Your 2023 Guide to the Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview?
We can’t read minds, unfortunately, but we’ll give you the next best thing: a list of 50 of the most commonly asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.
While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t), we do recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to show that you’re the right person for the job.
Consider this list your interview question and answer study guide. (And don’t miss our bonus list at the end, with links out to resources on specific types of interview questions—about emotional intelligence or diversity and inclusion, for example—and interview questions by role, from accountant to project manager to teacher.)
50+ most common job interview questions
- Tell me about yourself?
- Walk me through your resume?
- How did you hear about this position?
- Why do you want to work at this company?
- Why do you want this job?
- Why should we hire you?
- What can you bring to the company?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
- What is your greatest professional achievement?
- Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with?
- Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skil?
- What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake?
- Tell me about a time you failed?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- Why were you fired?
- Why was there a gap in your employment?
- Can you explain why you changed career paths?
- What’s your current salary?
- What do you like least about your job?
- What are you looking for in a new position?
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
- What’s your work style?
- What’s your management style?
- How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- Are you planning on having children?
- How do you stay organized?
- How do you prioritize your work?
- What are you passionate about?
- What motivates you?
- What are your pet peeves?
- How do you like to be managed?
- Do you consider yourself successful?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
- What are your career aspirations?
- What’s your dream job?
- What other companies are you interviewing with?
- What makes you unique?
- What should I know that’s not on your resume?
- What would your first few months look like in this role?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What do you think we could do better or differently?
- When can you start?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
- Sell me this pen?
- Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
- Do you have any questions for us?
1. Tell me about yourself.
So to help you prepare, we compiled a list of our all-time best pre-interview tips.From strategizing about how to tackle the toughest questions to packing your bag, we’ve got you covered—with 30 ways to make sure you bring your A-game.
Possible answer to “Tell me about yourself.”
“Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top-performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”
Read More: A Complete Guide to Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” in an Interview (Plus Examples!)
2. Walk me through your resume.
Possible answer to “Walk me through your resume.”
“Well, as you can see from my resume, I took a bit of a winding road to get to where I am today. In college, I double majored in chemistry and communications. I found early on that working in a lab all day wasn’t for me and at some point I realized I looked forward to the lab class I TA’ed the most.
“So when I graduated, I found a job in sales for a consumer healthcare products company, where I drew on my teaching experience and learned even more about tailoring your message and explaining complex health concepts to people without a science background. Then, I moved into a sales training role at a massive company where I was responsible for teaching recent graduates the basics of selling. My trainees on average had more deals closed in their first quarter than any of the other trainers’ cohorts. Plus, I got so much satisfaction from finding the right way to train each new hire and watching them progress and succeed. It reminded me of my time as a TA in college. That’s when I started taking night classes to earn my chemistry teaching certificate.
“I left my full-time job last year to complete my student teaching at P.S. 118 in Manhattan, and over the summer, I worked for a science camp, teaching kids from the ages of 10 to 12 about basic chemistry concepts and best practices for safe experiments. Now, I’m excited to find my first full-time teaching job, and your district is my top choice. The low student-to-teacher ratio will let me take the time to teach each student in the best way for them—which is my favorite part of the job.”
Read More: How to Respond to “Walk Me Through Your Resume”—and Get Your Interview Started on the Right Note
3. How did you hear about this position?
Possible answer to “How did you hear about this position?”
“I heard about an opening on the product team through a friend of a friend, Akiko, and since I’m a big fan of your work and have been following you for a while I decided it would be a great role for me to apply for.”
Read More: 3 Ways People Mess Up the (Simple) Answer to “How Did You Come Across This Job Opportunity?”
4. Why do you want to work at this company?
Possible answer to “Why do you want to work at this company?”
“I saw on The Muse that you were also hiring for new positions on the West Coast to support your new operations there. I did some more reading about the new data center you’re building there and that excites me as I know this means there’ll be opportunities to train new teammates. I also learned through a Wall Street Journal article that you’re expanding in Mexico as well. I speak Spanish fluently and would be eager to step up and help liaise whenever necessary.”
Read More: 4 Better Ways to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?”
