Common Interview Questions
This pivot table lists common interview questions of various types. You may view all the categories by scrolling
down or you may click on the drop down arrow to the right of the "Row Labels" label and select the categories
relevant to you.
Anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures
Can you tell me about a time during your previous employment when you suggested a better way to perform a
Delegated a project effectively
Demonstrate how you are adaptable to a variety of people, situations, and environments.
Describe a project in which you worked independently or you were in a leadership role?
Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.
Describe a situation when you had to work with/for someone that didn't like you. How did you handle it?
Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you
Describe a time when you helped a classmate or a coworker.
Describe a time when you performed a task outside your perceived responsibilities. What was the task? Why did
you perceive it to be outside your responsibilities? What was the outcome?
Describe a time when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?
Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
Describe what you would classify as a crisis.
Describe what you would say if asked to talk about yourself in a group of 15 people.
Give an example of a time when you had to persuade others to take action.
Give an example of a time when you identified a small problem and fixed it before it became a major problem.
Give an example of how you applied knowledge from previous class to a real-world situation. .
Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
Give me a specific example of something you did that helped build enthusiasm in others.
Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.
Give me an example of a time you influenced or persuaded a group.
Give me an example of an important decision you made that still affects you today.
Give me an example of when you have reached the point in working on something and you realized you were
over your head. What did you do?
Got bogged down in the details of a project
Had to adapt to a difficult situation
Had to deal an irate customer or client
Had to fire a friend
Had to make an important decision with limited facts
Handled a difficult situation with a co-worker
Hired (or fired) the wrong person
How do you deal with an irate customer
How do you go about reaching your goals?
How do you know when you are stressed? What do you do to de-stress?
How do you think people should be punished for not doing the job expected of them?
How do you think your co-workers would respond if you were absent from work?
If someone asked you for assistance with a matter that is outside the parameters of your job description, what
would you do?
If someone told you that you had made an error, describe how you would react and what you would say in your
If you observed a co-worker who made inappropriate sexual or racial remarks to another employee, and it was
obvious to you that the situation was creating an uncomfortable environment, what would you do?
It's 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. Your manager gives you an assignment that needs to be finished by 8:00 Monday
morning. You have already made plans to be away the entire weekend. What would you do?
Lost (or won) an important contract
Made a bad decision
Missed an obvious solution to a problem
Persuaded team members to do things your way
Please give an example of a time when you were trying to meet a deadline, you were interrupted, and did not
make the deadline. How did you respond?
Please give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult co-worker. How did you handle the
Prioritized then elements of a complicated project
Set your sights too high (or too low).
Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance
on a project or assignment.
Suppose you are in a situation where deadlines and priorities change frequently and rapidly. How would you
Suppose your manager asked you to get information for them that you know is confidential and he/she should
not have access to. What would you do?
Surmounted a major obstacle
Tell me about a difficult time you had with a boss/supervisor.
Tell me about a major problem you recently resolved.
Tell me about a personal or career goal that you have accomplished and why that was important to you.
Tell me about a recent crisis you handled.
Tell me about a situation you wish that you had handled differently based on the outcome. What was the
situation? What would you change (or will you change) when faced with a similar situation?
Tell me about a time in which you took initiative to start something.
Tell me about a time when you faced a pretty big obstacle and managed to achieve success.
Tell me about a time when you failed to accomplish your desired goal.
Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision, but didn't have all the information you needed.
Tell me about a time when you had to work with a group of people over whom you had no control (they don't
report to you) and you had to accomplish a complicated project.
Tell me about a time when you were a part of a great team. What was your part in making the team effective?
Tell me about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities.
Tell me about a time you showed leadership?
Tell me about a time you were a team player?
Tell me about your proudest accomplishment and the role you played.
Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
Tell of a time when you believe a professor evaluated you unfairly. How did you handle it?
Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. What did
Tell of a time when your active listening skills paid off.
Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle.
Turned down a good job
Used your political savvy to push a program through that you really believed in
Were creative at problem solving
Were disappointed in your behavior
Were forced to make an unpopular decision
Were tolerant of an opinion that was different from yours
Were unable to complete a project on-time
What do you do when you know you are right and your boss disagrees with you? Give me an example of when
this has happened in your career.
What has been your experience in giving presentations?
What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
What strengths did you rely on in your last position to make you successful in your work?
Worked effectively under pressure
Wrote a report that was well received
You are a committee member and disagree with a point or decision. How will you respond?
You are angry about an unfair decision. How do you react?
1 A new policy is to be implemented organization-wide. You do not agree with this new policy.
How do you discuss this policy with your staff?
After learning about this opportunity, what made you take the next step and apply for the job?
3 Are you best at dealing with details and day-to-day operations OR with concepts, envisioning
and future planning? Give me an example.
4 Being a manager requires both good writing and verbal skills for good communication. When it
comes to giving information to employees that can be done either way, do you prefer to write
a memo OR talk to the employee?
5 Briefly describe a recent project you contributed to. Do you think it was a success and why?
Would you have done anything differently (technically or otherwise)?
