77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

Table of Contents

1. Tell me about yourself.

I believe I applied for this job because I have the qualities and skills required to work in that position. My experience in this industry dates several years meaning I will make an impact in your company fast if you hire me.

I am also a great worker whether on my own or while working together with colleagues. Moreover, I have great skills in public relations and communication.

I focus on the future which means I will help my team and the company to work towards achieving goals. If your company hires me, you are guaranteed a positive return. 

2. Why do you want to work for us?

I have always wanted to work in your company and when you advertised this job, it was an opportunity that presented itself for me. The fact that your company is focused on being the best in the industry makes it the best place for me where I can work, develop, and grow professionally and personally.

I did my research by talking to some of the workers who work in your company and they all had positive things to say about your company. They commented that your company is managed well and that all workers are encouraged to be innovative and dedicated to their work. 

3. What interests you most about this position?

The fact that I will get to work with the team in your company is what interests me most about this position. Your company has created a great reputation for its workforce that makes me want to be a member of the team.

Your team has a reputation of not only being hardworking but also supportive to each other especially in sharing knowledge and skills that help advance the careers of individual members.

I am confident that working together with your team members will improve my passion for work, overall performance and help improve the quality of life for people. 

4. What are your strengths?

I am an ambitious person who believes that teamwork brings about success. Whenever I face a big challenge at work that I can’t handle on my own, I don’t hesitate to involve my colleagues so that we can handle the challenge together. It creates a great learning opportunity for my colleagues to learn something.

Also, I have great communication skills. I would like to use my skills in communication to improve teamwork and the overall success of the company. 

5. What are your weaknesses?

I am a very caring person and sometimes it turns to be a weakness for me. For instance, I care so much about completing a task perfectly that the deadline to complete the task might catch up with me.

Again, I find it hard to turn off a colleague who needs my assistance in completing their tasks. Due to this, sometimes I spend time meant for doing my tasks helping my colleagues solve challenges they are facing in their tasks. 

6. What is your greatest accomplishment?

It was in my previous company. It was a great day for the entire company since we were going to sign our best client. All colleagues were informed to make it to work early to set a good example to the client. The client showed up at the company early in the morning.

However, due to unavoidable circumstances, our boss who was supposed to welcome the client to the company got a little late. The client got impatient, wanted to leave, and cancel the partnership.

So I took it upon myself to present to the client what our company does, what kind of partnership we will be getting into, and the advantages the client will be getting by partnering with us.

Mind you, I wasn’t prepared for that. My boss arrived in the middle of my presentation but I had done it so well that he also sat down to listen to my presentation.

Through my presentation, the client agreed to sign a contract with us. And since then, our boss never wanted to leave me behind when meeting a new client. 

7. Describe a time you dealt with a conflict at work.

Conflict is inevitable at work. I was still new in my company when I encountered conflict. My senior colleague and I had been given a task to research and create a presentation.

This presentation would be used to show the best opportunity for investment in the coming year by our company. But there was a condition that the rejected person’s presentation would be laid off work. We both came up with different presentations to show the stakeholders.

We presented our ideas and my presentation got chosen. But my colleague got angry at everyone claiming that he helped the company excel even before I got employed and did not deserve to be fired due to a new worker. His argument made sense but the conditions were clear. Getting fired is not easy.

I felt empathy for my senior colleague who was very supportive to me during my first days at work. I took it upon myself to negotiate with the company stakeholders to solve the conflict.

I convinced them that we can make a great team working together with my senior. I suggested that since my presentation had been chosen, we can both be assigned the task of implementing my idea. It was a fair judgment and everyone agreed. The conflict was solved.

8. Why are you leaving your job?

I am looking for improvement. Demand for skills keeps on improving in the job market. My previous company offer little room for improvement and challenging one’s skills.

In your company, I will challenge my professional skills and hopefully grow in my career. It is not fulfilling for me to do the same thing repetitively without getting bigger challenges. 

9. What is your dream job?

Human beings are in constant change. Similarly, the production of services is in continuous improvement. Also, the products being manufactured and consumed by people keep upgrading.

While growing in my career, I like to keep improving services and products and make them better and more accessible to people. Demand for change of products and services in the job market calls for change in the supply of the products and services. 

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I want to be in a position where I can identify opportunities to learn and grow and be able to benefit from them.

By working in your company, I will experience working on different projects I haven’t done before and be part of a great team that helps me grow.

Your company is home to great talents that is why I want to start and grow my career with you. In your company, I can be the best at what I do since I will have opportunities to develop my skills. 