5. Why do you want this job?
Possible answer to “Why do you want this job?”“I’ve always been a fan of X Co’s products and I’ve spent countless hours playing your games. I know that your focus on unique stories is what drew me and other fans into your games initially and keeps us coming back for more. I’ve followed X Co on social media for a while, and I’ve always loved how you have people in different departments interact with users. So I was psyched when I came across this posting for a social media manager with TikTok experience. At my last job, I was responsible for launching our TikTok account and growing it to 10,000 followers in six months. Between that experience, my love of gaming, and my deep knowledge of your games and fanbase, I know I could make this TikTok account something special and exciting.”
Read More: 3 Steps for Answering “Why Do You Want This Job?”
6. Why should we hire you?
Possible answer to “Why should we hire you?”“I know it’s been an exciting time for General Tech—growing so much and acquiring several startups—but I also know from experience that it can be challenging for the sales team to understand how new products fit in with the existing ones. It’s always easier to sell the product you know, so the newer stuff can get shortchanged, which can have company-wide ramifications. I have over a decade of experience as a sales trainer, but more importantly, most of those years were working with sales teams that were in the exact same boat Gen Tech is in now. Growth is wonderful, but only if the rest of the company can keep up. I’m confident I can make sure your sales team is confident and enthusiastic about selling new products by implementing an ongoing sales training curriculum that emphasizes where they sit in a product lineup.”
Read More: Better Ways to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”
7. What can you bring to the company?
Possible answer to “What can you bring to the company?”
“As Jocelyn talked about in our interview earlier, PopCo is looking to expand its market to small business owners with less than 25 employees, so I’d bring my expertise in this area and my experience in guiding a sales team that’s selling to these customers for the first time. In most of my past roles, this segment has been my focus and in my current role, I also played a big part in creating our sales strategies when the business began selling to these customers. I worked with my managers to develop the sales script. I also listened in on a number of sales calls with other account execs who were selling to these customers for the first time and gave them pointers and other feedback. In the first quarter, our 10-person sales team closed 50 new bookings in this segment, and I personally closed 10 of those deals. I helped guide my last company through the expansion into small businesses, and I’m eager to do that again at PopCo. Plus, I noticed you have a monthly karaoke night—so I’m eager to bring my rendition of ‘Call Me Maybe’ to the team as well.”
Read More: What Interviewers Really Want to Hear When They Ask “What Can You Bring to the Company?”
8. What are your greatest strengths?
Possible answer to “What are your greatest strengths?”
“I’d say one of my greatest strengths is bringing organization to hectic environments and implementing processes to make everyone’s lives easier. In my current role as an executive assistant to a CEO, I created new processes for pretty much everything, from scheduling meetings to planning monthly all hands agendas to preparing for event appearances. Everyone in the company knew how things worked and how long they would take, and the structures helped alleviate stress and set expectations on all sides. I’d be excited to bring that same approach to an operations manager role at a startup, where everything is new and constantly growing and could use just the right amount of structure to keep things running smoothly.”
Read More: 3 Smart Strategies for Answering “What's Your Greatest Strength?”
9. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
Possible answer to “What do you consider to be your weaknesses?”
“It can be difficult for me to gauge when the people I’m working with are overwhelmed or dissatisfied with their workloads. To ensure that I’m not asking too much or too little from my team, we have weekly check-ins. I like to ask if they feel like they’re on top of their workload, how I could better support them, whether there’s anything they’d like to take on or get rid of, and if they’re engaged by what they’re doing. Even if the answer is ‘all good,’ these meetings really lay the groundwork for a good and trusting relationship.”
Read More: 4 Ways to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” That Actually Sound Believable
10. What is your greatest professional achievement?
Possible answer to “What is your greatest professional achievement?”“My greatest accomplishment was when I helped the street lighting company I worked for convince the small town of Bend, Oregon to convert antiquated street lighting to energy-efficient LED bulbs. My role was created to promote and sell the energy- efficient bulbs, while touting the long-term advantage of reduced energy costs. I had to develop a way to educate city light officials on the value of our energy-efficient bulbs—which was a challenge since our products had an expensive up-front cost compared to less efficient lighting options. I created an information packet and held local community events aimed at city officials and the tax-paying public. There, I was able to demo the company product, answer questions, and evangelize the value of LED bulbs for the long term. It was crucial to have the public on board and I was able to reach a wide variety of community members with these events. I not only reached my first-year sales goal of $100,000, but I was also able to help us land another contract in a neighboring city. Plus, the community-focused strategy garnered attention from the national media. And I’m proud to say I got a promotion within one year to senior sales representative.”
