Sample Interview Questions

Personal Motivation and Traits

  • How do you feel about your present workload?
  • What motivates you to do your best work?
  • How can we best help you get your job done?
  • Tell me about a time you went "out on a limb" to get the job done?
  • What are the disadvantages of this line of work?
  • What do you find most frustrating at work?
  • Tell me about a project that got you really excited?
  • How do you define doing a good job?
  • What makes a job enjoyable for you?
  • Under what conditions do you work best?
  • What is your greatest strength/weakness or deficiency?
  • Tell me about a work task you enjoy. 


  • What are your 5-year goals?
  • Tell me what "success" means to you.
  • What does "failure" mean to you?
  • Do you consider yourself successful?
  • Do you set goals for yourself and how do you do that? 


  • Tell me about a work situation you had that required excellent communication skills.
  • Do you prefer to speak directly with someone or send a memo?
  • How would you grade your ability to communicate with upper level management, customers, and peers?
  • What was more important on your job, written or oral communication?  


  • Tell me about the last change which occurred in your office. How did you handle it?
  • I'm interested in hearing about the last time you took a risk. What was it and in retrospect, was it the right decision?
  • How important is communication and interaction with others on your job? How many departments did you deal with? What problems occurred?
  • Tell me about a time when a work emergency caused you to reschedule your work/projects.
  • Give me an example of the last time you went above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done
  • In what areas do you typically have the least amount of patience at work? 


  • Tell me about a deadline you had to meet. How much advance notice did you have?
  • You have worked in a fast paced environment. How did you like the environment?
  • What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you?
  • What is the most difficult work situation you have faced?
  • What types of jobs do you have the most difficulty with?
  • What do you do when you're having trouble with your job?
  • What do you do when you have a great deal of work to accomplish in a short period of time?


  • What do you do when you're having trouble with a boss?
  • If your boss knew you were interviewing, what would he say?
  • What do you feel an employer owes an employee?
  • Your supervisor tells you do to something in a way you know is dead wrong. What do you do?
  • If your supervisor unfairly criticized you, what would you do?
  • Would you like to have your boss's job? Why or why not?
  • Tell me about a time when your manager was in a rush and didn't give you enough attention.
  • What are some of the things about which you and your boss disagree?
  • What are some of the things your boss did that you disliked?
  • In what areas could your boss have done a better job?
  • I would be interested to hear about an occasion when your work or an idea was criticized, what was criticized, who criticized you, and how did you handle it?
  • Describe the best manager you ever had. The worst. What qualities did each of them have?

Supervisory Interview Questions

  • You have supervised people in the past. What were their titles and what type of supervision did you give them?
  • How do you motivate people?
  • Have you ever fired anyone? What were the circumstances?
  • Have you ever hired anyone? Why did you choose them?
  • What do you do when you're having trouble with an employee?
  • What type of supervisory training have you completed in the last two years?
  • How did you communicate bad news to your staff?
  • What makes someone a good supervisor?
  • Who reports to you? What are their job functions?
  • What is the employee turnover rate in your area?
  • What do you think is the reason for this rate?
  • What programs have you put in place to build morale?
  • How do you plan your day?
  • Describe your management style.
  • How do you measure success as a supervisor?
  • How do you decide who needs what training?
  • How do you measure success in training?
  • If you are hired, what will you do in your first 30 days?
  • Describe one change you made in your last job that was very beneficial.
  • Describe a time when you and your supervisor disagreed on how to accomplish a goal.
  • Describe a change you made in your job that you feel is innovative or that you are very proud of.
  • How do you handle unpopular management decisions?
  • How do you proceed when you need to make a decision and no policy exists?
  • How would you define leadership?
  • Describe a time when you were able to influence an outcome in a positive way.
  • What have you done to become more effective in your job?
  • How do you orient new employees to your department?
  • How do you plan an interview?
  • What do you look for on resumes and applications?
  • What criteria do you use for making decisions on hiring?

Problem Solving/Decision Making Questions

  • Describe the most difficult problem you had to solve. What was the situation and what did you do?
  • In general, how do you handle conflict?
  • Describe a creative solution that you have developed to solve a problem.
  • What solution are you the proudest of?
  • Describe a time when you had to use fact-finding skills.
  • What has been your most important work-related idea?
  • Who or what caused you the most trouble in implementing your ideas?
  • What kinds of problems do you normally experience in a day?
  • Tell me about a situation that got out of control. How did you handle it?
  • Describe the best/worst co-worker you ever had.
  • Tell me about something you achieved as a group member.
  • How would you define a good working atmosphere?
  • Tell me about a time you came up with a new idea. Were you able to get it approved? If so, how did you go about it?
  • Can you think of a time an idea of yours was rejected? Tell me about it.
  • Tell me about a time an idea or task of yours was criticized.
  • Tell me about a time you had to work according to a policy you disagreed with.
  • How do you go about making important decisions?
  • Tell me about the last time you made a good decision and describe what it was and what the results were.
  • Tell me about an important decision or judgment call youe had to make on the job.
  • Describe the worst decision you ever made and how you corrected it.

Organization Management Questions

  • Describe the top of your desk.
  • Tell me about the last time you failed to complete a project on time.
  • What do you do when things are slow/hectic?
  • What do you do when you have multiple priorities?
  • Tell me about your typical day. How much time do you spend on the phone? In meetings? Etc.
  • Your supervisor left you an assignment, then left for a week. You can't reach him/her and you don't have assignment. What would you do?
  • How do you organize and plan for major projects?
  • Describe a project that required a high amount of energy over an extended period of time.
  • How do you organize yourself for day-to-day activities?
  • Tell me about a task you started but just couldn't seem to get finished.

Senior Management Evaluation

  • Give me an example of your ability to facilitate progressive change within your organization.
  • How do you typically stay in the information loop and monitor your staff performance?
  • How do you typically confront subordinates when results are unacceptable?
  • What kind of mentoring and training style do you have?
  • Do you naturally delegate responsibilities, or do you expect your direct reports to come to you for added responsibilities?
  • How would you describe the amount of structure, direction, and feedback that you need to excel?
  • What could you have done to be more effective at a previous job?
  • Tell me about a time you were placed in charge of a group of people.
  • What did you like about being in charge?
  • What did you not like about being in charge? 


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