Common Job Interview Questions and Best Answers (20 Examples)

Natalie Severt
Resume Expert at Zety
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In this article, you'll see a comprehensive list of the most common job interview questions and a guide to answering them right. Just give this a thought first—

 

Interview anxiety—you know the symptoms. Wet palms, weak knees, and awkwardness.

 

Hello, I forgot what my name is or where I am. 

 

Getting nervous before an interview is common. But there’s a way to cope. Ready? 

 

Know how you’re going to answer the interviewer’s questions beforehand. 

 

Okay, fine. But I’m not a psychic. How do I know what they’ll ask me?

 

Good news. Recruiters ask the same list of job interview questions at almost every interview. Plus, they’re expecting to hear specific answers.

 

So, we’ve put together a complete guide of the most common job interview questions with answers for you.

 

You'll never have to worry about how to answer a strengths and weaknesses question again!

 

You won't have to think twice when the hiring manager asks, "Why should we hire you?" 

 

We've got the answers you need to ace your interview and land your dream job. Enjoy!

 

Here’s the Top 10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

 

1

Tell Me About Yourself

  

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ 

 

Applying for a job at McDonald’s? The interviewer will ask you to talk about yourself.

 

Applying for a job at Goldman Sachs? Same thing.

 

It’s universal, and it’s difficult to provide a satisfactory answer.

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • Describe yourself in three words. 

 

What are they actually asking?

 

  • Tell me about your professional self and how you would fit in with the company.

 

It’s a two-part, general interview question. Who are you as a professional? What makes you a good fit?

 

Your Three-part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Graphic Designers)

 

Right

Part One - Your Professional Persona

 

I am a graphic designer with five years of experience in the fashion industry. 

 

It’s good to tell the interviewer how long you’ve been working and for whom. You’re providing lots of information. How much experience you have. What kind of work environments you’ve experienced. What industry knowledge you might have.

Part Two - What Makes you Stand Out (2-4 points)

 

I am a team leader and coordinate the work of small groups of graphic designers and copywriters (between 3-5 people). I am diligent about keeping up with the latest technology and design trends. That’s why my boss chose me to spearhead our global re-branding initiative.

 

Here you will want to tailor your answers to the job interview question. Mention accomplishments and skills that you know are relevant and valuable. Where do you find that information? Read the job offer and research the company and people with similar positions. 

Part Three - Why You’re Going to Fit

 

While I enjoyed my previous work, it’s a dream of mine to work for your company. I admire the work you do, especially the XYZ project and the ABC project. I would like to be a part of projects like these. 

 

Notice how the interviewee listed two of the company’s projects. The interviewee has done their homework and is familiar with the business. That tells the interviewer that this person is in tune with the company’s goals and needs.

Wrong

The story of your life

 

Well, I was born in 1983 to Presbyterian parents in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am the second of three children. We lived in a large two-storey house with a yard, and we had a Jack Russell Terrier named Spot. When I was three, I was magnificent at coloring. I never went outside the lines in my coloring books. And that brings me to why I’m a graphic designer and want a job at your company.

 

You are not interviewing with your biographer, and you are not on a date. While this classic job interview question is intentionally vague, the context is not. It’s a job interview - talk about the job!

 

While this classic job interview question is intentionally vague, the context is not. As Meg Guiseppi points out, it’s a job interview - talk about the job!

 

When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, you’ve been given a golden opportunity to communicate your well-rehearsed personal brand positioning statement. Keep it short (2-3 sentences), make it memorable, and generate chemistry. Give them a feel for what you're like to work with, and how well you'll fit their company culture.
Meg Guiseppi
Meg Guiseppi
Personal Branding and Job Search Strategist at Executive Career Brand

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • Can you tell me about the job?
  • What does a typical day look like at the company? 
  • What kind of tasks will be my primary concern?

 

Pro Tip: If you’ve worked for a prestigious or well-known company, you can name drop during this job interview question. “I used to work for Coca-Cola.” You will impress the interviewer, and they will think that you must be good if you worked for a big, fancy company. 

 

Still not sure how to talk about yourself during an interview? Want more samples of best answers for this common question? Read our guide: "The Perfect Answer for Tell Me About Yourself [7 Examples]"

 

And if you want to make sure you’ll turn every interview into a job offer, get our free checklist: Things You Need To Do Before, During, and After Your Big Interview

 

2

Why Should We Hire You?

