Most 45 Interview Questions and Answers in 2023

 Job Interview Questions and Answers: Your Ultimate Guide to Answering the Most Common Job Interview Questions

Most Interview Questions and Answers in 2023

Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what questions the hiring manager will ask you at your next job interview? Here are the most important job interview questions and answers.

Unfortunately, we can’t read minds, but we’ll give you the next best thing: a list of 40 of the most common interview questions, along with tips for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a ready response for every interview question (in fact, you don’t), we do recommend taking the time to get comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your answers, and what it takes to prove you’re the one. appropriate for the job.

Consider this list of job interview questions and answers study guide, more than a presentation of questions.

Classic questions

These frequently asked questions touch on the basics that hiring managers want to know about every candidate: who you are, why you’re a good fit for the job, and what you’re good at. You may not be asked exactly these questions with these exact words, but if you have answers to them, you will be prepared for almost anything the interviewer throws your way.

1. Tell me about yourself.

This question seems simple, many people fail to prepare for it, but it is important.

Here’s how to answer: Don’t give out your full employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a presentation—one that’s concise and compelling and shows exactly why you’re a good fit for the job. Muse author and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using the present, past and future tense.

Talk a little about your current role (including scope and maybe one big accomplishment), then give some background on how you got here and your experience.

2. How did you hear about this position?

Another seemingly harmless interview question, it’s actually the perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion and connection to the company.

For example, if you found out about the party through a friend or professional contact, drop that person’s name, then share why you were so excited about it.

If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what specifically caught your eye about the position.

3. Why do you want to work for this company?

Beware of general answers!

If what you say applies to a whole host of other companies, or if your response makes you sound like any other candidate, you’re missing out on an opportunity to stand out.

Experts recommend one of four strategies:

Do your research and point to something that makes the company unique and that really appeals to you; talking about how you’ve watched the company grow and change since you first heard about it; focus on the organization’s opportunities for future growth and how you can contribute to them; Or share what has got you excited about your interactions with employees so far.

Whichever route you choose, make sure to be specific. And if you can’t figure out why you want to work for the company you’re interviewing for at the time you’re in, you’re good to go

4. Why do you want this job?

Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you need to have a great answer about why you want the job. (And if you don’t? Maybe you should apply elsewhere.)

First, identify two key factors that make the position a good fit for you (for example, “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”), then share why you love the company (for example, “I have always I was passionate about education, and I think you’re doing great things, so I want to be a part of it”).

5. Why should we hire you?

This interview question seems neatly directed (not to mention intimidating!), but if you’re asked, you’re in luck: There’s no better preparation for you than selling yourself and your skills to a hiring manager.

Your task here is to formulate an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but also achieve great results; that you will really immerse yourself in the team and the culture; And that you will be a better employee than any of the other candidates.

6. What are your greatest strengths?

This is a start to talking about something that makes you great — and a great fit for the role. When you answer this question, think of quality, not quantity. In other words, don’t bother with the list of adjectives.

Instead, choose one or a few (depending on the question) specific adjectives relevant to this situation and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. And if there’s something you’ve been hoping to mention because it makes you a great candidate, but haven’t had the chance yet, now would be the perfect time.

7. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

What the interviewer is trying to do with this question — other than identifying any major red flags — is gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, “I can’t meet the deadline to save my life” is not an option – but also, “Nothing! incomplete!” unrealistic.

Strike a balance by thinking about something you’re struggling with but working to improve. For example, you may have never been strong at public speaking, but recently volunteered to run meetings to help you feel more comfortable public speaking.

 Questions about your work history

The core of any job interview is your track record on the job: what you accomplished, how you succeeded or failed (and how you handled it), and how you act in real time in actual work environments. If you prepare a few diverse stories to tell about your work history and practice answering behavioral interview questions, you’ll be all set to go.

8. What are your greatest professional achievements?

Nothing says “hire me” better than a track record of achieving amazing results in previous jobs, so don’t be shy about answering this interview question! A great way to do this is to use the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Outcome.

Prepare the situation and the task you were asked to complete to provide the interviewer with background context (eg, “In my last job as a junior analyst, my role was to manage the invoicing process”), then describe what you did (the action) and what you achieved (the outcome): “In one month I streamlined the process, saving my group 10 hours of work each month and reducing billing errors by 25%.”

9. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced at work, and how you handled it.