6 Could you share with us a recent accomplishment of which you are most proud?
7 Define professional behavior and/or conduct appropriate in the workplace.
8 Describe a difficult time you have had dealing with an employee, customer, or co-worker. Why
was it difficult? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
9 Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince
someone to see things your way.
10 Describe an ideal supervisor.
11 Describe an ideal work environment or "the perfect job."
12 Describe for me a decision you made which would normally have been made by your
supervisor? What was the outcome?
13 Describe for me a time when you have come across questionable business practices; how did
you handle the situation?
14 Describe for me your ideal company.
15 Describe how you like to be managed, and the best relationship you've had with a previous
16 Describe the characteristics of a successful manager.
17 Describe the type of professor that has created the most beneficial learning experience for
18 Describe what you see as your strengths related to this job/position. Describe what you see as
your weaknesses related to this job/position.
19 Describe your worst job.
20 Discuss and differentiate between remediation, corrective action, and discipline.
21 Do you prefer working by yourself or with a team? Why?
22 Do you think that your grades are an indication of your academic achievement?
23 Explain the phrase "work ethic" and describe yours.
Explain, step by step, how you have handled an employee who had performance problems.
25 Give an example of a satisfying work experience.
26 How are your quantitative skills?
27 How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time?
28 How do you handle conflict?
29 How do you handle criticism?
30 How do you handle stress/pressure?
31 How do you keep a positive attitude?
32 How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
33 How do you work under pressure?
34 How has your education prepared you for your desired career?
35 How have you participated in planning processes?
36 How would you motivate them to do so?
37 How would your co-workers describe your work style or work habits?
How would your past employers describe your response to hectic or stressful situations?
39 If I asked several of your co-workers about your greatest strength as a team member, what
would they tell me?
40 If I asked your previous/current co-workers about you what would they say?
41 If the position required it, would you be willing to relocate?
42 If the position required it, would you be willing to travel?
43 If you are the successful applicant, how would you expect to be different after a year in this
44 If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be?
45 If you had to make any changes to your life, what would they be?
46 If you were made CEO of this company, what would you change?
47 If you were offered this position, when would you be available to start?
48 In what areas would you like to develop further? What are your plans to do that?
49 In what kind of work environment do you feel comfortable?
50 In what way(s) do you express your personality in the workplace?
Is it more important to be a detail oriented person, or a big picture person? Explain.
52 Is the salary range we have set for this position within your acceptable range?
Managers need good information and managers need to make good decisions. Do you tend to
gather information up to a deadline in order to make a better-informed decision OR gather
just enough information to make a good decision quickly?
Managing requires motivating employees as well as accomplishing tasks. Do you find it more
natural to point out what's wrong so employees can accomplish tasks competently OR to
praise employees for their work and then point out what may need correcting?
Now that you have learned about our company and the position you are applying for, what
hesitation or reluctance would you have in accepting this job if we offer it to you?
56 Please describe your ideal job.
Tell me about about yourself….
57 Tell me a little your present or last job. Why did you choose it? Why did you/do you want to
59 Tell me about yourself. would like us to know about you that will aid us in making our
anything else you
61 Tell me what you know about our company.
62 Tell us a bit about your work background, and then give us a description of how you think it
relates to our current opening.
63 Tell us about your management style - people, teamwork, direction?
64 To you, which is more desirable: A business that is run in an efficient business-like manner OR
a business that is run in a personal and friendly way?
65 Under what kinds of conditions do you learn best?
66 What accomplishments have given you the greatest satisfaction?
67 What are some positive aspects of your last employment/employer? What are some negative
68 What are some typical decisions that you make and how do you make them?
69 What are the top three duties in the job you now have or in your most recent job?
70 What are your career path interests?
71 What are your greatest strengths?
What are your qualifications in your area of expertise, i.e., what skills do you have that make
you the best candidate for this position? Include any special training you have had (on-the-job,
college, continuing education, seminars, reading, etc.) and related work experience.
73 What are your short-term and long-term goals?
74 What are your standards of success?
75 What are your strengths?
76 What candy bar best describes you?
What coaching or mentoring experience have you had? With groups or one-on-one? How did
you determine the appropriate way to coach/mentor and what were the results?
78 What criteria do you use to evaluate the organization for which your want to work?
79 What did you do to research this company?
80 What did you learn or gain from your summer internship experience?
81 What do you do when others resist or reject your ideas or actions?
82 What do you expect to be doing in five/ten years?
83 What do you know about our organization?
84 What do you like to do in your free time?
85 What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
86 What do you think are the best and worst parts of working in a team environment? How do
you handle it?
87 What do you think you would do for this organization that someone else wouldn't?
What experiences / skills do you feel are particularly transferable to our organization?
89 What have you learned from your extracurricular activities?
90 What influenced you to choose this career?
91 What is a common misconception people have about you?
92 What is it that you stink at or hate to do (and I hate to fail or I'm a perfectionist doesn't
93 What is it that you totally rock at (that you could do with your hands behind your back so to
94 What is the biggest mistake you've made?
largest number of employees you have your career?
