70 Interview Topics to Discuss (Plus Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 31 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
An interview topic is an aspect of a conversation you can mention during your meeting with a hiring manager. As you prepare for a job interview, it's helpful to consider your specific skills, experience and other qualifications that qualify you for the position. Learning about the various topics you may speak about during an interview can help you better prepare your answers. In this article, we discuss 70 interview topics you may mention or a hiring manager may ask you about during your interview, including some sample questions and answers you can use to practise your answers.
70 interview topics to discuss at your next meeting
The interview topics that you choose to mention or the hiring manager may ask you to speak about during your meeting may vary based on the position you applied for or the company. When you're choosing the topics, it's important to choose topics that apply to you and the role. Here are topic ideas that you can consider mentioning or the interviewer may ask you about in a meeting:
Small talk topics
Often, before beginning the main conversation at your interview, there might be time for small talk or a casual conversation. You and the interviewer can use these topics to get to know each other as you both get settled into the interview environment. It might be helpful to read the current news that morning and prepare yourself for small talk topics before discussing the role. Additionally, an interviewer may conduct small talk to evaluate how you're speaking, which means it's important to show you're listening by nodding, responding positively and enthusiastically, and keeping your answers short.
Here are some ideas for small talk topics that your interviewer may ask you about or you can ask them:
professional interests and responsibilities
recent media, such as a film, novel, play or art piece
personal hobbies and interests
recent sports game
positive, non-political current events
the location of the organisation
any plans for the evening after work or the meeting
favourite local shops or restaurants
the individual's day
Background and experience topics
Discussing topics related to your background and work experience can be a great way to show the interviewer that you're qualified. You can discuss past positions, responsibilities and accomplishments. Here are some ideas for topics related to your background and experience that your interviewer may ask you about:
your most memorable professional accomplishments
responsibilities related to the position
how you address mistakes at work
how you handle failure
specific work experiences related to the position
how you plan and manage projects
Discussing details of your education that apply to the position you're applying for can help show the interviewer that you're a qualified candidate. It can also show your employer what you learned from your education and how it prepared you for your career. Some topics related to your education that your interviewer may ask you about or you can talk about when relevant include:
what you learned in your degree programme
why you chose your degree programme
how your educational background relates to the position
why you chose your academic institution
student leadership positions
your plans for further education
Mentioning behavioural topics that relate to the position you're interviewing for can show that you can be a valuable candidate. Discussing behavioural topics can help the interviewer gain insight into your work ethic, work style and personality. You can choose the behavioural topics that resonate with you the most. Some topics related to your motivations that your interviewer may ask you or you can ask them may include:
what you're passionate about
your leadership style
how you give and receive feedback
your learning style
how you manage stress
your goal-setting strategies
how you handle conflict
how you prioritise projects
how you work with other individuals
how you motivate a team
your decision-making process
Mentioning your skills can be key to showing an interviewer that you're competent to excel in the open role. You can choose your top skills to discuss in further detail during your interview, but you may find it more beneficial to focus on the skills that directly relate to the position. Some skills worth mentioning that are transferable across industries that your interviewer may ask you about or you can ask them can include:
attention to detail
ability to work under pressure
You can also consider mentioning topics that are specific to the company. Mentioning these topics can help you show the interviewer that you have researched the company and that you're interested in it. Before your interview, review the company's website, read any content they have published and search for recent news articles. Some company-specific topics that you can mention or that your interviewer may ask you may include:
the mission and values of the company
your ideas for the position
how you can contribute to the company's overall purpose
questions about recent company projects
suggestions for the company
short- and long-term company goals
recent positive news about the company
Questions for the interviewer
You can also ask the interviewer questions at the end of your interview. Asking the right questions can help you decide whether you want to accept the position. Additionally, it may show the interviewer that you're excited about the position. After asking your interviewer these questions, listen to their response and ask relevant follow-up questions. Some questions you can consider asking your interviewer include:
Why do you enjoy working at this company?
What are the qualities of someone who excels in this position?
How do you measure my performance in this position?
Can you describe your company culture?
What does the team look like?
What are the key challenges your company is currently facing?
What are your company's plans for the next few months and years?
Can you describe a typical day in this position?
Example questions and answers during an interview
Here are a few examples of questions asked about a topic listed above with sample answers to help you plan your responses:
1. How do you work with other individuals?
A hiring manager may ask you this question to hear that you have strong interpersonal skills. As you answer, you may find it beneficial to describe your interpersonal and communication skills rather than just stating that you enjoy working with others. Describing your skills allows the interviewer to envision how you may use those skills in the role to benefit the company. You can choose to tell a story about how you've used these skills in previous positions as an example.
Example: "In my previous positions, I've worked on several teams collaborating on tasks together. This has helped me develop my interpersonal skills. For example, in my current role, I'm a social media specialist and I consult with my team members who work on our social media team. A few weeks ago, we were working on a campaign and created strategies and made compromises after listening to each other's opinions about the direction to take with the campaign. I found that using my active listening skills and communicating my thoughts helped us finish our work efficiently."
2. Do you have current plans to further your education?
During your interview, a hiring manager may ask this question to hear about your goals and your motivation to continue developing your knowledge and skills. How you answer this question can show the hiring manager how self-aware you are as a professional and that you have a plan for your future.
Example: "As of right now, I've completed my bachelor's degree in communication and I plan on taking certification courses in writing and public speaking. My writing course begins at the end of the month, so after I complete that one, I'm going to enrol in the public speaking course. It's important to me to continue my education and work on developing my skills further as a professional because it can allow me to complete my job duties more efficiently and advance my career goals."
3. Are you able to work under pressure and tight deadlines?
The interviewer may ask about your ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines because it can help them differentiate between other professionals who may share a similar background to yours. If you can work under pressure, you might be more likely to earn the position. To answer this question, speak about some qualities you possess, such as decisiveness and time management.
Example: "I find I complete some of my best work under pressure because it encourages me to follow a set routine and focus only on the specific task. For example, in my last role, my manager assigned me a report near the end of the day to complete by the following morning. To meet the deadline, I prioritised my remaining work for the day and finished tasks due at the end of the day. Then, I planned my time to draft, write and edit the report by morning."
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