Common job interview questions

Questions about the potential employer


What makes you interested in working for our company?


Take a good look at the website of the potential employer and make a list of your personal reasons for choosing this particular company.


How familiar are you with our product range and services?


Name one or two examples from the product range and be inquisitive. This is the right moment to ask some follow-up questions, e.g. "How did you manage to be the first company to launch this product or service?"


Did you take a look at our business figures? Do you know how our company has evolved?


You should at least take a superficial look at the facts and figures on the web.


Do you have questions for us?


When you did sufficient research on the company, you should have prepared a couple of questions (e.g. in relation to the specific position, how this position fits in with the rest of the company, upcoming tasks and projects, but also more general questions, e.g. regarding training opportunities or corporate activities). Questions about the canteen or the number of vacation days are less popular.

Questions regarding the eligibility for the position


What makes you a good candidate for this position?


Be thoroughly prepared for this question. Make a list of your unique selling propositions, i.e. the professional and personal expertise that makes you an ideal candidate for the tasks in question. Don't be hesitant, present your arguments directly and with self-confidence.


What are your strengths and weaknesses?


Concentrate on your strengths, but also mention one or two weaknesses. Describe strengths that relate to your professional activities. Name weaknesses with disguised positive traits.


What are your goals?


Mention personal as well as professional goals (these should not conflict with the desired position, e.g. "I plan to move to Australia in the near future").


Tell us the key facts of your resume


In contrast to your written resume, you should give these information in chronological order to help the interviewer follow your account. Don't be too elaborate. Collect feedback on your performance by asking questions such as "Am I being too detailed?" or "Am I being too superficial?" Concentrate on your last positions and describe skills, experiences and achievements that are relevant for the new position. Ask yourself which of your skills would be most valuable for the new employer and the new position.


What are your salary requirements?


Research comparable salaries and make reasonable demands. In the ideal case, get objective advice from your trusted personnel consultant.


Where do you see yourself in five years?


Refer to the vacancy for which you are applying, or to goals that can be realistically achieved in this position.


Can you briefly describe your current life situation?


Emphasize the positive aspects of your life, e.g. a close circle of friends. Refer to your professional activities and the positive effects your private situation has on your career (e.g. single = enjoys travelling, married with children = interested in a long term cooperation).

Expectations for the new working environment


What are the three things that are most important to you in a job?


Put more emphasis on emotional and personal values, e.g. on team spirit, appreciation, clearly defined goals and visions, training opportunities etc., and less on material factors such as e.g. a good canteen, an appealing company car and salary.


What do you expect from a supervisor? What qualities are important to you?


E.g. that a team manager represents and stands up for his team, acknowledges and supports his co-workers, and puts the goals of the team first.


What do you expect from a co-worker? What qualities are important to you?


Loyalty, team spirit, commitment, entrepreneurial thinking, etc.