MockQuestions

American Express Mock Interview

To help you prepare for an American Express job interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

American Express was written by and updated on February 9th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 35

How do you create a good work/life balance?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

How well you manage your time will offer insights into how effective you'll be at your job. Not managing your morning well can cause you to be late to work. Not managing your workflow or projects can cause missed deadlines, or taking your work home with you. If you feel overwhelmed at work because of poor time management, you might bring more stress home from work, not sleep well, not perform at your best at work the next day. All important things to weigh when determining if you are a good fit for the position.

Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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List of 35 American Express Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1.

    How do you create a good work/life balance?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      How well you manage your time will offer insights into how effective you'll be at your job. Not managing your morning well can cause you to be late to work. Not managing your workflow or projects can cause missed deadlines, or taking your work home with you. If you feel overwhelmed at work because of poor time management, you might bring more stress home from work, not sleep well, not perform at your best at work the next day. All important things to weigh when determining if you are a good fit for the position.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      American Express fosters a healthy work/life balance for its employees. Explain how you balance your life in your current or past roles. The more methodical you are about your work grants more room for your personal schedule. Share a few tools you used to stay organized manage your time. Share some of the fun events you make room for in your life to let the interviewer know you can let loose every once in a while.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Validating the nature of the question can go a long way. Just exhibiting insight into the big picture nature of this question can be a great launch into your answer. Once you've set the proper framework for your answer, you no longer need to be super specific about all the tricks you use.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I know how important it is to avoid burnout. For that reason, I create a solid work/life balance for myself by keeping my day organized and sticking to my schedule as much as possible. I will spend my weekends and evenings with my family and friends, doing things that I love, and that energize me such as going for a run, hiking in the mountains, or taking a bike ride."

      Written by Elisabeth Walter

      2nd Answer Example

      "No matter what alarm clock you use, the snooze button is there. I never hit mine. I keep a jar of chocolate-covered espresso beans in a jar next to my bed. When my alarm goes off, I grab a few of those and pop them in my mouth. Then I'm ready. If I have a lot on my plate at work or at home, I evaluate every piece of the puzzle. I find a way to make it all sustainably fit into my week. Where there's a will there's a way. Just spending that bit of time at the forefront to strategize my week allows my outlook to feel more sustainable. I'm proactive, I guess. The reaction is rarely sustainable, in my humble opinion."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2.

    What is the biggest risk you have taken in your career so far?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      American Express values individuals who are willing to take risks. The interviewer wants to know if you are a risktaker or risk-averse. If you are a risk-taker, they want to know how you evaluate risk. Taking a chance on innovation is different than being an obsessive gambler.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can't grow if you're not willing to risk getting outside of your comfort zone! Talk about results, what you learned, and how you've grown from your experience. Give an example that exhibits sound judgment and calculated risks, and thinking on your feet! Sometimes you have to take a risk by trusting your judgment when a supervisor is not available and solving the problem in the way you know best. A risk for you may have been changing careers after working in the same job for ten years. Or maybe you interviewed for a promotion even though you knew it was going to be highly competitive.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Avoid examples where you went outside of the chain of command. You want to come across as an innovator and risk-taker, working for the greater good, with integrity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "One of the greatest risks I have taken in my career was to jump from staffing into the finance world. I wanted to be in a role that included more strategic numbers but still had a sales component. I made that leap about five years ago and had never looked back!"

      Written by Elisabeth Walter

      2nd Answer Example

      "I was hired as a widget developer. Not much later they were promoted to management. This was rewarding, and I learned a lot about the business. But after a while, I felt like my career was veering in a direction I hadn't intended. The pay was quite good, but I felt like the change I wanted to make was in widget development. Armed with a better understanding of how the business worked, I was ready to make a change and demoted myself, taking a serious pay cut. But the leaps and strides I made in developing widgets increased our profits, and in a couple of years they awarded me a team and I surpassed the income I made when I was in management."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "I left my already made career to do a master's in Information Management. This was totally different from what I have done in my past education. It was a calculative risk as I wanted to upgrade my knowledge with the latest technology tools for my professional growth."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good start! Leaving an established career to pursue your Master's must have been a difficult decision for you. To strengthen this response, add additional details so the interviewer can understand the full picture, and how you evaluated the risk. How long were you in your previous career? Has this risk ultimately paid off? How have you grown from this experience?

