Who is the worst person you know

100 interview questions and answers

The job interview is about getting to know each other personally. Employers and employees. The application was convincing and the professional qualifications were right. Otherwise you would not have been invited. With the typical interview questions, HR managers want to find out who you are, how you work and whether you fit into the team. Therefore, your personality and soft skills are the most important factors now. We will show you which questions you should expect in the interview, what is behind them - including tips and examples of how you (can) answer them ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Interview questions: that's behind it

The questions that you will be asked in the interview are extremely diverse. Sometimes even surprising: “How many piano tuners does Chicago have? How do you motivate yourself? Why should we hire you? ”Behind this are different types of questions, questioning techniques and goals in order to find out more about your personality.

Very few HR managers mean the bad. Rather, with the application questions you want to take a look behind the facade and the bright side. Lure you out of reserve. After all, it's not all sunshine at work. Take it sporty and play along (as long as the questions remain permissible).

Frequent interview questions + answers

There are questions that are asked in every second job interview. For these we have created detailed articles - with suitable answers and perfect reactions. Use the tips also for preparation and deepening:

Every HR manager asks himself these questions

The interview is almost always about four aspects and key questions:

  • Professional qualifications
    We have your résumé, but paper is patient. Where there are still doubts, questions are asked in the job interview. Main question: Are you really up to the demands of the job? Some companies also include recruitment tests and intelligence tests.
  • Social competence
    Even more important for the later collaboration is whether the chemistry is right. Applicants not only have to fit into the team and the organization, but also have to be able to deal with conflicts. They are everywhere. Therefore, soft skills and social skills are the focus of numerous interview questions.
  • Self motivation
    Would you want to hire someone to wear to hunt? Just. Therefore, many interview questions are aimed at the intrinsic motivation of the candidate. Those who show passion, self-motivation and initiative have the best application chances.
  • Career plans
    Sounds strange and is actually none of the employer's business. Nevertheless, HR managers want to know what your ambitions are. Is this really your dream job - or just a stopover? In the second case, you could jump off prematurely. But that causes recruiting costs and time.

Reading tip:Checklist: 111 tips for an interview (PDF)

Perfect preparation through a change of perspective

For the interview preparation this means: Always remain authentic. You don't want to work for a company that doesn't suit you either. At the same time, you should think carefully in advance why you want to do THIS job at THIS employer and why you fit into the team. It is less about your career and your prospects, but more about whether you can cope with the tasks and challenges of the job. Then your answers will also be convincing.

But please never make the mistakeTo memorize answers and rewind them. That always seems wooden, mechanical, implausible. It is better to know the interview questions and be prepared for them. Start a chat, a real dialogue and an open conversation. It's more fun for EVERYONE anyway!

Questionnaire: 100 typical questions

Below is a list of more than 100 typical interview questions. The questions are of course not all asked at once. We have therefore sorted them according to the types of questions and different purposes. So you know immediately what the respective interview question is about and what the optimal answer might look like.

1. Conversation opener

Sample question: "Why do you want this job?"

After some small talk at the beginning, the first phase of getting to know each other begins. If applicants are given priority, the so-called self-presentation now follows. It is initiated by a question or request. You should summarize the most important information about yourself in three to five minutes. A structure made up of three steps is perfect for this.

The formula: "I am ... I can ... I want ..." - With this pattern, your answer gets a red thread and a clear reference to the job. The last part is especially important. Here you show how you want to use your knowledge and skills in the job and thus create added value. According to studies by Ayelet Fishbach from the Booth School of Business, HR managers are not impressed by great ambition. Many suspect that it is more of a spell knock. Those who got the job were applicants who could explain why the job is so important to them.

More interview questions about it

What can you tell about yourself?
Why should we hire you?
What makes you different from others?
What can you do for us that others cannot?
What do you know about our company?
What is your dream job like?

2. Questions about application motivation

Sample question: "What are your goals with this job?"

Companies are looking for committed employees who are enthusiastic about the job. Ultimately, there is another question behind this question in the interview: "Why did you apply to us (of all people)?"

Recruiting is time-consuming and expensive. HR professionals are therefore looking for talents who are really passionate about the job and position and who want to remain part of the company in the long term. You should express your motivation accordingly convincingly - in body language, gestures and facial expressions. The more credibly you answer the question, the greater your application chances.