Perhaps you are not keen to talk about conflicts you have had at work during a job interview. But if you are asked directly, don’t pretend you’ve never had one. Be honest about the difficult situation you’ve been in (but without going into the kind of details you’d share with a friend).

“Most people who ask are just looking for evidence that you want to confront these kinds of problems head-on and make an honest attempt to come up with a solution,” says former recruiter Rich Moy.

Stay calm and professional while telling the story (and answer any follow-up questions), spend more time talking about the solution than the conflict, and stating what you would do differently next time to show that you’re open to learning from difficult experiences. “

10. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills.

You don’t have to have a fancy title to act as a leader or demonstrate leadership skills. Think about a time when you headed a project, initiated an alternative process, or helped motivate your team to get something done.

Then use the STAR method to tell the interviewer a story, giving enough detail to paint a picture (but not so much that you start rambling) and making sure to spell out the outcome. In other words, be clear about why you are telling this particular story and connect all the dots to the interviewer.

11. When did you disagree with a decision made at work?

The ideal anecdote here is one in which you handled a disagreement in a professional manner and learned something from the experience. Experts recommend paying special attention to how you start and end your response. To open, write a short statement to frame the rest of your answer, or a statement indicating another takeaway or reason for telling this story.

For example: “I learned early in my career that it’s okay to disagree if you can back up your intuition with data.” To close firmly, you can either provide a one-sentence summary of your answer (“In short…”) or talk briefly about what you learned or gained from this experience that will help you in the role you’re interviewing for.

12. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.

Maybe you’re not too keen on digging through past blunders when you’re trying to impress an interviewer and get a job. But talking about a mistake and winning over someone isn’t mutually exclusive, Moy says.

In fact, if you do it right, it can help. The key is to be honest without blaming others, and then explain what you learned from your mistake and the actions you took to ensure it doesn’t happen again. At the end of the day, employers are looking for people who are self-aware, can take feedback, and care about doing better.

13. Tell me about a time when you failed.

This question is very similar to the question about making a mistake, and you should approach your answer in the same way. Make sure you pick a real, actual failure that you can talk about honestly. Start by showing the interviewer how you define failure.

For example: “As a manager, I consider it a failure whenever I am caught off guard. I strive to find out what is going on with my team and their work.” Then put the example in relation to this definition and explain what happened. Finally, don’t forget to share what you learned. It’s okay to fail – everyone does sometimes – but it’s important to show that you got something from the experience.

14. Why are you leaving your current job?

This is difficult, but you can be sure that you will be asked. Definitely keep things positive – you have nothing to gain from being negative about your current employer. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you.

For example, “I’d really like to be a part of product development from start to finish, and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” What if you quit your last job? Keep it simple: “Unfortunately, I was abandoned,” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

15. Why were you fired?

Of course, they might ask the follow-up question: Why did you quit?

If you lose your job due to layoffs, you can simply say, “The company [reorganized/merged/acquired] and unfortunately [my position/administrative position] has been removed.” But what if you were fired for performance reasons? Your best bet is to be honest (the world of job seekers is small, after all).

But it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Put it as a learning experience: share how you’ve evolved and how you’re coping with your job and life now as a result. And if you can picture your growth as an advantage to this next job, even better.

16. Why was there a gap in your work?

Perhaps you’ve been taking care of children or elderly parents, dealing with health issues, or traveling the world. It may have taken a long time to get the right job. Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to discuss the gap (or gaps) on your resume.

Seriously, practice saying your answer out loud. The key is to be honest, although that doesn’t mean you have to share more details than you’re comfortable with.

If there are skills or qualities that you have honed or acquired in your time away from the workforce—whether through volunteer work, housekeeping, or responding to a personal crisis—you can also talk about how they have helped you excel in the role.

17. Can you explain why you changed career paths?

Don’t be put off by this question — just take a deep breath and explain to the hiring manager why you made the career decisions you have. And most importantly, give some examples of how you transferred your previous experience to the new role.

This does not have to be a direct connection. In fact, it is often more impressive when a candidate can show how the seemingly inappropriate experience is relevant to the role.

18. What is your current salary?

It is now illegal for some or all employers to ask you about your salary history in many countries. But no matter where you live, it can be stressful to hear this question.

Don’t panic – there are many possible strategies you can resort to. For example, you could dismiss the question, says Emily Liu in an answer article: “Before discussing any salary, I’d really like to know more about what the position involves. I’ve done a lot of research on [the company] and I’m sure if suitable, we’ll be able to agree on a fair and competitive number for both parties.”