  

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸

 

For the most part, the whole interview is about this question.

 

Everything you say during your job interview should explain why the company should hire you. The recruiter may also ask you this standard job interview question point blank.

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • Why are you the right candidate for the job?
  • What makes you the best choice for the position?
  • What value would you bring to the job?

 

What are they actually asking?

 

  • Are you the best person for the job?

 

The interviewer wants to know that you’re the most talented candidate and the best fit. They also want to make sure you’re the right investment.

 

Your Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Teachers)

 

Right

Your top achievements and successes tailored to match the job requirements.

 

I have years of experience balancing core curriculum requirements. Test scores increase and students gain an appreciation for the subject matter. I also have a track record coordinating large projects with other members of staff. During my second year of teaching, we established an annual fundraising event. The event brings in enough money each year to fund equipment for the school’s labs.
Wrong

A list of random strengths that you recite off the top of your head.

 

I have good people skills, and I work well with others. I’m good at motivating the children to learn. I’ve got some experience working with children with special needs. I have experience preparing the curriculum. Yeah.

  

But how do you know which achievements to highlight? What’s going to impress the interviewer most?

 

Why should we hire you? If you only prepare for one interview question, this should be it. The best way to ready yourself is by researching the role requirements and asking yourself how your experience matches up. Don't forget to address the areas where you lack any desired skills, as you will be required to show how you will neutralize your weaknesses later.
Andrew Fennell
Andrew Fennell
Founder of StandOut CV

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • I noticed xxx, could you tell me about that?

 

When you get this question, you can attempt to offer a solution for one of the company’s pain points. 

 

Think back to your research. Did you notice anything that would point to the company hiring someone to address an issue?

 

Ask a couple of questions to confirm that there’s an issue. Once you’ve done that, have answers ready that prove you’re the person that can provide solutions.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t be humble. Tell the interviewer why you’re the right person and back it up with real achievements and success.

 

Still not sure how to tell an interviewer why they should hire you? Want more samples of best answers? Read our guide: "Why Should We Hire You? Best Answers (6 Proven Examples)"

 

3

Describe What You Do in Your Current Position

  

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ 

 

The good news. 

 

You know what you do at your current job. So, preparing an answer for an open-ended interview question like this isn’t going to take too much effort.

 

At the same time, if you want to provide a great answer - and you do - you’ll need to tailor it to the position.

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • Have you done this type of work before?

 

What are they actually asking?

 

Why would an interviewer ask you this general job interview question if they read your resume? 

 

First, it’s one of the possible job interview questions to prepare for that puts most candidates at ease. Second, the interviewer may want more details than what you’ve put on your resume.

 

But don’t list every boring responsibility and task you’re required to perform during a work day.

 

Instead, provide an answer that shows you’re familiar with the type of work you will do in your new position.

  

This is also the perfect opportunity to highlight strengths and achievements. The employer wants to know if you can do the job, so emphasize how you’ve used the skills mentioned in the posting. Be sure to include one thing you're proud of accomplishing. Your enthusiasm should shine through. Remember, employers don’t hire based on skills only. They want someone who is passionate about the work they do.
Hannah Morgan
Hannah Morgan
Job Search Strategist, Founder of Career Sherpa.net

 

Your Two-Part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for IT Systems Technicians)

 

Let’s start by taking a look at a job description for an IT Systems Technician.

 

  • Ability to work on a team with excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to install, configure, and maintain routine and customized hardware and software.
  • Experience with Microsoft Active Directory, administration, creation of user accounts and Internet email.

 

Right

A brief description of relevant responsibilities with a focus on tangible results.

 

In my current role as an IT Systems Technician, I work on cross-functional teams. I work with systems engineers and programmers to provide technical help and support. I also customize software to fit the company’s needs, resulting in cost savings. I work daily with Microsoft Active Directory.
Wrong

A list of boring activities that are common to anyone who holds a similar position. 

 

I spend my days installing software. I make sure everyone has up-to-date malware, firewall, and virus protection software. I ask people if they tried turning their computer off and on again.

 

The job description called for the candidate to have teamwork and communication skills. So, the interviewee will want to emphasize these skills throughout the interview.

 

Next, the candidate needs to have experience with customized hardware and software. So, she mentions that she customizes software and adds that her work has resulted in cost savings.

  

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • What will my day-to-day look like at your company?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about the team I will work with?