11. Are you interviewing with any other companies?

Of course, I have been interviewing with other companies. However, your company offers what other companies don’t and so to work in your company would be my first option. 

12. How would your friends describe you?

My friends would say I am a helping person. Whenever they come to me with challenges, I go out of my way to do what I can to help them.

Another thing, they would say I challenge them to be better at what they do and keep upgrading.  

13. What are 3 positive things your last boss would say about you?

My last boss would say that I am punctual and gets to work early. I like to be productive mostly in the morning hours. Another thing, my last boss would say that I am flexible. It is important to be flexible at work since things don’t always flow smoothly.

And lastly, my last boss would acknowledge my contribution to teamwork. Teamwork brings about success and I like to be involved in completing projects with my colleagues.  

14. What kind of things do you like to do outside of work?

I like to do some things outside work. One, I like to play chess a lot. This is because it challenges my mind and I interact with people while playing. Another thing, I like to design things. For example, I can be alone in the house and decide to make its interior design better. 

15. Do you have any questions for me?

Yes, I would like to know what opportunities for professional growth your company offers. In addition, I would love to know the analytics that your company uses to evaluate a worker’s performance. Also, how does your company enhance collaboration and teamwork? 

16. What was the last project you led and what was its outcome?

The last project I led involved reviewing the company’s onboarding practices and improving them.

I led my team in studying the company’s current onboarding practices, identifying mistakes, and coming up with the best solutions for the mistakes.

Together with my team, we reworked the company’s onboarding practices and suggested the use of the software. Through the implementation of software in onboarding, we improved the company’s onboarding process by 25%.    

17. Can you describe a time you demonstrated leadership?

In the team I used to work with, two of our colleagues had left. One had been promoted to a higher position in a different department and the other had been sponsored by the company for further education abroad.

Therefore, there was a gap in roles in our team and the company was not prepared to hire new workers. I called a meeting for all team members to discuss how we will share the roles of the colleagues who had left.

We spent more than an hour sharing ideas but eventually, each of us was assigned an additional role to accomplish. The response from the members was amazing.

We knew that we could ask for compensation when our project was complete so we had to take their roles. We were more engaged, motivated, and united henceforth.  

18. Describe a time when your work was criticized.

Yes, my work has been criticized at some point. As people, we are prone to errors and I am not exceptional. For instance, in the completion of big projects, there are daily small objectives to be completed.

So what I did is that I did not submit daily tasks for inspection by the manager with the thought of submitting the final complete project. The manager criticized that and insisted that I submit what I accomplish every day. For me, that was a learning opportunity.

I learned the importance of breaking large objectives into smaller and daily goals that make up the big project. This way, it is easier to check the progress and eliminate loss of motivation and engagement to work.   

19. What would you do if you disagree with a manager?

If I disagree with my manager, of course, the best thing to do is to try and solve the conflict in a way both of us will be satisfied with the solution.

Since I should trust and follow my manager, I would try to understand his point of view and explain to him my feelings about the situation so that we can gauge the best solution for the dispute. In case we don’t agree with each other, I would suggest we get a neutral person to help us solve the conflict. 

20. Describe a time you disagreed with a coworker.

It is not so long ago when we disagreed with a coworker over a task. So our manager called us to his office and instructed two tasks to us, one for each. Unfortunately, we submitted the same task.

So we conflicted over who was to take the other task. But after concluding that we both thought we did our task, we reached an agreement on the best way to solve the issue.

We agreed to work together on the remaining task to finish faster since it was a past deadline. We turned to be close friends with my colleague.  

21. Give me an example of a time you did something wrong.

The biggest mistake I made is rushing over my work. I rushed over a task skipping important details. I had to redo the task again being keener although it more time.

From that day, I ensure I understand a task before rushing to work on it. It helps identify key areas in a job.   

22. Tell me about a time you had to give someone difficult feedback.

It was to an underperforming worker. His underperformance was due to absenteeism at work without apology. It was not his first time, however, it was a challenge we had to try to solve a couple of times. The worker had been promised a bonus tip if he promised to change and improve as it was affecting the whole company.

I told the worker that the company was not ready to condone any of his behavior anymore. If he fails to improve the company would lay him off. Luckily, he took the warning seriously and he improved which increased the overall performance of the company.     

23. Have you been on a team where someone is not pulling their weight?

When working of course I have been in such a situation. We were four of us and our boss assigned us a task.