95 What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome insupervised and what were their job
97 What is the most significant contribution you made to your last job?
98 What is your biggest weakness?
99 What is your interpretation of "success?"
100 What is your most embarrassing moment?
101 What is your most important accomplishment?
102 What is your motto in life?
103 What is your own philosophy of management?
104 What kind of people do you find it most difficult to work with? For example, assume you are in
a situation where you have to deal with a person very different from yourself and you are
finding it difficult. What would you do?
105 What long-term goals have you established for your career?
106 What methods do you use to make decisions? When do you find it most difficult to make a
107 What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
108 What other positions are you considering?
109 What questions would you like to ask me?
110 What short-term goals have you established for your career?
111 What skill set do you think you would bring to this position?
112 What three words would your friends use to describe you?
113 What type of leader are you?
What was of most challenging personnel issue career?
114 What typetheperson would be successful in this you've had to deal with and how did you
115 handle it?
116 What was the most creative thing you did in your last job?
117 What was your primary contribution/achievement? Biggest challenge?
118 What were your reasons for selecting your college or university?
What would you have liked to do more of in your last position? What held you back?
120 What would your biggest enemy tell me about you and why are they right?
121 What would your biggest fan tell me about you and why are they wrong?
122 What would your last manager say about you?
123 What's the best book you've read in the last year? Please take a minute and tell us what you
liked about it.
124 When making a decision to terminate an employee, do you find it easy because of the
company's needs OR difficult because of the employee's needs?
125 When working with groups, what role do you typically play?
126 Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
127 Which college class did you like best?
128 Which is more important to you, the job or the position/title?
129 Which other industries are you looking in to?
130 Who is your role model?
131 Why are you currently searching for a new position?
132 Why are you interested in this career?
133 Why did you apply for this job with us?
134 Why did you choose McCombs?
135 Why did you leave your last job?
Why do you think a team of people - sports team, work team, may not work well together?
137 Why have you applied for this position?
138 Why should employees seek to improve their knowledge and skill base?
139 Why should we hire YOU?
140 Why would you choose our firm over the competition?
141 With what other firms are you interviewing?
142 Why do you want to work here?
143 Describe this job to me, you may ask clarifying questions
Behavioral/ "Tell me about a time when…"
1 Anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures
2 Can you tell me about a time during your previous employment when you suggested a better way to
perform a process?
3 Delegated a project effectively
4 Demonstrate how you are adaptable to a variety of people, situations, and environments.
5 Describe a project in which you worked independently or you were in a leadership role?
Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.
7 Describe a situation when you had to work with/for someone that didn't like you. How did you
8 Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas.
What did you do?
9 Describe a time when you helped a classmate or a coworker.
Describe a time when you performed a task outside your perceived responsibilities. What was the
task? Why did you perceive it to be outside your responsibilities? What was the outcome?
11 Describe a time when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do
12 Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult
13 Describe what you would classify as a crisis.
14 Describe what you would say if asked to talk about yourself in a group of 15 people.
15 Give an example of a time when you had to persuade others to take action.
16 Give an example of a time when you identified a small problem and fixed it before it became a major
Give an example of how you applied knowledge from previous class to a real-world situation. .
Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
19 Give me a specific example of something you did that helped build enthusiasm in others.
Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.
21 Give me an example of a time you influenced or persuaded a group.
22 Give me an example of an important decision you made that still affects you today.
23 Give me an example of when you have reached the point in working on something and you realized
you were over your head. What did you do?
24 Got bogged down in the details of a project
25 Had to adapt to a difficult situation
26 Had to deal an irate customer or client
27 Had to fire a friend
28 Had to make an important decision with limited facts
29 Handled a difficult situation with a co-worker
30 Hired (or fired) the wrong person
31 How do you deal with an irate customer
32 How do you go about reaching your goals?
33 How do you know when you are stressed? What do you do to de-stress?
34 How do you think people should be punished for not doing the job expected of them?
35 How do you think your co-workers would respond if you were absent from work?
36 If someone asked you for assistance with a matter that is outside the parameters of your job
description, what would you do?
37 If someone told you that you had made an error, describe how you would react and what you would
say in your defense.
38 If you observed a co-worker who made inappropriate sexual or racial remarks to another employee,
and it was obvious to you that the situation was creating an uncomfortable environment, what would
39 It's 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. Your manager gives you an assignment that needs to be finished by
8:00 Monday morning. You have already made plans to be away the entire weekend. What would
40 Lost (or won) an important contract
41 Made a bad decision
42 Missed an obvious solution to a problem
43 Persuaded team members to do things your way
44 Please give an example of a time when you were trying to meet a deadline, you were interrupted,
and did not make the deadline. How did you respond?
45 Please give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult co-worker. How did you
handle the situation?
46 Prioritized then elements of a complicated project
47 Set your sights too high (or too low).
48 Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or
assistance on a project or assignment.
49 Suppose you are in a situation where deadlines and priorities change frequently and rapidly. How
would you handle it?
