What Were Your Responsibilities When You Worked At
A good candidate is able to talk in detail about their responsibilities. These should match up to what is expected for the job and even exceed it. The responsibilities should also match what they’ll need to perform the job they’re applying for.
Red flags: Candidates who are vague about what their responsibilities were, who didn’t have the responsibilities that normally come with the job, or didn’t have ones relevant to the job they’re applying for.
How To Answer 14 Most Common Interview Questions
These questions are the ones youre bound to hear at just about any job interview – whether youre an intern, or a senior professional with a decade of work experience.
All of these questions are used to learn more about you, both as a person and a professional.
You might have heard the popular idea that theres no right or wrong answers for job interview questions.
Well, while that might be true, there ARE a set of rules you need to follow when answering these questions.
If you understand what, exactly, the interviewer is looking for with each question, youll be able to give the right answer
In this section, were going to go through 14 of the most common job interview questions and answers. Were going to explain what the HR manager wants to see in you, as well as give you sample answers you could use.
So, lets get started!
What Are Your Leadership Experiences
Even if youre not directly interviewing for a management role, you may face some leadership interview questions.
Employers like a candidate who can take initiative and lead projects and tasks even if its not their main role to lead. Plus, that shows youve got room to grow and can be promoted in the future.
So before any interview, think about one or two recent leadership experiences, ideally from work situations. Did you lead any meetings or projects? Did you train or mentor anyone? Did you spearhead a new initiative at work?
If you have no examples from work, then look to university experience, sports, or other clubs/activities where you led a project, task, meeting, or event.
Note that you may also be asked, what is your leadership style? but this is typically reserved for positions where youll be leading as a core part of your role.
Don’t Miss: Design Interview Preparation
What Are 3 Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You
During my last job, I was very well-known for being a knowledgeable employee. I had memorized all of the content, statistics, and case studies for our company so everyone in the office would use me as their personal content encyclopedia.
My boss also commented on how punctual I was I never missed a deadline or was late to work for the 3 years I worked there.
Finally, I would have to say that my boss would also bring up my team spirit. I was known for bringing in treats to the entire team after every successful event that took place. Everyone in the office looked forward to cookies or donuts after a huge sale, new product launch, or new milestone.
Quick Tip: Be unique. Be modest. Be humble. Dont exaggerate.
Tell Me A Little About Yourself
If you’re the interviewer, there’s a lot you should already know: The candidate’s resume and cover letter should tell you plenty, and LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook and Google can tell you more.
The goal of an interview is to determine whether the candidate will be outstanding in the job, and that means evaluating the skills and attitude required for that job. Does she need to be an empathetic leader? Ask about that. Does she need to take your company public? Ask about that.
If you’re the candidate, talk about why you took certain jobs. Explain why you left. Explain why you chose a certain school. Share why you decided to go to grad school. Discuss why you took a year off to backpack through Europe, and what you got out of the experience.
When you answer this question, connect the dots on your resume so the interviewer understands not just what you’ve done, but also why.
Also Check: Cfo Interview
Question: Why Do You Want This Job
There should be a heartfelt answer on this one. Your gut should be giving you the answer.
Although, if the reason is about money, location, work schedule, benefits, and other factors not tied to actual role, you may want to think a little more about your answer. None of those reasons are important to the hiring manager.
Focus on them: They want to hear that this job is exactly what youve been thinking about as a next step in your career.
Of course, the follow-up question theyll ask is: How so?
Be prepared to answer with your rationale for how this job meets your professional needs and how you can contribute at your highest potential while in this role. People want to feel like their work means something. There is nothing wrong with sharing that feeling in a thoughtful way.
Give Me An Example Of A Time When You Made A Mistake Or Didn’t Deliver On Expectations What Happened What Did You Learn
Why employers ask this: Most businesses accept that people make mistakes, Shepard says. What is more important is that you learn from them. Employers are trying to establish what processes you use to analyse problems and how you go about solving them.
How to respond well:The key here is to focus on the take outs from your mistakes, Shepard explains. Its a good idea to give an example of a past mistake what were the circumstances? What was your decision-making process and how did you move forward from the mistake?
