No matter what company or role you’re interviewing for, there are certain interview questions that you can typically expect to get asked.
You need to answer these questions brilliantly and confidently to create a memorable impression and increase your chances of getting an offer.
We’ve put together some of the most-asked interview questions and the best way to go about answering them.
By studying these questions and understanding the kind of responses hiring managers are looking for, you can nail your next interview easily.
Take a look.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
Most Asked Interview Questions & Answers
- 1. Tell me about yourself.
- 2. Why are you interested in this position?
- 3. What are your greatest strengths?
- 4. What are your weaknesses?
- 5. How do you handle stress or pressure?
- 6. What do you know about the company?
- 7. What motivates you?
- 8. What would you consider to be your proudest achievement?
- 9. Why do you want to leave your current job?
- 10. Where do you see yourself in five years?
- 11. How did you learn about the position?
- 12. Why should we hire you?
- 13. What kind of working environment suits you best?
- 14. Tell me about a time you failed
- 15. What did you like or dislike about your previous/current job?
- 16. From your point of view, what qualities make a good colleague/leader?
- 17. What do you like to do for fun?
- 18. How do you evaluate success?
- 19. What unique value can you bring to the company?
- 20. How has your previous experience prepared you for this position?
- 21. Are you a team player or a team leader?
- 22. How would your friends/bosses/colleagues/ describe you?
- 23. Tell me about a time a customer or coworker got angry at you. How did you handle it?
- 24. What are your leadership experiences?
- 25. Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?
- 26. Who was the most difficult person you’ve ever worked with?
- 27. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a workplace decision. What did you do?
- 28. What is your dream job?
- 29. If hired, what can we expect from you in the first 30/60/90 days on the job?
- 30. Tell me about a challenge you faced at work and how you handled it?
- 31. Why is there a gap in your work history?
- 32. What is your leadership style?
- 33. Why did you switch career paths?
- 34. What’s your current/last salary?
- 35. Are you a risk-taker?
- 36. How do you like to be managed?
- 37. What is your work style?
- 38. Are you open to relocating?
- 39. Why have you changed jobs so often?
- 40. How do you prioritize your work?
- 41. Why were you fired/let go?
- 42. Are you interviewing with other companies?
- 43. What do you think our company could do better or differently?
- 44. If I were to consult your last supervisor about providing you with additional training, what would they suggest?
- 45. Are you willing to work overtime and/or on weekends?
- 46. What are your pet peeves?
- 47. What are your salary expectations?
- 48. Is there something else you want to tell me about yourself?
- 49. When can you start?
- 50. Do you have any questions for me?
- Final Words
How to answer: This question is meant to serve as an ice breaker and give the interviewer some insight into who you are, so your answer should read like a compelling sales pitch.
Start by giving some details about your educational background, then move on to your skills and interests that relate to the job you’re applying for. Talk about your work history and what your current role involves.
Be sure to sprinkle in a few professional achievements. Then move on to why you want the role and why you are a perfect fit for it.
Explore: Zoom Interview Etiquettes & Tips
How to answer: The interviewer wants to know that you’re in it for more than the money or the benefits, so you’ll want your passion for the job to be evident in your response. Mention what exactly pushed you to apply for the role and what drew you to the company.
Feel free to include what you’re hoping to accomplish if hired or how you think the role would allow you to further develop your skills and grow your career.
How to answer: Think about the skills you have that are relevant to the work you do, as well as the abilities that will set you up for success in the role you’re applying for. Give some examples of how you have leveraged these abilities in the workplace.
Your strengths can include the ability to adapt to changes quickly, stay focused in high-pressure situations, work independently, or contribute effectively to a team. Don’t be afraid to toot your horn; you want the hired to see what makes you stand out in your profession.
Photo by Edmond Dantès
How to answer: Don’t try to pass off a strength as your weakness by saying something like “My weakness is I love my work too much.” It’s cliche and it’s not going to win you any points with the interviewer; you might even catch them rolling their eyes.
Your answer should be honest and demonstrate how you’re working towards improving this weakness. Remember that everyone struggles with one thing or the other and there’s no harm in admitting it as long as you’re taking steps to overcome them.
How to answer: Give an example of a stressful or high-pressure situation you’ve faced at work and the steps you took to manage it and overcome it. Explain your process for dealing with difficult situations.
Are you able to stay calm and work your way through it? Or are you the kind of person who is unable to function optimally when things are not going smoothly?
How to answer: This is your opportunity to show that you’re not just applying to the job for application sake. You want the interviewers to see that you’ve done your research, that you understand what the company is about, what it does, and how you can contribute to its vision.
