Common Job Interview Questions with Answers

Preparing for your job interview can be nerve wracking. If you prepare well however, you will be able to walk into your interview with a smile on your face and filled with the confidence knowing you are the best candidate for the job.

One of the best steps you can take to prepare for a job interview is practicing common job interview questions and answers. This will be a critical part of your preparation process as the interviewer will expect you to have answers ready-to-go as they go down their list of questions.

Here is a list of common questions and answers.

Common Job Interview questions

Interview Questions

  • Can you describe a major challenge that you faced at a previous employer and how you handled it?
    • When asked how you answered a major challenge, you should always include a specific example of how you handled a challenge using past experience if possible. You might answer something like this: “During the implementation of a new ERP program, I helped to coordinate team members and ensured we stayed on schedule. There were some technical problems with the computer software program which I was able to troubleshoot in a short time. I was also able to partner and train with team members during this time and help them figure out the reporting capability of our new program.”
  • What was your favorite part of your last job?
    • Talk about something related to the position that you want if you can, and always stay positive. “I enjoyed working with people. I am a very people-oriented person. I enjoy being a part of teams and building a team atmosphere. I also enjoy outreach and working with leadership.”
  • What is your weakness?
    • Try to mention something that is not directly related to your job. Also point out how you turned your weakness around into a strength, and what you learned from your experience. “I am a perfectionist so I often spend too much time on a project or include too many details. I have learned that I can reduce the amount of time that I spend on things by only incorporating critical details. I set up a system of checks and balances so I do not have to triple check items and can rest assured my work is correct the first time I do it.”
  • What was your biggest accomplishment at your previous job(s)?
    • Mention accomplishments that are related to the job that you are applying for. Tie them into the job description.
  • Why are you leaving your job?
    • Make sure you speak positively of your previous employer regardless of why you plan to leave or why you left your previous employer. If you were fired for any reason, you might say that your skills were not the right match for your employer’s needs and that you believe they are a better fit for the employer you are currently interviewing for. You can also suggest that the position wasn’t working out so you and your employer agreed it was time for you to move on. Other good answers include, “I am looking for more opportunities and greater challenges.”
  • How would you describe yourself?
    • Your interviewer does not want to hear your life history. Keep your answer short and concise. Pick some attributes that are related to your job. You might try practicing and memorizing something relative to say before you interview. Try thinking of something memorable to say. If you have a notable nickname that you can tell an anecdote about, then use it. You want to stand apart from the crowd and help your interviewer to remember you. “I am positive, upbeat and remind people of the sunshine. My sunny disposition really makes my work shine.” 
  • Describe a typical work week.
    • Your hiring manager wants to know if the things that you do on a daily basis are similar to the job role they are hiring for. Describe how the daily duties you normally engage in are similar and will match the job role they are trying to fill. Don’t include stopping for coffee breaks, or taking time off to dally at your coworker’s desk. Sit down and explain how your daily job duties fit the job description they are trying to fill. Tell them how you are the best candidate for the position because what you do in your daily job roles fulfill their needs.
  • How would you describe your work pace?
    • If your work pace is slow and steady, and that is what your employer needs, then let them know your work pace is exactly what it needs to be to get the job done. If you want to work for a corporation that needs someone that is on-the-ball and can fly by the seat of their pants, they you better be ready to work fast and let the hiring manager know that you work fast and can work under any tight deadline. Perhaps you are flexible and can work at a varying pace. Whatever the style is, let the employer know that you can meet their needs. Just be sure you are actually adaptable and can work at the appropriate work pace. If you crumble at a fast pace and need to work slowly, then find a job that is comparable and will meet your needs.
  • How do you handle stress?
    • The employer wants to know how well you manage stress. The job you have applied for may be stressful. Will you buckle under stress? Describe a stressful situation that you managed successfully. What techniques did you use to successfully manage stress? How have you successfully dealt with work stress in the past? How have you helped cope with a fast, turbulent work setting in the past? “I have set my priorities, deadlines and work schedule in a way that allows me adequate time to complete my work tasks so that I minimize stress as much as possible. I also engage in plenty of extra-curricular activities including yoga that help me distress after work. I enjoy working in a fast pace and rarely let things at work bring me down.”

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