Job Interview Questions and Answers

Applying for a job can be a stressful and frustrating experience, especially for someone who has never done it before. Considering that you are competing for the position with a at least a dozen other applicants, it is imperative that you thoroughly prepare for the job interview, in order to stand a good chance of getting hired.

Among the things that you need to plan and prepare for would be the questions that will most likely be asked during your interview. Preparation is the key to making a good first impression, particularly for first-time applicants. Consequently, lack of preparation could lead to nervousness and inability to answer questions satisfactorily.

I will help you do well during your job interview, which is why this section has been created to specifically guide you on how best to answer 31 very common interview questions.

Training Objectives

In this self-paced training guide, you should be able to:

  • Determine the right things to say when answering common job interview questions
  • Learn some helpful tips on how to communicate effectively during job interviews
  • Know what not to say during job interviews
  • Know what employers are looking for from their applicants
  • Understand the reason why employers ask certain questions during interviews

Target Audience

This guide is designed to help anybody who is planning to apply for a job in any company, big or small. With the advice, tips, and guidelines provided in this section, you can better prepare for the interview and feel more confident during the question and answer session with your interviewer.

About the Author

Chandra Vennapoosa, B.S Arch Graduate, Managing Director - Exforsys Inc, Founder of exforsys.com and geekinterview.com. Chandra's mission is "to provide quality career coaching and interview advice for aspiring candidates". She is an avid writer and is also very passionate to help others become professional freelancers. In addition to several online trainings, she has authored the popular book "How to Become a Successful Freelancer"

Job Interview Questions

  • What do you do when things do not go as planned? Cite an example.

    This question will gauge your ability to adapt to certain situations. Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how well you can manage problems and changes at work. A lot of people might be tempted to simply say, "I have never had problems when things do not go as planned" or worse, "I have never experienced that before". The first answer is fine as long as you are able to provide...

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  • Provide an example of a goal that you successfully attained.

    This question is something that an interviewer would ask in order to know how well you establish goals. Having the ability to set goals and achieve them is something that most companies would look for in a job applicant because this will say a lot about your performance as a potential employee, should you get hired. For you to provide an impressive answer to this question, it pays to read and...

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  • Tell me about a skill you recently acquired or improved.

    Tell me about a skill you recently acquired or improved. How did you do it? Every employer that seeks for qualified individuals to fill in vacancies in their company has a list of qualifications for a suitable candidate. The field of profession is an essential element for a job position but given the competence of individuals these days in various fields apart from their area of expertise, many...

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  • What do you do when someone criticizes you?

    Here is another example of a behavior-based type of question. But this time, the focus of assessment is on your personality. Interviewers use your personal character as one of the basis in gauging your work personality. Remember that how you are as a person also reflects how you can be as a working professional. This kind of question tests how well you handle criticisms. Your reaction to criticisms...

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  • What was the most important decision you ever had to make?

    What was the most important decision you ever had to make? How did you arrive at that decision? An important part of assessing your skills and personal character is to test your behavior towards trying or challenging situations. This is another type of behavioral-based questioning in which your answer is tailored from personal experiences as the interviewer's basis of your future performance in case...

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  • Have you gone above and beyond your job description?

    Have you tried going above and beyond your job description just to get the job done? Why did you do it? When you are being asked with this kind of open-ended question, the employer seeks to know how you can market yourself or showcase your skills by placing an edge against the rest of the candidates who are vying for the same position as you. Moreover, your resourcefulness and competitiveness are...

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  • Do you like working in a team or alone? Explain.

    Employers would like to find out the ability of a candidate to work in a team so during interviews, this common question is asked. While they prefer potential their employees to be self-supervised individuals, they also want them to understand the value of teamwork by easily getting immersed in teams. You will most likely be endorsed to a team or a department if you get to nail the job. However, your...

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  • Describe a time when you had to listen to someone.

    Describe a time when you had to listen to someone. How did you show that person you were listening? When your interviewer asks you this question, you are obviously being assessed on your ability as a listener. Listening is very necessary for proper communication among and between individuals. In a workplace where you have to communicate with work colleagues every day, you need to demonstrate good...

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  • Describe a time when you had to convince a friend ?

    Describe a time when you had to convince a friend or colleague about an idea that you have. This interview question is more commonly asked to job candidates for a supervisory or managerial position as it seeks to find out the ability of the person to convince or influence others. Yet, even on a regular job item, interviewers may also ask the question to job seekers to identify leadership potentials....

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  • Have you experienced being given too many tasks?

    Have you experienced being given too many tasks? What did you do to meet your deadlines? When you are in a job interview, one of the questions that you are going to be asked will have something to do with time management. Although there are job positions that have higher priorities for time and schedules, time management is still considered a must-have quality for just about any profession....

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  • How do you approach a problem?

    What is the biggest problem you ever had to face? How did you approach the problem? Questions such as the one given above are something that job applicants should anticipate during their interview. Companies want to hire people who know how to solve problems because problems are inherent in every organization. There are always problems that employees would have to deal with but the reality...

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  • How do you handle conflict?

    Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with someone. How did you handle it? There is always a reason why an interviewer would ask a particular question. It could be that the interviewer would want to know about an experience, skill, personality, attitude, knowledge, or ability that you have. Since interviewers do not know you personally, a good way to gauge your qualifications is to...

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  • Do you find yourself busy most of the time? Why?

    Tough questions are not always easy to answer, but if you plan ahead and structure your response to such questions, then for sure, you will be able to impress your interviewer. Because there are lots of applicants vying for the job position that you are hoping to get, it is imperative that you ace your interview. One of the most asked questions during your interview with a recruitment officer...

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  • How do you deal and overcome major challenges?

