BlogJob Interviews51+ Interview Questions & Answers to Help You Get Hired [2024]

51+ Interview Questions & Answers to Help You Get Hired [2024]

interview questions and answers

Stepping into an interview knowing the most common interview questions and answers is essential for your career progress. Performing well at an interview can get you the job on the spot or kill your chances completely!

Whether you’re about to land your dream job or you just want to get hired, you need to know how to approach an interview. Familiarizing yourself with common interview questions and answers is a good way to prepare for and ace this stage of the hiring process.

If you don’t know how to answer certain questions or what common interview questions might even be, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled an extensive list of 51+ interview questions and answers with bonus tips at the end.

Keep reading to find out what the best responses are to the most common interview questions. The article will also help you understand the meaning behind these questions. So, no matter what position you're applying for, you can modify your answers to fit any interview.

25 Most Common Interview Questions and Sample Answers

25 Most Common Interview Questions and Sample Answers

We’re about to dive into a comprehensive list of job interview questions and answers. But, keep in mind that these should only serve you as guidelines. Instead of memorizing these answers, remember to be honest and authentic.

#1. Could you tell me more about yourself?

This is one of the most common interview questions. The person conducting an interview asks this to find out more about the candidate. Keep in mind that they are looking to see if you’re right for the job. This question lets you get a head start by being interesting and captivating while staying on topic.

You only get one shot at making a good first impression. That’s why you want to make sure that you know what you’re saying. The main goal should be to explain what makes you the best person for the position.

But instead of just listing the reasons, your skills, and your accomplishments, tell a story in your answer. Make it genuine but not too personal. Explain where you are now, how you got here, and where you’re headed. And make sure it’s all related to the job you’re applying for.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“As a front-end developer, I am currently working on multiple large projects for some of our firm’s biggest clients. Besides writing code, I also often communicate with clients and manage teams. At my first job, I was a junior developer. However, I quickly realized I wanted to learn more. The company that I work for at the moment has the most amazing team, and I’ve learned a lot there, but I’m looking for a way to expand my knowledge even further, which is why I’m excited to be here.”

#2. How did you hear about this position?

This question might seem innocent, but the answer you give can garner many points. The main goal when answering this question is to show intent. Employers don’t want someone who randomly finds a job looking for anything on the market. After all, you’re much more likely to perform well if you’re in a position you desire.

Now, there are many ways through which you can hear about a certain position. There are online ads, job fairs, referrals, etc. What you want to do here is explain exactly how you got to be at the interview after learning about the job.

If someone else recommended the position to you, say who they are and explain why you’re the right choice for the company. If you saw a posting online, explain what exactly made you apply to it over many other postings. Read the job interview questions and answers sample to see how even a random find can show intent.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I saw an ad on my social media feed which immediately grabbed my attention. After thoroughly reading the online listing, checking out your website, and learning more about the company, I knew this was the role for me, so I decided to apply.”

#3. Why do you want to work here?

Think about the reasons that made you apply to that company in the first place. Have you been following the company’s work for a while? Do you like their online presence? Do you feel like you could learn and grow while working with their team?

No matter the reason, make sure that it’s personal and closely related to the company to which you’re applying. If you like working in a friendly environment, explain why their environment suits you best. Talk about your long-term interest in their activities and how you have always wanted to be a part of their team.

It’s another one of the most common interview questions. So, make sure to avoid general answers. Show them that you want to work with them specifically. And back that intent up with arguments.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I’ve been following your work online for a while. I like your approach to business and what you’re doing for the community. Because of that, I’d love to be a part of your team. I feel confident that my skills can contribute to your team and make me a valuable part of your company."

#4. What do you know about our company? 

You've probably already figured out that you need to get familiar with both the company and the job you're applying for before the interview. That knowledge can give you an edge when the interviewer asks you questions about their company. A good answer will boost your chances of success.

Employers want to see how interested you are in their company. No job interview questions and answers sample can save you if you don’t know the basic information about the company. Not knowing much about their business signals that you might not be as keen on working with them as other candidates might be.

And if you didn’t bother doing basic research before the interview, that tells the employer you might not do so when working, either. Read about the company, get to know the important details, and learn something about the interviewer, if possible. The more you know, the better.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“Ever since I first became interested in chemistry, I have been fascinated with the cosmetic industry. However, I’m extremely health-conscious, so I was thrilled when I found out about your work years back. Your commitment to keeping your product line natural and organic is what made me want to get into this field. I’ve been using your products for as long as I can remember. I share your passion and commitment to health, sustainability, and ethics. That, coupled with my skills and knowledge, makes me a firm believer I could become a valuable member of your team.”

#5. Why should we hire you?

As far as job interview questions and answers go, this is one of the better ones that you could get. This question gives you the perfect opportunity to paint yourself in a good light. The interviewer wants to know what exactly you can offer the company. You should point out all the reasons why you’re the perfect hire.

Sell yourself and be smart about it. Make sure to strike a fine balance while answering the question. You want to highlight your knowledge and skills that would be useful to the company. However, you don’t want to come off as just bragging. Be genuine and honest; be confident but not brash.

There are two key points that you should talk about. The first one is that you’ll do an amazing job and be an invaluable asset to the company. The second should relate to the team and how you’ll integrate flawlessly with the other members. Combine these two points into one story, and you have a winning answer.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I understand that you’ve been acquiring new long-term clients as a part of your business expansion. Because of that, you might be looking for someone with years of experience who is able to jump straight into the job without much training. I’ve had a lot of success both working as a part of a production team and being a manager. I’m familiar with how both sides of the coin work. I’m confident I could quickly integrate into the team and help you effortlessly navigate this exciting transition period.”

#6. What can you bring to the company?

This is yet another one of the interview questions where it pays off to do research before preparing an answer. You need to know about the company and your potential future role in it. Also, try and figure out what issues they might be running into.