Read More: The Perfect Formula for Answering “What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment” in an Interview
11. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
Possible answer to “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.”“Funnily enough, last year I was part of a committee that put together a training on conflict intervention in the workplace and the amount of pushback we got for requiring attendance really put our training to the test. There was one senior staff member in particular who seemed adamant. It took some careful listening to understand he felt like it wasn’t the best use of his time given the workload he was juggling. I made sure to acknowledge his concern. And then I focused on his direct objection and explained how the training was meant to improve not just the culture of the company, but also the efficiency at which we operated—and that the goal was for the training to make everyone’s workload feel lighter. He did eventually attend and was there when I talked to the whole staff about identifying the root issue of a conflict and addressing that directly without bringing in other issues, which is how I aim to handle any disagreement in the workplace.”
Read More: 3 Ways You’re Messing Up the Answer to “Tell Me About a Conflict You’ve Faced at Work”
12. Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
Possible answer to “Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.”“I think that a good leader is someone who can make decisions while also listening to others and being willing to admit when you’re wrong and course correct. In my last role, my team and I were responsible for giving a big presentation to a prospective client. I quickly assigned different tasks to members of my team, but the project never really got moving. I gave everyone an opportunity to share their input and concerns, and it turned out that they were struggling in the roles I’d given them. I ended up switching a few people around. Meanwhile, the employee I’d assigned to give the presentation was nervous, but still wanted to give it a try. I worked with them to make sure they were ready and even held a practice session so that they could rehearse in a more comfortable environment. When the time came for the real thing, they nailed it! We landed the client and the company still has the account to this day. And that employee became a go-to person for important client presentations. I’m really glad I took the time to listen to everyone’s concerns so that I could re-evaluate my approach and help my team be the best it could be.”
Read More: The Best Way to Answer “Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills” in a Job Interview
13. What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?
Possible answer to “What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?”
“In my job as a finance assistant, I was in charge of putting together reports for potential company investments. It was important to get the details and numbers right so that leaders had the best information to make a decision. One time, my boss asked me to generate a new report on a Wednesday morning and wanted it done by Thursday at 5 PM. Because I’m committed to high-quality work and I wasn’t sure my boss fully understood what goes into each report, I knew I needed to speak up. At her next available opening, I sat down with my boss and explained my concerns. She was firm that the report would be completed by Thursday at 5 PM. So I decided to ask if there was anyone who could help out. After thinking about it, my boss found another assistant who could put in a few hours. While it was a tight timeline, we got the report done, and the committee was really pleased to review it at the meeting. My boss appreciated my extra efforts to make it happen and I felt good that I hadn’t let the quality of the report slip. It was a good experience of being a team player but also knowing when and how to ask for help. And once I explained how much time and work goes into each report, my boss was careful to assign them further in advance.”
Read More: Here’s the Secret to Answering “Tell Me About a Time You Had a Conflict With Your Boss” in an Interview
14.Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
Possible answer to “Tell me about a time you made a mistake.”“Early in my career, I missed a deadline that ended up costing us a really big account. There were a lot of factors that contributed to this, but ultimately, I was the one who dropped the ball. From that experience, I went back and thought really hard about what I could’ve controlled and what I would’ve changed. It turns out that I was not nearly as organized as I thought I was. I sat down with my boss, asked for suggestions on how to improve my organizational skills, and a few months later I was able to score an even bigger account for the department.”
Read More: 3 Rules That Guarantee You'll Nail the Answer to “Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake”
15.Tell me about a time you failed.
Possible answer to “Tell me about a time you failed.”“As a team manager, I consider it a failure if I don’t know what’s going on with my staff and their work—basically if a problem catches me by surprise then I’ve failed somewhere along the way. Even if the outcome is ultimately fine, it means I’ve left a team member unsupported at some point. A somewhat recent example would be this training we do every year for new project managers. Because it’s an event that my team has run so many times, I didn’t think to check in and had no idea a scheduling conflict was brewing into a full-on turf war with another team. The resolution actually ended up being a quick and easy conversation at the leadership team meeting, but had I just asked about it sooner it would never have been a problem to begin with. I definitely learned my lesson about setting reminders to check in about major projects or events even if they’ve been done dozens of times before.”
Read More: 4 Steps for Answering “Tell Me About a Time When You Failed”
16. Why are you leaving your current job?
Possible answer to “Why are you leaving your current job?”“I’m ready for the next challenge in my career. I loved the people I worked with and the projects I worked on, but at some point I realized I wasn’t being challenged the way I used to be. Rather than let myself get too comfortable, I decided to pursue a position where I can continue to grow.”