More interview questions about it

Why do you want to quit your previous job?
What do you know about our company?
What do you know about our industry?
What will you miss about your current job?
What did you dislike about the previous job?
What do you think of your last boss?
What did you earn before?
What salary do you imagine?
Are you ready to move?
What are your salary expectations?

3. Questions about personality, strengths and weaknesses

Sample question: "What are your weaknesses?"

The question of the weaknesses in the interview is just as much hated as feared by applicants. Of course, you can try to answer the question about the weaknesses by not answering them - by evading it, by avoiding it or by glossing over it. But you shouldn't!

Studies show: Those who answer the question about the weaknesses in the interview truthfully and deal with the deficits constructively, increase their chances of getting the job by a factor of five (see video).

More interview questions about it

What are 3 positive things your ex-boss would say about you?
And what negative would he say about you?
What is your biggest mistake - and what did you learn from it?
Which three positive character traits are you missing?
What are you most afraid of?
When did you perform below average and what?
What are your strengths?
Give me a few examples of ideas that you've implemented.
What irritates you about people and how do you deal with them?
Where do you want to be in five years?
Where would you like to develop professionally?
What was your greatest success outside of your job?
What was the highlight of your career - or is it still to come?
What are your goals in life?
What do I need to know about you?

4. Questions about the way of working

Sample question: "How would you describe your work style?"

Everyone works differently. In a team, however, it still has to fit together in order to lead projects to success together and to achieve the best results. Five loners who can hardly compromise cannot be combined into a successful team. You collect points in these interview questions by describing your way of working according to the position: Is teamwork very important? Then describe yourself as cooperative. Are clear instructions and responsibilities required? Then go into it.

But don't promise blue sky. If your actual way of working cannot keep this up, you will notice it during the probationary period at the latest. By doing this, you are not doing yourself or the company a favor.

More interview questions about it

What was the last project you worked on?
What was the result of this project?
How do you deal with change?
How do you organize yourself?
How do you motivate yourself?
What is your idea of ​​hard work?
What were you responsible for in your old job?
What do you do when you find yourself impossible to complete the day's tasks?
How do you prove your trustworthiness in the new team?
How do you feel when you get a "no" answer?
When and how was the last time you criticized a colleague?
How do you react when someone is resting from other people's work?
Which task was too difficult for you - and how did you solve the problem?
What will you do in the first 90 days of this job?

5. Questions about fitting and chemistry

Sample question: "What was your interest in this company?"

In addition to the way you work, you as a person must be a good match for the employer. Such “cultural questions” in the job interview are primarily about values. Do your values ​​and your ethos match the corporate culture?

Answer this with something you have in common: Is the employer future-oriented like you? Is it about the sustainable use of resources? Or are you just as enthusiastic about research and development as you are about the company's latest innovations? Ideally, you research the employer beforehand in order to be able to justify your answer.

More interview questions about it

What does the ideal company look like for you?
What would be an ideal work situation for you?
When were you most satisfied in your job?
Which culture excites you more - structured or entrepreneurial?
Which is more true of you: Are you detail-oriented - are you visionary?
Which is Better: Should a Boss Be Loved or Feared?
What are the key characteristics of a good manager?
And a bad one?
What is the difference between good and good?
Which conflicts have you already experienced in your previous jobs?

6. Questions about character

Example question: "Name five terms that describe your character!"

This is also a value test. You should describe yourself and at the same time can influence the perception of the HR manager. Confident demeanor is important and desirable. However, exaggerated self-praise is unsympathetic.

You provide plus points with relevant strengths (for the job) and a few sympathetic weaknesses (ratio: 3: 2). So show that you have a clear edge and that you are a character. For reasons of diversity alone, many companies are no longer looking for streamline types. But neither are notorious cross-heads and revolutionaries. It's the healthy mixture that counts.

More interview questions about it

What three characteristics would your friends say about you?
What are you particularly proud of?
What was the most important life lesson you learned?
Who has decisively shaped you in your life?
Was there someone in your career who changed you?
Which manager is a role model for you and why?
Which personalities do you get along best with?
What was your hardest decision so far?
What do you regret most? Why?
Lunch: You order a steak, English. The waiter brings it well done. What do you do?
How would you feel if you worked for someone who knows less than you?
Suppose you find out that your boss is doing something illegal - how do you deal with it?
Would you choose us?

7. Questions of spontaneity

Example question: "What is the felt on a tennis ball for?"