  • Behavioral

    3.

    Tell me about a time when you demonstrated you were trustworthy.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      A lack of integrity in the workplace can negatively affect morale, or be damaging to the culture of a brand that was built upon principles of integrity. The interviewer wants to get a better understanding of your moral principles and where you fall on the scale. For example, there's a type of person who would point out mistakes made by a co-worker to a manager with the ulterior motive of making themselves look better by making someone else look worse, and there's the type of person who would let that employee know before a manager noticed their mistakes, giving them a helping hand.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can prove your trustworthiness in an example that shows a manager entrusted you with the responsibility of value, like managing money or an important client. Often a person will be given specific procedures to follow when they begin a new job, and there can be the temptation to get lazy and do things 'the easy way' as they get more comfortable. Give an example that speaks from your experience.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Integrity is one of the values of American Express. Integrity is defined as being honest with moral principles. A person with integrity will continue to follow procedures as expected, even when no one is looking. Integrity is the altruism of doing the right thing for the principle of it. Altruism wins over self-interest.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Integrity is fundamental to me. I was once given credit for a report that I did not create. I did present the report, but one of my staff members had put it together for me. I made sure to show thanks for the compliment and alert everyone to its creator. I took my subordinate out to lunch later for making me look good."

      Written by Elisabeth Walter

      2nd Answer Example

      "Our department placed a large order for a client. When the item arrived at the warehouse, they'd received the shipment, but the order they received was wrong. Management assigned me to investigate the matter, and they believed a coworker of mine who had made a few mistakes along these lines was responsible. While they prepared a write-up for this employee, I realized the mistake was mine. I confessed to the error and told them if anyone deserved being written up it was me. Due to my honesty and the fact that I hadn't made any prior mistakes, I was given a verbal warning and tasked with the cleanup. I also took it upon myself to admit my error to the employee it was blamed on. They said I didn't need to apologize since I never blamed them for it."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4.

    How do you deal with stress?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Working in a busy environment, you can expect a fair share of stress. The interviewer wants to know how you adapt to a changing environment or frustrated customers. They need to know if your stress influences your behavior, or if you have control over your stress responses.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Stressful situations are unpredictable by nature. But after being in a job after a while, you can anticipate stressful situations, whenever they may arise or however they might unfold. Think about your automatic relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, taking short walks during your breaks, or meditation tools to help you use to stay calm throughout the day. These are preventative actions that will help you keep calm and carry on!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      The Goal

      There is always an opportunity in every question to kaizen your answer. If every answer you offer goes above and beyond their expectations, you've delivered the best interview you can. Stress is contagious. If you can be centered throughout stressful situations, you've done your job. If you can de-escalate the stress of others in your workplace, you've gone above and beyond. Consider this when framing your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5.

    How would you handle a customer who was difficult to please?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is phrased not only to see how you handle difficult or stressful situations. It also helps to assess what you consider a stressful situation and how you would handle it.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your aim is to show how you overcome a challenge or adversity. Attitude is everything here. Convey how well you work under pressure. Some customers take going above and beyond to a whole new level! Picture shopping in a retail store with the sales associate running around trying everything they can to help a customer who can't decide. Or maybe a customer called you with a complaint about their credit card and you did everything you could to resolve the issue, even offering them additional perks, but they still weren't happy. These are the situations that will test your patience and your sanity!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      You are looking to connect with your interviewer on this point. A meeting of the minds is the end goal. Reaching a communal understanding with them can be easily attained by demonstrating a meeting of the minds between you and the customer in your example.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6.