Read More: 4 Better Ways to Answer “Why Are You Leaving Your Job?”
17.Why were you fired?
Possible answer to “Why were you fired?”“After working for XYZ Inc. for four years, there were some changes made to the amount of client calls we were expected to process per hour. I used the techniques we were taught after the change took effect, but didn’t want our customer service to slip. Unfortunately, I wasn’t consistently completing the required number of calls, and, as a result, I was let go. I felt really bad about this and in retrospect I could have done better sticking to the process that would have let me meet the per hour quota. But you’ve told me about the customer service standards and the volume expectations here, and I believe it won’t be a problem.”
Read More: Stop Cringing! How to Tell an Interviewer You've Been Fired
18.Why was there a gap in your employment?
Possible answer to “Why was there a gap in your employment?”“I spent a number of years working at a company in a very demanding job, in which—as you’ll see from my references—I was very successful. But I’d reached a stage in my career where I wanted to focus on my personal growth. The time I spent traveling taught me a lot about how to get along with people of all ages and cultures. Now I feel more than ready to jump back into my career with renewed energy and focus and I feel this role is the ideal way to do that.”
Read More: How to Explain the Gap in Your Resume With Ease
19.Can you explain why you changed career paths?
Possible answer to “Can you explain why you changed career paths?”“Ever since my brother was diagnosed with a heart condition, I’ve been training and running with him in your annual Heart Run to raise money for your organization and help support patients with expenses not covered by insurance. Each time, I’ve been struck by how truly dedicated and happy to be there your employees have been. So when I saw this posting for a fundraising role, it felt like it was meant to be. For the last 10 years of my career I’ve been an account executive for various SaaS companies, and I’ve really honed my skills when it comes to convincing organizations to make regular payments for something over the long-term. But I’ve been looking for a position in fundraising where I can use these skills to really help people and I’m highly motivated to do that with your organization.”
Read More: How to Explain Your Winding Career Path to a Hiring Manager
20. What’s your current salary?
Possible answer to “What’s your current salary?”“Before discussing any salary, I’d really like to learn more about what this role entails. I’ve done a lot of research on [Company] and I am certain if it’s the right fit, we’ll be able to agree on a number that’s fair and competitive to both parties.”
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21. What do you like least about your job?.
Possible answer to “What do you like least about your job?”“In my current role, I’m responsible for drafting media lists to pitch. While I’ve developed a knack for this and can do it when it is necessary, I’m looking forward to a job that allows me to have a more hands-on role in working with media partners. That’s one of the things that most excited me about your account supervisor position.”
Read More: What Interviewers Really Want When They Ask, “What Do You Like Least About Your Job?”
22. What are you looking for in a new position?
Possible answer to “What are you looking for in a new position?”“I’ve been honing my data analysis skills for a few years now and, first and foremost, I’m looking for a position where I can continue to exercise those skills. Another thing that’s important to me is the chance to present my findings and suggestions directly to clients. I’m always very motivated by being able to see the impact of my work on other people. And I’m definitely looking for a position where I can grow since I hope to take on managerial responsibilities in the future. To sum it up, I’d love a position where I can use my skills to make an impact that I can see with my own eyes. Of course, the position is only part of the equation. Being at a company where I can grow and work toward something I care about matters, too. DNF’s goal of being at the intersection between data and education inspires me, and I’m really excited about this opportunity.”
Read More: 4 Steps for Answering “What Are You Looking for in a New Position?”
23. What type of work environment do you prefer?
Possible answer to “What type of work environment do you prefer?”“I really like the environment in my current position. My manager is a great resource and always willing to help out when I run into an issue, but they trust me to get my work done so I have a lot of freedom in how I schedule and prioritize, which is very important to me. Everyone has their own cubicle, so it’s often pretty quiet to get our work done, but we all get lunch together and our team has a lot of check-in meetings and communicates frequently via Slack so we still get a lot of opportunities to bounce ideas off each other. So I like both individual and more collaborative work. How would you describe the mix here?”
Read More: 3 Steps to Answering “What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?”
