Common Interview Questions by Sector

June 5, 2017

Interview_Question_Prep

Good news - you’ve been selected for a job interview! Now it is time to prepare the answers to your interview questions. To begin, it is important that you really understand the job you are applying for; this includes duties, skills, relevant experience, and other requirements. When it comes to interviews, employers are impressed with candidates who have taken the time to learn as much as possible about the sector, organization and position. Take some time to research the questions you may be asked and prepare your answers.   

 General Interview Questions  

Although questions will be different depending on the sector you are interviewing for, there are a number of general questions you should expect at any interview. Here are a few examples: 

  • Tell me about yourself. 

  • What is your greatest strength? 

  • Where do you see yourself in next 5 years? 

  • Tell me how you organise your work and schedule your time? 

  • Why should we hire you? 

  • Tell me about how you contributed your skills to a recent job, and how you think you can contribute or add value to this team or company? 

  • What are your salary expectations for this role? 

  • What interests you most about working for this particular company?  Tell us what you know about our company. 

  • Do you have any questions? 

Common Behavioural Questions 

Behavioural questions are based on the idea that past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour. The questions are meant to explore your actual experience and knowledge to some extent, but have the main goal of gauging your judgement, ability to think on your feet, be creative, understand and respond to complex situations. You should have a S.T.A.R. (situation, task, action, result) answer ready for each question. Here are a few examples of behavioural questions that you may encounter. 

  • What would you do in situation X? 

  • Tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem.  What was your approach? 

  • Describe your workstyle.  How do you determine success?  What qualities would you bring to this job, to this company? 

  • Tell me about a time when you had to adjust your working style to accommodate changes in the workplace. 

  • Describe a time when you had a difficult time communicating an idea to your colleagues.  How did you overcome this? 

  • Tell me about a time when you had a really innovative idea.  How did you go about implementing this idea? 

Sector-specific questions 

There are also some questions that are specific to the role or sector that you are working in. Here are a few examples of questions that you may be asked depending on your profession or sector of work. 

Common Engineering Interview Questions 

  • What new engineering specialty skills have you developed during the past year? 

  • Give me an example of a time when you applied your ability to use analytical techniques to define problems or design solutions. 

  • Describe a time when you used your engineering knowledge to solve a problem for which there appeared to be no answer. 

  • Describe your experience working in a team to deliver a project goal. 

  • Give me an example of something that you have learned from a mistake that you made on a job at a client site. 

  • Give me two examples of technical decisions that you had to make on your last job. 

  • What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer? 

Common Financial Services Interview Questions 

  • What are your key technical skills? 

  • What is your leadership style? 

  • Tell me about a time where you had a conflict with a client and how did you resolve it? 

  • Tell me about at time where you had an unexpected deadline that came up at the last minute and how did you manage your other conflicting priorities? 

  • How would your team members describe you in terms of your personality and working style? 

  • If I were to look at your performance review, what would be an area of improvement? 

Common IT Interview Questions 

  • Tell me about how you contributed your skills to a recent job, and how you think you can contribute or add value to this team/company? 

  • Have you planned and implemented significant changes to an organization’s IT infrastructure? Describe your contribution.  

  • What automated-build tools or processes have you used? 

  • How do you keep updated with technology considering how quickly it advances? 

  • You seem overqualified for this position. Why are you interested in it? 

  • Describe your ideal working environment. 

Common Supply Chain Interview Questions 

  • What does Supply Chain Management mean to you? 

  • What are some of the ways materials may be purchased? 

  • If we are introducing a new product, how would you go about forecasting the demand? 

  • What are the characteristics of an effective RFP? 

  • Provide an example of how you have dealt with a problem like a supplier not meeting your shipping deadline?  

  • Describe a situation where you have made process improvements.  

Common Sales & Marketing Interview Questions 

  • How do you keep up to date on your target market? 

  • In your last position, how much time did you spend cultivating customer relationships vs. hunting for new clients, and why? 

  • We have a new product coming out in three months. How would you launch it? 

  • Tell me 4-5 things a former client would use to describe you (both positive and negative) 

  • What’s your approach to handling customer objections? 

  • Can you tell me about a successful marketing/sales campaign you have developed? 

  • What do you know about our product/business? 

Common HR Interview Questions 

  • What do you think are the most important roles of the HR department in relation to employees in an organization? 

  • What is the role of the HR department in creating the company’s work environment for people? 

  • If you were the decision maker, what programs would be your priority in an organization? 

  • In your past roles, how have you kept HR policies and procedures current in terms of new legislation and regulations? 

  • What are the main challenges facing Human Resources Management today? 

  • Describe the work environment that you developed for people in your last HR position. What were the key characteristics of the work environment that you were trying to maintain and reinforce? 

  • How did your HR department contribute to planning, creating, maintaining, and changing the corporate culture? What were your significant contributions to establishing the work environment for people? 

 

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