Questions you may be asked at interview

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Having ‘insider knowledge’ of the types of questions you may be asked can give you a considerable advantage and help you prepare more thoroughly than you could do through guided by guesswork alone.
Below are many examples of questions that you may be asked during interview, organised by job role for your convenience.

Take the time to go through the examples and apply your own experience to match the position and company you are applying for.

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Scroll down to view the whole Guide, or click a quick-link below to go straight to a section:

Administration Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for an Administration position:

  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • Describe for me a situation where you were required to gather a large amount of data, to analyse it objectively and to make a decision or a recommendation based on the results.
  • Name a situation at work where you were confronted with something that conflicted with your ethics and morals, and how did you respond?
  • Please give us an example of a time when you explained policies and/or procedures to others.
  • Describe your computer experience including applications used (MS Word, Excel, etc.), computer environments (Windows, Macintosh, etc.), word processing, database and spreadsheet skills.
  • Describe something you worked on that involved a lot of detail, and how you handled it.
  • Describe your experience working on a team, and what contributions you made to improve the teamwork.
  • What work have you done that involved working with sensitive or confidential issues?
  • If I were to ask your supervisor about your administrative strengths, what would he/she say?
  • How important do you think communication is in an administrative position? Why?
  • Tell me about a time when you successfully conveyed your ideas to an individual or group so that they were able to understand and retain the message.
  • Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship either within your department or outside in order to achieve a particular goal. What steps did you take to ensure this was a success?

Compliance Resourcer Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Compliance Resourcer position:

  • Can you describe a time when you believed it was important to challenge generally accepted ideas or assumptions?
  • How important do you feel communication is to this position?
  • Describe a time when it was important for you to keep the big picture or overall strategy in mind, despite the demands you faced.
  • Imagine that a client / account holder calls to complain about not receiving documentation connected with their account. How would you respond to this customer and what would you do to resolve the situation?
  • If you became aware that a candidate had a large amount of errors on their CV, how would you broach this with your team / the client?
  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • How do you work with confidential information?
  • Describe a situation when you had limited resources and had to solve a problem despite those limitations.
  • Name a situation at work where you were confronted with something that conflicted with your ethics and morals, and how did you respond?
  • Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult situation you had to deal with and how you used your skills to successfully overcome the problem?
  • Tell me a time where you developed your analytical skills.
  • Explain how your background/previous work experiences have prepared you for this position.
  • What are the top weaknesses in compliance departments and how can you improve them?

Contact / Call Centre Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Contact / Call Centre position:

  • Have you ever dealt with a company that provided first-class customer service? What aspects made it so good and how would you apply the same principles in this role?
  • Tell me about a time when you gave effective customer service.
  • Imagine that a customer calls to complain about not receiving documentation connected with their new account. How would you respond to this customer and what would you do to resolve the situation?
  • Describe the biggest challenge you have faced in work in the past 12 months.
  • Give me an example of how you have dealt with an under-performing team member in the past.
  • Hypothetically, if I made a call to your partner and asked them what is your biggest gripe about your current role, what would they tell me?
  • Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult customer you had to deal with and how you used your skills to successfully overcome the problem they had?
  • When have you felt pressure to compromise your integrity and how did you deal with it?
  • What is the highest level job you expect to hold in your career?
  • (From above) What were the wider implications of you handling [this issue] in that way?
  • How have you utilised customer feedback to ensure business excellence?
  • Give an example when you have been really stretched for a deadline and how did you achieve it?
  • Give an example of a time when things happened in work to dampen your enthusiasm and how did you motivate yourself and your team?
  • How do you deal with work issues – how do you demonstrate you are having a bad day?
  • You have been given the opportunity to set up in a new contact centre offering similar services to your current position. You can take up to 100% of your current staff with you. What percentage would you actually take?

Customer Service Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Customer Service position:

  • Can you explain how you contact or initiate communications with customers?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you experienced good customer service and explain why it was good?
  • Tell me about a time when you gave effective customer service.
  • Imagine that a customer comes in to complain about not receiving documentation connected with their new account. How would you respond to this customer and what would you do to resolve the situation?
  • Have you recently dealt with a company that provided first-class customer service? What aspects made it so good and how would you apply the same principles in this role?
  • Working in the face-to-face customer service environment, how would you demonstrate that you are listening to a customer?
  • Provide an example of how you would deal with a customer who was complaining about the quality of a product.
  • How do you handle negative feedback from very angry clients? How do you respond to him/her?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you did some thing extra, which was not part of the routine activities assigned to you, but you did it for the benefit of the customer?
  • Explain with an example how would you handle a situation where a customer is asking for something that is not in the interest of the company, or which would violate a policy of the company.
  • If you had to turn down a request from a valued customer, what would you do?

