10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

When preparing for your next job interview, you might want to consider what type of possible job interview questions your prospective employer could ask you. Preparing points for these basic interview questions will help you make a great first impression and might help you feel more confident before and during the interview.

Here’s a list of the 10 most common job interview questions and answers. Make them your own and tailor them to fit your professional experience. 

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself

This question is usually the first thing an interviewer will ask you to get to know you and what your professional background is.

Best way to answer: When an employer asks you this, they are not expecting you to tell them about your personal interests, but rather about what you can bring to the table for this role. Connect this question with why you’re interested in this position, what your current role is, where you’d like to be in a couple of years, how you want to progress in your career, and what makes you most qualified for this role. 

Similar questions:

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your current employer describe you?

  1. Why did you apply for this role?

You must research the company and the role you’re applying for before attending the interview. Get a feel of the company culture, ask yourself why you’d like to work within that environment and what you want to gain from this experience should you be hired.  

Best way to answer: Mention what appeals to you about the company; maybe they are very charitable or environmentally conscious. Speak about how you’d like to grow within the company and how this role aligns with your career goals. Mention what skills you’ve gained from previous jobs and how they would be beneficial in this role. 

Similar questions:

  • What interests you about this role?
  • Why are you interested in working with this company?

  1. Why are you leaving your current job?

There could be several reasons why you might be leaving your job, such as: 

  • You’d like better pay
  • The company went out of business
  • You’d like to find a job with better career growth opportunities
  • You felt undervalued in your previous/current role
  • You would like to work for a different industry

Best way to answer: The number one rule to answering this question is to never bad mouth your current or previous employers, as it comes across as unprofessional and rude; even if you did end up leaving on a bad note.

Focus on the future and about what you’d like to gain in your next job experience. 

Similar questions:

  • What did you like most about your previous job?
  • What did you like least about your previous job position?
  • Why were you let go?

  1. Why should we hire you?

Don’t be intimidated by this question. Interviewers do not ask you this to trick you, but to see what you can offer and why you think you would be the best candidate. 

Best way to answer: Mention your strengths and how they as a company can benefit from your talent. Talk about what you’d like to do once you’re employed—what your goals are, and why you would be a good culture fit. 

Similar questions:

  • What makes you different from the other candidates who applied for this position?
  • What can you bring to the table?
  • Why are you interested in this role?


  1. What are some of your greatest strengths?

Here are some examples of possible strengths you can mention: 

  • Leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Persistent 
  • Organisational skills
  • Creative
  • Determined 
  • Innovative 

Best way to answer: There’s no need to give a list of your strengths. Instead, pick one or two, describe what they are and how you can utilise them in this role and be sure to illustrate your strengths with examples. Don’t just say that you’re an organised person, mention how—prove it.  

Similar questions:

  • What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

  1. What are some of your greatest weaknesses? 

An employer will ask you this question not to make you feel uncomfortable, but to gauge your self-awareness and honesty.

Here are some examples of possible weaknesses:

  • Self-critical 
  • Not great at public speaking
  • Competitive 
  • Not detailed-oriented or too detail-oriented

Best way to answer: The trick to this question is to mention 1-2 weaknesses and highlight what you have done or are doing to overcome it. Maybe you’re not great at public speaking, but you’re challenging yourself and attending a public speaking class. Or for example, you take on too many tasks when you already have other deadlines, and you’ve started to set expectations. The important thing is that you show that you want to improve.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Your prospective employer is not interested in whether you see yourself getting married in five years, but where you’d like to be career-wise, what you’d like to achieve, and if you would still like to work with them in the future. 

Best way to answer: Determine your long-term career goals and see how this job position plays into helping you reach those goals. Talk about what skills you want to develop, and what roles you want to be in and what you hope to accomplish. 

Similar questions:

  • What are your goals for the future?
  • What is your dream job?

  1. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced at work and how did you overcome it?

It is inevitable that at some point in your career, you will face a challenging situation. Your prospective employer wants to get a feel of how you would approach such stressful situations, to determine how well you work under pressure and your problem-solving skills. 

Employers want someone who will react to stress in a constructive, rational way.  

Best way to answer: Go through the situation and make sure to detail how you overcame it—make sure to show, don’t tell. You can also mention what you would have done differently if you had the knowledge you have now. Make sure to answer in a way that shows your personal growth. 

Similar questions:

  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • How do you handle conflict?

  1. What are your salary expectations? 

Some job vacancies might not list the salary range they will be offering, therefore be sure to research what the salary range is for that particular role. You can also use salary benchmarkers to determine what your expected salary should be. 

Best way to answer: Know your worth and ask for a reasonable amount. Also, be sure to show that you’re flexible with your rate.

  1. Is there anything you’d like to ask?

This is usually the final question any interviewer will ask. Asking a question or two will show that you’re interested and excited about the position.   

Here are some questions to ask in an interview:

  • What do you love most about working with this company? 
  • What are some challenges I might face in this position?
  • How is performance measured? 
  • What are the most important values of your company?

Similar questions:

  • Do you have any questions for us?


Practice answering these questions until you feel comfortable and confident enough. There’s no need to know your answers by heart, but it’s good to practice.

If the interview doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, don’t give up. Take it as a learning opportunity, focus on what you can do better next time, and continue searching for roles that interest you.


How To Guide: Acing Your Remote Video Interview

Today, when our personal and business lives got uprooted by previously unseen challenges and a big bulk of companies shifted to remote working, employers need to adapt to a “new normal”. In this changed status quo, video job interviews will increasingly spread and take over the role of face-to-face meetings. 