    Tell me about a challenge you've experienced in life. How did you overcome it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them ascertain whether or not you allow personal challenges in your life to affect your work life. It will also offer insights into how you overcome challenges that you face in your work life as well.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think about the obstacles and challenges you have gotten through to make it to where you are! Maybe you took on a severe course load your first year in college. Or perhaps you were asked to give your first presentation with little time to prepare. Once you identify the challenge, talk about what you did to overcome it. Focus on the lengths you took to make sure you finished your semester strong or how you researched and practiced to make sure you nailed the presentation.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Remember, there's no right or wrong answer. Just give an example that shows off your skills and instills confidence that you will continue to overcome obstacles in the future! Overcoming challenges show you have perseverance and determination. It shows you can accomplish goals even in the midst of trying circumstances.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7.

    How have you adapted to changes at your previous company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Change is a part of life and our external environment. How you cope with change at work is what they're hoping to evaluate. It is not uncommon for those who don't cope well with change to incite dissent in the workplace, which can be damaging to morale and productivity. The interviewer needs to know where you fall on the scale of being adaptive to change versus inflexible.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think of when there was a change in management, policy, responsibilities, or your schedule. Focus on how you responded to the change. No matter how messy or complicated, the only thing you could control in the situation was you, so talk about how you grew and how you stayed calm during the shift in your environment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      American Express has changed drastically over the years to adapt to the evolving needs of its customers. They value individuals on their team who can handle change to keep up with their customers and their latest innovations.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8.

    If you had unlimited funds, where would you travel?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a company that provides travel rewards to its cardmembers, American Express values travel. They also are curious about you, what you like and how you will fit with the team. Take a moment to dream about where you would go if money were not an option. There is no wrong answer!

      Written by Elisabeth Walter

      How to Answer

      Be honest. Seize this opportunity to be open and charming. Everybody loves talking about travel, and this is an excellent opportunity to connect with your interviewer. If you can connect with them in a friendly way, they'll be more confident you can do the same in the workplace. So go deep in your answer. Talk about where you've traveled, where you'd like to go next, and why.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "Travel isn't my jam. I'm a homebody and prefer to hunker down and play video games. I'm definitely more of a stay-cation person."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9.

    If your manager did something that annoyed you, how would you handle it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Notice here the interviewer has asked this question about your manager. Yet we're all human, and anyone can do annoying things. But the main reason this question centers on your manager is to see how you deal with and cope with people in positions of authority. How you frame your answer is the answer they're looking for.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Even some of the best managers have that one annoying thing they do that drives you up the wall. Whether they speak condescendingly when giving you feedback or they just don't wash their dishes in the break room, managers can be challenging to deal with at times. By merely being relaxed and flexible, you don't let anything get you down. Talk about how you can brush off people's quirks and stay focused on the task at hand.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Avoid answers that frame your manager as an oppressor or you as a victim. Take care not to place too much emotional value on your choice of words. You want to answer this question as lightheartedly as possible.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    10.

    Tell me about a time when your supervisor criticized your work. How did you respond?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them evaluate how you deal with those in positions of authority. The way in which you frame your answer will clue them into your receptiveness to feedback, defensive or proactive, and what you learned from that feedback if anything. How you answer this question will help ascertain how well you would be able to communicate in the position you're interviewing for.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Consider the example you give before offering it. Regardless of how reasonable or accurate the observation may have been, think before you speak. Be humble in your answer and not defensively. The key is to present yourself as calm and professional, with the goal of always striving to improve your performance and learn and grow.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Steer clear of examples where a supervisor was victimizing you or singling you out. Even if a supervisor's actions were misguided or inappropriate, this is not the goal of the question. This behavioral question is framed to see how you cope with feedback as well as your outlook/attitude and how important self-improvement is to you. Offering examples where you felt victimized, whether justified or not, may not present in the same context you're trying to relay. Your answer should communicate how well you get along with others, in ways that are not open to interpretation.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    11.

