Why Were You Fired
Of course, they may ask the follow-up question: Why were you let go? If you lost your job due to layoffs, you can simply say, The company and unfortunately my was eliminated. But what if you were fired for performance reasons? Your best bet is to be honest . But it doesnt have to be a deal breaker. Frame it as a learning experience: Share how youve grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. And if you can portray your growth as an advantage for this next job, even better.
+ Interview Questions And Answers
The time has come!
After creating a killer resume and cover letter and passing the first round, it is time to face the final challenge:
Your job interview.
And that scares even to the best of us.
Being judged and evaluated by people who have your future in their hands is more anxiety-inducing than meeting the in-laws.
Youve heard the interviewers and hiring managers say there are no right or wrong answers to calm you down before an interview.
But heres the thing:
They are almost always looking for a specific way of answering.
Which brings us to this guide. Were going to cover the most common interview questions and answers, turning you into a bona fide interview expert by the time youre done reading.
So, lets get started!
To make this guide as practical as possible, we covered just about every interview question out there.
Dont let that put you off, though. You dont have to read the whole thing end-to-end. To get the most out of the guide, wed recommend:
Most Common Interview Questions:
Behavioral Questions in an Interview:
Do You Have Any Serious Medical Conditions
When asking this question, the interviewer wants to learn if you have any medical conditions that could impair your ability to do the job correctly.
In most cases, youre not obliged to give an answer. If you do have a health condition, and it doesnt have anything to do with your career, you can simply choose not to answer, or to say No.
However, you might want to disclose anything that could potentially have an impact on how you perform.
For example, if the job requires you to lift heavy boxes, for example, and youre not able to do so because of a condition, you should let the HR manager know.
I dont have any serious medical conditions
Im unable to lift heavy objects because of issues with my back, but it wont have any impact on how I perform at an office job
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How To Answer Tough Interview Questions
Before we get into tough interview questions and answers examples, lets take a step back. Theres a good chance youre wondering, why would a hiring manager ask tough interview questions anyway? Well, there are a few reasons.
One is that making the process challenging boosts later job satisfaction. Thats right when an interview process is 10 percent harder, employee job satisfaction down the road is 2.6 percent better. Crazy sounding, but its true.
Second, replacing an employee usually costs 33 percent of that workers salary. Thats why finding a great candidate the first time is such a priority. It saves money. So, hiring managers may use hard questions to help them find the best.
Now that you have an idea of why a hiring manager may throw you a curveball during the interview, lets move onto another important topic. Its also critical to know how you should approach answering any question. That way, if you get hit with one you didnt see coming, youll be able to tackle it.
Lets face it, run of the mill job interview questions arent that tricky. Usually, the hiring manager has to spend at least part of the meeting gauging your abilities in a typical manner, so they go with a straightforward approach to touch on those topics.
For example, Do you have skill X? is a breeze to answer. All you have to do is confirm whether or not you have it, provide a relevant example, or showcase your willingness to learn, and youre done.
Question No : Why Did You Leave Your Last Job / Why Are You Planning To Leave Your Present Job
Hint: Changing a job, or even a career, is completely normal. Nevertheless, employers want to understand why you plan to make a change, or why you were forced to make your move. They try to understand whether they can count with you in a long run, and how it will feel to work with you. Do you look for good things, or for bad things in a job? Do you demand a lot from your colleagues, or do you demand a lot from yourself?
Regardless of your past experience, you should focus on good things. Even if they fired you in your last job , try to speak nicely about your former colleagues and employers. Nobody wants to hire an employee who will complain about everything, a person who always looks for the worst
I had my job in a restaurant for four years. I enjoyed the company of my colleagues, and believe that I helped the guests to enjoy the place. But I needed a change. The duties were repetitive, and I felt I was not moving forward anymore. Thats why I left, and decided to apply for your offer, as I really see a potential for learning and growing in your company.
They fired me because I had a different opinion than the director of the company. Nothing wrong with himwe just had a different philosophy of leadership, and how things should be done. Maybe he was right, maybe I wasonly time will tell. But I do not want to live in the past. Now I am here, looking for a new challenge, and an opportunity to help your company to prosper.
