Common Interview Questions

new beginning for formerly incarcerated

Common Interview Questions

There are a number of questions that may be asked of you by Human Resources, the hiring manager, and other interviewers. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. Think about how you can answer them in a way that makes you memorable in a positive way. Even standard questions can have unique answers – your best answers!

Work Experience

  • Tell me about the positions listed on your application/resume.
  • What were your duties, responsibilities, expectations for the position(s)?
  • What was your favorite job? What did you like/dislike about this job?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved that goal.
  • What life skills or job experiences make you a good fit for this company?
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with an employee and/or supervisor? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever gone above and beyond in a position? Explain.
  • I’ve noticed gaps in your work history; can you explain those gaps?


  • Why were you incarcerated?
  • What did you learn from your experience?
  • Do you have challenges or limitations that could affect your work schedule?
  • What have you been doing to prepare for employment since you were released?
  • Were you employed or in school when you were incarcerated? If so, tell me about your work and education.

About You

  • Tell me about yourself. This is an invitation to share why you are qualified for the position.
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • What motivates you to succeed?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What is your worst quality?
  • Describe a challenge where you succeeded.
  • If the people that know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved that goal.
  • Share with me what life skills or job experience you have that would make you a good fit for our company.
  • Do you have any concerns about making the transition from incarceration to the workforce?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What have you been doing since you were released?
  • How much money are you looking to make?
  • How long do you expect to be employed by this company?