Then, connect the dots and point out how your particular set of skills can help them overcome those obstacles. Convince the employer that you are capable of solving their challenges, and you’ll be halfway there.

If possible, illustrate what you’re saying with an example from your past positions. It can be invaluable to talk about your previous work experience. Describe how you ran into a similar situation and how you managed to overcome it.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I understand that you want to expand your marketing team and that you plan on exploring additional advertising platforms. As a marketing lead at (name the company that you previously worked for), I gathered a lot of data testing various types of paid search advertising. Your job listing says that you’re looking for someone with extensive knowledge of Google and Facebook ads, which is what we heavily focused on. That kind of approach skyrocketed our ROAS in under a month. I researched your business, and I already have a number of ideas that would help maximize your ad yield.”

#7. What are your greatest strengths?

Here is another opportunity to highlight your advantages over other candidates. Naturally, you can’t compare yourself to other applicants since you don’t know anything about them. What you can do instead is focus on key strengths that are strongly related to the position you’re applying for.

Talking about your impeccable football skills might not be the best idea when applying for an accounting job. Stay on track and talk about those abilities that will help you perform better as a part of their team.

Finally, if the atmosphere seems just right, you could even mention those ball-kicking abilities at the end. A little bit of humor, when used properly, goes a long way and can leave a memorable impression. Remember that these job interview questions and answers are just guidelines, and it’s up to you to adapt them to specific situations.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I believe one of my greatest strengths to be my ability to learn quickly. That has helped me adapt to many unpredictable situations. As a result, I have been able to overcome them as quickly and painlessly as possible. That proved rather useful when I worked as a team lead because I always managed to steer them in the right direction. That kind of approach saves time and resources and provides an opportunity for faster growth. This is a dynamic style of work with a new set of challenges appearing on a regular basis. I’d be excited to join and work with you so that we grow and progress together. Oh, and I have been told on multiple occasions that I make the best coffee."

#8. What are your greatest weaknesses?

This question can be a tricky one, so make sure you are well prepared. On one hand, you don’t want to overshare and come off as not suitable for the job. Be genuine, but don’t paint yourself in a negative light.

On the other hand, nobody is perfect. It would be wrong to act as if you have no weaknesses whatsoever. The employer wants to see if you lack self-awareness, which is not a good thing. Find something that you’re struggling with but working on to fix it. That would make you honest and approachable.

Then, talk about how you’re tackling the problem. That way, the potential employer will see that you’re mindful but also proactive. You’ll show that you own up to your mistakes and do not play the victim card whenever something bad happens.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“For a long while, I have been a hardened perfectionist. I wouldn’t submit a task until I was completely satisfied with it. I always knew it wasn’t the best trait to have, but it wasn’t until I was thrown into a fast-paced environment that I truly started toning my perfectionism down. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I’m doing my best to strike a fine balance between a good draft and a final product. I feel like I’ve massively improved in that department. It also helps when there’s a team to rein you in and bounce ideas off of. My efforts also taught me to see harmful perfectionism in others and to point it out if needed while I keep working on myself."

#9. What are your salary expectations?

There are a couple of key points to keep in mind when answering this question.

As per usual, do the research on the position beforehand. Figure out what the average salary is for the position in your country and based on the experience that you have.

Then, make sure to give them a salary range. That way, you’re showing flexibility, and you’re giving the employer a ballpark figure that they can work with. Also, when giving the range, make sure not to go too low or too high.

Here are a few bonus tips before we get to our job interview questions and answers sample:

Salary Expection Tips

  • Try not to start a salary discussion on your own, at least if it’s at an earlier stage of the interview process;

  • If you’re not yet clear on what your work will and duties will be, try to postpone answering until you’ve learned more about the role;

  • Offer the possibility of working for a salary on the lower end until you’ve proven your worth during a trial period. That is, as long as there's an opportunity for growth.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“The salary range for someone of my skill and experience is between $30,000 and $35,000. I value the opportunity to grow while working with you, and I’m open to negotiation. I’d be happy to reach an agreement that would benefit both of us.”

#10. How would you describe yourself?

This question seems like a regular, personal one, but there’s a different intention behind it. The employer wants to know whether your personal characteristics make you suitable for the job.

It's another of the more common interview questions where answers need to be genuine, but keep the position in mind. Describe yourself in a way that would make you excel at doing the job.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I have a passion for learning and perfecting my skills. I always look to streamline workflows and make processes as effective as possible. In my previous workplace, I managed to cut production time and costs on multiple occasions by putting my knowledge to use. I believe that working for your company can help me push myself further while making me a valuable asset to your team.”

#11. How do you handle stressful situations?

Stressful situations are bound to occur regardless of the line of business you’re in. By asking this question, a potential employer wants to find out how you might handle such critical moments. Would you panic if there was an unexpected change to the deadline? Or are you the person that others fall back on when their plans go awry?

Naturally, employers would seek someone whose productivity doesn’t instantly drop in stressful situations. On the other hand, you don’t want to appear completely unfazed no matter what comes at you. It’s important to be aware of the circumstances and act accordingly. 

Think of a time when you were in a highly stressful environment. Explain how you came out on top and resolved the issues to the best of your abilities. It’s much better to show and not just tell. As always, a good, captivating story will be much more memorable and effective.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I always strive to remain calm and look objectively at stressful situations. My first objective is to prevent further damage if needed. After that, the goal is to make a priority list and focus on what needs my immediate attention. It’s important to know where things went wrong but not to dwell on what is out of hand.

One time, I faced a system crash and an approaching deadline with several clients. I hopped on a call with a few of them and managed to extend time limits just enough for everyone to be happy in the end, while getting the system back up and running with the IT team.”

#12. Do you prefer working in a team or independently?

