Job interview conversation questions

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Going for an interview[edit]

  • How many job interviews have you been to?
  • What positive aspects were there? What negative aspects were there?
  • Have you ever been to a job interview and come out thinking/believing that the job was yours. Did you get it?
  • Have you ever been to a job interview and left thinking that you wouldn't get the job, and then been offered it?
  • Have you ever had to have more than one interview for the same job?
  • Have you ever turned down a job after an interview? Why?
  • Have you ever been for a job interview even though you were working and not actually looking for another job?
  • Put the following in order of influence at a job interview:
    • Dress
    • Resume
    • Social skills
    • Work experience in general
    • Work experience in a similar job
  • Put the following in order of influence for accepting a job:
    • Salary
    • Timetable
    • Atmosphere at workplace
    • Size of company
    • Distance from home
  • How did you find out about the interview? At an employment agency? In the press?
  • Have you ever been headhunted?
  • What do you think the interviewer is looking for at the interview?
  • What are you, as the person being interviewed, looking for at the interview?
  • Do you think interviews should be carried out by a professional, such as a psychologist, or by the person who you are going to work for directly?

Doing an interview[edit]

  • Have you ever interviewed anyone for a job?
  • Do you think it's easy to choose a candidate from an interview?
  • Have you ever had to interview the same candidate more than once?
  • If there are two candidates with similar work experience and specific skills for the job, put the following in order of influence for the final choice:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Marital status
    • Social skills
  • Do you think social skills are more important for a job interview than the skills required by the job itself?
  • People with experience in job interviews often comment that the person interviewing them often has little or no idea about the actual job requirements and are only there as a first "filter". What do you think of this?

Job Interview questions[edit]

These are some typical questions which people are asked a job interviews. You can use them in roleplays. Very often an interview is based on a CV and your students might want to prepare one beforehand. Not all these questions will be appropriate under all circumstances an you will need to select them as appropriate. Encourage the student asking questions to ask more questions based on the first student's responses before moving on to the next question.

Many of these questions are are of the difficult "no-win" type, you may want to let your students think about them before doing the exercise, or alternatively run the exercise several times so that they get the feel for getting a response which sounds believable.

Introduction[edit]

  • Tell me about your qualifications.
  • What was (or is) your favourite area of study?
  • Tell me about your previous work experience.
  • The job needs a high level of written and spoken English. How would you describe your English ability?
  • Tell me about how often you used English in your previous job and what you used it for.
  • What have you done recently to keep yourself up to date in your chosen profession?
  • Why would you like to work in this area?

Present job[edit]

(If presently unemployed then ask about last job.)

  • In your present position what would you describe as your biggest success?
  • What gives you the most pleasure in your present job?
  • What do you like least about your present job?
  • What would you say is your biggest weakness in your present job?
  • What do you think is your biggest weakness as an employee?
  • If a new person were to join your present company what advice would you give them?
  • Why are you thinking about leaving your present job?
  • Tell me about one thing you would change in your present job.
  • If I were to speak to your present boss, how do you think he would describe you?
  • How would you describe the management style of your present boss?
  • Do you work more hours a week than you are actually paid for? If so, why?

Personality[edit]

  • Do you feel that you deal better with people or with machines and systems?
  • Do you prefer to work as a member of a team or do you prefer to work alone on projects?
  • If you consider yourself to be a good "team player", can you give me any examples of team projects you have been involved in in the past?
  • Do you prefer to give orders or to take them?
  • What is the main thing that gets you out of bed each morning?
  • What would you do if you felt that your boss had made a big mistake but it was impossible to persuade him of his error?
  • If you had a personality clash with one of your co-workers how would you handle that situation?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • We have seven people short-listed for this job. Why should we give it to you and not somebody else? What is your special ability or experience which makes you different? (Remember – this question is about why they should employ you – not why you want the job.)

The future[edit]

  • The company is going to have to spend time and money training you for this role. Is it your intention to stay with this company for some time or is your primary objective to gain work experience?
  • Over one hundred people have applied for this job. Could you tell me why I should choose you?
  • Would you prefer to work for a big company or a small one? What are the advantages and disadvantages in each case?
  • What would you like to be doing in ten years’ time?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Tough interview questions - PDF Not designed for English classes, but very useful.