Your answer should demonstrate your eagerness to join the company. Share your perspective on the organization’s values, structure, goals, competitors, products, and key challenges.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
How to answer: Tell the interviewer what drives you to get out of bed each day. Let them hear what you’re passionate about.
Talk about the aspects of your job that you derive the most satisfaction from and through challenges that you’re excited to tackle. This is a chance for you to share your values, aspirations, and your dedication toward the things that matter to you.
How to answer: Use the STAR method to structure your answer. Start by mentioning the Situation that led to this milestone and the Task you had to complete to reach it, then describe the Actions you took to make the goal a reality, and the Results that followed.
Your answer doesn’t have to revolve around your career or professional accomplishments. You can describe a personal achievement that you’re proud of like publishing a book, finishing a marathon, or organizing a charity event.
What matters is that you show off your personality, priorities, passions, resilience, and capacity for doing hard things and getting results.
How to answer: Focus on the things you want to accomplish and the positive impact that switching jobs will have on you and your career.
Show appreciation for your current job and all the ways it has helped you so far, then end by saying that you’re ready to move on to the next challenge.
This is not the time for you to air any grievances you might have with your current employer. Don’t badmouth the company or complain about your experience working there, it’s just going to make the interviewer wary of you.
Photo by MART PRODUCTION
How to answer: Show that you’re serious about developing your career by highlighting the skills you want to build, advancements you want to make, and stuff you want to learn.
Try to tailor your response in a way that signals to the interviewer that you’re looking to stick around for a while and grow with the company. Employers are more likely to look at you favorably if they know you don’t plan on leaving them for another company soon.
Also Read: What To Wear For A Zoom Interview?
How to answer: Employers don’t want to feel like you just stumbled into them and decided to apply to an open position because you’re job hunting.
Your response should suggest that you have a connection to the company or have been keeping an eye on their career website for a while.
If someone who works for the company recommended you or informed you about the position, don’t hesitate to mention that. It will go a long way toward improving your chances of getting the job.
How to answer: Prove that you are the right candidate for the job by describing your qualifications as well as other relevant skills and experiences that you bring to the table. Tell the interviewer what you will accomplish if given the job.
Your response should tie in with the requirements for the job and the attributes the employer wants their ideal candidate to have.
Photo by RODNAE Productions
How to answer: Describe the working conditions that empower you to do your best work. Do you prefer a busy, quiet, collaborative, creative, flexible, rigid, fast-paced, laid-back, or highly structured work environment?
Do your research ahead of time and make sure that your response aligns with the company’s culture so that you come across as a good fit. If the company has a rigid or fast-paced environment and you’re saying you prefer a laid-back atmosphere, that is not a good match.
How to answer: Share an example of a real failure that you experienced in your professional or personal life. Describe what went wrong, what you did or didn’t do that led to the situation, and what you learned from the situation.
You can even mention how you applied that lesson and turned things around the next time you encountered a similar situation.
How to answer: Talk about the aspects of your past or present position that you enjoyed doing the most, and the areas where there was room for improvement.
Then explain how you feel the company you’re applying to will keep supporting the things you like and provide a respite from the things you didn’t like.
Avoid framing your dislikes in a light that’s too negative or critical, and make it about the job itself, not the people.
Photo by Kindel Media
How to answer: Remember that you won’t be working in a vacuum. You’ll have to deal with co-workers and managers, so how you answer this question will give the interviewer a sense of if and how you will fit into the team.
Start by emphasizing your ability to work well with people with different personalities and from all backgrounds. Then proceed to mention general attributes—e.g helpful, respectful, hardworking, etc—you expect from your colleagues and leaders.
How to answer: The goal here is to flaunt your personality and show that you have productive hobbies and are committed to developing yourself or working out your brain/creativity even outside of the work environment.
Even if your hobbies are unproductive, try to frame them in a positive light so that it doesn’t sound like you’re just wasting your time away.
How to answer: Your response should reflect your personal ethics and aspirations. It should also align with the performance metrics that are relevant to your role and the company you’re applying to.
For instance, if you’re interviewing with a non-profit organization, then you should focus on social impact as a success metric.
While for a large company, improving the bottom line and advancing the company’s mission might be a more relevant measure of success.
Photo by Alex Green
How to answer: Think of your unique selling point—the skills you have that set you apart from others that will be highly beneficial to the company.
You can also describe the way you work, your commitment to delivering results, and how you can bring fresh perspectives to the organization. Make sure to share specific examples of how you have put these abilities to good use in the past.
How to answer: Discuss your educational background, work history, and the responsibilities you’ve taken on in your past and current roles that align with the requirements for the job you’re interviewing for.
