Questions at Abbott interviews

We analyzed 183 interview reviews for Abbott from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

7 frequent non-technical questions at Abbott:

Why did you leave your last job?
Tell me about yourself
What are your salary requirements?
Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment
Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it
Describe your dream job
Describe a time when you had to overcome a significant obstacle on a job

According to our research, hiring managers at Abbott ask soft skills interview questions 47% more than at other companies:

1. Why did you leave your last job?top question

How to answer

This question may be a little touchy for some people, but it's a question asked by interviewers, to find out why you left, in order to better understand how you may or may not make a good fit with their company. Remember, never speak ill of your old company (this will not go over well).

  1. About Yourself

    Most likely, there are three possible reasons you left or are leaving your last job:

    • You are looking for a career change,
    • You are unhappy with your current employment,
    • You were let go.

    Whatever the reason, it's best to always speak in a positive light.

  2. About The Company

    Based on your research about the ompany and the position, what do you like most about the company?

  3. About The Fit

    If you are looking for career advancement or a career change, you can be very upfront and honest. Be as enthusiastic as you can about the position.

    If you were unhappy with your previous job, focus on the positives. Talk about the ways that you will best fit in with the company, in the role for which you're applying.

    If you were let go, focus on the positive. Share your accomplishments at your previous employment.

Pro Tip

Whatever the reason you are looking for a new opportunity, always turn things around to show how you are the perfect fit for the job for which you are interviewing!

Statistics

This question is asked 4.7x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

2. Tell me about yourself

How to answer

This question may sound vague, but it actually requires a matter of fact, concise and relevant answer. Here’s how you can approach it.

  1. About Yourself

    What is your current occupation? Define yourself professionally in one statement. Pick 3 key skills that make you great at your work (your Key Selling Points). How have you applied these skills? Try to give some numbers to support your statement.

  2. About The Company

    Research the Company. Based on what you know about the company and the job description, why are you interested in the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit

    Based on your Key Selling Points and your knowledge about the company, why do you think you are a good fit for this position? Can you support your statement with relevant examples from your past experiences? Try to be concise and stay within 1-2 minutes.

Pro Tip

You can also end with a question like “Do you know what the current needs in the company/department are, where my skills and experience can help?" That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the "interrogation" into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

Read our blog post to learn more about how to answer this question.

Statistics

This question is asked 11% less frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

3. What are your salary requirements?

How to answer

This question seems factual, but it gauges how well you value yourself and how well you know your industry. This is your opportunity to present yourself as a qualified professional and get a proper salary! Read on to learn how you can answer this question with confidence, using an analytical approach. The answer may be given as a range or as a single target number.

  1. About Yourself

    The first thing to research is the salary range for your role in the market. What is the industry standard? Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other similar sights are useful for this purpose.

    Next, think of your qualifications for the role. Weigh in your traits, skills, education, and experience. Try this exercise, draw a line on a piece of paper where on the left side sits a complete beginner, and on the right side - the best professional in the world the company may try to invite for the role. Where do you position yourself?

    Now, remember that once you start in your new role, your qualifications will be growing fast, due to all the new experience you will be gaining - consequently, your value will rise as well. Your salary, on the other hand, will not increase as quickly. So, try to imagine where your qualifications will bring you, on that scale, in about a year into the new job.

    Map the scale against the industry range. Now you should be able to come up with an objective figure, as opposed to pure speculation.
    This is not real math, however, so your number cannot be very precise, of course. Define a range, which starts with the minimum that will keep you satisfied a few months into the job, and the maximum which, a year into the job, will give you the lifestyle you would ideally like to have at that time.

    Make sure the range stays within 40%-60% between extremes. Remember, the higher the position up the ladder, the wider the range can be. What is the number in the middle? Will you feel comfortable with this number?

  2. About The Company

    Research the company and find out what they are paying. The best places to find this information are Glassdoor, LinkedIn, PayScale and other similar websites.

  3. About The Fit

    Based on your research, does the company fit your desired salary range?

    Now, whether you should be giving a range, or a single target number is a matter of debate. I personally think that a single number, given in a suggestive manner, is better than the range, because when given a range, they may logically gravitate towards the lower end, especially since you’ve said that the lower number is acceptable.

    One example of how to structure your answer of a single target number is this:

    I have done my research and based on the average for the industry, location, and my level of expertise, something like XXX seems reasonable to me. What do you think?

