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You’ve scouted for jobs that you like (or at least can make you some money), you’ve applied for them, and lucky for you, you passed the first round of screening. It’s now time for you to face the final (and scariest) challenge: the job interview.

Being judged by people who hold the keys to your future job can induce a tremendous amount of anxiety. While it’s almost impossible to know for sure which questions they’ll ask, understanding the reason behind each question can help you ace your job interview.

Most of the job interview questions have no right or wrong answer, however, there’s a specific way that interviewers and hiring managers are almost always looking for you to answer their questions.

And that’s what this guide is about: to help you understand the reason behind the interviewer’s questions and how to answer them correctly.

In this guide, we have compiled over 250+ most-common job interview questions, organized by category: 



40 Classic Job Interview Questions

These are the classic questions that help the recruiter know more about you, what you’re good at, and if you’re a good fit for the job.

These questions might not be asked with these exact words, but if you have answers to them, you’ll be fully prepared to answer variations of them.

  1. Tell Me About Yourself
  2. How Would You Describe Yourself?
  3. Walk Me Through Your Resume
  4. What Makes You Unique?
  5. How Did You Hear About This Position?
  6. What Do You Know About This Company or Organization?
  7. What Interests You About Our Products or Services?
  8. Why Do Customers Choose This Company?
  9. What Do You Know About Our Competitors?
  10. What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?
  11. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company or Organization?
  12. Why Do You Want This Job? (OR) What Interests You About This Role? (OR) Why Did You Decide to Apply for This Position?
  13. What Interests You Least About This Job Or Creates the Most Stress?
  14. Why Did You Choose This Career Path?
  15. Why Should We Hire You?
  16.  Why Shouldn’t We Hire You?
  17. Why Should We Hire You from the Outside When I Could Promote Someone from Within?
  18. What Differentiates You from Our Other Candidates?
  19.  What Do You Think it Takes to Be Successful in a Company Like Ours?
  20. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
  21.  What Do You Consider to Be Your Greatest Weaknesses?
  22. What Do You Feel Is the Best Educational Preparation for This Career?
  23. How Has Your Education Prepared You for This Job?
  24. What Relevant Experience Do You Have?
  25. Why Haven’t You Gotten Your Bachelor’s Degree OR Master’s Degree OR Ph.D.?
  26. What Can You Do for This Company/what Can You Contribute to This Company?
  27. What Do You Want to Accomplish in the First 30, 60, or 90 Days of This Job?
  28. How Long Do You Expect to Work for This Company?
  29. What Is Your Salary Range Expectation?
  30. If I Were to Give You This Salary You Requested but Let You Write Your Job Description, What Would it Say?
  31. Are You Willing to Relocate?
  32. When Can You Start?
  33. Are You Overqualified for This Job?
  34. Tell Me Something About Yourself That I Wouldn’t Know from Reading Your Resume. (OR) What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?
  35. Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?
  36. What Will You Do If You Don’t Get a Job Offer?
  37. What Questions Haven’t I Asked You?
  38. How Do You Think I Rate as an Interviewer?
  39. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
  40. Describe Yourself to Me in One Word. 

Job Interview Questions

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Your interview is most likely going to start with a question about yourself and your history to give the interviewers some insight into who you are as a person. This interview question is as crucial as it is simple, yet, a lot of interviewees fail to prepare for it.

The question “Tell Me About Yourself” is not an opportunity to give a long, sleep-inducing story about your personal and professional life, or go on a rant on how life has been unfair to you. What you want to do instead is to give a concise and compelling pitch that shares relevant details of your life that tells the interviewers why you are the ideal candidate for the position you’re seeking.

Here’s how you can structure your response to this question:

  • Start by briefly introducing yourself: your name, your age, and how long you’ve worked in the position you’re seeking
  • Give the interviewers an overview of your education and professional life
  • Mention the most relevant and important highlights (including achievements) from your background that shows you’re the right fit for the position
  • Finally, tell them why you applied for this position.

2. How Would You Describe Yourself?

This question is quite similar to question 1 above, but here’s the difference: while question 1 gives the interviewers insight into your background and history, this question gives the interviewers more insight into your traits, qualities, and characteristics and how they align with the skills required to succeed in this job.

This question also gives the interviewers insight into how you perceive yourself, your level of self-awareness, and confidence which allows them to determine if you’re the right fit for the company culture.

When answering this question, you (obviously) should highlight your strengths. If you’re bold enough, you can also highlight some of your weaknesses as this gives the interviewer the impression that you’re someone with high self-esteem. When highlighting your weakness though, make sure it’s a weakness that has a strength to it (more on that later).

However you choose to answer this question is up to you but ensure that your answers are honest, straightforward, and relevant to the position.

3. Walk Me Through Your Resume

You’re almost guaranteed to be asked this question and it presents a great opportunity to engage and impress the interviewers, and sell yourself as the best candidate for the position. Interviewers usually ask this question to learn more about you and your experiences beyond what is contained in your resume. They want to use this information to determine whether you’re qualified for the job and if you’ll be a good fit for the company.

Your answer to this question should be detailed enough to give the interviewers more insight into your experiences and qualifications, but also relevant to the position you’re seeking. You don’t want to just run through your resume as the interviewers must have already done so, which means you won’t be giving them any new piece of information.

Some of the things you can include in your response are:

  • Your basic info like your name, date of birth, and where you grew up
  • Your educational background, including extracurricular activities like sports and clubs you joined. Also, highlight some of the major achievements you’ve had in your schooling
  • Your job history (if you have one), including the responsibilities you held at each of them and some of the accomplishments you had while on the job

4. What Makes You Unique?

When asked “what makes you unique” by your interviewers, this might trip you up. This, however, isn’t the motive behind this question. For any given job opening, the interviewers will most times than not be interviewing multiple candidates that look awfully similar on paper. Choosing the most suitable candidate for the position can be a very hard decision to make.

To make their work easier for them (and to improve your chances of getting the job), highlighting unique things about you that are relevant to the job can make you stand out from the pack. This is a perfect opportunity to sell yourself on the unique skills, traits, qualities, and characteristics that you can bring to the job that will lead to the overall success of the company.

This question also serves as a simple test that gives the interviewers insight into your level of self-awareness and the superiority of your communication skills.

Recommended Reading Interview Question – “Tell Us Something Unique About You”

5. How Did You Hear About This Position?

While this question might seem straightforward at first glance, it presents a (not-so-obvious yet perfect) opportunity for you to show your level of interest, passion, and connection to the company or organization.

If, for example, you got to know about the position from a friend or professional contact, mention the person’s name in your answer then talk about what excited you about it or what caught your eye about the position. If you got to know about the position or the job was recommended to you from a company insider, ensure you mention that in your response to this question.

If someone credible, especially a company insider can endorse you for a certain position, you’ll have a higher chance of getting hired than your competitors who don’t have any credible referee.

If you found the job opening from an article, through an event, or listed on a random job board, mention that and also highlight what part of the job description caught your attention.

6. What Do You Know About This Company or Organization?

Just like question 5, this question presents a (more obvious) opportunity to show your interest in the company or organization. This is an open-ended question, and as such, there’s really no wrong way of answering it.

A quick glance at the “About” page of the company’s website can give you some insight into what the company is all about. Your answer should give the interviewers the impression that you’ve done your research (and you really should have) into what the company is all about and how you can help them achieve their goals.

After carrying out your research, you can create your response by mentioning:

  • Their product or services and the benefit it provides to their customers
  • The impact their product or service has
  • What the company culture is like
  • The latest news on the company and their performance
  • ….Any other relevant information you can find about the company

7. What Interests You About Our Products or Services?

This question presents an opportunity for you to show your interest in the company. Interviewers ask this question to know if you’ve carried out your research on the company. This allows them to ascertain whether you’re truly interested in the job and company, or you just need any job that will keep you busy and pay your bills.

Understand that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question as what interests you in a product or service is individual to you. However, there’s a way to ensure you give a satisfactory answer. Answering this question requires that you carry out research on the company’s products/services.

After carrying out the research, the next step will be to find out which aspects of the company’s products/services that interest you and align with your values. Craft your response, starting with those aspects of the product/service that interest you the most

8. Why Do Customers Choose This Company?

Similar to the question on what interests you about the company’s products/services, interviewers ask this question to find out whether you really understand what the company does, the mission they’re trying to fulfill and the goals they’re trying to achieve. They want to know that you’re interested enough in working in the company to take out the time to research why customers choose the company.

To answer this question correctly, you need to carry out research to find out why customers prefer the company over its competitors. In your answer, highlight the benefits their customers gain from using their products and services, and why their customers trust them to always deliver on their promises. Include any real-life statistics that can give your answer more credibility.

9. What Do You Know About Our Competitors?

Carrying out research on the company you’re looking to work for is important, especially in the interview process. However, what you may not have considered is carrying out research on the company’s competitors. Interviewers ask this question to know how well-versed you are in the company and its competitors. This question also helps the interviewers gauge your interest in working for the company.

For you to craft an impressive response to this question, you (obviously) need to carry out research on the company’s competitors. You must understand the information you get from your research on the company’s competitors so you can interpret it correctly when giving your answer.

Your research should include industry and market trends, and the factors that differentiate the company from its competitors. Start your answer by mentioning the similarities that the company shares with its competitors. Next, highlight the factors that differentiate them from their competitors.

Finally, respectfully mention some areas where the company can improve and serve their customers better. Avoid saying anything negative about the company or hinting to the interviewers that any of the competitors are better than the company.

10. What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?

First off, let me make it clear to you that your answer to this question should never be “This is the only company I’m interviewing with”. You should never give more power to the interviewers than they already have.

Your interviewers might ask you this question for a couple of reasons. They might want to gauge your seriousness about the position, team, or industry. They might also want to know which of their competition is also looking to hire you, or they might want to know if they stand a chance at hiring such a star candidate like you.

In as much as you want to show your interest and enthusiasm for the position, giving the company more leverage by telling your interviewers that they’re the only chance you have at landing a job might further reduce your chances of getting the job (most companies wouldn’t want to hire someone that doesn’t have other options), or you might be offered a salary that is below your worth and/or expectation.

Job Interview Questions

11. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company or Organization?

This question looks easy at first glance, however, it’s not so easy to answer. Interviewers usually ask this question to determine your level of interest in the job and company and ascertain if you cared enough to carry out research to learn more about the company and know if you’re the right fit for the position.

Make sure you don’t give a generic answer to this question or you might end up sounding like every other candidate that is also vying for the same position. In order to give a real, substantive answer to this question, you will need to carry out some research on the company’s products, services, history, culture, and mission.

Your response can be any of these:

  • Point out unique aspects of the company that interests you and aligns with your career goals.
  • Talk about the future growth opportunities the company has and how you can contribute to it.
  • Talk about the company’s growth history and how much change it has undergone since you first heard about it.
  • If you’ve interacted with the company’s employees, you can highlight what excited you in those interactions.

12. Why Do You Want This Job? (OR) What Interests You About This Role? (OR) Why Did You Decide to Apply for This Position?

Your answer to this question should never be “I  want this job because I’m broke and I need the money to survive” or anything similar to that. This question is very similar to question 11 and interviewers ask it to ensure that you understand what the position entails.

Remember, companies seek to hire people who have passion and interest in both the job and the company, and this question provides a great opportunity for you to once again express your passion and interest for the company and the position that you’re seeking, and highlight the relevant skills and experience you have that will enable you to succeed when you’re finally hired.

Here’s how you can structure your response to this interview question:

  • Express your passion and enthusiasm for the position and company.
  • Highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with the requirements of the position.
  • Connect your enthusiasm, skills, and experiences to how you can use it to help the company succeed and move your career forward.

13. What Interests You Least about This Job Or Creates the Most Stress?

Interviewers ask this question to better understand your values and determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job and company. They want to know aspects of the job that interest you the least so they can find ways to keep you motivated in the job to enable you to produce your absolute best work.

To correctly answer this question, you have to understand that just because this question asks about the least interesting/most stress-inducing part of the job does not mean that should be the only thing in your answer. You can start your answer by highlighting some of the opportunities the job provides that first attracted you to it.

Next, mention aspects of the job that you find less interesting (avoid those aspects that are essential to the job). Finally, demonstrate to the interviewers that the interesting aspects of the job are more than enough to compensate for the less interesting aspects.

14. Why Did You Choose This Career Path?

Your personality, inclinations, educational background, opportunities, parental influences, personal experiences, or a combination of them can lead you to choose a certain career path over others. This question presents an opportunity for you to show your enthusiasm and genuine passion for your career and the job.

Interviewers ask this question to understand your motivation behind choosing your career path. This question also helps them understand the things you value in your career as they can use this question to gain some insight into how much thought and planning went into choosing your career.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question as your answer will be specific to you. However, your answer should demonstrate to the interviewers that you:

  • Know what you want.
  • Have an authentic passion for your career path.
  • Focus on developing your skills and abilities so you can be the best in your field.

15. Why Should We Hire You?

This is a very tricky and intimidating question that will need a huge amount of confidence (not arrogance) and boldness to provide an adequate answer. It is sort of an extension of the question “what makes you unique” and if you happen to get asked this question, you’re in luck. I don’t know any other question that presents a better opportunity to sell yourself.

Your answer to this question should convince the interviewers:

  • You have the skills to do the work and deliver the best result possible.
  • You’re the right fit for the team and company culture.
  • You’re the best candidate vying for the position.

I know…….it’s easier said than done, especially the part of showing that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Given that you don’t know the other candidate competing for the job, coming up with a good answer to this question can be quite challenging. A good rule of thumb is to keep your answer relevant to the position you’re applying for and do well to highlight all your unique skills, traits, qualities, and characteristics that will be of benefit to the company.

However, you choose to respond to this question, make sure you don’t oversell yourself. It’s okay to brag about your achievements (and you actually should, with some humility of course), just don’t come off as arrogant.

16. Why Shouldn’t We Hire You?

This question is one of the most challenging questions you’ll ever be asked in a job interview and can throw you off the balance if you’re not prepared for it. This question is a very similar, yet, more antagonistic version of the question, “What Do You Consider To Be Your Greatest Weaknesses” (more on that later).

Interviewers ask this question to get a balanced view of your strengths and limitations. This can help them gauge your level of self-awareness and honesty. Interviewers also use this question to see how well you can handle a situation that forces you to think on your feet.

Your best bet to answering this question is to either reframe your answer to show how the strength of yours might be bad, or you mention a weakness that won’t ruin your chances of getting the job. You can actually just mention a real weakness you have, but you must make sure it’s one that you’re working on improving.

17. Why Should We Hire You from the Outside When We Could Promote Someone from within?

This is one of those questions that present an opportunity to sell yourself, even though it might not look like that. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of interest in the position and your ability to successfully execute in the position.

To correctly answer this question, you need to understand that the process of hiring employees costs the company time, money, and other resources compared to promoting someone from the organization which is relatively cheaper. The company usually considers different factors before reaching the conclusion that they need to make a new hire. If the company wanted to promote someone from the company instead of hiring you, they would have already done so.

You can start your answer by mentioning the skills, experiences, and qualities that make you a good fit for the job. Mention some of the things you’ve accomplished in your career that can help you succeed in the job.

Finally, demonstrate to the interviewers how being a new hire will afford the company new ideas and fresh perspectives from you that they might not have considered.

18. What Differentiates You from Our Other Candidates?

This question is the middle ground between “what makes you unique” and “why should we hire you”. Interviewers ask this question not to know what makes you unique or different, but to know how different you are in relation to other candidates. Under the surface, this question is asked to know what extra thing you’ve got that makes you better than other candidates.

Let me point out that you shouldn’t give a sarcastic answer to this question like: “I don’t know other candidates vying for this job, and, shouldn’t it be your job to decide that?”.

Take this opportunity to brag (with humility) about yourself, your skills, achievements, and experience and link that to how that will help you provide the best results for the company. Give a clear, concise, and compelling answer and do so with confidence (not arrogance) if not, whatever you say will fall flat.

19. What Do You Think It Takes to Be Successful in a Company Like Ours?

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons. They want to know if you’ve carried out your research on the position and company to know what’s expected of you. They also ask this question as a way to determine how well you’ll perform in the position you’re seeking. They can also ask this question to determine if your skills, experiences, and attitude qualify you for the position.

Finally, this question can help the interviewers get a sense of how you define success and know if you have the right plan and tools/skillsets to help you achieve success.

You need to start your answer by clearly defining what success in the position looks like to you. Mention the skills, experiences, and qualities you have that make you the best candidate for the job. Link the skills, experiences, and qualities you have to how they’ll enable you to succeed in the company.

20. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?

Even though this is kind of an easy question to answer, it’s also kind of tricky, especially for people who think that talking about your good qualities is a sign of arrogance. While this question is one of the best opportunities to sell yourself, you want to make sure that you don’t oversell yourself as you might give the impression of an arrogant or incompetent person who’s is trying to overcompensate by bragging about their strengths and accomplishments.

Your answer should be a list of three to five solid strengths (think quality, not quantity) that are most relevant to the position you’re seeking. For each strength you mention, give some in-depth explanation of what the strength allows you to do and back that up with the best example of when you used the strength to achieve a result. Doing so gives you a lot more credibility than just rattling off a list of nice-sounding adjectives.

Recommended Reading — Interview Question — What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

21. What Do You Consider to Be Your Greatest Weaknesses?

Job interviews are usually about presenting the best version of yourself which makes answering this question particularly difficult. While interviewers ask this question to spot any major red flags, they also ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and honesty, and your ability to learn from your mistakes. So if your answer is “I don’t have any weakness”, you’ll immediately lose credibility in the eyes of the interviewers.

Also, fake humble-brag answers like “I’m a perfectionist” don’t count as weaknesses, and they might further ruin your chances of getting hired for the position. However, if you’re “too honest”, you might scare the interviewers and lose any chances you have at landing the job.

The best way to answer this question is to choose weaknesses that are somewhat relevant to the position and you’re still struggling with but that you’re in the process of getting better at.

Choose three to five weaknesses, craft a genuine response around these weaknesses and end on a positive note on the actions you’re taking to improve.

Recommended Reading — Interview Question — What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

22. What Do You Feel Is the Best Educational Preparation for This Career?

This question presents a great opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job by demonstrating your relevant qualifications and competency. Interviewers ask this question to ensure that you understand the requirements of the job and to determine if you are competent enough to handle the job.

The key to answering this question is to realize that “educational” in this sense does not necessarily mean “academic education”. Experience is a good (or even better teacher) and so can count as “educational preparation”. You can begin your answer by mentioning the most relevant educational preparation you have.

Next, mention the benefits of your educational preparation and how that will help you succeed in your job. Finally, share some examples in the past where you used the knowledge and skills gotten from education to solve problems similar to what you’ll encounter in the company.

23. How Has Your Education Prepared You for This Job?

Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you’re able to connect the knowledge you got from your education into solving real-world problems. They want to know if you understand how to practically apply the knowledge you got in school to solve problems and create value in the real world. This can help them ascertain if you’ll be the right fit for the job.

This question, like most other interview questions, requires that you prepare your answer beforehand.

Some of the ways you can answer this interview question include:

  • Discussing some relevant educational activities that have prepared you for work
  • Talking about how the skill learned through your education has equipped you to solve problems
  • School projects you worked on that are similar to what the job entails
  • Internships you went for while in school.

24. What Relevant Experience Do You Have?

Interviewers ask this question to ascertain if you have the relevant experience for the job and how well it has prepared you for the job. This can help them determine whether or not you’ll be the right fit for the job. How you answer this question also lets the interviewer know if you understand the requirements of the job.

You can begin your answer by mentioning some relevant experiences you’ve had. These experiences should be as similar to what you’ll find in the company as possible. For each experience, you mention, give some details about the circumstances surrounding the situation. Mention the action steps that were taken and the role you played (if it’s teamwork). Finally, share the results that were gotten.

25. Why Haven’t You Gotten Your Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree or Ph.D.?

This question can be intimidating and can hint that you might not be competent enough for the job. Even though this question might seem like the interviewers might be judging you, that isn’t the case. Interviewers ask this question to understand your reason behind pursuing a career instead of getting a higher degree.

Some ways you can answer this interview question include:

  • Mentioning that you wanted to first venture into the field to determine if it’s right for you.
  • Highlighting that you don’t currently have the financial resources to get another degree.
  • Explaining that you wanted to get some work experience before going after another degree.

However you answer this question is up to you, but ensure that you don’t hint that you were too lazy to get another degree or you don’t think it’s important.

26. What Can You Do for This Company? (OR) What Can You Contribute to This Company?

This question is sort of a variant of the question “why should we hire you” and can be quite intimidating to answer. Interviewers ask this question to gauge how well you understand the responsibilities that come with the job. To a larger extent, this question is asked to know what unique contribution you can make those other candidates can’t.

Your answer to this question should demonstrate how your skills, qualities, and attributes can solve problems and create value for the company. You can use this opportunity to humble-brag about some of your most notable achievements that are relevant to the job. You can share relevant examples from the past where you used your skills to solve a problem and create value. In all, keep your answer brief and straight to the point.

27. What Do You Want to Accomplish in the First 30, 60, or 90 Days of This Job?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how much thought you’ve put into the job and the plans you have in place to enable you to succeed. This can help them determine how committed you’ll be to the job. This question also gives the interviewers some insight into your work style, your vision for yourself at the job, and the plans you have in place to succeed at the job. Underneath the surface, this question is trying to inquire if you’re a self-starter.

One of the first things your answer should demonstrate is how quickly and proactively you’ll approach your learning to get acquainted with the job and environment. You should also explain how you’ll organize yourself around the job.

The final (and probably most important point) demonstrates how you’ll add immediate value to the company.

28. How Long Do You Expect to Work for This Company?

This is a tricky question that can put you in a tight spot. On one hand, you don’t want to give the impression of a job hopper. On the other hand, you also don’t want to sound like you don’t have any plans for your future.

Hiring and training an employee is very expensive both in terms of capital spent and time taken, and every employer wants to reduce that cost to the barest minimum. They don’t want to go through the process of hiring and training an employee only for that employee to leave the company after a short while. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how long you plan on working with the company.

Answering this question effectively requires that you prepare your answer beforehand. Your answer should highlight past experiences that have prepared you for the job. Mention some of your skills that will help you succeed at the job. Point out some of the opportunities that the job and company provide that attracted you to the job in the first place.

Explain how all these can help you remain in the company for the foreseeable future. Your answer should be honest.

29. What Is Your Salary Range Expectation?

Questions on salary are some of the scariest interview questions, and this one is quite tricky to answer.

On one hand, you don’t want to reduce your value by calling a lower amount than the interviewers are expecting.

On the other hand, you don’t want to mention an unreasonably high amount that the company is willing to pay. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what your salary expectation might be. This can help the company determine what salary they should offer you.

To effectively answer this question, you need to carry out some research to find out the salary range of people with your skillset and the level of the job.

You also need to research the salary and compensation plan of the company. In your answer, mention the salary range, explaining that the amount you’ll accept will depend on a lot of factors like benefits, opportunities for advancement, job titles, etc. point out to the interviewers that you expect your salary to be a fair amount compared to the value you’ll be providing the company with.

If you’re forced to put an exact amount, mention an amount that is close to the larger number in your salary range.

30. If I Were To Give You This Salary You Requested But Let You Write Your Job Description, What Would It Say?

This is a very intimidating question that can reduce your chances of getting the job if answered wrongly. However, this question presents you with a unique opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the job. Interviewers ask this question to find out how interested and passionate you are in the job, which can help them to determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company.