50 Suppose your manager asked you to get information for them that you know is confidential and
he/she should not have access to. What would you do?
51 Surmounted a major obstacle
52 Tell me about a difficult time you had with a boss/supervisor.
53 Tell me about a major problem you recently resolved.
54 Tell me about a personal or career goal that you have accomplished and why that was important to
55 Tell me about a recent crisis you handled.
Tell me about a situation you wish that you had handled differently based on the outcome. What
was the situation? What would you change (or will you change) when faced with a similar situation?
57 Tell me about a time in which you took initiative to start something.
58 Tell me about a time when you faced a pretty big obstacle and managed to achieve success.
59 Tell me about a time when you failed to accomplish your desired goal.
60 Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job
61 Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision, but didn't have all the information you
62 Tell me about a time when you had to work with a group of people over whom you had no control
(they don't report to you) and you had to accomplish a complicated project.
63 Tell me about a time when you were a part of a great team. What was your part in making the team
64 Tell me about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities.
65 Tell me about a time you showed leadership?
66 Tell me about a time you were a team player?
67 Tell me about your proudest accomplishment and the role you played.
68 Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
69 Tell of a time when you believe a professor evaluated you unfairly. How did you handle it?
70 Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the
work. What did you do?
71 Tell of a time when your active listening skills paid off.
72 Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle.
73 Turned down a good job
74 Used your political savvy to push a program through that you really believed in
75 Were creative at problem solving
76 Were disappointed in your behavior
77 Were forced to make an unpopular decision
78 Were tolerant of an opinion that was different from yours
79 Were unable to complete a project on-time
80 What do you do when you know you are right and your boss disagrees with you? Give me an example
of when this has happened in your career.
81 What has been your experience in giving presentations?
82 What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
83 What strengths did you rely on in your last position to make you successful in your work?
84 Worked effectively under pressure
85 Wrote a report that was well received
86 You are a committee member and disagree with a point or decision. How will you respond?
87 You are angry about an unfair decision. How do you react?
A company takes a write-off related to a merger. What is the first thing that you look for? The second?
1 The third?
Company A claims that their cost of equity is 0.5% because they are giving out 0.5% dividend. Would you
2 say this is accurate?
3 Company X's net income is ___; how do I compute their cash flow?
4 Could you add 1 through 10? What about 1 through 9?
5 Define EVA.
6 Define free cash flow.
7 Do you know the difference between a value stock and a growth stock? Which is Sony?
8 Do you know the recent deals that our company handled?
9 Do you personally invest in stocks? Which ones? Why?
10 Explain DCF to me like you would to your mother who doesn't know finance.
Graph the price yield relationship of bonds. What is duration/Macaulry duration/Modified duration?
11 Show me.
12 How do you feel about doing grunt work that you won't get credit for? (they seriously asked this)
13 How do you measure Return on Invested Capital?
14 How do you value a company (particular to investment banking)?
15 How does your past career qualify you for a position in investment banking / sales & trading / PCS?
16 How would you explain credit spread?
17 How would you explain to my 4 year old son what investment banking is?
18 How would you make a customer like you even if you don’t like them?
How would you value a company? (You should ask what kind of company they want you to value.) Why
19 would you use this method? What is the problem with this method? _ What is the alternative method?
If an exporting company wants to pay no more than 110 yen to a dollar and no less than 90 yen to a
20 dollar in 3 months, how would you use option instruments to hedge their position?
If the yen/dollar exchange rate is 100yen/$ today and the one year forward rate is 105yen/$, what does
21 this imply?
22 If you are given a market or an industry, what would be the steps to evaluate them?
One plus one half plus one fourth plus one eighth . . . gets closer to a certain number. What is the
23 number and why?
Rank the firms on Wall Street. Where do we fit? Who is our competition? What differentiates our firm?
24 What are our strengths / weaknesses?
25 Tell me about a situation describing your analytical abilities?
26 Tell me about some investment books you’ve read lately.
27 Tell me about your own portfolio. What is your investment strategy? (answer in technical terms)
28 Tell me three items on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal.
The following are prices of four different bonds: 25, 23, 22, 24. Assuming that you can sell or buy these
bonds at no cost, if you know that tomorrow, three of them will go to 0 and one of them, 100, how
29 would you arbitrage? (buy them all)
30 What are deferred taxes?
31 What are the qualifications needed to be a good salesman?
32 What do you hope to accomplish this summer?
33 What do you think about the market?/Talk to me about the stock market.
34 What do you think about the recent economy in country A? (The country that you are interested in).
35 What do you think will happen to Andersen? Do you think they are guilty?
36 What does the yield curve look like today and what would be your investment strategy?
37 What is Beta?
38 What is convexity?
39 What is cost of equity?
40 What is EBITDA?
41 What is econometrics? Could you go through the calculation to do regression analysis?
42 What is goodwill? How does it effect net income?
What is the difference (and advantages/disadvantages) between purchase and pooling accounting
44 What is the problem of using the terminal value?
45 What is the yen/dollar exchange rate today? Where do you think it will be in one year and why?
46 What is working capital?
What is your favorite stock? Why? What is the price now? What is the P/E ratio and what do you think
47 about it?
