Preparing talking points for common interview questions can help you feel confident and prepared. While every interviewer is different and their questions may vary depending on the job and industry, there are a few common questions you can expect and prepare for such as, "Tell me about yourself."
Below, we've put together a comprehensive list of commonly-asked interview questions including what interviewers are looking for in your response, plus example answers to help you make a great first impression.
Example interview questions
Here are several common questions to use as practice for your next interview:
Basic interview questions
- Can you explain these gaps in your resume?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Are you overqualified for this role?
- Would you be willing to work nights and weekends?
- What qualities make a good leader?
- What is the name of our CEO?
- What questions haven’t I asked you?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you changing careers?
- Can you walk us through your resume?
- Why is our company interesting to you?
- Who was your favorite manager and why?
- Who are our competitors?
- Why are you the right person for this job?
- What is your greatest personal achievement?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What do you know about our industry?
Behavioral interview questions
- Describe a time when your boss was wrong. How did you handle the situation?
- How would you feel about reporting to a person younger than you?
- Describe a time you went above and beyond at work.
- Tell me about the last mistake you made.
- What do you want to accomplish in the first 30 days of this job?
- Describe a time you got angry at work.
- Describe a time when you had to give a person difficult feedback.
- Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- Would you ever lie for a company?
- Tell me about how you dealt with a difficult challenge in the workplace.
- What do you really think about your previous boss?
- What has been the most rewarding experience of your career thus far?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- Describe a time you chose to not help a teammate.
- Describe a time you went out of your way to help somebody.
- Describe a time when your work was criticized?
- What do you want to accomplish in the first 90 days of this job?
- Do you think you could have done better in your last job?
- How would you fire someone?
Read more: How To Prepare for a Behavioral Interview
Questions about salary
- Can you discuss your salary history?
- How much do you expect to be earning in five years?
Read more: How To Talk About Salary in a Job Interview
Questions about you
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- What is your ideal working environment?
- What commonly accepted view do you disagree with and why?
- What are some positive things your last boss would say about you?
- What differentiates you from our other candidates?
- Are you a morning person?
- How would a good friend describe you?
- Are you more of a leader or a follower?
- Do you have a personal mission statement?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- How long do you expect to work for this company?
- How do you keep yourself organized?
- What character traits would your friends use to describe you?
- What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
- What are three skills or traits you wish you had?
- Describe your perfect company.
- Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?
- What is your proudest achievement?
- How do you want to improve yourself in the upcoming year?
- Who are your heroes?
- What is your favorite memory from childhood?
- What is your favorite website?
- When were you most satisfied in a previous job?
- What’s the last book you read?
- What is the best job you ever had?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What was your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake you’ve made?
- If you won a $10 million lottery, would you still work?
- What was the last project you led and what was the outcome?
- How many hours per week do you normally work?
- Do you ever take your work home with you?
- What three things are most important to you in your job?
- What is one negative thing your last boss say about you?
- What will you miss about your previous job?
- Describe your work style.
- What is your management style?
- Who has impacted you most in your career?
- What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
- What is your biggest regret and why?
- What are your coworker pet peeves?
- Why did you choose your major?
- What is your ideal company size?
- What is a book that everyone needs to read and why?
- Do you prefer working alone or in a team environment?
- Do you find it difficult to adapt to new situations?
- Do you have a mentor?
- Explain why you’ve had so many jobs?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Describe your top three technical skills?
- What causes are you passionate about?
- If you suddenly gained the ability to time travel, what’s the first thing you’d do?
- If you could get rid of any US state, which would you choose and why?
- Which is more important, creativity or efficiency?
- Is it better to be good and on time or perfect and late with your work?
- How many times per day do a clock’s hands overlap?
- How many stacked pennies would equal the height of the Empire State Building?
Interview questions with example answers
Here are several common interview questions to prepare for your next interview, including best practices and examples for answering each:
96. Tell me about yourself
At the beginning of the conversation, your interviewer will likely start out by asking you about yourself. They are seeking to understand your qualifications, what led you to the job and generally why you think you'd be a good fit. The key here is making your answer concise and direct, including only professional information relevant to the job. Your answer should be structured as follows:
1. Start by describing your background with a summary of your most impressive responsibilities: "I've been a hostess at XYZ Restaurant for just over two years where I greet and seat customers, assess wait times, fulfill to-go orders and answer the phones. I love the lively and busy environment—we often have Friday and Saturday wait times of one hour or more...”