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. Of course, the best approach is to be flexible and able to do both. Your potential employer could be looking for your flaws by asking this question. After all, if you’re not a good team player, it could be hard to adjust to a crowded working environment.

You can start by figuring out whether the position leans towards one working style more than the other. People naturally gravitate towards jobs that suit their personalities. If the job is remote, you’ll probably do the majority of it on your own. Similarly, your future position might require constant interaction and cooperation. Then you want to come off as a capable collaborator. Keep that in mind while answering and focus on showing that you’re a strong, independent worker.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I did a lot of freelance work where I learned to be independent, celebrate my victories, and own up to my defeats. On the other hand, I’ve recently had the opportunity to join a larger team as we tackled a massive project together. I easily fit into the role and had a pleasant time working with many like-minded individuals. I’ve found that there are pros and cons to both approaches and that a fine balance of both often yields the best results. At the end of the day, I consider myself flexible enough to become a valuable member of any team but also do the hard work alone when needed.”

#13. How do you like to be managed?

When answering this question, focus on the positive aspects. Think back about your former employers and managers and recall what you liked about their management style. If you've had some bad experiences, talk about what you would've preferred instead.

You should also research what kind of working environment you can expect from the company you’re applying for. Then, tailor your answer to suit your potential position.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"My preferences depend on the type of work I've been doing. I've had a pleasant experience with most of my previous managers. When I was doing precise work, it helped that the managers were involved every step of the way, keeping the team on track the whole time. However, during the creative parts of our projects, their approach was mostly hands-off. The managers gave us more room to be inventive and express ourselves before doing a recap. That’s the kind of management style I like."

#14. Why did you leave your previous job?

There is one big mistake you could make when answering this question. That is to talk badly about your previous job or employer. Even if you did run into some issues previously, you need to rise above the situation.

For example, you could’ve left your previous job because you outgrew it. You've learned everything there is to learn, and you’re now looking for a bigger challenge. Maybe the company that you worked for has changed its direction, and you no longer identify with them. Or, they simply ran out of business, and now you’re looking for a new place.

It’s one of the most common interview questions, with many possible answers. There are many different reasons to quit one job and look for the next. Just keep in mind to have a positive attitude when talking about the change.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I’ve enjoyed two wonderful years working at (your previous company). I’ve met some amazing people, and we've done stellar work. However, I feel I’ve hit the ceiling in terms of personal and career growth there. Because of that, I’ve decided to push myself further and apply for a higher level position in a company of a larger scale.”

#15. Have you applied for any other jobs?

This is where you need to keep the interviewers on their toes. On one hand, you want to show strong interest in their company and the position they offer. On the other hand, it shouldn’t seem as if they are your only option.

By mentioning a few other positions that you’ve applied for, you’ll show strong enthusiasm. That can also give you more leverage when discussing compensation. The potential employer might be less inclined to offer you the lower end of the salary range when they know that you could go somewhere else.

That being said, make their offer your main focus. Talk about it with great interest. You’re not looking for just about any job in the field. Maybe their company’s values align with yours. Or perhaps you love how effortlessly their team seems to function.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I am actively seeking a position in my field of expertise. As a result, I’ve run into many job listings, several of which sounded rather appealing. However, I found your offer to be the one that resonated with me the most. I’ve looked up your company’s values and the direction that you’re headed, which is why I’m excited to be here and discuss our potential future together.”

#16. What’s your ideal work environment?

In case it wasn’t apparent, your answer should closely match their working environment. Still, try not to make it blatantly obvious. That way, you risk appearing dishonest. Be sincere about the setting that you prefer, but make sure it’s at least partly what their company offers.

Finally, flexibility goes a long way, as you’ll see in the answer sample:

Correct Example

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in various environments. When I’m deep into work, I find that peace and quiet make me most productive, which is why I enjoy working remotely. And when it comes to collaboration and larger team projects, I’ve had much more success in open-space offices. I believe the mix of both to be the best, but I’m flexible enough to adapt to any environment.”

#17. What is your working style?

When asking this question, the recruiter wants to see how you'll fit into their team. When are you most productive? Are you easy to work with and communicate with? Do you display initiative while working on solo projects? Can you transition between going to the office and working remotely? You can tell them about any of these aspects.

Focus on the positives. Research the company to determine what kind of working environment they offer and tailor your answer accordingly.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"My work style depends on the type of project that I tackle. When doing something creative, I find that bouncing ideas off of coworkers produces stunning results. Being active, having meetings, and going from one office to another creates a dynamic atmosphere that boosts my creativity. On the other hand, when the tasks become more focused and streamlined, I don't mind working in private or remotely. That way, I can give the project my undivided attention."

#18. What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

Like the majority of the other interview questions and answers on this list, this one also requires extensive research about the company’s goals. Keep in mind that the interviewer is always interested in what you can bring to their company. As a result, your answer should be related to the position that you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re applying for a content writer's position, perhaps your work has received recognition and rewards. For a management position, talk about how you’ve successfully led a team campaign in the past. Or maybe you’re in marketing and you managed to create a winning campaign that skyrocketed your company’s profits.

If you’re brand new to the business, you can find a relatable accomplishment from your life. Maybe you won an award during your college days. Or you did some exceptional volunteer work.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“This one time, a brand new client sent an outline for a high-end article that they needed me to write for their website. They sent an example that they thought was perfect and asked me if I could do something of that quality. I was thrilled to discover it was one of my previous pieces done for a different client. As content creators, we always strive to create value. This unlikely situation showed me I was on the right track. Because of that, I consider it one of my biggest professional accomplishments so far.”

#19. What are your career goals?

There are a couple of things that employers want to find out by asking this question. First off, they want to see whether you’re in it for the long run with their company. In their eyes, you’re an investment. If they can rely on you for years to come, especially as you grow and become more valuable, they’ll be more likely to get you aboard.