 

Pro Tip: If you saved or earned money for your company, back it up with numbers. If you’re not sure how much, you can estimate as long as you can back up your claims.

 

Still not sure how to describe what you do in your current position? Want more samples of best answers? Read our dedicated guide: "How to Describe Your Current Job Responsibilities [Examples]"

 

4

Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

 

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸

 

Why did you leave your last job? Because I got fired.

 

Depending on the honest answer, you might find it tricky to explain why you left your last job.

 

Some candidates will have it easier. You want the job. It’s your dream job! So, you’re leaving your current position. 

 

Others will have a harder time. You got fired, laid off, downsized, or demoted. You’re not happy with your current position. You have/had a bad boss. The hours are too long and the work is too demanding.

 

Also, expect to provide an explanation if you have the following on your resume:

 

  • Career Gaps
  • Bouts of Long-term Unemployment
  • Job Hopping

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why are you looking for new work?

 

What are they actually asking?

 

The “why did you leave” job interview question is straightforward. The interviewer wants to know why and how you left your last job.

 

They are checking to see if you’re loyal, trustworthy, and reasonable. 

 

The only way to answer this frequently asked interview question is to tell the truth. You have to work on the best way to present the information. 

 

The worst thing you can do is slander your former employer.

 

Never badmouth your former employer when explaining why you left your last position. Even if the truth is that they were horribly executing a business strategy or failing to uphold a healthy culture, be diplomatic. Your future employer wants to see that you can be respectful, even if difficult situations and conflicts arise. An interview is not the time to vent about past grievances!
Georgene Huang
Georgene Huang
CEO of Fairygodboss

 

Your Two-part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Nurses)

 

Your answer should include both how and why you’re no longer working at your previous job. 

 

Here’s how to answer the job interview question if you’re still employed:

 

Right

You like your old job, but you’re ready to move on to new opportunities and challenges.

 

I’ve been with General Hospital for almost three years now. I love the team of nurses and doctors that I work with every day. I’ve had the privilege of training half of my team - five other RNs. At the same time, I’ve always wanted to work as a Registered Nurse at Miracle Memorial Hospital. I’ve always admired its innovative caretaking practices. I want to expand my knowledge and capabilities as a nurse and I can do that at Miracle Memorial.

 

Notice how the interviewee praises her team at General Hospital. She also talks about her achievements (training a team of five people). She then talks about how she has always wanted the job at Miracle Memorial. She finishes by mentioning that the opportunity will expand her knowledge and capabilities.

Wrong

You hate your job and your boss is a jerk. 

 

I can no longer condone the work done at General Hospital and my boss and I fight like cats and dogs.

  

Here’s how to answer this tough interview question if you’re not employed:

 

Right

The real reason why you left told in a positive and proactive way. 

 

After a change in management, one of the new supervisors decided to modify the scheduling. As one of the more recently hired RNs, the supervisor wanted to change my shifts from day shifts to night shifts. At the time I was unable to work such hours and had to decline her offer. 

 

The interviewee’s reason for leaving is a conflict of scheduling. He does not place blame on the new supervisor. Instead, he cites a change in management and his lack of seniority.

Wrong

My evil supervisor fired me.

 

I was an awesome employee until my jealous supervisor put an end to my fabulous performance. He couldn’t stand the fact that as his junior, I had achieved so much more in my short time on this Earth. I was Doogie Howser, and Dr. House couldn’t take it.

 

Never, ever badmouth a past supervisor or employer. Even if it’s true.

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • The opportunities and challenges this position presents are attractive to me. Can you tell me how you see the career path developing for this role and the department? 

 

Pro Tip: Some recruiters find certain candidates risky. 

 

You may find that’s true for you if you have a history of job hopping, long-term unemployment, or career gaps. 

 

Be prepared to address these issues during an interview.

 

Still not sure how to tell an interviewer why you had to leave your last job? Check out more samples of best answers. Read our guide: "Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? Best Answers [Examples]"

 

5

What Is Your Greatest Strength?

 

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸

 

You don’t have to make this a tough interview question.

 

Your answer should illustrate a strength that’s valuable for the position. And your tone should land somewhere between humble and arrogant. 

 

Aim for confidence of your competence. 

 

And remember - you have to know how to answer job interview questions with your strengths. That’s because strengths and weaknesses interview questions are frequently asked. 