The point is to explain how the work you’ve done, the skills you’ve gained, and the experience you have will benefit the company and allow you to succeed in the position.
How to answer: Keep in mind that by picking one option, you’re implying that you’re not very good at the other. If you have strong experience with proven success, feel free to say you’re more of a team leader. Then give examples to justify your choice.
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with being a team player. Share a recent example of how you added value or contributed to a successful project as part of a team.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
How to answer: This question is meant to test how self-aware you are and what personal attributes you possess that both you and others find admirable. So think about the comments that people tend to give you or the traits you’re often praised for.
This can include your work ethic, reliable nature, can-do attitude, detail-orientedness, willingness to help, or powers of organization.
Also Read: Indeed vs Monster
How to answer: The interviewer is looking for real-life experiences that demonstrate your ability to face your mistakes and quickly resolve conflict whenever it arises.
Don’t focus on who was really to blame for the situation even if you were not at fault. Instead, highlight how you took it upon yourself to address the issue and rectify it so it wouldn’t happen again.
How to answer: Employers want candidates who can take responsibility for tasks and lead projects when necessary even if they have not been officially appointed to lead.
To prove you are such a candidate, share one or two instances where you’ve taken the lead at work.
This can include new initiatives that you headed, employees that you mentored or helped train, or events that you managed.
If you don’t have any leadership examples from work, mention other areas where you’ve taken the reins at school, in sports, or even in charity work.
Photo by Anna Shvets
How to answer: The right answer is that you’re comfortable doing both. If you say you prefer working independently, it could suggest that you don’t play well with others and are difficult to work with.
And if you say you like teamwork better, you might come across as someone who can’t get things done on their own. So don’t choose sides.
Instead, show that you value teamwork but are also able to take sole ownership of projects and deliver spectacular results.
How to answer: Keep in mind that the “who” in this question is not as essential as how you handled your working relationship with the person and what the experience taught you.
Avoid mentioning names and just explain what was challenging about working with them and how you managed to get along with them.
How to answer: The goal of this question is to get a sense of how you handle disagreements, so your response should suggest that you’re the kind of person who can be professional in such situations.
Briefly describe how you voiced your contradictory opinions and convinced the company to implement your ideas. Or if your concerns were ignored, how you supported the decision anyway, and what you learned from the experience.
Photo by Gustavo Fring
How to answer: Talk about your career aspirations, what you’re hoping to end up doing, and how the position you’re interviewing for will help you develop the skills you need to reach those aspirations.
Focus on describing what your dream job involves rather than a particular job title. Mention your values, areas of interest, the ideas and ideals that drive you, the skills you want to build, and how this dream job will help you engage with all of this.
How to answer: Impress your interviewers by showing that you already have a roadmap for what you plan to accomplish if hired.
Based on your research and understanding of the job description, list out some of the tasks you expect to tackle and milestones you want to hit during your first three months on the job. Focus on how you will create value, serve all the company’s stakeholders, and make a difference.
How to answer: Share an example of a conflict or challenging situation that you’ve encountered, what the problem was, and the ways you resolved or worked around it. Avoid delving into too much detail and just answer the question as directly as possible.
Devote more time to explaining how you dealt with the challenge than to the conflict itself.
Photo by Christina Morillo
How to answer: There’s really nothing to be ashamed of if you have a gap in your resume so just briefly explain the reason why you temporarily left the workforce and what you spent that time doing. Mention the knowledge and skills you gained or milestones you hit in that time.
However, if you resigned or were fired and had some trouble finding employment afterward, try to approach it delicately. This way you won’t put interviewers off or give them all the power when it’s time to negotiate salary.
How to answer: If you’re interviewing for a management position, you’ll want to show your would-be employer that you have the makings of a good leader.
Give them a sense of how you oversee others by providing some examples of how you’ve kept your team engaged and motivated or dealt with conflict and resolved a crisis as a manager.
How to answer: Just answer truthfully and explain your motivations for moving from one professional field to the other.
Try to show your passion for the new career path you’re pursuing, why you think it’s the best path for you, and the kind of challenges you’re excited to tackle.
Conclude by pointing out the value and transferable skills that you’ll be bringing from your previous field into this new role.
Photo by cottonbro studio
How to answer: The best way to answer is to deflect so you don’t inadvertently lowball yourself. You can share your salary expectations and ask if that range is within their budget for the role.
Or you can say you’re not prepared to discuss salary until you both figure out whether you and the company will make a good fit.
How to answer: Your response should align with the nature of the job you’re applying for. Ask yourself if the ability to take risks is a valuable or desired skill for the job and tailor your answer accordingly.