Also Check: Best System Design Interview Prep
Are You Planning On Having Children
Questions about your family status, gender , nationality , religion, or age are illegalbut they still get asked . Of course, not always with ill intentthe interviewer might just be trying to make conversation and might not realize these are off-limitsbut you should definitely tie any questions about your personal life back to the job at hand. For this question, think: You know, Im not quite there yet. But I am very interested in the career paths at your company. Can you tell me more about that?
What Are Your Greatest Strengths
Heres an opening to talk about something that makes you greatand a great fit for this role. When youre answering this question, think quality, not quantity. In other words, dont rattle off a list of adjectives. Instead, pick one or a few specific qualities that are relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. And if theres something you were hoping to mention because it makes you a great candidate, but you havent had a chance yet, this would be the perfect time.
Don’t Miss: Preparing For System Design Interview
How Would Your Professors/friends/co
This can be a challenging question if you havent thought about it ahead of time. Consider recent feedback youve received, both positive and negative. The interviewers main goal is to ensure you have a clear understanding of how youre perceived by others and understand how your actions impact them. To prove that youre self-aware, consider answering with two positive traits and one area for improvement. For example:
The other members of student council might say that Im an extremely effective leader as president. They also nicknamed me Mr. Congeniality because I get along with everyone. But theyd also say that I sometimes take on too many things at once. Im trying to delegate more.
Questions About The Position
- What are the key responsibilities of this position?
- How does this position fit into the company?
- How would you describe the ideal candidate?
- Can you describe a typical work day, or week, for this job?
- What immediate projects or tasks would I be working on?
- Is this a new position? If not, what kind of position has the previous employee moved on to?
- What training programs are available to new employees?
- Who would my immediate supervisor be? How would you describe their management style?
- How soon after hiring would I expect a performance review? What process is used?
- What are the prospects for advancement in this position?
Read Also: Women’s Outfit For Job Interview
Talk Us Through Your Professional And Technical Skillset
Why employers ask this: They want to get a clearer picture of your abilities and how you can apply them to the role. This question aims to understand your full skillset to do the job, McInerney says.
How to respond well: Rather than a laundry list of generic skills, be prepared to talk about your skills that are most relevant to the job and to give examples. This question is a great opportunity to share your technical know-how by demonstrating how you used a particular technical skill in a past job and how this skill will be relevant to the job youre applying for, McInerney says. She says while talking about technical skills is usually straightforward, professional or softer skills like communication and leadership can be more difficult to talk about, so its important to come ready with examples of these skills in action.
Tip: Examples can be hard to come up with off the top of your head, so prepare a list. You wont be able to refer to it in the interview, necessarily but the process of creating it could help firm up examples in your head. Understand what soft skills employers are looking for, or look back to projects youve completed or refer to feedback or performance reviews to help you come up with examples of skills that have made a difference.
Top 20 Essential Interview Questions And Answers
If youre looking for the commonly asked job interview questions, then keep reading.
After working for years as a recruiter, Im going to share the top 20 job interview questions and answer examples, plus dos and donts to get you ready to ace your interview.
For each question, youll get:
- Notes on why hiring managers and recruiters ask this question
- Dos and donts, including the top mistakes to avoid
- Word-for-word example answers that will impress any employer
Lets get started
Read Also: What To Wear For An Interview Women
How Would You Describe Yourself
With this question, your interviewer wants to learn how your qualities and characteristics align with the skills they believe are required to succeed in the role. To answer this question, pick one to a few personal characteristics and elaborate on them with examples.
For example, if you are ambitious and driven you can say: I am an ambitious and driven individual. I thrive in a goal-oriented environment where I can constantly challenge myself personally and professionally. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and grow. These characteristics have helped me achieve success in my career. For example, I was promoted three times in less than two years in my last position.
What Interests You About This Role
Hiring managers often ask this question to ensure you understand the role and give you an opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. Study the job description carefully and compare its requirements to your skills and experience. Choose a few responsibilities you particularly enjoy or excel at and focus on those in your answer.
Example answer:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to grow in my career. Im also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.
Don’t Miss: Mailscoop Io
Question: What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment
Consider this question an invitation to do some bragging about what you have achieved in your career that can benefit this new employer. By asking this question, the interviewers are inviting you to share an achievement/accomplishment which provides proof that you are the best candidate for this job
Focus on them: Choose a recent accomplishment, if possible, that demonstrates your ability to do this job very well. Have several good examples prepared before the interview.
