Facing a job interview? We’ve got you covered. Our career experts gathered the most common questions asked in an interview and sample answers to help you prepare.  

Below are 20 common interview questions with tips to impress the recruiter and secure your desired job. 


20 Most Common Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself. 

  • How did you hear about this position?

  • Walk me through your resume. 

  • Why are you interested in this position?

  • Why should we hire you?

  • What are your greatest strengths?

  • What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What are your salary expectations?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Why are you leaving your current job?

  • How do you prioritize and manage your time?

  • How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?

  • What is your preferred work style?

  • What motivates you?

  • How do you adapt to change?

  • What is your greatest professional achievement?

  • Are you interviewing with other companies?

  • What type of work environment do you prefer?

  • Do you have any questions for us?


Common Interview Questions and Answers

Now that you know the top 20 most common interview questions, it’s time to prepare to answer them. We don’t recommend having a scripted response for each, but writing down a general idea of what you want to say will make you feel more confident and at ease during the interview

Tell me about yourself.

Think of your answer like an elevator pitch. You want to be concise and convince the hiring manager you’re the ideal candidate for the role. Talk about your current job, highlighting key skills and accomplishments, give a brief overview of your background to show how you got here and end with your career goals, i.e., why you would be perfect for this role. Here’s a sample answer: 

“I’m a highly motivated professional with a marketing and advertising background. I’m a marketing coordinator at Pinnacle Catalyst Marketing, overseeing our top-performing client. I’ve honed my digital marketing and market research skills while performing this role. Before this, I gained valuable experience at an advertising agency, working with three major national tech brands. My brand development and problem-solving skills align well with the dynamic and forward-thinking culture here at Dynamic Innovation Solutions. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to drive tech innovation and continue to reach my career goals with your team.”

How did you hear about this position?

This question is an opportunity to show your passion for the field and your connection to the company. If someone at the organization recommended you, name-drop that person. If you discovered the job posting through a website, mention it and emphasize what attracted you to the role. Here’s a sample answer: 

“I came across this position through your company’s careers page while actively researching opportunities in the tech industry. I’ve followed your work for a few years and always wanted to join the team. The opportunity to contribute to innovative projects and work with cutting-edge technologies convinced me to apply.”

Walk me through your resume.

This question seems similar to “Tell me about yourself.” However, it requires a longer response to detail your work experience. The best way to answer this is to tell it like a story and review your resume chronologically. The interviewer wants to know how you got here and the skills, knowledge and accomplishments you acquired. Check out this sample answer: 

“My journey in content writing began at Catalyst Creations Agency, where I served as a Junior Content Writer. In this role, I created engaging and SEO-optimized content for various clients across industries, from tech startups to e-commerce brands. My time at Catalyst Creations gave me a solid foundation in crafting compelling narratives, conducting thorough research and collaborating with cross-functional teams to meet clients’ objectives. This experience heightened my passion for storytelling and honed my ability to effectively tailor content to target audiences.

Following that, I transitioned to TechInsight Hub as a Content Specialist. Here, I delved into the dynamic world of technology writing, producing articles that simplified complex concepts for a broader audience. I also took the lead in managing the editorial calendar, overseeing content strategy, and implementing SEO best practices to boost organic traffic. This role expanded my technical knowledge and enhanced my project management skills.

Most recently, I’ve been working as a freelance content writer, allowing me to diversify my portfolio by collaborating with various clients on various projects, including blog posts, website content and marketing collateral. This experience has deepened my adaptability, creativity and ability to tailor my writing style to different brand voices. Overall, my journey has been marked by a commitment to producing high-quality, impactful content, and I’m excited about the opportunity to bring this dedication to your content writer position.”

Why are you interested in this position?

