26 May 2023
There is immense value in practicing answering interview questions prior to an interview. Practice helps you organise and bring your thoughts together. It also makes you think about the examples you might use.
You will never guess the questions you will be asked at the interview, but what you can guess are likely topics you will be asked about. Below is a list of some typical (though not exhaustive) topics and a couple of sample questions for each that you can use to practice with.
You will see that many of these questions can be interchanged across topics and adjusted to fit what you are likely to be asked about.
Quick caveat: The questions below are not necessarily questions I recommend that employers/panels use. In fact many are poor interview questions. Most interviews are littered with poor questions so it is good to practice them.
- Talk us through a time you were convinced you were right, but interactions with your team helped you adjust your thinking.
- What is the magic ingredient you bring to a team? In other words, how are teams better because you are a part of them?
- What is the typical approach you see in our industry to written communication? How does this align with your approach?
- What techniques do you use to make your verbal communication more effective?
- Talk us through a time when you used a strategic approach to be more effective in your role.
- Describe a time when you successfully translated strategy into practical outcomes.
- What is your favourite way to bring fun, innovation, and creativity into your work?
- What learning would you like to undertake to enhance your capacity to innovate?
- What technology do you think adds the most to your effectiveness?
- When was the last time you were bought up short by technology?
- Describe the hardest work related decision you have made. How did you go about settling on this way forward? In reflection, what would you have changed about your decision?
- Talk us through a decision you have made where the data you had was conflicting or ambiguous.
- What methods do you use to ensure the projects you manage stay on track?
- Please describe your approach at both the start and the finish of a project.
- Ideally, what percentage of your time do you need to be working autonomously and what percentage of time in collaboration with others?
- We need someone in this role who is self-directed. When things are difficult or slow how do you keep yourself motivated?
- To what degree are you a stickler for having things organised?
- How do you ensure you consistently give your best during times of high pressure and tight deadlines?
- What is the key thing we need to know about your approach to stakeholder management?
- An important stakeholder has made an unreasonable request. What would your approach be?
- When was the last time you expressed one of your core values at work?
- How closely do you believe you align with the values of this organisation?
- How do you support yourself to bring creative solutions to problems?
- Describe a recent time when your solution to a problem was adopted.
- How strong would you rate your influencing skills? Why do you give yourself this rating?
- Your boss is asking for something it is impossible for you to deliver given your other priorities. What is your approach?
- How would those you have led describe you as a leader?
- What philosophies, techniques, or models have most influenced your leadership style?
Some General Questions:
- Why do you want this role?
- What key strengths will you bring to this role?
- What standards will you hold yourself to if you are appointed to this position?
- What would you hope to hear that people are saying about you after a couple of months in this role?
- What skills do you most hope to develop in yourself over the next couple of years?
- What do you think differentiates you from other people we are considering?
- Please tell us about yourself and why you decided to apply for this role.
Please practice long before you have an interview. Buddy up with a colleague; practice one question each morning over breakfast; dedicate Tuesday night dinner conversations to interview practice...
Practice your answers out loud rather than in your head. This strengthens the connection between your brain and your tongue - don't let the interview be the first time the words pass your lips.
You are likely to be terrible when you start. This is normal. Please don't be put off. Better to be terrible in practice than bomb out in the interview.
If you want/need more check out my Interview Support program where live questioning with immediate feedback is built into the process.
As always, wishing you a flourishing career.
P.S. I work with hiring managers too if you are keen to enhance your selections.