Like your greatest strength, your greatest accomplishment aligns with something they need. Again, as with strengths, while you have many accomplishments you could describe, the smartest strategy is to focus on your recent accomplishments that make it clear you can do their job very well.
Be truthful and also be very careful about treating this question casually. Advanced preparation is the smartest strategy.
Hopefully, your and your resume reference this accomplishment or situation in some way.
What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You
It’s time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss’s quotes to answer the question, “What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?”. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else’s words: “My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor.”
You May Like: What Should Females Wear To A Job Interview
Can You Tell Me 10 Different Uses For A Pencil Other Than For Writing
This is a great question to test out-of-the-box thinking and to put the candidate on the spot. Top candidates will come up with ingenious ideas in a relatively short time. Candidates that struggle to come with useful ideas or spend too long thinking may not be a good fit for creative positions.
Red flags: The candidate struggles to come up with useful ideas or takes too long to answer.
Do You Prefer Hard Work Or Smart Work
Smart work on the other hand, means doing the work efficiently. If you manage to get the job done in 2 hours instead of 5, with the same end-result, youre doing smart work.
Keep in mind, though, that by asking this question, the interviewer is looking to understand what your work ethic is like. Meaning, theyre looking for a healthy combination of both, not just one.
That is, they want you to be the candidate who not only thinks smartly but works hard as well.
So, your answer here shouldnt be one-sided…
Oh, I looove smart work. Thats when you come up with what to do, and make other people do it, right?
Instead, explain how you excel at both:
I dont particularly have a preference – I believe that both hard and smart work is important to get the best results.
Smart work, on one hand, lets you figure out the best and most efficient way to get things done.
Hard work, on the other hand, means that youll do the job right. Even if theres no way to do it smart or efficiently, youll be willing to put in long hours of work to get it done.
Im the type that does both.
For an example of smart for, during my time at , I was in charge of the sales department. As a process improvement initiative, I migrated from an outdated, in-house CRM, to Pipedrive. This improved the departments productivity by around 20%.
Also Check: Interview Attire Womens
Tell Me About Your Strengths
The best way to address a question about your strengths is to ensure it aligns with the job description.
A lot of people tend to downplay their strengths, but they shouldnt. This is a great opportunity to showcase what you can do.
You must be prepared, however, to back up your strength with a good example. For example, if you say your creativity is a strength, youll also want to be able to talk about a time when you used your creativity to solve a problem or address a challenge.
For example, I think a strength of mine is my adaptability. During my time as an office manager, I supported a small team where being able to think on your feet and be flexible was a real asset. When two members of our four-person team happened to fall sick at the same time and were out of the office for two and three weeks, I worked overtime to support our clients by performing the function of my colleagues while they could not.
Some general strengths that often work include:
You could also mention any hard or technical skills that is required in the job ad.
What Is The Disappointment In Your Life
This question is asked to judge, what type of situations make you uncomfortable and disappointed. While answering this question, don’t just say your disappointment. Instead of this, you should include what you learn from that incident.
Possible Answer 1:
“The greatest disappointment in my life so far as when my laptop had stolen, and I had lost all my important data. I remember that I had to work hard for the next 10 days to redo all my work to make sure to submit on time.”
Possible Answer 2: If you did not face any disappointment in your life
“Sir, I don’t feel that I have faced such type of situation.”
You May Like: Prepare For System Design Interview
What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses
It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where youre expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses shows that you are self-aware with an interest in continued growth and learningtraits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Consider using this formula for your response:
1. Select an actual weakness that is honest but professionally relevant:”Im naturally shy…
2. Add context:”…From high school and into my early professional interactions, it sometimes prevented me from speaking up…
3. Provide a specific example:”…After being a part of a workgroup that didnt meet our strategic goals two quarters in a row, I knew I owed it to my team and myself to confidently share my ideas…
4. Explain how you overcame or are working to overcome it:”…I joined an improv acting class. Its fun and has really helped me overcome my shyness. I learned practical skills around leading discussions and sharing diverse perspectives. Now, in group settings, I always start conversations with the quieter folks. I know exactly how they feel, and people can be amazing once they start talking.