Seven Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Seven Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them 

Job interviews can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking part of the job search process. While they offer an opportunity to showcase your skills and qualifications, interviews can also require you to answer a wide variety of questions that can make or break your chances of landing the job. Whether it’s the simple “tell me about yourself” question, the “what are your strengths and weaknesses” question, or the “describe a challenging situation” question, there are many different points that are important to hit on when responding in an interview. To help you succeed in your next interview, this article will guide you through seven commonly asked interview questions and provide examples of how to answer them effectively. While you may encounter other questions, preparing for these will enable you to have situations and examples that can be tailored to the interviewer’s different questions. 

Tell Me About Yourself 

The “tell me about yourself” question is typically one of the first questions you’ll face in a job interview. While it may sound simple, your response sets the tone for the rest of the interview. The key here is to balance between personal and professional details while keeping your answer relevant to the job. It is important to give a brief overview of your work history and it may be worth mentioning your educational background if you are a recent graduate. You may also want to consider including some of your professional interests, volunteer work, or participation in professional organizations.  


“I’m a [career] professional with over [number of years’ experience] years of experience in [field specialty]. I hold a bachelor’s degree in [degree] from [school] and have worked with top companies in the industry, such as [previous company name] and [another previous company name]. My passion for staying up to date with the latest [career field] trends and my strong [strong skills] skills have allowed me to [area where you excel].” 

What is Your Greatest Strength? 

This question is a chance to showcase your unique selling points and demonstrate how you can add value to the company. When answering, select a strength that is directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. It would be important to include any strengths mentioned in the job description or qualifications. Additionally, make sure to provide specific details or examples when you can, such as lessons you learned and how they directly affected your career skills.  


“My greatest strength is my ability to [relevant strength]. In my previous role [previous company], I was responsible for [responsibility], which led to [tangible result]. Because of my approach to [responsibility], I was able to learn [lesson learned] which aided in my growth as a [career profession]. 

What is Your Greatest Weakness? 

While this question can be tricky, it’s an opportunity to show self-awareness and your commitment to your personal and professional growth. Choose a weakness that is not a skill required for the job and discuss your efforts to improve on the skill. Consider answering with some examples of ways you are trying to improve, such as taking an online course or reading a book.  


“One area I’ve been working on is [weakness]. I’ve found that, in the past, I [how weakness has affected job previously]. To address this, I’ve [actions take to improve this weakness] and [how you have seen this weakness improve].”  

Why Do You Want to Work For This Company? 

Employers ask this question to determine your motivation and whether you’ve done your research on their organization. This is the time to express your genuine interest in the company and tailor your response to highlight that. In your response, try to include details that show that you understand what the organization does, and what their goals are. Additionally, mention some of the core values of the company and how they relate to you and your values. 


“I’ve been following [company name] for some time now and have been consistently impressed by your innovative approach to [specific aspects here, like product development or community involvement]. Your company’s values and mission align perfectly with my own professional goals, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the continued success and growth of [company name].”  

Describe a Challenging Situation You Faced at Work and How You Resolved It 

The “challenging situation” question can be an intimidating question if you are not prepared to answer it. This question aims to assess how you have handled previous challenges and how you may handle future challenges. It is important to take your time and be as truthful as you can while showing how you overcame a challenging experience. Be sure to mention the role you played in combatting this challenging situation and the outcome of the scenario.  


“In my previous role at [previous company], we encountered a [challenging situation]. To combat this, I took on [actions taken to combat the challenging situation]. I was responsible for [highlight the key role you played in defusing the challenging situation]. As a result, [results]. 

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? 

This question evaluates your long-term commitment and alignment with the company’s goals. While it’s essential to express ambition, make sure your goals align with the role and the company’s potential career path. Take the time to mention the company and how you could help play a role in the success of the company.  


“In five years, I envision myself as a [career goal] with [career goal responsibilities]. I hope to have played a pivotal role in [company name]’s growth and be a key contributor to its mission of [company’s mission]. I believe that this role is an ideal platform for me to continue developing my leadership skills while making a significant impact on the company’s success.” 

Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

This is a question that almost every candidate hears at the end of an interview and can sometimes be the difference between landing the job and not moving on in the interview process. Asking questions at the end of your interview gives you the chance to show your genuine interest in the company and your proactive approach to understanding the role. It is a good idea to always have questions prepared to demonstrate your engagement in the conversation. 


  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?  
  • What are the biggest goals you have for your company?  
  • How would you describe your company culture?  
  • What do you wish you had known before you joined the company?  
  • What is the timeline for the hiring process?  


Mastering job interviews involves preparing for commonly asked questions and responding with confidence and authenticity. By following these examples and tailoring your answers to your unique experiences and the specific job you’re applying for, you’ll be able to stand out in the competitive job market. Remember, practice and preparation are the keys to success in job interviews, so invest time in crafting your responses and showcasing your skills and potential as a valuable asset to any company.  


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