Classic Interview Questions and Answers
Do you know what the current headline news is?
Alternative and related questions:
What news story has interested you recently?
The meaning behind the question:
Apart from a handful of professions, for example journalism, this question is likely to have precious little to do with your ability to perform the job – unless it’s your particular industry or line of work that’s been in the news. Instead, the question is more about the interviewer trying to understand what sort of a person you are – how much active interest you take in the world around you and the society you live in. This gives the interviewer greater insight into your character and helps them to assess how well you will fit in with your prospective future colleagues and with their organisational culture. The interviewer might also want to get your opinion on the matter – so as to test your analytical skills.
“No” is not an option. Whether or not you’re interested in current affairs you need to make sure you’re reasonably clued up on what’s going on in the world whenever you’re sitting interviews. It’s a simple enough matter to buy a daily newspaper (avoiding the tabloids) or to watch the news on television. Avoid being controversial; avoid saying too much – but do volunteer a brief opinion on the matter if appropriate to do so. As well as this being a ‘formal’ question that might come up at interview, the interviewer could easily make reference to some newsworthy topic in the ‘small talk’ phase before – or, indeed, after – an interview. If you haven’t got the faintest idea what they’re talking about then it’s not going to make a good impression.
I like to keep abreast of current affairs – mainly via the BBC News website, which gives me a thorough, but balanced, overview. The major news at the moment remains the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. It’s a tragic situation and it’s very hard to see what the long-term solution is going to be, so deep-rooted are the problems.
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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