Speaking of growing and learning, another thing you’re displaying by answering this question is your ambition. Someone who always strives to be better is bound to bring more value to the company. If you have no big goals or the will to improve, your value will remain the same.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I started as a junior developer in a smaller firm, but in just a couple of months, I learned everything they could teach me. I feel confident in my knowledge, but I aspire to become a seasoned senior developer in the next few years. Your company is of a larger scale, with a vast variety of projects that I’d love to be a part of. I look forward to learning from your experienced developers and taking on much more challenging assignments.”

#20. Would you be willing to relocate?

If the interviewer asks this question, it means they are likely interested in hiring you. The answer you give depends on your current living situation. If you are willing to move to join their company, all the better. If the answer isn't as clear-cut, don't give a negative one, but come up with a solution. Offer an alternative and show enthusiasm for the position.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"My current apartment is in a good location, and I enjoy living there. However, if traveling and remote work aren't options, I'd consider moving for the right opportunity."

#21. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is rather similar to the one we just talked about, but with a notable difference.

This time around, the main focus is the time period. While a five-year plan is typically a long-term one, it’s much more specific than your ultimate career goals. The hiring manager wants to see how you anticipate growing professionally. If your plans align with the company's needs, they might be more inclined to invest time and resources in you. In other words, you’re more likely to get the job.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“In five years, I’d like to become a leader in my field. I’d love to have the opportunity to manage a team and utilize my knowledge to the full extent. I also have a passion for teaching, so I’d enjoy mentoring others while continuously seeking ways to improve myself and perfect the craft. My goal is to take on large, impactful projects that leave a mark and make a difference. I want to inspire others and connect with more like-minded people as we strive together to turn our work into a piece of art.”

#22. What are your hobbies and interests?

As far as job interview questions and answers go, this example is more fun and relaxing. This is where you truly get to be yourself and talk about your passions outside of work. Don’t be afraid to “geek out” and talk about your favorite things you do in your leisure time.

Passion is immensely attractive, and that’s not something that you can fake. Your only goal is not to freeze and appear as someone with no interests. That would make you appear boring, and it could cost you the spot even if you aced everything else.

Finally, it helps if your hobbies line up with your field of work. However, don’t force your answer. It’s perfectly fine if your hobbies don’t relate to the position at all. Be genuine and express your true self.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I’ve trained basketball for years as a kid. While I never turned pro, my buddies and I still get together every weekend for a match or two. Plus, I love to kick back and relax every now and then with a good game on TV. And who would’ve guessed I’d pick up team management skills along the way?”

#23. Is there something you’d like to share that's not on your resume?

Don't be caught off guard if the hiring manager asks you this question. They want to know more about you, and their interest in you is a positive sign.

This is a broad question, so you can get creative while answering. As a matter of fact, you should try to be as creative as possible. Tell the recruiter an exciting story that they will remember.

As always, bonus points if the answer relates to the position that you're applying for.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"Something that I didn’t mention on my resume is that me and my partner are foster parents. We love kids but don’t have any of our own. Therefore, three years ago, we decided to start fostering children that our local child care facility could not accommodate. It brings out the best of both of us and lets us help a little one in need. We’re proud of how we’ve helped four children up until now, and it’s helped us become better individuals too."

#24. Do you think we could do something differently at our company?

This is a tricky question that requires a careful but honest approach. You don't want to appear pushy or pretentious, but you shouldn't avoid the question altogether. Start with a positive comment regarding their products or services, and then offer a constructive suggestion based on your experience. The goal is to show interest in their company as well as critical thinking.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"I've seen your performance reports on your Facebook ads, and the results are impressive. Have you thought about trying Google Ads, as well? I did extensive research and testing with Google Ads in my previous company, and your products seem like a perfect fit."

#25. Do you have any questions for us?

When it comes to common job interview questions, this one usually comes near the end. You get to ask questions about the position and the company. Use the opportunity to learn about the things that interest you but you couldn’t find during your research.

Keep in mind that even though you’re the one asking questions, the hiring manager is still analyzing you. Don’t pass up the opportunity to show even more enthusiasm about the company, because answering “No, I don’t have any questions” has the opposite effect.

There have to be things that you want to know about them. Is it the team, the opportunity for growth, their future plans, or something specific about the role that you’ll have? There are all kinds of questions to ask here. They can vary depending on the company, job position, occupation, etc.

Instead of giving you just one job interview questions and answers sample, here’s a whole list of them. These should give you an idea and inspire you to come up with your own questions.

Questions To Ask To The Interviewer Examples

  • What does the onboarding process look like for new employees?

  • What are the opportunities for growth and progression for successful and ambitious employees?

  • What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced as a company?

  • What are your future plans as a company? Do you aim to expand your products and services?

  • Do you have team-building events? Do you focus on creating a community and strong bonds between people?

18 Behavioral Interview Questions and Possible Answers

Behavioral Interview Questions and Possible Answers

When it comes to behavioral interview questions, the clue is in the name. By asking these, recruiters want to find out how you’d behave in certain situations. That way, your potential employers can know you might act under specific circumstances as part of their team too.

Behavioral interview questions are very effective as they focus on past experiences. They can be a deciding factor in a job interview when a hiring manager runs into several candidates with similar experience and skill sets. Those who handle difficult situations better or have superior people skills, for example, will gain an advantage over others.

If all this sounds intimidating, fear not. There’s a method to answering these questions that makes the whole procedure easier, and it’s called the STAR technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Think of it as a guideline to help you structure answers to interview questions.

The process is simple. Listen closely to the question. Then, start by talking about the situation that required your attention. Continue with the task that you need to do. Explain the action you took to resolve an issue. Finalize by emphasizing the results of your actions.

To help you further, here’s a collection of the most common behavioral interview questions and answers. Study them thoroughly, and you’ll know precisely what to say on any occasion.

#1. Tell me about a situation where you had to work under pressure.

