Job Interview Questions Blog header image

Job Interview Questions Blog

≡ Menu

Likely HR questions you will face on your next interview

possible HR human resource questionsJob interviews can be a stressful process and you need to be prepared for anything an interviewer throws at you.

Ace Your Job Interview With This Little Trick

You’re calm and relaxed, mentally ready for a challenge, and even looking forward to the chance to shine.

Use each interview as a learning experience and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go the way you had hoped.

On this page, you’ll find HR Interview Questions to help you get prepared.

Depending on the company, you will either interview with a person from HR or the manager you would be working under. It’s good to know this beforehand because HR interview questions are generally much different than with a hiring manager.

Hiring manager questions tend to be more geared towards your experience, while HR interview questions tend to be more general in nature.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Here is a list of questions you can generally expect to be asked by someone interviewing you from a company’s HR department.

1. Why do you want to leave your job?
There is no right answer to this question, only wrong ones. You don’t need to make book out of this answer, just something short and positive is best. After all, it really does not matter to the interviewer, as long as you don’t say something foolish.

The point here is to convey to the interviewer that you are not leaving because you are mad, tired, bored, overworked, underpaid, or job hopping, just that you are leaving your job on because.

“I do enjoy working at my current job. The culture and the people make it a great place to work. But I’m looking for more responsibility with new and fresh challenges. I have worked on and successfully completed several projects, from start to finish during the past two years. Currently, advancement opportunities are scarce at my current job.

3 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview - Check Them Out!

I don’t mind a slow down in pace from time to time, but it’s important to me to keep my career continually moving in a forward direction that is consistent with my career goals.”

2. Tell me about yourself?
What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave, your work experience or your personal interests? I’m confident their hiring decision will be based on your work experience, save your personal interests for the water cooler after you get the job.

Briefly talk about your current employer.

Discuss 2-3 of your most significant accomplishments.

Talk about a few of your key strengths as they relate to the job for which you are applying and how they can benefit from your strengths.

Then discuss how you see yourself fitting into a position at their company.

3. How do accept criticism?
This is a team player question and is asked to see how open and willing you are to being asked or told what to do. Are you someone who can follow directions? Can you accept criticism? Or, are you the type of person who does not like being told what to do or being criticized?

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

“I openly accept criticism without taking any offense and politely thank the person for their comments.”

4. What are some of the things that bother you?
This is a common question, but don’t dwell on it. The interviewer is looking for a job related answer, more like “what bothers you about your job or the people you work with?” If you dig deep and think of what really bothers you, you’ll find that it’s other people and their ideas, right? But don’t tell the interviewer that, you can be more clever than that.

“It bothers me the most when other people I work with don’t meet their deadlines or deliver what they promise.”

5. Do you prefer working with others or alone?
Basically, the interviewer is asking if you are a team player. If your answer is with others, then the interviewer will think you can’t work alone and if you answer alone, then the interviewer may think you have some personality issues working with other people.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Your response needs to show that you can work well in a team atmosphere and still shoulder individual responsibility, as well. Before you answer, make sure you know if the job requires you to work alone or not.

“I enjoy working alone when necessary as I don’t need to be constantly reassured of my work. But I would prefer to work in a group as I believe much more work can be accomplished when everyone is pulling together.”

6. How do you get along with different types of people?
The workplace is loaded with a variety of different people with varying personalities and the interviewer wants to know how you think you will fit in.

When answering interview questions with HR, you want to show your interviewer that it does not matter what kind of people you work with – just that work gets done. This shows the interviewer that you are more concerned with outcomes than personalities.

Best answer: 1. “I work well with anyone who delivers what they promise.”

What are some of the things that you and your supervisor have disagreed about?
Though it may sound like it, this is not a time to bad mouth your supervisor. Let’s take what is expected to be a negative answer and turn it around.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

“Shifting priorities is usually the main reason for any type of disagreement. I may be working on a project that has a tight deadline and my supervisor may pull me from that project to work on something else. It can be frustrating to stop working on a project after I have built up a great deal of momentum only and to switch gears on the fly and start on something completely different.”

7. Would your boss describe you as a go-getter?
Share with the interviewer an example of a project that you worked on, perhaps you had to put in long hours and time on the weekend to meet a deadline and that in the end you completed the project or task on time and under budget and made your department or company look good.

“Yes; absolutely. It is not uncommon for my boss to tell me that I am one of the most reliable employees he has. He even makes such remarks on my evaluations. I believe he thinks so because I am dependable and I just get things done without having to be supervised and in the end it just makes him look good.”

3 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview - Check Them Out!