You can also rephrase the question about your salary expectations or requirements (see Question 38) or choose to share a number if you think it will work for you.

19. What do you hate most about your job?

Tread carefully here! The last thing you want to do is let your answer devolve into a rant about how awful your current company is or how much you hate your boss or co-worker. The easiest way to approach this question with balance is to focus on the opportunity for the role you’re interviewing for offers that your current job doesn’t. You can keep the conversation positive and emphasize why you are so excited about the job.

Job interview questions and answers about you and your goals

Another important aspect of the interview? Get to know the candidate. This is why you will likely encounter questions about how you work, what you are looking for (in a job, team, company, manager) and what your goals are. It’s a good sign if interviewers want to make sure you’ll fit in – or add to – the team. Use it as an opportunity!

20. What are you looking for in the new job?

Hint: Ideally the same stuff this post offers. Be precise and impress them with what they are looking for.

21. What kind of work environment do you prefer?

Hint: Ideally, an environment similar to that of the company you are applying to. be specific.

22. What is your management style?

The best managers are tough but resilient, which is exactly what you want to brag about in your answer. (Think something like, “While every situation and every team member requires a little bit of a different strategy, I tend to approach my employee relations as a coach…”) Then share some of your best managerial moments, like when you grew your team from five to 15. Member or coach an underperforming employee to become the best salesperson in the company.

23. How would your boss and co-workers describe you?

First of all, be honest (remember, if you make it to the final round, the hiring manager will be calling out your bosses and former colleagues for references!). Then try to elicit strengths and traits that you didn’t discuss in other aspects of the interview, such as a strong work ethic or your willingness to participate in other projects when needed.

24. How do you deal with stress or stressful situations?

Here’s another question you may feel the need to avoid in an effort to prove that you’re the perfect candidate who can handle anything. But it’s important not to ignore this (i.e. don’t say “I put my head down and hit it” or “I don’t get nervous”).

Instead, talk about your transition strategies for dealing with stress (whether it’s meditating for 10 minutes every day, making sure you go for a run, or keeping a very detailed to-do list) and how you communicate and think about proactively trying another way to relieve stress. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation in which you succeeded, even better.

25. What do you like to do outside of work?

Interviewers will sometimes ask you about your hobbies or interests outside of work in order to get to know you a little better – to see what you are passionate about and make time for during your off hours. It’s another chance to let your personality shine through. Be honest, but keep it professional and watch out for answers that might make it seem like you’re going to spend all of your time focused on something other than the job you’re applying for.

26. Are you planning to have children?

Questions about your marital status, gender (“How would you handle managing an all-man team?”), nationality (“Where were you born?”), religion, or age are illegal—but they still get asked (and frequently). Of course, it’s not always in bad faith—the interviewer might just be trying to strike up a conversation and might not realize it’s off-limits—but you should definitely string any questions about your personal life (or anything else you think might be inappropriate) back to perform better.

For this question, think: “You know, I haven’t gotten there yet. But I am very interested in the career paths in your company. Can you tell me more about this matter?”

27. How do you prioritize your work?

Interviewers want to know that you can manage your time, exercise judgment, communicate, and shift gears when needed. Start by talking about whatever system you’ve found works for you to plan your day or week, whether it’s a to-do list app you swear by or a color-coded spreadsheet.

Here you will definitely want to rely on a real-life example. So go on to describe how you have reacted to a last-minute request or other unexpected shift in priorities in the past, including how you assessed and decided what needed to be done and how you communicated with your manager and/or teammates about it.

28. What do you feel like?

You are not a robot programmed to do your job and then shut down. You are human, and if someone asks you this question in an interview, it is probably because they want to get to know you better. The answer could correspond directly to the type of work you’d be doing in the role—for example, if you were applying to become a graphic designer and spending all of your free time creating illustrations and data visualizations to post on Instagram.

But don’t be afraid to talk about a hobby that’s different from your day job. Bonus points if you can “take it a step further and relate how your passion will make you an excellent candidate for the role you’re applying for,” says career coach Musa Aldea. Like if you’re a software developer who loves to bake, you might talk about how the ability to be both creative and precise informs your approach to programming.

29. What motivates you?

Before you panic about answering what seems like an existential, probing question, keep in mind that the interviewer wants to make sure that you’re excited about the role at this company, and that you’ll be motivated to succeed if they choose you.

So think about the things that motivated you in previous positions and determine what made your eyes light up when you read this job description. Pick one thing, make sure it’s relevant to the position and the company you’re interviewing for, and try to weave a story to help make your point.