For instance, no one wants a pilot who is a risk-taker, but for a trader, this is a necessary trait. For a surgeon, it’s acceptable to an extent but not so much that you end up injuring or killing your patients unnecessarily.
If you answer affirmatively, don’t forget to give examples of times you took risks and how they paid off.
Also Read: Bad Resume Examples & How To Fix Them?
How to answer: Talk about the characteristics that you value in a partner and the ones you feel don’t encourage you to do your best work. What communication style, degree of supervision, or work atmosphere do you prefer?
Don’t forget to research the management approach the company uses and align your response with it. And provide one or two examples of what previous managers have done (or not done) that motivated or helped you succeed (or produced the opposite effect).
Photo by Edmond Dantès
How to answer: Describe what it’s like working with you, how you approach your tasks, what helps you be your most productive self, and the kind of pace or management method that you prefer.
You can also include your strategy for managing a team, collaborating or communicating with colleagues, and the working setup that works best for you—remote, hybrid, or office.
How to answer: If you have zero qualms about moving and are happy to do so for the job, you can come right out and say that.
But if you’re unable to relocate, or are not prepared to do so at this time, you need to re-emphasize your interest in the position. Explain why you can’t relocate right now, and suggest another option like remote working.
How to answer: Keep in mind that being a job-hopper is a huge red flag for hiring managers, so you need to do a good job of allaying their fears and explaining the reason why you had to switch jobs in quick succession.
It could be that the company culture was a bad fit or that the job wasn’t challenging for you. Or maybe the job description was different from the work you ended up doing.
Photo by Christina Morillo
How to answer: Explain the system you use to plan your tasks and responsibilities, manage your time, address shifting priorities, decide what gets done first, and communicate effectively with your teammates or manager.
How to answer: If you lost your job as a result of layoffs, simply explain the reason why the company decided to eliminate your position. Some reasons include mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, downsizing, or budget cuts.
But if you were fired for cause, give a brief explanation for why it happened but try to frame it as a positive experience that pushed you to grow or challenge yourself. Then share the improvements you’ve made as a result.
How to answer: The correct way to respond to this is to strike a balance between emphasizing that you’re very interested in this company and expressing that you’re considering other options.
Even if that is the only job you’ve applied to, make it seem like you are keeping your options open, so the company doesn’t think you’re desperate or without options.
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA
How to answer: Start by giving positive feedback about the things the company gets right, then constructively explain your point of view and why you think the change you’re proposing will be beneficial. Include any experience, statistics, or other evidence to back up your advice.
Explore: Indeed vs LinkedIn
44. If I were to consult your last supervisor about providing you with additional training, what would they suggest?
How to answer: Think back to your last performance review and the areas that you were asked to work on and weave them into your response. Avoid getting defensive or you risk giving the interviewer the impression that you don’t respond well to criticism or feedback.
How to answer: Explain that you’re willing to put in extra effort to see a project through when the situation demands urgency. Then ask if working overtime would be an expected or regular practice, and whether you will be paid for overtime in such a situation.
If you’re not interviewing for a job that requires you to work odd hours now and then, it’s important to clarify what exactly the interviewer means by the question so you can decide whether it’s a red flag or not.
Photo by Marcus Aurelius
How to answer: Mention something that annoys you in the workplace, but make sure you don’t choose something that goes against the culture of the company you’re interviewing with. Briefly explain why it’s a pet peeve and the steps you’ve taken to tackle it in the past.
How to answer: Depending on how you respond, you could end up pricing yourself out of an offer or selling yourself short.
So make sure you do your research ahead of time so you can provide a salary range that’s based on market realities or the average rate for such a role in that industry.
Or better still, turn the table around and ask them how much they’ve budgeted for the role and responsibilities.
How to answer: Share something relevant or special about you that you haven’t had the opportunity to bring up in the interview.
If you can’t think of anything, just sum up your strengths, qualifications, and experience and reiterate why you are the right person for the job.
Photo by Yan Krukov
How to answer: If you are able to start immediately, you can make that known. But if you have a job that requires you to give notice to your current employer or are just looking to take a break before jumping into a new job, explain how much time you need or when you will be available.
How to answer: The last thing you want to do is say no when asked this question at the end of the interview. So be prepared to ask a few questions about the company and the role.
For instance, you can ask the interviewer about the company’s culture, growth plans, what they love most about working there, what the performance review process at the company is like, or even what challenges you may face in the first few months on the job.
As with most things, learning how to ace an interview takes practice and preparedness.
You should never go into an interview without taking the time to review some of the possible questions that you might get asked and thinking of the answers you will give.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.