I've been doing some interviews over the past year with a variety of different companies, and I feel that 90% of the questions are roughly the same. I'm thinking about making a FAQ, and sending it to the company I'm interviewing with beforehand so that we don't waste each others time.

What does the Career Tools community think? :)

iand66's picture

In my time as a hiring manager when I was interviewing I was looking for more than just answers to the questions – attitude (demonstrated by behaviour), actually being interested in the subject (what do you do in your spare time?), ability to get along with other team members etc.

There have been many occasions in the past when I have passed over the ‘best’ qualified candidate in favour of those who would be good enough and persuaded me at interview that they actually wanted the growth opportunity. I can train people to develop their technical skills; I was never able to make a “nice” person out of someone who was just in it for the money or using us as a stepping-stone to something better.

If you sent your FAQ to me I would file it in the bin.

Is this a case of efficiency (yours, not mine) trumping effectiveness?

Do you actually want the job? If not why are you applying for it?

pucciot's picture
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Most of us call that FAQ -- a Resume & Cover letter.

Seriously, it is presumptuous to answer any further questions that have not actually been asked.  

If you believe that you can anticipate 90% of the questions, then that is called interview preparation.

I recommend the free _Manager Tools_ podcasts about interviewing and the paid for "Interview Series".

You can and should create an FAQ of sorts, for yourself, so that you are prepared for the interview.

You are _not_ in charge of the interview process.  The potential employer is in charge of the interview.

They ask the questions - you answer.

Sure, you will get some chances to ask questions and do a little bit of interviewing for yourself, but that is a very small part of the process and should be inconspicuous.

The interview is a Tool - it is a process.  It is something of a game.

Baseball players don't go out to the field with their baseball cards to compare their stats.  No, they actually play the game.

If I received an FAQ from a candidate I'd show it to the hiring committee and we'd laugh.  The whole office would eventually get wind of this crazy stunt and refer to it around the water cooler. And it would become one of those legendary anecdotes about some of the crazy candidates we've had come through our interviewing doors.

You would instantly get the reputation of being a pretentious n00b.

Even if you came in and impressed us with your interviewing skills, you'd still be known as the guy who sent his FAQ ahead of him.

Please don't be that guy.

Good Luck


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tokyotony's picture

The above was being sacrastic. Apparently the winky face didn't come through like I had hoped. I would never send an FAQ to a company.

However, I do stand by that 90% of the questions that interviewers ask are the same and I believe few people I've been interviewed by care to read the resume and ask intelligent questions and I believe close to zero (unfortunately) know what MT is. Most are probably just repeating whatever they heard when they were interviewed:

1) Give me a problem you had at work and how did you solve it?

2) How to you get feedback from the client?

3) How do you build a team? Or please tell me a time you built a team and what you did.

I'll stop here.

BTW.. I have all the free podcasts + the interview series.


acao162's picture

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you have never been the interviewer before.  The "standard" questions aren't only about the answers you give, they are about watching your thought process, how you answer, what you DON'T say as well as what you do say. They help us to determine fit - will you be successful in our team or will you be that square peg?

Also, after I've listened to 20 - 30 candidates this week (across several different hiring competitions) answer the same questions over and over, I know what I need to hear and the red flags for our company.  I know what the "right" answers are to process questions and who is blowing smoke.

Interviewing is all about saying No to a candidate.  Don't start with a poor attitude and make it easy for me to say "No".  Be grateful that your resume is getting your foot in the door for so many interviews.  Perhaps you need to work on your interview skills as well, if you are attending so many and not getting an offer?


(Also on my screen, your emoji came across as a :)  - smiley face not a    ;)   -winky face.   )


Ambrose023's picture

Application I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at World Economic Forum (Geneva (Switzerland)) in May 2014. Interview Applied online through the WEF’s official careers website for an internship in the Strategic Foresight. Seemed to fit the profile rather well, but did not even get an interview. I’d wager that the World Economic Forum rarely hires outsiders, based on hearsay. Would not apply without a contact inside. Feel free to visit my website

mrreliable's picture

Thinking you have some kind of advantage because you believe you already know the correct answers to almost every question that comes up perfectly illustrates the dangers of that mindset. If I was sitting across the desk from you in an interview, chances are I would find you engaging. To be blunt, from what you've written, you come across as arrogant.

"However, I do stand by that 90% of the questions that interviewers ask are the same and I believe few people I've been interviewed by care to read the resume and ask intelligent questions and I believe close to zero (unfortunately) know what MT is. Most are probably just repeating whatever they heard when they were when they were interviewed:"

As an interviewer, I could just as easily say, "90% of the applicants waltz in here thinking they're smarter than everybody else. I already know how they're going to answer the questions. Why bother with this stupid interview process?" 

You bother with it so you can weed out the applicants who think they already have everything figured out. That type of person is going to be impossible to train. It might be the same question for all applicants, but after a while you'll be able to determine if a person is eager to learn from you or if they're going in thinking you're not as "intelligent" as they are and that you "don't care to read the resume."

To piggyback with what acao162 said, interviewers use the exact same questions to establish a baseline. It would be silly to ask applicants completely different questions. If you're looking for a point guard, you bring in prospects and have them all take shots from identical spots on the court and compare the results. What sense would it make to have them all shoot from different places?