Read Also: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
Conducting A Mock Job Interview
Your mock interview should simulate everything as fully as possible. This might mean a dress rehearsal. You should get someone you trust to conduct the interview and recite some of the key questions youve picked out. By doing this, youll be better prepared for the stresses of a real interview situation.
Whats Something Positive Your Boss Would Say About You
This is one of those behavioral interview questions which can be tricky to understand exactly what they’re looking for.
Just saying that your boss approves of your work isn’t enough. The interviewer is looking to see what kind of relationships youve built with the management team, and get an impression about how you may fit in with their team.
How to Answer:
This is a great time to brag about yourself with someone else’s words. Start with My boss has told me that… so that it’s clear you understand the question.
Stay humble and refrain from sounding arrogant.
My boss has mentioned that my attention to detail and thoroughness cant be matched.
She said the last campaign we ran together produced amazing results because of my effort and ability to thoroughly run it from start to finish…
My boss mentioned that she’s gotten a lot of compliments about my customer service from customers.
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What Is Your Greatest Strength
What They Want to Know: When answering questions about your strengths, focus on the abilities you have that are key to success in the job for which you’re interviewing. Don’t be too humble. It’s important to make the hiring manager aware of your qualifications.
My greatest strength is my ability to learn new processes quickly. When placed in a new environment, I actively observe how other people do things so that I can easily pull my weight on the team. Im also open to testing new ways of doing things in order to optimize our efficiency.
More Answers: Interview Question: What is Your Greatest Strength?
How To Answer Time Management Questions
Time management is important no matter what kind of work you do, so prepare to answer some of these questions. Most employers will want to hear how you balanced multiple things at once, prioritized, remained organized throughout, and got the job done by the deadline.
Take advantage of this opportunity to:
- Highlight any industry-specific tools you used to stay on track
- Emphasize how you communicated throughout the process
- IF it was necessary, that you can delegate efficiently and effectively
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How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit Into A Limousine
1,000? 10,000? 100,000? Seriously? Well, seriously, you might get asked brain-teaser questions like these, especially in quantitative jobs. But remember that the interviewer doesnt necessarily want an exact numberthey want to make sure that you understand whats being asked of you, and that you can set into motion a systematic and logical way to respond. So take a deep breath and start thinking through the math.
What Are Your Hobbies And Interests
Continuing our series of common interview questions and answers, next we look at ‘what are your hobbies’ example answers. When put on the spot, selecting your hobbies and interests that are simultaneously work-appropriate and not too vague can present a real challenge – especially under time pressure.
We dive into why employers ask the question, the difference between hobbies and interests, loads of example answers and what to avoid when answering!
How to answer what are your hobbies and interests
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Why Are You Applying For This Job
Here the interviewer seeks to know why you are interested in this particular position.
Your answer should indicate a keen understanding of the job requirements and match the specifications with your experience, skills and qualifications.
You should show that you are a good fit for the job and the company and that you are capable of performing the job.
In addition highlight your motivation for wanting this job. Answer the underlying question Why do you want this job?
Think about how the job fits in with your long term career goals. Does the job advance your career growth?
Enthusiastically discuss how the job fits in with your career goals and how you seek to make a positive impact in this role.
Likewise, show enthusiasm for the company as well and based on your research point out a few specific things about the company that make you excited to want to work there.
Do You Have Prior Experience
Dont let this question scare you. If youre applying for your first job after college, its unlikely youve had a job thats identical to the one youre interviewing for. However, you do have experience! Share your relevant experience through school, volunteer work, part-time jobs, internships, and extracurriculars.
Whenever possible, try to quantify your previous accomplishments with specific outcomes and metrics it lends credibility to your response. At the same time, dont fall back on good grades. The hiring manager is more interested in your hands-on experience.
Yes, I do have prior experience in the research field. In college, I spent eight semesters interning in ABC Lab. While I was there, I co-authored two papers that ended up getting published.
