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20 Interview Questions & Answers

1.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
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This question is something that you should have an answer ready for at all times. Perhaps you look up to a parent who was a hard worker, or a teacher who encouraged you to become who you are today. Whomever this inspiring person may be, remember that the interviewer is looking for a heartfelt response.

Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, author - literally anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why.

1.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
This question is something that you should have an answer ready for at all times. Perhaps you look up to a parent who was a hard worker, or a teacher who encouraged you to become who you are today. Whomever this inspiring person may be, remember that the interviewer is looking for a heartfelt response.

Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, author - literally anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that the person who has most greatly inspired me has been my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. I try to live like she did, as much as I can."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My inspiration comes from my grandmother. She has spent every day of her life working hard, and I have never once heard her complain about being tired and overworked. She taught me the value of a good reputation, and I still seek out her opinion when I need inspiration."
Anonymous Answer
"The person who has inspired me in my life is my grandma. She passed away due to cancer, and during her time of going through chemo, she encouraged me to connect with people as well as being compassionate because we can build each other's self-esteem as well as reinforce the sense of identity."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a beautiful response, and it seems your grandma was a very wise woman. Well said.
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2.
Tell me about the proudest day of your life.
The interviewer would like to know you on a more personal level. There is no right or wrong answer but if you are able, keep your answer career or school related. Be sure to express any challenges that you overcame to reach this proud day, and discuss what it took to get you there. You can then let the interviewer know that you will have the same excitement and tenacity towards your goals while working for their organization.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The proudest day of my life was when I gained promotion to the senior accountant role after just 12 months with my current company. I worked hard to get there putting in overtime hours, taking additional coursework, and managing a team of two interns. I take my career path seriously and will apply myself every step of the way."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The proudest day of my life was when I graduated from university, with honors. I am the first person in my immediate family to complete post-secondary education. My whole family came to cheer me on! This accomplishment came from tough work, and endless studying - but, I did it!"
3.
Are you a reliable friend?
This question should have a simple answer. Of course, you are a reliable friend! What the interviewer is looking for, is an example of a time when you were a stand-up friend to someone else. Being a great friend will show the interviewer that you are an unselfish person, and willing to go out of your way to help someone out.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a very reliable friend! I have an excellent memory, and my friends often comment on how well I remember birthdays and other important dates. You can always count on me to remember significant dates and facts."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My friends are like family to me, and they consider me reliable, and they are reliable to me in return. I have a close-knit group of about eight girlfriends. We get together to do something fun about once a month. I enjoy this catch-up time, and we have some great laughs as well. I am very thankful for my wonderful friends."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, I am a reliable friend because whenever my friend needs me, I would be there. Even if I cannot meet up with them, I will call them to try to talk to them on asking what happened and how they are feeling. I want my friend to feel reassured that there are people who care and love them."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you are an excellent friend to have! Your response is very kind and caring.
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4.
What is your least favorite personal trait, and what are you doing to improve yourself in that area?
If you had to pick one trait about yourself that you are not overly proud of, what would it be? The interviewer would like to get a great idea of the 'real' you. Talk a bit about something that you are working on within yourself, but avoid mentioning a trait that would disqualify you for the position.

Some of the most common personality traits that people dislike include:

- Being a 'know-it-all.'
- Conceitedness
- Rudeness or arrogance
- Dominating conversations
- Dishonesty
- Moodiness or being temperamental
- Irresponsible
- Co-dependent

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I try to be a good person, but sometimes I can be unintentionally sharp with my comments. My friends say it's my Polish upbringing but either way, I would never want someone to feel uncomfortable around me. I am very conscious of my words now."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"There are many wonderful traits that I will bring to your organization but, like everyone, I have a couple of traits that I would like to improve on. It was brought to my attention recently that I am too brief when giving instructions. I was training a temp and missed some steps because I assumed she already knew what to do. I am consciously trying to be more thorough in situations like that."
5.
What is your ideal work environment?
When applying for a job, the fit has to match both ways. The interviewer knows this and wants to ensure that the work environment they offer is suitable for you.

There are a few factors to take into consideration when looking at the work environment:

- Are questions encouraged without judgment?
- Is continuing education encouraged?
- Does the company promote an entrepreneurial mindset?
- Does the office allow for flexibility such as working from home or flex in hours?
- Are there regular team huddles?
- Is it an open-air environment without cubicles or walled offices?
- Is feedback, from both sides, encouraged and acceptable?
- Are goals set as a team, or only individually?
- Are there strict dress codes, after-hours expectations, and other restrictions?
- Is the initial training through or is there a sink-or-swim mentality?
- Is there recognition for a job well done, or incentives on a regular basis?
- Is nepotism a factor, if the business is family-run?
- Are employees promoted based on performance, or tenure only?

Choose two to three of these factors that are important to you, and before accepting a job offer, ensure that the company hits these 'must-haves' for you and your ideal work environment.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"My ideal work environment is one where mistakes are an opportunity for learning, where full training is available, and there are opportunities for continued education. Would you say that Company ABC meets these factors?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am seeking a work environment where promotions happen on results and performance, and not tenure. I may easily outperform a manager who has been with the company for ten years and would like to know that my achievements will be recognized and rewarded, despite my being newer to the company. Can you share with me the factors that Company ABC takes into account when considering title promotions?"
Anonymous Answer
"My ideal work environment is where I am working with people who are supportive and positive. Where we help each other achieve our goals and celebrate victories together when we work as a team. I find that the best work environment is when we empower each other by uplifting each other and rising together."
Rachelle's Answer
This sounds like a lovely work environment! It's great that you know what you are looking for :)
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