35 Job Interview Questions (And Answers!)

CareerFoundry Marketing Content Editor Jaye Hannah

Performance anxiety in the run-up to interview questions is totally normal. After all, interviews can be intimidating. Even the world’s most senior and experienced professionals (including interviewers themselves) would agree. 

Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know exactly what interview questions you’ll face—but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare yourself! To help ease those pre-interview jitters, we’ve compiled 35 common job interview questions (plus advice on how to answer them). 

Use this menu to skip to specific questions and see how to answer them:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What is your greatest weakness?
  3. Why do you want to work for this company?
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  5. Tell us about a time when you faced a technical challenge
  6. Describe your preferred working style
  7. How do you prefer to give and receive feedback?
  8. How do you deal with stressful situations?
  9. Why are you leaving your current role?
  10. What KPIs do you use to measure the success of your work?
  11. What motivates you to do your best work?
  12. Can you explain this gap in your resume?
  13. How would your colleagues describe you?
  14. What’s your biggest strength?
  15. What do you value most in a manager?
  16. How do you handle conflict at work?
  17. What are your interests outside of work?
  18. Why should we hire you?
  19. What motivates you?
  20. How do you adapt to last-minute changes?
  21. What do you think our company could do better?
  22. What’s your greatest professional achievement?
  23. Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership skills
  24. What attracted you to working in this particular field?
  25. What brands or companies inspire you?
  26. Are you a team player?
  27. How have you contributed to your current team’s success?
  28. What’s your communication style?
  29. What do you think is coming next for the industry?
  30. Are there any aspects of the job you think will be challenging for you?
  31. How well do you assimilate into new environments?
  32. How do you validate your decisions at work?
  33. How do you actively engage in your company’s culture?
  34. What are your salary expectations?
  35. Do you have any questions for us?

Let’s dive in!

35 common interview questions (and answers)

1. “Tell me about yourself”

This question is often used as an icebreaker, but answering it concisely can be a challenge. To avoid monologuing your life story, focus on your relevant technical skills and accomplishments.

Start by summarizing your background and how it led to your current job or interest in the role, before highlighting any significant projects you’ve worked on or notable career highlights.

2. “What is your greatest weakness?”

Ah, the dreaded “weakness” interview question. Bet you didn’t think this one would be so high up on the list! 

This question is an opportunity to showcase your self-awareness and willingness to improve.

Try to avoid using clichéd language like “perfectionism” or “working too hard” (easier said than done, we know!) Instead, think of a genuine weakness you’ve worked to overcome. Maybe you learned to take a step back when you’re overwhelmed, or you’ve taken on a mentor to help you become a better manager. Be specific about your progress, and provide examples if you can.

3. “Why do you want to work for this company?”

With this question, your interviewers are testing your knowledge of the company—and your alignment with their mission and values. In addition to researching the company’s products, services, and industry focus, get up to speed with any recent company changes or achievements.

Highlight specific projects or initiatives that interest you, and demonstrate your desire to work with like-minded professionals. Above all, be ready to discuss how you can contribute to the company’s success. 

4. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

This interview question can be nerve-wracking for those who don’t like to plan things too far in advance. No need to start worrying about personal goals—your interviews are just keen to assess how committed you are to your career.

While you may not have a concrete plan for the next five years, be prepared to discuss your career aspirations and how you plan to achieve them.

Demonstrating your desire to learn and grow in the industry is a massive plus—whether that’s finding a mentor, getting a certification, or taking on more responsibility at work. 

5. “Tell us about a time when you faced a technical challenge and how you overcame it”

Off the bat, you should always assume the interviewer will ask you for a specific example of something—and this question is a go-to for tech roles like data analytics and web development.

This question is all about gauging your problem-solving skills—as well as your ability to work under pressure. To answer successfully, outline the thought process behind your decision-making and any tools or resources you used to resolve the issue.

How did your solution impact the team or project? What did you learn? The more specific you are, the better (without rambling on, of course).

6. “Describe your preferred working style”

This might seem like an easy question, but it can be surprisingly tricky to answer. After all, how do you define your own personal working style? And is there a right or wrong answer to such a subjective question?

Maybe you thrive in collaborative environments, where ideas are freely shared and feedback is encouraged. Or perhaps you prefer to work independently, taking ownership of your projects and seeing them through to completion.

Whatever your preference, your response should reflect your personal style—as well as how that style aligns with the company culture and the expectations of the position. Ultimately, the goal of the interview is to find a good fit for both you and the company, so it’s better for both parties if you’re honest. 

7. “How do you prefer to give and receive feedback?”

Feedback is an essential tool for continuous improvement—and a crucial pillar of a healthy workplace culture. Answering this question correctly shows you’re open to constructive criticism and willing to grow. 