    How do you relate to people at work who are different from you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is trying to assess how well you might fit into their team. They want to know if you are open to diversity, or prefer to work with like-minded people. Your resume might exhibit the hard skills involved with the mechanics of your position. This question helps determine your soft people skills.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Give examples of how you have collaborated with co-workers in the past. Talk about how you attempt to get to know your team! Everyone comes from different backgrounds and cultures, whether those cultural differences are local or international. Exemplify yourself as open-minded, looking for commonalities, regardless of your background. Sowing divisiveness or judgment makes it difficult to work as a cohesive team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      The Goal

      The goal here is to exemplify you're inclusive and that others enjoy working with you, regardless of their ethnic or social backgrounds.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    12.

    Tell me something about yourself that isn't on your resume or cover letter.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is another question to assess how well your personality will fit in with the rest of the team. It's also a test to see how you use this opportunity to toot your own horn.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You'll want to align your answer with the company and its core values. The goal is obvious, tailor your answer to seem like a good fit with the rest of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Stay away from providing random stories about your singular accomplishments, or odd facts about yourself. While you might be advertising unique things about yourself in an effort to interest yourself up, this will do the opposite of aligning yourself with the team and will come across as a red flag.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    13.

    What motivates you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This direct behavioral question is self-evident in what they're looking to learn. It will clue them into how you may complement their team, from working well with others, to how well you will work under their team leaders.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be honest. Formulate your answer to kill two birds with one stone. Give them insights into your personality and what motivates and inspires you on a personal level, as well as how you stay motivated throughout your workday, how you approach your work, whether the task is high-pressure or monotonous. Detail how you stay motivated and productive throughout your day.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It's crunch time, and your bosses let you know they need another report done by the end of the day. It may be tempting to throw in the towel when your to-do list seems never-ending. It's important in times like these to remember what motivates during trying times.

      Here's a list of some ways to stay positive and keep going under pressure:

      1) Read inspirational quotes - Keep them on your desk or search for words of wisdom from inspiring people!

      2) Console a co-worker - Friends at work can be a source of encouragement and sometimes they can even help you carry the load when you're feeling overwhelmed.

      3) Set goals - staying focused on reaching a specific purpose or completing a project will help you keep going. And it shows how ambitious you are!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    14.

    How do you earn the respect of a new team when you start a new job?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Even if you were the top performer at your last job, you still have something to prove when you start working with a new team. It takes time to establish new co-working relationships and even more time to show you have what it takes. When hired onto a new job it's natural to want to prove yourself. But how you approach this delicate entry is what the interviewer is trying to gauge. How anyone approaches building relationships while proving a strong work ethic at the same time is a tricky balancing act.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In this hypothetical situation, you'd want to express that you are grateful for the opportunity, and honored that they chose you for the position. So you've proven yourself to the extent that they chose you for the position, but the other members of your team have not interviewed you, so you still have a lot to prove to them. This requires humility as you learn the ropes. So express that you would be keen on learning all there is to learn, and an eagerness to prove your worth by working hard side by side with the rest of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Making an effort, not just in your new role, but in your relationships with your new co-workers, is key. Learn how things are done. Get a firm grasp of their systems and why they were implemented. Ask questions not just of your supervisory staff, but your new coworkers as well. Prove you're not a sycophant and value your co-workers' input as well. Without their respect, your voice won't be heard. Once you have a broader sense of how they do things, and why they do them, then let your work experience and ingenuity pour in.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Direct

    15.

