Applications for the Spring ‘23 recruiting cycle are now open. Our official timeline of events will be updated on the week of January 9th. Stayed tuned!
50+ most common job interview questions
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Heres the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a pitch—one that’s concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Muse writer and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment), then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.
Possible answer to “What are you looking for in a new position?”
“I’ve been honing my data analysis skills for a few years now and, first and foremost, I’m looking for a position where I can continue to exercise those skills. Another thing that’s important to me is the chance to present my findings and suggestions directly to clients. I’m always very motivated by being able to see the impact of my work on other people. And I’m definitely looking for a position where I can grow since I hope to take on managerial responsibilities in the future. To sum it up, I’d love a position where I can use my skills to make an impact that I can see with my own eyes. Of course, the position is only part of the equation. Being at a company where I can grow and work toward something I care about matters, too. DNF’s goal of being at the intersection between data and education inspires me, and I’m really excited about this opportunity.”
2 What do you like least about your job?
Tread carefully here! The last thing you want to do is let your answer devolve into a rant about how terrible your current company is or how much you hate your boss or that one coworker. The easiest way to handle this question with poise is to focus on an opportunity the role you’re interviewing for offers that your current job doesn’t. You can keep the conversation positive and emphasize why you’re so excited about the job.
4 How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
1,000? 10,000? 100,000? Seriously? Well, seriously, you might get asked brain-teaser questions like these, especially in quantitative jobs. But remember that the interviewer doesn’t necessarily want an exact number—they want to make sure that you understand what’s being asked of you, and that you can set into motion a systematic and logical way to respond. So take a deep breath and start thinking through the math. (Yes, it’s OK to ask for a pen and paper!)
4 What other companies are you interviewing with?
Companies might ask you who else you’re interviewing with for a few reasons. Maybe they want to see how serious you are about this role and team (or even this field) or they’re trying to find out who they’re competing with to hire you. On one hand, you want to express your enthusiasm for this job, but at the same time, you don’t want to give the company any more leverage than it already has by telling them there’s no one else in the running. Depending on where you are in your search, you can talk about applying to or interviewing for a few roles that have XYZ in common—then mention how and why this role seems like a particularly good fit.