48 What kind of multiples do you look at when you value stocks?
49 What qualities do you think are important for this industry? Do you possess those qualities?
50 What things make a merger successful?
51 When using DCF method: Is it appropriate to use the Beta of the company being acquired?
52 Where do you think interest rates will be 2 year from now?
53 Where is our firm's stock trading?
54 Where is the Dow Jones today? S&P? NASDAQ? 20-year or 30-year T-Bonds?
55 Where is the market going?
56 Why are you interested in the financial services industry?
57 Why Investment Banking?
58 Why might a company choose debt over equity financing?
59 Why would a company choose pooling over purchase accounting?
60 Why would two companies merge? What major factors drive mergers and acquisitions?
61 Would a price of a call option go up or down when the maturity of the option is longer?
62 You're a CFO. Give me five ways to manipulate your earnings that conform to GAAP.
Describe some recent projects you were involved in to improve
Accounting's efficiency/effectiveness. What did you do?
Describe for me a time when you have come across questionable
accounting practices. How did you handle the situation?
3 Have you completed month end/year end closing? How much
experience do you have with this?
4 Describe your most challenging encounter with month end/year end
closing. How did you resolve the problem?
5 Describe your PL (profit/loss) experience.
6 What type of inventory audits have you been involved in? Describe
challenges you've faced.
7 Tell me about your knowledge of commissions accounting.
8 What experience have you had with tax accounting?
CLIENT EXPERIENCE 1
What do you like about being in Member Service? What do you find is
the most difficult part of being in Member Service?
2 Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to give great
service to a member.
3 Describe a process or system that you improved so members would
be better served.
4 Tell me about a time when you asked for feedback on your member
service skills from your manager or co-worker and then used that
response to improve your work.
Tell me about a time when you knew that a member might not get
what he or she needed on time. How did you handle this?
6 Tell me about a time when you had to say "No" to a member because
it was against company policy.
7 Tell me about a time when you had trouble working with a difficult or
demanding member. How did you handle this?
8 Tell me about a situation in which you "lost it" or did not do your best
with a member. What did you do about this?
INDEPENDENT CONSULTING 1 How many active organizations do you currently represent?
2 What sizes of organizations have you worked in?
3 What industries?
4 Any direct competitors?
5 Do you have any exclusive or nonpoaching agreements with any of
6 Do you have an existing retainer with any of these?
What is the average length of your assignments during the last year?
8 Depict the scope of work for a typical assignment.
9 What database or project tools are you familiar with, i.e., Access,
What other tools are needed for the level of tasking requested?
11 What is your expectation of on- versus off-site work?
12 If additional assets are required to meet the SOW, how would these
be recruited and deployed?
13 Do you have a model agreement which you prefer to use and is it
modularized for adding SOWs or tasking within an SOW?
Do any of your assignments feature early completion incentives?
15 What is your preferred compensation structure for tasking?
Why Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain Management?
What is SAP...? how does it related to databases? what is the basic concept?
What is the difference between ERP and Distributed Computing?
4 How would you transform business requirements to functional
5 What analysis and modeling techniques do you use to translate
business objectives into system requirements?
6 What are the main objectives of a project manager?
7 What is the difference between demand management and supply
MARKETING 1 Give an example of a good advertising campaign you have seen
recently. Why was it good?
2 Give an example of a poor advertising campaign you have seen
recently. Why was it poor?
3 Which of our brands would you like to work on and why?
4 Tell me about a brand you feel is well positioned. Why?
5 At whom do you think this product is targeted?
6 What do you think the competition can do to differentiate
themselves from this product?
7 What advertisement have you seen recently that you believe is
8 What new product or brand have you seen recently and what can you
tell me about it?
9 Why marketing?
10 Why brand management?
11 What brand would you most like to work for and why (doesn’t have
to be a brand by this company)?
12 What element best describes you: Earth, water, or fire
13 Tell me about the brands you have in your fridge
14 Tell me about a brand marketed well
15 Tell me about a brand marketed poorly
16 What Campbell's brand would you prefer to market?
17 Name a brand that you think is marketed well? Why?
18 Who is this brand positioned to?
Tell me about a brand/product that could be marketed better?
20 Case: (Shown an international product folder from Canada division)
Do you think Campbell’s should get into marketing ethnic foods?
21 Tell me about a time when you were customer-focused.
22 Case: It has been mentioned many times about Heinz going into the
mayonnaise market. How would you assess whether or not we
should enter this market?
23 Tell me an example of an effective ad campaign?
Follow up: If you went to the store, would you be more likely to
purchase that product based on seeing that ad? Why or why not?
25 Tell me an example of an ineffective ad campaign? Why?
26 Choose a category. If you were going to enter that category, what
would you consider?
27 How would you decide how to advertise a new product and/or how
to spend the budget?
28 If you were going to launch a new product that you knew would
cannibalize an existing product in your company, what data would
you want to have?
Which element of the marketing mix is the most important and why?
