Common interview questions and answers

The following questions are general and are used in almost every industry for almost any role. Indeed, employers ask these questions to gauge your overall experience, personality, and ability to handle work situations. Here are some of the most common interview questions you should prepare for:


1. Tell me about yourself.

This type of open-ended question is an opportunity to review the most relevant points in your CV. Give a brief work history, talk about what you've accomplished, and close by explaining why you're here for this interview.

Example: I enjoy my work, especially when I use my talents for planning and efficiency. I think I'm now ready to move on to a more challenging level, which is why I'm interested in becoming an Executive Assistant to the CEO.”


2. How would you describe yourself?

This question is intended to uncover your strengths and weaknesses as an expert. This is also a matter of self-perception, so it helps to support claims with concrete evidence.

Example: "I would say I'm a born leader. In my last role, I took over a team that was struggling to achieve its goals. I held meetings with each member of the team, listened to their concerns and problems, and then explained my vision for the team to them. We launched new initiatives to incentivize people, and in six months' time, we've consistently exceeded our target.”


3. What makes you unique?

Employers want to know why you, among all others, are the best candidate. One way to stand out from the crowd is to combine a variety of talents and experiences, such as soft skills and technical knowledge.

Example: "What makes me unique is my combination of sales and customer service experience. I understand my customers' needs and frustrations through my experience of addressing their concerns. This insight helps me better guide them in sales conversations."


4. Why do you want to work here?

This interview question asks if you have done your research on the company. Prepare for this answer by learning about your potential future employer's mission, history, and culture. If you can demonstrate that your personal ambitions complement the company's goals, you can stand out as a good potential candidate.

Example: “I'm passionate about your company's mission to help families better manage their money. I grew up in a household with this problem and I would love to help others in their journey like me.”


5. What motivates you?

Employers want to find candidates who are enthusiastic and engaged in their work every day, so they need to know if you are motivated by the work involved. To show your enthusiasm, give specific and specific examples of times when you felt motivated at work.

Example: "I love talking to people, especially when I can help them. As a customer service rep, I've helped many clients resolve issues with their service. I once guided a brand new client through her online portal, showing her how to make payments and view her transaction history I enjoyed talking to her and helped her understand the details of my company's services. She was so grateful for my help that she reached out to my supervisor to share her praise.


6. How do you handle stress?

Stress can arise in the workplace due to omissions, impending deadlines, and other challenges. For this reason, employers want a candidate who can focus and get the job done even under stress. Show how you effectively deal with stress by mentioning how you made the most of those experiences.

Example: 'I was once assigned a short-term project. I was overwhelmed at first, but I calmed down and broke the project down into individual tasks. I asked colleagues to help me with some of these tasks, which took some of the pressure off, and I came up with a workable plan to tackle the others. In the end, I finished on time with quality work”.


7. Why are you leaving your current job?

Employers ask this question to understand what you are looking for in a new role and workplace. Regardless of the circumstances in which you leave, stay positive about your former employers. Focus on your career goals, what you hope to achieve, and why you think this employer is the perfect fit for you.

Example: “I'm looking for a job that allows me to focus on building lasting client relationships. In my current role, we have a tight sales cycle, which means I don't spend a lot of time with individual clients. Building relationships is my favorite part of sales and I think I'm good at it, which is why I thought I would be a good fit for the role.”


8. What are your goals for the future?

Hiring managers want to know if you're likely to stay long-term or if this job is a stepping stone on your career path. Even if you don't plan to make this your career, talk about how your goals align with their company's mission.

Example: "I want to continue to develop my marketing skills and learn more about management over the next few years. I am interested in working for a startup because I will be exposed to challenges. With new knowledge and the opportunity to collaborate with many others with the right mentorship, I think I could become a marketing director.”


9. Can you tell me about a time you overcame a difficult work situation?

Behavioral questions like these are often asked to assess skills such as critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and time management. Answer it in STAR format, addressing the situation you faced, the current task, the action you took, and the result of your effort.

Example: "I replaced my manager when our biggest client was very unhappy with the team's performance. I couldn't reach my manager to meet the client, so I reached out to him personally and went through his expectations step by step and identified where we were experiencing the loss. connection. I created an action plan and asked if we could review it when my manager returned. When she returns, she can demonstrate that the plan of action has made progress. The customer then doubled his next order.”


10. What are your salary expectations?

This question allows employers to gauge your career value against their own salary expectations. Review salary data for your role, industry, education, experience, and location, and ask for a competitive salary. You can also let the hiring manager know if you're willing to negotiate a salary in exchange for benefits like flexible working.

Example: 'My salary expectations are between £25,750 and £27,100, which is typical for an experienced candidate at my level. However, I will be flexible if given the opportunity to work from home.


11. Do you have any questions?

This is your chance to show how committed you are. If you ask pre-existing and relevant questions, the interviewer can tell you've done your homework and researched the company thoroughly. It's also a chance to learn anything you might need to know about the job.

Example: “According to reports, the business did well last year. Do you have an expansion plan?

'Do you have an employee health plan, such as a gym membership'?

'What kind of career path is available for an employee to enter this position'?

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