8. Why did you choose this particular career path or what led to your chosen profession?
When answering HR interview questions like this, you need to be specific and tell the interviewer what inspired you to take this career path while keeping your answer short and to the point. If you can, try to direct your answer so that it shows a logical progression between your profession and the company you are interviewing with.

You really want to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job and that your education, dreams, and career goals match your profession. Describe your thought process.

Don’t say that you majored in English because you thought it would be easy. Be specific and justify your answer. I chose .. because .. “I chose architecture because I have always admired beautiful buildings” or “As a child I was truly inspired by a certain TV show doctor which ultimately led me to pursue a career in medicine.”

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

“I chose medical school because I have always enjoyed helping other people.”

You have just read a small fraction of what is inside the Complete Interview Answer Guide. Each of these questions is answered in extreme detail in my guide and there are many more questions and multiple answers to each question in this guide.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

 

 

Best way to format a list of references for a job

Free Reference Template download below shows you a professional job references format.

To format a list of job references is a relatively simple task. All you need are the names and contact information for at least three to four of your best job references. And then I’ll show you how to put them in the correct reference format on my sample reference page. To format this list, title the top of your reference page as shown below:

Ace Your Job Interview With This Little Trick

references-template-format-sample

How to make a reference page with a list of references

First step in creating your list of references: Title your reference page as show below:

Professional References for Susan Smith

I would even suggest putting it in a 14-16 point bold font. Then very simply list your references using this format:


Second step
in creating a reference page:

Use this references template to format your list of references.

Reference Name
Company where they work, their position
City, State
Email address:
Phone or Cell Phone number: 216-555-1212

Third step in creating a reference page:

The references template is pretty straight forward. Once you have your first reference listed, simply copy the same format to the next reference and do this three or four times.

That’s it, you’re all done writing your list of references. Were you expecting more?

Don’t worry, at the end of the article, I’ll show you what your references format should look like when it’s all done.

But before I do…

I want to tell you about the Resume Masterpiece Here is where I go into even more detail about a references template , cover letters, and writing beautiful resumes.

At the bottom of this page I’ll show you a references template you can use to format your list of job references.

Keep in mind that your references should be on one single piece of paper. Make sure you don’t put “references available on request” on your resume. Mainly because it’s unnecessary and because employers will assume you have references and they will ask you when they are getting close to making you a job offer.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

When creating your reference sheet to take to the interview, put it on letter-head that matches your resume and cover letter. In addition to looking good, the letterhead will identify whose reference sheet it is if it gets separated from your letter and resume.

But avoid offering your references to a potential employer in an interview unless they ask for them. It is rare that an employer will ask for references in a first interview, but it is possible which is why you want to have them with you. If they do ask for your references, then give them your references sheet along with any letters of recommendation that you may have.

Usually, employers will not ask for your references until they have made the decision to hire you. Once they have, then your references will serve as an extra piece of mind to a potential employer that they are making a wise investment in hiring you.

Here is a Sample list of a references template you can download for free

Resume References Format – Sample List of Job references

I discuss resume references format in more detail in another one of my articles.

Professional References for Susan Smith

Chris Fields, ARC, Solutions Design Consultant
Chicago, IL
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 312-554-1234

Joyce Cirner, Microsoft – Partner Account Manager
Redmond, WA
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 312-555-0558

Susan Bridge, Independent Network Consultant
Olmsted Falls, Ohio
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 440-666-5449

David Jones, Chicago Public Library
Chicago, IL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 569-123-5588 Ext. 10

101 Examples of the Best Job Interview Thank You Letters

Bob parker, Computer Sales, Eventus
Independence, Ohio
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 440-555-7782 or 216-555-1900

This references template is all you need to make a reference page for your list of references.

Are you sure your resume is the best it can be? In my new book the Resume Masterpiece, I’ll show you how to write a resume that will impress interviewers and make them want to call you for job interviews like you — or you can sit and wait by your phone, and wait, and wait.

How to write a resume

Make your resume the Best

Related:

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Tough interview question on improving your performance

A job interview can be nerve-wracking. Sometimes an interviewer will even intentionally try to trip you up verbally so that he or she can see how you respond under pressure. However, most of the questions are simply meant to help assess your professionalism, work ethic, and likelihood to fit in with the team of people at the company.

Almost every job interview will have the question “What is your greatest weakness?” Sometimes this is followed or replaced by “how can you improve your work performance?’ Here are some tips on how to answer question how to improve your work performance.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Three Solid Tips on Answering Questions on How to Improve Your Work Performance

Tip #1: Never bring up a serious character or personality flaw. If you bring up something that will greatly affect your ability to perform the job, there is no way they will hire you. A better idea is to admit to a smaller weakness, then state a method you have developed to work on improving this problem.