2. Next, briefly summarize your previous experience with key achievements: "...Before working at XYZ Restaurant, I worked in retail as a floor associate for five years. Working in retail developed the customer service skills that make me a great hostess, offering a top-tier dining experience from the moment customers walk in the door. It also equipped me with the ability to work quickly under pressure..."
3. Lastly, express how you found the new job and why it's a good fit for you and your goals: "...I've enjoyed and grown in my current role, but wish to expand and utilize my customer service expertise in an elite restaurant environment. I am interested in your restaurant because of its reputation for delivering first-in-class service to your patrons in a lively, dynamic environment.”
Read more: Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself”
Tips on responding to "Tell me about yourself”:
1. Start by discussing your current situation
2. Work backward by hitting key points along your professional journey
3. Connect your background, interests and qualifications back to the job
97. 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.”
98. What makes you unique?
Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates they’re interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. Since you don’t know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong candidate.
To help you prepare this answer consider the following:
- Assets the employers finds valuable: Review the job description for role responsibilities as well as required and desired skills, qualities, experience and qualifications. For example, if a position emphasizes cross-collaboration, you might speak about your ability to unite a team around a common goal.
- Ways you've been successful in previous roles: Reflect on past accomplishments and list the qualities that helped you achieve them. For example, if you received an award for your marketing skills you might share this along with the project or experience that earned you the award.
- Traits or skills you've been praised for: Consider your strengths and qualities commonly recognized by previous employers or coworkers. Think back to positive feedback you’ve received from performance reviews and completed projects. For example, if your employer consistently brings up your ability to motivate others in your performance reviews, it’s likely a trait they highly value and other employers would also appreciate.
Example answer: "What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion."
Read more: Interview Question: “What Makes You Unique?”
99. Why do you want to work here?
Interviewers often ask this question to determine whether or not you took the time to research the company and think critically about whether you’re a good fit. The best way to prepare for this question is to do your homework and learn about the products, services, mission, history and culture of this workplace. In your answer, mention the aspects of the company that appeals to you and aligns with your values and career goals.
Example answer: “The company’s mission to help college grads pay off their student loan debt resonates with me. I’ve been in student loan debt myself and would love the opportunity to work with a company that’s making a difference. Finding a company with a positive work environment and values that align with my own has remained a priority throughout my job search and this company ranks at the top of the list.”
100. 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 I’m looking to grow in my career. I’m also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.”
101. What motivates you?
Employers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness and ensure your sources of motivation align with the role and company. To answer, be as specific as possible, provide real-life examples and tie your answer back to the job role and/or the company’s mission
Consider asking yourself these questions to prepare your answer:
- What did a great day at work look like in your previous role and why?
- What made you choose your profession or field?
What prompted you to apply for the role when you read the job description?
Example answer: “Making a true difference in the lives of my patients and their families motivates me to strive for excellence in everything I do. I look forward to seeing my patient’s reactions when we get a positive outcome that will change their lives forever. That’s why I became a nurse and why I’m pursuing a position in pediatrics.”
102. What are you passionate about?
Much like the previous question about motivation, employers might ask what you are passionate about to better understand what drives you and what you care most deeply about. This can both help them understand whether you are a good fit for the role and if it fits into your larger goals. To answer, consider this structure:
1. Select something you are genuinely passionate about and explain why you’re passionate about it: “As a software developer, I’m passionate about creating truly beautiful, efficient digital products to make people’s experience with technology memorable...”
2. Provide examples of how you’ve pursued this passion: "...One of the things I loved about my last job was witnessing the results of my team’s code update and watching as our months of work yielded positive user feedback...”
3. Relate it back to the job: "...Having the opportunity to lead projects from ideation through launch was one of the reasons I was so excited to apply for this role.”
103. Why are you leaving your current job?
There are many acceptable reasons for leaving a job. Prepare a thoughtful answer that will give your interviewer confidence that you’re being deliberate about this job change. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current or previous role, focus on the future and what you hope to gain in your next position. Consider the following when crafting your response:
1. Focus on your skills: "I’ve been refining my project management skills with volunteer opportunities and side projects with other teams, and I received my PMP last quarter..."
2. Keep it positive: "...I’m looking for an opportunity where I can put those abilities to work for a mission I’m passionate about...”
3. Relate it back to the job: “...I was also excited to read in the job description that this role will require regular presentations to key stakeholders—one of my key motivators is the ability to connect with colleagues and communicate my team’s work, so this is an especially exciting part of this opportunity...”
4. Provide a recap: “...Ultimately, I’ve learned a lot in my current role, but I’m looking for the next step where I can continue to grow and use the skills I’ve honed to contribute to a company I love, and this opportunity seems to be the perfect fit.”
104. What are your greatest strengths?
In your answer to this question, share your most relevant technical and soft skills. While it may feel uncomfortable to talk highly of yourself, remember that this is your opportunity to tell your interviewers what makes you a great candidate—and they want to hear it. To answer, follow the formula below:
1. Share one to a few positive qualities and personal attributes: "I’ve always been a natural leader...”
2. Back them up with examples: "...I’ve exceeded my KPIs every quarter and have been promoted twice in the past five years. I look back at those successes and know that I wouldn’t have reached them if I hadn’t built and led teams composed of highly skilled and diverse individuals. I’m proud of my ability to get cross-functional groups on the same page...”
3. Relate them back to the role for which you’re interviewing: "...I’ve also regularly honed my management skills through 360 reviews and candid sessions with my team, and I know continuing to build my leadership skills is something I want from my next role.”
105. What are your greatest weaknesses?
It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where you’re 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 learning—traits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Consider using this formula for your response:
1. Select an actual weakness (not a strength) that is honest but professionally relevant: "I’m 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 didn’t 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. It’s 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.”
106. What are your goals for the future?
Hiring managers often ask about your future goals to determine whether or not you’re looking to stay with the company long-term. Additionally, this question is used to gauge your ambition, expectations for your career and ability to plan ahead. The best way to handle this question is to examine your current career trajectory and how this role helps you reach your long-term goals.
Example answer: “I would like to continue developing my marketing expertise over the next several years. One of the reasons I’m interested in working for a fast-growing startup company is that I’ll have the ability to wear many hats and collaborate with many different departments. I believe this experience will serve me well in achieving my ultimate goal of someday leading a marketing department.”
107. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Understanding how you imagine your life in the future can help employers understand whether the trajectory of the role and company fits in with your personal development goals. To answer this question you can:
Describe skills you want to develop and accomplishments you’d like to achieve:
“In five years, I’d like to be an industry expert in my field, able to train and mentor students and entry-level designers alike. I would also like to gain specialized expertise in user experience to be a well-rounded contributor working with design and marketing teams on large-scale projects that make a difference both in the company and the global community.”
Provide specific career goals including any dream roles or projects:
"Some of my future goals for the next few years include leading a design team in a formal capacity. I’m also excited about the prospect of working with product and event teams on developing streamlined processes—this is a natural fit with my project management background. I’d also like to further develop my skills in user experience to aid in creating more user-focused designs all around.”
108. Can you tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?
This question is often used to assess how well you perform under pressure as well as your problem-solving abilities. Keep in mind stories are more memorable than facts and figures, so strive to “show” instead of “tell.” This is also an excellent opportunity to show your human side and how when faced with adversity you are able to persevere.
For this question, consider sticking to the STAR method:
Result or learning
Example answer: “It was the first day of my boss’s two-week vacation and our agency’s highest-paying client threatened to leave because he didn’t feel he was getting the personalized service he was promised. I spent my lunch hour on the phone with him talking through his concerns. We even brainstormed ideas for his next campaign. He was so grateful for the personal attention that he signed another six-month contract before my boss even returned from her trip.”
109. What is your salary range expectation?
Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount they’ve budgeted for the role. If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you don’t know your worth. Here are three ways to approach this response:
Provide a range
Research the typical compensation range for the role on Indeed Salaries and make the low end of your range your lowest acceptable salary. For example, if you require at least $50,000 annually, you might offer the interviewer a range of $50,000-$60,000 per year. Let the hiring manager know if you’re flexible.
