Interview questions can be tricky. You’ve already done the footwork of polishing up your resume and applying to some places you’re interested in. You got a few calls back and just set up an interview. The next giant to tackle is the job interview and the onslaught of interview questions that you will soon face. What types of interview questions will the hiring manager ask you? How will you answer? Luckily, you found the right place (and the right article to get you started). Interview Question HQ is your #1 resource for all things related job interviews and interview questions. Here are a few of the most common job interview questions that will most likely be asked at your next big interview.
In Most Common Interview Questions and Answers [Part I], we began the discussion of the most commonly asked interview questions. The questions dealt with where you last worked and what your job duties at your past employer included. In this second post of the Most Common Interview Questions, we focus on the next few questions that almost every employer will ask you during your interview. That is, interview questions pertaining to your most recent boss/supervisor and specifically how you felt about him or her. The intention of this question is to determine whether you have a good attitude toward the people you work for and work with. Companies cannot operate efficiently if employees do not respect their superiors or their co-workers. If you come off as someone who has a problem with authority, say bye-bye to this potential job. Before even thinking about sitting down for another job, ask yourself this simple question: Did you really respect your supervisors? Have you worked well with others in the past? Are you a team-player? Hopefully you answered yes to all three questions, but hey, even two out of three ain’t bad. Regardless, you want to be ready for the above interview questions and come off as someone who respects his bosses yet strives to exceed company goals.
Below are some of the most typical job interview questions you will face on your big job interview:
Most Common Interview Questions & Answers
Q: Have you ever had a problem with another employee? What happened and how did you handle the situation?
A:: Your interviewer knows that people’s personalities sometimes clash and that not everyone performs their job functions perfectly, so if you’ve had a problem with a co-worker in the past, it’s okay to say that. However, you do not want to make it sound like you’ve had problems with everyone you’ve ever worked with. If you have had problems with others, don’t say that. Honesty is great and all, but nothing positive comes from you telling your potential employer that you couldn’t stand some past co-worker because of some arbitrary reason. Even if the past employer was an ass and your fellow co-workers agreed, still don’t mention it. That guy sitting at the other end of the table, you know, the guy who decideds to hire you, isn’t going to send a jury out to determine what your ex-coworker was really like. It’s safe to assume that bringing up any bad blood between you and former coworkers is bad news.
At the same time, the employer is fully aware that nobody is perfect. He is aware that you don’t like anyone and that you likely didn’t like someone you once worked with. So at this point your probably thinking “ok, so he said don’t admit I disliked my coworker, but the new employer knows that I probably disliked someone?” To answer your question: Yes. That is exactly where I am going with it. See, by admitting that you have had a disagreement, not a problem, with a past coworker shows the employer that you are, 1) honest and 2) normal. The best answer to a question like this is to frame it in a story. Think of a past project you worked on with a coworker. Use this project as an example, and explain to the employer that you and a coworker had disagreements about the best route to take on the project. Say something like this: I preferred Method A and (coworker) preferred Method B. After a few days of disagreement, I broke down both of our methods in a comparative PowerPoint presentation and presented it to my fellow coworker. I took coworker’s plan into considerations, we both made concessions and we went on to complete the project long before the expected deadline because of our collaboration.”
This answer basically turns what could be a very negative part of an interview into a positive. You come out looking like a cool-head, patient leader in the work place. Remember, replace the story with something from your past and you will be golden.
Q: Tell me about your previous boss. What did you like or dislike about them?
A: The boss question is a pretty popular interview question to judge the interviewee’s professionalism. Of course you don’t like every boss you have ever had. Hell, you may not have liked any of the bosses you have ever had. Regardless, you must never say you had an issue with any of your past bosses, that you disliked any of your past bosses, or say or insinuate anything else negative about your past employers. This is a critical in every job interview, no matter the profession, trade or skill.
All of that being said, you shouldn’t just answer “nope” to half of the question and go on to overwhelm the interviewer with how great your last boss was. This will make you come off as a fake. The best way to answer this question is explain your former bosses’ positive traits ( his abilities, motivation, management skills, etc.) and give an example of his or her positive traits in a quick story where your boss helped the company overcome a growing problem. Once you have set the tone for your professionalism, move on to the “dislike” part of the question (if applicable – some interviewers may only ask either half of this question). Choose something about your former boss, such as his or her poor organizational skills, that is more a characteristic than an insult. Rule of thumb: only use something as a “dislike” if you would openly say the same to your former boss in person. If you choose his or her organizational skills, it doesn’t sound like an attack on the person but instead like constructive criticism.
We hope that helped! Remember, our site is full of interesting job interview questions and related content, so please hop around the site to be fully prepared for your big day. Continue reading more interview questions and interview tips!
More often than not, if you’ve had a problem with a lot of bosses in your past, your prospective employer is going to guess that it wasn’t them who had the problem, it was you. So when you answer this question, make sure that you focus on the good things about your previous employers and supervisors. You should be able to give one strength of each former boss and name one thing that they taught you.