Similar to “How did you hear about this position?” When answering this question, conveying your passion for the job is crucial. Identify fundamental elements that make this role a great fit for you and tie them into your admiration for the company’s work. Here’s an example: 

“I’m genuinely excited about this content creator position because it perfectly aligns with my passion for crafting compelling narratives and engaging visuals. Your company’s commitment to innovation and its unique approach to storytelling, as evidenced by your work with Bloom, has greatly inspired me. I am eager to contribute my creative skills to further elevate the brand’s content strategy and bring fresh, captivating stories to your audience.”

Why should we hire you?

Although intimidating, this is the perfect setup to sell yourself. Your answer should show that you can execute the job responsibilities, deliver outstanding results and fit well with the team and company culture. Your job is to convince the interviewer there’s no one better for the role. See how it works: 

“First and foremost, I bring a proven track record of exceeding sales targets in my previous roles, showcasing my ability to drive revenue growth effectively. With a strategic and customer-centric approach, I am confident in my capacity to identify and capitalize on new business opportunities. Additionally, my experience in wellness retail aligns seamlessly with the needs of this position.

Furthermore, I am highly collaborative and thrive in team environments, understanding the importance of fostering strong internal relationships for collective success. I am impressed by your company’s innovative and dynamic culture, and I am eager to contribute my interpersonal skills to building lasting client relationships and driving sales success. My dedication to achieving and surpassing goals and my passion for health make me a valuable asset to your sales team.”

What are your greatest strengths?

You’ve probably mentioned most of your soft and hard skills by this point in the interview. Provide examples of your work to showcase your strengths and focus on two or three at most. Remember to choose strengths relevant to the position you’re applying for. Check out this example: 

“My greatest strengths are strategic talent management and cultivating a positive organizational culture. At Lumina, I implemented a successful employee development program, resulting in a 20% increase in engagement scores, and showcased adept conflict resolution skills, contributing to a healthier work environment. Additionally, my proficiency in HR analytics at Green Light Corp led to a 15% reduction in turnover and a 10% increase in overall employee satisfaction.”

What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

This question can be tricky for a lot of candidates. The hiring manager wants to know how self-aware and honest you are. Mention something you currently struggle with but are working to improve. Here’s an example: 

“I’ve been actively working on refining my delegation skills. In the past, I tended to take on too much responsibility to ensure tasks were completed to my standards. However, I’ve recognized the importance of empowering team members and have been actively delegating more effectively, allowing them to showcase their strengths and contribute to overall team success.”

What do you know about our company?

The interviewer wants to see if you did your homework. Research the company. Focus on what they’re known for, their growth over the years and opportunities for the future. When you answer this question, highlight what you know about the company and why it caught your eye. This way, you also answer *why* you want to work for this company. Follow this example: 

“I’m impressed by your commitment to pushing design boundaries and creating innovative products. Your emphasis on user-centric design, as demonstrated in your line of kitchen appliances for disabled adults, particularly resonates with my design philosophy. I’m drawn to your company’s collaborative and forward-thinking culture, and I’m excited about the prospect of contributing my skills to further elevate the design aesthetic and user experience in your future projects.”

What are your salary expectations?

We strongly advise that you research the salary range for similar roles before getting to the interview. With that in mind, consider your experience, skills and living costs to determine your salary requirements. 

Instead of providing a specific number, give the interviewer a range and make it higher than you hope. It’s easier to negotiate downward than upward. If you still need clarification, ask for the current salary range of the position you’re applying for. Use this example to guide your response: 

“Considering my experience and skills, I’m seeking a competitive salary that reflects the value I can bring to the team. I’m flexible, and based on the comprehensive benefits package and growth opportunities that come with this position, I’m confident we can find a mutually beneficial arrangement. My expected range is between $65,000 and $70,000.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

With this question, the interviewer is trying to gauge your ambition and if the position aligns with your goals. Be honest and specific. Consider how this role will push you toward your objective, whether expanding your expertise or advancing the company ladder. See how it works:

“In five years, I envision myself as a lead software developer, contributing to impactful projects and leveraging advanced technologies to solve complex problems. I’m excited about the opportunity to continuously grow and refine my skills within this role, taking on more responsibilities and leadership challenges. I see this position as an integral part of my career journey.”