    What question should I have asked but haven't yet?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This serves as a great wrap-up question that grants you the opportunity to express anything you would like to share that you feel may increase your chances of landing the job. It serves as a way for both parties to avoid any missed opportunities.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Keeping in mind everything covered throughout the interview, from aligning yourself with the company's core values to how your skills are best suited for the position, this is your chance to try to close the deal. Tailor your question to your answer of the selling point that makes you the perfect fit for this job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Anything that's inconsistent with the rest of the interview will serve as a red flag. Put yourselves in the interviewer's shoes and ask a question they would've asked but didn't. Be appropriate and filtered.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Direct

    16.

    Do you have any questions for me?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them not only assess your genuine active interest in working for them but will also clue them into whether or not you are the type of person to ask questions when training for a new job. The more questions you ask, the more enhanced your communications skills will seem, and the more likely you are to be self-guided and successful at your job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. So have questions prepared to ask them. They have given you plenty of opportunities to share your accomplishments and toot your own horn. This is your opportunity to do the same for them. You want to hear their pitch, so give them the opportunity to convince you that this may be the job for you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Don't ask about pay, incentives, benefits, or anything that serves you. You haven't sealed the deal, so don't blow it by effectively asking them what they can give you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Direct

    17.

    Are you willing to work overtime, nights, or weekends?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Depending on the role you're interviewing for (e.g. a call-center position) you may need to work a variety of shifts. The interviewer wants to gauge how open you are to working other shifts. How you answer this question, direct or evasive, will clue them in to your openness to this, as well as your flexibility.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You need to be upfront about the schedule you're willing to work. Don't let this question catch you off guard! Ask discovery questions, or ask to see a sample schedule if appropriate. As you know, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. This distinguishes you from the herd as a viable candidate simply due to the fact that you are both after the same thing, a good fit.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Interviews are an excellent time to uncover what's expected. Take notes and follow up with questions. When possible, have a notebook or folder containing all your resumes and cover letters that you've sent off to other employers, divided into sections, with notes from each interview in each separated tab. This will not only advertise you are playing the field but are approaching it with an organized systems approach, where you are scaling what each job has to offer, as well as respectfully exhibiting your interviewing skills.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18.

    Explain to me something that you feel is complicated.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is designed to test your communication skills. Your example is less relevant than how effectively you are able to communicate it.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can pick any topic, work-related or not. Just make sure you're effective in how you relate this concept. Perhaps choose a topic you have had a high success rate in explaining in the past. The key to this question is in how you relay your information, taking a difficult concept and communicating it effectively with ease.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Try and steer clear of super complicated topics. You aren't familiar enough with the interviewer yet to know how they might receive the information. Find a topic or concept that they might already be familiar with, and can confirm is a difficult concept to explain. Or choose something you are confident you can effectively explain universally. Try not to get too carried away with the challenge of the concept. Focus instead on your effective communication skills and try to bring that to light.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19.

    Why do you want to work for American Express?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You may have done a great job of customizing your resume and cover letter to each and every submission. However, just because you know how to market yourself doesn't mean you're a good fit. They need to know if they are the right company for you, or a means to an end. They want an employee who has the skillsets for the position, similar core values to their company or mission statement, and a personality match for the culture of their brand and their team. They are looking to build a relationship. They need to know if you're looking for the same, versus just looking for a job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      We cannot stress enough the importance of doing your homework. Researching the company online will help uncover what employees are saying as well as their reputation. Discuss what impressed you. Integrity, respect, and quality are among a list of values you can find on their website's careers page. They care about their employees and their personal goals. It helps to talk about how much you want to grow personally and professionally and to identify precisely how the company will help you achieve your goals. Researching the company's values will help you tap into their universal appeal!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      The Goal

      American Express wants individuals who strive for success and also those who are motivated and goal-oriented. They also want people who are impressed with what the company has to offer. American Express is recognized as one of the best multinational places to work, which means you have a fantastic opportunity in front of you!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20.