30 Which color of the rainbow are you the most like?
31 Why are you interested in Marketing?
How would you sell a Harley Davidson bike to a pregnant woman?
33 Tell me about a product that is well marketed?
34 If you were the product manager of its competitor, how would you
35 What does being smart mean?
36 Who is the smartest person you know?
37 Are you smart?
38 Tell me a situation where you had to be creative.
After you attended our presentation the day before, do you have a
preference which division you want to work for and why?
40 Tell me your favorite restaurant. Supposed you are working as a
product marketer for this restaurant and your supervisor wants you
to give him some advice how to improve the sales. What would you
41 What do you think is the most important a marketer must do to
succeed in his/her job?
42 From past experience, what make you think that you would be a good
You have been working on a new product launch for introduction
next month. You just learned that your competitor will be pre-
empting your launch with their own product. What do you do?
44 You are the brand manager for Brand X. How would you increase the
unit volume sales of this old brand?
45 You are put on a brand that is unprofitable. What three pieces of
information do you want to know?
46 I am the product director on Brand X and you are taking my place.
What do you want to ask me?
47 Describe a product that you would market differently?
48 Choose a brand from our product mix and tell me how you would
49 What brand are you?
50 What are your favorite marketing programs and why?
51 What is the most creative thing you’ve done in your life?
Describe a situation or project where you used your creative skills?
53 Tell me about an innovative product and why it is innovative.
54 Give me an example of your persuasive selling capabilities.
55 Sell me this pen I am holding.
Pretend you are a box of cereal. How would you market yourself?
You are the incoming product manager for Huggies. You can only ask
the outgoing manager 3 questions. What would they be?
58 You have just invented fire. How would you market it?
59 You are in a declining market and are losing market share and you
have no money to market. What should you do?
60 You work on the Glad airfreshner plug-in account. Renuzit is coming
out with a plug-in that lasts 45 days, yours lasts 30 days. What do you
Evaluate two FSI's: Honeycomb with $.50 and Duncun Hines with $.25
62 How would you market a product which was losing share in a
declining market with no marketing dollars available?
If a competitor of Glade plug ins was to introduce a replacement
scent filter which fit in their plug in device which offered a 45 day life
versus the glade 30 day lifespan of the filter, what would you do?
64 After three quarters, you firm had sold $7.6M in sales and your
budgeted forecast was to sell 10M, and you forecasted selling
$10.2M. You case selling price was $10 with a $2 trade allowance. If
Wegmans gave an offer for $200,000 in sales but they wanted a $2.50
trade allowance, would you take it?
65 Pretend you are box of cereal and you want to market yourself to
Austin Powers. How would you do it?
66 What do you feel are the most important issues facing the consumer
products industry today?
67 If you were CEO of a consumer products company, how would you
deal with these issues and why?
68 You are the brand manager on Pringles. You currently use a
warehouse distribution system, but have the option of situation to
DSD (Direct Store Delivery). The annual cost of switching to DSD is
$9.5M from your promotional / advertising budget. Do you make the
A brand is very powerful in one product category of the supermarket.
How do you determine whether to leverage the brand in another
category? (i.e. Should Snackwells enter the pudding market?)
You are charged with marketing a candy bar in the U.S. which has
been very successful in the United Kingdom. What things should you
consider in bringing the product to market in the US?
71 What if you had the opportunity to run the concession stands at the
next Super Bowl. What would you do (no limits) to maximize
What is your favorite and least favorite tv commercial? Why?
Tell me about a web site that markets consumer goods well and why?
What are the 10 most important questions that you would ask to find
out about a brand on your first day of work as a brand manager?
If you were going to design your website, what would it look like?
If you were going to design a print ad, what would it look like?
77 Why did you choose a career in marketing? Alternatively, what
interests you in marketing?
78 What qualities and skills do you think a successful marketing
professional should have?
79 What non-marketing skills should a successful marketing professional
80 Tell me what type of relationship ought to exist between marketing
81 How about the relationship between marketing and sales and
82 Tell me about your experience in marketing research.
83 Which of the qualities and skills you named for a successful marketing
professional do you have?
84 Tell me about a marketing nightmare you were involved in. If you
have had none, describe what you would consider a marketing
85 What kind of marketing do you have experience in and which do you
prefer using? Direct mail, telephone, television, radio, web-based,
combination of any of these?
86 Tell me about two marketing accomplishments that were very
successful or that you are the most proud of.
87 What college courses or experience have prepared you for the
marketing position you are applying for with us?
88 What kind of training have you had in web-based marketing?
89 What does a good marketer know how to do.
Are there any types of marketing that you consider unethical?
91 Tell me about a marketing position you have held where part of your
pay was based on your own marketing results.
What three things are most important to you in a marketing position?
Several of the clients this position services use direct mail marketing.
Suppose that you just received a supply of the final conference
brochures that you developed, proofed and sent to the printers for
one of these clients. The deadline for mailing the10,000 brochures is
tomorrow. You notice that there is an error in the date of one of the
conference sessions. What would you do?
