a lot to talk about in the interview. But there are also one or the other topic that it is better not to bring up in the job interview. As there would be:

  1. money

    Of course, your salary expectations are an issue in the interview.

    But: If the offer from your supposed new employer falls far short of your expectations, then hold back with a comment. Silence is golden. When you express your displeasure, just slam a door that you may want to go through after all. Unnecessary!

    It is strategically better to leave the irritation to your thoughts alone. What you can do: Bring bonuses, company cars or other amenities up for negotiation - and then consider everything at your own pace.

  2. Expulsion

    If you were given notice in your last job, that's uncomfortable - and not a fact that you want to address in the job interview. But if the HR manager specifically asked you about it, you must not and should not lie.

    But you may be able to make do with a relativization. It is possible that you have become a victim of austerity measures or redundancies. Or you have reached an agreement with your employer to terminate the contract so that you can receive unemployment benefits, but you have known for a long time that the job was not the right one for you.

    And: if it has hit you because of a gross mistake, then at least demonstrate your ability to learn. "I learned from the mistake and it wouldn't happen to me again today!"

  3. Private

    Last Saturday's bungee jump - that's not something you should put under the nose of the HR manager. Unless he asks you about it.

    Reason: Your leisure activities are simply none of his business.

    In addition, you can hardly score with it under normal circumstances. Hobbies are only to be found in the interview if they relate to a skill that is in demand or important in the job.

  4. Bankruptcies

    You shouldn't lead the conversation on your own failure. That is self-explanatory.

    But this category also includes: Talking not badly about former colleagues, bosses or customers. In no case do not let yourself get carried away! It leaves more than just a bland aftertaste. Because the first thing the HR manager thinks is: Will he or she also talk about us like that later?

    It is better to highlight positive experiences. What do you owe to your old employer? What did you learn? That shows class.

  5. Superiors

    The same applies to former supervisors. Do not talk about their weaknesses or the problems you had with them in the job interview!

    On the other hand, you can emphasize the strengths of your ex-boss if it should come up. And what you could learn from him or her. After all, there are also helpful lessons from the greatest tyrant. Otherwise: be silent!

Well you know the most important interview questions - and maybe already know good answers. You should be prepared in this way Mastering the job interview can. We wish you much success!

Free download of the list of questions

The list of 100 typical interview questions You can also download our sister site career bible for free download as PDF, print out and use for offline preparation. For example, by simply playing the HR game with friends and acquaintances looking for a job. Asking questions, getting answers and giving honest feedback.

In addition, we - or career bible - also have typical ones Stress questions in the job interview put together for you. There are numerous variations, however, they can be roughly divided into five types: analogy questions, trick questions, provocations (which are not questions), brain teasers and funnel questions. A complete checklist of these types of questions, including some examples, is also available here free of charge download as PDF.

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