You can start by expressing your appreciation for feedback and explain how you welcome it, whether it’s in person or through email—or even how you build feedback loops into your workflows.

Emphasize the importance of feedback being honest, specific, and timely. You could also mention how you ask follow-up questions to gain more clarity, or how you take a moment to reflect on the feedback before responding.

8. “How do you deal with stressful situations?”

As hard as it is to believe, this isn’t a trick question designed to put you on the spot about your vulnerable moments. Instead, it’s a chance to showcase your resilience, adaptability, and willingness to work through challenges—all traits that any employer would value. Remember, virtually all professionals (including your interviewers) encounter challenging points throughout their careers. 

To answer this question, talk about some of the strategies you’ve used in the past to stay calm under pressure (i.e., taking a deep breath, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, seeking support from a manager or mentor, etc.).

You can also highlight your ability to prioritize tasks, stay organized, and think clearly when things get hectic. 

9. “Why are you leaving your current role?”

When it comes to the dreaded “Why are you leaving your current role?” interview question, it’s crucial to approach it with a positive attitude. Be honest but tactful: Employers appreciate transparency, but badmouthing your current employer or colleagues will only reflect poorly on you. 

Instead, focus on what prompted your desire to seek out new opportunities; whether it’s professional growth, a change in industry, or just seeking new challenges. Paying homage to everything you’ve learned in your current role while highlighting what you hope to achieve in a new role, will show you’re committed and enthusiastic about your professional development.

10. “What KPIs do you use to measure the success of your work?”

Every role has metrics for measuring success and impact—especially for tech jobs. When asking this question, the interviewer wants to know that you have a clear understanding of what metrics are valuable to your role and how you use them to evaluate your progress. Here’s your chance to demonstrate your analytical chops.

Dig deep and provide specific examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) that have driven your decision-making and improved your performance in the past.

It’s also helpful to explain how you regularly monitor these metrics to consistently meet (or exceed) your goals. By confidently talking about KPIs, you’ll prove you’re a strategic thinker who’s dedicated to delivering results.

Read next: A complete guide to marketing metrics and KPIs

11. “What motivates you to do your best work?”

Everyone wants to put their best foot forward in interviews, and this question is a great opportunity to showcase your motivation and drive—as well as your alignment with the company’s values. 

Start by thinking about what makes you passionate about your work. Is it a certain project or goal? Or maybe a specific challenge you overcame?

Whatever it may be, tie it back to how it aligns with the company’s mission and values. This will show the interviewer that not only are you a motivated worker, but also a valuable addition to their team. Enthusiasm is key!

12. “Can you explain this gap in your resume?”

The interview question can be nerve-wracking, but it’s essential to tackle it head-on with honesty. First, acknowledge the gap and clarify why it occurred: whether it’s due to personal reasons, further education, or travel. Next, highlight any skills or experiences you gained during that period. Did you network? Volunteer? Learn a new language? Talk about how these experiences prepared you for your current position.

Don’t fall into the trap of making excuses or apologizing for the gap. A gap in your resume doesn’t define you; and addressing it confidently can set you apart from other candidates.

13. “How would your colleagues describe you?”

When an interviewer asks how your colleagues would describe you, providing a thoughtful and authentic response is key. Take a moment to reflect on what qualities you possess that your co-workers may have noticed.

Perhaps they view you as a reliable teammate who always completes tasks on time, or an excellent communicator who can easily navigate conflicts. Whichever traits you mention, be sure to provide specific examples that support your answer.

Remember, honesty is always the best policy—exaggerating or misrepresenting yourself to impress the interviewer won’t win you any brownie points. Demonstrating self-awareness and reflection will prove you’re a competent and trustworthy candidate for the position.

14. “What’s your biggest strength?”

This question can be intimidating, but it’s truly your time to shine. Instead of giving a generic answer (like “I’m a hard worker”), think honestly about your personal brand.

What sets you apart from other candidates? Do you have excellent problem-solving skills? Exceptional leadership abilities? Are you a creative mastermind? Whatever your superpower, provide examples of how you’ve demonstrated this strength in the past. You’re pitching yourself here, so make it count!

15. “What do you value most in a manager?”

This question requires you to reflect on what qualities you believe make for effective leadership. Some might prioritize strong communication skills, while others might look for someone who’s creative and innovative in their approach. Others might value accessibility, ensuring their voice is heard and their concerns are listened to. 

Whatever your specific priorities, it’s important to think about how they align with the culture and goals of the company you’re interviewing with.

By demonstrating you understand what it takes to be a successful manager in the context of that specific workplace, you’ll show your interviewer that you could one day fill those boots. 

16. “How do you handle conflict at work?”

When it comes to answering interview questions about conflict resolution, it’s vital to show that you’re a team player who understands how to handle disagreements in a professional and respectful way.