Why are you leaving your current job?

The best route for this question is to keep things simple and positive. Taking a negative stance toward your current employer may backfire. Instead, emphasize that you’re enthusiastic about a new opportunity or want to keep growing in the industry. Follow this example:

“While I have valued my time at my current job, this role aligns more closely with my career goals, providing an opportunity to develop my customer service skills further and the chance to make a meaningful impact. I decided to pursue a position that allows me to grow and challenges my skill set.”

How do you prioritize and manage your time?

Employers want to know that you can handle the workload that comes with the job. It’s crucial to show them you have a specific system to stay organized, not just a good memory. Describe how you stay organized and how it has benefited you. Follow this example:

“I prioritize and manage my time by employing a systematic approach. I utilize calendars, to-do lists and project management software like Asana to organize tasks and deadlines. This structured method allows me to efficiently identify and address high-priority items, ensuring that essential tasks are completed promptly. This approach has proven successful in my previous roles, enabling me to maintain high productivity and effectively support the executives I’ve worked with.”

How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?

This question is essential, especially if you’re working in a constantly changing industry. A proactive employee will seek updated information and ensure their work meets industry standards. Here’s an example:

“I stay updated on industry trends through ongoing research, attending relevant conferences, participating in online forums, and following key influencers and publications in social media and digital marketing. Additionally, I actively engage in professional networks and webinars to stay abreast of emerging tools and strategies. This proactive approach ensures that my social media strategies remain innovative, leveraging the latest trends to drive engagement and results.”

What is your preferred work style?

The interviewer wants to visualize you in the role. This question also helps them know if your work style matches the team’s. Describe how you approach your work and align it with your knowledge about the role and the company. See how it works: 

“My preferred work style is a blend of creativity, collaboration, and meticulous attention to detail. I thrive in an environment that encourages open communication and idea-sharing, enhancing the creative process. I appreciate the collaborative nature of a dynamic team.”

What motivates you?

This is an opportunity to show the employer what drives you. Choose one thing that motivates you and tie it to the company and role you’re applying for. Remember to be honest. Here’s an example: 

“Leading and inspiring a team to achieve collective goals drives my work. I find fulfillment in fostering a collaborative and innovative work environment where each team member can thrive and contribute their best. I’m particularly motivated by the prospect of guiding a team to drive technological advancements and contribute to the company’s mission of innovation and excellence.”

How do you adapt to change?

Companies value adaptable employees because they will easily navigate change, whether it’s a change in a project or the company’s structure. Use a story to convince the employer you can quickly adapt and find solutions. Check out this example: 

“I thrive in dynamic environments and adapt to change by staying agile and solution-oriented. In my previous role, our project faced an unexpected shift in client requirements midway through. Instead of panicking, I quickly convened the team, reassessed our resources, and restructured the project plan to align with the new scope. This flexibility not only ensured project success but also boosted team morale. Adaptability is critical to navigating the evolving landscape of projects, and my experience demonstrates my ability to lead teams through unforeseen challenges with a strategic and proactive mindset.”

What is your greatest professional achievement?

This is another example of the perfect setup to convince the employer you’re the ideal candidate. Don’t just mention your greatest achievement; tell a compelling story. Use the STAR method to structure your response. Follow this example:

“My greatest professional achievement occurred during a project-based learning initiative where I designed and implemented an interactive science curriculum for high school students. Through this project, I observed a significant increase in student engagement and understanding, leading to a 20% improvement in overall test scores. I collaborated closely with colleagues to tailor the curriculum to diverse learning styles, fostering a more inclusive and enriching educational experience. This achievement validated my commitment to student success and showcased my ability to create impactful and student-centric learning environments.”

Are you interviewing with other companies?

