One of the most essential parts of job interviews is how you prepare and respond effectively to common job interview questions and answers.
The hiring manager expects you to answer these questions because they are common, and every job applicant is expected to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.
Aside from your academic qualifications, years of experience, and employability skills listed on your resume, how you respond to these questions shows that you are an ideal candidate for the job.
Thankfully, hiring managers often recycle these interview questions, making studying and knowing the perfect way to answer them much more accessible. Studying these questions will also help you present yourself calmly and effectively.
Below are the most common job interview questions employers are likely to ask and answers and tips on how to answer them.
Note that you don’t need to memorize the typical job interview questions and answers, but you should think about what you’ll say to avoid being put on the spot.
The Common Job Interview Questions and Answers
These are the most frequently asked job interview questions and sample answers, and then prepare your responses based on your experience, skills, and interests. Note that job interviews are more about providing the correct answers and showcasing why you are the best candidate.
1. Tell me about yourself:
This is one of the first questions every hiring manager will likely ask. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Explain why you are an ideal candidate for the position. Make sure you highlight all of your experience, skills, and achievements. Answer this question confidently and articulately.
While answering this question about yourself, ensure you don’t give too much or too little personal information.
Sample answer: I am a recent college graduate with experience in customer service and sales. I have a strong interest in marketing and believe that my skills and interests would be a valuable addition to your team
2. Why Are You the Best Person for the Job:
This is a question that will be asked in almost every interview. You must provide a compelling answer showing why you are the best candidate for the job. Be sure to highlight any skills, experience, and qualities that make you stand out from the other candidates.
Sample answer: I am the best candidate for this job because of my customer service and sales skills. I am intensely interested in marketing and believe my skills would be valuable to your team. I am also motivated and driven to succeed, which you can always count on in a team environment.
3. Why does this job interest you:
This is one of the most common job interview questions and answers you practice effectively. This question determines if you are genuinely interested in the position and would fit the company well. You should provide a detailed answer outlining why you are interested in the job and what the company can offer you. Additionally, state what you would accomplish if you get hired.
Sample answer: This job interests me greatly because it is an excellent opportunity to learn more about marketing and gain experience in customer service and sales roles. I am also interested in the company’s vision and commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. I believe that I would be a valuable addition to your team.
4. Why are you Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job:
This question determines if you are truly unhappy with your current job or just looking for a new opportunity. You should provide a detailed answer outlining why you are leaving ( or have left) your job and what you think the company can do to compensate for the loss.
Note that your answer should be honest and reflect your specific circumstances but keep it positive.
Sample answer: I am leaving my job because I am unhappy with the company’s direction. I believe there are opportunities for me at another company, and I hope the company will consider my application.
5. What is your greatest strength:
This question is designed to find out what your primary strengths are. You should provide a detailed answer that outlines why you think your strengths are valuable to the company and how you would use those skills in the job.
When describing your greatest strength, it is preferable to “show” rather than “tell.” Explain how your greatest strength will be valuable and impactful to the company.
Sample answer: My greatest strength is working well under pressure and staying calm in difficult situations. These skills would be valuable in a customer service or sales position, and I am excited to share them with the company.
6. What is your greatest weakness:
This question is designed to find out what your weaknesses are. You should provide a detailed answer that outlines why you think your weaknesses are valuable to the company and how you would overcome them.
Ensure that your answer should showcase the positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee.
Sample answer: My greatest weakness is that I can be impatient and impulsive. I think these qualities would be valuable in a sales position, but I am hopeful that the company will allow me to work on improving them.
7. How do you handle stress and pressure:
This question determines if you can handle stress and pressure well. You should provide a detailed answer that outlines how you deal with stress in your personal life, at work, and during challenging situations.
You should be able to explain how you fare during difficult situations. The hiring only wants to know how you handle stress at your workplace.
Sample answer: I am very good at handling stress and pressure in my personal life. I know how to stay calm and work efficiently under challenging circumstances. I have developed a strong work ethic and can handle complex customer service requests. I believe these skills would be valuable in any position, and I am excited to share them with the company.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years:
This is one of the most common job interview questions and answers which does not have an exact answer. This question is designed to gauge your long-term career goals. You should provide a detailed explanation that outlines what you hope to accomplish at the company and in your personal life.
Talk about your ambitions, skills you hope to have gained by then, and how the job would help you work towards this.
Sample answer: In five years, I hope to be a senior executive in the company. I see myself continuing to grow and develop my skills, and I am excited to contribute my knowledge and experience to the company. I also hope to have a successful personal life and enjoy my time with family and friends.
9. What are your most significant accomplishments:
This job interview question is similar to “biggest strength”. This question is designed to assess your skills and abilities. You should provide a detailed answer outlining what you are most proud of in your career.
The accomplishment can be anything, from a great student project to a personal feat of courage, but ensure that the skills shown in this accomplishment relate to the job role in question.
Sample answer: One of my most significant accomplishments is leading a team of engineers in developing a new software product. I was able to take an idea and turn it into a successful product that meets the needs of our customers. I am proud of our work and am excited to continue developing my skills and abilities.
10. What are your salary expectations:
This question is designed to assess your expectations for salary and benefits. You should provide a detailed answer that outlines what you are looking for in terms of pay and benefits.
Ensure you don’t sell yourself short or price yourself out of a job offer. Do your research before the interview to be prepared to name a salary (or salary range) if asked.
Sample answer: I am seeking a salary commensurate with my experience and skills. I would also like to be able to receive benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings.
To succeed in your job interview, you are required to answer each question with calmness and passion. However, studying and practicing the most common job interview questions and answers will help. Thorough preparation will enable you to appear confident and in control, positioning you as the ideal candidate when the competition is tough.