 

And as Gary Vaynerchuk points out, yes you can always improve. But interviews are the best time to turn your attention to the things that are already great.

 

Betting on strengths might be the most underrated strategy. I’m serious. We have an obsession with improvement. We spend time trying to correct weaknesses, when we could be just paying attention to the strengths. It’s great to focus on improvements in your personal life. Again, I’m talking about a strictly business scenario. But in the office, at work, and on your team - focus on the strengths.
Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk
 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • What is your greatest accomplishment or the project you’re most proud of completing? 

 

What are they actually asking?

 

It’s one of the most asked interview questions. At the same time, it’s not unique. It’s asking almost the same thing as the “why should we hire you” question. 

 

The answers to interview questions like these don’t differ much. The recruiter wants to know that you’re the most talented candidate. That you’re the best fit for the job. 

 

Your Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Marketing Managers)

 

You’ll want to choose something that you feel strong about AND can illustrate with details.

 

Don’t say “I’m an excellent communicator.” So were the last three candidates. 

 

Right

A skill or experience that you feel strong about and can illustrate.

 

Writing is my strongest skill. In my recent marketing position, I increased the readership for our internal communications. I took a creative approach and rewrote the style guide. The result was an increase in readership from less than 100 employees a day to over 500 over the course of a month.
Wrong

A modest soft skill.

 

I’m pretty good at managing my time. I usually finish projects by the deadline.

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • What kind of training could I expect on the job? 
  • Would I be expected to complete training before taking up the position?

 

Asking recruiters interview questions about how to further strengthen your skills shows that you’re willing to improve.

 

Pro Tip: Now is not the time for modesty. You’ll want to pick a skill or strength that’s relevant to the job. But it’s more important to pick one that you can illustrate as an apparent advantage.

 

Not sure how to identify which strengths to talk about during an interview? Read our guide: "How to Answer the "What Are Your Strengths?" Interview Question (Examples)"

 

6

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

 

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ 

 

Unfortunately, the "what is your greatest weakness" job interview question is a favorite with interviewers everywhere. And it’s a tricky one. So, you need to prepare. 

 

But not to worry. You can answer this hard interview question with honesty and still end up with the job.

 

According to Austin Belcak, all you have to do is follow a simple framework.

 

The key to the "greatest weakness" question is choosing a genuine professional weakness. Describe how your weakness has affected you (personal anecdotes are great). Next, describe how you've conquered it. Finally, showcase the results. This framework is incredibly effective because it shows that you're self aware and invested in your growth - two qualities employers absolutely love.
Austin Belcak
Austin Belcak

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions

 

  • What are your weaknesses? (Be prepared to talk about more than one weakness.)
  • Tell me about a time you failed.
  • Describe a difficult work situation and what you did to overcome it. 

 

What are they actually asking?

 

The “weakness” job interview question is less about what you answer and more about how you answer. 

 

Do you lie? Do you refuse to respond to the question? Do you try to disguise a strength as a weakness? 

 

All these things speak louder than your actual answer. The best thing to do in this situation is to be honest without blowing up your chances.

 

Your Two-part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Administrative Assistants)

 

First, you will want to explain a real problem. 

 

Are you shy? Do you have trouble speaking up in groups? Are you a control freak? 

 

Make sure that whatever problem you choose, it’s not a required skill for the job. 

 

Let’s say you’re applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant. You won’t want to say you’re not organized or that you’re bad at managing your time. 

 

So, one of the better answers for this tough interview question is to pick a skill you won’t use often. For example, you can say you get nervous speaking in front of a large group. 

 

You could also say that you like to be in control and have a difficult time working on a team. 

 

Right

Choose a weakness that isn’t a required skill.

 

As an Administrative Assistant, I work alone or one-on-one with other people. I have excellent communication skills when making travel arrangements or negotiating with vendors. But I struggle if I have to work on a team with others. I have a hard time giving up control if I’m not the team leader.
Wrong

Disguise a strength as a weakness.

 

I am a workaholic. I spend every waking hour thinking about how to improve my performance at work. I’m the first person in the office every day and the last person to go home. I do not have a work-life balance because my job is my life.

 

The second part of your answer should illustrate what measures you are taking to fix the problem.

 

Remember, this common interview question is behavioral. The interviewer wants to see how you’ll answer. 

 

So, deliver a confident answer that involves examples of self-improvement. The interviewer will get the impression that you’re proactive about your weaknesses. They will see that you’re self-aware and that you care about your performance.

