Education, Home & Family

20 of the Most Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them


A job interview is a very nerve-wracking experience for most of us. To calm your nerves and be ready for the interview, the best thing you can do is be prepared. Preparedness is key so that you know what to expect and can ace the interview .

By preparing questions you may be asked in the interview and knowing your answers, you’ll be more confident and able to demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and skill.

To make this process even easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 most common interview questions you will most likely be asked and how to answer them, so you have more of a chance of landing the job.


  1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Answer: Briefly cover your education, experience and interest in this industry. They don’t need a life story.

  1. Why are you leaving your current job?

Answer: Not enough career progression, need more of a challenge, want to go in a new direction.

  1. Why should we hire you?

Answer: Show that you’re the perfect person for the role. They’re looking for someone who can do X, and your experience and skills show that you can do X.

  1. Why do you want to work for our company?

Answer: Focus on specifics about the company and why they excite you. Demonstrate how well you know the company, and why you want to work for them in particular.

  1. What are your weaknesses?

Answer: Be honest and tell them your weakness and how you are overcoming it to become strength.

  1. What are your biggest strengths?

Answer: Give specific strengths and examples of when you’ve shown them to be true.

  1. How would your last boss/colleagues describe you?

Answer: Be honest and describe a few more of your strengths that haven’t previously been highlighted.

  1. What can you offer us that other candidates cant?

Answer: Look at the job description and demonstrate how your unique skills make you stand out from others. Focus on what else you can bring to the job that other candidates can’t.

  1. Are you willing to relocate/travel for this role?

Answer: Yes

  1. What motivates you?

Answer: This will be personal to you. Is it your passion to achieve your goals? build a career? Desire to succeed?

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Answer: This is your chance to wow the interviewer with what you can do. Describe what you did backed up with examples with the result that you achieved.

  1. What type of work environment do you work best in?

Answer: Describe an environment similar to this company’s environment. Research their company to provide specifics.

  1. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a project.

Answer: Use examples to highlight your passion and determination and how your skills helped you get great results.

  1. Describe a difficult work problem and how you resolved it.

Answer: Show how you respond to conflict and overcome problems professionally. Provide real-life examples and the results you achieved.

  1. How do you cope under pressure?

Answer: Demonstrate how you deal with pressure productively and positively and don’t let stress overwhelm you. You could use an example to help.

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

Answer: Show ambition and passion for the industry and how you want your career to progress within that company.

  1. What are your career goals?

Answer: Demonstrate how this role is in line with your career goals, and how this job will help you achieve them.

  1. How would you improve our company/what would you do differently here?

Answer: Show that you’ve read up on the company, can think critically, and think of new ideas to positively improve the company. Show how your skills can help improve the company.

  1. If you were an animal, which one would you be?

Answer: Odd question, I know, but hiring managers want to see how you can think on your feet and be creative. Choose an animal that helps you showcase your strengths.

  1. Do you have any questions for me?

Answer: Now’s your chance to ask the interviewer any questions to find out more about the job. Try ‘can you describe the company culture?’ or ‘what will a typical day look like for me?’ But don’t ask anything.

Practice these questions with your unique answers to ensure that you are prepared and confident in your interview. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your skills and personality and demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job, and get one step closer to achieving your dream career.

This post was written by Zest Education, a recruitment agency which specialises in education.


Image Credit: Enri EndrianWilliam Purcell

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