Classic Interview Questions and Answers
What sports are you/have you been involved in?
Alternative and related questions:
Do you play any sports?
The meaning behind the question:
It’s hard to say what the interviewer’s precise motivations are in asking you this question. There are a number of possibilities; it depends on the interviewer. All interviewers will be looking for evidence that you are a fit and physically active individual. Some will also be looking to gauge whether or not you are a ‘team player’ – or even a team leader. And others will be trying to identify a competitive streak. However, there’s actually no evidence that individuals who play sports are any more competitive or any more likely to work well in a team than those who never go near a pair of trainers!
If you are involved in any sports then it should already say so on your CV – and the interviewer should therefore know this. In asking you this question, they’re consequently expecting you to elaborate on what you’ve stated on your CV.
If you’re fortunate enough to be Captain of the local football team then, besides the obvious selling point of football being a team activity (and your hence being a ‘team player’), you’ve immediately got an opportunity to communicate your leadership qualities, your ability to take responsibility for others, your ability to commit yourself to a project, etc.
However, if, like many of us, you rarely find time to engage in any sporting activity, then there’s no need to fear. This question is unlikely to be a deciding factor in whether or not you get the job. Stick to the truth and try to mention at least one physical activity, even if it’s just walking in the park at the weekend!
There’s currently little routine to my life. Business needs are such that I travel very frequently and consequently work irregular hours. This leaves little room for me to participate in any sporting activities. However, I do like to keep myself fit and healthy and, if at all possible, I take the opportunity to go for a walk in the morning before I start work. This helps to wake me up, get some oxygen into my brain and I also use the time to think through the day ahead of me and what it is that I need to achieve. I’m aware that there’s a lot less travel involved in this job so this means I may have more opportunity in the future to play tennis again.
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More classic interview questions and answers
How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?
In what ways are you a team player?
Do you work well on your own initiative?
What techniques do you use to get things done?
What motivates you?
Are you proactive?
Are you creative?
Are you a risk-taker?
How do you handle pressure and stress?
Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?
What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?
How would you handle the following situation?
Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?
Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?
We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?
What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?
How would you describe yourself as a manager?
Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?
What is your customer service philosophy?
How did you get your last job?
What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?
What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?
What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?
What have you learned in your last job?
Can you tell me about your last appraisal?
How would you describe your current boss?
Why did you leave that job?
Which of your jobs was the best?
Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?
What do you know about us as an organisation?
What do you know about our products/services?
What do you think are our organisation's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?
How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?
What appeals to you most about this vacancy?
Why have you chosen this line of work?
Are there any other organisations to which you are applying?
How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?
Can you describe your ideal employer to me?
What sort of person would you most like to work for?
In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?
What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?
What sports are you/have you been involved in?
Do you know what the current headline news is?
How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?
Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?
What is your current salary package?
What salary package are you expecting for this role?
When would you be available to start?
Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?
Author: James Innes