 

Are you taking any training courses? Did you pick up some activities outside of work that help you develop your weaker skills? Use these as examples.

 

Right

Explain how you’re taking measures to fix your weaknesses.

 

During my employee review, I told my supervisor that I had trouble with teamwork. I asked if there was a way I could improve. I signed up for a series of internal workshops and team building exercises. I also joined several of the company’s charity initiatives. The events helped me practice the things I learned during the workshops. My supervisor complimented me on my progress after a half year of hard work.
Wrong

Go into a detailed explanation of your weakness in a way that exposes other weaknesses.

 

As an Administrative Assistant, I often work alone. So, my greatest weakness is that I don’t work well on teams. I often interrupt the person talking or the group leader. To be honest, I know how to run things better than they do. I mean, come on! That’s what an Admin Assistant does - run things better than everyone else! Do you think Princess Leia takes a back seat when there’s an Empire to overthrow? No. And neither do I.

 

So, here is what a full answer to the “what is your greatest weakness” interview question should look like:

 

As an Administrative Assistant, I work alone or one-on-one with other people. I have excellent communication skills when making travel arrangements or negotiating with vendors. But I struggle if I have to work on a team with others. I have a hard time giving up control if I’m not the team leader.  
During my employee review, I told my supervisor that I had trouble with teamwork. I asked if there was a way I could improve. I signed up for a series of internal workshops and team building exercises. I also joined several of the company’s charity initiatives. The events helped me practice the things I learned during the workshops. My supervisor complimented me on my progress after a half year of hard work. 

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • Is there an employee review process so that I can gauge the things I need to improve? 

 

Pro Tip: Prepare a couple of answers in case there are follow-up job interview questions.

 

The person interviewing you may ask about a second weakness, or they may feel like the first was too minor. 

 

Still not sure which weaknesses to bring up during your interview? Want more sample answers? Read our guide: "What Is Your Greatest Weakness? Best Answers (6 Proven Examples)"

 

7

Why Do You Want This Job?

  

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ 

 

While not a tough interview question to prepare for, there are better and worse answers. 

 

For example, you don’t want to admit it’s because you need a job. Any job. 

 

You also don’t want to say that you want the job to keep you going until you can follow your dreams.

 

You’re going to have to come up with something that shows you’ve put some thought into wanting this job.

 

Alternative Versions of Typical Interview Questions 

 

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you want to work here?

 

What are they actually asking?

 

The “why do you want the job” question is another two-part, frequently asked interview question. 

 

First, they want to know why you want to work for the company. And second, they are asking why you want the position.

 

You might get a version of this common interview question that focusses on the position. But you can always say why you want to work for the company as well. 

 

Your Two-part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Accountants)

 

You can’t answer this basic interview question if you don’t research the company and the position. You need to look for things that you can express a genuine interest in and find attractive.

 

  • Part One - Why do you want to work for the company?

 

Right

After much research, you can discuss what you like about the company in detail.

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the most prestigious places for an accountant to work. If I worked for you, I would be part of a company that represents 85% of the largest public and private businesses in the US. You are also known for training and developing the skill sets of your employees. That’s something I want to be a part of and admire.
Wrong

After no research, you say you want the job because it’s open and you need one.

 

I want to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers because A) it’s one of the Big Four accounting firms so why not. And B) I need a job that I can use as a stepping stone to get into investment banking, which is my life goal.

 

  • Part Two - Why do you want the position?

 

The Position - Public Sector / Financial Management / Associate at PwC

 

Right

After much research, you can discuss what you like about the position in detail.

 

My last job was in the private sector, and I would like to see how things work from the other side. I was always fascinated with the financial industry and want to get a good look at it from all perspectives. I like to know how things work. So, I spent most of my energy on optimizing and reinventing financial models and processes at my last job. I understand that the associate position would require me to do the same, which would be a perfect fit for me.
Wrong

After no research, you continue answer the open-ended interview question by saying you need the job.

 

I found the job offer on your website. I’d rather work for the private sector, but at the end of the day, I want to be an associate at PwC.

 

Remember that everyone wants to work for the best companies. Citing that as the reason for your motivation is too obvious. Focus more on the experience and specialized knowledge that you will bring to the position. 

 

Let’s say you stumble across company values that you have a genuine interest in during your research. You can point out that one of the reasons you want the job is because of these shared values.