A sample of how to answer questions on how to improve your work performance might be: I believe that like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so a person is only as strong as his (or her) weakness. I try to search for those weaknesses and find ways to improve.

For instance, I have a tendency to be single-minded when starting a new task that I am excited about. To combat this, I break down every project into goals and deadlines, putting reminders in the calendar on my phone. This keeps all my responsibilities being completed on time and with quality.

Sample Question and Answer on Improving Your Work Performance

Tip #2: Use this opportunity to tell about goals for furthering your education within the field. Employers are usually looking for ambitious and self-motivated employees. Think of the goals you have and the ways for continuing education (that you can do while in the position) to improve your performance.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

A sample of how to answer question how to improve your work performance in this case is: I see so much opportunity in this field. I am planning to learn and grow as a (insert vocation) by taking courses online and reading through the industry literature. Right now, I am reading (insert title).

Note: make sure you really are reading that book or article because the interviewer might also have read it and engage you in conversation about it.

Tip #3: Bring your answer back to basic work skills and your specific approaches to doing those well.

An idea of how to answer question how to improve your work performance this way is: High levels of work performance are based on the ability to organize, manage time, and work well with others. I use a color-coded filing system to help increase accuracy and speed when working on projects.

I also use a computer calendar with reminder notifications that alert me of approaching deadlines to improve my time management skills. I also recently read an article communicating effectively with colleagues and clients using email and other technology and am implementing the suggestions in my communications.

Note: Always consider your own experiences when figuring out how to answer question how to improve your work performance.

101 Examples of the Best Job Interview Thank You Letters

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Best way to answer why you want to leave your job

Why Do You Want to Leave Your Job?

What is a good reason for leaving a job?

This question can be answered in several ways, but do your best to keep your answer short. Avoid being dishonest with this question, for what ever reason, your interviewer may spot it and believe there is something you are not saying. There are usually only a few reasons someone really wants to leave their job and, surprisingly, money does not rank at the top of the list.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

On the other hand, you may not have gotten along with your manager or co-workers. Maybe you were never very excited to be there in the first place and only ever accepted the job to pay the bills. Maybe your reputation was tarnished by a formal reprimand and staying there is emotionally draining. Perhaps you are severely underpaid and just need more money. But to be clear, do not list any of these reasons for leaving your current job in an interview because the interviewer will not be impressed and you will probably lose any chance of getting the job.

Avoid making negative remarks about your past or present manager, your fellow employees, or the company you are working for – even if they are true! Don’t even hint at the fact that you hated your manger and avoid sarcastic remarks. Remember, the interviewer does not know your previous manager or fellow employees. If you start bad-mouthing them in the interview, you will immediately be flagged as having a negative attitude towards your co-workers. The interviewer will then assume you will act the same way at this company and be a bad influence. You will not get the job.

I don’t care how bad you hate your current company, manager, co-workers, salary – never bring that up in the interview. Instead, tell the interviewer something positive about your co-workers and previous company.

There is no right answer to this question, only wrong ones. You don’t need to make book out of this answer, just something short and positive is best. After all, it really does not matter to the interviewer, as long as you don’t say something foolish. The point here is to convey to the interviewer that you are not leaving because you are mad, tired, bored, overworked, underpaid, or job hopping, just that you are leaving your job because…

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Best answer to Why Do You Want to Leave Your Job – what are good reasons

1. “I do enjoy working at my current job. The culture and the people make it a great place to work. But I’m looking for more responsibility with new and fresh challenges. I have worked on and successfully completed several projects from start to finish during the past two years. Currently, advancement opportunities are scarce at my current job. I don’t mind a slow down in pace from time to time, but it’s important to me to keep my career continually moving in a forward direction that is consistent with my career goals.”

Second best reason for why you want to leave your job:

2. “Departmental changes and corporate restructuring have made it difficult to keep on track with my career goals. As a result of these changes, future advancement opportunities are limited and I no longer see a future for myself with this company.” Be ready to backup your answer if you are asked what happened to your department. Depending on time, the interviewer may just move on.

3 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview - Check Them Out!

3. “After working there for three years, I have learned a great deal about the company and the ways we conduct business. As much as I enjoy the relationships I have developed, it is time for me to move to a more progressive organization with more opportunities and new challenges.”

4. “My spouse has received a promotion where she works and needs to move. We decided that it would be more beneficial for her to accept her new assignment than to pass up this opportunity.”

Another good reason for why you want to leave your job:

5. “My current position is being eliminated as a result of corporate downsizing and I have been informed that I have 30 days left to work there.”