There is usually no right answer to such interview questions. Quite a few applicants allow themselves to be put under pressure or react to it with panic and uncertainty. Error! These questions, some of which are called Fermi questions, are not about a correct answer. Rather, you can score points with creativity and a well thought-out solution.

You can always take a short time to think about this. Then explain how you will come to a conclusion and solve the problem. That's what it's all about: cleverness, logic, problem-solving skills. Whenever you are asked these interview questions, it is an indication that you will also have to solve unknown and surprising problems later in the job.

More interview questions about it

How hard is New York?
Why are manhole covers round and not square?
How many calories are there in a supermarket?
How many gardens are there in Germany?
How many sheets of paper are copied in a day in Germany?
How many times a day do the hands of a clock overlap?
What day is tomorrow if the day before yesterday was the day after Monday?
How would you measure an airplane - without a scale?
What superpower would you like to have?
If you were an animal, which one would you be?
What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Sell ​​me this pencil!
Can you tell me 10 things you can still use a pen for?
What do you do when you want to have fun?
How am I doing in your eyes as an interviewer?

8. Stress issues

Example question: "What did you least like about your previous job?"

Stress questions have only one purpose: They are supposed to get you out of your reserves. There can be different reasons for this: Either you seem too smooth up to now and you want to get to know your rough edges. Or the later job itself is stressful and you want to know how you react under pressure. In short: HR managers use an old directing trick to crack the secret script in the job interview: free improvisation.

If you are confronted with a stress interview (PDF), please NEVER take it personally. The best response to this is: stay open and friendly (smile!) - and answer the question very coolly. Professionals skilfully avoid stressful questions by telling an anecdote, motto: “I'm glad you asked that. I can tell you a little story about this ... "

More interview questions about it

Why haven't you found a new job yet?
Why have your previous applications been unsuccessful?
So you have not yet achieved your professional goals ...
How do you know you will do a good job?
How do you feel about being guided?
Do you have a bad day today or do you always act like that?
When was the last time you broke the rules and why?
Tell me something about yourself that isn't on your résumé.
But there are some hidden messages in your job reference!
Why have you never been far from your hometown or abroad?
Explain the color red to a blind person!
How am I doing in your eyes as an interviewer?
What question would you not like to be asked?
What was your weakest part in this interview so far?

9. Trick questions

Example question: "What does a company owe its employees?"

Trick questions are mean. Therefore, always take your time to answer. It's not a quiz, and the fastest doesn't win anything. In fact, you lose if you prematurely miss the chance for a clever and sophisticated answer. If you take the time to answer (less than five minutes, of course), you are being conscientious. Spoilers who lag behind, however, disqualify themselves.

In the case of such interview questions, expect to be researched on the Internet beforehand. This can also lead to trick questions.In this case, you should deal honestly and constructively with past mistakes.

More interview questions about it

Why do you have a gap in your résumé?
Are you more of a stop or a stop?
Are you more of a leader or an implementer?
What is your biggest concern about this job?
Have you ever considered starting your own business?
When you leave this company, what should be said of you?
Are there reasons why someone doesn't enjoy working with you?
What do you expect from a company in which you invest talent and time?
Have you posted an offensive comment yet? We found something ...
Your résumé says that you received further training between June and August. During this time you can find many beach photos of you from Thailand on Instagram. What did the training consist of?

10. Questions about leadership skills

Example question: "How would you describe your leadership style?"

Anyone applying for a management or leadership role must expect that the interview questions will revolve around leadership styles and your leadership experience.

In addition to dealing with employees, HR professionals are interested in whether and how you have met your target agreements. Ultimately, executives are expected to produce tangible results. You should always answer relevant interview questions with examples and anecdotes. So as concrete and narrative as possible, as you have done so far (or will do better in the future).

More interview questions about it

Are you a good role model? Why?
How do you ensure that employees achieve their goals?
What do you do when goals are not met?
How do you react to employees who are below your expectations?
How do you promote your employees?
What do you pay attention to when delegating tasks to employees?
How do you deal with difficult employees?
What has caused problems in the team so far?
Can you give us an example of how you solved a conflict?
How would you describe your employees?
How important is employee satisfaction to you?
How do you keep track of costs?
How important is entrepreneurial thinking to you - in a team?
Which colleagues do you prefer to work with?