94 Having read about our company and met with several marketing
heads here, what ideas do you have on how we can improve our
SALES 1 In what sales venues have you been involved?
2 Describe the sales activities in which you were engaged in your last
3 What were your responsibilities from the commencement to the end
of the sales cycle?
4 How would you rate yourself as a closer?
5 As a sales rep, what support, either administrative or sales assistance,
did you receive?
6 Have you ever been engaged in team sales?
7 How would you describe your abilities as a business developer? As a
8 How were your incentives structured in your last job?
9 Did you have assigned quotas or targets?
What, historically, has been your quota/target penetration ratio?
11 How much of your time was devoted to sales vs. other assigned
What was the best sales training program you have participated in?
13 Describe the ideal sales job from your perspective.
14 How would your prior sales managers describe your sales
capabilities? For business development? For enhancing existing
Describe the best sales incentive plan you have worked under.
16 Describe the ideal sales support you would need to be most effective
as a sales rep..
17 What was the worst sales role you have been engaged in?
18 What does customer mean to you?
19 What does servicing the sale mean to you?
What new technology have you learned in the immediate past?
1 In your experience, what are the essential elements of an IT disaster
2 What technologies do you most enjoy working with? What
technologies do least enjoy working with?
2 Describe the types of network security features you have
implemented or maintained in the past.
3 Have you ever encountered a technical problem you couldn't
initially solve? That your co-workers couldn't solve either? What
did you do?
3 When you have several users experiencing computer problems, how
do you determine which users get help first?
4 If they say they have a computer science degree ask what is a
4 Describe your decision-making process when selecting which IT
certifications to pursue.
5 How do you handle requirements creep?
5 Of your certifications, which one(s) have you found most helpful
when you encounter technical problems on the job?
Tell me how to configure a Windows server on a dumb terminal
using WiMax over a closed DRM-enabled Vista workstation.
(this is not a real question but you want to gauge how quickly a
candidate is able to admit they don't know something - which is
a key characteristic for a good technical resource).
6 In your opinion, how does managing a staff of technical workers differ
from managing other kinds of workers?
7 What would you do to improve the response time of the IT
What brands of hardware do you feel most comfortable dealing with?
When it comes to web site, which person to you think is the
most critical to the success of the project - the project manager,
the content provider, the designer, or the technical person? (I
like it if they say they're all just as important as each other for
different reasons. Helps me see if they understand
dependencies and teamwork needed).
8 What software have you had the most success supporting?
9 How do you manage to keep up with the latest technologies?
9 What characteristics do you feel are necessary for success as a
technical support worker?
10 What new technology do you think will be most significant over the
next few years?
10 Describe a past situation in which you provided excellent customer
service to a user.
11 IBM vs. Mac?
What kind of hardware and software do you have experience with?
13 What type of programming experience do you have?
14 Do you have any analysis and design experience?
15 Do you have experience with client/server technology?
16 When do you believe client/server architecture is better than
17 Explain the concept “referential integrity” as it applies to relational
18 What are your views on data security?
19 Do you have data warehousing experience?
20 What experience do you have supporting clients?
21 Have you ever been in a situation where you were unable to resolve a
customer’s support problem?
22 Give an example of how you handled a difficult user.
23 Have you been involved with the quality-assurance process of
24 When you start a project, do you prefer to create a flowchart or
immediately start coding?
25 Tell me about a time when a major project you were working on was
unexpectedly running far behind schedule. How did you try to
mitigate the problem?
26 Describe the systems development process you went through at your
27 Is it sometimes difficult to get clients to reveal what they’re thinking
in terms of information output?
28 How do you get people to embrace a new software product?
29 What have you learned about training users after a system
30 When you integrate several types of systems, what types of problems
do you typically run into?
31 What is your style for dealing with frustrated people?
1 On a digital clock in a dark room what time is the brightest (has the most
bars lit up)?
2 You have nine pennies and a balance. One penny weighs slightly more than
the other eight. Using only two attempts at the balance, tell me how you can
find the heavy penny. Answer:
1. Divide the pennies into three groups of three.
2. Put one group of three pennies on each side of the balance. if they are
equal in weight, proceed with the third set; if they are unequal, proceed with
the heavy set.
3. Using the heavy set of pennies, put one penny on each side of the balance,
if they are equal, the heavy penny is the third one; otherwise the heavy
penny is on the balance.
3 Estimate the total value of all the personal items on a commuter flight that arrived
at LaGuardia airport at 8:30 am this morning from Boston given that the plane was
approximately 2/3 full.
4 You are a manufacturer of toys and you have a product that cost US $1,000.
Estimate how many of those you can sell in Hong Kong.
5 You're taking a trip to Indonesia tomorrow to work with a company for a period of
time. You don't know anything about this firm but you are provided with the
financial statement of this firm from last year. How do you get the general idea
about the firm's "health" condition, given that you only have one hour to report
your opinion to your boss?
How would you go about advising a bank if it should implement an ATM system?
7 Discuss the economics of a gym.
8 You are the consultant for a bank. Give some quantitative measures that can tell
about the productivity of the operations department.
