How and why your career has developed
the way it has
- Why did you leave your last position? (This
question can be asked about each position)
- Why do you want to leave this position?
- If given the opportunity to have the last
ten years of your career over again, what would
you do differently?
In concise, accurate terms the scope
of your key responsibilities in your recent roles
(particularly over the last ten years)
- What is the scope of your revenue, margin,
cost control, staff number etc responsibilities?
- To whom did you report in that role?
- How are you measured in your current role?
(what are your key performance indicators?)
- How are you performing against those measures?
- What kinds of financial reports do you prepare
in your job? What do they contain? How often
do you have to prepare them ?
- Take me step by step through how you prepared
the budget for your unit? What information did
you use in preparing the budget? What information
was lacking ?
- What were your objectives for last year? Were
they achieved? How? Why not?
The depth of your industry and technical
- Describe your experience with environmental
- Hazardous substances ?
Details of your key achievements in each
- How did you increase (sales, productivity,
staff retention rates) by 20% last year?
- Who else worked with you to achieve the goal?
- Was the (market, raw materials supply, employment
market) environment favourable or difficult?
- Describe your best ever career achievement.
- Why did you not achieve more in your last
- What’s been the biggest disappointment
in your career to date?
The skills and knowledge you would bring
to a role
- What are the 3 main skills you are using
in your current role?
- How effective are you in persuading others
to your point of view?
- For what assistance or advice do your colleagues
turn to you?
What you seek in your next company and
- Any preference for permanent or contract/temporary
- What type of work are you targeting?
- What locations would you consider or prefer
Who you are
- Describe you as a person. How would others
(managers/peers/subordinates) describe you?
- What special qualities do you have that set
you aside from your peers in your area of specialisation
(for example, sales, marketing, production,
human resources management)?
- Give me three things to remember you by?
- Give me an example of a time in your past
or present roles when you had to make a decision
you would not normally make on your own?
- What conditions at work frustrate you the
- To what extent do you set an example for others
in your business life? Your personal life?
- Think about the roles you have played in teams
(sport or work) in the past. How would you describe
the typical role you play in team activities?
The way you operate at work (for example,
detailed, analytical, a finisher, cares for and
supports the team, problem solver, entrepreneurial,
leader, driver of customer service)
- Have you ever recognised a problem before
your boss or others in the organisation? Describe
the problem? How did you recognise it? How did
you communicate it? What was the outcome?
- What sources of information do you use to
keep aware of problems within your department?
- How well informed are you about what is going
on in other departments of the organisation?
- How do you keep informed?
- How do you go about setting goals?
- How do you schedule your time? Set priorities?
Are you able to schedule your time? How far
ahead can you schedule?
- Can you walk me through last week and tell
me how you planned the week’s activities
and how the schedule worked out?
- How often is your schedule upset by unforseen
circumstances ? What do you do then ? Give me
a recent example?
- How do you plan your daily activities?
- What kinds of project planning and administration
do you do in your current job?
- What systems do you utilise to allow you to
- What is your procedure for keeping track of
items requiring your attention?
- Are there any procedures which you find helpful
for keeping track of things which require your
attention? What are they?
- What are your long and short term plans for
your department? Are they in writing?
- How do you decide what to delegate and to
whom to delegate?
- How to you familiarise yourself with the current
situation in your organisation after being away
for several days?
- All of us have been in situations where we
assigned work to other people and they didn’t
do what we intended. Can you tell me about some
of those? Why did it happen?
- Do you have any systems for keeping track
of reports you submit to management? What is
- Do you use any methods to keep informed of
what is going on in your areas of supervision?
What are they?
- Tell me about a difficult situation when you
failed to meet a particular target or deadline?
How you like to be managed
- How would you describe your ideal manager?
- How do you like to be managed?
- Describe the management style of the manager
for whom you have worked best. Where and when
How you manage others
- Describe your management style?
- What systems do you use to manage staff?
- What procedures do you use for monitoring
/ evaluating your subordinates’ performance?
- What do you do when you find that your techniques
for regulating activities are loosely adhered
to by your subordinates? Give a specific example?
- Describe the basic content of your staff meetings.
How are action items assigned? How often are
these meetings held?
- What kind of system do you have for keeping
track of assignments made to subordinates?
- How do you keep track of what your subordinates
- Tell me about some of the people who have
become successful as a result of your management.
What was your role in their development?
- How do you keep your employees informed of
what is going on in the organisation?
- Give me an example of an unpopular decision
you had to make and how you made it?
- How do you find out what people are really
thinking or feeling?
How you want your career to develop
- What would your next ideal role be?
- What are your career goals in five years?
In ten years?
The details of your remuneration package
and the package you will accept if offered the
- What are your expectations in terms of base
salary or hourly/daily rate ?
Unusual Or ‘Killer’ Questions
Some interviewers ask questions to put candidates
off balance and under pressure.
While such questions may seem irrelevant, they
will relate to the job in some way. They are often
asked to gauge personality, assess whether you
are up with current issues or to gauge whether
you will fit into a company or team culture.
When confronted with a “killer’ question,
stay calm, take a few seconds to absorb the question,
remain diplomatic and as much as possible, remain
positive in your response. No matter how personal
the question may appear, acting shocked or irritated
is not a good idea.
Examples of ‘Killer’ questions:
- Tell me something about yourself that you’ve
never told anyone before?
- Have you ever lied to get a job?
- What would you do if I told you I thought
you weren’t interviewing very well?
- Sell me this pen (for sales people).
- Do you think you’re intelligent?
- What’s the biggest political issue facing
- Name me five members of state parliament.
- Which famous person would you ask to a dinner
party and why?
- How do you handle a boss you don’t like?
for the interview
c. What to
do before the interview
d. What to
do during the interview
e. What to
do after the interview