Your answer to this question should essentially describe the job you’re interviewing for. However, just saying “my job description will be exactly what was prescribed in the job description” won’t score you any points. You should include the responsibilities that were written in the job description is what you’ll write as the job description if you were given the chance. To give a more impressive answer, mention some of the opportunities that the job provides as part of your job description.

31. Are You Willing to Relocate?

This question is really tricky to answer, especially if you’re not ready to relocate at all, or at least immediately. When interviewers ask this question, it most likely means that they’re looking for someone to work full time from a particular location, and this question self-selects those who can relocate from those who can’t. Being able to relocate for a job can demonstrate your passion and commitment to the job.

While it might seem that your answer to this question should be a yes or a no, it’s not that simple. If you’re completely willing to relocate, you can just answer with a yes.

However, if you’re not all that willing to relocate, you can first reiterate your interest and passion for the job before telling the interviewers that you might consider relocating for the job when some conditions are satisfied (you should already know these conditions beforehand).

If you absolutely cannot relocate, your answer should first demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the job before telling the interviewers that you can’t relocate, stating some of your reasons why. However, you can also offer an alternative to working out of a local office or remotely if that’ll be possible.

32. When Can You Start?

Interviewers ask this question to know when you’re willing to get started on the job. If your time of resumption fits the company’s schedule and calendar, they might be willing to employ you.

While it might be tempting to say that you’re available to start immediately, that might give the impression that you’re desperate for the job. Understand that there might be several reasons why you can’t get started immediately. Some of them include:

  • Wanting to notify your current employer of your resignation.
  • Wanting to take a break between jobs.
  • Having to relocate to get closer to the company.

Mentioning any of this to the interviewers does not in any way reduce your chances of getting the job. You however need to demonstrate the flexibility to start sooner than later if need be.

33. Are You Overqualified for This Job?

This is one question that is almost guaranteed to shake you up. Interviewers usually ask this question when they notice that you have the necessary qualifications to get a more desirable job.

They use this question to gauge your loyalty and commitment to the company. They want to know that you will last long in the job and not quit at the slightest opportunity for what might seem like a better position. They can also ask this question because they might feel your qualifications are not authentic since you’re interviewing for a less desirable position.

Your answer to this question should demonstrate your interest, enthusiasm, and commitment to the job. You can begin your answer by mentioning some of the opportunities available at the company that attracted you to it.

Highlight the relevant skills you have that will ensure that you succeed in the position. Finish off by demonstrating how your past experiences have prepared you for this job.

34. Tell Me Something About Yourself That I Wouldn’t Know from Reading Your Resume. (OR) What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?

Interviewers ask this question to find out things about you that are not in your resume. This can help them gain some insight into your personality, which can help them determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the job and company.

While there’s nothing wrong with mentioning some random facts about you, you can increase your chances of getting the job by being strategic with this answer. Your answer to this question should ideally describe things about you that can be found on your resume that can also help you succeed in the job. This requires that you prepare your answer beforehand.

When giving your response, you can start by stating a skill, quality, trait, or attribute that you have but is not found on the resume. Next, explain how it can help you succeed in the role. Finish off by giving examples in the past where you exhibited such traits.

35. Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?

This question gives you an opportunity to end the interview on a strong note. Interviewers ask this question as a way to get to know about things they might have forgotten to ask. Your answer to this question can give the interviewers some insight into your overall personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company. They also use this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and your ability to communicate effectively.

You can start your answer by briefly summarizing your skills, traits, qualities, and attributes that will help you succeed at the job. Next, if there are any strengths that you have that are relevant to the job but have not been mentioned, you can share them with the interviewers. You can end the interview by restating your enthusiasm for the job.

36. What Will You Do If You Don’t Get a Job Offer?

This is such a scary question to answer. Interviewers ask this question to find out how you can deal with setbacks. This can reveal a whole lot about your personality, which can help the interviewers determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company. Interviewers also ask this question to gauge your interest in opportunities that will advance your career.

Companies are looking to hire those that are looking to build a career as opposed to just getting a job and as such, they want to know your future plan if you don’t get the job.

This question presents an opportunity to show your desire to improve. However, if answered wrongly, you can come off as desperate. Your answer needs to highlight the steps you might take to move forward in the event where you don’t get an offer from the company. Also, reiterate some of the skills and abilities that you have that will help you succeed in the job.

37. What Questions Haven’t I Asked You?

This question is designed to throw you off guard, however, it presents a great opportunity to shine and present yourself as the best candidate for the job. Interviewers ask this question to see how you react when put on the spot. They want to know that you can handle high-pressure situations without losing your composure.

Aside from that, the interviewers ask this question to get to know more about you, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job.

To effectively answer this question, you need to prepare your answer beforehand. Your answer should reflect your ability to handle pressure in a graceful manner. You can find one of the questions on this list that the interviewers have not asked but will reveal things about you that will showcase you as the best candidate for the job.

38. How Do You Think I Rate as an Interviewer?

All this while, you’ve been sitting there having questions being thrown at you and the interviewers judging you, but now, you’ve been given the opportunity to judge and criticize them too, right?

Wrong!

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons. Some of them include:

  • To throw you off your game.
  • To gauge your level of self-confidence.
  • To see how you respond under pressure.

While your knee-jerk reaction might be to say “perfect ten”, this might give the interviewers the wrong impression about you. Your answer should highlight all the things they got right. Mention aspects of the interview that you enjoyed and give them as many genuine compliments (not flattery) as possible. Overall, keep a positive tone when answering this question.

As much as possible, avoid putting a numerical value to your rating.

However, if the interviewers push you to give a numerical rating, you can give a rating between 7 to 9. Follow up by highlighting everything you think they did great at and conclude by saying that while they did well, there’s always room for improvement.

39. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

This question presents a great opportunity to express your interest and enthusiasm for both the job and the company. If you ask the right questions, you can create a great first impression that can separate you from the other candidates vying for the position. Since curiosity is an indication of interest, interviewers ask this question to gauge your interest in getting the job and working for the company. This question also benefits you as it presents an opportunity to learn more about the job and company.

Your answer to this question shouldn’t be a variation of “no, I don’t have any question for you”. Like most interview questions, this question requires that you prepare your answer beforehand.

A great trick that can help you to come up with impressive questions to ask is to imagine you’ve been employed and ask yourself the things you’d like to know about the job and company. In your answer, avoid questions that have to do with salary and compensation.

40. Describe Yourself to Me in One Word.

This is a very tough question to answer. Why on earth will the interviewers ask you to summarize your awesomeness in one word?

Well…. I can’t answer that question for you. If you get asked this question, your answer will be more effective if you prepared it beforehand.

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your overall personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job. They also ask this question to measure your level of self-awareness and creativity.

As with almost all interview questions, your answer to this question needs to be strategic to increase your chances of getting the job. This means that you need to go through the job description and carry out research on the company to find out the most important qualities and/or attributes they are in need of. From your findings, rank the qualities and attributes they need in descending order of relevance to the job. If you can, find a word that summarizes the top three qualities from your research.

When giving the interviewers your response, briefly share examples from the past where you exhibited the one-word description you gave of yourself.



29 Career Trajectory Interview Questions

These interview questions are about your work history, your career goals, your achievements, and failures. They help the interviewer to make an educated guess on your level of competence.

  1. Why Was There a Gap in Your Employment?
  2. What Kinds of Things Did You Do Before You Entered This Occupation?
  3. How Would You Explain Your Field of Expertise to a Kid?
  4. Explain Why You’ve Had So Many Jobs?
  5. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
  6. How Did You Fit in With the Company Culture?
  7. Why Were You Fired?
  8. Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?
  9. What Do You Like the Most About Your Job? What Did You Like Most About Your Last Position?
  10. What Do You Like Least About Your Job? (OR) What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position?
  11. What Were Your Responsibilities at Your Last Job?
  12. Describe Your Career Goals.
  13. How Do You Envision Your Career Path? (OR) How Do You Plan to Achieve Your Career Goals?
  14. How Could You Have Improved Your Career Progress?
  15. If You Could Do Things All Over Again, Would You Choose the Same Path for Yourself? Why? What Would You Change?
  16. What Challenges Are You Looking for in Your Next Job?
  17. What Do You Look for in a New Position?
  18. What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?
  19. Are You Considering Other Positions in Other Companies?
  20. Can You Discuss Your Salary History? 
  21. What’s Your Current Salary?
  22. How Much Do You Expect to Be Earning in Five Years?
  23. How Much Do You Need to Earn in Order to Be Happy in Life?
  24. What Are Your Goals for the Future?
  25. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
  26. What Major Challenges Have You Handled?
  27. Describe an Important Project You Worked On
  28. What Is the Most Challenging Project You’ve Worked On?
  29. What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement? (OR) What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment? (OR) What Is the Professional Achievement You’re Most Proud Of?

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1. Why Was There a Gap in Your Employment?

Some circumstances in life can make you take time off your career. Things like these can range from dealing with health issues or taking care of your aging parents to traveling around the world to broaden your worldview (and you should strive to do so once in a while).

It might also be that for some unknown reason, it took longer than necessary for you to land the right kind of job. No matter how good your reason sounds, this question can be quite frightening to answer but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare an answer to this question. In fact, you should expect to be asked this question, especially if there’s an employment gap of more than three months on your resume.

The key to answering this question is, to be honest, and confident in your response. However, you shouldn’t give more unnecessary and uncomfortable details. If you honed or gained some skills, traits, or qualities during that period, do well to highlight those in your response.

2. What Kind of Things Did You Do Before You Entered This Occupation?

Although this isn’t a commonly asked interview question, expect to be asked this question, especially if you’re changing careers. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your past experiences and determine how they can help you succeed in the position you’re seeking. They might also be asking this question out of mere curiosity.

Your answer to this should show how your previous jobs have prepared you for the position you’re seeking. You can start your answer by mentioning the jobs you’ve had in the past. Mention the responsibilities that came with each job.

Highlight skills, traits, and experiences that you got from the jobs and demonstrate how they will help you succeed in the position you’re seeking. When talking about each job, avoid painting a negative picture of the job or the workplace to avoid giving off the impression of a resentful employee.

3. How Would You Explain Your Field of Expertise to a Kid?

Like Leonardo Da Vinci once said: “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”. A lot of experts know what they do but can’t explain it in simple terms that a child can understand. Interviewers ask this question to test how much you understand your profession and how well you can explain it to others in very simple terms.

This question gives you an opportunity to sell yourself in terms of competency. Being able to explain your profession in simple terms will signal to the interviewers that you actually know what your profession entails and you can explain it in simple terms.

To answer this question, you’ll need to break your profession down to its fundamentals so it can fit into one sentence. This includes removing extra details that don’t have anything to do with the primary function of your profession. The next step is to put that definition into language that a child can understand. This will involve stripping away any professional jargon and industry lingo that is still contained in your definition. The use of metaphor can help with this process. When you’re done, test it on a child to see if it works.

4. Explain Why You’ve Had So Many Jobs?

There are so many reasons why you might have had so many jobs in a short amount of time. Maybe the jobs you took in the past were classified as temporary. Maybe it turned out that you weren’t a good fit for your previous jobs. Maybe job-hopping was your strategic way of moving up your career ladder.

Whatever your reasons might be, job-hopping might flag you as a flight risk to an interviewer. As an employer, hiring someone who isn’t committed and dedicated to your company can be a red flag. Asking you this question enables interviewers to understand your reasons for moving from one job to another in a relatively short amount of time and to determine if you have issues with loyalty.

The key to answering this question is, to be honest, and transparent about it. Give a short and sweet explanation of why you’ve had so many jobs in a short period of time and end your response by showing that you’re prepared to commit if you get hired for the position.

5. Why are You Leaving Your Current Job?

There are so many reasons why you might want to leave your current job. You might want to get paid more (who wouldn’t want that?).

Maybe you want to get promoted and that might not happen anytime soon at your current place of work. Or maybe your current work environment is too toxic for you. Regardless of the reasons you might have for leaving your current job, if you don’t come prepared with an answer, this question will seem like a minefield.

While you want to be honest and transparent with your answer, you have to choose your words wisely or you might send the wrong signal to the interviewer. You have to understand that this question is not an invitation to rant about how your boss is such a jerk, how crappy your job is, or how underappreciated you feel at your current job.

You want to keep things positive and focus on the new opportunity the position offers rather than sharing whatever grudge you’re holding against your current employer. Your response should (obviously) be honest and should authentically show that you’re excited about the new opportunities and experiences you’ll get from this position.

6. How Did You Fit in with the Company Culture?

As much as your hard skills are important for the position you’re seeking, your soft skills also play a huge role in your success. While your hard skills show that you’re the right fit for the position, your soft skills can show whether or not you’re the right fit for the company’s culture.

Interviewers ask this question to know how you adapted to your current or former company’s work culture and use that knowledge to determine if you’re the right culture fit for the company, or at least if you can quickly adapt and fit into the company culture.

When asked this question, you want your response to show that you’re someone who can easily fit into a company’s culture. Of course, you want to make sure that the company’s values align with your own values else you risk sounding unnatural.

Your response to this question should highlight aspects of your personality that complements the work culture with stories to back it up. Avoid bringing up negative aspects of your former or current company’s culture, but if you do bring it up, be diplomatic about it.

7. Why Were You Fired?

This question is quite frightening, especially if you were fired for performance reasons. If you got laid off from your job, you can be sure that this question will come up during the interview. Beyond the fact that the interviewer actually wants to know the circumstances behind your dismissal, they also want to know how well you can deal with adversity.

Now, you have to realize that there are quite a few reasons why people get fired from their jobs. A company can decide to downsize and dissolve an entire department rendering members of the department jobless. The same can happen when a company gets acquired or merges with another company. You can also get fired for incompetence or for engaging in behavioral misconduct like stealing.

The key to answering this question is to, first of all, take responsibility for your termination because even something as out-of-your-control as the downsizing or restructuring of a company, there are still few valuable employees the company doesn’t let go of, meaning that you didn’t stay on top of your game. Then, reframe your answer as a learning experience and show that you’ve grown to become stronger and better as a result. As always, your answer should be honest.

8. Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?

While changing your career path might give the wrong impression that you’re somewhat unserious with your life that may not necessarily be the case. Changing career paths is sure to raise the curiosity of the interviewer as they’d like to know your reasons for switching over to a new career path.

Nobody has life all figured out. There’s the possibility that you’ve been on the wrong career path for a long time, had an epiphany, and decided to switch to something that you’re a lot more passionate about. The best way to answer this question is to frame the career change as a new experience for you and highlight relevant experience from your former career that can give you an advantage over your other competitors.

9. What Do You Like the Most About Your Job? What Did You Like Most About Your Last Position?

This question gives the interviewers some insight into your personality to know the things you consider as important and know if you’ll be a good fit for the team and company culture. Whether your last job ended positively or poorly, the interviewers are expecting a positive answer from you, and that is exactly how your response should be.

The trick to answering this question is to first of all know what the company’s needs are. Then, you select specific aspects of your former job that you enjoyed and relate them to the needs of the company.

Elaborate a little bit by providing an example that proves your performance at your last job. End your answer with how those aspects prepared you for this position and why the conditions are better at this company.

10. What Do You Like Least About Your Job? (OR) What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position?

This question can definitely feel like a trap. You absolutely don’t want to bash your former employer while answering this question. Ranting about how terrible your former boss is or how miserable you were at your last job is the last thing you want to do as that might raise a red flag.

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons. While this question can help the interviewers understand the types of work you enjoy and/or dislike doing, interviewers also use it as a test to see how you’ll respond to an opportunity to vent.

This interview question can also be used to ascertain your level of experience with certain workplace scenarios. It can also be used to rank your soft skills and determine if you’ll be a good cultural fit for the company.

The best way to answer this question with poise and diplomacy is to reframe the question in a way that highlights the opportunities in this new position or company that was absent at your former job.

11. What Were Your Responsibilities at Your Last Job?

Although it may not seem that way, this question presents a great opportunity to sell yourself.

Interviewers ask this question to know if the skills you have, the responsibilities you’ve handled in the past, and the results you produced for your previous company make you a good fit for the position. Knowing this can give them the confidence to hire you since you’ll be able to execute the company’s projects with minimal training.

When answering this question, you need to give specific details on the responsibilities that came with your previous position, starting with the responsibilities that are most relevant to this job.

For each responsibility you mention, connect it to the position you’re seeking and show how the experience from handling that responsibility will help you succeed in this job.

To spice up your answer, you can highlight some of the accomplishments you had in your previous job. Avoid bringing up anything negative like frustrations or conflicts with co-workers.

12. Describe Your Career Goals.

If you’ve not put some thought into your long-term career, now might be the best time to do so before the interview. Expect to be asked this question as interviewers use it to know if you plan to stay at the company for the long run, or if you’ll leave at the slightest opportunity you get.

Hiring and training an employee is very expensive both in terms of capital spent and time taken, and every employer wants to reduce that cost to the barest minimum. The interviewer also wants to know if you have ambitions, as this means that you’ll put in your maximum effort to build your career in the company.

The key to answering this question is to match your career goals with the company’s goals. You should first start with your short-term goals, then segue into your long-term goals.

For each goal, give brief action steps you plan on taking to help you achieve that goal. Regardless of how you answer this question, don’t divulge too much detail or bring up salary projections.

13. How Do You Envision Your Career Path? (OR) How Do You Plan to Achieve Your Career Goals?

Similar to question 33, this question allows the interviewers to know if you have long term career goals, plans, and ambitions, and how you envision that you might achieve them as opposed to just landing a job that will pay your bills.

A good rule of thumb for answering this question is to tailor your career plans and goals to match both the role you’re applying for and the company’s mission. It’s important to do so because it presents you as the ideal candidate for the job.

To take your answer one step further from a good one to an exceptional one, you can give examples of action steps you’ve taken in the past that have gotten you to where you are today.

14. How Could You Have Improved Your Career Progress?

Interviewers ask this question to see how much thought and effort you’ve put into being successful in your career. This can help them predict how much effort you’ll put into the job as well to make the company succeed. They also use this question to determine if you’re confident enough to criticize yourself and improve on your weaknesses.

To correctly answer this question, you have to understand that no matter how well you must have progressed in your career, there are some mistakes you might have made. And even if you didn’t make any mistake, there’s always room for improvement.

You can start your answer by showing your desire to continually grow and succeed. Next, acknowledge the mistakes you made in your career and areas you feel you can improve on. Finally, highlight some steps you can take in improving.

15. If You Could Do Things All Over Again, Would You Choose the Same Path for Yourself and Why?

Interviewers ask this question to find out what you truly value and if there are any regrets you have as regards your career. They might also want to know how you feel about your experience in your career so far, how satisfied you are with your career, and if you’re genuinely excited to take the same path in the company. Your answer to this question can also give the interviewers some insight into how long you might last in the company.

You can start your answer by mentioning that you’re satisfied with your career.

Demonstrate your satisfaction by giving an overview of your experience in your career, briefly detailing some rewarding aspects you’ve had. Sprinkle in some less-than-positive experiences you’ve had in order to give your story a balanced view.

Finally, mention why you would choose the same career path.

16. What Challenges are You Looking for in Your Next Job?

Another great opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewers, this question helps the interviewers to know if you’re someone who’s motivated by challenges or you’re just looking for a challenge-free job that will help you pay your bills. It can also help the interviewers gauge how resilient you are as a person.

When answering this question, you need to demonstrate that you’re motivated by challenges and difficult tasks and that you see them as opportunities for your professional growth and the growth of the company. As always, you should tailor your answer to the needs of the company.

As much as you can, find problems and challenges that the company has that are sort of public knowledge and demonstrate how you can use your skills to solve them. To make your answer more credible, site examples in the past where you were faced with major challenges, and the steps you took to overcome them.

17. What Do You Look for in a New Position?

This is one of those questions that allow the interviewers to determine if you’re a good fit for the position, especially in the long run. Since there’s no specific, correct answer to this question, it’s a tricky one to answer. However, that’s not a good enough reason to go for your interview without having a thoughtful response to it.

Your answer to this question will be as individual as you are. It should also match the position you’re interviewing for offers. A good way to structure your answer is to start by expressing your enthusiasm for the position. Explain your motivation behind wanting this position (beyond the paycheck, of course).

Highlight how your skills can help move the company forward and how that can also help you in your long-term career goals. No matter how you answer this question, try as much as possible not to talk about the salary.

18. What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?

This question is as tricky as it can get. While this is a great opportunity to display your expertise by giving brilliant suggestions and providing all-around value for your employer, a slight mistake in your well-meaning answer can ruin everything for you and your answer might come across as condescending, overly critical, or worse, an insult to the company.

To ensure that your answer is well received, start off by complimenting all the positive things about the company or product (try not to overdo it). This will help cushion the impact of criticism.

Next, give some background into the perspective you’re coming from. For every suggestion, you make, offer a little bit of explanation on why you think it might be better than what is already available.

End your answer with a thoughtful question like “Did your team consider this approach?” to show that your answer is not about you being right, but about making your contribution in order to make the team win.

19. Are You Considering Other Positions in Other Companies?

This is another tricky question, and it is very similar to question 10. On one hand, the interviewers want to know if there’s competition out there to hire you. On the other hand, they also want to know that you’re 100% committed to this company. So how can you answer this question?

Your best bet is to create a balance between showing you’re fully committed to working with the company and showing that you still have other options. Mention to the interviewers that you have other interviews lined up because you want to keep your options open, but that you prefer this job in comparison to others because of some of the opportunities it offers.

Even if you don’t have other interviews, giving the impression that you do will increase your perceived value and give you an upper hand in salary negotiation. Don’t come across as desperate no matter what.

20. Can You Discuss Your Salary History?

In states in the US like Massachusetts, Delaware, Oregon, and California, and in cities like Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and New York, it is illegal for employers to ask a job seeker this interview question. If you’re interviewing in any of these places, you have every right to not answer this question. If you’re not seeking employment in any of these states or cities, you might want to prepare an answer to this question beforehand.

As sinister as this question might seem, interviewers use your salary history to gauge your market value and have an idea of what your salary expectation might be.

If your salary expectation is a lot more than the company can afford, then they’ll probably not want to waste your time and theirs on further discussions. There’s really no trick to answering this question than, to tell the truth, and hope for the best.

21. What’s Your Current Salary?

This question is a subset of the question about your salary history. And yes, you might get confused if you should tell the truth (and risk being offered lower pay than you want), lie about it (which can feel shady and might blow up in your face), or deflect the question using linguistic gymnastics.

One of the best ways around this question is to avoid filling it out on your application form long before the interview. This ensures that you have a chance to negotiate your salary. Also note, however, that this comes at the risk of your application being ignored as it is a sign that you don’t follow instructions.

When asked the question at an interview, you can mention that you are being paid fairly for the value you give to the company and segue to your salary expectation (which you must have gotten by carrying out your research) for the position. If you’re forced to put a number to that “fair amount”, just tell the truth.

22. How Much Do You Expect to Be Earning in Five Years?

This question is intertwined with your career goals. Interviewers ask this question to gauge if you have any ambitions for yourself and to know how much you actually expect. They want to know if your salary projection is realistic and consistent with what the company might be able to afford in the future. This also gives them an idea of how long you might last with the company and if you’ll be a good fit.

To answer this question, you need to carry out research on the compensation range for the position you see yourself occupying in five years’ time.

Rather than giving a number, you can frame your answer to reflect that you expect to be compensated with fair and competitive pay for the amount of value you’ll be giving in five years’ time. If you’re asked how much you consider as fair and competitive, you can mention the compensation range you got from your research.