    What are you hoping to learn in this position at American Express?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They're trying to determine if your goals match the company's goals. They are also trying to determine if supporting your development would be mutually beneficial. They're also trying to gauge how interested you are is in growing and determining if they can support your development. American Express is interested in supporting and fostering employee growth over the long term.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Do your research and align your goals to their goals. The keywords here are 'mutually beneficial.' Detail what you uniquely have to offer that makes you a perfect fit for this position. Likewise, determine what Amex offers which makes them perfect for your career growth.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "Amex makes credit cards, and their point systems seem pretty great. I've never been good with money. I'd like to learn how to be responsible with a credit card, and how to rack up rewards and points. If you happen to have a credit card application with you, I'd fill it out."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21.

    What is your definition of teamwork?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Teamwork is an important aspect of the culture of their brand at American Express. This question is designed to gauge how aligned your approach and philosophy are with theirs.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Focus on the collaboration involved in teamwork. The old adage, "There is no 'I' in team," should be driven home in your answer. Treating the members of your team with dignity, respect, and recognizing and rewarding their efforts is paramount.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      American Express states on their website, We view each other as colleagues--part of the same team, striving to deliver the brand promise to our customers and each other every day. Individual performance is essential and valued, but never at the expense of the team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    22.

    Who inspires you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Asking who inspires you will offer insights into what qualities in others you admire, what inspires you, and what motivates you as an employee. Your answer will help them assess how well you would fit into the culture of their brand.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Connect the dots for them. Break down not only who inspires you, but why, and how this role model has helped you along your career path. Also, examine how closely you feel your character is aligned with your inspiration.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Before answering this question, look at the American Express "career" page to discover the qualities they are looking for in individuals. By using some of these traits as a guideline, think of some people who have inspired you, embodying some of these same characteristics. Inspirational people motivate us to keep going when we feel like giving up. They're passionate and driven, accomplishing goals that seem impossible, starting new ventures with new ideas that change the way we view the world. You can talk about a mentor, family member, or even a celebrity who has inspired you in your career.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    23.

    Tell me about a time when you received excellent customer service.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question falls under the umbrella of the golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated." Providing an example of what you consider excellent customer service will offer insights as to the type of excellent customer service you expect yourself to deliver.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      After so many hours on hold with the cell phone company and no resolution, it can be challenging to think of an example of excellent customer service. However, with all of the services you use and the shopping you do, the opportunities are plentiful! Excellent customer service means merely keeping a positive attitude and taking care of your customer's needs by going a little bit above and beyond expectations. Define what customer service means to you and think of some examples before your interview.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      More often than not, people evaluate exemplary customer service to being heard, being validated, and being treated fairly. The idea of what is fair may vary from person to person. But understanding this gives a deeper insight into the adage 'The customer is always right.' This term isn't meant to be taken literally. It more so conveys that good customer service is understanding, relating with, and delivering on expectations. Meeting those expectations equates to good customer service.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    24.

    Why are you the best candidate for us?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are going to evaluate your confidence in your own abilities. If you don't come across as believing in yourself neither will they.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Now's the time to show off how your skills and traits will impact your new team. Consider answering this question by demonstrating how you have proven yourself in your past roles. For example, you could say, "My communication skills always help me get along with my team, no matter the challenge. I am a good listener, staying positive under pressure."

      You may also have mad organizational skills to keep confidential information secure and accurate, a beneficial quality to support any team. Keep your strengths and examples relevant to what they may expect you to accomplish in this new role. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you. Remember, you have so much to offer!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Be humble, yet confident. Steer clear of coming across as arrogant, while conveying your value, and how others have held you in high regard. Offering examples of the esteem others hold for you can go a long way here.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    25.

    How would your former employer describe you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is interested in your personality and how you will fit with the team. As you prepare for this question, picture a few scenarios that have occurred in your current or previous position.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When struggling to think of examples, think about qualities you enjoy in your co-worker, and see if they are self-applicable. If you encourage and motivate your co-workers when they are having a bad day, mention that. If you're carefree and fun-loving with your friends on the weekends, but at work, you're focused and professional, say so.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It is important to grant insights into your personality and the qualities you exude, but it is also important to offer glimpses into your professionality as well as your personality. Slip in references to your work ethic as well.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    26.