High-pressure situations are bound to come up in any line of work. The important thing is not to crack under them. You need to be able to remain calm and continue working without a loss of focus or productivity.

Keep in mind, however, that nobody is perfect. You can’t be completely immune to stress and pressure, so don’t try to act like it. That’s more likely to score you negative points with the recruiter.

Instead, think of a specific situation that you had to face and explain how you overcame the obstacles. Point out that you were aware of the difficulties, but you managed to remain collected and push through. Focus on your positive traits and how they helped you navigate the difficult circumstances.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I supervised a smaller team that unexpectedly ran into an incredibly tight deadline. I managed to remain clear-headed and quickly organized everyone to maximize our output. By smartly allocating resources and slowing down low priority projects, we were able to push through and meet the deadline. The situation wasn’t ideal, but I’m proud of my team and how we managed to resolve that situation.”

#2. Give me an example of a situation you think you should’ve handled better.

Everyone makes mistakes. The more skilled you are, the better you can recover from them, but you’re bound to make some anyway. When answering this question, the important thing is not to try to paint yourself as perfect. That only signals to the recruiter that you’re not mindful and can’t learn from your mistakes.

When giving an example of such a situation, emphasize what you’ve learned from your mistakes. Show the hiring manager that you’re always learning and improving. That also shows that you own up to your mistakes and don’t deflect blame.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I worked as a social media representative for a clothing brand. A customer was interested in one of our products and was asking about the price and specifications. Several days after making a purchase, they contacted me again, confused about additional shipping fees. They had thought that shipping was included in the final price. Not mentioning shipping fees was an oversight on my end. I realized that I had potentially misled a customer. Customer satisfaction is my priority, so I apologized and offered a discount code for their next purchase. The experience taught me about transparency and the importance of even the smallest bits of information. Since then, I have aimed to be mindful of every detail.”

#3. Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet your goals and how you handled it.

By now, you probably see a pattern with these behavioral interview questions and answers. They often relate to less-than-ideal situations you’ve faced and how you handled them. The overarching principles remain the same. Be aware of your flaws and realize that sometimes things are out of your hand. It’s OK to fail, as long as you learn and don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“Soon after graduation, I started working at a small architecture firm. I grew overly confident in my abilities, which resulted in missing a deadline with a big client. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, and it took me some time to recover. I managed to reflect on the incident and realize that I lacked time-management skills. No matter how good I was at my job, I would’ve always faced the same risk if I didn’t properly organize my time. I’m also thankful to my former employer, who helped me figure it out and improve my time-management skills.”

#4. Describe a time when you had to collaborate with someone whose personality clashed with yours.

When working with large teams of people, you’re bound to encounter people with different personalities who might also have different opinions.

Hiring managers will ask this question to see how you fit in with diverse teams of people. Otherwise, they might risk hiring someone who isn’t willing to grow and adapt.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“Early in my career, I worked on a creative two-person project with someone whose personality was vastly different from mine. At a certain point, I realized we were stuck. We focused more on defending our own points of view rather than trying to figure out how to move forward with the project. That’s when I told them we should take a break and clear our heads. We came back to the project refreshed and aware of our mistakes. Both of us had good ideas, and the project was a success. Since then, I have learned to listen to everyone’s input and not force my judgment."

#5. Give me an example of a situation where you had to show your leadership skills.

Leadership skills are essential in many different situations. Certain positions require them right off the bat. You can’t be a manager without proper leadership skills.

On the flip side, strong leadership skills can help you advance in a company, regardless of your field of work. If the potential employer sees leadership traits in you, they will be more inclined to hire you and invest in you long-term.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“Earlier in my career, I was a part of a five-person team, handling a large project with a tight deadline. We all had our tasks assigned, but I soon realized that we were performing sub-optimally. There was even a risk of missing the deadline. I had to take a wider look at the whole project and attempt to reorganize it. I called for a short meeting where I quickly explained my idea, after which we redistributed our tasks accordingly, and we were back on track in no time. We finished much sooner than expected.”

#6. Tell me about a time when you had many responsibilities on your shoulders. How did you handle it?

Being able to stay calm and collected under pressure is an invaluable skill in any business. If you take on many responsibilities, you’re bound to be under stress. On the other hand, an employee who can handle more responsibilities than the rest is worth more in the eyes of the employer.

When answering this question, just as with many that we already talked about, be subtle with your answer. Don’t try to convince them that you can do anything without feeling stressed at all. Be honest and open about your abilities. Highlight your skills and victories, but don’t neglect to mention any difficulties you might’ve run into along the way.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“At the start of my career, I entered a small firm with few employees. They saw my eagerness to learn and improve, so the responsibilities kept coming my way. I was quickly adapting and finding ways to be more efficient. I was learning fast and progressing at a steady rate. At a certain point, I realized I was taking on much more than my position demanded. I had no problem with that much responsibility as I learned to handle it well. However, I felt like all that work was worth more. I had a talk with my superior, and soon enough, I was promoted. Eventually, I ended up outgrowing the company and moving on, but the experience was invaluable.”

#7. Share an example of a time you had to deal with a difficult client. What did you do?

We’ve established that workplace situations can get less than ideal. That’s especially true when dealing with external parties like clients. They can sometimes be very demanding and unrealistic, and hiring managers want to hear how you’d meet the needs of such clients without negatively affecting their company resources.

Some clients are difficult right off the bat, while others can become that way at any point. Their reasons can be perfectly justified or completely unreasonable. Employers want someone who can remain patient and resolve any situation. People skills and quick thinking go a long way.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I worked as a manager at a car detailing salon that offered a wide variety of services. One time, a customer came back a month after we did their interior work, complaining about spots that appeared on their leather seats. However, our company was using nothing but top-tier products. And the detailer that did their car was one of our best. So, I asked the customer what happened and soon realized that they had gone on vacation by the seaside. Saltwater easily damages leather. They didn’t know that, so they continuously drove in the car right after swimming. I tried to politely explain that no wax or coating could prevent that kind of damage, but the customer kept getting angrier. I couldn’t offer a do-over for free, but I figured a discount might be enticing enough. And I tossed headlight polishing in for good measure. That helped smooth things out. Not only that, but several other customers came to us via their recommendation. I’d call that a win.”