The task was subdivided among us, each had to do his part within the same period. So one of our teammates would not accomplish his part in time.

Therefore, I asked him why he could not complete a job in time, he said he wasn’t feeling well and was fatigued. Luckily, we completed his part of the task in a shorter time since we did it together as the rest three members of the team.    

24. Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond expectations at work.

I was a new employee in my company. Being new means you are not popular in your organization compared to those who came before you. One of my colleagues who was in a senior position to me did his task wrongly.

I had finished my task earlier and I seemed to be the only person available. So I had to redo his task. It was almost the deadline so I had to do the task fast.

The task was vast so I worked on it over time. The result was great that I got praised by the manager and became popular with other employees.   

25. Have you ever had trouble working with a manager?

Not directly though. Where I worked, our manager had sidelined the company and focused more on his personal life. It became an issue in the company as it was affecting the morale of workers. However, the issues were cleared and the manager took his position strongly.   

26. How would you handle a difficult customer?

For difficult customers, I would focus more on giving them quality service rather than focusing on their behavior. Solving the issue at hand for the customer could change the attitude of the customer. 

27. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?

I failed to complete a task in time due to personal things. By not completing this task, I missed a promotion which I had worked for some time. However, I learned never to focus on personal things before work is done. 

28. Tell me about a time you faced a difficult situation with a colleague.

My colleague and I were assigned a task to do some research on the internet. Not long afterward, the internet in the company started having issues. We decided to go to a nearby cyber cafe to continue with our task.

However, it also had internet challenges. So we looked for another cyber cafe and it was in a far distance, but we had to go there and we completed our research.  

29. Tell me about your educational background.

Since I love doing business, at school I took a course in economics and business administration. Working in your business will assist me to apply the skills I learned in class.  

30. What academic courses did you like the most/least?

Being a business student, I learned many skills that I use in my work. On top of business courses, I like learning and improving communication skills.

Great communication skills are required in business. I also like psychology courses and courses that study the behavior of people so I can understand my customers more.    

31. Do you plan to further your education?

Yes because I believe that learning never stops. As time goes, things change and we have to adapt and learn new ways to do things. That means we have to be constantly researching and learning to improve how we do things.   

32. Why did you choose your major?

I chose business because I developed a passion for business from my younger years. My family was involved in the business since I was young and I would see how they conducted business activities. I became interested in business because it solved people’s problems. 

33. Why do you have gaps in your job history?

I attended an IT course for the two years gap in my job history. The company I was working for wanted to upgrade from using paperwork to an IT system. I had to attend that course to stay relevant and also help others in my company. 

34. Why have you changed jobs so frequently?

I would say my work sells me out there. And after working in a position you also want more challenges and responsibilities. So I changed jobs because managers reached out for me to take on higher responsibilities. 

35. Why should we hire you over the other candidates?

I took the time to understand your job description. I am confident I have the skills and expertise to work in the position you are hiring from my experience.

To add, I am passionate about doing quality work. Also, that position requires you to form positive relations with people. I am good at public relations and I relate well with my seniors as well as with my juniors.  

36. If selected, can you describe your strategy for the first 30-60-90 days?

For the first days, I would find a mentor who would show me around your company and help me learn and embrace your company culture.

This would help me add my personal touch to the job position as I would build relationships to help me and the overall company. At the same time, I would be training and working closely with my manager to enhance my performance.   

37. What do you know about this industry?

The industry has improved. Technology has contributed highly to the improvement of skills and services offered to people.

Technology has improved communication making it easier to share ideas and work together. It also has called people to improve on their skills to stay relevant in their jobs.

For instance, nowadays many tasks can be done through the software. Whereby, you must know how to use the software to do the task. 

38. Are you willing to relocate?

Since I believe the job fits me perfectly, I would not have a problem relocating for this company. Furthermore, it’s a chance to advance my career. 

39. What are your salary expectations?

From my research about this position from other sources, I found that in this position your earn starting from $80 to $100 thousand in a year. Does your company pay the same? 

40. What is your salary history?

In my career, I have made around $70,000 in a year. Your company position is not the same as the one I held based on the work involved. I’d like to be above average for my next career. I would prefer we discuss expectations for this position and settle on a suitable salary.  

41. What do you think about your previous boss?

I would say he is loving as he encouraged us to know our strengths in the work we do. He believed in us by not micromanaging us which improved our confidence in handling tasks.  

42. Who was your favorite manager and why?

During my Training not long ago, my manager Mr. Phil offered me mentorship and assistance in tasks practically.