While you want to show your enthusiasm for the role, you don’t want to give the employer more leverage by telling them you’re not interviewing with anyone else. Mention other jobs you’re applying to, but emphasize why you’re excited about this position at this company. Check out this example: 

“Yes, I am exploring opportunities with a few other companies that appreciate my design expertise. However, I am particularly excited about the prospect of joining your team because of the company’s innovative design approach and commitment to pushing creative boundaries. The unique projects I’ve seen at your company align perfectly with my passion for impactful and visually compelling design work, making this position a top priority.”

What type of work environment do you prefer?

If you want to work at this company, you should know what the work environment is like and if it’s compatible with yours. Be specific about your preference and include descriptors that align with the employer’s work environment. See how it works: 

“I thrive in a collaborative, dynamic work environment that encourages open communication and idea-sharing. I appreciate a space that values creativity and innovation and where cross-functional teams can seamlessly collaborate. A creative and collaborative atmosphere is key to delivering impactful and successful design solutions.”

Do you have any questions for us?

An interview is about deciding if you want to work for this company as the employer assessing if you would be a good fit for the role. Consider what is important to you in a job and ask the interviewer anything that needs clarifying. 


Tips on How to Answer Common Interview Questions

Preparing for every potential interview question can be overwhelming and almost impossible. Consider these tips if you ever struggle with a question: 

1Be honest:

You want to start your relationship with the employer positively. Don’t lie or exaggerate your responses; the interviewer may see right through that. Honesty will take you a long way. 

2Tell a story:

Using anecdotes to prove your skills and accomplishments can convince the interviewer you’re the right fit and keep the conversation interesting. 

3Keep it brief:

While storytelling is recommended, go straight to the point. It’s important to show the employer you value their time. 

4Be ready to improvise:

You will likely encounter a question you’re unprepared for. Quick thinking and adaptability will help you in this scenario. You can always tell the interviewer, “Let me think about that for a moment,” while you collect your thoughts. 

5Conduct mock interviews:

The best way to feel confident during an interview is to practice your answers. Ask a family member or friend to do a mock interview with you. 


10 Common Behavioral Interview Questions

You may be asked about your past experiences handling various workplace situations during an interview. These behavioral interview questions often begin with phrases such as “Can you give an example of a time when …” or “Describe a situation where …” and are intended to evaluate your skills and qualifications for the position. These are some of the most common behavioral interview questions: 

  • Describe a situation where you had to work closely with a team to achieve a common goal. 

  • Can you share an example of a situation where you had to adapt your time management approach to meet a sudden change or unexpected priority? 

  • Discuss a situation where you had to deliver complex or sensitive information to a team member or colleague. 

  • Share an experience where you had to take a leadership role within a team. How did you motivate and guide the team to accomplish its objectives?

  • Tell me about when you had to balance multiple professional and personal responsibilities. How did you prioritize and organize your time to fulfill your commitments on both fronts effectively?

  • Describe a time when you had to adjust your communication style to work effectively with a team member with a different communication preference or personality. How did you identify the differences, and what strategies did you employ to ensure smooth collaboration?

  • How do you manage conflict in a team?

  • Tell me about a goal you set and how you achieved it.

  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?

  • Describe a time when your company was undergoing change. How did you adapt?


10 Common Phone Interview Questions

Phone interviews are quick and often used as an initial screening process. The interviewer wants to know if you’re a potential candidate to move on to the next phase of the hiring process. Some questions will likely be repeated in the phone and in-depth interviews. Here are some common questions: 

  • Can you briefly walk me through your resume?

  • What interests you about this position and our company?

  • What prompted you to apply for this role?

  • When can you start?

  • What do you know about our industry and competitors?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • Describe what you do in your current role. 

  • What are your salary expectations?

  • Are you willing to relocate?

  • How do you schedule your day?


Learn About Our Writing Standards

Editorial Standards 

JobHero has published in-depth career guides, resume and cover letter articles since 2014. We aim to share job-seeking tools and empower job seekers throughout their careers!