Chadron State College
Chadron State College

The Job Interview

One step to getting a job is making it through the interview process. This work in progress attempts to provide a list of common questions you may be asked . . . there are trends.

1. Identify a time when you faced great adversity: what did you do to overcome. (This question keeps popping up again and again. The idea here is that everyone fails, so what did you learn from that failure. I have even been asked this question at academic job interviews.)

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

3. Why is a manhole cover round?

4. The interviewee is instructed to wear favorite shoes, or outfit then asked why is that meaningful?

5. What are you greatest strenghts?

6. What are you greatest weaknesses? hint: I'm a perfectionist and often expect too much from others.

7. If we called three people worked for you, how would they describe you? (Teressa Taylor, COO Quest)

8. "On a scale of 1 to 10 how weird are you" ("Create Fun and a little weirdness" is one of Zappos 10 Core Values. from Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos. (SEE Zappos Lesson)

9. If you had to name something, what would you say is the biggest misperception that people have about you? Follow up question: What is the difference between perception and misperception? (Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos)

10. Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown cosmetics says, I don't look at the resume until the interview and say, "OK take me through the resume"

11. Bobbi Brown says, Communication is the most important thing, if its easy to talk to someone and I see an openness and honesty and integrity, I usually hire them.

12. Describe a decision you made or were involved in that was a failure. How did you handle the situation. )Susan Docherty, Sales Service Marketing Team General Motors)

13. If you were in my shoes, what would be the top three things you would do. (if you did your homework about the company you would have some ideas)

14. By the time they get to me they have been interviewed by several others in the company: I ask "You are the boss today, who would you hire and why" It gives me an idea of how fast they can spot strengths. Vineet Nayer CEO HCL Technologies.

15. When I hire younger people, I really want to to them about what they think they're going to get out of the first two years . . . . What I want to hear is, "I want to be around people who are going to teach me. I can't wait to learn every aspect of this business. (careful, it may be dangerous. So, what you to already know about the business. For first job you would say "I realize that you can learn a lot of things in the classroom, but I also realize that there is no substitute for learning the ins and outs of the business by "being there."

16. What are you working on developing within yourself right now? I'm looking for commitment to self-development and personal growth. Don't take too long to answer!! (Niki Leondakis, COO Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group)

17. Who among you former bosses would hire you again? During reference checks this boss asks "would you hire this person again? in what order 1st, 2nd, etc) (Shelia Lirio Marcelo CEO

18. What are you reading and why? (Howard Schultz Starbucks)

19. Tell me what work-life balance means to you. (Howard Schultz Starbucks)

20. I want to know specifically their level of understanding about our company's culture. (Howard Schultz Starbucks)

21. WILD WACKY:from Geoff Vueleta of Fahrenheit 212 (consulting). His business is broken into two types "money & magic" i.e. creative thinking. For the "magic" interviews: reinvent yourself as a beverage.So its you in a bottle. So what are your defining characteristics or traits that you have? Now bring that alive in a drink, And show me the drink, and tell me why I'd buy the drink. 

22.  Pick something you really enjoyed about your previous job; pick something you didn't enjoy.  What was the best think you you've done in your previous job; what is the worst thing you did.  What did you thry and learn from each of those.(Gregory Maffei Liberty Media)

Other Sites

Wikipedia on basic types of interviews

Ten Rules About Interviews

No Brainers:

Dress properly

Don't ever tell anyone you are having a bad day. Remember: you are always having a good day

Always treat waitress & secretaries politely, if you have had previous interaction (phone calls, airport pickup) thank them for their kindness

Turn off your cell phone

Do research about the company, know the divisions and division heads

Know their feelings about piercings and body art

Know how your skills can help their company

Don't ask dumb questions about can you get time off

Lunch or dinner interview: order something easy to eat in small bites because you will be answering questions while you eat. Don't drink.

Do not ever speak badly of a past employer