#8. Have you ever had to explain a technical problem to a customer or a colleague who didn't have a tech background?

By asking this question, the recruiter wants to see how effectively you can communicate. Do you display patience and remain level headed? Are your explanations instructive and creative?

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"I worked in customer support for an e-commerce business. I got a call from an elderly customer who loved our products but wasn't exactly sure how to order them online. I offered to create an order in their stead and teach them how to do it themselves. The customer was thrilled. I knew they had to have known how to fill in written forms, so I used an analogy to help them with an online form. We went back and forth until the customer created the order on their own. They were satisfied with the experience and happy that they could buy more from us from that point forward."

#9. Tell me about your first job in the industry and how you managed to learn the ropes.

This is the perfect way to show your ability to learn and adapt. Even seniors run into unpredictable situations, and your potential employer wants to find out how you'll handle them.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

I started my first job as a junior civil engineer soon after obtaining my degree. I was confident in my theoretical knowledge, but I quickly saw the importance of having practical experience. I realized I had a lot more to learn. I was lucky to have a good and patient mentor who helped me bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. I also made it my goal to be a proactive listener, even when I wasn't directly involved with the project. I used my personal time to continue improving until I learned the ropes.

#10. Tell me about a situation where you had to use your creativity to solve a problem.

Creative thinking can lead to out-of-the-box solutions, which even the dullest and most straightforward jobs can benefit from. And if you have a creative mind, you’re likely to gain an advantage in the interview process.

Recruiters want to see the real-life applications of your problem-solving skills when asking you this question. Think of a specific situation that required creative thinking. You found something that required more than a simple set of instructions to solve, and you took a creative approach to it.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“In my previous office, I worked with experienced senior accountants. They taught me a lot about the job, but they weren't as tech-savvy. At one point, my coworkers assigned me a task that consisted of data input. They explained the procedure, and I realized it was incredibly time-consuming. I knew there had to be a better approach to it. So, instead of starting the work immediately, I spent some time researching and trying to find a more efficient way. I found a solution soon enough. With the help of my developer friend, we came up with a simple but powerful script that trivialized data input tasks. That helped the company save a lot of time and allowed us to focus on more important business.”

#11. Give me an example of how you set personal goals.

It’s important to set goals both in life and at work. If you never set any goals, you show a lack of ambition and initiative. When the interviewer asks you this question, they want to see how driven you are.

If you have set goals and a plan on how to accomplish them, you show intent and confidence. Your potential employers can see that you’ll strive to become better at your job, too. That will make you more valuable to them. In turn, that makes the company more likely to hire you and invest its resources in you.

Goals are set in three different categories. There are short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. It’s important to mention all three when giving an answer.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I like to split my goals into categories such as health, relationships, career goals, etc. Then, I sort them by priority and set a timeframe. My short-term goals are something I can start working on immediately. That includes everything from preparing a healthy meal for lunch to applying for jobs. My medium-term goals can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to accomplish. For example, I’d set goals to go to the gym regularly or to perfect my skills and advance in my career. Finally, my long-term goals are something that I plan to work on for years or even decades. They shape my lifestyle and career.”

#12. Have you worked on multiple projects at once? Tell me how you prioritized your work.

Multitasking used to be a big deal back in the day. However, it’s now proven that doing several things simultaneously severely impacts concentration and performance.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to work on multiple projects at once. On the contrary, it takes refined organizational skills to be good at it. You tackle one project at a time and focus on finishing parts of it before moving to the next.

The recruiter wants to see whether you’re capable of doing that. They don’t need someone who can’t quickly jump from one project to the next. But they also don’t want someone who will try to do everything at the same time but finish nothing in the end.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“At one point, while working at my previous job, I already had a number of tasks on my list when a colleague took sick leave. All of the assignments were time-sensitive, so I had to take on the bulk of their work. I quickly realized my usual workflow wasn’t going to cut it. I took one good look at everything and sorted my tasks based on priority. I was familiar with all of our clients, so I knew where there was enough wiggle room. Then, I delegated some of the more generic work while I focused on more demanding tasks. I was prepared to contact several clients, as I felt there was a need for an extension. Fortunately, we managed to do everything on time.”

#13. Describe a time when you disagreed with your supervisor.

Behavioral job interview questions that revolve around conflict are incredibly common. These are all the more important if you’re about to join a big company with a large team of people.

What the recruiters are looking for here is two-fold. They want someone who knows how to handle themselves in conflict, how to stay calm and collected, and how to de-escalate the situation. On the flip side, it’s always a plus if you show that you’re able to stand up for your beliefs without simply being stubborn.

When answering, try to be as objective as possible. Don’t point fingers and talk about how you were right and they were wrong. Talk about a situation where a disagreement occurred and how you managed to resolve it.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I ran into a disagreement with my supervisor one time when they wanted to take on more projects than we could handle. They made some good contacts and wanted to capitalize on that. They were the head of finance, while I was very familiar with the work the department was doing. At that point, we didn’t have enough staff to handle more clients. If we were to go with their idea, the quality of our work would diminish and we would miss deadlines. We went back and forth for a while. There was some merit to their proposition, and we did go through with it in the end, but at a slower pace while hiring more people. I felt like we found a good middle ground and made the right decision.”

#14. Tell me about a time when you were responsible for a large project. What did you do to stay on track?

This is one of the more common interview questions that gives recruiters an insight into your punctuality, organizational skills, and stress tolerance.

