Improve interviews by preparing answers to common interview questions.

Get ready for interviews with common questions, questions to ask the employer, and illegal interview questions.

Common interview questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in working for this company?
  • Tell me about your education.
  • Why have you chosen this particular field?
  • Describe your best/worst boss.
  • In a job, what interests you most/least?
  • What is your major weakness?
  • Give an example of how you solved a problem in the past.
  • What are your strengths?
  • How do others describe you?
  • What do you consider your best accomplishment in your last job?
  • Where do you see yourself in three years?
  • Think about something you consider a failure in your life, and tell me why you think it happened.
  • How do you think you will fit into this operation?
  • If you were hired, what ideas/talents could you contribute to the position or our company?
  • Give an example where you showed leadership and initiative.
  • Give an example of when you were able to contribute to a team project.
  • What have you done to develop or change in the last few years?
  • Do you have any questions for me?



Questions to ask the employer

  • What are the responsibilities and accountabilities of this position?
  • How well is the position defined?
  • Can its duties be expanded?
  • Please describe an average day on this job.
  • What is the history of the position?
  • Why is it vacant?
  • What aspects of this job would you like to see performed better?
  • What are the key challenges or problems of this position?
  • Where can I go from here, assuming that I meet/exceed the job responsibilities?
  • How would you describe the ideal candidate?
  • What are the employer’s short- and long-range objectives?
  • What are some outside influences that affect company growth?
  • Where does the company excel? What are its limitations?
  • When and how will I be evaluated?
  • What are the performance standards?
  • With whom would I be working?
  • Who would be my supervisor?
  • Who would I supervise?
  • What is the department’s environment like?
  • When will you make the hiring decision?
  • May I call you for the decision?
  • When is a good time?



Illegal questions

  • What is or was your spouse’s name or line of work?
  • Have you ever filed a Workers’ Compensation claim or been injured on the job?
  • Do you have any physical conditions that would prevent you from performing the job?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • What is your hair/eye color?
  • What is your height/weight?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized?
  • If so, for what condition?
  • Have you ever been treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist?
  • If so, for what condition?
  • How many days were you absent from work because of illness last year?
  • Are you taking any prescribed drugs?
  • Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism?

Source: Creative Job Search, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.