 

When explaining to a prospective employer why you want the job, try framing your answer in terms of value alignment. Demonstrate how your values align with theirs. Many companies share their values publicly on their websites. Read up on them and craft your answer around them. You want to be sincere, so only play up the values that are meaningful to you.
Matthew Kosinski
Matthew Kosinski
Managing Editor of Recruiter.com

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • Why do you love working here?

 

Pro Tip: Research is the key to answering this basic interview question. If you don’t know anything about the company or the position, you can’t provide a satisfying answer. 

 

Want some in-depth advice on how to research a company and a position? Read our guide: "Best Answers for the "Why Do You Want to Work Here?" Interview Question [+8 Examples]"

 

8

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

 

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ 

 

Here’s the thing. Recruiters and HR personnel have to find AND retain the best talent. It’s not enough for them to hire the best programmer or waitress. 

 

No, they also have to hire someone who isn’t going to leave two months later.

 

That’s why they want to know about your plans. Do you plan on staying with the company or do you plan on grabbing the cash and running for the hills? 

 

You’ll need to be careful how you phrase your answer here because it will have a direct impact on the final decision.

 

What are they actually asking?

 

Do interviewers want a real, truthful answer? Not exactly. The purpose of this open-ended interview question is to get a confirmation of commitment from you. 

 

Your job is to convince the interviewer that you want to commit to the position.

 

You want to invest because the opportunities are in line with your five-year career goal. And that goal (for now) is to grow with the company. 

 

Interviewers ask this question to avoid two mistakes: First, having to replace you prematurely. Second, hiring someone whose personal goals don't align with theirs. To help them see you as a high-quality, long-term candidate, align your career trajectory with the company's. Attach your rising star to theirs, and you’ll counter any fears that you would become a costly hiring mistake.
Mark S. Babbitt
Mark S. Babbitt
CEO and Founder, YouTern

 

Your Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Chefs)

 

Right

Expressing a desire for a long-term career with opportunities for development.

 

Being a Chef is my passion, but in five years I’d like to say that I’ve added other aspects of restaurant work to my skill set. That’s why I’ve applied for such a versatile position. I’d like to spend the next several years learning how to operate a restaurant. I will get priceless experience and training at a Michelin-rated restaurant.
Wrong

Admitting to the fact that your plans include other opportunities in other places.

 

In five years, I will own a restaurant. That’s why I’d like to work in such a versatile position in a Michelin-rated restaurant first. I’ll get an insider’s perspective on how great restaurants operate before jumping headfirst into running my own.

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • Where does the company want to be in five years?

 

Still not sure how to talk about your long-term career goals? Read our guide: "How to Answer the "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?" Interview Question [Examples]"

 

9

What Is Your Management Style?

 

Level of Difficulty ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸

 

Obviously, you’re more likely to get this hard interview question for managers if you’re interviewing for a management position. 

 

At the same time, it’s a “behavioral interview question.” So, even if you are not applying for a management position, you should prepare to answer such job interview questions.

 

What are they actually asking?

 

Are they checking to see if you know what management style they prefer? Is this a straightforward job interview question for managers about management style?

 

Or are they looking for something else altogether? 

 

Recruiters ask behavioral job interview questions to gauge how you’ll handle different situations. Your safest answers are those that show flexibility and adaptability. 

 

You should also focus on skills that you know are valuable for the position. Follow up with examples of success.

 

A classic question designed to cut to the core of how you think. So, is the interviewer interested in your management style? Probably. At the same time, lean on your experience—tell a true story of how your management style affected positive results for your team. What they're looking for is adaptability and the willingness to respond to what your team needs.
Ryan Robinson
Ryan Robinson
Content Marketing Consultant at Ryrob.com

 

Your Two-part Answer 

 

(Example Based on Answers to Job Interview Questions for Supervisors)

 

Right

Part One:

 

I’ve found that it’s best to tailor my management style to the needs of the team and the situation. There are moments when close coaching and handholding is the best approach. Other situations call for autonomy. I feel that as a manager it’s my job to assess what my team needs and adjust accordingly.

Part Two:

 

For example, I had trouble holding my team accountable for missing deadlines. There was no single management style I could employ to accommodate their needs. So, I started with anonymous surveys to identify underlying problems. I followed up with a group session where we collectively set objectives. Then I backed off and let the team work together to motivate each other. I kept an open door policy for those who needed more direct assistance. The team began to meet their deadlines 90% of the time up from 40%.
Wrong

Explain a rigid style of management that forces subordinates to submit.

