I recently laid out the year’s most oddball interview questions. The Glassdoor list included queries from companies like Google, Bain & Co., and Amazon, which are notorious for their perplexing and unusual job interview questions.
In 2012, the search giant asked a candidate, “How many cows are in Canada?” while Bain challenged an interviewee to estimate the number of windows in New York. Amazon asked a candidate, “If Jeff Bezos walked into your office and offered you a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea, what would it be?”
The moral of the story was that job seekers need to anticipate less conventional interview questions, and that they should think of oddball queries as an opportunity to demonstrate their thought process, to communicate their values and character, and to show the prospective employer how they perform under pressure.
But as it turns out, most companies will ask more common interview questions like “What are your strengths?” and “What are your weaknesses?”—and it’s important that you prepare well for those, too.
Glassdoor sifted through tens of thousands of interview reviews to find the 50 most common questions.
The 50 Most Common Interview Questions:
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Why do you want to leave your current company?
Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
What can you offer us that someone else can not?
What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
Are you willing to relocate?
Are you willing to travel?
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
What is your dream job?
How did you hear about this position?
What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
Discuss your resume.
Discuss your educational background.
Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
Why should we hire you?
Why are you looking for a new job?
Would you work holidays/weekends?
How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
What are your salary requirements?
Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
Who are our competitors?
What was your biggest failure?
What motivates you?
What’s your availability?
Who’s your mentor?
Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
How do you handle pressure?
What is the name of our CEO?
What are your career goals?
What gets you up in the morning?
What would your direct reports say about you?
What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
Are you a leader or a follower?
What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
What are your co-worker pet peeves?
What are your hobbies?
What is your favorite website?
What makes you uncomfortable?
What are some of your leadership experiences?
How would you fire someone?
What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
Would you work 40+ hours a week?
What questions haven’t I asked you?
What questions do you have for me?
Adapted from Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff