Top 10 Interview Questions And Best Answers
Review these most frequently asked interview questions and sample answers, and then prepare your responses based on your experience, skills, and interests. Remember that its less about providing the right answers and more about demonstrating that youre the best candidate for the job.
1. Tell Me About Yourself – Best Answers
This is one of the first questions you are likely to be asked. Be prepared to talk about yourself, and why you’re an ideal candidate for the position. The interviewer wants to know why you’re an excellent fit for the job.
Try to answer questions about yourself without giving too much, or too little, personal information. You can start by sharing some of your personal interests and experiences that don’t relate directly to work, such as a favorite hobby or a brief account of where you grew up, your education, and what motivates you.
You can even and showcase your personality to make the interview a little more interesting.
2. Why Are You the Best Person for the Job? –Best Answers
Are you the best candidate for the job? The hiring manager wants to know whether you have all the required qualifications. Be prepared to explain why you’re the applicant who should be hired.
3. Why Do You Want This Job? – Best Answers
Be specific about what makes you a good fit for this role, and mention aspects of the company and position that appeal to you most.
4. How Has Your Experience Prepared You for This Role? – Best Answers
Break Down Your Biggest Wins
During the week I launched my very first online course on winning freelance clients, I slept an average of 4-5 hours each night and still made it into work at my day job.
Yet still, I felt energized every single day of that week.
I was emailing back & forth with people who were considering buying my course, answering tons of questions, and giving away some of the content for free to the motivated people that simply couldn’t afford to buy it at the time. I built so many great relationships that continue to flourish. I absolutely loved it, even though it was an incredibly difficult week. This was a huge win for me.
From the events that transpired that week, I learned so much about myself in terms of which soft skills of mine continued to bubble up to the surface and help me become successful.
To name just a few, I learned that I very naturally fall into the role of becoming a personal mentor to people, I learned that I was even more open to critical feedback than I previously believed, and I got to see a direct, positive impact on how my sense of humor helped me drive clear business results. This launch experience taught me a lot about which soft skills I’d need to continue leveraging within my business.
Does Your Company Track Diversity And Pay Equity Among Different Races Or Gender Groups
Woodruff-Santos recommends saving this question for your first official interview, whether its with the hiring manager or with someone from human resources, rather than a screening phone call with a recruiter. As a career expert who is especially passionate about advocating for women of color, this is one of her favorite questions to ask.
At this stage in my career, where Im coming in at a senior level, I feel like I can be more direct without having any social penalties in an interview process than someone whos entry-level, Woodruff-Santos says. But if youre interviewing for an entry- or mid-level role and are feeling nervous about broaching this topic , she suggests expressing how excited you are about not only the role itself, then noting that youre looking for opportunities specifically at a company that values diversity in various ways. After that, you can ask about the companys demographic breakdowns and what they do to support workers of different identities. According to Woodruff-Santos, that information speaks volumes about the company as a whole.
So does the hiring manager or HR representatives response. If they act defensive, refuse to answer, or change the subject, thats a sign that they likely are not transparent with employees, Salemi says. It can also tell you a lot about how they treat issues of diversity and equity as a whole, Woodruff-Santos adds.
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Who Was Your Best Boss And Who Was The Worst
What They Want to Know: This question is designed to discover what type of leadership and management style works best for you. Be careful answering, and don’t be too negative. Even if you had a terrible boss, how you speak about them can leave the interviewer wondering how you will speak about other supervisors if you didn’t get along with them.
My best manager had an open-door policy where we were always welcome to speak to her privately about issues. Ive never had a bad manager. Im not as comfortable with those who prefer to micromanage my work, but when this happens I try to gain their trust so that theyll feel more confident about giving me some autonomy.
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What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses
Every candidate knows how to answer this question: Just pick a theoretical weakness and magically transform that flaw into a strength in disguise!
For example: “My biggest weakness is getting so absorbed in my work that I lose all track of time. Every day I look up and realize everyone has gone home! I know I should be more aware of the clock, but when I love what I’m doing I just can’t think of anything else.”