6. “My company recently moved their office across town and now my morning commute is about 90 minutes and I need to be closer to home.”

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Best way to write a job transfer request

Detailed Description of how to write a job transfer request

Learning how to write a job transfer request is a lot like writing a resume cover letter; the basics are the same.

In a resume cover letter:

  • You need to sell yourself and your abilities
  • You need to communicate your points efficiently (ideally, in one page)
  • You need to show the hiring supervisor what you can do for his or her division, and/or you need to show the company how the organization will benefit by placing you in the new position

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

The difference when learning how to write a job transfer request letter is that the ball is not always in your court; under optimal conditions, your company will be actively trying to fill a position, and your transfer is more like an internal application than a personal request. However, sometimes the need for a job transfer request is strictly personal-perhaps a family illness or change in personal circumstances is forcing you to relocate, and you are writing in hopes of moving your job to another location.

In any case, the first step in writing a successful job transfer request letter is to analyze the situation and know where you are starting from; this will help you set the tone for the letter and focus it accordingly.

Learn how to answer job interview questions

When Applying For a Posted Position – Writing a Job Transfer Request

If your job transfer request is in response to a job opening within your company, treat it like what it really is-an application with the benefit of company familiarity.In your letter,

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

  • State straight off your purpose for writing
  • Highlight your abilities and experience
  • Clearly praise the company (without overdoing it)
  • Tell why you want to move up in the company
  • Keep the focus on what you can do for the company without sounding like you are bragging

A condensed letter of a job transfer request might look something like:

[Using proper business format]

Dear [HR Contact or Supervisor],

It has come to my attention that [blank] department is accepting applications for the [state position]; I am forwarding my resume for your consideration.

I have worked for [this company] for [x] years, as a [position], and have found this to be a very well run organization, supportive of its employees; I would like nothing more than to continue my professional growth with this company as my career moves forward.

101 Examples of the Best Job Interview Thank You Letters

I have worked in several capacities here at [company], including [list]. Each experience has enhanced my skills and abilities; my current position has allowed to [list what you have learned]. These are skills that I feel would be very well suited to this position.

I look forward to continued growth within this company throughout my career and I thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Signature
Name
Job title

Related:

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

When Applying For a Personal Transfer Request

Job transfer requests made for personal reasons have the disadvantage of not being made specifically to fill an open position. You have to sell yourself as valuable to the company-valuable enough that they would want to work cooperatively with you and keep you.

For this type of job transfer request, follow the above guide, and also state why you need to request a transfer. In addition to selling your abilities, really play up your commitment to the company, and your desire to remain with them.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

  • Highlight achievements and skills that would be sorely lost
  • Explain why you need to request a transfer
  • Be appreciative of what the company has done for you
  • Offer a plan for transition which includes training a new person for your position Here’s an example:

Dear [name},

I am writing to respectfully request a transfer in location from [office A] to [office B]. A change in my personal circumstances necessitates this move. An illness in my family has made it necessary for me to relocate to [x]. Since I have been with this company for [x time], and have thoroughly enjoyed my employment here, I feel it is in the best
interests of myself and of this company that I move operations, rather than leave the company altogether.

In my time here, you have known me to be a person who [list skills and attributes]. I would like to continue providing job excellence to this company, and hope that we are able to work together to find a solution that fits both of our needs.

I understand that this presents some difficulty for the current location, but I feel I can still be of service from this new location, and I am willing to work through [period of transition] to help train new personnel in my position.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

I am very appreciative of my time here at [company], the experience has been very rewarding in many ways.

I thank you for taking the time to consider my request and anxiously await your decision.

Sincerely
Signature
Name
Title

You should fee free to appeal to the human side of your employer, and be sure to include appropriate reasons why you are requesting a transfer; however, resist the urge to be plaintiff and keep this part of the request short-no one likes a whiner!!

The key in how to write a job transfer request that is effective is to balance your skills and assets with the needs of the company. Play up the angles that are open to you, but be careful not to come off as sounding presumptuous and arrogant; you want to be viewed as a valuable company asset, not a thorn in the side worth losing! In all job transfer
requests, keep the focus on the company and its benefit as much as possible. Selling your invaluable self will surely get you the move you need!

Related:

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Have you ever been asked if you’re a detail oriented person?

This interview question is one that many people get confused by in their job interviews. The answer is quite simple, but most people don’t know how to expand upon the obvious “yes” without much more than the fact that they pay attention to details and make sure that every aspect of the job is done.

Employers are looking for you to explain your skills, examples, and what qualifies you as a detail-oriented person in the workplace. Fortunately, this is easy as long as you know what they are looking for.