23. How Much Do You Need to Earn in Order to Be Happy in Life?

Interviewers ask this question for two reasons:

  • To gain some insight into how motivating money is to you as it relates to your happiness and/or satisfaction.
  • To get a sense of the lowest salary offer that you can accept.

To answer this question effectively, you have to reframe the context of this question and tie it to the value you’ll be giving the company by serving in your role. Mention to the interviewers that while you know that money cannot make you happy, having enough to cover your living expenses with some extra left for emergency situations can make your life less stressful.

Explain to the interviewers that you expect to be fairly compensated for the value you give to the company. Carry out some research beforehand to determine the salary range of the position you’re seeking in case the interviewers ask you for a figure.

24. What are Your Goals for the Future?

This question is a lot similar to the question on your career goals. Interviewers ask this question to know about your plans for the future and to determine if you have a long-term plan of working with the company. This question also helps interviewers determine if your future plan aligns with the requirements of the position and if you’ll be a good fit for it.

To answer this question correctly, you need to first define your career goals. Create some sort of roadmap of how you want your career to go and list the things you’re looking to achieve both in the short term and long term.

Next, you need to carry out research on the company and position you’re seeking to know what the company is trying to achieve and how you can help them achieve it through the position you’re applying for. You then have to create a response that combines the needs of the company and the things you’re looking to achieve in your career.

25. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is a more specific question on your future plan and goals. While you might not see yourself in this position you’re seeking in five years’ time, you don’t have to make that known to the interviewer. Interviewers ask this question to know if you’re ambitious, realistic about your career ambitions, and if the company and the trajectory of the position you’re seeking align with your overall career aspirations.

Your answer to this question has to show that your five-year plan aligns with what the job and company can provide. Understand that trying to predict your five years is hard to do so don’t think you need to give a perfect answer.

One of the best ways to answer this question is to:

  • Envision how you want your resume to look,
  • Highlight the skills you hope to acquire,
  • Mention the position you’ll like to occupy,
  • List the accomplishments you’ll like to have in five years. You also have to reflect on how your interests might change in five years and factor that in your answer.

26. What Major Challenges Have You Handled?

This question is quite tricky because, on one hand, it gives you the opportunity to show off your critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities, including your tenacity to succeed in stressful situations.

On the other hand, the approach you take when solving a problem might be less preferred by the company. There are multiple ways of solving a problem and your method might not be suitable for the company culture.

To answer this question, you’ll need to recall a significant challenge that you successfully solved, going into detail if necessary.

Next, explain the approach you used in dealing with the challenge and why you chose that approach. Finish off by highlighting the result you got and what you took away from that experience as this will show the interviewers that you’re someone who can turn challenges into opportunities. Make sure to keep your answer simple and avoid placing the blame on someone else for the challenge or problem.

27. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Solve a Challenging Problem.

Every job in one way or the other is there to solve a problem which makes having good problem-solving skills crucial. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you come up with solutions to problems you encounter in your job. This question can also help the interviewers determine whether or not you’re a go-getter who actively finds ways to help the team succeed. This can give them deeper insight into your overall personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job.

The key to answering this question is to understand that the problem you solve is not as important to the interviewer as the steps you took to solve it. While there’s no problem with choosing any problem to cite in your answer, you can be more strategic by choosing a challenging problem that you solved that is most similar to what you might find in the job.

You can begin your answer by giving the interviewers a brief overview of the project that was assigned to you, including the goals that were to be achieved and the challenging problems you faced.

Next, highlight the action steps you took, explaining the reason why you chose the approach you used to solve the problem over others. Finally, share the results you got.

28. Describe an Important Project You Worked On.

This question is used to test your competency. Interviewers ask this question to judge your ability to manage a project, understand your approach when dealing with challenges, and determine the usefulness and effectiveness of your skills in relation to successfully executing a project. This question also helps the interviewers understand your work ethic and how well you can handle stressful situations (because every project always has a stressful side to it).

In order to give an answer that will impress the interviewers, you need to prepare your response beforehand. You can start this process by making a list of all the projects you’ve successfully completed in your career. When giving your response during the interview, structure your answer using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Start by mentioning the task that was assigned to the team and the role you had to play.

Next, highlight the steps you took when executing the project. Finally, share the results you got. Ensure that your response showcases your ability to set priorities, make decisions, hit deadlines, and effectively delegate tasks (if you were the team leader).

28. What is the Most Challenging Project You’ve Worked On?

Although it may not seem like it, this question actually presents a great opportunity to sell yourself. It allows you to demonstrate to the interviewers that you can turn a great challenge into a big accomplishment. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what you see as challenging and how you deal with difficulties and stressful situations. They use this question to judge your willingness to take on challenges and how well you can handle them.

This question, like most of the questions on this list, requires that you prepare your answer beforehand. You can begin the process of crafting your response by recalling the most challenging project you’ve ever handled. “Challenging” in this context might mean complexity, time constraint, uncooperative team, limited budget, etc.

Mention the task that was assigned to you and your team. Explain what made the project challenging. Highlight the action steps you took to manage and successfully execute the project. Finally, share the results you got.

29. What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement? (OR) What is Your Greatest Accomplishment? (OR) What is the Professional Achievement You’re Most Proud of?

This is arguably the best opportunity you have to sell yourself in an interview. You can use this opportunity to brag about your accomplishments as long as you do so with a sense of humility.

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your previous work and to have a sense of what you consider as important and valuable achievements. They want to learn about your work ethic, core values, and portfolio of previous work. They want to know if your skills, values, and work ethic can fulfill a company’s needs and fit in with the company culture.

A great way to answer this question is to use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Results) method. You start by recalling the situation and the task you were in charge of handling to give the interviewer some background context.

Next, mention the action steps you took and then highlight the results you achieved. As much as you can, choose achievements that are relevant to the company and position you’re seeking.



9 Interview Questions About Work Habits and Preferences

These interview questions help the interviewer to know your work preferences, habits, and ethics, including how much of a team player you are.

  1. What’s Your Work Philosophy?
  2. Describe Your Work Style.
  3. Describe Your Work Ethic.
  4. Describe a Time When Your Workload Was Heavy and How You Handled It.
  5. Do You Ever Take Your Work Home With You?
  6. How Many Hours Per Week Do You Normally Work?
  7. How Would You Describe the Pace at Which You Work?
  8. What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer? (OR) What Kind of Work Environment do You Thrive In? (OR) What Is Your Ideal Working Environment?
  9. How Would You Handle a Hostile Work Environment?

Productive man

1. What’s Your Work Philosophy?

This question is one of those job interview questions that doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. The views and beliefs you have about your work and your career will have a huge impact on how much effort you’ll put towards your career.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your work ethic, get a sense of what your values are, and determine if your philosophy fits the work culture of the company. Your work philosophy is very similar to the value and mission statement that companies have.

Your answer should be thoughtful, logical, positive, and relevant to the position you’re seeking. Your work philosophy can either be a quote that deeply resonates with you or a list of values that gives you a deep sense of purpose.

Start your answer with aspects of your work philosophy that are relevant to the company and the position you’re seeking. If you can, include examples that show how you’ve applied your philosophy. However, keep your answer honest, short, and sweet.

2. Describe Your Work Style.

As vague as this open-ended question might seem, it presents an opportunity to sell yourself as regards your work style and ethic. Interviewers ask this question to ascertain if you will be a great fit for the company culture and the requirements of the position you’re seeking.

Keep the position you’re seeking in mind when answering this question. You have to tailor your answer to the job description and only mention aspects of your work style that intersect with the company culture. The first step for crafting your response to this question is to think through and clearly define your work style.

To help you define your work style, you can answer some of these questions:

  • Do you prefer:
    • Working quickly and efficiently or slowly and thoughtfully?
    • Working alone or collaboratively?
    • Tackling your most difficult project first or last?
    • Being guided by your superiors or being given a task and left alone to complete it?
    • Work on one assignment at a time or multitask?
    • Communicating by email, phone, or face-to-face meetings?
    • How many hours a day do you typically work?

When you’re done defining your work style, give a brief answer that includes an example to create emphasis. Try not to make your answer too detailed and avoid using cliches like “hard worker” or “excellent communicator”.

3. Describe Your Work Ethic.

This question helps the interviewer get a sense of what kind of worker you are and if you’ll be a good fit for the company. They can use your answer to ascertain things about you like if you only do the barest minimum or you go the extra mile until the project is completed, if work well with others or you only focus on getting your own task completed without caring for the whole project, etc.

Rather than recite a bunch of adjectives that are supposed to describe your work ethic, you need to carefully craft a thoughtful answer. First, start by making a list of qualities and character traits that sum up who you are. Rank these qualities and character traits according to how relevant they are to the position and how well they fit the company culture.

Think back to when you applied these qualities and character traits and use those as examples (implementing the STAR technique) to give your answer more credibility.

4. Describe a Time When Your Workload Was Heavy and How You Handled It.

When running a business, there are some unplanned circumstances that can bring about heavier workloads than usual. Interviewers ask this question to know how you’ll react and handle the situation if it ever arises based on your behavior in the past. This question also gives the interviewer some insight into your personality and how you deal with difficult situations.

When answering this question, you should give a detailed example of a situation you’ve experienced in your career when your workload was heavy. Talk about what led to you having such a huge workload (without blaming someone for it). Next, highlight the steps you took to handle the heavy workload, including the analytic and strategic approach you used.

If there was any specific problem-solving or time management skill that helped you handle the workload, also include it. Finally, point out the results you achieved. Keep your answer positive and avoid including unnecessary details.

5. Do You Ever Take Your Work Home with You?

The question “do you take work home with you”, can leave you confused about how to respond to it. On one hand, you want to show that you’ll be committed enough to take your work home if the need arises. On the other hand, you might be giving your employer an opportunity to exploit you by giving you a huge workload that will ensure you always take work home.

Interviewers ask this question to find out if you’re organized and can finish your work in time. They might also want to ensure that you maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, the interviewers might just be looking for someone that makes work the center of their life.

Your answer to this question depends on your understanding of the company culture and the requirements of the job. Some jobs, like social media manager for a late-night TV show, require that you take work home. Some companies also see taking work home as a sign of passion and dedication to the company’s success.

If the company values time management or work-life balance, emphasize your ability to complete your work in time. If it values putting in extra hours, emphasize your willingness to take work home in order to ensure you produce high-quality work. If you’re not sure what the company prioritizes, your best bet is to emphasize your organizational skills.

6. How Many Hours Per Week Do You Normally Work?

The reason this question is asked is somewhat similar to that of the question “Do you ever take your work home with you?”. The interviewers for some companies might want to know if you can effectively manage your time and efficiently complete your work. Some other companies ask this question to know if you’ll be willing to work for long hours for the success of the company.

To answer this question correctly, you have to understand what the company is looking for. Giving the wrong answer might make you come across as a slacker or someone who can’t finish their work in time, as the case may be. Doing some research can go a long way in helping you tailor your answer.

If you, however, can’t find out what the company wants from your research, your best bet is to avoid mentioning a specific number unless the interviewer insists. Instead, make your answer sound more general in such a way that it plays up some of your strengths like efficiency, persistence, or time management.

7. How Would You Describe the Pace at Which You Work?

The work environments of different companies require different work pace. Some work environments, like startups, are typically more fast-paced while work environments like rehab centers are typically more slow-paced. This question helps the interviewers gauge your level of self-awareness and to ascertain if your work pace will be a good fit for the company’s needs.

Your answer to this question has to match the work pace of the company. If you’re a fast-paced worker in a slow-paced work environment, you might get easily irritated by the “general sluggishness” of the company. If your work pace is usually slow and more deliberate, you can quickly burn out if you’re placed in a fast-paced work environment.

Craft your answer to emphasize the steadiness and quality of your work. You want to let the interviewers know that you can consistently deliver quality work on time. If time permits, explain your work method and back up your answer with examples from your past.

8. What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer? (OR ) What Kind of Work Environment do You Thrive in? (OR) What is Your Ideal Working Environment?

Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you’ll fit into the company’s work environment. This question also gives the interviewers insight into your most productive work environment.

Before you answer this question, you have to understand that a company’s work environment goes beyond the physical space where work is carried out. It also includes the company culture and how work is being carried out there.

Some work environments encourage collaboration while others require solo work, some work environments require that you be available between certain hours (9 AM – 5 PM?) while some only care that you get your job done as long as you meet the deadline, some work environments are very structured and hierarchical, requiring more intense planning and tight organization while some work environments are more laid back in their approach, the list goes on and on.

Once you figure out your ideal working environment, carry out some research to find out what the company’s work environment is like. Once you know what the work environment is like, craft your answer, to begin with, items that match both your ideal work environment and the company’s work environment.

9. How Would You Handle a Hostile Work Environment?

This question is not very commonplace. Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons. They might be asking this question to gauge how easily you can adapt to unfavorable conditions and how you respond in the face of adversity.

This interview question can also help the interviewers assess your personality and determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company. It can also help the interviewers gain insight into how you resolve conflicts.

Before you can craft your answer to this question, you need to first of all understand what a hostile work environment is. A hostile work environment is a workplace that creates an intimidating or offensive environment that allows unwelcome comments or conduct (based on race, gender, nationality, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other legally protected characteristics) to unreasonably hamper with the work performance of the employees.

You can structure your answer to reflect any/some/all of the following:

  • Resolving the hostility with the person or persons involved.
  • Consulting the human resources department on how to handle the issue.
  • Reporting to a top manager.
  • Gracefully and professionally resigning from the company.


46 Behavioral or Personality Interview Questions

These interview questions enable the interviewer to understand your personality and help them decide if you’ll be the right fit for the company’s culture.

  1. What Motivates You?
  2. What Is Your Greatest Achievement Outside of the Workplace?
  3. What Are You Passionate About?
  4. What Kinds of Work Interest You the Most?
  5. How Do You Measure Success?
  6. How Do You Handle or Deal With Pressure or Stressful Situations?
  7. Can You Tell Me About a Difficult Situation, Challenge, or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It?
  8. What Was the Most Difficult Period in Your Life, and How Did You Deal With It?
  9. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills or Qualities.
  10. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Delegate Tasks.
  11. Give Examples of Ideas You’ve Had or Implemented.
  12. Describe a Project or Idea That Was Implemented Primarily Because of Your Efforts.
  13. Do You Prefer to Make Plans or Be Spontaneous?
  14. What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
  15. Give an example of a Time When Your Ideas Were Strongly Opposed in a Discussion. How Did You React?
  16. What Assignment Was Too Difficult for You? How Did You Resolve the Issue?
  17. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake. (OR) Tell Me About the Last Mistake You Made.
  18. Tell Me About a Time You Failed.
  19. How Do You Handle Failure?
  20. How Do You Feel About Taking No for an Answer?
  21. Describe a Time When Your Boss Was Wrong. How Did You Handle the Situation?
  22. How Would You Feel About Reporting to a Person Younger Than You?
  23. How Would You Feel About Working for Someone Who Knows Less Than You?
  24. Describe a Time You Went Above and Beyond at Work.
  25. Describe a Time You Got Angry at Work.
  26. Describe a Time When You Had to Give a Person Difficult Feedback.
  27. Describe a Time When You Disagreed With Your Boss.
  28. What Do You Really Think About Your Previous Boss?
  29. How Do You Like to Be Managed?
  30. Would You Ever Lie for a Company?
  31. What Has Been the Most Rewarding Experience of Your Career Thus Far?
  32. What Has Been the Least Rewarding Experience of Your Career Thus Far?
  33. How Would You Deal With an Angry or Irate Customer?
  34. What Does Customer Service Mean to You?
  35. What Do You Find Are the Most Difficult Decisions to Make?
  36. Have You Ever Had Difficulty Working With a Manager?
  37. What Do You Expect from a Supervisor?
  38.  Describe Your Best Boss
  39. Describe Your Worst Boss.
  40. Describe Your Ideal Boss.
  41. Describe a Time You Went Out of Your Way to Help Somebody.
  42. Describe a Time When Your Work Was Criticized?
  43. What Is the Biggest Criticism You’ve Received from Your Boss?
  44. Do You Think You Could Have Done Better in Your Last Job?
  45. What Is Your Teaching Philosophy?
  46. How Would You Fire Someone?

Job Interview

1. What Motivates You?

This question helps the interviewers gauge your level of self-awareness and figure out what drives you to succeed. It also helps them know if your motivation is aligned with the company’s goals.

Once the interviewers know the source of your motivation and how it aligns with the company’s goals, they can rest assured that you will put in your maximum effort to help the company achieve its goals.

To answer this question, you have to reflect on your past and identify things that motivated you to put in your best in your work. Next, you carry out research to find out what the company goals are and how your motivation aligns with them. Finally, you craft your answer to reflect those things that motivate you but also align with the company goals.

When answering this question, don’t mention money as a source of motivation or you might raise a red flag. If the interviewer insists on knowing if money is a source of motivation, mention that while money is important, you’re more motivated to use your skills and talents to help the company succeed and that if you do a good job, the money will definitely come.

2. What Is Your Greatest Achievement Outside of the Workplace?

Some employees are all about work and have no life outside their job. You’re likely going to be asked this question, especially if you’re interviewing with a company that values work-life balance. Interviewers ask this question to find out what you value and the passions you have outside of work. They might also ask you this question to find out what inspires and motivates you.

You can begin your answer to this question by recalling the biggest achievement you had outside work in recent years (not older than five years ago).

Highlight the skills, experience, and attitude that helped you attain your achievement. Demonstrate how these skills, experiences, and attitudes can help you succeed in the job you’re interviewing for. If you received any medals, certificates, or awards, do well to mention it as well. In all, make sure you keep your answer positive and avoid sharing anything personal or uncomfortable.

3. What Are You Passionate About?

This interview question is slightly similar to the question “what motivates you”. As straightforward as it is, sharing your passion and personal interests with a stranger can feel uncomfortable.

If you get asked this question in a job interview, the reason behind it might just be a simple fact that the interviewers want to get to know you better. Your passions can give the interviewers some insight into your personal interests and values. They might want to know if you’re a well-rounded person, especially if the company values work-life balance.

To answer this question effectively, understand that your answer doesn’t have to be related to the position you’re seeking (even though it helps if it relates to the job). You can mention a simple hobby (like knitting), as long as you’re truly passionate about it as the interviewers will surely know if you’re faking your answer. You can spice your answer up by mentioning how some traits you acquire from your hobby can be transferred to your job to help you succeed.

4. What Kinds of Work Interests You the Most?

Interviewers ask this question to find out what aspects of work that you truly enjoy doing. This will enable your employers to determine what responsibilities that will be most suitable for you to produce your best work. This question also helps the interviewers understand what you value and gain some insight into your overall personality.

To craft an impressive answer to this question, you need to select the kinds of work you enjoy that overlap with what is available at the company and the position you’re seeking. This requires you carefully read the job description and also carry out some research to find out what is obtainable at the company. Next, make a list of all the kinds of work that interest you the most.

In your answer, mention the kinds of work that you enjoy the most starting with those that are relevant to the job and available in the company.

Next, give some examples in the past where you worked on a project that incorporated that kind of work you enjoy and the results you got from the project. For each kind of work you mention, explain to the interviewers why you enjoy that kind of work.

5. How Do You Measure Success?

Different people have different definitions of what success means to them and they have different metrics they use to measure their success. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your career goals and aspirations, work ethic, and overall personality. This question also helps the interviewers understand how you define success and determine if it aligns with the company’s values and goals and if it fits the company culture.

The first step to crafting an effective answer to this question is to carry out some research on the company and the position you’re seeking to find out the metrics used to measure success.

The next step is for you to make a list of the things that you use to define your success. Find out areas where your definition of success overlaps with that of the company and prioritize them in your answer. If you can, use examples from your past to make your answer more credible.

6. How Do You Handle Or Deal with Pressure or Stressful Situations?

Although this might seem like a trick question, it’s not. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you handle pressure or stressful situations, especially if stress comes with the job or if the management style of the company involves putting pressure on the employees to deliver. Interviewers also want to know that stressful issues outside of work won’t affect your job performance.

To give the best answer to this question, you have to understand that there may be times when things get stressful in a company. Telling the interviewer that you don’t ever get stressed out will sound like an obvious lie. The interviewers want to know that you respond to stress in a constructive manner and not a destructive manner.

More than knowing how you can handle stressful situations, the interviewers want to know-how. You can craft your answer by sharing an example in the past where you were under pressure and the steps you took to effectively handle it and accomplish your tasks.

7. Can You Tell Me About a Difficult Situation, Challenge, or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt with It?

Being asked this question is not fun at all. When interviewers ask you this question, they want to know that you’re not only good at facing conflicts head-on and sincerely making an attempt at resolving the conflicts professionally, but they’ll also like to know how you do so and gauge if you’re open to learning from tough encounters.

To answer this question, bring up a time in the past you had a conflict with a colleague. Give a brief background on what led to the conflict. Avoid pointing fingers or putting the blame on the co-worker as much as possible.

Next, talk about the steps you took to resolve the conflict with the co-worker. You want to spend a lot more time talking about the resolution of the conflict than what led to the conflict. Finally, end your answer with the lesson you learned from the experience.

8. What Was the Most Difficult Period in Your Life, and How Did You Deal with It?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into what you consider as a difficult situation. They also use this question to see how you handle challenges and difficult situations. They want to know that you’re willing to face difficult situations head-on, including the strategies you use to overcome those kinds of situations.

To answer this question, recall the most difficult period in your life (this should be as it relates to your career), especially one that is recent. Briefly explain the series of events that led to a difficult period. Highlight the action steps you took to get through a difficult period. Finally, share the results you got and the lesson you learned.

Your answer to this question should focus less on the difficult period and more on the steps you took to get through the period. If there were any skills, tools, qualities, or traits that you had or acquired that helped you successfully get through the period, do well to highlight them in your answer. Also, avoid making any negative comments in your answer.

9. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills or Qualities.

Expect to be asked this question whether or not you’re seeking a management position. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your leadership abilities.

To answer this question, you have to understand that demonstrating leadership skills does not require any fancy title, and your answer does not necessarily have to be related to work. Something as simple as organizing people for a rally or protest can serve as a great answer.

You can structure your response using the STAR method. Start by mentioning the situation where you demonstrated your leadership skills. Next, highlight the action steps you took and finally, mention the result you got and the lessons you learned from the experience.

10. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Delegate Tasks.

In the job you’re interviewing for, you might be called upon to be a team leader, so you should expect to be asked this question, especially if you’re interviewing for a management position. Interviewers ask this question to know how effectively you can delegate tasks that will ensure the success of any given project. They also ask this question to see if your leadership style fits the leadership style of the company.

You need to start your answer by demonstrating to the interviewer why you think effectively delegating tasks is important for a team’s success. Recall a time in the past where you were tasked with delegating tasks to members of a team.

Highlight how you delegated the tasks and why you chose to delegate the way you did. Share the result the team produced and the lesson you learned from that experience.

11. Give Examples of Ideas You’ve Had or Implemented.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your ability to take initiative. They want to know if you’re someone who can think independently and that you have the guts to back up your ideas with action. This question can also help the interviewers judge how proactive you can be when you spot an opportunity for improvement.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past when you had and implemented an idea at work. Mention the circumstances that surrounded the situation.

Explain the process you used in coming up with the ideas. Tell the interviewers why you choose that particular idea over others that you had. Highlight the action steps you took to bring the idea to life. Share the result you got from implementing the idea.

