Three things to do to warm-up before you take part in an interview.

During interviews, framing expressions can be very helpful. Framing expressions for questions help to show another question is coming. Framing expressions before answers help to avoid silence and give candidates time to think.

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Now, looking at your CV. I’d like to know what you learned in your last job.

I’m glad you asked me that because I developed some important skills while I was there.

I’m also interested in knowing your reasons for leaving the job.

That’s a good question. Basically, it was no longer challenging enough.

Now, a question we like to ask all our candidates. What are your strong points?

Well, without going into too much detail, I have very good people skills.

I was wondering what you feel you could bring to this job.

Let me just think about that for a moment. Well, my sales and marketing experience should be very useful to you.

Ok. Thank you. A question now about your computer skills. What software are you familiar with?

I thought you might ask me something about that. Well, what I can say is, I have good knowledge of Excel and Word, and can prepare excellent PowerPoint presentation.

Let me follow that up with another question. How do you feel about working abroad?

I haven’t really thought about that, to be honest, but I think it’d be really interesting.

Right, thank you. Moving on, could you tell me what you think the growth areas in the leisure industry are?

Well, I’m not an expert, but I think the boom in fitness centers will continue in the next few years.

Ok. Just one final question. Where do you think you’ll be in five years’ time?

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, but I hope to be working for your campany in a senior position.

The table was taken from Intermediate, Language Leader Course Book, p. 35

General questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. How would you describe yourself? (character/personality)
  3. Describe a typical work week.
  4. Don't you think you have too much experience/you are over-qualified for this job?
  5. Have you had any failures? / What failures have you had?
  6. How could you persuade me to recruit you?
  7. How do you evaluate success?
  8. How do you feel about your future in the profession?
  9. How do you plan to achieve those goals?
  10. How do you think you could develop the position and what would be your strategy to develop the position?
  11. How would you describe the position we have to offer?
  12. If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it?
  13. What are you passionate about?
  14. What are your goals for the next five years / ten years?
  15. What are your hobbies? / Do you have any hobbies?
  16. What are your strengths/weaknesses
  17. What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  18. What did your job involve?
  19. What do you do in your free time?
  20. What do you know about this company?
  21. What do you think of your (last) boss?
  22. What do you think you gained by working in your last job?
  23. What interests you about this job?
  24. What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  25. What motivates you?
  26. What salary would you expect (to be offered) for this position?
  27. What type of position do you think you are suited for / would suit you?
  28. What was the biggest accomplishment / failure in this position?
  29. What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?
  30. What will you do if you don't get this position?
  31. Which was most / least rewarding?
  32. Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
  33. Why are you interested in working for our company?
  34. Why do you want to leave your present job?
  35. Are you capable of leading a team?

Questions in categories

1. Businesses

  • What should businesses do to succeed?
  • What businesses are successful in your country? Why?
  • Why do you think some businesses fail?

2. Negotiations

  • How good are you at negotiating?
  • What are some good negotiation tactics that you can use?
  • Do you think men or women are better at negotiations? Why?

3. Job Interviews

  • How do you feel about job interviews?
  • What is the most important part of a job interview?
  • What advice do you have for a successful interview?
  • What questions are common in job interviews in your company/industry/country?
  • What was the worst interview you have ever had?

4. Working Abroad

  • Have you ever worked in another country?
  • What difficulties can working abroad have?
  • If you could choose, where would you like to work abroad?
  • What work experience have you had with colleagues from abroad?
  • What are some cultural differences between your country and foreign countries your company does business with?

5. Crisis

  • How do you manage crises?
  • What kinds of crises occur in your workplace?
  • What sorts of crises have affected your country?
  • What is your back-up plan for a major crisis?
  • What have you learned from past crises?

6. Leaders

  • What is your definition of a leader?
  • What makes an excellent leader?
  • How is the leadership in your company/industry/country?
  • Describe the best leader you have worked for/with.
  • How good of a leader do you believe you are?

7. Business Presentations

  • What makes a good presentation?
  • What makes a bad presentation?
  • Do you have to give any presentations at work? If so, what are they about?
  • How do you feel about giving presentations?
  • How do you feel about watching presentations?

8. Meetings

  • How often do you have meetings at work?
  • Do you like meetings at work? Why/why not?
  • What is often discussed at your meetings?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages to having meetings?
  • “If you must have a meeting, lose the chairs.” Do you agree? Why/why not?