A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way. It shouldn’t be something that the person has to work at.

Ace Your Job Interview With This Little Trick

It should be inherent and just happen. Of course, if you aren’t very detail-oriented, you may have to train yourself to adopt this second nature before you can succeed in a position.

Traits of a Detail Oriented Person May Include:

-Keenness to exploring the topic or issue at hand, as well as reasons behind it and issues surrounding it.

-Proactive attitude that focuses on creating ideas and plans for correcting issues or handling daily tasks.

-Patience and determination to explore the problem and all of its elements until the reasoning has been found so that it can be resolved accurately.

This is usually something that is ingrained in people and will make them a better person for a job than someone who does not have this innate nature to them. However, it is also a skill that can be developed with a conscious effort and taking advantage of situations where the skill will be needed to complete the task at hand.

Detail-oriented people have a variety of different job opportunities. For example, research positions are great for people who pay attention to the details. Additionally, development and problem resolution positions can be ideal for these types of candidates.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Any financial job, such as accounting, needs someone who is detail-oriented and able to get the job done well. Also, any career or position that requires quantitative analysis and research will require this skill. Indirectly, being a detail-oriented person can help in many different career fields and positions, so it is important not to rule anything out until you see where your skills will fit best.

Attention to detail is another way of saying detail-oriented. If an employer asks you if you have attention to detail, your answer generally needs to be “yes”. You should also be able to expand on that answer by offering examples of your skills and how they can relate to the needs of the job that you are interviewing for.

You certainly shouldn’t claim to be able to do things that you are incapable of, but if the job requires attention to detail, you need to have it or be able to pick it up quickly.

3 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview - Check Them Out!

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Questions customer service interviews

When you are pursuing a customer service position, there are many areas of expertise that could be valuable. The basics include computer/technology, administrative/clerical training, data entry, customer relationship best practices, and knowledge of the industry software applications.

When you reach the interview stage, there are some principles that go with sample job interview answers for customer service. Questions are normally open-ended, starting with words like describe, detail, and explain. The interviewer is looking to see not only how you have handled (or would handle) certain situations but also how relevantly, concisely, and courteously you speak.

Ace Your Job Interview With This Little Trick

The interviewer will be assessing how you respond to stress, adapt to new situations, pay attention to detail, and analyze and solve problems. Because many questions have to do with personal experiences, you will need to come up with your own answers rather than using sample job interview answers for customer service.

However, keep in mind the areas that are most important for an interviewer when you choose experiences to relate. Think ahead about the times you have had customer service experiences where you overcame obstacles to help customers in a friendly and informed manner.

Common customer service interview questions and answers

‘What is good customer service?’ is one question that is commonly asked in an interview setting. Some sample job interview answers for customer service to this question include:

  1. Good customer service professionals provide a friendly voice and face to the company while solving problems, giving out accurate information, or helping clients make good decisions.
  2. Good customer service starts with how you treat every customer as valuable. It also involves knowing the inventory, being familiar with company policy, and courteously guiding customers so that problems are resolved.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

You may also be asked what software you are proficient in. Though your personal experiences with software will vary, these sample job interview answers for customer service can give you an idea of how to structure your answer.

  1. I am proficient in (insert specific customer service software, like SalesForce) as well as basic word processing and spreadsheet software. I am also a quick learner and look forward to becoming more familiar with other applications.
  2. I was trained in (insert technology) through (insert organization). However, I understand that you use (insert particular software used by the company) and have started to familiarize myself with that format as well.

Routine customer service interview questions and answers

Another routine interview question is how you handle a dissatisfied or angry customer. Your response like sample job interview answers for customer service should emphasize patience, active listening, calm courtesy, and a plan for meeting the needs of the customer.

  1. I actively listen to the customer’s complaints, asking questions to make sure that I understand what they are unhappy about. I patiently and calmly work with them to find a solution, often offering a company approved added bonus to help retain them as loyal customers after the problem has been resolved.
  2. At all times I remember that they are not angry with me but with the situation. Aligning myself with them as an ally against the problem that needs to be resolved can help me listen attentively to their concerns and offer solutions that make sense.

101 Examples of the Best Job Interview Thank You Letters

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Thank You Letter for After a Job Interview

Below is a sample thank you letter for after the interview from a client I have been working with.

A while back one of my customers, Julie, asked me a question on what would be the best way to write a post interview thank you letter for after a job interview. Julie just had her interview and wanted to send a follow-up thank you letter right after her interview.

Julie said she interviewed for a state job with the dept. of social services. She wrote this ahead of time using one of my thank you letter samples so she could send it after she got home from her interview.

[click to continue…]