24. What’s your work style?
Possible answer to “What’s your work style?”“I tend to do my best work when I’m collaborating with colleagues and we’re working together toward a common goal. I was that rare student who loved group projects and now I still get a rush of excitement when I’m planning marketing campaigns with a team and bringing new and different voices into the fold. When I was working at XYZ Agency, I made it a habit to extend invitations to folks in different departments to join certain brainstorming and feedback sessions. Some of our most successful campaigns grew out of the ideas we generated together with coworkers in IT, HR, product, and customer success. That’s why I was so excited to learn that this role would have me working closely with the product and sales teams as well as with a talented marketing team. The other thing I find is crucial to making these collaborations successful is organization and documentation, so I’m also really big on creating one central home for all materials related to a project, including meeting notes, action items, drafts of campaign copy and visuals, and timelines.”
Read More: How to Answer “What Is Your Work Style?” in an Interview (Plus Examples!)
25. What’s your management style?
Possible answer to “What’s your management style?”“Management style is so hard to put your finger on, but I think in general a good manager gives clear directions and actually stays pretty hands-off, but is ready and available to jump in to offer guidance, expertise, and help when needed. I try my best to make that my management style. I also go out of my way to make sure I know when my team needs help. That means plenty of informal check-ins, both on the work they’re doing and on their general job satisfaction and mental well-being. I remember one project in particular at my most recent position that involved everyone working on a separate aspect of the product. This meant a lot of independent work for my team of seven people, but rather than bog everyone down with repetitive meetings to update me and everyone else on progress made, I created a project wiki that allowed us to communicate new information when necessary without disrupting another team member’s work. I then made it my job to make sure no one was ever stuck on a problem too long without a sounding board. Ultimately, despite the disparate project responsibilities, we ended up with a very cohesive product and, more importantly, a team that wasn’t burnt out.”
Read More: How to Answer “What’s Your Management Style?”
26. How would your boss and coworkers describe you?
Possible answer to “How would your boss and coworkers describe you?”“Actually, in my most recent performance review in April, my direct supervisor described me as someone who takes initiative and doesn’t shy away from hard problems. My role involves a lot of on-site implementation, and when things go wrong, it’s usually up to me to fix it. Rather than punting the problem back to the team, I always try to do what I can first. I know she appreciates that about me.”
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27. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
Possible answer to “How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?”“I stay motivated by thinking about the end result. I’ve found that even in the midst of a challenging situation, reminding myself of my goals helps me take a step back and stay positive.”
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28. What do you like to do outside of work?
Possible answer to “What do you like to do outside of work?”“I’m a huge foodie. My friends and I love trying new restaurants in town as soon as they open—the more unusual the better! I love discovering new foods and cuisines, and it’s also a great activity to share with friends. I try to go out with the same group at least once a week and it’s a fun way to make sure we keep in touch and share experiences even when we’re busy with other things. We even took a trip to New York City and spent each day in a different neighborhood, buying something to share from a few restaurants.”
Read More: How to Answer “What Are Your Hobbies?” in an Interview (It’s Not a Trick Question!)
29. Are you planning on having children?
Possible answer to “Are you planning on having children?”“You know, I’m not quite there yet. But I am very interested in the career paths at your company. Can you tell me more about that?”
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30. How do you stay organized?
Possible answer to “How do you stay organized?”“I take pride in my ability to stay organized, and it’s really come in handy in my past roles and especially the social media assistant job I’m in now. First, I keep a really meticulous calendar for each of the platforms I’m responsible for using Hootsuite—which I noticed you use here as well—and I try to block off time twice a week to get ahead on creating and slotting in posts. “Second, I’m a big fan of Trello, where I have one personal board I use as a to-do list color-coded by type of task and marked with priority level and one shared marketing team board that we use to coordinate campaigns launching across social, email, and other channels. We pay very close attention to the news in case we need to pause a campaign. If needed, I’d tag all the relevant stakeholders on Trello, immediately suspend all scheduled content in Hootsuite, and start a discussion on Slack or suggest a meeting to reassess strategy. “Finally, I created a shared folder on Google Drive with subfolders by campaign that I update with one-pagers on goals and strategies, assets, a record of the actual posts deployed, performance analyses, and retros. That way, there’s a go-to place for anyone on the team to refer back to past projects, which I’ve found really helps us learn from every campaign and incorporate those learnings into what we’re working on next.”
Read More: What Interviewers Really Want to Know When They Ask “How Do You Stay Organized?”