    Besides giving the factual answer that the interviewer is asking for, such an answer will also show you to be someone who takes the initiative, who goes the extra mile, and someone with data-driven and analytical mindset.

Pro Tip

Firstly try asking the interviewer to give you their intended range as budgeted for this role, which is a regular practice in most companies. However, don’t be too evasive and if you see they are not inclined to give you their number, name yours.

Statistics

This question is asked 3.7x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

4. Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment

How to answer

Of all your accomplishments (and I am sure you’ve had a great many of them!), you should choose the one most relevant to this job position.

  1. About Yourself

    Write down your Key Selling Points - your top 3-5 skills that make you a strong professional.

    Write down a list of your top 3-5 professional accomplishments that you are most proud of. No need for lengthy descriptions, just 1-2 words for each one to help you recall each situation. Make sure you have developed the story behind each accomplishment and have a strong command of the details of what happened so that you can tell the story clearly and distinctly.

    Along with each accomplishment, mark which of your Key Selling Points they showcase. How exactly?

  2. About The Company

    Based on your research of the company, what are their current needs? What are the major projects going on? What are the expectations for the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit

    Try to imagine yourself being an employee of the company you are applying to, say, at your 6th month into the job. Which of your Key Selling Points and accomplishments would be most relevant to the company? What “have you accomplished at your new job?”

    Choose the most relevant accomplishment from your list and then practice telling your story.

Pro Tip

Most enterprises are now going through major transformations, often called Digital Transformation. Do your research on what it means and what is often involved, to get a better idea of the current goals and environments in companies. But one thing that definitely characterizes this transformation is striving for agility.

In particular, for startups (if you are applying to a startup or a small business), agility is their middle name, in order for them to survive among bigger sharks in the market.

So, demonstrating qualities like agility and adaptability should generally be helpful and quite a safe choice in most circumstances today.

Statistics

This question is asked 2.5x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

5. Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it

How to answer

Nowadays, professional life is stressful everywhere and always. However, there are levels of stress that are so common that we consider them normal, and there are times when they really skyrocket. Your future employer wants to know how you will behave in such times, whether you will be a helping hand or a burden.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember a time when you had to hit a tight timeline and to work long hours, hard and overtime; or when you found yourself in the middle of a conflict with someone, or with a group of people. If you had more than one such occasion, choose one that ended positively and successfully, and ideally, that can demonstrate some of your key skills - your Key Selling Points.

    Most likely, the situation was highly emotional. What helped you persevere? Was there an element that you enjoyed? For example, in one of our projects, my team and I had to hit a really tough timeline for a customer, which seemed almost impossible in the beginning. However, we knew that we owned the results and that a major decision by the customer depended on the outcome. This sense of ownership, meaning, and impact gave us energy and excitement. Those were the challenges that we loved and could deal with for a sustained period of time. Also, the pleasure of working with a highly qualified top manager on the customer’s side added to the enjoyment. Now, after a few years, we remember those times as some of the most exciting for our team.

  2. About The Company

    What do you know about the company, where you may encounter a stressful situation? Are they working on a major project which is approaching a due date? Are they going through a difficult time when cost-saving is a top priority, company culture is full of negativity and mistrust, they have gone through massive layoffs, customers are neglected, and everyone wears a long face? These are always stressful times, and you should try to know more about expectations in the company, and how realistic they are.

    Or, are they just a dynamic, highly agile company run by smart and creative folks, which may work excellently for some people and be confusing and mind-blowing for others?

    Do Your Research!

  3. About The Fit

    Think of your ideal workplace environment. Does this company feel like it? Do you feel excited and enthusiastic about the kinds of stress you may encounter here? If you feel compatible with this company culture and enthusiastic about the challenges you expect here, this is a good chance to mention it and to show your excitement. Explain your approach or rationale and give your example from the past.

Pro Tip

If you cannot remember any stressful situation with a positive outcome, you can use one with a negative outcome accompanied by your Lessons Learned. However, this option should not be your first choice, as the failure to give an example of a successful outcome may portray you as an emotionally immature person.

Statistics

This question is asked 2.4x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

6. Describe your dream job

How to answer

Hiring managers ask you about your dream job to find out what you're passionate about. They want insight into what motivates you and what your long-term career goals are. This gives them a better chance to assess how happy you will be at this job and how long you might stay with the company.

It would be a dream come true if you were actually interviewing for your dream job, wouldn't it? Don't worry. With Mr. Simon's help, you're on your way to achieve greatness!