9 How many skis will be sold in the U.S. next year?
10 What is the market size for wall paper?
11 Estimate the number of airplane flights in a year.
12 Estimate the size of the paper clip industry.
13 A company dealing with a commodity product is thinking about expanding
internationally. If its labor costs are competitive with industry standards, what
issues might influence its decision?
14 What is the population of dogs in the United States?
Where would you put a gas station if there were none in Columbia, Maryland?
16 How many drug stores are there in Manhattan?
17 How would you estimate demand for forks in one year?
18 What is the number of people in Pennsylvania?
19 How many planes take off in the U.S. per day?
20 The sales of a travelers cheque company are falling. How would you go about
deciding what should be done about it?
21 Estimate the demand of airplanes for a select category 10 years into the future.
There are three producers and 10 airlines.
1 Q: If you saw a coworker doing something dishonest, what would you do? A: According to
the employee handbook, contract, or past practice, inform the most relevant
authority(ies) about specific behaviors witnessed. Follow handbook, contract, or past
practice concerning handling the potential dishonest behavior. Don't immediately assume
that the coworker is guilty of dishonest behavior. Use appropriate compliance hotlines if
available. Contact human resources for compliance help. Don't spread the potential
dishonest activity news to employees or others who do not have responsibility over the
Q: What would you do if someone in management asked you to do something unethical?
A: Determine how the candidate defines ethics. Determine how the candidate views
their role in cases of ethics. Determine how the candidate views power.
Q: Tell me about a time that you have experienced a loss for doing what is right. A:
Determine how the candidate defines "what is right." Determine how the candidate
defines "a loss." Is there a loss in terms of fundamentalism, social institutions, moral
agency or virtuous organizations as a whole?Fundamentalism: Financial and legal
responsibility only "Business of business is profit." Social Institutions: Social contract
exists beyond economics and legalities. Need to accommodate stakeholders' interests.
4 Q: In what business situations do you feel honesty is inappropriate? A: In the Movie "Liar,
Liar," the actor Carey portrayed a lawyer who shared his honest feelings to all around
him. Sharing honest feelings, especially ones of anger, frustration, and hate, may be
inappropriate and also based on inadequate information about another person or
Q: If you knew that your supervisor was doing something unethical, what would you do?
A: According to the employee handbook, contract, or past practice, inform the most
relevant authority(ies) about specific behaviors witnessed. Follow handbook, contract, or
past practice concerning handling the potential dishonest behavior. Don't immediately
assume that the coworker is guilty of dishonest behavior. Use appropriate compliance
hotlines if available. Contact human resources for compliance help. Don't spread the
potential dishonest activity news to employees or others who do not have responsibility
over the matter.
6 Q: Describe from an ethical standpoint, what should the relationship between a manager
and their employee consist of? A: The relationship should be an honest, open, and
trusting one where questions can be asked and opinions can be expressed without
concern of retaliation.
Q: You have recently been promoted to a manager position. You are aware of another
employee who is using the computer in an unethical way. This other employee used to
be your co-worker. How would you handle this? A: According to the employee
handbook, contract, or past practice, inform the most relevant authority(ies) about
specific behaviors witnessed. Follow handbook, contract, or past practice concerning
handling the potential dishonest behavior. Don't immediately assume that the coworker
is guilty of dishonest behavior. Use appropriate compliance hotlines if available. Contact
human resources for compliance help. Don't spread the potential dishonest activity news
to employees or others who do not have responsibility over the matter.
Q: How far is too far for monitoring employee movement, within and outside the
confines of the company? A: There should be a balance between the need to know
information about the whereabouts of employees and the need for privacy. Keep up with
employee handbook policies and laws concerning this matter.
Q: You feel that you are a very good employee and others, including your boss, are telling
you that you don't measure up - what would you do in this case? A: Find out what specific
behaviors are inadequate. Even if the impressions are wrong about you, do not retaliate.
10 Q: You feel that you are a very good employee and others, including your peers, are
telling you that you don't measure up - what would you do in this case? A: Find out what
specific behaviors are inadequate. Even if the impressions are wrong about you, do not
Q: Your boss has a principle that he/she strongly believes in and the program has
decayed. The program is hurting the organization and the boss wants you to still push
this program with the employees, what will you do? A: The buck stops at the top. Contact
the boss to discuss specific concerns about the program. Discuss alternatives.
Questions for the Interviewer
1 How do you see your company changing/growing in the next five years?
2 What do you see for the future of this industry?
3 What do you consider to be your firm's most important assets?
4 What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?
5 How do you rate your competition?
6 What is the overall structure of the company and how does your department fit
7 What are the career paths in this department?
8 What have been the department's successes in the last few years?
9 How do you view your group/division/department?
10 What do you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
11 What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this
12 Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to within
13 What is a typical day/week like in this position?
14 What is a typical customer/client like?
15 What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be
addressed in the first three months?
16 What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
17 How will I be evaluated at XYZ company, and how often?
18 What are the next steps in the interview process?