31. How do you prioritize your work?
Possible answer to “How do you prioritize your work?”“I’d be lost without my daily to-do list! At the beginning of each workday, I write out tasks to complete, and list them from highest to lowest priority to help keep me on track. But I also realize priorities change unexpectedly. On one particular day recently, I had planned to spend most of my time making phone calls to advertising agencies to get price quotes for an upcoming campaign. Then I did a quick check-in with my manager. She mentioned she needed help putting together a presentation ASAP for a major potential client. I moved the more flexible task to the end of the week and spent the next few hours updating the time-sensitive presentation. I make it a point to keep lines of communication open with my manager and coworkers. If I’m working on a task that will take a while to complete, I try to give a heads-up to my team as soon as possible. If my workload gets to be unmanageable, I check in with my boss about which items can drop to the bottom of the priority list, and then I try to reset expectations about different deadlines.”
Read More: A Foolproof Method to Answer the Interview Question “How Do You Prioritize Your Work?”
32. What are you passionate about?
Possible answer to “What are you passionate about?”“One of my favorite pastimes is knitting—I love being able to create something beautiful from nothing. Of course, knitting also requires a keen attention to detail and a lot of patience. Luckily, as an accountant I have cultivated both of those qualities!”
Read More: 3 Authentic Ways to Answer “What Are You Passionate About?” in a Job Interview
33. What motivates you?
Possible answer to “What motivates you?”“I’m driven primarily by my desire to learn new things—big or small—and take on new responsibilities so that I’m constantly growing as an employee and contributing more to my team and organization. I spent several summers working as a camp counselor and felt most fulfilled when I volunteered to lead planning for a talent show, jumped in to help with scheduling logistics, and learned how to run pickups efficiently. All of that experience helped immensely when I took a step up to become the lead counselor last year focused on operations, and that’s what excites me so much about the opportunity to take on this managerial role for the after-school program.”
Read More: 5 Easy Steps to Answer “What Motivates You?” in an Interview
34. What are your pet peeves?
Possible answer to “What are your pet peeves?”“It bothers me when an office’s schedule is really disorganized, because in my experience, disorganization can cause confusion, which can hurt the motivation of the team. As a person who likes things to be orderly, I try to help keep my team on task while also allowing for flexibility.”
Read More: 6 Tips for Answering “What Are Your Pet Peeves?” in an Interview
35. How do you like to be managed?
Possible answer to “How do you like to be managed?”“I enjoy having my hands in a lot of different projects, so I like working with managers who allow their employees to experiment, be independent, and work cross-functionally with other teams. At the same time, I really welcome it when a boss provides me with support, guidance, and coaching. No one can do anything alone, and I believe when managers and employees collaborate together and learn from one another everyone comes out on top.”
Read More: 3 Easy Steps to Answer “How Do You Like to Be Managed?” in an Interview
36. Do you consider yourself successful?
Possible answer to “Do you consider yourself successful?”“I do consider myself successful, even though I’m early in my professional career. I took a full load of classes in my junior year of college because I wanted to take that summer to volunteer for a human rights organization overseas. I knew that I needed to make sure I was on track with my major, minor, and graduation requirements. It was difficult to juggle it all with my part-time job, which I kept to help account for the fact that I wouldn’t be earning money over the summer, and there were a few sleepless nights. But it was worth the hard work: I ended the year with a 3.9 GPA and the opportunity to volunteer for the agency in Ghana without falling behind my graduation timeline. For me success is about setting a goal and sticking with it, no matter how hard it is, and this experience was proof that I could be successful even when there’s a lot to balance, which I know there always is at a nonprofit like this one.”
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37. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Possible answer to “Where do you see yourself in five years?”“In five years, I’d like to be in a position where I know more about my longer-term career aspirations as a designer. I will have gotten experience working for a design agency and know more about the industry overall. I’ll have grown my technical skills and learned how to take feedback from clients and incorporate it. And the way your agency is set up, I’ll also have gotten the opportunity to design different kinds of deliverables—including websites, branding, and ad campaigns—for different kinds of clients to see where I really feel at home before settling on a focus.”
Read More: How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”
38. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
Possible answer to “How do you plan to achieve your career goals?”“My current goal is to earn the CPA license so that I’m fully certified and prepared to contribute in a junior staff accounting job. My undergraduate degree is in finance and I completed an accounting internship with XYZ Company last summer. While I was there, I decided that each week I’d ask one person from a different team to coffee to learn about their job and career path. Not only did those conversations impress upon me the importance of getting my CPA as soon as possible, they also helped me realize I was eager to pursue forensic accounting, which is why I’m so excited about the opportunity to join this team. In order to ensure I earn my CPA this year, I enrolled in NASBA workshops, created a study schedule to keep myself on track, and will be taking my first trial test in three weeks. I plan on taking the actual test within the next three to six months.”
