30 Interview Questions – and Exclusive Tips for Good Answers

7. What do you know about our company? Why exactly do you want to work for us?

Kristina Hiltmair, HR manager at Munich Business School has the following tip: “Preparing is also important for this question. It immediately becomes clear whether an applicant has at least looked at the company’s homepage. If you aren’t able to discuss the company right away as the interviewer wishes, you should at least try to show interest. Give some information about the company and then ask a few specific questions about certain aspects. When it comes to the question of what interests you most about a company, I would recommend naming a few points that put the company itself in the foreground, such as its mission, the working environment it provides, its market position, and so on.”

8. How well do you know our market? Are you aware of our competitors, customers and the market leader?

“In addition to the obligatory research into the company itself, the next step is gathering information about the environment in which it operates. Make sure you set aside enough time for this ahead of the interview. A solid answer can really impress: it shows that you have engaged in detail with the company, the industry and key stakeholders, and are genuinely interested in the position,” says MBS Career Center Manager Stephanie Stangl.

9. How did you come across the job advertisement?

HR manager Kristina Hiltmair advises: “In addition to naming the website or portal where you found the vacancy, feel free to outline the process you used to look for jobs and the key criteria you applied. The path to a job interview is often not completely direct, so this information is very interesting and helpful for those of us in HR.”

10. Are you interviewing for any other positions?

Stephanie Stangl, business expert and Manager of the MBS Career Center, recommends approaching this question as follows: “I would put my cards on the table. It’s normal to have more than one interview lined up. Recruiters often ask this question, and with good reason: they want to know where you are in your job search and how quickly you need a response. At the same time, you don’t want to leave the impression that you’ve applied to hundreds of companies and don’t care about where your offer actually comes from.”

11. What is important to you in an employer?

Stephanie Stangl recommends: “Be honest in your answer and respond logically, in line with your previous answers. Talk about your personal values – which, ideally, should correspond to the company’s values. You can usually find a company’s stated values on their website. On this point, as is so often the case, researching ahead of the interview can prove worthwhile.”

Interview Questions Regarding Your Personality and Work Style

12. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Kristina Hiltmair, HR Manager at MBS, shares this insight: “Don’t underestimate this question. There are certain evergreen questions in job interviews where, unfortunately, far too many people slip up. Good preparation is the name of the game. When it comes to your strengths, it can be helpful to have a list of your strong qualities to hand, ideally characteristics that have been confirmed by others. You might choose three things from this list in your job interview – qualities that are best suited to the advertised position. Don’t forget that you should always be able to back up the strengths you name with specific examples from your career to date! Contrary to common perceptions, naming weaknesses in a job interview is not a bad thing. However, it is important to consider them carefully and ensure you word this answer amiably. Make sure that the weaknesses you state do not conflict with the position you’re interviewing for and show that you’re actively working to improve your weaknesses. For strengths and weaknesses alike, it’s important that you always answer this question in a professional context!”

13. What does success mean to you?

Stefan Baldi, Dean of Munich Business School, says: “This question is ultimately about what motivates you, especially in a professional environment. Your counterpart in the interview wants to understand how the applicant’s personal ideas and perceptions would line up with those of the company. Think about your personal values and try to find and express a common denominator with the company’s culture. Make absolutely certain that the success you describe appears plausible, achievable and understandable – this is actually more important than your exact answer! As a follow-up question, recruiters like to ask about specific examples from your professional experience or, for young professionals, examples from your studies or private life.” (see Question 20)

14. Are you a team player or a lone warrior?

Christine Menges, Chancellor at MBS, recommends: “It’s best to be diplomatic when answering this question. Consider whether the role requires more of a team player or a lone warrior. Most cases call for characteristics of both aspects to differing degrees in differing situations. You need to be able to work in a team so that you can cooperate effectively with colleagues and contribute to the company’s success. However, there are also tasks that require you to work independently and organize yourself. Make clear that you can do both. Think of a specific situation that demonstrates each skill – instance in which you demonstrated your ability to work in a team and achieve success independently. By doing so, you will show the recruiter or department representative that you have a reflective approach and are aware of the advantages of both abilities.”

15. What role do you take in groups?

Stephanie Stangl, Manager of the MBS Career Centers, has the following tip: “First of all, I would recommend being authentic. Reflect on the roles you have taken on in different group projects. Are you a team player who makes sure that the team structure works effectively? Or are you more of a creative mind, an innovator who generates new ideas? It’s also important to bear in mind the role for which you’ve applied. If it’s a managerial position, you should focus on instances where you have taken responsibility in past roles, such as serving as a project manager. By contrast, if you’re applying for an internship, you should focus on other aspects instead. In any case, your answer should be based on specific examples from your professional experience or day-to-day studies.”

16. In your résumé, you wrote that you enjoy reading. What was the last book you read? [also applicable to other interests]

HR expert Kristina Hiltmair says: “Choose carefully when listing interests in your résumé. They need to be truthful and you should be able to provide vibrant answers if asked. The person interviewing you will have asked this question because they want to find out more about your personality or perhaps because they have the same hobby.”