12. Describe a Project or Idea That Was Implemented Primarily because of Your Efforts.

Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’re a self-starter that can take the initiative to work on problems. This question also helps the interviewers know if you’re willing to go beyond the scope of your job responsibilities in order to make the project and company successful. Your answer to this question can give the interviewers some insight into your overall personality.

To correctly answer this question, it’s best you prepare your answer beforehand. You can start your answer by recalling a time in the past where you took initiative on an idea or problem.

Describe the circumstances surrounding the situation and/or the idea that was to be implemented. Explain how your effort was the primary reason the idea was implemented or the problem was tackled. Highlight the steps that were taken to bring the idea to life or find a solution to the problem. Share the results you got and the lessons learned.

13. Do You Prefer to Make Plans or Be Spontaneous?

Some jobs require adequate planning while some others require spontaneity. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your overall personality and your approach to work. This will help them determine if you’re a good fit for the job and company.

Your answer to this question will depend on the nature of the job you’re interviewing for. Start your answer off by explaining to the interviewers that you can work with both a well-detailed plan and spontaneous execution, depending on the situation you find yourself in. However, if the job requires accuracy, precision, and discipline, your answer should reflect that you’re more naturally inclined to have adequate plans, schedules, and agendas before executing.

On the other hand, if the job requires that you just wing it, your answer should reflect a more natural inclination towards spontaneous execution. To give your answers more credible, cite examples in the past where you’ve exhibited that trait you highlighted in your answer.

14. What’s a Time You Disagreed with a Decision That Was Made at Work?

There may have been times in the past when decisions were made in your workplace that didn’t sit well with you. Interviewers ask this question to get some insight into how you handle disagreements, and to a larger extent, conflicts at work. It also helps them understand your personality and manner of approach to your seniors at work.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past when you had a disagreement with your boss (it’s best to stick with professional issues). You can then structure your response using the STAR method by mentioning the situation that led to the conflict.

Next, give some details into your responsibility in relation to the situation. You can then highlight the action steps you took to resolve the disagreement. Finally, share the results you got and the lesson you took away from the experience.

15. Give an Example of a Time When Your Ideas Were Strongly Opposed in a Discussion. How Did You React?

If you work in a team environment, it’s inevitable to have a clash of ideas. This can further lead to clashes of egos which can be bad for the company.

Interviewers ask this question to see where your interest lies and gauge how open-minded you are. They want to know that you can handle strong opposition without involving your ego. This question also gives the interviewers a deeper understanding of your overall personality. In a more subtle way, interviewers use this question to see how well you can handle challenges.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where your ideas were strongly opposed. Describe the circumstances surrounding the situation and the goals that were to be achieved. Mention the ideas you gave and why you thought they would help make the project a success. Highlight the steps that you took to handle the opposition and the compromise that was reached. Finally, share the result and the lesson you learned.

16. What Assignment Was Too Difficult for You? How Did You Resolve the Issue?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what you consider as difficult and how well you can handle challenges and difficult situations including the strategies you use to overcome such difficult situations. In a more subtle way, interviewers use this question to see if you can make an honest assessment of yourself, admit when a task or assignment is beyond your capacity, and seek help where necessary.

To answer this interview question, recall a time in the past where you were given an assignment that was too difficult. Briefly explain the scope of the assignment, the goals you were tasked with achieving, and the aspect(s) of the project that proved too difficult. Highlight the action steps you took to find a solution to the difficulty. Finally, share the result you got and the lesson learned.

17. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake. (OR) Tell Me about the Last Mistake You Made.

Job interviews present you with an opportunity to impress the interviewers and show them why you’re the best candidate for the job, which makes it quite uncomfortable to talk about mistakes you’ve made in the past.

This interview question, believe it or not, presents an opportunity to impress the interviewers even though it doesn’t seem so because interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, honesty (to both yourself and to others), and your ability to learn from past mistakes and difficult situations.

To answer this question, start your response by mentioning a mistake you’ve made in the past (make sure it’s a professional mistake, not a personal one).

Give some details about the situation that led you to make the mistake. Mention the action steps you took to remedy the situation and the lessons you learned from the experience. When answering this question, make sure you don’t blame someone else for causing you to make the mistake.

18. Tell Me About a Time You Failed.

While this question is similar to question 76 above, it can be quite perplexing. Just like the question asking you to describe a time you made a mistake, interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, honesty, and ability to learn from not-so-pleasant experiences.

To answer this question appropriately, you need to understand the difference between a mistake and a failure. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a mistake is an act or judgment that is misguided or wrong. A failure, to paraphrase a quote from Jim Rohn, is a few mistakes/errors in judgment, repeated every day.

Your response has to start with you defining what you consider as a failure so you can give the interviewers some context. Recall a time in the past where something fairly important didn’t go right due to the actions you took (or didn’t take).

Give some details on the situation that led to the failure and why at the time you thought that was the best approach to take. Next, highlight the action steps you took to remedy the situation. Finally, share the lessons you learned from the experience.

19. How Do You Handle Failure?

Failure is inevitable in every endeavor and when interviewers ask you this question, it’s because they want to know how well you can maintain your energy, composure, attitude, and focus in the face of failure. They also use this question to know if you’ll be honest enough to admit a failure and how well you can learn from it.

You can answer this question by citing an example from your past when you came up short on the job. Give some details of the situation in order to give the interviewers context.

Highlight what you did that resulted in the failure. Finally, conclude with the steps you took to remedy the situation and the lesson you learned from the experience. Avoid putting blame on others for any situation surrounding the failure and focus your answer more on what you did to correct the failure.

20. How Do You Feel About Taking No for an Answer?

Persistence is one of the hallmarks of success in all areas of life. If you’re striving for success in any field/industry, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be rejected at one point or another. Interviewers ask this question to see how you handle rejection specifically and adversity in general. They want to know that you’re persistent enough to get through challenges and difficult situations but not to the point where you become overbearing and annoying.

You can answer this question by recalling a time in the past where you got “no” for an answer. Briefly explain the circumstances surrounding the situation. Next, describe the request you made or the idea you suggested that brought about the unfavorable response.

Highlight the action steps you took to try and get a favorable answer and the compromise (if any) that was reached. Finally, share the results that you got and the lesson learned. Your answer should show your ability to persist, but it should also show your ability to learn and adapt because in life you win some and you lose some.

21. Describe a Time When Your Boss Was Wrong. How Did You Handle the Situation?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how well you relate with your boss or other authority figures at work. They also want to gauge your ability and manner of approach in resolving conflict and difficult situations with a manager.

While it might seem like a nice trick to evade the question, doing so will only give off the impression that you lack the confidence to point out an error of judgment to an authority figure. However, you want to start your response by mentioning that you rarely ever correct your bosses and only do so when it’s very important. Doing so will prevent the interviewers from thinking of you as someone who always questions their boss’ actions.

Cite an example in the past when your boss was wrong, ideally one that inhibited you and your team’s ability to successfully complete a task or project. Highlight how you told your boss, emphasizing your tactful and polite approach. Share the result you got and lessons you might have learned from it.

22. How Would You Feel About Reporting to a Person Younger than You?

Having someone younger than you at a higher position over you can make the average person feel incompetent, insecure, and/or envious.

In a work environment, however, there’s not much you can do about having a boss that’s younger than you. Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’re comfortable working with a boss that is younger than you and if you’ll be co-operative and accord them the respect they deserve. They want to ensure that you’re not someone who resents a boss that’s younger than you.

One great way to answer this question is to tell the interviewers that you actually see having a boss that is younger than you as a good thing as it shows that the company hires and promotes employees based on skills and merit alone and some arbitrary trait-like age, race or gender.

You can begin your response by recalling a time in the past if you’ve had any, where you had to report to someone younger than you, and how good your working relationship with them was. If you don’t have any past examples, explain to the interviewer’s practical steps you can take to build a good relationship with the boss.

23. How Would You Feel About Working for Someone Who Knows Less Than You?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you perceive yourself. They want to know if you’ll feel like you’re humbling yourself by working for someone that knows less than you. This question also helps the interviewers to know how well you can respond to a situation where your manager, supervisor, or boss knows less than you.

They want to know that you’ll be cooperative enough to help them succeed which will determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job. This question can also help the interviewers get a sense of your overall personality.

Your answer to this question should demonstrate to the interviewers that you understand that knowledge comes in diverse forms. You need to make them understand that while you might know more than your manager in one area, your manager is very likely to know more than you in many other areas.

If you’ve had any past experience working with a manager who knew less than you, do well to share it. Avoid showing any sign of negativity or frustration or you might lower your chances of getting the job.

24. Describe a Time You Went Above and Beyond at Work.

Interviewers ask this question to know how invested you are in the success of the company you’re working for. This question allows them to understand your personality and work ethic, gain some insight into what motivates you, and gauge your willingness to do whatever it takes for the company to succeed.

To effectively answer this question, recall a time in the past when went above and beyond for the success of a project. Give the interviewers some background information surrounding the project, including the goal of the project. Explain to them why you believed going above and beyond for the project was appropriate for the project and how that led to the success of the company.

Next, you mention how you went above and beyond for the project, putting more emphasis on the most important things you did. Finally, share the successful outcome that was obtained as a result of the extra effort and end your answer with a statement to show that you’re always willing to go above and beyond if you believe it will contribute to the success of any project in particular and the company at large.

25. Describe a Time You Got Angry at Work.

Interviewers ask this question to know if you have control over your emotions and how much of it you have. They want to know that you can handle difficult encounters and tough situations in a professional way without losing your cool.

To answer this interview question correctly, you have to understand that the word “angry” in this context means “losing control”. You can start off your answer by mentioning that you typically don’t get angry at work as it can inhibit productivity.

Maintaining a cool, calm composure and speaking in an even or light tone, briefly recall a situation in the past where you were frustrated or disappointed by a colleague’s unprofessional behavior or a difficult situation (avoid any situation that involves a former boss or manager). Next, highlight the steps you took to regain control over your emotions. Finally, highlight the outcome that was obtained as a result.

Ensure that you spend more time on the solution rather than the frustrating situation so you don’t give the impression that you’re still holding on to some grudges.

26. Describe a Time When You Had to Give a Person Difficult Feedback.

Although this question is not commonly asked at interviews, you might want to prepare for it, especially if you’re seeking a management position. Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you can break the bad news to your colleagues or boss. This question also helps interviewers gauge how you react to and handle tough and challenging situations. To some extent, this question also allows the interviewers to test your communication skills.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where you had to give someone negative feedback.

Give a brief description of the events that produced negative feedback. Since negative feedback is hard to give, highlight the approach you took to soften the impact of the negative feedback (one of the most popular approaches is the sandwich method where you start on a positive note, insert the negative feedback, and end on a positive note). Finally, share the result you got and any lessons you learned from that experience.

27. Describe a Time When You Disagreed with Your Boss.

This question is tricky and can confuse you if you don’t understand the reason behind it. On one hand, you might wonder if the interviewers are just looking for a reason to disqualify you. On the other hand, you might feel that they’re giving you a hint that your boss-to-be is very disagreeable and prone to high conflict. 

Interviewers, however, ask this question to judge your level of responsibility, emotional maturity, and loyalty to the company when dealing with disagreements and conflicts with authority figures at work.

When answering this question, recall a time in the past when you had a valid reason to disagree with a manager or supervisor (valid as used here means an objective or logical reason that takes the emotion out of the equation, especially one that had to do with the success of the company). This will show the interviewers that you take responsibility for your opinions and are not afraid to express them, especially when it can benefit the company. Briefly explain what led to the conflict to give your answer some context.

Next, describe how you respectfully expressed your opposing opinion to the manager and why you thought your opinion will be more beneficial to the company. This will signal to the interviewers that you are emotionally mature to handle disagreement. Finally, if there was any positive result produced, you can share it with the interviewers.

28. What Do You Really Think about Your Previous Boss?

This question is tough to answer because, on one hand, you want to tell the truth, but on the other hand, you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re someone that is resentful or holds on to grudges. Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons.

They might want to:

  • see how you’ll respond to an invitation to rant.
  • see how you respond when put on the spot.
  • determine how well you get along with others.
  • gauge how you like to be managed.

To answer this question correctly, you need to understand that your answer says a lot about you than it does your former boss. Even though it might be difficult, you want to make sure you keep your answer positive. Highlight the positive traits (like goal-oriented or go-getter) your former boss had. If the interviewer presses for criticism, mention some less-than-positive traits (like being strict but not negative ones like being egocentric) and frame it in a positive way.

29. How Do You Like to Be Managed?

This is one question that presents an opportunity to give an unfiltered, honest answer. Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’ll be the right fit for the company’s management style. They also use this question to gauge how much you value a good working relationship.

To answer this question, you need to think through all the managers you’ve had in the past (both good and bad) and pick out the aspects of their managerial style that resonated with you and those that didn’t. What you’ll basically be doing is creating your ideal boss (more on that later).

Next, you have to carry out research into the company’s culture and management style and match aspects of their management style that overlaps with your management preference.

Start your response by highlighting those aspects of the company’s management style that overlaps with your managerial preference. Rather than giving a list of your managerial preferences, for every item on your list you mention, you can give an example of a time you experienced so as to give it more emphasis.

30. Would You Ever Lie for a Company?

This question can leave you conflicted between your personal values and integrity, and your loyalty to a company. Interviewers ask this question to understand what your core values are and how highly you hold them.

To answer this question, you need to let the interviewer know that as much as you want the company to succeed, you won’t sacrifice your personal values and integrity just for the sake of a short-term victory.

Also, point out to the interviewer that should you lie and something unexpected happens, the consequences of lying will be a whole lot more than the benefits of winning through lying.

End your answer by letting the interviewer know that you don’t judge those that choose to lie their way to the top, but you leave lying to those who choose that path.

31. What Has Been the Most Rewarding Experience of Your Career This Far?

Interviewers ask this question to find out what motivates you and what you consider to be the most important and rewarding about your career. This question also helps the interviewers to understand your work style and your overall personality.

The best way to answer this question is to match your most rewarding experience with an opportunity that exists within the company. To do this, you have to come up with a list of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had in your career. You then have to carry out research on the company’s culture and what the job requirements are.

Going through your list of most rewarding experiences from the top, find an opportunity that exists within the job requirements and the company that matches one of the most rewarding experiences, and use that as your answer.

32. What Has Been the Least Rewarding Experience of Your Career Thus Far?

Just like the question on the most rewarding experience of your career, interviewers ask this question to find out what motivates you and what you consider to be the least rewarding aspect of your career.

This question requires that you give a diplomatic answer. You don’t want to use this opportunity to rant about how much you hate your career or how you hated working for a former boss as this might give the impression that you’re a resentful employee who might also trash talk the company if given the opportunity.

To answer this question, you need to come up with a list of the least rewarding experiences you’ve had. You then have to carry out research on the company’s culture and what the job requirements are.

If the least rewarding experience in your career corresponds with the job requirements, eliminate it from the list and go on to the next one. Continue this process till you land on an experience that is not found in the company and mention it in your answer.

33. What Does Customer Service Mean to You?

Expect to be asked this question if you’re applying for a role like sales or customer service that involves interacting with customers. Interviewers ask this question to get your perspective on how you think customers should be treated. They want to know if your definition of customer service aligns with the company’s values.

To prepare your answer to this question, you have to define what customer service means to you. A good exercise you can use to define what customer service means to you is to think of a time in the past when you received exceptional customer service. Recall the feeling you had and use that to craft your definition of customer service. Next, carry out some research to find out the company’s values or their customer service policy. You can then create your response by defining customer service in your own words as it relates to the company’s values and customer service policy.

34. How Would You Deal with an Angry or Irate Customer?

While this is not a popular question asked at job interviews, expect to be asked this question, especially if you’re interviewing for a customer service position. Interviewers ask this question to test your knowledge of effective customer service and gain insight on your go-to strategies for conflict resolution with customers.

When answering this question, you’ll want to demonstrate to the interviewers that you empathize with the customer by listening to what they have to say without any judgment from you whatsoever.

Explain to the interviewers that you understand that whatever anger the customer is feeling is due to the problem they’re encountering and not you, and so you don’t take whatever they say personally. Include some specific skills like active listening, tact, clear and honest communication, civility, etc. that you’ve used in the past to successfully defuse an unpleasant interaction with an irate customer.

35. What Do You Find are the Most Difficult Decisions to Make?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to find out if you can face tough situations or make difficult decisions, and how well you can handle yourself while doing so. They also want to know the decisions you consider to be difficult as this will give them some insight into your personality.

To answer this question correctly, you have to understand that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. You can start your answer by recalling a time in the past when you were faced with a difficult decision.

Avoid any example that makes you come across as uncertain or indecisive. Highlight the steps you took and why you thought that was the best approach to use. This will make the interviewers perceive you as calm and confident when making difficult decisions. Finally, mention the result you got and the lessons you learned.

36. Have You Ever Had Difficulty Working with a Manager?

Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’re a team player and how well you get along and relate with your colleagues in general and your managers in particular. Beneath the surface, this question is used as a test to know if you’ll jump at any opportunity to speak negatively about any of your former managers.

You don’t want to tell the interviewers that you’ve never had difficulty working with a former manager (unless you’ve truly never had) as this will come off as inauthentic. You also don’t want to paint a bad picture of any of your former managers even though they were awful, or that might give the interviewers the impression that you’re resentful.

Your answer should talk about the traits of a manager that isn’t bad, but that was in some form of conflict with your personality. Share how you handled the situation and how a compromise was reached. Highlight the results of your action.

37. What Do You Expect from a Supervisor?

Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’ll be the right fit for the company’s management style. They want to know what your expectations of a supervisor are and if their management style can meet your expectations. This question also gives the interviewers insight into the kind of environment that will enable you to carry out your most productive work.

This question can be difficult to answer because you most likely won’t know the managerial style of your supervisors and if your answer doesn’t match their style, your chances of getting the job become slimmer. The best way to answer this question is to give contrasting qualities and show how you favor one over the other but you can always adapt to fit the managerial style of your supervisors.

38. Describe Your Best Boss.

This question helps the interviewers know the best managerial conditions that help you carry out your most productive work and if it fits the management style of the company. Interviewers also use this question to gain some insight into your personality and what you consider important in your professional relationships.

To answer this question, you have to understand that your answer is not about good or bad but about your preference in a boss. Start your response by recalling a former boss whose managerial style matched your personal preference.

Highlight aspects of his/her management style and for each of them, briefly explain why you consider that important and how it helps you carry out your most productive work for the success of the company.

39. Describe Your Worst Boss.

This question is really tough because on one hand, you don’t want to badmouth your former boss but on the other hand, you want to give a candid response to this question. This question helps the interviewers gain insight into your overall personality and work preferences. Interviewers also use this question as a test to see how you’ll respond to an opportunity to vent.

This question requires that you give a diplomatic answer. You don’t want to use this opportunity to rant about how awful a former boss is else you’ll give off the impression that you’re a resentful person.

To answer this question effectively, find aspects of a former boss’ managerial style that aren’t negative, but didn’t really fit how you liked to be managed. Mention how you addressed these with the boss and how (or if) a compromise was reached. This will show the interviewers that you’re professional and are willing to take steps to make the company succeed.

40. Describe Your Ideal Boss.

Answering this question can feel like metaphorically walking on a tightrope. Interviewers ask this question to find out if you have any problem with authority. They also want to understand if your expectation of a boss will match the management style of the company.

First off, you don’t want to give unrealistic descriptions of a superhuman boss. Before you answer this question, you have to carry out some research to determine the company’s organizational structure and management style. Next, write down the description of your ideal boss (you can be as unrealistic as you want).

Find aspects of the company’s organizational structure and management style that matches the description of your ideal boss and use that to craft your answer.

For each item you mention, explain why you consider it as important and balance your answer with contrast to show that you can always adapt when needed (eg working alone vs. in a team).

41. Describe a Time You Went Out of Your Way to Help Somebody.

Interviewers ask this question to know how much of a team player you are. They want to know if you’re invested enough in the team and the company’s success or if you’re selfishly interested in doing your work. This question allows them to gauge your personality and work ethic, and gain some insight into what motivates you.

To effectively answer this question, recall a time in the past when you went out of your way to help a former colleague or boss.

Give the interviewers some details on what the colleague or boss needed your help for (the need should be work-related). Explain to the interviewers how helping out was going to be inconvenient for you and/or not helping didn’t come with any consequence for you. Highlight why you choose to help out even though it wasn’t your problem. Finally, share the result you got.

42. Describe a Time When Your Work was Criticized.

Interviewers ask this question to know if you can handle criticism professionally without taking things personally. They want to know that you’re not defensive towards criticism and you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and improve. This question can also help the interviewer to better understand your overall personality.

To correctly answer this question, you need to understand that there’s no right or wrong response to this question. You can begin your answer by sharing examples from the past where you received constructive criticism for your work. You want to make sure that the examples you give don’t disqualify you from a role (e.g. if you’re interviewing for the position of a computer programmer, don’t use an example of when you might have mistakenly caused a server to crash).

Briefly describe what you did that brought about the criticism. Mention how you handled the criticism and what you learned from it. Highlight the action steps you took to improve on your work and share the result you got.

43. What Is the Biggest Criticism You’ve Received from Your Boss?

This is one of those interview questions that seek to point out some of your flaws, which makes it uncomfortable to answer. However, it presents a great opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your ability to handle criticism. They want to know that you can handle criticism and learn from your mistakes.

To a larger extent, this question helps the interviewers determine how well you can handle challenges and difficult situations and how you can use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

You can start your answer by mentioning the biggest criticism you’ve received from your boss. Briefly explain the task you were given and the circumstances that led to the criticism. Highlight the steps you took to improve in that area. Finally, share the results you got.

44. Do You Think You Could Have Done Better in Your Last Job?

Interviewers ask this question to understand your overall personality and how you respond to failure. They want to know if you can proactively identify your shortcomings and improve on them. This question can also help them spot your job-related weaknesses and make a better assessment of you.

For you to correctly answer this question, you need to know that your answer to this question shouldn’t be “no” or you risk coming off as arrogant. You need to understand that no matter the job you held or your level of expertise, there’s always room for improvement.

You can start your answer by telling the interviewers that you believe that no matter how well a job is executed, there’s always room for improvement and that you’re willing to improve on your job to become better. Mention aspects of your last job that you feel you weren’t so good at and how you think you can improve on those areas.

45. What Is Your Teaching Philosophy?

While this question is not commonly asked in job interviews, expect it to be asked if you’re interviewing for a leadership or teaching position. Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into your motivation behind your teaching duties and if they align with the organization’s values. They want to know if you have the personal skills, knowledge, and experience to fulfill your duties.

You can start your response with either a quote that deeply resonates with you or a list of values that gives you a deep sense of purpose as they relate to your teaching. You want to make sure that your teaching philosophy aligns with the values and needs of the organization. To make your answer more credible, give the interviewers some concrete examples of when and how you’ve implemented your teaching philosophy in the past.

46. How Would You Fire Someone?

While it is common to get asked about you being fired from a job, interviewers might ask you this question to gauge your emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and management skills, especially if you’re interviewing for a management position. They want to know if you’ll be willing to fire someone if you’re in the position to do so and if the need arises, and how you’ll do so while protecting both the reputation of the company and the privacy and rights of the fired employee.

You want to start your response by letting the interviewer know that you don’t consider firing someone as an issue that should be handled lightly. Let the interviewers know that you’ll want to first find ways to make sure things don’t get to the point of firing someone except for clearly inappropriate behavior like stealing.

