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Compatibility Interview
Questions

15 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 15

Tell me about your relationship with your previous boss.

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Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Compatibility Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about your relationship with your previous boss.

      The interviewer would like to know about your relationship with your most recent employer. Be sure to remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your employer. Keep your answer short and respectful.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I had a very healthy relationship with my previous employer. She was easy to approach, and we would bounce ideas off of each other quite often. I would sum it up as a relationship lead by strong mutual respect."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My previous boss and I got along well. We had very different interests, so we did not spend a lot of time chatting, but our work interests were aligned, and we respected each other."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I had a good relationship with my previous boss. She was easy to approach and always offered new ideas to me. I feel we had a good working relationship. I have a lot of respect for her."

      Rachelle's Answer

      The respect that you display for your previous boss comes across as very genuine. Good response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  2. 2.

    What do you know about our company culture?

      The interviewer would like to know that you have researched their organization before your interview. Company culture and fit is a critical factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration into how the company culture will work for you.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have researched your company through your social media channels and on glassdoor.com. Your employees have great things to say, and overall it seems that you have fun while you work. I am looking forward to joining an organization, like yours, that is upbeat and thoughtful with an eye on helping the community at the same time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that you have a great reputation with your clients and that you treat your staff very well. I have a friend who worked with your company on a temporary basis last year, and she said it was one of the best administrative positions she had ever held. I look forward to learning more about this role."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "Your stores are known for encouraging continued education and offers advanced training. The company's core values, which include honesty and integrity, as well as the firm belief in respect for the individual, are values I strive for every day. I also read many employee reviews about how they have fun and love their job."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It is very apparent that you have done your homework on the company! Great answer.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  3. 3.

    Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues.

      The interviewer would like to know more about your relationship with your colleagues. Remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your colleagues.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players, and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I get along with just about everyone with whom I work. I respect other people's knowledge, experience, and opinion, even if I don't agree. I think that is why I can work with nearly anyone."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I worked with a great team of co-workers. We supported each other and always helped each other when coverage was low, so customers' needs were taken care of."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This sounds like a harmonious work environment! Try digging in a bit further on what you did to ensure that this pattern or support continued.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (2)
  4. 4.

    How would you describe your personality?

      The interviewer would like to know how you see yourself. Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. Your answer should include buzzwords such as extroverted, energetic, and confident.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am quite, focused, and determined. You won't hear a lot from me unless I need you, but rest assured that I am working hard."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am approachable, upbeat, and friendly. I can quickly adapt to a multitude of situations and like to take on challenges."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are all excellent personality characteristics to have. Well done!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (4) or No (1)
  5. 5.

    What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?

      The interviewer would like to know how to ensure a healthy level of productivity from you. Are you able to be productive in any environment? Are there particular types of situations that you find distracting? Discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of environment that offered in this position before the interview.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that your work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar environment and found that I could be very productive when there was the 'buzz' of a team around me. I can also be productive in quieter environments although that isn't my preference."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most productive when I am allowed to take on my projects and complete them my way, with trust that the final product will be exactly what my manager expected from me. I am very detail oriented, and you can be sure that, no matter how I get there, I will exceed your expectations."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I work well in a fast-paced environment that offers different challenges throughout the workday. I work well in a team atmosphere, focusing on customer satisfaction."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You do a great job describing what you need to maintain happiness and productivity in the workplace. Your answer should be very helpful to the interviewer.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)
  6. 6.

    What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

      The interviewer would like to know if there is a particular type of environment that you find challenging. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most situations? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of environment offered in this position before the interview.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been lucky enough to work in environments where everyone gets along quite well, and hiccups are opportunities to learn, rather than scold. I hope to join an environment like this again. Does this describe your work environment?"

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "Were communication is poor, and tasks are given without explanation. This type of environment is challenging for me because it shows disrespect to my coworkers and me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You are nice and clear on the type of environment that is not best for you. You could offer a positive statement at the end to strengthen your response. I have added an example below.

      "I dislike environments where communication is poor, and tasks are given without explanation. This shows disrespect and is unmotivating. I know that Company ABC works hard to ensure that management is hands-on and that the overall environment is positive."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
  7. 7.

    What work situations excite and motivate you?

      The interviewer would like to know how to motivate you on the job. It is essential, for your success, that the hiring manager knows how to keep you motivated and excited to come to work every day. Share with the interviewer what they could do to ensure that you are happy and productive.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most motivated, on the job, when tasks remain organized, and the vibe is positive. I value strong teamwork and good leadership."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Paving new paths and creating structures to support organizations excite me the most. I am self-motivated and enjoy seeing my hard work make a difference for an organization."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I love working with a mentor and team workers that support and encourage each other's success."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Mentors are very important. If you have worked with a mentor, be sure to discuss your experience.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  8. 8.

    How would you describe your relationship with your customers or clients?

      The interviewer would like to know more about your client and customer relationships. Do you value your client and customer relationships? How do you nurture them to ensure that they are happy and continue to come back? Talk to the interviewer about your strategy for creating strong customer and client relationships.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My customer and client relationships are open and honest. I believe that the more upfront and transparent you are with your clients, the more likely they are to return. I most definitely value my clients and am sure to nurture those relationships as much as possible."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am often the first face, or voice, of the company. I am kind to the clients who call, and they are most often kind in return. We have clients who call in regularly, and we are cordial, asking about each others' weekends, the kids, or the latest hot spots for lunch."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I love working with customers. The best part of my day is when I know I made a difference in a customer's experience. In my past job, I often had customers come up to me and just say hello. I feel I develope a fun, respectful relationship with all my customers."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your example of customers being friendly with you is a great way to show the interviewer that you indeed have healthy customer relationships. Great response!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  9. 9.

