Interview Questions to Know and How to Answer Them


Preparing for a job interview, like training for a marathon or learning a new hobby, takes time, energy, and practice. Knowing wherein the process to start can be tricky. To help, job-search site Glassdoor sifted through tens of thousands of job interview reviews and discovered the most commonly asked interview questions of the bunch. To better your chances of scoring that new position, consider how you would respond to these 20 questions.

How are you today?

How are you today?

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If only they could all be this easy. Practice proper etiquette and answer this softball question as politely as possible. Toss the query back at the interviewer, throw in a “pleased to meet you” and brace yourself for what comes next.

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Tell me about yourself.

Tell me about yourself.

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This question is given in the form of an imperative. Knowing how to respond to such a command can be a daunting task right out of the gate. Ultimately, it is up to you to set the tone for the rest of the interview with your response. In a quick two-minute description, throw out details about your past experience, current work, and show off your personality.

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What are your strengths?

What are your strengths?

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Now is the time to rave on about all the resume skills you’ve cultivated and more. Highlight soft and hard skills that didn’t make the resume final cut and provide examples of how they have previously helped you in the workplace.

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What are your weaknesses?

What are your weaknesses?

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Perfectionists, it is time to find a new weakness. Interviewers are all too familiar with cliche answers like “I’m just too detail-oriented.” Be honest with your employer about a weakness you have and your plans to overcome it. Maybe you lack confidence, are overly self-critical, competitive, or struggle with burnout. Whatever it is, include a potential solution for it in your response.

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Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

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Discussing your interests and hobbies outside of work allows for the employer to get to know you better. Do not feel pressured to list off the perfect pastimes roster. If you enjoy volunteering for a charity, share that with your interviewer. If you would rather spend that time hiking, cooking, writing, or coding, share that.

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Why is there a gap in your employment history?

Why is there a gap in your employment history?

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, employees across the nation have faced furloughs and layoffs. Accordingly, resume gaps — once a resume red flag — have become more commonplace. Be honest with potential employers about the cause of your employment gap and highlight ways you were productive during that time.

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Why should we hire you?

Why should we hire you?

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Interviewers must know why you are the best candidate for the job. Share your passion for the gig and explain how past professional experiences point to you achieving positive results at this new company. Practicing this “elevator pitch” is one of the most critical job-hunting tasks.

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What can you offer that another candidate cannot?

What can you offer that another candidate cannot?

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Although it may not come naturally to everyone, self-advocating is a required step in the interview process. Outline for any prospective employer that sets you apart from the competition. Give the interviewer something to remember you by, like heightened experience, specialized training, or unparalleled passion for the job.

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Why are you interested in working for this company?

Why are you interested in working for this company?

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Broad and canned claims are not the way to a company’s heart. Specificity is key. So, do the research. Discover what sets the company apart from its competitors and share the differences you most appreciate.

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What is our CEO’s name?

What is our CEO’s name?

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Like a school-days pop quiz, questions like, “what is the name of our CEO?” are intended to reveal how much work you put into the interview prep. Go the extra mile to learn the names of key company figures and initiatives prior to an interview.

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

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Even if true, do not disclose that a prospective job or company is a stepping stone to something greater. In response, employers are looking for ambition and drive. They are also looking out for compatibility between what you want to accomplish and what career advancement opportunities they can offer down the line.

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What are your career goals?

What are your career goals?

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While interviewing, explain to the employer what your dream profession would be without appearing dissatisfied with the current job up for grabs. Ideally, tailor your career goals to the typical job trajectory offered at the company.

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How have you handled a difficult situation in the past?

How have you handled a difficult situation in the past?

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Difficult workplace situations can be put to good use. When answering anecdotal, behavioral interview questions like this, Glassdoor recommends utilizing the STAR format. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. Describe the situation, your role or given task, the action you took, and, lastly, the outcome.

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What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?

What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?

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Another opportunity to brag on your accomplishments. Be sure to pick an achievement that is simple to understand, measurable, and demonstrative of skills you can carry on to a new position.

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What has been your biggest professional failure?

What has been your biggest professional failure?

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Like when opening up about your own weaknesses, sharing your biggest professional failure is all about proving you can learn and grow from past mistakes. Using the STAR method, talk about a time when you misstepped and were able to bounce back better.

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What are some of your experiences as a leader?

What are some of your experiences as a leader?

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Leadership skills and applicable experience are beneficial regardless of whether you are entering the job market or interviewing for a high-level supervisor position. Think back to a time when you exercised good communication or creativity or influenced and motivated fellow employees.

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Who is your mentor?

Who is your mentor?

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The relationship between you and a mentor can be one of the most crucial relationships in your life. Whether you name your parents, a coworker, or former teacher as your mentor, the interviewer will likely care most about why you look up to the said person.

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What are your salary expectations?

What are your salary expectations?

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Before entering an interview, objectively assess your market value. Research how much others in your position make at your company or in your city. When negotiating a salary, share a pay range based on your research and try your hardest not to reveal your current salary.

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When can you start?

When can you start?

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The hardest workers may be looking to start at a new job post ASAP. However, remember to budget enough time to give any current employer a proper two weeks notice. Ask the interviewer if they have a timeline in mind and offer up a day that works for you both.

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What questions do you have for me?

What questions do you have for me?

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Your response to this deceptively simple final question can indicate your interest level in a position. Finish well and ask a question relating to a specific company initiative or about general work culture. As you wait for word back, consider earning a few extra dollars by adopting one of these lucrative side jobs.