Time management and organization skills are crucial for productivity. If you aren’t organized and don’t manage your time well, you are probably severely underperforming. And the worst thing is that you’re not even noticing it. The issues become more apparent when you’re working on a large project. That’s when everything needs to be streamlined and organized.

Be precise with your answer, talk about each major step that you took, and explain what helped you achieve success. By being thorough, you’ll let them see that you know exactly what you’re doing.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“At my previous company, I had to manage a large-scale project. It involved multiple teams, which felt daunting at first. I took a step back and developed a strategy to split the whole project into smaller bits. With strategic time-tracking, I was able to monitor progress equally on all fronts. The strategy was a complete success.”

#15. Have you ever resolved a challenging situation in the workplace?

Think of the most challenging situation that you've managed to resolve positively. Use the STAR method to tell a gripping story that shows off your leadership, management, and communication skills.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

"I led one of the teams in a big company that had multiple projects running at the same time. As a result, many employees often worked on several projects simultaneously. However, one of the three members of my team overestimated their abilities. They had to meet two deadlines for different projects but didn't have enough time to work on both, so they prioritized only one of the tasks. That caused tension within the unit. I realized our productivity would drop if I didn't resolve the situation. I called for a short company meeting to find a replacement. Then, I asked the overworked employee to get the replacement up to speed. We hit a bump on the road, but we quickly recovered and managed to meet both deadlines."

#16. Share an example of a situation where you had to quickly adapt.

If you have the ability to adapt quickly, it guarantees you’ll find your way out of any difficult situation. Even in the most straightforward jobs, you’ll occasionally run into bumps that require a correction in course. Reacting quickly and adapting to new circumstances saves you and the company time and money.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I was doing fieldwork for a civil engineering company where I worked previously. We were on-site and ready to do calculations when my colleague got an emergency call. They had to leave on the spot, and there was no way I would finish by myself on time. I had the option to postpone the job, which would have cost the company a lot. Instead, I phoned a good college friend of mine to assist, who was working in the same field. We finished the job, and dinner was on me that evening.”

#17. Describe a situation where you motivated a colleague/your team/etc.

Being able to stay motivated and think positively directly correlates to productivity. If you can be the motivating factor in a team, your contribution will be massively appreciated. And what better way to show a recruiter that you can do this than by illustrating it with an example?

This is one of the most important leadership skills, and it should come as no surprise that recruiters would want to hear this story from you.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I was working in a five-person team, and we were already working at full capacity. The deadline was rapidly approaching, but our spirits were at an all-time low. The closer we were to finishing the project, the slower we progressed. I didn’t know much about motivational speaking, so I simply pointed at the facts. If we were to pick the pace up and do hard work for a few more hours, we would've finished a lot sooner than expected. That was enough to shake us up. The atmosphere improved considerably in the following hours, all the way until we finished the project.”

#18. Tell me about a situation at work where you had to stand up for your beliefs.

Are you a person of integrity? Do you stand behind your beliefs? These are all positive traits that recruiters like to see in people. One way to answer the question is to talk about a situation where you showed integrity.

On the contrary, the interviewer might want to see how you react when you don’t agree with your supervisor’s views. Some companies have adopted practices that might not make much sense, but they are there for a reason.

The most important thing is to be honest. Describe a situation only if you’ve experienced it. Recruiters will easily notice if you’re making up a story. And if there have been multiple occasions, try to determine which story your recruiters would like to hear the most.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“My first employer had profit on their mind much more than providing good service. I was still new to the company back then, so it took me a while to figure that out. I did my best to communicate with clients and do projects properly. Still, occasional complaints kept coming in. I realize that profit is important, but not at the expense of customer satisfaction. Plus, bad long-term business practices are bound to harm the company financially. After confronting my employer several times with no success, I decided to stand my ground. I focused on the mistreated clients and stopped taking on new projects until our current customers were satisfied. It was a few tough weeks with no income increases, but the employer's policy eventually changed. We started prioritizing customer satisfaction and, as a result, the number of complaints lowered. In the long run, our profit increased.”

9 Resume-Based Interview Questions and Practical Answers

Resume Questions And Answers

Asking resume-based interview questions is more of a traditional way of conducting an interview. Nowadays, these questions aren’t as impactful on the recruiter’s final decision. Still, they are useful for recruiters to understand your employment history and timeline.

#1. Why are you leaving your current job?

There are many different reasons for someone to leave their job. You could be looking for a change in environment, better compensation, an opportunity to grow professionally, or even a change in your career.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I work for a small company with some amazing people who taught me a lot. I have nothing but good things to say about them, but I left looking for a bigger challenge. Your company takes on larger, complex projects with big clients, and I would be happy to learn and grow alongside your team and become a valuable member.”

#2. Why were you fired?

This question might sound intimidating, but it gives you an opportunity to show growth. When answering, be completely honest, calm, and mature. If you made a mistake, own up to it and explain what you learned from it. Of course, it could always be a simple restructuring in the company or something else out of your control.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“One of our biggest clients stopped working with us unexpectedly. My superior was happy with my work until that point, but the company's resources were scarce. Some of us had to be laid off. Ultimately, I believe it was a tough but necessary decision on their end, and I can’t blame them for it.”

#3. Why do you have a gap in your employment?

As far as common interview questions go, this one is bound to pop up if you have a gap in your employment history. There are countless reasons why someone would take some time off in between jobs. You might have gone back to college, taken a gap year, switched careers, or spent time looking for a new job after being laid off, which can be out of your control.

It’s important to show the meaning behind the gap. Perfecting your skills or actively seeking a good job opportunity are all acceptable reasons, too. Just don’t make it seem like you did nothing the whole time to avoid coming off as lazy or uninterested.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I felt stuck in my previous company. The job was repetitive, I wasn’t learning anything, and there was no opportunity for growth. On top of everything, the job was taking too much of my time. I saved up enough money to help me through a period of transition as I looked for a better opportunity. That’s when your position caught my attention.”