Make the interviewers know that while you’ll be calm and empathetic when delivering the news, you’ll also be firm about it. If you have an example from the past where you fired someone, you can incorporate it into your answer.



18 Interview Questions About Teamwork and People Skills

  1. Are You a Team Player?
  2. Do You Prefer Working Alone or in a Team Environment?
  3. Would You Still Be Interested in This Job If You Knew, at Some Point in the Future, the Work Environment Would Change from an Individual Environment to a Team-Based Approach?
  4. What Makes a Team Function Successfully?
  5. How Do You Feel About Working in a Team Environment?
  6. Give Some Examples of Teamwork.
  7. What Kind of Personality Do You Work Best With and Why?
  8. Tell Me About a Rewarding Experience on a Team.
  9. Describe a Time You Worked With a Team, and the Project Did Not Go as Planned. 
  10. Describe the Relationship That Should Exist Between the Supervisor and Those Reporting to Him or Her?
  11. What Strategies Would You Use to Motivate Your Team?
  12. How Would You Handle it If You Were Working on a Project With Someone Who Had a Very Different Work Style to You?
  13. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Work With Someone Who Was Difficult to Get Along With
  14. If the People Who Know You Were Asked Why You Should Be Hired, What Would They Say?
  15. What Would You Contribute to Our Team Culture?
  16. How Would You Handle It If There Was a Problem With a Member of Your Team Not Doing Their Fair Share of Work?
  17. How Do You Deal With Differences of Opinion When Working on a Team?
  18. How Do You Handle Annoying Co-Workers?

Teamwork

1. Are You a Team Player?

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your interpersonal skills. Companies are looking to hire people who aren’t difficult to work with as this will lead to fewer issues and conflicts in the workplace. They use this question to understand your overall personality and determine how well you work with others.

To effectively answer this question, you have to realize that it’s not enough to say that you’re a team player; you need to include the skills you have that enable you to successfully navigate your working relationship in a team.

You can start your answer by specifying the types of interactions that you find interesting, or that you are particularly good at. You can then give examples from your past that shows when, where, and how you applied these skills, and the results you got. Try as much as possible to use an example that is relevant to the position you’re seeking.

2. Do You Prefer Working Alone or in a Team Environment?

Some companies and jobs require that you work in teams, while others don’t. Interviewers ask this question to know your work preference and how that will fulfill the needs of the position and the company.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. While you should give an honest answer, you have to realize that there are situations where you might need to work alone and other times when you’ll need to work in a team regardless of what the job entails. You should also consider the requirements of the job as well.

You can start your answer by telling the interviewers your preferred work. Cite examples in your previous jobs to back up your answer. Finally, explain to the interviewers that you can also work in the other work environment when needed.

3. Would You Still Be Interested in This Job If You Knew, at Some Point in the Future, the Work Environment Would Change from an Individual Environment to a Team-Based Approach?

Expect to be asked this question if you’ve already told the interviewers that you prefer to work in an individual work environment. Interviewers ask this question to find out if you’re a team player. They want to know that you’re capable of effectively collaborating and successfully executing projects that are assigned to a team you’re part of.

The interviewers might also ask this question because the company might be looking to transition to a team working environment and they want to know if you’ll be a good fit. This question, to a greater extent, helps the interviewers know how willing you are to adapt to change.

To answer this question, you can cite an example in the past where you worked in a team and successfully executed a project. Briefly explain the task that was assigned to the team. Highlight the steps the team took in executing the project and the role you played. Finally, share the results.

4. What Makes a Team Function Successfully?

Interviewers ask this question to find out your values around teamwork. They want to know if your values around teamwork align with that of the company, which can allow them to determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the position and company culture.

To effectively answer this question, you’ll have to prepare your response beforehand. This will require that you carry out research on the company to find out what their values are around teamwork.

Next, write down your own values on successful teamwork. Find areas in your list of values that overlap with that of the company and incorporate it in your answer. For each value around teamwork that you mention, cite examples in the past where you exhibited that value. In all, maintain a positive attitude when giving your response.

5. How Do You Feel About Working in a Team Environment?

Working in a team is almost guaranteed in any work environment. Even in work environments where the employees are required to work individually, there is still some level of collaboration that goes on. Interviewers ask this question to find out how much of a team player you are. They want to know that you’re capable and are willing to collaborate and successfully execute projects in a team environment.

To answer this question, you can recall a time in the past where you successfully executed a project as part of a team. Briefly explain the task that was assigned to the team and the goals that were to be achieved. Highlight the steps the team took in executing the project and the part you played in making the project a success. Finally, share the results.

6. Give Some Examples of Teamwork.

Most jobs require that you work in a team rather than in isolation. Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you can get along and work with other people. This question is used to gauge your interpersonal skills and understand your overall personality.

Your answer to this question should be positive and focus less on you and more on the team’s effort. To craft your response to this question, recall a time in the past when you worked in a team to achieve a particular goal. Provide some details on the team and the project, including the role you played in the team. Explain the goal the team was tasked to achieve and some of the challenges faced along the way.

Highlight the steps the team took to achieve the goal, placing emphasis on the things that helped to build and sustain the team dynamic. Finally, share the results you got and the lessons learned.

7. What Kind Of Personality Do You Work Best with and Why?

Some companies have some personality traits they particularly look for when hiring. Having this kind of personality can influence the work culture of the company and if you don’t enjoy working with these types of personalities, you might not be a good fit for the company culture.

Interviewers ask this question to find out which personality types you work best with, which will help them determine if you’re a good fit for the company. This question also helps the interviewers get a sense of how well you can get along and work effectively with others in a team environment.

Like most of the other interview questions, you’ll need to prepare your answer beforehand. Your first step will be to carry out some research to find out the traits the employers seek. A lot of times, you can find it in the job description.

The next step is to make a list of the personality types you like working with. Find out the personality traits that are common to both the company and your preference and prioritize them in your answer. When giving your answer, briefly explain why you enjoy working with each personality trait and cite examples where this has occurred.

8. Tell Me About a Rewarding Experience on a Team.

Interviewers ask this question to find out what you consider as important and the kind of success you value. This question also helps them get a sense of your overall personality and what motivates you.

Interviewers also use this question to understand your work style, determine if you’re a team player, and ascertain how well you can get along and work with others in a team environment.

To answer this question, write down a list of the rewarding experiences you’ve gotten from working in a team environment. Next, go over the job description to find out if there are any of these rewarding experiences that are available in the job. Pick the most relevant rewarding experience that is also included in the job description and incorporate it in your answer. Give examples from the past that exemplifies your answer.

9. Describe a Time You Worked with a Team, and the Project Did Not Go as Planned. 

This is one of those questions that seem sinister but if answered the right way, can be of huge advantage to you. Interviewers ask this question to understand how you deal with failure and adversity.

They want to know that you can tackle difficult situations without losing your calm, composure, and positive attitude, but more importantly, they want to know that you can learn from your failures and mistakes and make improvements. This question can also give the interviewers some insight into your character and personality.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where you worked with a team on a project that yielded unsatisfactory results. Briefly explain to the interviewers what the project entailed and the goals that were to be achieved. Next, mention the action steps that were taken by you and the team to correct the mistake. Finally, share the results you got.

10. Describe the Relationship That Should Exist between the Supervisor and Those Reporting to Him or Her?

You’ll most likely be asked this question if you’re interviewing for a job in a management role. Interviewers ask this question to find out how you think the relationship between a supervisor and his/her team members should be like. They want to know the behaviors and interactions that you deem as appropriate or inappropriate between a supervisor and a team member. This question can help the interviewers get your perspective on professionalism and the code of conduct for people in positions of authority.

To correctly answer this question, explain to the interviewers that while it’s okay to have a little bit of a personal relationship between a supervisor and his/her team members, the supervisor’s priority is business first.

Demonstrate to the interviewers that both relationships have to be separated with the professional relationship taking priority. Finally, explain to the interviewer that a supervisor’s relationship with his/her teammate should not in any way bias their judgment.

11. What Strategies Would You Use to Motivate Your Team?

This question is most likely going to be asked if you’re seeking a management position. In the life cycle of every project, there might be times when the team might feel down, especially for complex and difficult projects that require you to overcome countless soul-crushing failures. Having the ability to motivate a team to keep pushing during such hard times is a skill that every great leader should have. Interviewers ask this question to determine if you have the leadership skills required to motivate a team towards success.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past when you led a team through tough times. Briefly explain the task the team had to achieve and the circumstances surrounding the situation. Mention the number of challenges and difficulties that the team encountered.

Highlight the steps you took to motivate the team to keep working. Finally, share the result that was gotten and the lessons you learned.

12. How Would You Handle It If You Were Working on a Project with Someone Who Had a Very Different Work Style to You?

Everyone has a work style that is unique to them and this can be a challenge in a collaborative work environment. Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’re a team player. They want to know that you can set your differences aside and reach a compromise on how to collaborate effectively with your team in order to achieve a set goal.

You can start your response by recalling a time in the past when you worked in a team where someone (that someone can be you) had a significantly different work style from the rest of the team. Give some details on the task the team was working on and the goals that had to be achieved. Explain how each person’s work style differed from others, briefly explaining the benefits and disadvantages of each person’s work style. Highlight the compromises that had to be made in order to execute the project.

13. Tell Me About a Time When You Had To Work with Someone Who Was Difficult To Get Along with.

While everybody is expected to get along in a work environment, there are some people who are a lot harder to get along with. Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you can work with others regardless of how disagreeable they are. This question also helps the interviewers understand your overall personality and gauge if you’re actually someone who’s difficult to get along with.

You can answer this question by recalling a time in the past when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with.

Highlight the steps you took and the compromises reached that ensured a smooth collaboration and a better working environment with the person. Mention the results you got. If you don’t have an example from the past, you can outline some of the things you’ll do to improve collaboration if you find yourself in such a situation.

14. If The People Who Know You Were Asked Why You Should Be Hired, What Would They Say?

This question can catch you off guard (and it’s asked for this reason) if you’re not prepared for it. Interviewers ask this question to get you to think of something outside work. They use it as a personality test to know how you think your friends think of you. This question helps the interviewers gauge your level of self-awareness and how well you get along with others.

The key to answering this question is to recognize that the interviewer is not looking to hear something like “detail-oriented” or “strong work ethic” as this might not be a realistic answer that people who know you will give. Your answer should focus on your soft skills and interpersonal skills like “adaptability” and “great leader”.

You can start your answer by listing some of your interpersonal and soft skills, starting with the most relevant to the job and company. For each of them, you mention, tell a story from the past to give your answer more credibility.

15. What Would You Contribute to Our Team Culture?

The entire process of interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training new hires cost employers time, money, and other resources, and as such, companies don’t want to waste these resources by carrying out this process only to find out that the candidate was not a good fit for the company culture in the first place. Interviewers ask this question to ascertain if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture and if you can adapt to changes that will occur within the company as it grows and evolves.

Answering this question will require that you carry out research beforehand to find out the values of the company (you’ll most likely find this in the job description or the About page of the company’s website). When giving your answer, mention the core values of the company. For each core value, you mention, explain how you embody that value, and give one or two examples from the past where you’ve exhibited those values.

16. How Would You Handle It If There Was a Problem with a Member of Your Team Not Doing Their Fair Share Of Work?

Working in a team comes with its own challenges and frustrations. Working with team members who aren’t pulling their weights with regards to executing their fair share of work can create resentment among fellow team members. Interviewers ask this question to see how you’ll react if a teammate is not doing their fair share of work. They want to know that you can keep working harder to make the project successful regardless of the nuances of underperforming teammates. They also use this question to understand your conflict-resolution strategies and determine if you’ll be a good fit for the team.

Your answer to this question should demonstrate to the interviewers that you’re a solution seeker. Mention to the interviewer that if faced with such a situation, you’ll first of all understand the reason why that teammate is not doing their own fair share of work. Next, share the strategies you’ll use to resolve such a situation. If you have an example from the past that demonstrates this, share it with the interviewers.

17. How Do You Deal with Differences of Opinion When Working on a Team?

Working in a team guarantees that you’ll have differences in opinions. A lot of people, however, take offense when a different opinion is proffered and sometimes, they might see it as a personal attack. Interviewers ask this question to know how well you get along and work with others. They also use this question to see how well you can handle differences in opinions and viewpoints. They want to know that you value different perspectives and diversity of opinions. To some extent, this question gives the interviewers some insight into your conflict-resolution strategies.

Your answer should demonstrate to the interviewers that you value different opinions and viewpoints as they can help in coming up with better solutions. 

You can start your answer by citing an example in the past where you experienced differences in opinion. Briefly explain the task that was assigned to the team. Mention the differences in opinions that the team had. Highlight the steps taken to reach an agreement. Share the results that were gotten by the team and the lessons learned.

18. How Do You Handle Annoying Co-Workers?

A work environment is made up of people from different backgrounds with different personalities some of which can be annoying to work with. Interviewers ask this question to know if you’re easily irritated and how you can adapt and fit into the work environment. They want to know that you can get along with such personalities and efficiently carry out your work.

You want to start your answer by mentioning some of the behaviors that irritate or annoy you. Don’t tell the interviewers that no behavior annoys you as that will be a blatant lie and make the interviewers perceive you as being dishonest. The key here is to mention annoying behaviors that can interfere with your work and not personal pet peeves.

Next, demonstrate to the interviewers that you’re patient enough to work with coworkers that display these annoying behaviors, and you’re willing to politely and professionally confront them about the annoying behavior in order to sort things out.



15 Situational Interview Questions

  1. Describe a Situation Where You Had to Request Assistance on a Project or Assignment.
  2. How Have You Demonstrated Your Excellent Communication Skills?
  3. Describe a Situation Where You Demonstrated Flexibility.
  4. What Would You Do If You Made a Mistake That No One Else Noticed? (OR) Would You Address the Error and Risk Slowing Things Down or Ignore it to Keep the Project or Task Moving Forward?
  5. What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Perform a Task You’ve Never Done Before?
  6. What Do You Do If You Can’t Solve a Problem on Your Own?
  7. If You’re Working Towards an Urgent Deadline and Your Manager Asks You to Also Work on Another Equally Important Project, How Would You Prioritize Your Work?
  8. If Your Manager Has Assigned You Several Time-Sensitive Projects and You Realize You Won’t Able to Complete the Work in Time, What Would You Do?
  9. How Would You Handle a Situation Where You’re Required to Finish Multiple Tasks by the End of the Day?
  10. If Your Supervisor Asked You to Do Something That You Disagreed With, What Would You Do?
  11. Describe a Situation Where You Demonstrated Negotiation Skills.
  12. Can You Describe a Time When You Have Taken Initiative? What Was the Result?
  13. Tell Us About a Time Where You Have Demonstrated the Company’s Values to Achieve a Positive Outcome
  14. How Would You Respond If You Caught a Co-Worker Stealing from the Company?
  15. If You Found Out Your Company Was Doing Something Against the Law, What Would You Do?

Job Interview

1. Describe a Situation Where You Had to Request Assistance on a Project or Assignment.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your ability to work independently, but to also seek help and guidance when necessary. They want to know that you’re not too dependent on others when executing a task, but they also want to know that you’re humble enough to seek assistance when you encounter a difficulty that is beyond your capacity. This question also helps the interviewers get a sense of what you consider to be difficult.

You can start your answer to this question by recalling a time in the past where you were given an assignment that you couldn’t have reasonably completed on your own. Briefly explain the scope of the project and point out the aspect(s) that were beyond your capacity. Highlight the action steps you took to resolve the issue. Finally, share the result you got and the lesson learned.

2. How Have You Demonstrated Your Excellent Communication Skills?

Miscommunication and/or lack of communication can create a lot of issues which makes having strong communication skills a requirement for just about any job out there. This question is as straightforward as it can be. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your communication skill. They want to know that you can listen attentively, and speak calmly and confidently, using clear and concise words that will engage the person that you’re communicating with.

You can start your answer to this question by citing examples in the past where you displayed your communication skills. Highlight the strategies you use to ensure effective communication between you and the other party.

3. Describe a Situation Where You Demonstrated Flexibility.

Situations may arise where schedules and responsibilities undergo sudden, drastic changes due to unforeseen circumstances, which will require the team members to exhibit flexibility by readjusting and adapting to the situation. Interviewers ask this question to determine how flexible you are. They want to know that you can quickly adjust to any situation that arises without having any impact on your productivity. This question can also help the interviewers to gain some insight into your overall personality and ascertain if you can think on your feet.

You can start your answer by recalling a time in the past were some unforeseen circumstances led to responsibilities suddenly being reallocated to you or caused you to readjust your work schedule. Briefly explain the circumstances that led to the sudden change. Highlight the steps you took to quickly adapt to the situation. Share the results you got.

4. What Would You Do If You Made a Mistake That No One Else Noticed? (OR) Would You Address the Error and Risk Slowing Things Down Or Ignore It To Keep The Project Or Task Moving Forward?

Interviewers ask this question to assess if your ethics, values, and beliefs align with those of the company. They want to know if you’ll be honest enough to point out the error or you’ll sweep it under the carpet and move forward, hoping that nobody else finds out. This question can also help the interviewers to see how you react when put on the spot. It can also help the interviewers determine if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture.

While it might be tempting to tell the interviewers that you’ll address the error, consider that sometimes, speed is better than accuracy. They are more interested in your thought process than in the actual decision you’ll make. Your answer to this question should be able to demonstrate to the interviewers how you’ll weigh the pros and cons of both options and choose what’s best to ensure success. If you’ve encountered this in the past, share the example with the interviewers.

5. What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Perform a Task You’ve Never Done Before?

Once you’re employed for the job you’re seeking, you’ll most likely be tasked with assignments that are beyond your capabilities which means you’ll have a steep learning curve to learn new things. Interviewers ask this question to determine if you have problem-solving skills and assess how you can leverage them to learn new things. They want to know that you can approach new tasks intelligently and learn things fast enough to get started.

Your response should reflect the methods and strategies you’ll use to accelerate your learning curve. You should also demonstrate to the interviewers how you’ll tackle assignments that are beyond your knowledge and capacity.

6. What Do You Do If You Can’t Solve a Problem on Your Own?

When carrying out your job, you’re likely going to encounter problems that will prove too difficult to solve. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what you consider to be difficult, but more importantly, they want to know the strategies you’ll use to tackle problems that seem unsolvable to you. This question also helps them determine if you’re resilient and persistent enough to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems. They also use this question to see if you can admit your own ignorance and seek help when necessary.

To efficiently answer this question, recall a time in the past where you were faced with a problem that you couldn’t solve. Briefly explain the scope of the task assigned to you and the goals you were to achieve. Mention the problem that you faced that you couldn’t solve and explain why you couldn’t solve it. Highlight the steps you took to finally get the problem solved. Finally, share the result you got.

7. If You’re Working towards an Urgent Deadline and Your Manager Asks You to Also Work on Another Equally Important Project, How Would You Prioritize Your Work?

Interviewers ask this question to determine if you’re flexible or not and gauge your ability to intelligently and efficiently prioritize your workload in your schedule. They want to know that you’re hard-working enough to handle a heavy workload and deliver on time, but you’re also smart enough to give priority to the work that will produce the best return.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where you were working towards an urgent deadline and your manager added another equally important project to your workload. Describe briefly the requirements of both projects, including the goals to be achieved and the deadlines you had to meet. Explain to the interviewers how you prioritized your workload and why you prioritized it the way you did. Share the results you got and the lessons you learned.

8. If Your Manager Has Assigned You Several Time-Sensitive Projects And You Realize You Won’t Able to Complete the Work in Time, What Would You Do?

Cooperation and effective communication between employees and their managers is key to building a productive employee-manager relationship.

Interviewers ask this question to understand how much you value your relationship with your manager/supervisor. On one hand, they want to know that you’re hard-working enough to want to complete any task given to you. On the other hand, they want to know that you can be honest when you’re given more than you can handle, especially when there’s a tight deadline to meet. They also use this question to understand how you effectively prioritize your work.

Your answer to this question has to reflect on how much you value your relationship with your managers/supervisors and demonstrate your work ethic. You can begin your answer by recalling a time in the past where you were given several time-sensitive projects than you could handle. Mention the different projects you were given and the goals you were to achieve.

Next, highlight the steps you took to negotiate your workload with your manager and the compromise that was reached. Also, point out the way you prioritized your work to ensure that you completed the most important work first. Finally, share the results you got.

9. How Would You Handle a Situation Where You’re Required to Finish Multiple Tasks by the End of the Day?

If you get asked this question during an interview, it’s safe to bet that multitasking will be a part of your daily routine. Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you organize your schedule, prioritize your work, manage your time, and leverage your problem-solving skills to deliver results on time. They want to know how well you can multitask and still deliver quality work. This question also helps the interviewer get a sense of how well you can perform under pressure.

To effectively answer this question, recall a time in the past where you were required to finish multiple tasks before the end of the day. Mention the tasks that were assigned to you and the goals you were expected to achieve. Highlight the steps you took to prioritize your work to enable you to produce excellent results on the deadline. Finally, share the results you got.

10. If Your Supervisor Asked You to Do Something That You Disagreed with, What Would You Do?

This question is quite perplexing and can create internal conflict because, on one hand, you want to show the interviewers that you can comply with your manager’s order, but on the other hand, you don’t want to compromise your strongly held beliefs and principles, neither do you want to do anything unethical or illegal just because you were ordered to do so by your manager. Interviewers ask this question to see how you’ll react to it. They want to gain some insight into your methods of dealing with disagreements and misunderstandings and the extent to which you’ll go just to make yourself heard.

Your answer to this question should demonstrate your go-to strategies for conflict-resolution. It should also reflect your willingness to carry out your manager’s orders, as long as you don’t have to do anything unethical or illegal or compromise your values, beliefs, and principles. If you have any example of this happening in the past, include it in your answer to give it more credibility.

11. Describe a Situation Where You Demonstrated Negotiation Skills.

This is a pretty straight-forward question. Expect to be asked this question especially if you’re seeking a management position. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your persuasiveness and your ability to influence others. They want to know how well you can effectively communicate and present alternatives in order to reach an agreement or compromise that will be beneficial to all the parties involved.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where you had to convince others to make a decision that was clearly the right one to make (choose one that had some data to prove its legitimacy). Briefly describe the circumstances surrounding the situation and the goal(s) you wanted to achieve. Highlight the steps you took to persuade the parties involved to make the decision you wanted them to make. Finally, share the results you got.

12. Can You Describe a Time When You Have Taken Initiative? What Was the Result?

Every employer desires employees that can take initiative and solve problems that arise without being told to do so. The problem with this question is that it’s vague, confusing, and might be interpreted differently from what the interviewers are looking for. Interviewers ask this question to better understand your personality and the factors behind your motivation to work. This question helps the interviewers weed out mediocre candidates and accept those that are exceptional.

To answer this question, think of a time in the past where you came up with an idea or solved a problem that wasn’t necessarily assigned to you but had to be done. Give a brief explanation of the circumstances that surrounded the situation. Highlight the steps you took to execute the idea or fix the problem, including the challenges you faced along the way. Finally, share the results you got.

13. Tell Us About a Time Where You Have Demonstrated the Company’s Values to Achieve a Positive Outcome.

Interviewers ask this question to find out how well you’ve upheld and exemplified the company’s values. They want to know what you can offer the company and what the company can do for you which can help them to determine if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture. This question also helps them understand your overall personality.

To answer this question, you’ll have to carry out research to find out the values the company upholds. Next, think of different times in your career where you have upheld these values and the results you have gotten. Share any result you’ve gotten as a result of upholding these values.