Finance Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Finance position:

  • Tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of the different Accounting packages you have used recently.
  • Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship either within your department or outside in order to achieve a particular goal. What steps did you take to ensure this was a success?
  • Provide an example of when you have had to implement an accounting system on Excel.
  • Describe a time when you have used exceptional attention to detail to avoid a potential problem.
  • Give me an example of the different approaches you have used when persuading your team, colleagues or manager to agree with your views.
  • Provide an example of when you have had to update an accounting system that someone in your team had previously set up. How did you manage the change?
  • How would you approach your manager if you found an error in a set of figures that they had provided?
  • Talk me through an example of how you have used data to improve your team’s productivity.
  • Does decision making come easily to you? How do you weigh the pros and cons of your decisions?
  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • How do you work with confidential information?
  • Describe a situation when you had limited resources and had to solve a problem despite those limitations.
  • Name a situation at work where you were confronted with something that conflicted with your ethics and morals, and how did you respond?

Marketing Assistant Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Marketing Assistant position:

  • How did you prepare for today’s interview?
  • Tell me your understanding of our target market.
  • What do you use to find out if your marketing plan is working?
  • How and when do you evaluate your marketing campaigns?
  • What do you consider the most important aspects of successful marketing?
  • When beginning a new project, can you outline the steps you implement? Can you outline a project from beginning to end that you finished and the specific steps used?
  • How open-minded are you to other team member’s ideas?
  • Provide an example of a successful marketing campaign you have worked on.
  • Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship either within your department or outside in order to achieve a particular goal. What steps did you take to ensure this was a success?
  • How do you build a strong relationship with your team?
  • What types of requests do you consider are not ‘marketing’ questions?
  • Give me a recent example of having to organise and analyse large volumes of data in order to prepare a report by a tight deadline.
  • Tell me about a time when you gave effective marketing support to a member of your company.
  • What is the most recent skill you have learned that related to Marketing?
  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?

Marketing Manager Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Marketing Manager position:

  • Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision about a marketing strategy?
  • How do you feel about PPC advertising?
  • Do you subscribe to a particular marketing belief or methodology?
  • When beginning a new project, can you outline the steps you implement? Can you outline a project from beginning to end that you finished and the specific steps used?
  • How have you coordinated the work of your team to achieve target goals?
  • Describe your most successful marketing campaign?
  • What do you believe are the biggest issues that might affect our business?
  • How would you market our products if you were put on a severely limited budget?
  • What was the biggest failure that you had to handle? What did you get to learn from it?
  • Tell us about how you implemented a tough decision that had a lot of resistance from the employees.
  • Does decision making come easily to you? How do you weigh the pros and cons of your decisions?
  • Tell us about a time when you’ve had to challenge old work methods.
  • Talk us through how you reach a decision if you don’t have all the facts.
  • Provide an example of when your initiative ideas for improvement have made a significant difference.
  • How have you coordinated the work of your team to achieve target goals?
  • When did you last update your business management education? What are your professional development needs?

Personal Assistant Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a PA position:

  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • How do you work with confidential information?
  • If you were asked to schedule a meeting and insure that all aspects of the meeting are taken care of, what will you do?
  • Provide an example of a conflict situation where you had to select between priorities and how did you reach a compromise?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you did some thing extra, which was not part of the routine activities assigned to you, but you did it for the benefit of your boss?
  • How do you maintain a balance between your personal and professional life?
  • When have you felt pressure to compromise your integrity and how did you deal with it?
  • Describe the greatest challenge that you faced a personal assistant and how you overcome it.
  • Provide an example of how you work effectively with Board-Level Executives.
  • Provide an example of how you develop relationships with key people.
  • Tell us how you manage personal requests with professional responsibilities.
  • Tell us how you manage personal requests with professional responsibilities.
  • Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship either within your department or outside in order to achieve a particular goal. What steps did you take to ensure this was a success?
  • How do you build a strong relationship with your boss?
  • Can you describe a time when you’ve had to communicate remotely (work in a different office / country / time zone) with your boss? How did you ensure communication standards remained high?
  • Provide examples of what you see as tight deadlines.