His instructions were very clear which meant he believed a lot in me. Through his assistance, my knowledge of systems and software improved.  

43. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?


44. What kind of company culture are you most comfortable with?

My work experience has shown me the type of company culture I would love to work in.

It is a workplace where all workers are united to serve the mission of the company. People who are happy to come to work every day as it contributes to teamwork.  

45. What is your ideal work environment?

The ideal work environment I would say is one where my abilities are being challenged in day-to-day tasks. It is also an environment where workers are united and ready to work together helping one another. 

46. How would you describe your work style?

From the overview of my work, I would first say my work is organized. I prepare for my work adequately to ensure that I don’t miss any details to avoid wasting time.

Second, I research for my work. I am proud of the work I do therefore I work with dedication to my work. 

47. What are your long-term career goals?

I have always wanted to become an entrepreneur in my life. And, I understand that to become a successful entrepreneur I must spend years learning and mastering businesses and risks.

I know I must prove myself that am capable of the job of my dreams. 

48. What negative comment would your boss or professor say about you?

During my first years in college, I was so focused on finding business opportunities to make money from.

This almost affected my grades as I arrived late for class. My professor commented on me to focus on school first and since then I ensured I attended my classes in time.  

49. Describe yourself in 5 words. 

My abilities in forecasting and taking action keep me relevant.  

50. How would you deal with conflict with a co-worker?

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. In the case of a conflict with a coworker, I would be a more active listener to try and understand his or her side of view.

I would also urge him not to be impatient and also consider my opinion so that we later can decide on the best solution where we’re all satisfied. If we can’t seem to agree on a solution, I would get a neutral person to guide us on the best thing to do. 

51. Why do you want this job?

Your company has a reputation for supporting their workers in training and advancing their skills. I want to work in a company where my work is supported as it will help me advance my career. Furthermore, I want to work in a position where my skills are being challenged unlike in my previous job. 

52. Tell me about a time when you provided excellent customer service.

I had secured a client who had agreed to come on the following day to sign with our company. When I did my research about the client, I found out that the following day, the day he was coming to our company, was her birthday. So, I organized an appreciation gift for her after signing which served as a happy birthday wish.  

53. What’s your greatest achievement?

In my previous company, one of our products was declining in sales and market value. It was a big challenge for the company.

I organized a survey to our customers that would gather information on what is missing in the product and the best way they would it to be upgraded.

We gathered the information we required and we upgraded our product which did well in the market afterward. Since then, I like doing surveys about products and services to customers. 

54. Tell me about a time when you were under pressure at work. What was the situation, and how did you get through it?

I was undertaking a task that one of my teammates had done incorrectly. The deadline for the task had already passed so I had little time to complete the task.

Therefore, I worked overtime and gave my all to the task. I completed the task at almost midnight but I did extremely well that my boss praised me for it.  

55. What did you like and dislike about your previous job?

In my previous job, I liked how tasks were timed according to their challenge. Difficult tasks were given enough time to complete task without pressure. However, I disliked how there was no recognition for exemplary performance in a job. 

56. Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss.

It was on an occasion when my manager wanted me to drop one task for another. My manager had instructed me to do an important task that required concentration and I had started.

I had done more than half of the task when he wanted me to pause that task for a while and do another ordinary task. I complained and told my manager to allow me to complete the task at hand first.    

57. What’s your least favorite task?

I worked in a store that timed on productivity without even giving a break. I would say that’s my least favorite task. I think for you to perform highly in your job, you need breaks to ease up from the job and take refreshments.  

58. Tell me about a time you took the initiative to solve a difficult problem.

My teammates and I were on the edge of a project. It was remaining a few days to complete the project.

However, one of our colleagues got ill and we had to continue without him. We were understaffed.

So I took the initiative of convincing my teammates to subdivide our ill colleague’s tasks amongst ourselves. We all agreed our cooperation helped us to complete the project in time.  

59. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths are that am an ambitious person who has great skills in communication and public relations.

To add, I am open to learning new things and ways of handling challenges. My weakness is that I like to do perfect work which gets me late to submit tasks at times but am working to improve on my weakness.  

60. Tell me about a time when you did something at work that had a positive impact on your team or the organization.

It is the time when our company installed IT systems to improve on company operations. At that time, I had the knowledge to operate most of the software installed by the company.

But, some of my colleagues did not know how to operate them. So I took it upon myself to train them bits by bits on how to use the software. This improved the efficiency and productivity of the company.   