14. How Would You Respond If You Caught a Co-Worker Stealing from the Company?

Theft in the workplace (or anywhere for that matter) is bad news for both the company and its employees. Interviewers ask this question to how you’ll react to this question and to understand how you’ll respond should such a situation arise. They want to know that you’ll be loyal enough to the company to report such a situation.

In your answer, make the interviewers understand that leveling an accusation of theft (or any accusation for that matter) is a pretty serious thing to do and as such, you’ll ensure you have ample evidence that verifies your claim. Next, explain to the interviewers that you’ll report the theft to either the Human Resources department, or you’ll arrange for a face to face meeting with your boss.

If you have an example in the past where you had to report a coworker’s theft, share it with the interviewers. Ensure that you don’t give the impression that you’ll either cover up for the person or you’ll approach the person first since that can lead to severe unforeseeable consequences.

15. If You Found Out Your Company Was Doing Something against the Law, What Would You Do?

Interviewers ask this question to evaluate your character, core values, and ethics. In a nutshell, they want to know if you have integrity, and they also want to gauge how willing you are to compromise your values or risk getting into trouble with the law for the sake of the company’s success.

Most companies won’t hire you if you think it’s OK to commit crimes or cover-up for criminals. You can start your answer by mentioning your core values to the interviewers.

Next, mention the steps you’ll take to get the problem resolved internally (this will signal that although you want to keep to your core values, you’re also loyal enough to want to resolve the issue internally before involving external authorities). Finally, explain that if all else doesn’t work, you’ll take the matter to the appropriate authorities. If you have any examples from the past where you chose integrity over blind loyalty, you can share them with the interviewers.

When answering this question, avoid coming off as overly vigilant. Also, avoid sharing specific names or places in your example.



78 Interview Questions About You & Your Personality

  1. What Makes You Uncomfortable?
  2. What Are Some Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?
  3. What Is One Negative Thing Your Last Boss Might Say About You?
  4. Are You a Risk-Taker?
  5. Do You Have Any Serious Medical Conditions?
  6. Do You Think There Is a Difference Between Hard Work and Smart Work?
  7. What’s the Difference Between Good and Exceptional?
  8. How Quickly Do You Adapt to New Technology?
  9. How Would a Good Friend Describe You? (OR) What Character Traits Would Your Friends Use to Describe You?
  10. How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?
  11. What Would the Person Who Likes You Least Say About You?
  12. Are You More of a Leader or a Follower?
  13. Have You Considered Starting Your Own Business?
  14. Would You Describe Yourself as a Nice Person?
  15. Do You Have a Personal Mission Statement?
  16. What Do You Like Most About Yourself?
  17. What Is Your Least Favorite Thing About Yourself?
  18. If You Could Change One Thing About Your Personality, What Would it Be?
  19. Tell Us One Thing About Yourself You Wouldn’t Want Us to Know
  20. Tell Me About a Project You Worked on That Required Heavy Analytical Thinking.
  21. If You Had to Choose One, Would You Consider Yourself a Big-Picture Person or a Detail-Oriented Person?
  22. Do You See Yourself as an Ethical Person?
  23. Tell Me About a Situation in Which You Faced an Ethical Conflict
  24. Give Me an Example of Your Creativity.
  25. Are You an Organized Person? (OR) How Do You Keep Yourself Organized?
  26. What Is a Typical Day Or Week Like?
  27. What Is Your Favorite Movie of All Time and Why?
  28. If Someone Was Making a Movie About Your Life, What Genre Would it Be, Who Would Play You and What Would Be the Title?
  29. If You Were a Brand, Which Would You Be?
  30. If You Could Choose One Superhero Power, What Would it Be and Why?
  31. What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?
  32. On a scale of 1 to 10, How in Control of Your Own Destiny Do You Believe You Are?
  33. If You Could Be Anywhere in the World Right Now, Where Would You Be?
  34. If You Were a Piece of Fruit What Would You Be?
  35. If You Were a Car, What Type Would You Be?
  36. If You Only Had 6 Months to Live, What Would You Do With the Time?
  37. If You Were Hosting a Dinner Party and Could Invite Three People, Dead or Alive, Who Would You Invite?
  38. If You Could Be Any Colour, What Colour Would You Be?
  39. What Are 3 Skills or Traits You Wish You Had?
  40. What’s Your Dream Job?
  41. Describe Your Ideal Company.
  42. Describe Your Ideal Company Culture.
  43. What Characteristics Do You Think Make a Successful Manager?
  44. What Have You Done to Improve Yourself in the Past Year?
  45. How Do You Want to Improve Yourself in the Upcoming Year?
  46. Who Are Your Heroes?
  47. What Is Your Favorite Memory from Childhood?
  48. What Is Your Favorite Website?
  49. When Were You Most Satisfied in a Previous Job?
  50. What’s the Last Book You Read?
  51. What Is the Best Job You Ever Had?
  52. What Is Your Greatest Fear?
  53. What Was Your Greatest Failure, and What Did You Learn from It?
  54. What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned from a Mistake You’ve Made?
  55. What Is the Most Important Thing You Learned at a Previous Job?
  56. If You Won a $10 Million Lottery, Would You Still Work?
  57. What Projects Have You Worked on That Have Been Particularly Interesting?
  58. What Was the Last Project You Led and What Was the Outcome?
  59. What 3 Things Are Most Important to You in Your Job?
  60. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
  61. How Has Your Job Affected Your Lifestyle?
  62. What Will You Miss About Your Previous Job?
  63. How Do You Manage Your Time, Even on the Busiest Days? How Do You Prioritize Your Work?
  64. How Do You Deal With Tight Deadlines?
  65. Tell Me About a Time When You Failed to Meet a Deadline. What Did You Do?
  66. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Learn Something New Within a Short Deadline.
  67. What Is Your Management Style?
  68. Who Has Impacted You the Most in Your Career and How?
  69. What Is Your Biggest Regret and Why?
  70. Do You Have Any Children? (OR) Are You Planning on Having Any Children?
  71. What Are Your Pet Peeves?
  72. Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?
  73. Why Did You Choose Your Major Or Degree?
  74. What Is Your Ideal Company Size?
  75. What Is a Book That Everyone Needs to Read and Why?
  76. How Do You Respond to Change? Do You Find it Difficult to Adapt to New Situations?
  77. Do You Have a Mentor? (OR) Who’s Your Mentor?
  78. What Do You Do in Your Spare Time?

Job Interview Questions

1. What Makes You Uncomfortable?

Interviewers ask this question to ascertain how well you can tackle tough and uncomfortable situations. They want to know that you can remain cool and composed under pressure or in the face of difficult challenges. This interview question also helps interviewers understand your limits and how far you’re willing to push beyond your comfort zone.

You can start your answer by mentioning one to three situations that make you uncomfortable (you want to make sure that none of these uncomfortable situations are essential aspects for the position you’re seeking).

Give examples from the past where you’ve encountered these situations (avoid examples that affect you emotionally as this will make the interviewers doubt your ability to overcome uncomfortable situations).

Highlight the steps you took (or you usually take) to successfully handle the uncomfortable situations.

2. What are Some Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?

This question presents another great opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewers. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and understand your overall personality and work ethic.

To effectively answer this question, you need to understand that the question is asking for what your last boss would say, not necessarily what he or she has said in the past. This means your answer has to be both realistic and relevant to the job. You can start your response by mentioning three to five qualities that you have in order of descending relevance to the job.

For each quality, you mention, give examples in the past in order to give your answer more credibility.

After giving an example in the past where you displayed such quality, link it to the current job you’re seeking and show how it can help you succeed at the job.

Try not to exaggerate your qualities or you might raise red flags as a dishonest or delusional employee.

3. What Is One Negative Thing Your Last Boss Might Say about You?

This question is one of those questions that are uncomfortable to answer. In interviews, you’re supposed to be selling yourself as the best candidate for the job, which makes answering this question particularly difficult. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of honesty and self-awareness, and to know if you’re willing to learn from your past mistakes and improve.

You have to realize that the interviewers don’t expect you to be perfect, so an unrealistically positive answer like “Nothing! My boss will say I’m a perfect all-star employee” will raise red flags, and you’ll come across as dishonest. You want your answer to be honest, yet strategic.

You can start your answer by mentioning a negative quality that satisfies the criteria of not being essential to the job and that you’re working on improving.

Mention very briefly, a time in the past when you displayed negative quality and were called out by your last boss. Highlight the steps you’ve taken to improve.

4. Are You a Risk-Taker?

This question is quite tricky to answer and your response will depend on the position you’re applying for and the industry you’ll (hopefully) be working in.

Some jobs (like investment banking) require that you take risks on a daily basis while some other jobs (like aviation) have zero-risk tolerance. Interviewers ask this question to test if you’ll reveal a time in the past when you took a risk and it didn’t work out as you expected.

This interview question also helps them gain insight into your personality and gauge your appetite and willingness to take calculated risks (emphasis on “calculated”).

This question requires a strategic answer that shows that you’re willing to take calculated risks, but only if the odds are in your favor. It has to show that you can intelligently assess risky situations and make the best decision that you can.

If the position requires taking risks, mention an example in the past where you took a risk and it paid off. In your answer, focus more on how you assessed the situation that led you to make the decision.

If the position has zero-risk tolerance, mention examples in the past where you’ve correctly obeyed safety precautions.

5. Do You Have Any Serious Medical Conditions?

This question doesn’t have any hidden subtext to it. Some jobs are just not conducive for people with certain health conditions, and employers are concerned about the safety of the employees at work.

Interviewers ask this question to know if you have any health condition that could potentially affect your performance at work. This can help them prevent accidents that can negatively impact the employees’ morale, the company’s productivity, and interest rates, and can make the company vulnerable to lawsuits.

In most cases, you’re not required to answer this question.

If you have any health condition that won’t have any significant impact on your ability to carry out your work productively, you can either choose not to answer this question or simply say “No”. Otherwise, you might want to reveal it to the interviewers.

6. Do You Think There Is a Difference Between Hard Work and Smart Work?

Companies are looking to hire employees who work both smart and hard. They want employees who can get the most done with the least amount of resources (which include time, money, and effort). They, however, also want those that are willing to work long hours if needed. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your resourcefulness and efficiency and understand your work ethic.

Your answer to this question should show the interviewers that you’re someone who thinks smart and works hard.

Begin your answer by sharing examples in the past where you worked both hard and smart. Mention how you planned and why you choose your perspective when planning.

Highlight how hard you worked because it was necessary to do so. Finally, share the results you got.

7. What’s the Difference between Good and Exceptional?

Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into how you define good and exceptional. They’ll use your answer to measure if your benchmark for good and exceptional is up to standard with that of the company. This can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for both the job and the company’s culture.

You can start your answer by defining what you think the difference between good and exceptional is. Next, mention some qualities (like reliability, hard work, punctuality, etc) that make a good employee. Continue by mentioning some qualities (like passion, creativity, the willingness to go above and beyond, etc) that make for an exceptional employee.

Point out to them that good should be the minimum level that every employee should be at while striving to be exceptional. Finally, share an example in the past where you demonstrated exceptional behavior. Be cautious when sharing this example to avoid coming off as arrogant.

8. How Quickly Do You Adapt to New Technology?

Technology has penetrated and maybe even disrupted just about every industry that exists today. This is due to the fact that technology makes things faster, easier, cheaper, better, and more efficient. The technology implemented in organizations needs to be regularly upgraded, and sometimes, completely replaced. This means employees need to learn, unlearn, and relearn how to use these technologies, and they have to do so quickly.

Interviewers ask this question to know if you’re willing to adapt to new technology or you prefer being stuck in the past. They also want to know if you can adapt quickly without any decline in your work or productivity.

Your answer to this question should (obviously) be that you adapt very quickly to new technology without slowing down on your productivity. However, your answer shouldn’t end there. You can share a time in the past where new technology was introduced in your workplace. Mention some strategies you used to get acquainted with the technology.

Highlight how you were able to still retain your productivity while quickly adapting to the new software.

9. How Would a Good Friend Describe You? (OR) What Character Traits Would Your Friends Use To Describe You?

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and how well you get along with others. This question can also allow them to gain insight into what people close to you think about you. Rather than understanding your work habit or ethic, interviewers use this question as a personality test.

While this question isn’t difficult to answer, keeping a certain structure will make it more credible and impactful. Your answer should highlight your great personality traits and also include some not-so-positive, yet harmless personality traits you have in order to strike a balance. You don’t want to sound too perfect or you risk coming off as insecure, dishonest, or delusional.

You can start off your answer by mentioning two to five positive personality traits your friends like about you. For each personality trait, you mention, give an example in the past where you’ve exhibited such traits and how such traits can help you succeed in this position.

Next, mention no more than two not-so-positive traits that your friends have pointed out to you and the steps you’ve taken to improve.

10. How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your self-perception and to determine if you’re a people-oriented person that easily gets along with others. This question allows the interviewers to get a sense of what your previous boss and coworkers think of your personality, work style, and aptitude. This allows them to determine how well you’d fit into the company’s culture. They can also use this question to compare your self-assessment to that of your references.

Your answer to this question should be as honest as possible as chances are that they’ll contact your previous work and ask questions about you. If there happens to be a significant mismatch with your answer, your chances of getting the job will be slimmer.

Your answer should start with three to five positive things your previous boss and coworkers used to describe you (especially from a performance review) in descending order of relevance to the job and company. For each positive trait, you mention, give an example of a time in the past when you exhibited the trait.

Next, mention a few less-than-positive traits that your previous boss and coworkers have confronted you about and the steps you’ve taken to improve.

11. What Would the Person Who Likes You Least Say about You?

Believe it or not, this question is less about the person that likes you the least and more about you, which presents a great opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your self-awareness and how accurately you perceive other people’s perception of you. This question helps the interviewers understand the self-image you’re projecting to other people.

Your answer to this question should essentially highlight the positive traits and qualities that you have in a not-so-positive light. In preparing your response to this question, make a list of all your positive traits, and rank them in descending order of relevance to the job.

Next, reframe those positive traits in a way that sounds less-than-positive (like reframing persistence as being overbearing). Finally, share examples in the past where you demonstrated these traits.

12. Are You More of a Leader or a Follower?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your personality.

Your answer to this interview question will depend on if the job you’re applying for and the rank you’ll assume in the company’s org chart. While it might be tempting to answer that you’re more of a leader because employers are looking for employees that can take responsibility, what the interviewers are actually looking for is someone who’s a blend of both a great leader and a great follower. They want to know that you can adapt and rise to the occasion if necessary.

Your answer needs to first and foremost, explain to the interviewers that you’re a good blend of a leader and a follower. Where your answer will lean into this question will depend on the role you’re applying for.

If you’re seeking a management position, you’ll want your answer to lean towards you being more of a great leader. However, if you’re interviewing for a more “subordinate” role like a junior software developer, your answer should lean towards you being more of a follower.

13. Have You Considered Starting Your Own Business?

While on the surface this question might look like a way to gauge how self-motivated you are, interviewers actually ask this question to gain some insight into your personal views, core values, characteristics, and plans for the future, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for both the position and company culture.

To correctly answer this question, you need to understand that this is not a “yes” or “no” question, even though it looks like it is.

If your answer to this question is a plain “yes”, it might raise concerns of disloyalty and steal of the company’s intellectual property and trade secrets.

A “no” on the other hand, can give the impression that you lack confidence in your skills and abilities.

You can begin your answer to this question by telling the interviewers that while you might have had the thought in the past to start a business, you’ve come to the conclusion that your skills will have more impact as an employee rather than in a business.

Finish off by highlighting the relevant skills that you have that will position you as the best candidate for the job.

14. Would You Describe Yourself as a Nice Person?

This question might startle you if you’re not expecting or prepared for it. Interviewers ask this question to determine how suited you are for both the job and the company’s culture. They also use this question as a test to see how you’ll react to unexpected situations (or in this case, unexpected questions).

While your knee-jerk reaction to this question is to say that you’re a nice person, also consider that being nice can be both beneficial and detrimental. Not being a nice person might mean that you’re difficult to get along with while being too nice can mean that you’re a pushover that has very weak boundaries, which is unsuitable for tough jobs, especially management positions.

Your answer to this question will depend on the position you’re seeking and the company’s culture. You can determine whether or not the company needs a nice person from the job description.

Regardless of what the job description entails, your answer should demonstrate to the interviewers that you’re both nice/compassionate and firm/tough, depending on the situation.

Give examples of when you’ve displayed compassion and firmness, putting emphasis on the trait that is required for the position you’re seeking.

15. Do You Have a Personal Mission Statement?

Expect to be asked this question, especially if you’re interviewing for a leadership position. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your self-perception and career goals and to determine how well you’ll fit into the company’s culture. They want to know your motivation behind your career and how committed you are to your career in the long run.

Your answer to this question will have to be the point where the company’s mission statement and your personal and professional goals overlap. This requires that you carry out research to find out the mission statement of the company.

Next, list out your personal and professional goals you want to achieve. Find the areas that overlap and incorporate them into your answer.

16. What Do You Like Most About Yourself?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your core values and morals and how well they’ll fit into the company’s culture. They also want to find out your personal traits that will ensure your success in the job.

You need to remember that your answer to this question should be professional. The interviewers don’t want to know that you can chug a keg of beer in one minute. You can start your answer by highlighting some of the personality traits that you like that are also relevant to the job.

For each personality trait, you mention, give an example in the past where you exhibited this personality trait to give your answer more credibility.

Finally, explain how this personality trait can help you succeed in the position you’re seeking. Make sure your answer is honest else it might backfire in the future. Also, don’t exaggerate or go overboard with your answer or your answer might lack credibility.

17. What Is Your Least Favorite Thing About Yourself?

Interviewers ask this question to get some sense of how you perceive yourself and to gain some insight into your overall personality. They want to know some flaws you have and the steps you’ve taken to improve on them. This question can also help them to determine how well you’ll fit into the company’s culture.

Your answer to this question shouldn’t be one that automatically disqualifies you from getting the job. You want to pick a quality or trait that is not essential to the job and that you’re also taking steps on improving.

You can start your answer by sharing what you consider the least favorite personality trait that you have. Give some examples of times in the past when you exhibited such a personality trait and the effects it has had.

Highlight the steps you’ve taken to improve. Finally, share the results of your improvement. Your answer should focus more on the steps you’re taking to improve and less on the least favorite personality trait.

18. If You Could Change One Thing About Your Personality, What Would It Be?

This question is a modified version of the question on your greatest weakness and can be stressful to answer. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and your willingness to improve and become better.

This interview question also helps the interviewers see how you react under pressure. They want to know that you can gracefully handle stressful situations without losing your composure.

The best way to answer this question is to choose a personality trait that:

  • You’re still struggling with
  • Is somewhat relevant to the position, and
  • You’re in the process of getting better.

This of course requires that you carry out research on the requirements of the job and the company’s culture. Briefly share an example in the past where you’ve exhibited this personality trait and how it has hindered your growth. More importantly, highlight the steps you’ve taken to improve.

19. Tell Us One Thing about Yourself You Wouldn’t Want Us to Know.

This question is probably the most uncomfortable interview question there is and it is almost guaranteed to catch you off guard and startle you. Why would the interviewers be asking you to tell them something you don’t want them to know? I mean, if you wanted them to know, you would have told them yourself. As sinister as this question might seem, interviewers ask it to find out a mistake you’ve made in the past that has changed your life for the better. They also use this question to see how you respond under pressure.

When this question is asked, there’s the likelihood that all sorts of inappropriate thoughts will pop into your head. You shouldn’t blurt it out. Instead, you need to prepare your answer before the interview.

Craft your answer by thinking of an embarrassing mistake you’ve made in the past (preferably a professional one) that yielded catastrophic results.

Next, mention the steps you took to overcome the situation and the better results you got. Finally, share the lesson you learned.

20. Tell Me About a Project You Worked on That Required Heavy Analytical Thinking.

This is a pretty common question and you should expect to be asked this question, especially if you’re interviewing for a job (like a business analyst) that requires heavy analytical thinking. Interviewers ask this question to gauge your ability to think analytically, which will help them determine if you’re qualified enough for the job. They want to know that you have the analytical prowess to tackle problems that come with the job.

This question presents an opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. You can start your answer by mentioning a project you worked on that required heavy analytical thinking.

Briefly describe the circumstances surrounding the situation, the tasks that were assigned to you, and the goals you were tasked to achieve.

Highlight the steps you took in solving the problems. Finally, share the results you got. Your answer should place more emphasis on the steps you took to solve the problem.

21. If You Had to Choose One, Would You Consider Yourself a Big-Picture Person or a Detail-Oriented Person?

This is one of the most common interview questions you can get asked and it is a tricky question because regardless of what the question says, employers are looking for candidates who are both big picture and detail-oriented. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your personality which will help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job and company. They want to know that you can be detail-oriented enough to produce quality work without losing sight of the big picture.

Since the interviewers are looking for candidates that possess both qualities, you need to start your answer by explaining to the interviewers that you can be both detail-oriented and a big picture thinker, depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Depending on the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for, your choice between being detail-oriented and big picture focused should position you as the best candidate for the job. If you have an example in the past where you exhibited the trait that’s more relevant to the job, share it with the interviewers.

22. Do You See Yourself as an Ethical Person?

Corporate responsibility is increasingly being demanded from companies and as such, employers are looking to employ ethical candidates who can uphold the values of the company.

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what your core values and moral principles are. They want to know you have integrity and you’re willing to uphold your core values and moral principles, especially when times are hard.

By now you already know that your answer to this question should be some variation of: “Yes. I’m an ethical person”.

However, your answer should not stop there.

You need to recall examples from the past where you’ve acted in an ethical way. You can begin the example by sharing the situation you found yourself in and the circumstances that surrounded it. Next, highlight the factors that would have caused you to carry out unethical practices and the things you did instead to uphold your ethics. Finally, share the results you got and the lessons you learned.

23. Tell Me About a Situation in Which You Faced an Ethical Conflict.

This is a very tough question to answer because even though there might be some generally accepted rules of ethics, what one person might consider unethical or immoral might differ from others.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your ability to discern ethical issues and to gain some insight into how you react when faced with such situations. They basically use this question to gain some insight into your core values and moral principles. This question also helps the interviewers gauge how well you can handle difficult situations.

To answer this question, recall a time in the past where you were faced with a clear unambiguous ethical conflict (this doesn’t have to be anything serious or life-changing) where you had the professional responsibility to respond. Briefly describe the circumstances surrounding the situation. Mention the factors that brought about the ethical conflict and how you chose to be ethical. Share the results you got.

24. Give Me an Example of Your Creativity.

Creativity is one of the most desirable traits that employers look for when recruiting, which makes this one of the most common questions you should expect to be asked. Interviewers basically ask this question to gauge your level of creativity. They want to know how well you can come up with creative solutions to problems that can help them to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company.

This question presents a great opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. You can start your answer by recalling a time in the past where you proffered creative solutions to problems.

Begin by briefly sharing the details of the project and the goals you were to achieve. Mention some constraints and/or difficulties that you faced. Highlight the process you used to come up with creative solutions to the problem. Finally, share the result you got.

25. Are You an Organized Person? (OR) How Do You Keep Yourself Organized?

The ability to organize and allocate your energy, time and resources are critical to your success in just about any job you find yourself in. Your organization skills allow you to work efficiently, which can lead to greater productivity.