So your “biggest weakness” is that you’ll put in more hours than everyone else? Great.
A better approach is to choose an actual weakness, but one you’re working to improve. Share what you’re doing to overcome that weakness. No one is perfect, but showing you’re willing to honestly self-assess and then seek ways to improve comes pretty darned close.
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Build A Strong Foundation
A panel interview is just like any other interview in that you should prepare for it beforehand. One way to alleviate the pressure and stress that comes with a panel interview is to know ahead of time just who is interviewing you.
In a perfect world you would know ahead of time who is interviewing you, giving you an opportunity to look up exactly who they are and their role within the company, making it just that much easier to tailor your responses to their specific questions.
Of course, not every hiring manager is going to let you know ahead of time that youre coming in for a panel interview, but if youve done your research and looked into who works at the company, you should know ahead of time just who could potentially be there.
What Attracted You To Our Company
This is your opportunity to show youve done your research.
Before the interview, read up on everything you can about the company: their values, their mission, their latest results and news releases, who their executive staff are, their origin story, as well as their products and/or services.
Then, identify what stands out about the companys mission and values, and how that resonates with you and your own career path. If youre a fan of their products or services, bring that up too.
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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.
What Did You Like Or Dislike About Your Previous Job
What They Want to Know: What you liked and what you didn’t like about your last job or the company you worked for is an indicator of how you might feel about this position if you were to be hired.
Be careful what you say when you’re interviewing for a similar job. If the roles are alike, you may want to keep what you didn’t like to yourself. It’s important to be positive and enthusiastic about the job for which you’re being considered.
I liked the progressive, staged training program my employer used to teach new hires the ins and outs of financial services there was always something new to learn, and we knew we would be steadily promoted as we became more experienced. I didnt like the commute, though, which is why Im now applying for jobs closer to home.
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Can I Have Some Time To Review Your Offer
Once youve made it to the final stage of the interview process and have received an offer, dont be too hasty in accepting it immediately, Woodruff-Santos says. If you dont really talk about salary in an interview and then they say youre their preferred candidate and extend an offer, thats not the end, but rather the beginning of the negotiation, she says.
From there, I think its really important to ask for time to review their offer and then ask for a phone call and then counter-offer or have a discussion about the compensation, Woodruff-Santos says. If youve gotten to that stage already, they clearly want to work with you, and it will take a lot of trouble for them to go back to the drawing board and find another candidate.
It can be easy to let imposter syndrome get the best of you and nudge you to say yes immediately, so remember that the company wants you and you deserve time to fully analyze the offer and make sure youre getting what you deserve.
What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position
This question can tell employers about types of work you enjoy, your experience level with certain workplace scenarios and whether or not you would be a good culture add. Avoid saying anything negative about your former employer, managers or colleagues. Dont mention any aspects of your last role that youre aware would be part of this role. Make your answer about your career growth and enthusiasm for joining their organization.
Example answer:While I enjoyed my time learning and growing in my last job, there was a lack of opportunity in the way I wanted to progress in my career. I deeply enjoy being challenged and getting better at what I do, which I understand is a top priority for managers at your organization. Thats why Im excited to continue having conversations about this opportunity.
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How Have You Changed During Your Time Here
This is an unusual one, but it will elicit some interesting insights, says Camille Ricketts, Head of Marketing at Notion. People might talk about how they’ve gotten more opportunities to learn or real mobility in their role. Sometimes they will say they’ve become more resilient or stronger, which is an indication of something else, perhaps. It gives you a fascinating perspective on what the culture brings out in people.
How Do You Set Goals Outline The Process
Most of your best employees will be highly goal-oriented and results driven, hardly surprising then that hiring managers want more of the same!
This interview question is great at ensuring that candidates are going to match up to the goals that you set them, and should show you whether they have sufficient initiative to set their own targets.
The best candidates will articulate their exact goal setting process. This should involve: how they select goals, how they split these lofty goals up into smaller tasks, how they plan to tackle these tasks, and ultimately how they measure success.