When you need to stare into a tiny black dot with a green light; how to excel in this scenario? We have collected the best tips relating to this subject.

Whether you have already taken part in an online job interview or not, the chances are that eventually, you will. As video conferencing has become a convenient way of communication, it usually precedes face-to-face meetings because:

  • A video call is fast, just like a phone interview, but offers an insightful view of both the interviewer and the interviewee.
  • With the expansion of the gig economy, freelancers deliver work for specific short-term projects remotely.
  • Working from home is gaining popularity due to businesses spreading internationally.
  • Flexible hours and different routines enable staff to work from anywhere.
  • Unprecedented global events are temporarily keeping employees behind closed doors, while they are still working.

Many people experience nervousness and excitement about video job interviews as such a setting is perceived as challenging and impersonal. Still, if you prepare thoroughly and take the time to practice, you can ensure that you will excel during your remote meetings.

Treat the video interview just as you would a face-to-face one: Get in the same mindset, dress alike, make ample preparations and behave likewise. 


Set the scene

Your background is a crucial part of making a good impression. Try to choose a neutral setting that is not busy, as clutter will divert attention from you. Keep your desk neat and tidy, too, so that the interviewer can have an undisturbed focus on you. At the same time, you need to make sure that your environment is quiet and nothing and nobody will interrupt you during the meeting.

Your posture must be right; sit upright with a straight back. Place the camera at eye level for the most natural view. If your camera is part of your laptop or screen, stack some books under the device to elevate it.

Test the technology

Using a headset with a microphone helps your interviewer hear you clearly, and will filter out background noises. Run a test by recording your voice or by quickly calling a friend or family member.

Although WiFi technology has become highly reliable and fast, try to connect to the internet through cable for more stable reception. Testing connection speed (to see how it fares to the recommended 10Mbps range for HD video calls) is also a beneficial approach.

You also need to make sure that your device is plugged in to avoid your battery going flat and losing connection.


It takes time to get familiar and comfortable with speaking into a camera. Practice with friends or family members who can give you feedback on how you did. (This will also give you an excuse to keep in touch with your family regularly!) You need to build up confidence before a job interview, so ask them to focus on points that you can improve and not mistakes. 

Remember you can record yourself answering a few common questions if there is nobody around.

Dress appropriately

Dress in line with the company’s standards, just as if you were meeting them in person. (You can still wear your pyjamas below the waist.)

During the interview

Use a professional account name

The user name or the email address you are using for the online meeting must be professional. Use your name, and add some numbers if the combination of your name is already taken. If your account name is “cookiemonster987”, for example, the interviewer may find it hard to take you seriously (unless you are applying for a job with the Sesame Street production team).

Be early

Be available ten minutes before the meeting and let them know that you are ready to start on time.

If you are in the virtual room and feel that you may get nervous while waiting, you can mute your mic and switch off the camera to take deep breaths to calm down. Make sure you have a glass of water, should your mouth go dry. Once the interviewer joins the call, you can switch your camera and mic back, and the show must go on.

Stay mindful of yourself

Remember to behave as if you were at a face-to-face meeting; your interviewer can see and hear what you are doing. Stay silent and listen to them when they speak. Do not converse with others in your room (there should be nobody else there, though). 

Refrain from fidgeting, twitching, playing with your hair or chewing your nails. Your legs may not show, but if you tap with them to alleviate stress, your upper body will shake, which is visible to your video partner. Be aware of your behaviour and surroundings, and have a sole focus on your interviewer(s) and your conversation.

Be an active party

Maintaining eye contact is crucial; your eyes should not wander off the screen. When speaking, look into the camera (usually placed right at the top of your screen, so it should not be a problem). You can ask the interviewer at the beginning if they see and hear you well, to ensure that you come across in good shape.

Remember to smile now and then so you can channel pleasant and positive energy, but stay mindful; too much smiling may look creepy or dishonest.

Forget the cheat sheet

It is tempting to open up a cheat sheet or notes on the screen. Remember that you would not start reading a piece of paper during a meeting in person. Using notes will distract you, and your gaze intermittently darting to one corner will look awkward from the other side.

Leave your phone behind (if you can)

A ringing or buzzing phone can be highly distracting, even during a video call. Leave it in another room if you can. If you are interviewing via your phone, switch it to “do not disturb” mode so no incoming calls or messages will interrupt your conversation.

Expect the unexpected

situation and show that you can handle such a situation. Apologise, say that you will quTechnology goes wrong; there always are hiccups. Be prepared for your internet connection going haywire, or audio/video breaking up. To be on the safe side, restart your router before the interview. Instead of stressing about it, should it happen, embrace the ickly fix it.

Following up

Send a “thank you” note

After the meeting, send out a short and professional “thank you” note to the person leading the interview. Thank them for the opportunity and say that you are looking forward to hearing from them.

Dear Jane/Ms Doe,

Thank you for the opportunity today.

I look forward to hearing from you,

John/Mr Doe

Checking in

It may take some time to receive feedback from the company. This is normal. Employers usually take time to make recruitment decisions. They want to make sure that you are the best fit for the company as well as having the needed set of knowledge.

Remember, if you do not receive feedback straight away, it does not automatically mean that they rejected you. If the company had announced a planned date for closing the recruitment, do not follow up before that deadline.

After the date has passed (or you received no feedback), follow up with a concise email. 

Dear John/Mr Doe,

I hope all is well with you.

I am just writing to follow up on our interview.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Jane/Ms Doe

Nurture connections

If you did not get the job, it makes sense to stay in touch with your interviewer to nurture your business connections. Follow up with them regularly to build a relationship; you may end up in another job and collaborate with them.