    How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?

      The interviewer would like to know how you will make an impact on their organization if hired. If you landed the position, what would you bring to the department or organization? Assure the interviewer that you are the right fit for this position. If you have a 90-day plan in mind, come prepared to share that with the interviewer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If you hired me, I feel that I would compliment your organization in a few significant ways. First - I am a fast learner, and I already bring six years' experience in this industry. The time to train me will be reduced. Also, I will bring a robust portfolio of clients with me which will make a financial impact almost immediately."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If hired, I will bring my valuable knowledge to help streamline the accounts payable and accounts receivable process in your department. This contribution will help your organization to see an increase in revenue nearly immediately."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "If you hire me, I feel I would offer 14 years of retail experience that include five years of leadership roles that directly related to customer service. I would require less time to train. I am a fast learner and embrace new challenges."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Requiring less time to train is an excellent way to complement a new company right away. I recommend removing language like "I feel and "I would" and replacing these with more confident statements. I have provided an example below.

      "If hired, I will bring you 14 years of retail experience, including five years of leadership roles that directly relate to customer service. Because of this extensive experience, I require less time to train, ensuring that I make an impact on your organization right away."

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  10. 10.

    Considering your background is in an industry different from ours, what skills and characteristics do you have that qualify you for this position in this industry?

      The interviewer would like to know which transferable skills you bring to this position. There are many ways that you can be a fit for a job, even though you do not come with direct industry experience. Think about the variety of skills that you have and how those can benefit another employer, despite the industry. These are your transferable skills, and they can include sales abilities, customer service experience, and software capabilities.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although my background is not in your precise industry, I have worked with many clients who have been in your industry. I bring excellent transferable skills that qualify me for this position. These skills include my advanced abilities in Excel, my outstanding cold-calling abilities as well as my proven background in team leadership."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a pro when it comes to prioritization and communication. These skills can expand any industry. I am a fast learner and have already dedicated some time to better understanding your industry."

      View answer examples for this question >

  11. 11.

    Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?

      Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the 'nice to have' or even the 'must have' skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I realize that I may not check off all of the boxes for this position; however, I can assure you that I am a rapid learner. Experience in QuickBooks is not my strongest suit, but I am very well versed in another accounting program called Sage. I think that I can pick up the required knowledge quickly."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am fully committed to learning, and mastering, any important skills for this role that I do not currently have. Could you share with me any skills that stand out to you?"

      View answer examples for this question >

  12. 12.

    When have you worked among a diverse group of people?

      The interviewer would like to know that you are accustomed to working with a broad range of people. Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time at University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we effectively run the day to day needs of the business."

      View answer examples for this question >

  13. 13.

    Tell me why you are the right fit for this company and this position.

      The interviewer would like to know that you feel confident this position is the right fit for you. A successful hire needs to feel like the right fit for both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this position is a secure fit for your experience and your career goals.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I feel that I am the right fit for this company because, from what you have described, my personality, skills, and drive are what you seek. The challenges that come with this position are all challenges that I welcome. I am confident that this is the right fit for both of us."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that your biggest ask is an administrative assistant that is skilled in QuickBooks and Excel. I test as an expert user in both. In addition to this experience, I have also supported three other executives in my career. I have incredible tenure, only leaving my current role due to a company merger."

      View answer examples for this question >

  14. 14.

    What is the worst thing a previous manager could say about you?

      Nobody is a perfect employee! Think about some mistakes you have made at work or any suggestions for improvement received. If a manager were to provide you with feedback or criticism, what might they say? Keep your answer brief and be sure to finish on a positive note by discussing your willingness to improve and take constructive feedback.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I started my most recent job I had a pretty big learning curve. The software and my daily tasks were all very new to me. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning because I felt rushed and wanted to learn as quickly as I could. My manager suggested I slow down and not worry so much about keeping up with the people who had been there for a while. He was understanding, and it helped me to learn that it's okay to take my time to avoid mistakes."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My previous manager could comment on my willingness to adapt to change. We went through a major merger which brought many significant changes on a weekly basis. The uncertainty was difficult for me, and I feel that I could have handled it better."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "When I first was promoted to a supervisor role, I would conclude an employee's lack of production was due to laziness. My manager mentored me in respecting the individual, to communicate with the person and explore ways to help them become more productive. This lesson in humility helped me become a better leader at work and a better person as a whole."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Wow, what a valuable lesson to learn! This story tells a lot about your ability to be coached and how your working style was initially shaped.

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  15. 15.

    What type of situation would make you quit your job?

      The interviewer would like to know what type of situation would cause you to quit your job, so they can assess how patient you are and what your threshold for stress may be. If you have ever quit a job before, you can discuss the situation but avoid speaking poorly of any employer in the past. Make sure that your example is one that could be justified easily. You want to avoid appearing dramatic or oversensitive.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have never quit a job; however, I think it would take a very severe situation such as illegal financial operations or if I were asked to participate in an activity that was criminal."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Earlier in my career, I quit my job because the work environment was highly toxic. The manager would gossip about other employees, and the owner of the company would scream and yell at everyone. I found a new position quickly and do not regret that situation."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I would never quit my job without proper notice. A combative, disrespectful, work environment, would cause me to consider different employment."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Very well said! It's very good that you offered in a statement about how you would never quit your job without proper notice.

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