Classic Interview Questions and Answers
What do you know about us as an organization?
Alternative and related questions:
What is your impression of our organization?
Why do you want to work for this organization?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer wants to make sure you’ve done your homework, that you really understand what their organization is all about – and that you consequently have a realistic expectation of what it would be like to work for such an organization. While they’re not going to be deliberately fishing for compliments they will want to ensure that you do have a positive impression of their organization. Why do you want to work for them in particular?
In the previous chapter we covered the closely related question, “Why do you want to work for this organization?” The difference with this question is the greater emphasis you need to place on what you know about the organization rather than why you want to work for their organization in particular.
Spell out to the interviewer the key points you know about their organization – and how you come to know this, for example because you’ve researched their website, because you’ve read about them in the newspaper, etc. But don’t go into excessive detail.
Make sure you put a positive spin on any points you raise and, if at all possible, communicate how you feel you are well suited to working for such an organization.
Avoid saying anything negative or bringing up any bad press, etc. that the organization may have had.
I’ve naturally done some research into your organization so as to ensure that I fully understand what kind of organization I would be working for. I read on your website that your sales levels have grown at an average of 25% year on year for the past five years and that you are now working on your expansion into the United States. You’re clearly a very progressive organization and that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I want to work for an organization which doesn’t stand still, which is expanding and taking on new and interesting challenges. I’ve also read a lot of customer comments on various third party websites and the quality of your service is clearly very impressive.
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More classic interview questions and answers
How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?
In what ways are you a team player?
Do you work well on your own initiative?
What techniques do you use to get things done?
What motivates you?
Are you proactive?
Are you creative?
Are you a risk-taker?
How do you handle pressure and stress?
Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?
What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?
How would you handle the following situation?
Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?
Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?
We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?
What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?
How would you describe yourself as a manager?
Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?
What is your customer service philosophy?
How did you get your last job?
What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?
What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?
What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?
What have you learned in your last job?
Can you tell me about your last appraisal?
How would you describe your current boss?
Why did you leave that job?
Which of your jobs was the best?
Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?
What do you know about us as an organization?
What do you know about our products/services?
What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?
How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?
What appeals to you most about this vacancy?
Why have you chosen this line of work?
Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?
How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?
Can you describe your ideal employer to me?
What sort of person would you most like to work for?
In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?
What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?
What sports are you/have you been involved in?
Do you know what the current headline news is?
How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?
Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?
What is your current salary package?
What salary package are you expecting for this role?
When would you be available to start?
Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?
Author: James Innes