Job Interview Questions, Answers, and Tips to Prepare

No title. Image is two women at a table, one conducting the interview and the other answering questions. The questions are:

Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2019

Do you have a job interview coming up? Are you prepared? The best way to get ready for an interview is to take the time to review the most common interview questions you will most likely be asked, along with examples of the best answers. Knowing what you're going to say can eliminate a lot of interview stress.

Prepare for the Interview

You don't need to memorize an answer, but do take the time to consider how you'll respond. The more you prepare, the more confident you'll feel during a job interview. When you're not sure what to expect during an interview, also take time to review this refresher on how job interviews work, and these tips on how to prepare to ace your job interview.

Review examples of the best responses to the most frequently asked interview questions in several different categories, and advice on how to answer.

Job Interview Questions and Answers

Here's a list of common job interview questions, with examples of the best answers about you, your work history and experience, the job, your goals, the new job, salary, and what you have to offer the employer.

The Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions

These are the top ten most commonly asked interview questions, with examples of the best answers. Also review job-specific interview questions for many different positions to get ideas for framing your own interview responses.

Questions About You

Interviewers will ask questions about you to gain insight into your personality and to determine whether you're a fit for both the job and the company. These are open-ended questions which will give you the opportunity to show the employer that you're well-qualified for the position.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What is your greatest strength?
  3. What is your greatest weakness?
  4. What makes you unique?
  5. Tell me about something that's not on your resume.
  6. How will your greatest strength help you perform?
  7. How do you handle failure?
  8. How do you handle success?
  9. Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
  10. How do you handle stress and pressure?
  11. How would you describe yourself?
  12. Describe a typical work week.
  13. Are you lucky?
  14. Are you nice?
  15. Are you willing to fail?
  16. Describe your work ethic.
  17. Describe your work style.
  18. Do you work well with other people?
  19. Do you take work home with you?
  20. How are you different from the competition?
  21. How do you view yourself? Whom do you compare yourself to?
  22. How does this job fit in with your career aspirations?
  23. How many hours a week do you normally work?
  24. How well do you assimilate into a new environment?
  25. How would you adjust to working for a new company?
  26. How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  27. How would your co-workers describe your personality?
  28. How would a professor describe you?
  29. Is there anything else we should know about you?
  30. What motivates you?
  31. Are you a self-motivator?
  32. What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  33. What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  34. What are you passionate about?
  35. What are your hobbies?
  36. What are your pet peeves?
  37. What is your dream job?
  38. What is the worst thing you've gotten away with?
  39. What will you miss most about your last job?
  40. What won’t you miss about your last job?
  41. Would you rather be liked or respected?
  42. Why should I take a risk on you?
  43. If you could relive the last ten years of your life, what would you do differently?

Questions About Leaving Your Job

Employers almost always ask about why you left, or are leaving, your job. Be prepared with an explanation for why you're moving on. Do make sure the reasons you give match what past employers will say about you if they are contacted for a reference.

Questions About Salary

Some of the hardest questions to answer during a job interview are about compensation. Here's what you will be asked and examples of the best answers. Questions about salary can be tricky to answer, and, in some locations, employers aren't allowed to ask about your salary history.

Qualifications Questions

The most important thing for interviewers to determine is whether you're qualified for the job. Here's what they will ask to find out. When responding, be specific.

Job Performance Questions

How you performed in previous roles can indicate how you will perform in the job for which you're applying. Be prepared to answer questions about what you did well - and what you didn't.

Be careful about how you to respond to negative questions. You can frame your responses in a positive manner, even when discussing a challenging situation.

As with questions about qualifications, be sure to relate your performance to the employer's requirements.

Questions About Your Work History

Is your work history stable, has it prepared you for the job you're interviewing for, and do you have any gaps in your employment history that the company should be concerned about? If not, prepare to answer questions about what you were doing when you weren't in the workforce.

Management and Teamwork Questions

Are you a team player? Do you work well with others? Do you prefer to work in a solitary environment or as part of a team? Your work style, and how you get along with others, including co-workers, managers, and customers or clients is important to all employers. Here are some of the questions employers ask about getting along at work.

Why You Should Be Hired

Why should you be hired over the other applicants? What makes you the best candidate for the job? Here's when you'll have the opportunity to make a case for getting a job offer, and the chance to sell yourself to the interviewer.

The New Job and the Company

What do you know about the company, why do you want the job, and what would you do if you were to be hired, are just some of the questions you'll be asked about the position and employer. Take the time to research the employer prior to the interview, so that you can ask informed questions about the job and company.

Questions About The Future

Are you going to stick around if you're hired is something most employers want to know. All these questions will gauge your interest in making a commitment.

The Final Question

The last question you'll most likely be asked is whether you have any questions. Here's how to respond.