61. Why should we hire you?

According to the description of your job position, I am confident to add value to your company and workers with my skills. And since nobody knows anything, I am a fast learner.

For the things that will challenge me in your company, I will learn them to remove the difficulty in case am faced with the same situation again. 

62. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.

I was new to my company. With one of my colleagues, we were assigned a task which the manager said we could divide by half and each to do his half or we could agree to work together.

My colleague wanted to divide the work but since I was less familiar with the task, I wanted us to work together.

While doing the work, I kept referring to my colleague for some guidance until he eventually agreed to work with me. He was a great mentor and he taught me things I didn’t know about that job.  

63. Describe a time when the team you were a part of was undergoing some change. How did the change impact you, and how did you adapt?

In the team I was working in, our leader got promoted to a position in a different department. Another leader was assigned to our team. But the new leader did not understand how we operated as a team which affected our performance.

However, we slowly explained to our new leader what made our team successful. Sooner he was able to understand us and we continued excelling as a team. 

64. What motivates you?

I like coming up with new and creative ideas about improving something or making something new. And of course, I want to live a fulfilling life.  

65. Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a coworker who was difficult to work with.

I had been given a task with my manager that was too challenging for me. The manager could not understand that it was too challenging but he referred me to a colleague to help me through. The colleague was generally not pleased but he had to do it.

In doing the task, well, he assisted but he explained the tasks to me in a harsh way even leaving some areas untouched. Later, I understand how to do the task but I would prefer to work colleague who respectfully teaches you.   

66. Describe a time when you had to be flexible in a work situation.

The end of the workday had reached and I wanted to talk to the manager to ask for an off day the next day due to an event I wanted to attend.

On entering my manager’s office, he was busy with work and had a lot of work left undone. On giving him my request, he suggested that I help him with some work and he would give me an off day the next day.

I, therefore, did not go home but assisted my manager with work till it was done. And he accepted my request.  

67. Describe a time you had to give a person difficult feedback?

I was a supervisor and one worker continuously came to work late. I had talked to him secretly to know what was wrong so that I could offer assistance.

I found out he came from a far distance and had organized his relocation to a nearer place with my company. But when he couldn’t stop showing up late at work, I had to warn him that the company would not accept that.   

68. Describe yourself in three words.

A forward-going person. 

69. How do you respond to stress and pressure?

Stress and pressure are part of day-to-day activities. The best way to cope with pressure and stress is to handle the problem causing the pressure.

So, when am under pressure, I keep calm and focus on the best solution to solve the challenge I’m experiencing. 

70. Describe a time when you got frustrated or angry at work.

I was busy doing a task that required my concentration. One of my colleagues who was a close friend came to my desk and started joking with me.

I tried to warn him but he didn’t seem to care therefore I got angry and pushed him away.  

71. How would you deal with a customer complaint?

The first thing is to be an active listener to the customer to understand his complaint. The next thing I would look for is the best solution to deal with the customer’s problem.

Lastly, I would apologize to the customer and take the necessary steps required to ensure that problem doesn’t occur again. 

72. When have you gone above and beyond for a customer?

To get a huge client, I had to solve a problem he was experiencing with his previous partner.

His previous partner had not accomplished his part of their partnership but my client would not leave the partnership before the period indicated in the contract.

I helped my client cancel that partnership legally and I signed the client. 

73. Why are there gaps in your employment?

The gaps in my job history are the times I left work for more studies to improve on my skills.

I believe to stay relevant in the industry you must keep improving your skills since the way we do things keep changing and upgrading.  

74. Why did you leave your last job? Why do you want to leave your current job?

In my last job, I got used to it. When you do the same things for a long time, you get used to them, and morale to work may drop. I was looking for a job position where my skills would be challenged and I would improve on my weaknesses.

Similarly, I want to leave my current job so I can handle more responsibilities. I believe the position in your company will give me the challenge I want and improve on my skills and experience. 

75. How did you find out about this job?

I have been actively looking for open positions in your company since I wanted to work with you. When I heard about this position, I studied your job description and knew that this is the job that best fits my skills.   

76. What are your salary expectations?

From my research, this job position pays between $40000 to $50000 in a year. However, I would prefer to discuss a suitable salary based on my responsibilities. 

77. That’s the end of your interview, do you have any questions for us?

Yes, I would like to ask you if there is anything else you need to know about me to make the hiring decision easier for you. Maybe I can explain it better in person than through phone or email.  

77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

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77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

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77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them
77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

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77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them

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77 most common job interview questions and how to answer them