9. Termination

  • Have you ever been terminated?
  • How does one get terminated at your job?
  • Have you ever had to terminate anyone?
  • How can you prevent getting terminated?
  • If you were terminated, what would you do?

10. Managers

  • What do you think about your manager(s)?
  • What qualities make a good manager?
  • How does your manager spend their time?
  • How can a manager motivate employees?
  • What is your manager’s managing style?

11. Small Business

  • Are small businesses common in your country?
  • What challenges do small businesses have in your country?
  • What are some successful small businesses in your town/city?
  • How can a small business become successful?
  • If you had a small business, what kind would it be?

12. Work Appraisals

  • Do you have performance reviews in your company? How often?
  • How do you feel about them?
  • What do your performance reviews cover?
  • How important do you think appraisals are?
  • What happens if you have a good/bad appraisal?
  • How do you feel about feedback about yourself?

13. Retirement

  • What is the retirement age in your country?
  • What do people in your country usually do once they are retired?
  • Where do retired people usually live in your country?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages to retirement?
  • What do you think you will do when you retire?

14. Work Experience

  • What work experience do you have?
  • How did you like your previous work?
  • What can you gain from work experience?
  • What have you learned from your work experience?
  • What have you learned about yourself?

15. Overtime

  • How much overtime do you usually work?
  • How do you feel about working overtime?
  • What is the overtime policy like in your company?
  • Describe the worst overtime experience you have ever had.
  • What is a solution to reducing overtime?

16. Business Trips

  • Do you go on business trips at work? Where?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of business trips?
  • What advice do you have for somebody traveling for business?
  • Where would you like to go on a business trip? Why?
  • What do you think is the future of business trips?

17. Competition

  • Who exactly is your company’s competition?
  • What advantages/disadvantages does your competition have?
  • How can your company overcome the competition?
  • How competitive is your industry?
  • How competitive are you in general? Why?

18. Risk Management

  • What risks does your company come across?
  • How does your company handle these risks?
  • What situation could be a big risk to your company?
  • What is your plan in case you come across a risk?
  • Does your company have a contingency plan?

19. Investing

  • What is your opinion on investing?
  • What investments do you have? Why?
  • Are you a conservative or risky investor? Why?
  • What do you consider to be a bad investment? Why?
  • If you had $1000 to invest, what would you do?

20. Colleagues

  • What do you think about your colleagues?
  • What are some common problems with colleagues?
  • Are conflicts always bad?
  • Do you think romantic relationship is acceptible at work?
  • Have you ever had any challenging situations/altercations with your colleagues?
  • Do you spend time with your colleagues outside of work? Why/why not?
  • Who is your favorite colleague? Why?

21. Hard Times

  • What hard times is your industry/country going through?
  • What hard times have you experienced?
  • What have you learned from hard times?
  • What are the benefits of hard times?
  • Tell me about what you did when you went through some hard times.

22. Raises

  • How often do you get a raise at your job?
  • What does it take to get a raise at your job?
  • What advice do you have for someone who wants a raise?
  • Do you think raises are important? Why/why not?
  • Do you deserve a raise? Why/why not?

23. Sales

  • Have you ever worked in sales?
  • How good of a salesperson are you? Why/why not?
  • What makes a good salesperson?
  • What is the sales process like in your company?
  • What strategies do you think are good for sales?

24. Customers

  • Who are the customers for your company/industry?
  • As a customer in general, what do you usually expect?
  • How do you gain more customers?
  • How do you lose customers?
  • “The customer is always right.” Do you agree/disagree?

25. Customer Service

  • What is your definition of “customer service”?
  • What is excellent customer service?
  • What is poor customer service?
  • Have you ever had to deal with customers? How was it?
  • How do/would you deal with customer problems?

26. Marketing

  • What is your understanding of marketing?
  • What is your company’s target market?
  • What kind of marketing does your company use?
  • In your opinion what forms of marketing are the most/least successful?
  • What kind of marketing is successful in your country?

27. Consulting

  • What is your definition of “consulting”?
  • What is your opinion of consultants?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of consultants?
  • What area of advice are you an expert at? Why?
  • “Sometimes you need a consultant to tell you the obvious.” Do you agree/disagree? Why?

28. Rules & Regulations

  • What rules and regulations exist at your job?
  • What happens if you break any of these rules?
  • How do you feel about the regulations at your job?
  • Why do you think rules and regulations exist?
  • Have you ever had any problems with rules and regulations?

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