    How will you make a difference at American Express?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is similar to "Why should I hire you," and gives you a chance to toot your horn. They will be evaluating how well you market yourself and if you'll seize the opportunity when they give you this question. It will also help them assess how familiar you are with the role at their company for which they're considering hiring you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The most important thing you can express at this point in the interview is that you are unique and have the qualities that will enhance any team you work on. Share your past accomplishments related to what you will be doing in this new role. Talk about how you took a more innovative approach to problem-solving and how you supported your team under pressure.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Think of qualities that make you an asset, advertising you as the sort of employee they cannot live without! Studying the job post, as well as their core values and keywords on their site, and the similar qualities they advertise they are hunting for in the listings of other positions. Align your answer as best as you can with what they're looking for, when applicable.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    27.

    In a supervisory role, how do you motivate your team?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them assess your leadership style. On one extreme you might have a supervisor jump down in the trenches and work hard and fast beside their team to lead by example and set the pace, whereas on the other extreme they might incentivize by bringing a box of donuts in every day. They want to ascertain where you fall on the scale.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      To lead is to inspire others to follow. Getting others to follow takes an ability to get others to trust you as the person who can get them from point A to point B. This takes exhibiting confidence in your own abilities and rallying the trust of others. Think of examples where you inspire, drive, and reward the success of your team.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Micromanaging can be damaging to morale, and providing costly perks can negatively affect the manager's expense account. Avoid those kinds of examples, as they don't necessarily exhibit the traits of a leader.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    28.

    How would you address an employee who is underperforming?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Any insights they can glean from your leadership approach will help them determine your impact on your team. Not only can the poor performance of an employee negatively impact the rest of the team, but how you handle that challenge has the potential to make matters even worse.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Craft your example around the core values of the company, treating others with respect and doing what is right. This requires empathy, integrity, and transparency.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Avoid strict, by the book answers, such as following the formula of 'I give them two verbal warnings, the one write-up, then a second, and if they get a third, they're fired.'

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    29.

    How do you make difficult decisions when you're in a leadership role?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will offer insights into your leadership style. Your approach has the potential to positively or negatively impact a business. They want to evaluate where you fall on the scale of being an asset versus a liability.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Making decisions under pressure will always be tough, especially when you have a team under you. As a leader, you are expected to make wise choices for the good of the team and the company. Express your thought process by explaining the factors you consider when making an important decision. Think about how you weigh the pros and cons. If you need to do further research or talk to a manager for a second opinion, explain why. The interviewer wants to understand your thought process to see if you would be a good fit for the team. List three different factors you consider when deciding.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Facing a difficult situation can feel overwhelming. Task paralysis is defined as feeling stuck when unsure how to navigate or tackle an overwhelming task. The first step to handling a difficult decision is by diving in. Gather information, determine a strategy, and begin.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    30.

    As a leader, what bothers you the most about your staff?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Doing your best comes easy when things go your way. They want to assess how you cope and channel your frustration in a team environment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The point here is to stay positive. You want to exude a sense of emotional maturity and that you have a firm handle on your emotions.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid negative words or situational examples that come across as negative. Avoid singling out anyone in particular when framing your example. Stay general in your example and remain positive.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    31.

    Tell me about an idea or change you implemented in your past job?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You may have come up with a plan to save the company money or noticed a problem and came up with a solution. It's one thing to be full of great ideas, but making them happen is a whole other ballgame. Detail your approach. Define the research you conducted to come up with your solution. Relate how you approached your supervisors with your idea and how you quantified your data.

      These components are what they're looking for to determine whether you'll be a desired asset to their company.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think about the little things you have done that have helped boost employee morale or made a difference in your team! Give an example and be specific about what you did and how it affected the company. It doesn't need to be dramatic, but it can be.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Change can be profound or incremental. The goal is to confidently exhibit your strengths and to market to all potential employers what you have to offer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    32.

