Top ten most common interview questions and answers

1. What makes you think you are the best person for this job?

In this question the hiring manager is essentially asking ‘why should we hire you?’. There is no way of

what the other candidates are like, so you can’t compare yourself to them, and you shouldn’t. Here

’s what you 
need to do: Give several examples of your skills and achievements which are most relevant to

the job you are 
interviewing for.

2. How would you describe yourself?

The way to answer this question is to consider the culture of the company and what type of person the

advert indicated they were looking for. You want to show that your personality is a match for the job.

** So for example: 

- if you were applying to be an Events Manager you could say, ‘I am a real people person. I

thoroughly enjoy meeting different people and getting to know them’.

If you were going to work as an IT Technician then you could say, ‘I like to be challenged so

I’m the type of guy that enjoys solving puzzles and problems and coming up with solutions in a swift manner’.

3. What are your greatest weaknesses?

This is not the time for a confessional of all your failures in life! The best way to answer this question is

to turn a negative into a positive. Admit a minor weakness, then tell 
the hiring manager how you effectively

learnt to overcome this problem.

** Here’s an example:

-  ‘I have always been a very organised person, but sometimes I used to get a little carried

away and spend a bit too much time on one task. However, with self discipline and practise I have become

much more efficient at managing my time and I really feel I am close to getting the perfect 

4. How do you handle pressure?

This is another question where you want to turn the negative (the pressure) into a positive and show

that you 
work well in stressful situations.

** Example:

‘Some of my most creative work has been while I have been under immense amounts of

While I feel I don’t need pressure, it does ensure my mind stays focused and I can thrive on it.

I get the job done.’

5. What do you know about this company?

This is a stock question for most hiring managers. The hiring manager is looking to see that you have

for the job interview and are taking this role seriously. Before your interview you should have at

least covered
the following:

a. Visit the company website – especially read their ‘About’ section and also any recent press


b. Know who the CEO is and if possible your future head of department

c. How many employees do they have?

d. How many offices/stores do they have?

e. What countries are they working in?

f. How and when was the company founded and by whom?

g. Do a search in Google News for recent events relating to the company.

h. Check their LinkedIn profile.

i. If you know the name of the hiring manager then see what you can find out about him or her

social networking.

6. What are your strengths?

This interview question is relatively easy to answer, but since it is so common, it is worth going over

What you need to do here is to give an answer that plays exactly to the position that you are interview

for. How do you know exactly what they are looking for? It will have been written in the job advert/


** For example:

if you are applying for a sales job, then give an answer like this: ‘For the last two months I

have exceeded my sales targets by at least 15% and subsequently I was awarded a bonus at the 
end of

last month by my boss for my performance. I look forward to having the opportunity to bring 
the same

success to your organisation.’

7. Do you like to work alone or as part of a team?

This is a bit of a trick interview question because it implies you can only choose one answer or the other.

you need to do here is show that you are fine working in a team or on your own – you will need to be

able to do 
both in any job.

** Here’s how to answer this one:

- ‘I am equally comfortable working in a team environment or on my own depending on the

I look at the requirements of each task or project and then determine which is the most efficient

of action.’

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

What the hiring manager is looking for here is to see that you are committed to your employer, and

have a plan. 
You want to sound ambitious, but not so much that you sound like you will get bored easily.

** Example:

‘If I get offered this job then I will be looking forward to the new challenges that this role will

offer me. 
I will be focussed on the job at hand in the near future, but in the long term I hope to exceed the

expectations of me and am sure that this is a company where there will be opportunities to grow

and for 
me to take on new responsibilities’

9. Why do you want to leave your current job?

The most important thing to note here is that you must not criticise your current employer or boss. Even

if your 
existing boss is a monster, don’t sit there ranting about them – it will make you look like a trouble-maker.

Say something objective that does not criticise your current employer. For example: ‘I have really enjoyed my 

time at my present employer, but I have been working there for 2 years now and I feel that I am no longer being

challenged in my current role. The low staff turn over there means that there are no upcoming opportunities for

promotion, so I am now enthusiastic about finding a new exciting and challenging role with a company such as


10. What are your salary expectations?

My advice here is to slightly side-step this question. The best thing to do would be to wait until you get

the job, and then use that as the time to negotiate. Although salary is clearly very important to everybody,

the interview you want to play this down and show that your primary interest is finding the right job that will

you challenged and that you will enjoy. Answer this questions along these lines: ’ I am currently earning

per year and it would be great if I couldimprove on that, however the most important thing for me is not

salary but the job satisfaction I will receive from working in your company and the long term potential I believe

I would have here 

*** Click Here:  Tips for Answering Job Specific Interview Questions

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