Example answer: “My salary expectation is between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX, which is the average salary for a candidate with my level of experience in this city. However, I am flexible and willing to discuss.”
Include negotiation options
There may be other benefits, perks or forms of compensation you find just as valuable as your salary.
Example answer: “I am seeking a position that pays between $75,000 and $80,000 annually, but I am open to negotiate salary depending on benefits, bonuses, equity, stock options and other opportunities.”
Deflect the question
If you’re early in the hiring process and still learning the specifics of the job duties and expectations, you may want to deflect the question for later in the conversation.
Example answer: “Before I answer, I’d like to ask a few more questions to get a better idea of what the position entails. That way, I can provide a more accurate expectation.”
If you’re unsure about what salary is appropriate to ask for the position you’re applying to, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.
110. Why should we hire you?
While this question may seem like an intimidation tactic, interviewers generally ask to offer another opportunity to explain why you’re the best candidate. Your answer should address the skills and experience you offer, why you’re a good culture fit and what you believe you’d bring to the role.
One thing to remember as you’re discussing your fitness for the company with employers is that the idea of “culture fit” can sometimes be used as a way to eliminate and discriminate against candidates, however unknowingly, who don’t think, act or look like existing employees. A better alternative concept you might consider speaking to is “culture add,” or your ability to bring fresh and additive ideas and feedback to the team. Culture adds make the company stronger by diversifying the experiences and perspectives of its workforce.
Example answer: “My experience accurately managing inventory intake and skills in creating effective, streamlined schedules make me uniquely qualified to succeed in this kitchen manager position. I understand that you require a highly organized candidate with acute attention to detail. In my previous job, I successfully handled schedules for 20 employees and reduced food waste by 15%. I’m confident in my ability to use my organizational skills to bring efficiency and order to your restaurant.
111. Do you have any questions?
This might be one of the most important questions asked during the interview process because it allows you to explore any topics that haven’t been addressed and shows the interviewer you’re serious about the role. Remember that you are interviewing the company too. Take time to ask the interviewer questions about their own experiences with the company, gain tips on how you can succeed if hired and address any lingering questions you have. Some examples include:
- What do you love most about working for this company?
- What would success look like in this role?
- What are some of the challenges people typically face in this position?”
- How important is it that you hire someone with XYZ qualities?
Do you have any hesitations about hiring me?
112. 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.”
113. 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. Don’t mention any aspects of your last role that you’re 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. That’s why I’m excited to continue having conversations about this opportunity.”
114. How do you handle stress?
How you handle stressful situations is an indicator of your ability to solve problems. Employers want to hire candidates who react to stress constructively, so it’s important that your answer to this question demonstrates personal growth.
Spend some time thinking about your response to stressful situations and provide an example that communicates your abilities around perseverance, resilience and stress management.
Example answer: “I’m able to stay calm when I focus on the bigger picture and break down my projects into smaller tasks. I always start by asking myself, “What is the ultimate goal I’m trying to achieve?” From there, I make a list of immediate and long-term action items with achievable but ambitious deadlines. Even if the big project is due tomorrow, I ask myself, ‘What’s something I can tackle in the next 30 minutes?’ Before I know it, I’ve made significant progress and that impossible project doesn’t seem so impossible.”
115. What is your greatest accomplishment?
It’s easy to get hung up on figuring out your single most impressive accomplishment. Instead, think of a few achievements that showcase your work ethic and values. If you can, pick examples that also tie back to the job you’re applying for. The STAR method is a great tool to ensure you highlight the parts of your story that employers want to hear.
Example answer: “In my last role, I managed all social media content. I noticed other brands were experimenting with videos and seeing great engagement from their customers, so I asked my boss if we could do a low-budget test. She agreed, so I produced a video cheaply in-house that drove double the engagement we normally saw on our social channels. It also drove conversions with 30% of viewers visiting our website within a week of seeing the video.”
116. What is your teaching philosophy?
This isn’t a question solely for those applying to teaching positions. Employers may ask this of anyone who might be leading or teaching others. Your response will allow employers to gauge your personal skills and if you would be a good culture add. A good answer will concisely identify what you think teaching should achieve and include concrete examples to illustrate your ideas.