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Common Panel Interview Questions
The easiest way to get over any potential nerves that come with facing a panel interview is to hold your own mock interview beforehand.
Asking friends to pretend to be panelists is a great way to practice your answers ahead of time. Have your mock interviewers listen to your answers and then ask them for their individual perspectives on what you said.
Because a panel interview involves multiple individuals, each with a unique view of the position you are applying for, the questions most commonly asked deal more with how you think and react to situations rather than straight forward factual responses.
Here are three great potential panel interview questions you can practice with, as well as example answers to help you build your own responses.
Do You Have Any Questions For Us
You probably already know that an interview isnt just a chance for a hiring manager to grill youits an opportunity to sniff out whether a job is the right fit from your perspective. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team? Youll cover a lot of this in the actual interview, so have a few less-common questions ready to go. We especially like questions targeted to the interviewer or the companys growth If youre interviewing for a remote role, there are some specific questions you might want to ask related to that.
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Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position
This is valuable information for employers to understand. It helps them ensure the opening will be a better fit, make sure they can provide for what your previous employer did not or see if you might have contributed to a negative experience for both you and the employer. Answer this question honestly, but refrain from providing too much personal or negative detail.
Example:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer many opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position aligns perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to advance my career.
Whats The Most Interesting Project Youve Worked On In A Past Position
Ask this interview question to determine if the applicant would likely enjoy the work available at your company. Do the types of tasks they find fulfilling align with the job description for your position? Making sure employees find their work professionally satisfying is one of the most important factors in retention.
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Do You Work Best Alone Or On A Team
What kind of work will the candidate be performing if theyre selected for the position? This question helps determine if theyre suited to the types of assignments theyll receive. Regardless if they’ll work remotely or in the office, someone who enjoys solitary work and long stretches of uninterrupted time may not thrive in a position that requires collaboration or multitasking.
What Is Your Biggest Management Strength
The answer to this manager interview question should describe the candidates biggest management strength and explain how it helps get the job done and benefits their team and your business.
Job candidates should understand how their strength integrates with the strengths of your team to form a cohesive unit.
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Tell Me About A Time You Overcame An Obstacle
Employers ask this question to understand how you deal with difficulties. You can use the STAR method when answering behavioral interview questions like this. Provide a brief summary of the situation, your role in the situation, the action you put into place to resolve the issue, and how the issue was resolved as a result.
Example:I worked as a retail manager at a department store during prom season. A customer purchased a dress online and had it delivered to the store where it was accidentally purchased by another customer. Before calling the original buyer, I located the same dress at another location nearby. I ordered it to be pressed and delivered to her home the morning of prom with a gift card to thank her for her understanding. The customer immediately wrote us a five-star review on several review sites.
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How Do You Imagine A Typical Day In Work
Try to emphasize teamwork in your answer. What is more, you should show them that you like to be busy, and do not expect an easy ride.
You should also name some duties from the job description. In a perfect scenario you will add a question at the end of your answer, asking them whether you are right, whether your idea of the day in work reflects the reality as they experience it day in day out in work.
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Ask Others What Your Strengths Are
Once you’ve done some introspection and come up with a handful of strengths that you believe to be your strongest assets, it’s time to turn to the people you know and trust, to get an outside opinion.
Left completely to my own devices a few years ago, I would’ve thought that one of my most valuable strengths at the time, was my ability to build my own WordPress website without needing outside development or design assistance.
And you know what? That is definitely still a strength in my book. However, in the grand scheme of things, working on website features really isn’t the best utilization of my time and it’s not what I’m best at. I decided that in order to be as successful as possible with my business, I need to be only doing what I’m absolutely best at, and leveraging my strongest skills in the process.
It was my close group of friends and business mentors that helped guide me to a place where I could identify the fact that I’m much better suited at spending my time writing and connecting directly with the people in my community, as opposed to getting deep in the woods of working on website features. Without that clarity, I would’ve been wasting some of my talents.
So, let’s reach out to three to five people who know you very well, trust you, and would give you honest feedback. You can pick up the template for this reach out message in my Skill Assessment Guide.