Common Interview Questions and Answers
how to answer most common interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What makes you unique?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What interests you about this role?
- What motivates you?
- What are you passionate about?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your greatest weaknesses?
- What are your goals for the future?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Can you tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?
- What is your salary range expectation?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you have any questions?
Best interview questions and answers
1. Tell me about yourself.
Your interviewers will likely start out with a question about you and your background to get to know you. Start by giving them an overview about your current position or activities then provide the most important and relevant highlights from your background that make you the most qualified for the role. If you’d like, it is generally acceptable to include some light personal details about things like your pets, hobbies or family. Doing so can help you be more memorable and personable to the interviewer.
2. How would you describe yourself?
When interviewers ask you to talk about yourself, they’re looking for information about how your qualities and characteristics align with the skills they believe is required to succeed in the role. If possible, include quantifiable results to demonstrate how you use your best attributes to drive success.
3. What makes you unique?
Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates they’re interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. As you don’t know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to theirs. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit will let employers know why your traits and qualifications make you well prepared.
4. Why do you want to work here?
Interviewers often ask this question as a way to determine whether or not you took time to research the company and to learn why you see yourself as a good fit. The best way to prepare for this question is to do your homework and learn about the products, services, mission, history and culture of this workplace. In your answer, mention the aspects of the company that appeal to you and align with your career goals. Explain why you’re looking for these things in an employer.
5. What interests you about this role?
Like the previous question, hiring managers often include this question to make sure you understand the role and to give you the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. In addition to thoroughly reading the job description, it can be helpful to compare the role requirements against your skills and experience. Choose a few things you particularly enjoy or excel at and focus on those in your answer.
6. What motivates you?
Employers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and ensure your sources of motivation align with the role. To answer, be as specific as possible, provide real-life examples and tie your answer back to the job role.
7. What are you passionate about?
Much like the previous question about motivation, employers might ask what you are passionate about to better understand what drives you and what you care most deeply about. This can help them understand whether you are a good fit for the role and if it fits into your larger goals. To answer, select something you are genuinely passionate about, explain why you’re passionate about it, give examples of how you’ve pursued this passion and relate it back to the job.
8. Why are you leaving your current job?
There are many reasons for leaving a job. Prepare a thoughtful answer that will give your interviewer confidence that you’re being deliberate about this job change. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current or previous role, focus on the future and what you hope to gain in your next position.
9. What are your greatest strengths?
This question gives you an opportunity to talk about your technical and soft skills. To answer, share qualities and personal attributes and then relate them back to the role for which you’re interviewing.
10. What are your greatest weaknesses?
It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where you’re expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses can show that you are self-aware and want to continuously get better at your job — traits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Remember to start with the weakness and then discuss the measures you’ve taken to improve. This way, you’re finishing your answer on a positive note.
11. What are your goals for the future?
Often, hiring managers ask about your future goals to determine whether or not you’re looking to stay with the company in the long term. Additionally, this question is used to gauge your ambition, expectations for your career and your ability to plan ahead. The best way to handle this question is to determine your current career trajectory and how this role plays into helping you reach your ultimate goals.
12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Understanding how you imagine your life in the future can help employers understand whether the trajectory of the role and company fits in with your personal development goals. To answer, provide general ideas about the skills you want to develop, the types of roles you would like to be in and the things you would like to have accomplished.
13. Can you tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?
This question is often used to assess how well you perform under pressure as well as your problem-solving abilities. Keep in mind stories are more memorable than facts and figures so strive to ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’. This is also an excellent opportunity to show your human side and how you’re willing to go the extra mile without being asked.
14. What is your salary range expectation?
Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount they’ve budgeted for the role. If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you don’t know your worth.
15. Why should we hire you?
While this question may seem like an intimidation tactic, interviewers generally bring this up to offer you another opportunity to explain why you’re the best candidate. Your answer should address the skills and experience you offer and why you’re a good culture fit.
15. Do you have any questions?
This might be one of the most important questions asked during the interview process because it allows you to explore any subject that hasn’t been addressed and shows the interviewer you’re excited about the role. By this point, you’ll likely have already covered most of the basics about the position and the company so take time to ask the interviewer questions about their own experiences with the company and gain tips on how you can succeed if hired.