    Was there a time when you had to deal with a major challenge? How did you overcome it? Interview questions are targeted to help the interviewer know you better and find out if your skills and abilities would make you suitable for the job position that you are applying for. Even the most basic questions such as “Tell me about yourself” can say a lot about you. For tough questions, answering...

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  • How do you handle workplace problems?

    The way you deal with other people tells so much about you. If you are actively searching for a job, you must consider enhancing your personality and getting yourself ready for the corporate world. Employers favor those candidates who have the right attitude and personality for the job apart from the possessing the needed skills. {mosgoogle} In a corporate setting where various personalities...

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  • How productive are you?

    You might wonder why the interviewer would ask such a question during the interview. This type of question is not commonly asked during job interviews. One reason they would ask it is to know if you have been making yourself productive even while on the job hunt. People who are keeping themselves busy most of the time only means that they know how to value time and know how not to waste it...

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  • Has anyone asked you for help? What did you do?

    Part of measuring your personality or individual character is testing your ability to establish and keep good relations with people. Aside from that, the employer also wants to check your interpersonal skills or how you effectively deal with people. It is utterly important that an employee knows not only how to build good connections but also keep the relationship with work colleagues in a...

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  • Does a problem make you a better person?

    Have you been through a difficult situation? How does a problem make you a better person? In job interviews, your answers to the questions that interviewers or the employers ask are very crucial in the selection process. Notice that they scribble notes on their paper or your curriculum vitae in every response. This is because they want to know their candidates on a deeper level, and not just...

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  • What are the things you wish to achieve in 5 years?

    Individuals who make serious plans in their career even if they are just starting out are sought after by potential employers. These are the people who strive hard to achieve their goals so they do everything to attain their objectives in the long run. This can be a common question during job interviews, so better prepare your response ahead. Otherwise, you may be caught tongue-tied with...

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  • What will you do when you are not able to get your message across to your audience?

    Have you experienced a time when you felt you could not get your message across to your audience? What did you do to remedy the problem? In a job interview, potential employers would want to know the communication strengths of jobseekers. This is especially true for job positions that require excellent communication skills such as that of a customer service representative. It is important that you...

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  • Has there been a time when you were presented a problem and solved it?

    Has there been a time when you were presented a problem and solved it effectively through the use of your good judgment? Explain This question may be rephrased or restructured in different job interviews but the objective of the interviewer remains the same: they want to know your ability to solve problems and make tough decisions. It is inevitable that every employee, whether entry-level or senior...

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  • What do you think about continuous learning?

    Your interviewer would like to know if you are open for continuous learning so this question is asked during the interview. Your approach toward self-improvement is being evaluated. Employers see professionals as individuals who continually strive to develop themselves. It gives them an idea that such workers place high value on success. So, during an employee search for a particular job opening, they...

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  • What is your way of building rapport with a person you just met?

    Recruitment officers would, more often than not, ask a question about rapport building. They want to find out if a candidate has the necessary skills to converse with people and feel comfortable in their presence. Whether it is a behavioral interview, or just the traditional type of interview, you will most likely come across a question that asks how well you build rapport with people you know as well...

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  • Tell me three things about you, which are not found in your resume

    When an interviewer asks this open-ended question, you have to structure your answer carefully. Although it seems quite simple enough and you may be inclined to give out just any information about yourself that you can think of, such as your favorite dish, music, and color, it really is not as simple as you think. If you want to impress the interviewer with your answer, you need to know exactly what...

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  • How do you handle pressure and stress?

    Job interview questions are normally meant to test the different skills and competencies of the applicant for the job position as well as to certify the correctness of information stipulated on the curriculum vitae. Questions can vary from the easy ones to the most challenging type. {mosgoogle} Interviewers rely on your confidence and conviction in answering their questions in order for...

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  • What do you think about our company?

    Most employers do give good impressions to job applicants who take the initiative to study and conduct intelligent research on their company profile and background. If you will be asked this question in your interview, be aware that they want to measure your level of interest toward the company you plan to be a part of. Well, interviewers do not really expect every job applicant to study...

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  • Do you seek advice from others when you have a question?

    Do you seek advice from others when you have a question? Will you evaluate their inputs before you consider their advice? A question such as this is asked by interviewers with a goal of determining an individual's preference in terms of who to look up to as their role models especially in decision-making issues. Just as you are required to mention a list of character references on your resume, your...

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  • Give me good reasons why should I choose you over others.

    There are 12 applicants vying for this job. Give me good reasons why should I choose you over them. Most of the time, the interviewers want to gauge how an applicant views herself or himself at par with the rest of the competition. This gives them a way to test one’s self confidence and competitiveness. Though tempting it may seem, like any other questions during a job interview it has to...

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  • Describe a time when you had to work under pressure.

    Work can sometimes take its toll on an individual and only highly efficient people are able to take the challenge of beating the pressure. When employers search for potential job candidates, they highly consider the work efficiency as well as the endurance of the individual. So, they ask this question to aspiring jobseekers during the interview. {mosgoogle} This is one of the most common...

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  • Do you have any questions that you want to ask?

    In any form of interview such as that of a job interview procedure, it is normal process for an interviewer to ask the applicant to ask questions, if there are any. Since an interview is a two-way communication, both the interviewer and interviewee can exchange questions to each other. Yet, in a job interview process, the employer usually allows an applicant to ask for questions and give...

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  • How do you handle difficult situations?

    The set of questions you will probably get in a job interview may address both your personal and work experiences. In essence, your individual personality, work attitude, and skills are the main elements that the interviewers assess during the interview. These experts believe that a person’s character defines who he or she is as a person whether at work or in a personal setting. {mosgoogle} The...

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