Interviewers ask this question not only to determine how organized you are but to gain some insight into how you keep yourself organized. This can help them predict how successful you’ll be in the job and determine how valuable you’ll be as an employee.

You can start your answer by telling the interviewers that you’re an organized person. Next, share some of the tools and habits you use to keep yourself organized. Explain exactly how you keep yourself organized, including the strategies you use to manage your time. Finish off by sharing some examples from the past to give your answer more credibility. When giving your answer, avoid sounding rigid or inflexible.

26. What Is a Typical Day Or Week Like?

This question is particularly tricky because there’s no such thing as a typical day at work since each day comes with its own challenges. Interviewers ask this question as a way to gauge your level of organization. They want to gain some insight into how you organize your schedule, time, energy, workload, etc in order to produce your best quality work in the shortest amount of time possible.

A great way to start off your answer to this question is to point to the interviewers that there is no such thing as a typical day at work, sharing different scenarios you’ve experienced in the so-called “typical day”.

Next, explain how you schedule your time and prioritize your workload, highlighting that you prioritize and complete the most important work first. You can share examples from the past that demonstrate your answer.

27. What Is Your Favorite Movie of All Time and Why?

This question can seem sinister because you might mention the wrong movie, maybe one that some or all of the interviewers detest, which can decrease your chances of landing the job. However, it’s not as sinister as it seems because interviewers ask this question just to know more about you, gain some insight into your personality and determine how well you’d fit into the company’s culture.

To correctly answer this question, you have to realize that there’s really no right or wrong answer to this question. You also have to realize that the movie you mention is not as important as why you consider it as your favorite of all times. You can start your answer by mentioning the movie you consider your favorite movie of all time.

Highlight the reasons why you love that particular movie more than other movies, going into important details of the movie that make it interesting to you. Make sure you don’t lie about your favorite movie as this might give the impression that you’re spineless and lack confidence in yourself.

28. If Someone Was Making a Movie About Your Life, What Genre Would It Be, Who Would Play You, And What Would Be the Title?

Just like the question on your favorite movie of all time, interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture. This question can also help the interviewers gauge your level of self-awareness and your perception of yourself and your life in general.

To correctly answer this question, you have to realize that there’s really no right or wrong answer to this question. You also have to realize that the genre you choose, the actor you pick to play you, and the title of the movie are not as important as why you chose them.

You can start your answer by mentioning the title you’d give the movie, the genre it’d be and the actor that you think will portray your character most accurately.

Finish off by mentioning the reasons why you chose the title, genre, and actor that would portray you. However, you choose to answer this question, ensure you don’t lie in a bid to give an impressive answer as you’ll come off as inauthentic.

29. If You Were a Brand, Which Would You Be?

This question is just another question that interviewers use to get to know you better. They use this question to gain some insight into your personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture. This question can also help the interviewers gauge your level of self-awareness and your perception of yourself and your life in general. They want to know aspects of yourself that you see in other brands.

To correctly answer this question, you have to realize that there’s really no right or wrong answer to this question and that the brand you choose is not as important as why you chose it, although you want to make sure that you don’t choose any dubious brand or one that has lost the favor of the public.

You can start your answer by mentioning the brand of your choice. While it’s advisable to choose a well-known brand, you can also choose lesser-known brands, however, you need to explain to the interviewers what the brand is all about.

Next, highlight two to three attributes that are relevant to the job that you share with the brand. Share some examples in the past where you exhibited these attributes.

30. If You Could Choose One Superhero Power, What Would It Be and Why?

While this question might seem like it’s intended to throw you off balance, it actually presents a great opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Interviewers ask this question to determine what quality, trait, or attribute that you consider to be your biggest selling point. This can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the position.

In order to effectively answer this question, you need to carry out some research on the company’s culture and the requirements of the job in order to determine the number one trait that you possess that will be the most relevant to the position you’re seeking.

To craft your answer to this interview question, begin by mentioning the superpower you’ll choose.

Next, link that superpower to the job and how it can help you succeed in the position. Finally, share examples in the past where you exhibited that quality.

31. What are Your New Year’s Resolutions?

This question can be somewhat difficult to answer because it requires you to admit and sharing aspects of yourself that are not yet up to par, or at least need to be improved on. Interviewers ask this question in an attempt to gauge your ability to recognize areas for self-improvement and to set realistic and achievable goals that will help you improve.

This interview question helps the interviewers know what area you feel like you need to improve on. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into factors that motivate you.

In your answer to this question, it’s best you keep your resolutions focused on your career, although you can share some personal resolutions, as long as they don’t have the potential of disqualifying you from the job.

You can start your answer by sharing (no more than) three of your new year’s resolutions. Next, share the plan you’ve put in place and the action steps you’ll take to accomplish them. Finally, explain how achieving these New Year’s resolutions will help you become better in your job.

32. On a scale of 1 to 10, How in Control of Your Own Destiny Do You Believe You Are?

Interviewers ask this question to assess your sense of personal control and effectiveness over the outcomes of your life. They want to know how much you think you control your destiny.

While it might be tempting to tell the interviewers that you believe that your destiny is one hundred percent under your control, doing so might give them the impression that you’re delusional. Employers are looking for employees who believe that they have some control over their destiny as it signals that they can take initiative. However, they don’t want a neurotic control freak who can’t handle unforeseen circumstances.

Your answer to this question should strike a balance. It should give the interviewers the impression that you can assess situations, make plans, prepare ahead, execute on the plan, and take responsibility for the results.

33. If You Could Be Anywhere in the World Right Now, Where Would You Be?

Even though it might not seem this way, this question presents a great opportunity to show your interest and enthusiasm for both the job and the company. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your overall personality, your interests, and passions, and the motivating factors behind your work.

While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, there is a right and wrong way of answering it. Your answer to this question should demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company to the interviewers. You can start off your answer by telling the interviewers that you are right where you need to be.

Mention some of the great opportunities that the job and company provide that you’re looking forward to taking advantage of. However, you choose to answer this question, make sure you don’t mention something like you wanting to go on some extravagant vacation.

34. If You Were a Piece Of Fruit What Would You Be?

This question can be quite perplexing as you might mention the wrong fruit which can reduce your chances of landing the job. Fret not, because this is actually a straight-forward question.

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your personality which can help them determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the job and the company’s culture. They want to know what fruit you think best describes your character and personality. This question also helps them to gauge your ability to think on your feet and see how well you can handle high-pressure situations.

The fruit you choose in your answer to this question is not as important as why you chose it. You can begin your answer by mentioning the fruit that you think best describes aspects of your personality that are relevant to both the job and the company.

Next, explain why you think that fruit best describes your personality, highlighting the aspects of your personality that the fruit embodies and how they can help you become successful in the job. Finish off by sharing examples in the past where you’ve exhibited these personality traits.

35. If You Were a Car, What Type Would You Be?

Just like the questions on what piece of fruit you’ll be and what brand you’ll be, this question is asked by interviewers to gain some insight into your personality which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company.  This question also helps them to gauge your ability to think on your feet and see how well you can handle high-pressure situations.

The car you choose in your answer to this question is not as important as why you chose it. You can begin your answer by mentioning the car that you think best describes aspects of your personality that are relevant to both the job and the company.

Next, explain why you think that the car best describes your personality. Highlight the aspects of your personality that the car embodies and connect them to how they can help you become successful in the job. Finish off by sharing examples in the past where you’ve exhibited these personality traits.

36. If You Only Had 6 Months To Live, What Would You Do with the Time?

Interviewers ask this question to find out the factors that motivate you both in your career and your life. They use this question to gain insight into the things you consider most important to you. This interview question can also help them gain some insight into your interests and passions.

Knowing these motivating factors can help the interviewers know whether or not you’ll be a good fit for both the job and the company. If you finally get employed, this information can help your employers know how best to position you in the company so you can produce the best work possible.

While it might be tempting to mention things like going on a vacation or partying nonstop, your answer should focus more on the impact you’ll like to have on the world through your work.

You can start off your answer by mentioning the things between three to five things you’d do with that time (a good rule of thumb is to mention at least two professional things and no more than two personal things).

Next, explain why you chose those things to do highlighting how important they are to you. Finally, to give your answer more credibility, share some examples in the past where you were engaged in these things.

37. If You Were Hosting a Dinner Party and Could Invite Three People, Dead or Alive, Who Would You Invite?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your interests and passions and the things that make you tick. This question can also give the interviewers some insight into the personality types you work best with. To a larger extent, this question can help the interviewers determine how well you’ll fit into the company’s culture.

To effectively answer this question, you need to understand that your reasons for picking those you pick are more important to the interviewers than the people you pick.

You can start your answer by mentioning the three people you’d invite to the dinner party. For each guest, you mention, highlight the reasons why you’ll invite them to the party. Make sure you’re honest in your answer instead of lying just to impress the interviewers as they’ll be able to smell your inauthenticity from miles away.

38. If You Could Be Any Colour, What Colour Would You Be?

Interviewers ask this question just to gain some insight into your overall personality.

To correctly answer this question, you need to pick a color that embodies some of your best qualities, not just any random one that you think is pretty or is your favorite.

You can start your answer by mentioning the color that best represents your personality.

Next, explain why you chose that color, highlighting some of your best and most relevant qualities that the color represents. Explain how those qualities can help you succeed in the job.

Finally, share some examples in the past where you exhibited those qualities.

You might get bonus points if the color you pick is the same as that of the company’s brand. However, don’t just mention the company’s color as you might come off as inauthentic.

39. What Are 3 Skills or Traits You Wish You Had?

This question can definitely induce stress because while interviews are supposed to be about you selling yourself as the best candidate for the job, this question requires that you admit your areas of inadequacy.

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into some areas where you’re not up to par. They want to know that you have a high level of self-awareness and humility to admit areas of inadequacy and take steps to improve. This question can also help the interviewers determine if you’ll be a good fit for the job and company.

To answer this question, you need to carry out research on the job requirements and the company’s culture. You can start off your answer by mentioning three positive traits that you have the opposite, yet also positive traits (like introversion and extroversion). Next, show some appreciation for the skills or trait, while also highlighting the benefits that the opposite of it that you possess brings.

Finally, mention the steps you’ve taken to learn the skill or trait. Avoid sounding like an extremist in your answer. Demonstrating that you’re too self-critical can signal a lack of self-confidence while not admitting traits that you wish you had can come off as arrogance.

40. What’s Your Dream Job?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into what you envision your dream job to be like. They want to know that this job you’re seeking is in line with your goals and ambitions which can help them to determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the job. This question can also help the interviewers find out your interests and passions as well as the motivating factors that drive you.

To effectively answer this question, you need to go through the job description to find opportunities that the job and company offer. Next, list out things that will make up your dream job. The key to answering this question is to find common ground between your dream job and the opportunities that the job you’re seeking presents.

You can begin your answer by sharing the aspects of your dream job that overlap with the opportunities present at this job. For each point, you mention, briefly explain why that is important to you.

41. Describe Your Ideal Company.

This question is quite tricky. On one hand, if you blatantly mention attributes that the company already has, you might come off as inauthentic and desperate to impress. On the other hand, if you mention attributes that the company doesn’t have, you might be seen as delusional. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you envision your ideal workplace. This can help them determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the company.

For you to effectively answer this question, you need to understand that the interviewers are not looking for an answer based on pure fantasy. Instead, they are looking for an answer that is grounded in reality and hopefully matches what the company can provide. This means you have to carry out research to find out opportunities that exist in the company.

Next, list out all the attributes of your ideal company.

Find attributes of your ideal company that overlap with that of the company you’re interviewing with. Start your answer by mentioning the most relevant aspects that overlap. Avoid cliches as you might come off as unimaginative.

42. Describe Your Ideal Company Culture.

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what your ideal company culture is. They want to know if your ideal company culture aligns with that of the company which can help them to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture.

Answering this question effectively requires that you carry out research on the company’s culture. The next step is to write down how you envision your ideal company culture.

The key is to find common ground between your ideal company culture and that of the company that you’re interviewing with. When giving your answer, start off by mentioning those aspects that overlap. For each aspect, you mention, briefly explain why that is important to you.

43. What Characteristics Do You Think Makes a Successful Manager?

Expect to be asked this question if you’re seeking a management position. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what your work style is and the factors you think can make for a successful manager.

If you’re seeking a management position, this can help them to determine if you have what it takes to succeed in the position. If you’re seeking a non-management position, this question can help the interviewers determine if you know what it takes to make a manager successful and how willing you’ll be to contribute to your manager’s success.

Effectively answering this question requires that you carry out research on the company’s management practices. If you’re seeking a non-management position, your answer needs to demonstrate that you can adapt to different management styles.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a management position, you can discuss qualities that make a good manager, especially those that are in line with the company’s management practices and the requirements stated in the job description. 

44. What Have You Done to Improve Yourself in the Past Year?

Interviewers ask this question in order to gauge your willingness to grow and improve yourself. They are curious to see how proactive you are at developing and improving yourself both personally and professionally. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into the factors that motivate you to produce your best work.

Answering this question effectively means preparing a response beforehand. When crafting your response, list out the top three most relevant courses and/or training you’ve undergone in the last three years. For each course or training you list, briefly state the benefits you got from it.

If the interviewers aren’t familiar with any course or training you mention, you can briefly explain what it’s all about, what you learned, and how it broadened your horizon. Your answer will impress the interviewer more if the courses and/or training you underwent was an initiative to develop yourself instead of being mandatory or company-sponsored.

45. How Do You Want To Improve Yourself in the Upcoming Year?

Just like the question on what you’ve done to improve yourself in the past year, interviewers ask this question in order to gauge your willingness to grow and improve yourself. They are curious to see how proactive you are at developing and improving yourself both personally and professionally. This question can also help the interviewers understand your priorities and gain some insight into the factors that motivate you to produce your best work.

When answering this question, it’s best you keep your answer focused on your career, although you can share some personal development training you plan on undergoing, as long as they don’t have the potential to reduce your chances of getting the job.

You can start your answer by sharing (no more than) three courses and/or training you to plan on undergoing. For each course or training, you mention, briefly explain what it entails and the benefits you’ll get from it, especially how it will make you better at your job.

46. Who Are Your Heroes?

Interviewers ask this question to determine the attributes, qualities, traits, and characteristics that you value the most. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into your core values and your overall personality.

For your answer to be effective, you need to realize that just like the question on the three people – dead or alive – that you’d invite to your dinner party, the people you consider as your heroes are not as important as why you consider them as your hero.

You can start off your answer by listing (no more than) three heroes that possess attributes, qualities, traits, and characteristics that are relevant to the job and company’s culture. For each person you mention, briefly explain why you consider them your heroes, highlighting the traits they possess that are relevant to the job.

47. What Is Your Favorite Memory from Childhood?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your childhood background, which can help them to better understand you as a person. This question can also help the interviewers gain more insight into your interests, passions, core values, and overall personality, which can help them determine if you’d be a good fit for the company.

To give an effective answer to this question, you need to realize that what the interviewers are more interested in is the lessons you got from the experience than the actual experience itself. This implies that the lesson you got has to be relevant to both the job and the company. This also further implies that you need to go through the job description and carry out research on the company’s culture to find out their core values. Make a list of your core values that were formed from a childhood experience.

Also, make a list of the company’s core values that you got from your research. The key is to find the company’s core values that overlap with your own values that were formed from your childhood. Use the childhood experience from the overlapping core values as your answer.

48. What Is Your Favorite Website?

Interviewers essentially ask this question to get a sense of how you spend your free time. This question can also give them some insight into your interests, passions, overall personality, and your willingness to improve yourself, which can help them determine whether or not you’re a good fit for the company. To some extent, this question lets the interviewer know whether you’re up-to-date with your knowledge.

To effectively answer this question, your answer needs to demonstrate your curiosity and interest in gaining new knowledge. It also needs to reflect on how your knowledge can be used to fulfill the needs of the company, which implies that you need to carry out research on the company’s culture and needs.

The first step to crafting your answer is making a list of the company’s values and the requirements of the job in descending order of relevance.

Next, make a list of all your favorite websites. The goal here is to find out which website can equip you with the relevant skill and knowledge to succeed in your job.

49. When Were You Most Satisfied in a Previous Job?

This question is quite tricky because if you were satisfied with a previous job, why did you leave? Interviewers ask this question to find out what motivates you and what you consider to be most important and most satisfying about your work. This question also helps the interviewers to understand your work style and your overall personality which they can use to determine whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture.

The trick to answering this question is to first of all know what the company’s needs are. The key is to match the most satisfying aspect of your previous job with what is obtainable within the company.

To do this, you have to come up with a list of the most satisfying experiences you’ve had in previous jobs. You then have to carry out research on the company’s needs, culture, and the requirements of the job. Use this as your answer.

Elaborate a little bit by providing an example that proves your performance at your last job. End your answer with how those aspects prepared you for this position and why the conditions are better at this company.

50. What’s the Last Book You Read?

Interviewers basically ask this question to gauge your interest in gaining more knowledge. Not only do they want to know that you’re interested in gaining and updating your knowledge, but they also want to know how frequently you do so. This question can also reveal your interests and passion for the interviewers.

The key to answering this question is realizing that your answer doesn’t have to be career-related, neither does it literally mean the last book. What this question is looking for is the most recent book you’ve read, be it self-improvement, poetry, or some career-related book.

You can begin your answer by mentioning the name of the book you read most recently. Give a little detail on what the book is all about. Next, explain why you chose that particular book.

Finally, describe the benefits you’ve gotten from reading the book and relate that to how it can help you to be successful in the job.

51. What Is the Best Job You Ever Had?

This question presents an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for this job. Interviewers ask this question to not only know the job you like best but to also know the reason why you liked it. This can help them get some sense of what your interests, passions, and motivations as regards work are. This can help the interviewers determine if you’re a good fit for the job. To some extent, this question gives the interviewers some insight into your personality.

The key to answering this question is to find a job that you enjoyed working at that is similar to the one you’re interviewing for. Bonus points for you if they also provided similar opportunities.

Before crafting your response, you need to go through the requirements of the job as stated in the job description.

Next, make a list of all the jobs you’ve had in the past in descending order of liking. Find which of the jobs has the most in common with the one you’re interviewing for and use that as your answer.

52. What Is Your Greatest Fear?

This question is quite difficult to answer. Interviewers ask this question to know what fears you have and how they might affect your ability to execute your responsibilities. They use this question to judge how likely you are to cope with situations that may arise in the workplace. This question can also give the interviewers some insight into your overall personality and character.

The key to answering this question is picking a general fear that does not in any way hamper your work or one that you’re taking steps to overcome. You can begin your answer by mentioning your greatest fear. Explain to the interviewers why the fear occurs. Unless the interviewers insist, avoid mentioning any work-related fear, like fear of failure.

53. What Was Your Greatest Failure, and What Did You Learn from It?

In every endeavor you undertake, you’re guaranteed to encounter some failure along the way. Whether you believe it or not, this question presents a great opportunity for you to impress the interviewers because they ask this question to gauge your level of:

  • self-awareness,
  • honesty with yourself, and, 
  • humility and willingness to learn from past failures.

They want to know that you’re humble enough to admit your failure and take responsibility for it. To a larger extent, this question helps the interviewers to determine how well you can handle challenges and difficult situations.

You can start your answer by citing an example in the past where you failed. Share some details of the project and the goals you were to achieve. Mention the action you took that led to the failure of the project and why you thought it was the best thing to do at the time.

 

Highlight the steps you took to try and remedy the situation. Finally, share the results you got and the lessons learned. Avoid mentioning a failure that will automatically disqualify you from the job.

54. What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned from a Mistake You’ve Made?

Interviewers ask this question to assess your willingness to overcome setbacks and your ability to learn from your past mistakes and failures. Just like the question on your greatest failure, they want to know that you’re humble enough to admit your mistakes and take responsibility for them.

The key to answering this question is to realize that the mistake you made is not as important to the interviewers as the lessons you learned from it. You can begin your answer by mentioning the mistake you made.

Give some details on the circumstances that surrounded the situation. Explain why you thought your actions that led to the failure were the most appropriate at the time. Highlight the action steps you took to remedy the situation to the best of your abilities.

Finally, share the result you got and the lessons you learned. In your answer, avoid any mistakes that can raise red flags and reduce your chances of getting the job.

55. What Is the Most Important Thing You Learned at a Previous Job?

Interviewers ask this question not only to know some of the learning experiences you’ve had but more importantly, how those learning experiences can help you succeed in this job you’re seeking.

The key to answering this question is to realize that the learning experience doesn’t necessarily need to be positive. In fact, negative learning experiences can have a stronger impact on you that you can grow from and can keep the lesson deeply rooted inside of you.

You can begin by mentioning the most important thing you learned at a previous job. Give some details on the circumstances surrounding the situation. Explain to the interviewers how that lesson has benefited you. Finally, share how you’ve used the lessons you learned to grow.

56. If You Won a $10 Million Lottery, Would You Still Work?

You might think this question is thrown at you to reveal your spending habit to the interviewers, but you’ll be wrong to think so. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your interests and passions and your motivation and attitude towards work.

Understand that to effectively answer this question, you don’t have to lie, but you also don’t have to reveal the whole truth either. You can start your answer by mentioning to the interviewers how $10 million will be a huge financial relief for you. Continue by expressing your interest and passion for the job and how winning the lottery won’t change that.

Finally, highlight some of the opportunities that are available at the job and company that attracted you to the job in the first place. However you choose to answer this question, don’t pretend to the interviewers that you don’t care about money, because you do.

57. What Projects Have You Worked On That Have Been Particularly Interesting?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into projects you consider interesting. This can help the interviewers better understand your interests and passions. This question can also help them determine if you have the relevant experience to be successful in your job.

When answering this question, keep in mind that your answer has to reflect what is obtainable in the job and company. This means you have to carefully read through the job description and carry out research on the company. You can begin your answer by choosing a project that is similar to what the job entails. Give some details about the project, including the goals that were to be achieved.

Highlight aspects of the project you found interesting and why you found them interesting. Mention the steps that were taken to execute the project. Conclude by sharing the results that were gotten.

58. What Was the Last Project You Led and What Was the Outcome?

Interviewers ask this question to gauge how much of a team player and team leader you are. They want to know how well you get along with others, and your ability to lead and motivate your team to success. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into your management style which can help them determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company culture.

To answer this question, think of a relevant project that you led to success. Briefly give some of the details about the project, including the goals that were to be achieved.

Next, highlight the action steps that were taken to successfully execute the project, including the methods and techniques you used to motivate your team through the most difficult times. Finally, share the results you got.

59. What 3 Things are Most Important to You in Your Job?

This is one of the most straightforward interview questions you will ever be asked. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into the things you consider to be most important to you. They want to know what your priorities are and if they’re obtainable in the company, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company.

The key to answering this question is to find that sweet spot where your priorities and the opportunities that are available at the job overlap. This will require that you go through the job description and carry out some research on the company.

The first step to take when crafting your answer is to make a list of the most important things to you in descending order of priority. Next, going through the list from the top, find three things on it that are available at the company you’re interviewing with, and use them as your answer. For each item, you mention, briefly explain why it is important to you.

60. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?

This question presents an opportunity to let your personality shine and one that you should expect to be asked, especially if you’re interviewing with a company that values work-life balance. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your interests and passions outside work. This can help them to better understand your overall personality.

While there’s nothing wrong with mentioning any interest you have outside of work, you can be more strategic by mentioning hobbies that equip you with skills and qualities (like basketball making you a better team player) that can help you succeed in the job. You can begin by mentioning your hobbies (not more than five of them).