 

I guess you could describe my style of management as “helicopter managing.” I’ve got kids, and I find it best to be around and involved as much as possible. I know that doesn’t always work well right away, but over time it’s the best tactic. I check in with my team daily and provide as much oversight as possible.

 

Here’s some sample interview questions for you to ask the interviewer:

 

  • Can you tell me about the teams I’d be working with?
  • What is the work culture like in the office?

 

Pro Tip: Use the STAR method (Situation Task Action Result) to describe your management successes. 

 

Are you an entry-level candidate struggling to come up with an answer for this common interview question? We've got you covered: "What Is Your Management Style? Best Answers (+10 Examples)"

 

10

Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

  

Level of Difficulty  

 

Do you have any questions for me - it’s not a difficult question. In fact, it’s rhetorical. The answer is always “yes.”

 

All you have to do is prepare some sample interview questions in advance. 

 

Keep in mind that the interviewer will answer some of your questions during the interview. So, you should also be thinking of new things you want to ask throughout the conversation.

 

The one thing you do not want to do under any circumstance is say that you don’t have any questions. 

 

Ask at least one question at the end of the interview. 

 

Even if it’s: “Why do you love working here?

 

It’s essential to ask interviewers questions. Not only does it speak to your professionalism and ambition, but it also gives you the opportunity to assess whether or not this opportunity is right for you. Remember you're also interviewing them! Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask about things not covered during the conversation, including the company's culture, expectations for the role, salary, and benefits.
Salvatore Ciolfi
Salvatore Ciolfi
Executive Content Producer at Workopolis

 

We’ve placed basic interview questions for you to ask throughout the article. Plus, we’ve made a roundup of different questions you could ask during an interview. 

 

Pro Tip: Tailor your job interview questions to the position, the industry, and the company. The best advice you can follow at any point during your job hunt is to personalize your approach.

 

What are they actually asking?

 

The question is straightforward. Do you have job interview questions for the recruiter? Yes, you do. 

 

Your Answer 

 

Right

Yes - proceed to ask a few well-prepared questions that you didn’t cover during the interview.

 

Yes! I have a couple of questions for you.
Wrong

No.

 

Nope, I think that’s everything. Thanks.

  

Here’s a compilation of basic interview questions to get you started.

 

  1. Can you tell me about the job?
  2. What does a typical day look like at the company? 
  3. What kind of tasks will be my primary concern?
  4. Why do you love working here?
  5. Can you tell me a little bit about the team I will work with?
  6. The opportunities and challenges this position presents are attractive to me. Can you tell me how you see the career path developing for this role and the department? 
  7. What kind of training could I expect on the job? 
  8. Would I be expected to complete training before taking up the position?
  9. Is there an employee review process so that I can gauge the things I need to improve? 
  10. Where does the company want to be in five years?
  11. Can you tell me about the teams I’d be working with? 
  12. What is the work culture like in the office?
  13. What’s the next step in the interview process?

 

Pro Tip: Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions during the interview when appropriate. 

 

Got more questions? We do too! In fact, more than sixty! Check out 65+ Best Questions to Ask an Interviewer & Land Top Jobs

 

Don’t forget to send a thank you letter after an interview. Not sure how to write one, who to send it to, or when to send it? Read our full guide: “How To Write A Thank You Email After An Interview (+10 Examples)

 

Key Takeaway

  

The key to acing a job interview is to prepare in advance. Don’t just review the most common interview questions and answers. Instead:

 

  • Grab a friend and do a mock interview. Record your answers to see how you sound. 
  • One of the best job interview tips is to write down answers to the most common interview questions. 
  • You don’t have to have your answers memorized. All you have to do is spend some time thinking about how to answer interview questions. 
  • Take some time to research the company and the position. Focus on your achievements, skills, and successes. And remember a little preparation and confidence can go a long way. 

 

Still not sure how to answer one of the questions above? We're glad to help! Know of any other common interview questions? Leave a comment and we'll help you find the answers. Thanks for reading!

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Author
Natalie Severt
Natalie is a writer at Zety. She loves writing about resumes and eating tacos more than life itself. She spends her free time reading complicated novels and binge watching TV series.