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Typical Interview Questions You Can Reuse for Every Role

typical interview questions

Regardless of the role you’re hiring for, there are always great interview questions that you can use for every role. These typical interview questions are great for gathering general information on every candidate regardless of their role or seniority. 

Here’s a list of multi-purpose interview questions you can use throughout the interview lifecycle.

What is a Typical Interview Question?

Typical interview questions are great for assessing candidate soft skills, such as culture fit, creative thinking, communication skills, motivation and more. Asking these questions, along with ones that can help you assess hard skills, are key to getting a 360-degree view of a candidate.

The Importance of Standard and Typical Interview Questions

Standard and typical interview questions are important because they allow you to assess candidates by criteria that you can easily understand and communicate back to the hiring manager and team. Candidates that answer these interview questions well are also more likely to be a better fit.. 

Who Should Ask Typical Interview Questions

Typical interview questions can be asked by any member of the recruiting and hiring team. While they’re a great way for recruiters to assess candidates on initial screenings, these interview questions can also be used by the hiring manager to gauge a candidate’s fit for their specific team and future role. 

Below is a list of typical interview questions used by best-in-class recruiters and hiring managers to determine whether candidates have the necessary soft skills to make for a great employee. 

Typical Interview Questions for Motivation and Commitment

Self motivation and commitment to your company are important soft skills that you’ll want in any hire. These typical interview questions will help you determine if a candidate will be committed and happy at your company, or if they’ll churn immediately at the sight of a pay raise.

  • Are you currently looking at other jobs besides ours? What about those roles motivated you to apply?
  • What motivates you to come to work everyday?
  • What about our position interests you the most?
  • What do you consider the most important factor in deciding where you work next?
  • What about our product/company excites you the most?
  • How does this position help you get closer to a long-term goal you have?
  • What do you hope to learn/gain by taking this position?
  • What is missing from your current job that you’re hoping to find here?
  • What could your current company change about your job, your team or their culture to keep you on their team?
  • Would you take a job with a toxic work culture but a higher salary, or a lower salary with an ideal work culture? Why?
  • How would you define a healthy work/life balance? At what point do you think it’s necessary to blur the lines?
  • What would motivate you to stay at our company for the next 5 years?
  • If you find yourself stuck doing repetitive work, how do you motivate yourself to continue and complete it?
  • Have you ever worked in a toxic or unmotivating setting? How do/did you motivate yourself to stay engaged and productive?

Typical Interview Questions for Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is directly linked with high performing employees. Use these typical interview questions to learn how your candidate solves problems on a daily basis. 

  • Describe a time where there was a problem at work and you had to come up with a creative solution to resolve it.
  • Tell me about a time where you came up with a new way to solve a problem.
  • What’s something you find “cool” or innovative that you implemented at any of your previous companies?
  • What is one of the ideas that you’ve come up with and implemented that you’re most proud of?
  • Describe a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation.
  • Describe a time when you had to think “outside the box” to solve a problem.
  • When someone brings up new ideas, how do you typically respond?
  • Describe a situation where you faced a challenge in doing your job. What were the challenges, and how did you overcome them?
  • How do you know when to solve a problem on your own or to ask for help?

Typical Interview Questions for Assessing Culture Add

Culture compatibility is one of the hottest criteria that recruiters look for in candidates. When candidates add to your company culture, then are more likely to be engaged, productive, and less likely to churn within the first year. Here are interview questions that you should be asking your candidates to ensure they mesh with your company culture.

  • What type of work environment do prefer and find motivating?
  • What qualities do you think are most important in your leaders?
  • How would your previous boss and co-workers describe you?
  • How do you handle stress/pressure?
  • If you could create your dream work environment, then what would it be?
  • What is one team bonding activity or out-of-work experience that you enjoyed? Do you think these types of activities are necessary for a company to be successful?
  • What’s one idea you think we could implement today that would make employees more excited to come to work tomorrow?
  • Tell me about the worst work environment that you were ever a part of. What made it a difficult and unmotivating place to work?
  • Do you think it is fair and justifiable for companies to assign tasks or projects that require employees to work outside of office hours?

Typical Interview Questions for Communication Skills

Communication skills are necessary, regardless of an employee’s role. During the tenure at your company, hires  will be required to communicate within your team, with different departments, and even customers. These questions will help you understand your future employee’s communication skills. 

  • Tell me about a time where you were the expert in a subject and had to explain to someone else. What was the subject and how did you go about explaining it to someone who was new or unfamiliar?
  • Do you think face-to-face meetings are necessary for teams to be productive? Why or why not?
  • Describe a time when you had to rely on written communication to initiate a project. How did you communicate to ensure your ideas came across to your team and they understood all deliverables?
  • Describe a time when you worked as part of a team spanning multiple departments. What forms of communication did you use to ensure the project ran smoothly? What challenges did you encounter regarding communication and deliverables? How did your team overcome those?
  • Give me an example of a successful presentation you gave. How did you prepare and explain everything to ensure it was successful?
  • Tell me about a time you had to make a good impression on a client. How did you ensure you made a significant, positive impression?
  • Give me an example of when you had to interact with a difficult client/customer. What were the circumstances of the interaction? How did you handle this difficulty? Were you able to change the experience from negative to positive?
  • Tell me about a time you had to persuade a co-worker or manager. What did you do to persuade them to see things your way?
  • Describe a time where you had to deal with a conflict with another person at work. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?
  • What advice would give a future team member to make sure they communicate with you as best as possible?
  • Tell me about a time where you didn’t communicate properly with someone and a mistake happened as a result. What went wrong? What would you do differently?

Typical Interview Questions for Collaboration and Teamwork

Will your new hire play nice with others? If they’re an individual contributor, then you may be able to get away with hiring someone who is not as much of a collaborator. However, the majority of hires will need to be able to collaborate or work within teams of various sizes. Use the questions below to determine their preferred role on teams and level of collaboration.

  • Do you prefer to work as part of a team that is primarily autonomous? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever worked remotely? What did you like? Dislike?
  • Can you describe one of your favorite teams that you’ve been a part of? What made this team your favorite? How would you replicate or improve this type of team at our company?
  • Describe the most difficult team you’ve been a part of. What made the experience challenging? What would you do differently to make this team function better and/or be more enjoyable to work with?
  • What is your ideal role on a team?
  • What do you think is more important for a team: technical skills or communication? Why?
  • If you notice a member of your team is struggling, what would you do? 
  • Tell me about a time where a team you were a part of experienced some sort of conflict. What did you do to help resolve the issues?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a member of your team who was not responsive. How did you handle that situation? Were you able to fulfill your responsibilities?
  • Have you ever felt like being part of a team has held you back from being effective? Why?

Final Thoughts: Typical Interview Questions

Typical interview questions are a great way to assess candidate soft skills and whether a candidate will be successful at your company.  These are a great tool that best-in-class recruiters use to reduce churn, increase employee engagement, and find productive employees. 

To streamline the interview process at your company, download our Streamline the Interview Guide to refine your process today.