#4. Why have you changed so many jobs?

Companies are usually looking for people who are ready to commit long-term. They don’t want to waste time and resources training someone who might leave shortly.

If you’ve hopped between multiple jobs before applying for their position, focus on the positives. Don’t blame your former employer, the working environment, or even the lack of compensation. Instead, explain how restructuring at your previous company made your position obsolete, so you had to learn and adapt before applying for new jobs. Or, maybe there was a time-consuming situation in your private life that is now resolved.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“A shift in market trends made my position at one of the previous companies obsolete. I had to adapt quickly and learn new skills. During that time, I hopped between several jobs, searching for the position where I'd be the most productive. I saw your job posting and realized it was exactly what I was looking for. I hope my past experience, combined with insight into current trends, can help me become a member of your team.”

#5. Why do you want to change your career path?

If you’ve gone through a career change, be prepared to get asked this common interview question. It’s one of the most important answers to a resume-based question.

Are you committed to your new career, or will you change your mind again? Have you managed to acquire enough knowledge to transition? The recruiter has all these things and more on their mind.

Whether you underwent professional retraining or you just wanted something different in your field of work, prepare to answer this question well. Once again, focus on the positive aspects of your career change. Show that it was your decision and display confidence. You want to be all-in on your new profession.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“Ever since I first started working as a junior UI designer, I’ve always focused on automation, efficiency, and good resource management. I’ve naturally transitioned to being a team manager. It felt logical, and as a result, my productivity skyrocketed. I made a final decision to switch careers and become a management specialist. While working, I kept learning and improving. I’m now confident in my knowledge, and I’m looking for a more challenging position in your company.”

#6. Why haven’t you completed your college degree?

A college degree is beneficial to your resume but often isn’t mandatory. However, listing a degree on your resume that you didn’t complete all the way through will leave recruiters curious about why you paused it. When answering, make sure there’s a proper reason for not completing your degree. And if you plan on returning to college or if you’re working on your degree right now, be sure to mention that for extra points.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“While studying, I had to work to support myself. One thing led to another, and I started receiving many incredible offers that were too good to pass on. However, I don’t plan on giving up on college. I fully intend to get back and finish my final year as soon as I get to a point where it won’t interfere with my professional career.”

#7. Why haven’t you gotten a Master’s degree?

This question is similar to the previous one. But this time around, you might get asked this question when you already have a degree, and that gives you more flexibility when answering. Perhaps you didn’t feel that a Master’s degree was necessary for your career. Maybe you realized that real-world experience is much more worthwhile.

When answering this question, simply show the intent behind your actions and don’t make it seem like you lost your willingness to learn.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I started working as soon as I got my bachelor’s degree. I’m currently much more interested in obtaining practical knowledge that this field requires. Master’s studies are not my priority, especially because I didn’t want to stay in academia but pursue a hands-on career.”

#8. Why have you been unemployed?

Your answer to this question can be similar to the one about having a gap in your employment. There are many valid reasons for having an unemployment period on your resume, and the recruiter asking you this is simply curious about what led to it.

Be upfront and honest about it. You may have had a hard time finding a job. There could have been a recession period in your industry or anything along those lines.

You can use this question to display emotional intelligence, personal growth, the ability to remain calm under stress, etc.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“It’s been a tough year since my company collapsed during a recession. I’ve used the time to brush up on some of my skills while continuously looking for another position in the field. I know there aren’t many job openings in this industry at the moment, but I have a lot of experience already, and I’d be happy to apply my skills at your company.”

#9. Why are you looking for a lower-level position?

If you’re looking to step down from a higher-level position, the recruiter might have several concerns when asking this question. They want to see if you really want to actively work or if you plan on slacking off at a lower position. They also want to know if you want less responsibility but expect the same salary. These are all the things you need to address with your answer.

The overarching advice of being honest and positive still stands. Show that you genuinely want to work at a lower level, with all the pros and cons that come with it.

Here’s a sample of a possible answer:

Correct Example

“I currently work as a marketing lead. That’s a dynamic and challenging job, which is something that I truly enjoy. However, I keep looking at all these creatives and can’t help but miss the time I used to design some. I want to pass that torch and go back to creating. Plus, I think that with the knowledge I have now, I could perform even better.”

9 Tips to Ace Your Job Interview

Congrats! After going through so many interview questions and answers, you must feel ready to tackle your interview!

Not really feeling ready?

Then, the only thing you might be missing is some concrete tips for acing that daunting interview.

Here are nine tips that will help you do an amazing job and land your dream position.

  1. Take the time to focus and mentally prepare before an interview.

  2. Take care of your appearance and dress for the interview, even if it’s a (live) video interview.

  3. Research the company and recruiters as thoroughly as possible.

  4. Think of the key skills and abilities you have that are required for the position.

  5. Read this article over and practice answering common interview questions. It’s more effective to do it with a friend than alone.

  6. Be mindful of the STAR method.

  7. Prepare your portfolio.

  8. Think of good questions to ask your interviewers.

  9. Bring a pen and paper.

Closing Thoughts

To ace an interview, preparing with an interview questions and answers guide is definitely the way to go. But don’t forget, this article only gives you sample answers that you should use to tailor your own, not to memorize them and try to recite them in your interview.

Keep the tips and principles in mind, and come back for a refresher course whenever you feel like it. All this newfound knowledge will help you ace that interview.

Best of luck!

Henry Garrison
Henry Garrison
Senior Content Writer
Henry Garrison is a senior content writer, but he is also a guitarist, a baseball fan, and a family man. He has years of experience in the industry, and he loves challenging himself and thinking outside the box. His passion is writing high-quality content that helps thousands of people land their dream job! He has had his fair share of editing content too, and loves to help out everyone in the team.

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