For each hobby, you mention, briefly explain why you enjoy engaging in it. Highlight the skills and qualities that the hobby equips you with and connect that to how you can succeed in the job. If you have an example in the past where you exhibited those skills and qualities, do well to share it with the interviewers.

61. How Has Your Job Affected Your Lifestyle?

Interviewers ask this question as a way to gauge your satisfaction with your job. They want to know if the job negatively affected your lifestyle in a significant way. This helps them to determine whether you’ll be a good fit for the job.

The key to answering this question is to realize that this is not an invitation to rant. Talking about how terrible your current or previous boss is will paint a negative picture of you more than it will of your boss. To be on the safe side, mention only positive lifestyle changes that have occurred as a result of having the job.

If you feel more courageous, you can share a vaguely negative change (like not being able to watch some of your favorite tv shows) or one that has a significantly more positive side to it.

62. What Will You Miss About Your Previous Job?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your interests and your motivation towards work. They want to know the aspects of your last job that you find interesting and if they’re available at the company, which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company.

If you hated your last job, this is not the time to rant about it or mention that you’ll only miss the money as this will raise some red flags. The key to answering this question is to find opportunities that are both available in your previous job and the one you’re interviewing for, or one that was available in your previous job but is not necessarily significant (like free food).

This requires that you carry out research on the company to find out opportunities that are available. You can start by mentioning the things you’ll miss about your last job (not more than five). For each of the things you mention, briefly explain why you’ll miss it. Finish off by mentioning that from your research, you found out that those opportunities exist, or you can mention the new opportunities the job provides that you’re excited about.

63. How Do You Manage Your Time, Even on the Busiest Days? How Do You Prioritize Your Work?

Having the skill and discipline to effectively manage your time can lead to higher productivity. Interviewers ask this question to understand how you prioritize your work and schedule your time in a way that enables you to produce the best result possible on time. This can help them to predict and estimate your value as an employee. To some extent, this question allows the interviewers to gauge how well you can perform under pressure.

The key to answering this question is to realize that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, although there’s a right and wrong way to answer this question.

Your answer should demonstrate how you:

  • prioritize your work, distinguishing between things that are urgent and those that are important.
  • handle distractions.
  • ensure that you meet deadlines.
  • avoid multitasking.
  • maintain a work-life balance.

You can begin your answer by mentioning the tools and systems you use to manage your time, be it a to-do list app, a color-coded spreadsheet, or any other tool. Next, explain how you prioritize your day, including how you distinguish and prioritize tasks that are urgent and/or important, and how you break down large tasks into smaller bits.

Mention how you readjust your schedule when unforeseen circumstances arise. Highlight how you also make out time for other areas of your life. Finish off by sharing relevant examples from the past that demonstrate your answer.

64. How Do You Deal with Tight Deadlines?

Regardless of the job or position you’re interviewing for, meeting up with deadlines is important, or else you won’t last long in the job. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you manage your time so you can meet up with tight deadlines. They want to know that you can deliver high-quality results while working under pressure. They also want to know how well you can collaborate with your team members to meet up with a tight deadline.

The key to effectively answering this question is to ensure that your answer is specific enough.

You need to highlight your specific tactics and strategies you use to manage your time so you can meet up the deadline. You can begin your answer by recalling a project that was assigned to you or your team. Give some details about the project, including the role you played, the goals that were to be achieved, and the tight deadline that was to be met.

Highlight the steps you took in managing your time and prioritizing your work in order to get the most important things done first. Also, include the steps you took to reduce distractions and increase focus. Finally, share the result you got.

65. Tell Me About a Time When You Failed to Meet a Deadline. What Did You Do?

There are times when no matter how hard you try, you just won’t meet up the deadline. Just like the question of how you deal with tight deadlines, interviewers ask this question to see how you manage your time in order to produce the best quality of work. They also use this question to determine how well you work under pressure. This question can also give the interviewers insight into how well you can handle failure.

You can begin your answer by mentioning a project where you failed to meet the deadline. Briefly explain the components of the project, the goals that were to be achieved, and the tight deadline you had to meet. Next, briefly share the steps you took to execute the project and how you failed to meet the deadline.

Highlight the steps you took to remedy the situation. Finally, share the results you got. Your answer to this question should focus less on the failure to meet up with the deadline and more on the steps you took to turn the situation around. Also, avoid sharing any example where missing the deadline came at a huge cost.

66. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Learn Something New within a Short Deadline.

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how quickly you can familiarize yourself with important skills and concepts for the success of a project or the company in general, even when it may seem difficult. They want to know that you’re willing to put in the time and energy necessary to quickly learn important skills while under pressure, no matter how difficult it seems. This question also helps the interviewers determine how well you can work under pressure.

This question presents an opportunity to highlight your ability to quickly adapt when the need arises.

You can begin your answer by mentioning a time in the past where you had to quickly learn new skills and/or concepts so that you can successfully execute the project. Briefly share some details of the project, including the circumstances surrounding the situation and the goals that were to be achieved. Mention some of the new skills and/or concepts you had to learn.

Highlight the steps you took to quickly learn the skills and/or concepts. Share the results that you got. Your answer should focus more on the steps you took to quickly learn the skill.

67. What Is Your Management Style?

You should expect this question if you’re applying for a management position. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your management style. Knowing your management style and how it fits that of the company will help them determine if you’ll be a great fit for the company.

To effectively answer this question, you need to carry out research to determine the management style of the company. You can start by defining what you think good management is. Next, describe some qualities of a good manager in a way that fits the management style of the company. Finally, if you have examples in the past where you exhibited this style of management, you can share them with the interviewers.

68. Who Has Impacted You the Most in Your Career and How?

Interviewers ask this question to ascertain how willing you are to take advice from others. They want to know that you have the humility to recognize that you don’t know it all and will listen to those that have gone through this journey before you. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into your overall personality.

The key to answering this question is to realize that those you mention that impacted your career is not as important as why you chose them and how they impacted your career.

To be on the safe side, your answer to this question should highlight those that had a positive impact on your career. However, if you’re feeling bold, you can mention those that had a negative impact on your career which helped to make you stronger and propel you forward to success.

You can begin your answer by mentioning the top five people that had the most impact on your career. For each person, you mention, highlight the skills they taught you, the challenges they helped you overcome, and/or how they helped you learn from your mistakes. Finally, share how these things have helped you become successful in your career.

69. What Is Your Biggest Regret and Why?

This question is a scarier version of the question on your biggest failure. Interviewers ask this question to see if you’re the type of person who can self-correct and improve when you make mistakes. They also use this question to determine if you can take responsibility for your actions and the results they produce, both good and bad. To a larger extent, this question helps the interviewers understand how you deal with failure.

The key to answering this question is to choose a professional/career regret. However, note that just because the question is asking you about your biggest regret doesn’t mean that you have to mention your biggest regret in your answer. Your answer needs to demonstrate that you learned lessons from the experience that have helped you make better decisions.

You can begin your answer by explaining to the interviewers that you don’t live in regret. Mention a significant regret you’ve had that you’ve turned around and made better. Briefly explain why you took the actions you took at the time. Finally, highlight the steps you’ve taken to turn the situation around.

70. Do You Have Any Children? (OR) Are You Planning On Having Any Children?

While this question is illegal to be asked, it’s mostly asked with good intentions. Having children, for a lot of people, comes with the possibility of increasing distractions while also draining you of your energy, which can lead to a reduction in productivity.

Interviewers ask this question as a way to gauge your loyalty to the company and how committed you’ll be to making the company a success. They want to know that you can put in the necessary time and effort required to succeed at the job.

While you have every right to decline to answer this question since it’s illegal, it’ll be best if you give an answer that demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job. Your answer also needs to communicate your commitment to the job and the success of the company.

71. What Are Your Pet Peeves?

We all have things that irritate us. Interviewers ask this question to know more about the things that annoy you in the workplace. They also use this question to know how you can resolve conflict should a co-worker – or worse, your manager – do something to put you off. This question can also help the interviewers gain some insight into your overall personality which can help them to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture.

Before you craft your answer to this question, you need to carry out research on the company’s culture to avoid mentioning a pet peeve that happens to be an integral part of the company’s culture. You can begin your answer by mentioning your top five work-related pet peeves (that do not disqualify you from the job). For each pet peeve, you mention, explain why it bothers you.

Your answer should focus on behaviors and not people that behave a certain way. Also, keep your answer impersonal and objective, and avoid coming off as too extreme in your aversions.

72. Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?

Companies are usually skeptical of hiring candidates with criminal histories and this makes interviews particularly challenging for these candidates. Interviewers ask this question to know if you have any criminal history, but more than that, they want to know if and how you’ve changed and improved on yourself.

The key to answering this question is, to be honest, and demonstrate that you’ve taken responsibility for your actions. You don’t want to lie about your criminal history (if you have any) because the company will carry out a thorough background check on you and the consequences of the truth coming out won’t be pleasant.

You can start your answer by stating your criminal past (if you have any, otherwise just answer with a “No”).  Give some details (without oversharing) into the crime you committed and the sentencing you received. Finish off by giving in-depth but necessary details into the steps you’ve taken to change and improve yourself.

As uncomfortable as this question is to answer, if you have a criminal record, you can make the best out of it by focusing your answer more on the changes you’ve undergone and the progress you’ve made.

73. Why Did You Choose Your Major or Degree?

Interviewers ask this question to understand the reason behind your choice of post-secondary education. This can give them some insight into your interests, passions, thought processes, and overall personality, which they can use to determine if you’re a good fit for the company culture.

The key to nailing this interview question is to realize that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, although you need to have a well-thought-out answer ready. You can start your answer by mentioning your reason(s) for choosing your major. Next, connect how your major has equipped you with the necessary skills that can help the company solve the problems they’re hiring you for. Finally, share examples in the past where the knowledge from your major helped you solve problems. However you choose to answer this question, do not mention income as the reason for choosing it.

74. What Is Your Ideal Company Size?

Interviewers ask this question not only to know the size of the company you prefer working with but also the reason(s) why you feel that’s the ideal company size for you.

For you to effectively answer this question, you need to carry out research to know the company’s size. Next, you carry out research on the pros and cons of the company’s size.

After that, you need to write out your workplace preferences as it relates to company size in descending order of preference. The key is to find out areas where your workplace preference coincides with the advantages of the company’s size.

When giving your answer, mention a range of company staff that the company falls under. After that mention (no more than five) benefits of working with a company of that size. For each benefit, you mention, briefly explain why it is important to you.

75. What Is a Book That Everyone Needs to Read and Why?

This question presents a great opportunity to let your personality shine during the interview. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your passions and interests. This question can also give them insight into your overall personality which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture.

The key to providing an effective response to this question is to realize that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. You also need to realize that the book you choose in your response is not as important as why you’d recommend it for everyone to read. You can begin by mentioning the book you think everyone should read. Give a brief explanation and a summary of what the book is all about.

Finish off by highlighting your reasons why you think everyone should read the book. However, you choose to answer this question, ensure that you give an honest response rather than one that you think will impress the interviewers.

76. How Do You Respond to Change? Do You Find It Difficult to Adapt to New Situations?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you handle change. They want to know that you can quickly adapt to any sudden change without a reduction in your productivity. This question can also give the interviewers some insight into your overall personality which can help them determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company. Since adapting to change can be somewhat difficult, this question helps the interviewers determine how well you can handle challenges and difficult situations.

While there is no perfect way to answer this question, there are steps you can take that can make your answer more effective. You can start off your answer by mentioning the steps you take to quickly familiarize yourself with the change. Next, share an example of a time where a change was initiated in your workplace.

Briefly describe the circumstances surrounding the situation. Highlight the steps you took to quickly get acquainted with the new situation. Finish off by sharing the results you got.

77. Do You Have a Mentor? (OR) Who’s Your Mentor?

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your humility in learning from others. They also use this question to get a sense of your self-perception and who you envision yourself to be in the future.

The key to answering this question is to realize that the interviewers are more interested in why you chose the mentors you chose and the impact they’ve had on your career than they are in who your mentors are.

To answer this question, pick someone who has had the most significant positive impact on your career. Briefly give some details into who this person is and what they do. Finish off by highlighting the impact the person has had on your career.

78. What Do You Do In Your Spare Time?

Chances are you might get asked this question, especially if the company you’re interviewing with values work-life balance. Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of what your passions and interests outside work are. This question can give them some insight and understanding of your overall personality, which can help them to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company.

The key to answering this question is to realize that there is no right or wrong answer to this question as hobbies and passions are individual to everybody. However, know that while there is nothing wrong with mentioning any of the passions you have outside of work, you can give a more strategic answer by mentioning hobbies that demonstrate qualities and traits that the interviewers are looking for.

You can begin by mentioning (no more than five) interests and/or activities you have outside work. For each interest and/or activity you mention, briefly, explain why you enjoy engaging in it.

Highlight the skills and qualities that they equip you with and connect that to how you can succeed in the job. If you have an example in the past where you exhibited those skills and qualities, do well to share it with the interviewers.



14 Brainteaser Interview Questions

  1. If You Could Get Rid of Any U.S. State, Which Would You Choose and Why?
  2. Which Is More Important, Creativity, or Efficiency?
  3. Is it Better to Be Good and on Time or Perfect and Late With Your Work?
  4. How Many Times Per Day Do a Clock’s Hands Overlap?
  5. How Many Stacked Pennies Would Equal the Height of the Empire State Building?
  6. How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit Into a Limousine?
  7. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
  8. How Would You Weigh a Plane Without Scales?
  9. How Many Footballs Would Fit in This Room?
  10. Why Is There Fuzz on a Tennis Ball?
  11. Tell Me 10 Ways to Use a Pencil Other Than Writing.
  12. How Many People Are There Flying in Airplanes Over the Us Right Now?
  13. Why Are Manhole Covers Round?
  14. Sell Me This Pen.

Job Interview

1. If You Could Get Rid of Any U.S. State, Which Would You Choose and Why?

Interviewers might ask you this question to understand your reason behind the state you want to get rid of. This can give the interviewers some insight into your thought process, which they can use to determine if you’re the right fit for the company.

To correctly answer this interview question, you need to understand that the interviewers don’t care about the state you chose to get rid of as much as your reason for wanting to get rid of it. Rather than just randomly blurting out an answer, your answer needs to demonstrate to the interviewers that your decision to get rid of any U.S. state will depend on a lot of factors and depending on which factor is most important when faced with the decision in real life, your choice will be in line.

While answering this question, avoid any political or religious sentiment, except your interviewing for a political or religious organization respectively.

2. Which Is More Important, Creativity, or Efficiency?

This is a tricky question that can put you in a tight spot. Interviewers ask this question to find out more of your priorities and how they align with that of the company.

To answer this interview question, you need to carry out research on the company to find out the needs and priorities of the company. You want to start your answer by stating that both creativity and efficiency are important for a company to succeed. Next, choose which of them to mention as your priority based on the research you carried out.

Explain your reason behind choosing it. Finally, if you have some examples in the past where you prioritized the option you chose in your answer over the other option. Avoid portraying yourself as severely lacking in either creativity or efficiency.

3. Is It Better to Be Good and on Time or Perfect and Late with Your Work?

This is definitely a curveball interview question that can throw you off balance because on one hand, you need to have the highest quality of work possible but on the other hand, you need to meet up deadlines. Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into how you prioritize the quality of your work versus the punctuality of submission. This can give them some insight into your overall personality, which can help them determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company.

To effectively answer this interview question, you need to understand one thing while you need the highest quality of work possible, it won’t matter if you miss the given deadline and that might lead to some losses in revenue.

Your answer to this question should explain to the interviewers that high-quality work and punctuality are important in business. However, you need to highlight the fact that there’s no such thing as perfect, as there’ll always be room for improvement. Your answer should demonstrate that in business, speed is of importance, which means good and on time is better than perfect and late.

4. How Many Times Per Day Do a Clock’s Hands Overlap?

Interviewers might ask this question to get a sense of how you approach difficult situations. This question can also give them some insight into your thought process.

The exact answer to this interview question is not necessarily what the interviewers are looking for when this question is asked. Instead, they’re curious to find out the steps you’d take to arrive at the answer.

Before you answer this question (or other brain teaser questions for that matter), you can ask the interviewers to give you a moment to think. Work your way through the answer and give that answer to the interviewers.

Explain to the interviewers how you arrived at your answer. If your answer ends up being incorrect, know that it doesn’t matter since the interviewers are more interested in your thought process.

5. How Many Stacked Pennies Would Equal the Height of The Empire State Building?

This is an interesting puzzle you might get asked at a job interview. Interviewers ask this question to test your problem-solving skills, but more importantly, to understand your thought process that goes into solving problems.

Before answering this question, ask for clarity. You ask the interviewers if they’re going to provide you with factual information like measurement or amount. If the interviewers provide you with measurements, you can use those values to solve the problem, otherwise, you can forge your own measurements and clearly state them when presenting your answer.

Next, you can use a piece of paper and a pen to solve the problem. This can give the interviewers a visual representation of your problem-solving thought process. Finally, provide your answer to the interviewers.

6. How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit into a Limousine?

Just like the question on the number of stacked pennies would equal the height of the Empire State Building, interviewers ask this question to test your problem-solving skills, but more importantly, to understand your thought process that goes into solving problems.

The first step to answering this interview question is to seek clarity. For example, you might want to know whether or not the limousine is a stretch limousine. Seeking clarity to the question can give the interviewers the impression that you are naturally curious.

You can also ask the interviewers if they’re going to provide you with factual information like the measurement of the limousine and tennis ball. If the interviewers provide you with measurements, you can use those values to solve the problem, otherwise, you can forge your own measurements and clearly state them when presenting your answer.

Next, you can use a piece of paper and a pen to solve the problem. This can give the interviewers a visual representation of your problem-solving thought process. Finally, provide your answer to the interviewers.

7. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?

This question presents a great opportunity to let your personality shine through. Interviewers ask this question to see how well you can think on your feet. This question also gives the interviewers some insight into your personality, which can help them to determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company culture.

To effectively answer this question, you need to realize that the animal you mention is not as important as why you mentioned it. Also understand that while there’s nothing wrong with mentioning any animal, you can be more strategic with your answer by mentioning an animal that represents qualities that will be relevant to both the job and company.

You can begin your answer by mentioning the animal you’d be. Next, explain why you’d be that animal you chose, highlighting the qualities and attributes the animal has and linking it to how it can help you succeed in your job. Finally, share examples from the past where you exhibited those qualities and attributes.

8. How Would You Weigh a Plane without Scales?

Another question that can make you break a sweat, interviewers ask this question to test your ability to think outside the box and come up with practical solutions to problems. They use this question to gauge your ability to think on your feet. Your answer to this question can reveal a lot about your personality, which can help the interviewers determine if you’ll be the right fit for the job and company.

Keep in mind here that interviewers are more interested in the process you use to come up with your answer than the answer itself. When coming up with your answer, you can think out loud to let the interviewers know the thought process behind your solution.

9. How Many Footballs Would Fit in This Room?

This question is very similar to the question on how many tennis balls will fill a limousine, and interviewers ask this question to test your problem-solving skills, but more importantly, to understand your thought process that goes into solving problems.

Getting clear is the first step you should take when answering this question. This can give the interviewers the impression that you are naturally curious. You can also ask the interviewers if they’re going to provide you with factual information like the measurement of the limousine and tennis ball.

If the interviewers provide you with measurements, you can use those values to solve the problem, otherwise, you can forge your own measurements and clearly state it when presenting your answer. Next, you can use a piece of paper and a pen to solve the problem. This can give the interviewers a visual representation of your problem-solving thought process. Finally, provide your answer to the interviewers.

10. Why Is There Fuzz on a Tennis Ball?

Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of how you react and respond to unpredictable and unforeseen events. They want to find out whether or not you’ll be thrown off balance by the question. They also use this question to measure your level of creativity as this question allows them to gauge your ability to come up with creative answers when put on the spot.

For you to effectively answer this question, you need to realize that the interviewers don’t really expect you to know the correct answer to this question. They are more interested in your thought process and your level of creativity in answering the question than they are in you giving the correct answer.

You can make an educated guess as to why you think there’s fuzz on a tennis ball. However, you need to explain your reasoning behind your answer. Avoid being overly analytical in your answer, however, don’t ever tell the interviewers that you don’t know why there’s fuzz on a tennis ball.

11. Tell Me 10 Ways to Use a Pencil Other than Writing.

Just like the interview question on “why there’s fuzz on a tennis ball”, interviewers ask this question to measure your level of creativity as this question allows them to gauge your ability to come up with creative answers when put on the spot. They want to know that you can come up with creative solutions when faced with unfamiliar circumstances.

For you to effectively answer this question, you need to realize that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question.

If any of your answers seem weird or out of place, you can briefly explain why you mentioned it to give the interviewers clarity. Ensure that you give exactly ten uses of a pencil other than writing.

12. How Many People are there Flying in Airplanes Over the US Right Now?

This is a case interview question that interviewers ask to see your logic, reasoning, and thought process in identifying crucial issues when finding a solution to a complex problem.

The first step you should take is to gain clarity on what the question is asking. For example, airplanes in this question can mean commercial passenger flights, but it can also include military planes, private jets.

Also, when the interviewers say “flying over the US”, they might mean domestic flights, but they might also include international flights to and from the US, include international flights from different countries that have to go across the US. Seeking clarity to the question can give the interviewers the impression that you are naturally curious.

You can also ask the interviewers if they have any statistics they can share with you to help you get a more accurate answer. In the absence of any statistics, you can make educated assumptions and use those assumptions to arrive at your answer, outlining every step you took along the way to give the interviewers a glimpse into your thought process.

13. Why Are Manhole Covers Round?

Interviewers ask this question to gain some insight into your creative process in coming up with solutions to problems. They use this question to evaluate how you approach a problem with multiple possible answers and to test your logic, common sense, and ability to think through unusual problems under high pressure.

Like most brain teaser interview questions, the interviewers are not very interested in you getting the answer correctly as much as they are interested in the reason behind your answer. To this effect, you can give multiple answers as to why you think manhole covers are round, giving brief explanations where necessary.

14. Sell Me This Pen.

You’re most likely going to be asked this question if you’re interviewing for a sales position. Interviewers ask this question in a bid to measure your persuasion skills. They want to know how well you can convince people to do what you want them to do in a way that creates a win-win situation for both you and the parties involved. They also ask this question to find out how you react under high-pressure situations. They want to know that you can handle pressure effectively without being thrown off balance.

Start off your answer by asking questions that can help you find out what needs the interviewers have that the pen can fulfill. Next, highlight the features of the pen and how they can help the interviewer solve their problem.

Finish off by asking for a sale. Your answer should project confidence and genuineness, as that’s the only way people can trust you, and people can buy from those they trust.



Final Thoughts on How to Properly Answer Job Interview Questions 

While answering the job interview questions, you have to make sure that all your answers relate to your ability to perform the job, even when answering questions that are somewhat personal.

You also have to understand that your job interview is more than answering the questions thrown at you. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Pay attention to your appearance and ensure you “dress for success” as this will make a good impression on your interviewers.
  • Understand that you’re under no obligation to answer any personal questions that regard race, age, family background, social status, etc. Remember, the questions should relate to the job position and the job position alone.
  • Make sure you prepare some questions that you can ask when given the opportunity. This will show that you’re actually interested in the job.
  • Express gratitude to your interviewers for considering you for the position and taking their time to interview you. You should do this verbally immediately after the interview and follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hours.

Now is the time to take what you’ve learned and ace that job interview.

Good luck!




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