Example answer: “When it comes to managing people, my teaching philosophy is to start by asking questions that hopefully get the person to come to a new conclusion on their own. This way, they feel ownership over the learning rather than feeling micromanaged. For example, in my last role, I was editing an article written by a copywriter I managed. The story didn’t have a clear focus or hook.
In a one-on-one meeting, I asked her what she thought was the main point of the article if she had to sum it up in a sentence. From there, I asked if she thought the focus was clear in the article. She didn’t think it was clear and instead thought she should rework her introduction and conclusion. As a result, the article improved and my direct report learned a valuable writing lesson that she carried into her future work.”
117. What does customer service mean to you?
If you’re applying for a public-facing role, an employer may ask this question to determine what aspects of customer service are most important to you. . A good answer will align with the company’s values, which you can glean through researching their customer service policy, understanding their products and clientele and reflecting on your own experiences as a customer. Your answer can either come from the perspective of a customer or a customer service provider.
Example answer: “In my experience, good customer service involves taking responsibility when something goes wrong and doing what you can to make it right. For example, on a recent flight, I had pre-ordered my meal only to discover they didn’t stock enough of my dish. Instead of simply stating the facts, the flight attendant apologized sincerely and offered me a free drink or premium snack. To me, this apology went a long way in smoothing things over. The freebie was a bonus that made me feel valued as a customer and choose the same airline for my next flight.”
118. Tell me about your work experience
An interviewer may or may not already be familiar with your background. Regardless, this question gives you the chance to detail your experiences that are most valuable to the prospective role. Employers want to know that you’ve reflected on their expectations for a qualified candidate and that you have directly relevant or transferable skills. Consider these tips for answering:
1. Quantify your experience: “I have 10 years of experience in personal finance management, and I have assisted 45 repeat clients in increasing their capital by an average of 15% every year.”
2. Illustrate connections to role: ”As a financial analyst, I’ve used visual growth charts to show my clients how each saving plan option can impact their goals. When I became a senior financial analyst, I supervised other analysts and trained them in providing the most helpful experience to our customers.”
3. End with a goal statement: "As your senior financial consultant, I aim to integrate my individualized approach to helping clients build the retirement fund they will depend on.”
119. How do you define success?
Employers ask this to help them understand how your definition of success influences your goals and how you measure them. A good answer will show that you know how to define and measure goals and you’re willing to challenge yourself and work hard to meet them.
Consider your proudest achievements, your long and short-term successes and how the company you’re interviewing with views success. Give specific examples of how you’ve succeeded in the past.
Example answer: “I define success as fulfilling my role in my team and in the company. I work toward completing my individual duties as effectively as possible, balancing that with professional growth and contributing to larger organizational goals. In my previous role, success meant exceeding weekly metrics, implementing processes that supported the company’s KPIs and meeting quarterly professional development goals.”
120. How do you work under pressure?
Many jobs involve moments when, for varied reasons, there are unexpected situations that require swift action. The ability to stay calm, think logically and act correctly in such a scenario is a major asset.
This is another good instance of when to use the STAR method to talk about a specific time you were faced with a challenge, might have succumbed to stress but managed to calmly find a solution.
Example answer: “Throughout my career, I’ve discovered how to embrace working under pressure. I find that routine can make us complacent, so I try to look for challenges that push me to grow.
One time, I was supposed to deliver a project to a client in five days. A colleague who was working with another client had the same deadline, but he had to take a leave of absence due to personal reasons. I was forced to take up both projects at the same time. While I felt an initial sense of panic, I tried to reframe it as an opportunity to see what I might be capable of. Instead of letting the stress get to me, I came up with a very detailed time management plan and found new ways to boost my efficiency that enabled me to deliver both projects on time.”
121. What is your dream job?
Employers typically ask this question because they want to ensure that your interests and passion align with their job. A good answer will describe a role that matches the one you’re interviewing for. Consider using this formula for your response:
1. Mention the skills you want to use: “I enjoy guiding other team members on projects and making sure everything goes smoothly..."
2. Describe a job in general: "...My dream job would be a leadership position where the other team members are active participants and communication happens daily...”