As you describe a time when you successfully navigated conflict with a colleague or supervisor, make sure to highlight your communication skills, your ability to listen and understand different perspectives, and your commitment to finding a positive outcome. 

Conflict is a natural part of any workplace, and the hiring manager wants to know that you have the skills to navigate it effectively. 

17. “What are your interests outside of work?”

Time for a breather—it’s a fun question! 

When an interviewer asks about your interests outside of work, they’re not just making small talk. They genuinely want to get to know you better. In response, you need to showcase your personality and give the interviewer a glimpse into what makes you unique. 

Don’t be afraid to share something that may seem unconventional or quirky, as long as it’s appropriate and professional. Whether it’s knitting, playing music, or trying out new recipes in the kitchen, be passionate and enthusiastic about your hobbies.

18. “Why should we hire you?”

When it comes to acing an interview, there are few questions more important than “Why should we hire you?” This IS where you showcase your strengths, prove your value, and stand out from the crowd. 

First, take a moment to review the job description and company values. Consider how your own experiences and qualities align with these aspects. Prepare a few examples demonstrating your track record of success, and your ability to contribute to the company’s goals.

Finally, emphasize your enthusiasm for the role and your willingness to go above and beyond to ensure the company’s success. 

19. “What motivates you?”

This might seem like a daunting question at first, but it’s actually a great opportunity to talk about what drives you.

Think about what you’re working towards, or what you love about working in the field. Maybe you’re passionate about making products accessible or love the satisfaction of getting positive feedback on your work.

Whatever it is, be sure to speak from the heart and show your enthusiasm: Your interviewer wants to see you have the drive to succeed.

20. “How do you adapt to last-minute changes?”

Things don’t always go according to plan, and interviewers want to know you’ll remain calm, positive, and adaptable in the face of last-minute changes.

The key here is to demonstrate that you can go with the flow, while still maintaining a high level of productivity and focus.

Bonus points if you can provide an example of a time when you faced a change in plans, and what steps you took to accommodate it. If not, keep it general: Talk about how you’re used to quickly shifting priorities. 

woman sits in job interview with paper folder in hand answering job interview questions

21. “What do you think our company could do better/what would you change about our product?”

When interviewers ask this question, they genuinely want your opinion. Nevertheless, this question requires a carefully crafted and considerate answer. 

Before you dust off your laundry list of things you don’t like about the product, remember you’re still being evaluated as a potential candidate.

Instead of pointing out flaws, focus on sharing constructive feedback and ideas that showcase your problem-solving skills and interest in contributing to the company’s success.

Maybe you’ve noticed an opportunity to streamline a process, integrate new technology, or improve a feature for accessibility.

Whatever it may be, be sure to explain your reasoning and highlight how your suggestions could benefit the company and its customers. 

22. “What’s your greatest professional achievement?”

When answering this question, try to strike a balance between humility and confidence. One approach is the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Start by providing a brief overview of the situation you faced, the task you were given, and the action you took to tackle the challenge. Then, focus on the results you achieved and your accomplishment’s impact on both yourself and your organization. 

By following this method, you can provide a compelling and engaging response that highlights your achievements (without sounding arrogant).

23. “Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership skills” 

If you’re applying for a junior or mid-level position, you might be caught off guard when this question crops up. If you’re not applying to be a manager, why should it matter? 

In reality, being a manager isn’t a prerequisite for developing leadership skills. Your interviewers want reassurance that you can take charge and make important decisions while remaining a team player.

Think about a specific situation where you stepped up and led a team or implemented a solution.

Be sure to mention not only what you did, but also how you did it. Did you communicate effectively with your team? Did you motivate them to work harder? Choose one compelling example, and really run with it. 

24. “What attracted you to working in this particular field?”

This is an especially important question for career changers, who might lack the years of experience other candidates might have. This is where you get to tell a cohesive story, highlighting your transferable skills; and how you’ll bring them to your new role. 

Your story, as well as your new skills, help form your personal brand—which you need to convey in a succinct yet compelling answer.

Be enthusiastic and confident in your response, sharing your passion for the industry and your desire to make a positive impact in the field.

25. “What brands or companies inspire you?”

This is a great question, and it shows the interviewer is keen to understand your markers for success and innovation. 

It’s essential to choose a brand or company that genuinely resonates with you and prepare a detailed explanation as to why. Highlight the specific values or qualities you admire, and how they align with the company you’re interviewing for. It’s good practice to avoid big, popular companies and instead opt for lesser-known brands.

26. “Are you a team player?”

First things first, it’s important to understand why employers ask this question. They want to gauge your ability to work collaboratively with others, communicate effectively, and contribute to a positive team dynamic. 

With that in mind, your answer should highlight any past experiences working in a collaborative environment—and how your contributions helped the team succeed. Even if you don’t have any direct experience, talk about how you proactively seek opportunities to support and understand your coworkers. 