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How Do You Evaluate Success
What They Want to Know: Your answer to this question will give the interviewer a sense of your work ethic, your career goals, and your life goals. Tailor your response to fit what you expect to achieve if you were to be hired by this employer.
When I wake up each morning enthusiastic about going to work, then lock the clinic at night knowing that weve made a difference in peoples lives, I figure the day has been a success.
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What Do You Consider To Be Your Weaknesses
What your interviewer is really trying to do with this questionbeyond identifying any major red flagsis to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, I cant meet a deadline to save my life is not an optionbut neither is Nothing! Im perfect! Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that youre working to improve. For example, maybe youve never been strong at public speaking, but youve recently volunteered to run meetings to help you get more comfortable when addressing a crowd.
Read More:4 Ways to Answer What Is Your Greatest Weakness? That Actually Sound Believable
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How Do You Deal With Pressure Or Stressful Situations
Heres another question you may feel the urge to sidestep in an effort to prove youre the perfect candidate who can handle anything. But its important not to dismiss this one . Instead, talk about your go-to strategies for dealing with stress and how you communicate and otherwise proactively try to mitigate pressure. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation you navigated successfully, all the better.
Question: Why Were You Fired
This is another danger zone. This is not the time for defending yourself with a long story about you being the victim.
If you made a mistake, you are going to have to try to minimize the severity of the situation.
An argument with a boss could be described as a difference in opinion. Not following orders because your moral compass told you not to could be described as taking the high road.
Just be careful not to cast blame on others. Consider including a silver lining. Did you learn a lot from the experience and now possess knowledge that will mitigate the chances of this happening again?
Laid off is not fired: If you were part of a layoff, this is different from being fired. It was likely a financial decision by management, and you were part of a group that was targeted as part of budget cuts. Layoffs are typically not personal they are just business. Hiring managers know this .
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What Interests You The Most About This Position
This is the perfect opportunity to understand why the candidate applied for the position. Did they do their homework and research the company? Do they have the required skillset and are confident about it?
Make sure you do your research before the interview. When an interview is officially scheduled, take the time to look up the company and/or hiring manager. What values do they have? What work have they done in the past?
Once again, you are attempting to sell yourself to them. If you can sneak in a tidbit that you learned about the company to show you did your research, great. This shows that you are dedicated and want the job.
Also, dont mention salary. In fact, never mention salary until the negotiation process. Sure, the only reason you may be applying for the job is the stellar benefits, but the company doesnt need to know that.
Example Answer: I am interested in this position because I think it is a great place to grow in my career. I believe that I can be an important member of the team and that our values align .I have seen the work you did on . I want to be a part of a company like yours that is intuitive and cares about the community.
What Did You Like Most About Your Last Position
Knowing what you enjoyed about your last position can offer employers insight to your motivations, personality and whether you will enjoy the position available. To answer this question, focus on positives, speak to work rather than people, explain how it prepared you for this new position and reasons why moving to this role is the right choice.
Example answer:It was a great entry-level position at a start-up agency. Not only was I learning more about marketing, but management was also very transparent, teaching us a great deal about owning a business. It was a very collaborative atmosphere, and the team and I worked together on almost every project. Everyone’s weak point was countered by another’s strong point. I learned more working there than I ever did in college, and I’m excited to apply these skills to a new position.
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Tell Me About A Time You Had Conflict With A Coworker Or Colleague And How Did You Overcome It
This question helps to determine your communication, people skills, and self-awareness. When answering this question, avoid bad mouthing the coworker you were in conflict with, instead focus on the heart of the problem and how you resolved it.
Prater told me this is actually her favorite question to ask during interviews:
The answers to this question tell me a lot about the candidate’s ability to problem solve and their self-awareness. Most of us have worked with someone we didn’t quite get along with, she said. I love to hear how folks navigated those situations and identified ways to better understand the other person and better themselves.
Rather than saying, I had this incredibly rude coworker at my old office, say I worked with someone whose communication style was different from mine. Then, explain how you both reached common ground: I realized that face-to-face communication was more helpful to us than email communication, since tone can be lost or misconstrued in texts. So, I decided to schedule weekly coffee meetings to ensure we were on the same page about the project.