If you are sincere, which you should be, your enthusiasm will be palpable.

30. What is your favorite pet?

This is another one that feels like a minefield. But it will be easier to navigate if you know why the interlocutor is asking this. Most likely, they want to make sure you’ll succeed in their company — and get a glimpse of how you handle conflict.

So make sure you choose something that does not go against the culture and environment of this establishment while remaining honest. Then explain why and what you’ve done to address them in the past, and do your best to stay calm and composed. Since there is no need to dwell on something that is bothering you, you can keep this response short and sweet.

31. How would you like to be managed?

This is another one of those questions about finding the right option – both from the company’s point of view and from your point of view. Think about what worked well for you in the past and what didn’t. What did previous presidents do that motivated you and helped you succeed and grow? Pick one or two things to focus on and always express them in a positive light (even if your preference comes from an experience where your boss acted in the opposite way, say it as you would like the boss to do it). If you can give a positive example from a great boss, it will make your answer stronger.

32. Where do you see yourself in five years?

If this question is asked, be upfront and specific about your future goals, but consider this: the hiring manager wants to know:

a) If you have set realistic expectations for your career

b) If you have ambition (aka, this interview isn’t the first time you’ve thought of the question)

c) If the position aligns with your goals and growth.

Your best bet is to think realistically about where this situation could take you and answer along those lines. And if the position isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to your aspirations? It’s okay to say that you’re not entirely sure what the future holds, but that you see this experience as playing an important role in helping you make that decision.

33. What is your dream job?

In the same vein, the interviewer wants to reveal if this position is truly in line with your ultimate career goals. While “NBA superstar” might make you laugh a little, your best bet is to talk about your goals and ambitions — and why this job will bring you closer to them.

34. What other companies are you interviewing with?

Companies may ask you about other people you interview for a variety of reasons. They may want to know how serious the position and the team (or even the field) are, or they are trying to find out who they are competing with to hire you.

On the one hand, you want to express your enthusiasm for the job, but at the same time, you don’t want to give the company any more leverage than they already have by telling them there’s no one else in the running. Depending on where you are in the search, you could talk about applying or interviewing for some of the roles Company XYZ is involved with — and then mention how and why this role sounds like a particularly good fit.

35. What makes you unique?

I promise: “They really want to know the answer.” Give them a reason to choose you over other similar candidates. The key is to keep your answer relevant to the role for which you are applying. So the fact that you can run a six-minute mile or smash a trivia challenge may not help you get the job (but it depends on the job!).

Take this opportunity to tell them something that will give you an edge over your competition for the position. To find out what it is, you can ask some former colleagues, think about patterns you’ve seen in the comments you’re getting, or try to elicit why people like you. Focus on one or two things and don’t forget to back up everything you say with evidence.

36. What should I know that is not on your resume?

It’s a good sign if the recruiter or hiring manager is interested in more than just what’s on your resume. It probably means that they looked at your resume, thought you might be a good fit for the job, and want to know more about you.

To make this open-ended question more manageable, try talking about a positive trait, a story or details that reveal more about you and your experience, or a mission or goal that makes you excited about the role or company.

Job interview questions and answers about the job

At the end of the day, the people on the other side of the hiring process want to make sure you can take on the role. This means that they may ask you logistical questions to make sure timing and other factors fit in, and they may have you visualize what you will do after you start.

37. What would your first 30, 60 or 90 days in this position look like?

Your potential future boss (or anyone else who asked you this question) wants to know that you’ve done your research, given some thought to how you got started, and would be able to take the lead if hired. So think about what information and aspects of the company and team you’ll need to learn about and which colleagues you’ll want to sit down and talk with.

You can also suggest a potential start-up project to demonstrate that you’re ready to hit the ground running and contribute ahead of time. This wouldn’t necessarily be the thing you’d do first if you got the job, but a good answer shows you have a plan and you care.

38. What are your salary requirements?

Rule #1 for answering this question is to do your research on what you should be paid using sites like Payscale and get to your niche.

You will likely come up with a range, and we recommend that you select the highest applicable number in that range, based on your experience, education, and skills. Then make sure the hiring manager knows you’re flexible. You talk about knowing your skills are valuable, but that you want the job and are willing to negotiate.

You can also try procrastinating or delaying giving a number, especially if you get this question very early in the process, by saying something like, “I was hoping to get a sense of the scope/range you are considering for this role” or, as Liu suggests, “before discussing any salary.” I would really like to know more about what this role entails.”