27. “How have you contributed to your current company’s success?”

​​Most interview questions seek to learn more about your skills and experience. This interview question, however, requires concrete specifics. 

Start by outlining specific goals you achieved or problems you solved. Quantify your impact by using numbers or percentages (e.g., I increased sales by 10%, or facilitated a project that saved the company $50,000).

Be sure to give credit to the colleagues who helped you along the way, to show your success is a team success. 

28. “What’s your communication style?” 

When answering this question, focus on your listening skills—as well as your ability to adapt to different communication styles. If you’re a good listener, for example, you can better understand the needs and preferences of those you communicate with—which can lead to smoother interactions and stronger relationships.

Additionally, being adaptable means you can adjust your communication style to fit different situations. 

29. “What do you think is coming next for the industry?” 

Employers want to hire forward-thinking innovators who’ll help them stay ahead of the curve. This question helps them gauge how tuned in you are to the industry—and it’s crucial to get it right.

Whether it’s a shift towards sustainability or a focus on data-driven decision-making, don’t be afraid to share your predictions and insights—backed up by industry research and current events where possible.

Be sure to mention how you think these developments impact the company or its users! 

30. “Are there any aspects of the job you think will be challenging for you?”

It’s important to approach your answer to this question with honesty and positivity. Believe it or not, this question is an excellent opportunity to showcase your preparedness and your problem-solving abilities.

Instead of identifying potential challenges as weaknesses, view them as opportunities to grow and improve your skills. Talk about a specific task or responsibility that may be new to you, but emphasize your willingness to learn and adapt.

By showcasing your positive attitude and eagerness to tackle new challenges head-on, you’ll leave a lasting (positive) impression on your interviewer. 

31. “How well do you assimilate into new environments?”

Usually, when interviewers ask this question, they’re thinking about your onboarding schedule. Ultimately, they want to know how long it will be before you can get stuck in and start adding value to the company. 

You can start off by putting them at ease that you’re a fast learner who quickly picks up technical concepts and adapts to new environments with ease.

It’s also worth highlighting which of the tools, systems, and software they’re using that you’re already familiar with—suggesting you’re likely to slot right in. To round off, emphasize your excitement about the opportunity for a new environment and a fresh start.

32. “How do you validate your decisions at work?”

When an interviewer asks how you validate your decisions at work, they want to know if you’re capable of making informed choices.

The key to a successful answer is confidence, structure, and transparency. Explain how you evaluate both the decision and the data you use to make it, emphasizing how you look at past successes and failures, conduct research, or seek feedback. 

Also, be sure to mention that you’re open-minded and willing to reconsider your decisions if they no longer make sense. By displaying a thoughtful and analytical approach, you’ll demonstrate your competence, reasoning skills, and ability to work well under pressure.

33. “How do you actively engage in/contribute to your company’s culture?”

When it comes to company culture, it’s not just about fitting in—it’s about adding value.

So, when asked how you actively engage in and contribute to your company’s culture, be ready to share specific examples of how you positively impact your team’s dynamics. 

Maybe you volunteered to organize your company’s holiday party, or you’re always forwarding team-building suggestions to your manager. Highlighting how you can add to a company’s culture can set you apart from other candidates and show that this is more than ‘just a job’ for you. 

34. “What are your salary expectations?”

Navigating salary discussions can feel like a minefield. You don’t want to seem greedy or unrealistic, but you also don’t want to undervalue yourself or your skills. 

The best way to approach salary discussions (assuming they haven’t posted the salary range on the job ad), is to research beforehand. Look up the average salary for similar positions in your industry and location, and factor in your experience and qualifications. When asked about salary expectations, be confident and transparent about your research and what you believe you’re worth.

Negotiating salary is a normal part of the hiring process, so don’t be nervous! To learn more, check out our guide on how to negotiate your salary.

35. “Do you have any questions for us?”

After a successful interview, you’re bound to hear the ubiquitous question, “Do you have any questions for us?” the answer to which should be a resounding “Yes!” This is your chance to flip the script and gather information that will help you make an informed decision. 

Try to ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn more. Ask what a typical day is like, or what challenges the company currently faces. And, of course, prepare your questions beforehand (interviewers can tell when you’re making them up on the spot)!

Round-up

And that’s a wrap on our exhaustive list of common interview questions. Armed with these 35 interview questions and answers, you’ll no doubt blow your interviewers away and push through to the next stage of the process. According to Legaljobs, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression—so make sure you’re confident, relaxed, and prepared.

Remember, the key to a successful interview is to be yourself and let your expertise shine through. 

To learn more about landing your dream job, check out these useful resources for different tech job interviews: 

And to prepare to land that interview in the first place, try these resources:

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