    What does leadership mean to you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer wants to assess what kind of a leader you are or what you perceive effective leadership as being. This will not only clue them into how you deal with those in positions of authority. It will also inform them on how responsible you would be in a leadership position.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      American Express prides itself on inclusion, teamwork, diversity, and equality. Customize your answer to these qualities. Leadership should be viewed less as a position of power and more so a position of responsibility.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Steer clear of us versus them statements. Avoid any elitist perspectives. If not in a leadership position, describe the qualities you find most admirable.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Operational

    33.

    How do you manage your time?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Effective time management assists in pre-emptively managing stress, workflow, preventing burnout, and how one's work life and personal life affect one another. How you answer this question will offer insights as to how effective you are at your job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The perception you are aiming to convey is that you have realistic expectations of what you can accomplish in any given time frame when setting goals and meeting those goals. Evaluate what a workday, workweek, or a longer period consists of. Each component is a piece of the puzzle. Ponder how you get all the pieces of the puzzles to fit between work life and your personal life. Whether you set out your clothes the night before you get ready for work or track and manage your calendars well, outline the system you have.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What You Should Say

      Without a calendar, a planner, and a to-do list, you'd be running around the office with your head spinning! These tools are necessary to stay organized and focused on today's busy work environment. Give examples of some of the ways you manage your time using tools or methods that have proven to help you be more successful in your job. You could tell them you schedule a five-minute 'sanity' break every two hours to help refresh your mind and keep you moving steadily ahead. Show off your flexibility by showing how you factor in changes to your schedule, traffic, or last-minute meetings!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Situational

    34.

    Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker. How did you deal with it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This behavioral question will offer a meaningful glimpse into your personality. Its aim is to reveal how well you deal with those in a position of authority, and how well you play with the rest of the team. The interviewer needs to know if you respond defensively to situational conflict, or approach such instances diplomatically, working swiftly towards a communal end goal. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution, is what they are after.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks you how you deal with conflict, focus your example on the solution rather than the problem. Always focus your example on the situation and never focus on any one person as the source of the conflict. Let's say you were working on a group project and you had a disagreement with someone on your team. Explain the steps you took to work through it. Taking a thoughtful approach by listening to the opinions of others first is always a good place to start! Show that you took the initiative and stayed calm to resolve the situation!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      "There was this one jerk whose cubicle was right next to mine. They kept playing their music. I kept asking them to turn it down. This went on for weeks, and we fought about it. Finally, my supervisor moved them to another cubicle. But I think they were out to get me because the person who ended up next to me kept smacking their lips and clearing their throat. So annoying! Finally, I got my own desk away from everyone else. But after a while, that stank too. It was out in the warehouse and the roof kept leaking on my desk chair, and on me when I was sitting in it! Clearly, they don't appreciate what I have to offer, so here I am."

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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  • Situational

    35.

    Tell me about a time when you had to tailor a solution to a customer.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are trying to evaluate your commitment to customer service, and how well suited you are to this role. Just because you have a background in customer service doesn't necessarily mean you deliver an exemplary customer-centric experience.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Most companies have specific solutions they offer customers when an issue arises. Sometimes, despite your efforts, you can't meet their needs and need to get creative. American Express values those committed to their customers and able to innovate. If you haven't done this before, give an example of a time you've gone above and beyond. You may have talked to your manager to find a compromise or a hidden benefit that you rarely offer. Think of a challenging situation you resolved. Making the customer happy is your priority!

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The most important part of any customer experience is the grand finale. How the customer leaves at the end of any customer experience is what they take with them. That exit moment is the make it or break it moment to brand loyalty. How well you fit into the culture of their brand, and how well you deliver that grand finale experience, is what you want to convey.

      Written by Kevin Downey on February 9th, 2022

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