3. Discuss your values: "...I love seeing a project through to the end and celebrating everyone’s hard work...”
4. Tailor to the job for which you are interviewing: "...For instance, if you’re applying for a leadership position, you might discuss how your dream job would include supervisory responsibilities."
122. What can you bring to the company?
This question is similar to, “Why should we hire you?” A strong answer will demonstrate the skills you have to be successful in this role as well as your potential to bring a new perspective to the business.
Research the company in-depth to understand its culture and business needs. Explain why your skills, experience and characteristics uniquely position you to advance organizational objectives. Use an example from your work experience that speaks to your skill set.
Example answer: “My problem-solving abilities allow me to work extremely well under pressure, which I understand is a common occurrence in this role. In a previous position as the purchasing lead, I had to decide which supplies to order to stay within the budget, but I had a limited amount of time to make a decision. I quickly created a spreadsheet that helped me compare manufacturers’ prices and was able to order the necessary supplies on time and within our budget. I used the spreadsheet throughout the rest of my time with the company to help them save over $500,000. I will bring the same interest and motivation for making an impact here at ABC Company.”
123. How do you handle conflict at work?
Employers ask this question to gauge how you interact with various stakeholders or colleagues of differing opinions. Often, being the right person for the job involves more than just hard skills, hiring managers also value candidates who can collaborate with others and approach conflict in a productive way.
A good answer will discuss a time you encountered a conflict with a colleague, client or manager and maintained the patience to resolve it. It’s important to relay what you learned—how you grew personally and professionally—as a result of the experience. Use the STAR method to construct your response.
Example answer: “I was working as a project manager on an IT project, and one technician was constantly late finishing tasks. When I approached him about it, he reacted defensively. I kept calm and acknowledged that the deadlines were challenging and asked how I could assist him in improving his performance.
He calmed down and told me that he was involved in another project where he had to do tasks that were not in his job description. After a meeting with the other project manager, we came to a resolution that alleviated the technician’s workload. For the remainder of the project, the technician delivered great work.
I learned that you don’t always know what others are experiencing and by keeping that in mind, I can better navigate conflict and be a more helpful and supportive colleague.”
124. Why are you interested in this position?
Interviewers typically want to be sure that you applied for this job because you’re genuinely interested in it. Avoid voicing concerns about your current position or company—negative comments about your employer are often interpreted as unprofessional. A good answer will positively frame your transition and communicate your desire to grow in the role you’re interviewing for.
Research the role and company ahead of time to understand how it relates to your background. Ask yourself questions such as, “How will this position help me advance in my career?”, “How does the position align with my future goals?” and “What makes me a good fit for this company or role?”
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 I’m looking to grow in my career. I’m also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.”
125. What skills would you bring to the job?
While this is similar to questions like, “Why should we hire you?” or “What can you bring to the company?” it allows you to be more specific about your work ethic, style and unique abilities as it relates to the role.
An impactful answer will discuss your hard and soft skills and use the STAR method to illustrate how your unique skills might benefit the team or organization.
Example answer: “I can make anyone feel comfortable in a new environment, which makes me a good fit as a human resources assistant. In my previous position, a new employee came to me and told me that she didn’t think she was right for the company culture. After talking to her for a few minutes, we realized that she felt too much pressure to participate in company events. I started introducing events that involved fewer competitions and more casual environments, and she quickly grew more comfortable with her team.”
How to prepare for an interview
Use these questions and example answers to prepare for your interview by making them your own and tailoring them to fit your experience, the job and the company you’re interviewing for. It’s important to get comfortable with what you could be asked and understand what a good response might be.
Much like preparing for a test in school, the best way to succeed in your interview is to study and practice. Research the company and the job, and practice your talking points until you feel confident about your answers. The more you prepare, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression and outperform fellow candidates. Come equipped with examples of work from previous jobs, as well as ideas for the new job. Try and make the interview as conversational as possible by showing genuine interest in the job, company and your interviewer.
Top 10 Interview Questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. How would you describe yourself?
3. What makes you unique?
4. Why do you want to work here?
5. What interests you about this role?
6. What motivates you?
7. What are you passionate about?
8. Why are you leaving your current job?
9. What are your greatest strengths?
10. What are your greatest weaknesses?