Questions and examples from well-known companies

Some companies ask unusual questions in job interviews. As you prepare, it can be worthwhile to study and formulate smart answers. This serves for self-reflection and determination of the position. What would you have answered these questions?

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)
Which song would you choose as soon as you walked into a room? (Google)
Which executive do you most admire? (Boston Consulting Group)
How much fee would you charge to clean all of the windows in Seattle? (Facebook)
How would you calculate the value of a cow? (Bain)
When do you want to retire? (Adobe)
What would have to happen for you to regret the step to Adidas? (Adidas)

Many more questions from top employers and top managers can be found in our eBook, which you can download for free here:

Download questions (PDF)

Questions in the interview

The interview should be just that: an interview. As a result, it is not just a question of asking the employer. In every structured interview you also have the opportunity to ask questions. Often introduced with the question: "Do you have any further questions?"

Please always have your own questions! Questions are a test and an opportunity. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to find out more about the future boss, the workplace or its requirements. On the other hand, smart questions say a lot about your preparation, your depth and your interest in the job. So be sure to take notes during the interview and ask clever detailed questions when you get the chance.

You should ask these questions

  • How do you define success for this position?
  • How is your performance measured and evaluated?
  • What do you expect from an ideal applicant?
  • What are your expectations of me in the coming year?
  • What distinguishes your best employees?
  • What could frustrate me about this job?
  • How would you describe my boss' leadership style?
  • How would you describe your corporate culture?
  • How do you promote talents and strengths?
  • What does the induction in your company look like?
  • Who do I have to report to? Who reports to me?
  • Is there still time to take a look at the workplace?
  • When can I expect your decision?

Illegal interview questions

There are legal questions and there are illegal interview questions (see PDF). These should not be asked at all. Still it happens. From a legal point of view, you don't have to answer inadmissible questions. What's more, you can even answer with a lie.

There are a few exceptions, however - when the question is clearly related to the job: You can ask a prospective pastor about his religion. A future policeman for possible criminal records. And anyone who handles food must provide information about contagious diseases. And because pregnant women are particularly worthy of protection, the question of pregnancy must - as an exception - be answered honestly if the job is physically demanding and a pregnant woman is not allowed to do it.

Prohibited questions in the job interview

  • Are you pregnant?
  • When do you want to get married?
  • Are you planning to have children in the foreseeable future?
  • Are you gay or straight?
  • What does your partner do for a living?
  • Are you sick often?
  • Do you actually smoke?
  • Which (serious) illnesses have you already had?
  • Do you suffer from any chronic illness?
  • Do you believe in God? On which?
  • Are you a member of a political party?
  • Are you a member of a trade union?
  • Which religious community do you belong to?
  • Do you have a criminal record?
  • Have you ever been to jail?
  • Are you in debt?
  • Are you good with money?
  • Is your family rich?

How do I respond to inadmissible questions?

  • Stay calm.
    Some employers willingly ask such questions to test your reaction. As stress questions. Before you answer, take a deep breath and check whether this is “just” a test.
  • Be factual.
    Serenity is still the best answer. In this way, you prove your sovereignty - even under stress. Anyone who loses their nerve or fails now is out.
  • Be realistic.
    Depending on which answer you go for - honesty, lying, leaving the room in disgust - that could mean you don't get the job. Then that's the way it is - and always better than a guilty conscience. Let's be honest: Anyone who asks such interview questions doesn't deserve them!

Reading tip:Interview Checklist (PDF)

[Photo Credit: Dmitry Guzhanin by Shutterstock.com]

Even more interview tips
➠ Job interview: all the tips

Job interview process
➠ Interview preparation
➠ Application questions + answers
➠ Job interview clothes
➠ Introducing yourself
➠ self-presentation
➠ End the interview

Interview types
➠ Second interview
➠ Assessment Center
➠ Stress interview
➠ Job interview English
➠ Video interview
➠ Telephone interview

Typical questions
➠ These 100 questions can come
➠ 25 trick questions + answers
➠ Stress issues
➠ What are your weaknesses?
➠ What are your strengths?
➠ Why should we hire you?
➠ What was your last salary?
➠ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
➠ Why did you quit?
➠ Inadmissible questions
➠ Inquiries to HR managers

Tips & Tricks
➠ Practice interview
➠ Interview mistakes
➠ White lies in the job interview
➠ body language tips
➠ Overcome nervousness
➠ Where to put your hands?

➠ Confirm the interview
➠ Postpone the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Follow up after the conversation