Classic Interview Questions and Answers
What do you know about our products/services?
Alternative and related questions:
Have you ever bought our products/used our services?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer is again testing to see how interested you really are in the vacancy – as defined by the amount of time you have spent researching their operation. Some roles will of course require greater product/service knowledge than others and, if you are applying for a role where such knowledge is critical, for example sales, then the question will take on another dimension. If you can’t prove you fully understand their product/service then how can you hope to be able to sell it?
If you’ve prepared properly for your interview then you should be able to demonstrate a reasonably in-depth understanding of the organizations products/services. The degree to which this will be important will depend on your precise line of work. As well as conveying basic facts it is also a good idea to provide a gentle critique. While you should aim to be more complimentary than critical, if you are able to identify areas for improvement – ideally areas which you yourself would be able to improve – then it is likely to impress the interviewer and count very much in your favour. The best employees rarely accept the status quo; they are always looking for ways to improve things.
I’ve actually got one of your posters framed on the wall at home. I was already familiar with the range you offer and, since seeing this vacancy advertised, I have had a closer and more detailed look. I’m naturally impressed by what I’ve seen. They’re printed to a high degree of quality – something which isn’t always the case with posters produced by other companies – and yet they remain very reasonably priced. While you certainly have many interesting – and commercially appealing – designs, I do feel that some parts of the range are becoming a little dated. I would certainly welcome the challenge not only of revamping existing designs within the range but also of further developing the range in new and interesting directions.
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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