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39. What are your career aspirations?
Possible answer to “What are your career aspirations?”“After growing up in a food desert, my biggest professional aspiration is to help make healthy food more widely available and accessible regardless of where you live. I also love solving complex problems. Currently, as a project manager, I specialize in strategic planning and combine it with a natural ability to engage critical stakeholders—resulting in on-time and under-budget delivery. This role would help me use those skills to work on a mission I’m passionate about. I am determined to use these skills to help your organization guarantee our community has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. In the next five or so years, I would love to take on additional responsibility and be in a decision-making role to drive the mission beyond our community and support even more families in gaining access to nutritious food options.”
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40. What’s your dream job?
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41. What other companies are you interviewing with?
Possible answer to “What other companies are you interviewing with?”“I’m interviewing with a few companies for a range of positions, but they all come down to delivering an excellent customer experience. I wanted to keep an open mind about how to best achieve that goal, but so far it seems that this role will really allow me to focus all of my energy on customer experience and retention, which I find very appealing.”
Read More: How to Answer “What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?”
42. What makes you unique?
Possible answer to “What makes you unique?”“I basically taught myself animation from scratch. I was immediately drawn to it in college, and with the limited resources available to me, I decided to take matters into my own hands—and that’s the approach I take in all aspects of my work as a video editor. I don’t just wait around for things to happen, and when I can, I’m always eager to step in and take on new projects, pick up new skills, or brainstorm new ideas.”
Read More: A Simple Way to Answer “What Makes You Unique?” in Your Job Search (Plus, Examples!)
43. What should I know that’s not on your resume?
Possible answer to “What should I know that’s not on your resume?”emergency CPR. Last year, I was at the lake when I saw a young girl who looked like she was drowning. I was a lifeguard in high school, so I swam out, brought her to shore, and gave her CPR. Although this was—hopefully—a one-time event, I’ve always been able to stay calm during stressful situations, figure out a solution, and then act. As your account manager, I’d use this trait to quickly and effectively resolve issues both within the team and externally. After all, obstacles are inevitable, especially in a startup environment. And if anyone needs CPR at the office beach party, well, I’m your woman.”
Read More: The Right Way to Answer “What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?”
44. What would your first few months look like in this role?
Possible answer to “What would your first few months look like in this role?”“It’s been exciting to hear about some of the new initiatives the company has started in our previous conversations—like the database project and the company-wide sync, but I know there’s still a lot for me to learn. The first thing I’d do is line up meetings with the stakeholders involved in the projects I’d be tackling to help me figure out what I don’t know and then go from there. Hopping into a database project halfway through can be tricky, but I’m confident that once I know what all the stakeholders are looking for, I’ll be able to efficiently plot out our next steps and set appropriate deadlines. From there, I’ll be focused on hitting the milestones that I’ve set for the team.”
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45. What are your salary expectations?
- Give a salary range: But keep the bottom of your stated range toward the mid-to-high point of what you’re actually hoping for, Fink says.
- Flip the question: Try something like “That's a great question—it would be helpful if you could share what the range is for this role,” Fink says.
- Delay answering: Tell your interviewer that you’d like to learn more about the role or the rest of the compensation package before discussing pay.
Possible answer to “What are your salary expectations?”“Taking into account my experience and Excel certifications, which you mentioned earlier would be very helpful to the team, I’m looking for somewhere between $42,000 and $46,000 annually for this role. But for me, benefits definitely matter as well. Your free on-site gym, the commuter benefits, and other perks could definitely allow me to be a bit flexible with salary.”
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46. What do you think we could do better or differently?
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47. When can you start?
Possible answer to “When can you start?”“I am excited for the opportunity to join your team. I have several projects to wrap up in my current role at [Company]. I plan to give them two weeks’ notice to make a smooth transition for my coworkers and will be happy to come onboard with the team here after that time.”
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48. Are you willing to relocate?
Possible answer to “Are you willing to relocate?”“I do love living in Raleigh and would prefer to stay here. However, for the right opportunity I’d be willing to consider relocating if necessary.”
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49. How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
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50. How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
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51. Sell me this pen.
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52. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
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