39. What do you think we could do better or different?

This question can really affect you. How do you give an accurate answer without insulting the company or, worse, the person you’re talking to? Well first, take a deep breath. Then start your response with something positive about the specific company or product you were asked to discuss.

When you’re ready to give your constructive feedback, provide some background on the perspective you’re bringing to the table and explain why you’re making the change you’re proposing (ideally based on some past experience or other evidence).

And if you end with a question, you can show them that you are interested in the company or product and that you are open to other points of view. Try: “Have you considered this approach here? I would like to know more about the process by which it is carried out.”

40. When can you start?

Your goal here should be to set realistic expectations that work for you and the company. What exactly it looks like will depend on your specific situation. If you’re ready to start right away — if you’re unemployed, for example — you can offer to start in a week. But if you need to notify your current employer, don’t be afraid to say so; People will understand and respect that you plan to end things right.

It’s also legitimate to take a break between jobs, although you might want to say you have “pre-scheduled commitments to attend to” and try to be flexible if they really need someone to start sooner.

41. Are you ready to relocate?

While this may seem like a simple yes or no question, it’s often a little more complicated than that. The simplest scenario is one where you are completely open to relocating and would be willing to do so at the opportunity. But if the answer is no, or at least not at the moment, you can reaffirm your enthusiasm for the job, briefly explain why you are unable to move at this time, and offer an alternative, such as working remotely or out of a local office.

Sometimes it’s not entirely clear, and that’s okay. You can say that you would prefer to stay where you are for certain reasons and specify them, but you would be willing to consider moving for the right opportunity.

Job interview questions and answers that test you

Depending on the interviewer’s style and company, you can get some pretty weird questions. They often test how you think about something right away. Do not panic. Take a moment to reflect — and remember that there is no one right answer or approach.

42. How many tennis balls can you fit in a limo?

1000? 10,000? 100,000? seriously? Well, seriously, you might be asked motivational questions like these, especially in quantitative jobs. But remember, the interviewer doesn’t necessarily want an exact number—they want to make sure you understand what’s being asked of you, and that you can initiate a methodical, logical way to respond. So take a deep breath and start thinking about math. (Yes, it’s okay to ask for a pen and paper!)

If you were an animal, what would you want to be?

Seemingly random personality test-type questions pop up in interviews because hiring managers want to see how you can think on your feet. There is no wrong answer here, but you will immediately score bonus points if your answer helps you share your strengths, personality, or connect with the hiring manager.

Pro tip: Create a stalling technique to buy yourself some time to think, like saying, “Now, that’s a great question. I guess I’ll have to say…”

44. Sell me that pen

If you’re interviewing for a sales job, the interviewer might put you on the spot to sell him a pen sitting on the table, a legal pad, a water bottle, or something. What is the main thing they test for you? How do you handle a high pressure situation?

So try to remain calm and confident and use your body language – through eye contact, sitting up straight, etc. – to convey that you can handle this. Make sure you listen and understand your “customer’s” needs, be specific about the features and benefits of the item, and finish strong — as if you were actually closing a deal.

Job interview questions and answers at the end of the interview

When it’s time for the interview to end, you may have a chance to add any final thoughts and you’ll certainly have time to ask questions that will help you decide if this company and role would be a great fit for you. In fact, if they don’t leave time for you to ask any questions in any of your interviews, that can be a red flag in and of itself.

45. Is there anything else you want us to know?

Just when you thought you were done, the interviewer asks you this open spiral. Don’t panic – this is not a trick question! You can use this as an opportunity to end the meeting on a high note in one of two ways, says Chang. First, if there really is something relevant that you haven’t had a chance to mention, do it now. Otherwise, you can briefly summarize your qualifications.

For example, you could say, “I think we covered most of it, but just to recap, it sounds like you’re looking for someone who can really do [list the skills and commands you do]. And with my previous [expertise] experience, I think I would be a great fit.”

46. ​​Do you have any questions for us?

You probably already know that an interview isn’t just a chance for the hiring manager to question you — it’s an opportunity to find out if the job is a good fit for you.

What do you want to know about the job? company? Section? the team? You’ll cover a lot of this in the actual interview, so you have some less frequently asked questions ready to go.

Everyone especially loves questions aimed at the interviewer (“What is your favorite part of working here?”) or company growth (“What can you tell me about your new products or growth plans?”)