  1. About Yourself

    Think of your Key Selling Points, those qualities and skills that make you who you are. Now consider how they might apply in your dream job. The dream job does not have to be a specific job (although the one you are applying for just might be). Rather, you should think of the kinds of work you want to do and the responsibilities you would like to have and apply your skills, qualities and values to those elements of your dream job. For example, let’s say your dream job is to be a labor relations manager, involved with companies and their union workers. Here are some thoughts you would want to ask yourself in preparation for the “Dream Job” question:

    • Do you enjoy solving problems, or mediating conflicts?
    • Do you thrive under pressure?
    • Do you consider yourself a “people person” who likes to engage with clients and others?

    Preparing ahead of time and using your Key selling Points will help you answer the “Dream Job” question and satisfy both the interviewer and you.

  2. About The Company

    Thoroughly read the job description so you have a better understanding of the skills and characteristics the position requires. Do your research about the company and the position for which you are applying. Try to find out as much as you can about what the company is looking for in an employee, what type of work environment they have and the company’s values.

  3. About The Fit

    Match the top qualities and skills you want in a dream job with your own skills and qualities as well as what the company is looking for. Be ready to share some examples of how you have enjoyed utilizing those skills in the past. For example, if you are a big fan of numbers and the position requires you to be detail-oriented, you can talk about your dream job being in a position where you can use your passion for numbers and problem-solving. Whenever possible, mention your success in this area, using the STAR method. Make sure that you do not specify a role, rather keep it open to possibilities. Focus on the characteristics and not the position.

Pro Tip

The key to answering this question is to convey your long-term interest in achieving your dream job, without overshadowing your interest in the job you’re applying for.

Statistics

This question is asked 11.8x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.

7. Describe a time when you had to overcome a significant obstacle on a job

How to answer

This is a tough question because you’re forced to talk about a difficult time with a complete stranger. Fortunately, it’s also a great opportunity to turn a big challenge into a great accomplishment. This question is designed to help the interviewer discover what type of problem solver you are. Why do employers ask this question? It’s because they want to know that they’re hiring someone who can think on their feet and who is resilient when facing challenges.

  1. About Yourself

    It’s your chance to show that in tough times you turn to your inner strength and possess skills to find the right solutions. You probably had to solve many problems daily at work. It’s high time to remember them. If you do not prepare examples in advance, this question will get you off guard and you will find it difficult to remember all the details on the move.

    Start with recalling a few examples of real obstacles you coped with. For each of them, think about:

    • What was the project or task you were trying to accomplish?
    • What was the obstacle? This can be a specific problem related to your job or a higher-order issue across the organization.
    • What steps did you take to address the issue?
    • What decisions did you have to make?
    • How did the company benefit from your decisions?
    • How would you describe your approach, or what lessons have you learned?

    Be careful how you respond to this question. Make sure that you select a difficult work situation where you were not the cause.

  2. About The Company

    When you research the company, try and find out what kind of challenges they are facing. Try to find out what they need in terms of problem resolution. Search for online reviews, complaints and any other useful resources. What problems and obstacles can the employees face with this position?

  3. About The Fit

    This is your opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills, resilience, and strength of character. Talk through your problem-solving process and show how you can think on your feet.

    Pick an example relevant to the position you are aiming for. Let’s say, you are applying for a blog writing job. The job description mentions that a successful candidate must have experience working “in a dynamic environment.” You could mention a situation in which you had to write an article on short notice because your co-worker failed at the last moment to complete the assignment. You were short of time but worked extra hours to prepare the article successfully and on time. This answer would show your experience in blog writing, your sense of responsibility, ability to achieve results under stress, your willingness to go the extra mile, your problem-solving skills.

Pro Tip

This question is not about your past, it's how you deal with things that will happen in the future, so try to keep your answer short and focused. After all, the interviewer is really looking for what you took away from the situation and doesn’t need to know the full backstory of what happened.

Use the STAR method to prepare your story and practice it so that you can stay within 1-2 minutes. Make sure to show that you remained positive when overcoming a hurdle at work. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes.

Statistics

This question is asked 4.1x more frequently at Abbott than at other companies.


This page has been updated on May 21, 2020.

You can practice answering this question, as well as over 160 other common job interview questions from Abbott by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon. As an artificial being, his undeniable benefits include:

24/7 availability24/7 availability
He will never make you feel intimidatedHe will never make you feel intimidated
The current version is freeThe current version is free

Worth a try?