Sales & Telesales Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Sales or Telesales position:

  • Detail a typical sales cycle in your last position.
  • How much time do you spend directly with a customer or prospect on an average day?
  • Give an example of when you had to change your approach to a prospect because the initial one failed.
  • Tell me about a situation where your contact person changed at a key account, how did you adjust to the new contact?
  • Tell me about a time you worked hard for a sale but didn't get it in the end, how did you handle the situation?
  • Give an example of when you had to overcome strong resistance from a customer.
  • Describe a recent approach you took with a brand new prospect.
  • Tell me how you developed your largest account.
  • Tell me about one of the most time-consuming sales you have made.
  • What goals have you set for yourself this year, how have you ensured progress towards them?
  • Tell me about an important negotiation that failed, what went wrong and why?
  • Describe a recent situation where you negotiated terms with a tough customer.
  • Give me an example of when you had to make a presentation or sales pitch to an unresponsive audience, how did you handle it?
  • Give an example of a time when things happened in work to dampen your enthusiasm and how did you motivate yourself and your team?

Secretarial Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Secretarial position:

  • If you were asked to schedule a meeting and insure that all aspects of the meeting are taken care of, what will you do?
  • Provide an example of where you had to organise a schedule, people or workspace and elaborate on how you went about doing it.
  • Provide an example of a conflict situation where you had to select between priorities and how did you reach a compromise?
  • Provide an example of where you had to deal with an angry colleague about work and explain how you resolved the issue.
  • How do you plan work priorities? Do you use a specific system and if so, explain?
  • When you have three or more important projects scheduled for the same day, do you have a system in place to decide which one needs to be finished first?
  • How do you work with confidential information?
  • Tell me about the last job you did that involved record keeping or bookkeeping?
  • Please elaborate on all the types of business communication you have dealt with.
  • Please explain how you would edit a letter that you have to type up. Will you only correct the spelling mistakes or do you make changes to the sentences and format of the letter as well?
  • How do you make sure that colleagues can find information or files if you are not around?
  • Provide examples of what you see as tight deadlines.
  • What was the most recent job overload situation with a tight deadline and how did you deal with it?

Senior Manager Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Senior Management position:

  • What was the biggest failure that you had to handle? What did you get to learn from it?
  • Tell us about how you implemented a tough decision that had a lot of resistance from the employees.
  • What is the difference between a manager and a leader?
  • How do you network? What is the importance of networking?
  • Does decision making come easily to you? How do you weigh the pros and cons of your decisions?
  • Tell us about a time when you’ve had to challenge old work methods.
  • Talk us through how you reach a decision if you don’t have all the facts.
  • Provide an example of when your initiative ideas for improvement have made a significant difference.
  • How have you coordinated the work of your team to achieve target goals?
  • When did you last update your business management education? What are your professional development needs?
  • Describe how you build and maintain a relationship with co-workers, key managers and customers?
  • What are your influencing tactics? Which people are hard to persuade?
  • Have you ever experienced a situation in which you had difficulties getting people to accept your ideas? What was your approach to handling these situations?
  • What practices do you implement during conflict situations and are they successful?
  • When beginning a new project, can you outline the steps you implement? Can you outline a project from beginning to end that you finished and the specific steps used?

Term Leader Interview Questions

The following are questions that are commonly asked during a competency interview for a Team Leader position:

  • Give examples of steps taken to make each team members feel important.
  • What are the key values of a leader? How do you demonstrate these values?
  • What is the difference between a manager and a leader?
  • How open-minded are you to other member’s ideas?
  • How do you take decisions in general?
  • Give an example of risk that you had to take? Why did you decided to take the risk?
  • What are the steps that you take to maintain a good co-worker’s relationships?
  • How do you network? What is the importance of networking?
  • How do you keep relations with a person in cases where you cannot agree upon certain issues?
  • How frequently do you support others and get a support from others?
  • How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated?
  • Give an example of a creative solution to situations when your leadership skills are needed.
  • Provide an example of a situation where you had to create an agreement between parties that were originally differed in opinion, approach, and objectives.
  • Does a leader need a power or an authority? How do influence people?
  • Do you have faults as a leader?
  • Give an example when you had to present complex information in a simplified manner in order to explain it to others.
  • How do you establish good communication and information flow with others?

To your interview success!

Step 1:
Locate your position

Choose example interview questions by job role by browsing the categories below.

Step 2:
Study the questions

Study questions that are most relevant to the role that you are interviewing for.

Step 3:
Tailor your experience

Prepare relevant examples based on your career history and experience.

Step 4:
Practice your answers

Practice, practice and practice answers to potential interview questions.

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