50 Top Job Interview Questions and Answers

50 Top Job Interview Questions and Answers

Congrats, if you are reading this you have most likely received a phone call for an interview.

That’s half the battle.

In this article, we are going to provide you with the 50 top job interview questions and answers to prepare for your big interview. 

We have reviewed more than 100 interview questions and answers to bring you the 50 most important interview questions divided into six categories:

  1. Basic Interview Questions
  2. Behavioral Interview Questions
  3. Educational Interview Questions 
  4. Professional Interview Questions
  5. Salary Interview Questions.  
  6. Personal Interview Questions

Click on the link above to be taken directly to the types of interview questions you are looking for.

Basic Interview Questions

There are about a million and one questions that you could be asked in an interview.

You can't learn them all, but you can take the time to practice the ones that are most likely to come up.

All interview questions are not used equally.

The 16 interview questions below are some of the most common interview questions and answers in America.

1. Tell me about yourself?

The first question that you are most likely to get asked in an interview is "Tell me about yourself."

This question is going to set the tone for the remainder of the interview, so make sure to take some time practicing your answer before the actual interview.

Try the "Past, Present and Future Method."

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2. Why do you want to work here?

Don’t let the recruiter catch you off guard with the question, "Why do you want to work here?"

The chances of someone asking this interview question is very high!

Now, the answer may seem obvious, but the obvious answer is not always the best answer.

We explain the best ways to answer this question without saying, "To get paid." 

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3. What interests you most about this position?

Have you ever been asked the question, “What interests you most about this position?”

You are not alone.

This can be a difficult question to answer on the spot.

You are probably thinking about ten different reasons why you want the job, but it’s important to prepare your best answer prior to the interview.

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4. Why should we hire you?

It’s not every day that you will get called for an interview.

When you do get a call, it’s important that you know how to answer some basic interview questions.

One very common interview question that you should prepare for is, “Why should we hire you?”

This question is very straightforward and direct, so it’s important to dish it back in the same manner.

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5. What are your strengths?

Believe it or not, this is one of the best questions that someone could ask you in an interview.

This is your chance to show off what you are made of without any judgment of sounding cocky.

Being asked what are your strengths is the perfect setup to tell the employer exactly why you are great for the position.

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6. What are your weaknesses?

This is by far one of the most dreaded interview questions of all time.

We have heard more people struggling to answer this question than just about every other question out there.

What are your weaknesses?

That’s a pretty personal question.

Why am I being asked this question?

Learn more about why your weaknesses are important to a potential employer.

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7. What is your greatest accomplishment?

What is your greatest accomplishment?

This can be a tough interview question to answer.

Maybe you are having trouble thinking of a great accomplishment.

Maybe you are thinking of so many and are having a hard time narrowing it down to just one.

Whatever it is, we are going to teach you how to give the very best answer possible.

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8. Describe a time you dealt with a conflict at work?

Have you had to deal with a conflict at work?

Hopefully not, but most people who are in the workforce long enough will eventually have to deal with conflict.

It’s important to understand the question you are being asked.

This question doesn’t imply that you were the one to start or instigate the problem.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

9. Why are you leaving your job?

The question, "Why are you leaving your job," can be kind of awkward depending on your answer.

Believe it or not, in this situation the truth is not always the best solution.

For example, if you have a really crummy boss that you just can’t stand working with anymore, it is not recommended to bad mouth anyone at your old company.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

10. What is your dream job?

Whether you're looking for your first career or you're a seasoned professional looking to change career paths it is essential to determine what your dream job is.

This question is one of the most important interview questions of all time.

Knowing what your dream job is will set you up for success throughout your entire career.

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11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Chances are if you are interviewing you will be asked the question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

This question can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

The trick to making this question your best friend is to have a well thought out answer before your interview.

There are three things to focus on when someone asks this question.

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12. Are you interviewing with any other companies?

This is one of my all-time favorite interview questions to answer.

The answer may surprise you or contradict other things that you have heard, but I can assure you, this is the best solution 99% of the time.

When someone asks if you are interviewing with any other companies your answer should always be YES!

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

13. How would your friends describe you?

Have you ever been asked the question how would your friends describe you in an interview?

Chances are that even if you haven’t yet, you will someday.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when preparing for your interview.

Now, this may seem like a really obvious answer, but the best thing to do is simply ask your friends to describe you.

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14. What are 3 positive things your last boss would say about you?

This is a great opportunity to show off a little bit and sell some of your skills and attributes.

When describing three positive things your last boss would say about you, it is important not to just spout off the first three things that come to mind.

If you are reading this article you are on the right track!

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15. What kind of things do you like to do outside of work?

When an interviewer asks what kind of things you like to do outside of work, this is an opportunity for the employer to get some insight into who you are as a person.

After all, you are interviewing for a position where you will be spending at least 40 hours a week together.

They want to know what kind of a person they would be working with.

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16. Do you have any questions for me?

This is one of those guaranteed interview questions that can be very tricky to perfect.

Without a doubt, you have already been in an interview where someone asked you, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Did you freeze up?

Did you say, “Nope, no questions”?

Or did you ask a question that maybe you wish you never asked?

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Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions are the type of questions that challenge your character.

They are situational questions that usually start with, “Tell me about a time....".

These common interview questions are meant to understand how you react in certain situations.

Can you handle criticism positively?

Are you motivated and a go-getter?

Are you easy to get along with?

17. What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?

For more senior level executives ,a common interview question that you can expect is, “What was the last project you led and what was its outcome?”

Since this question is asking specifically about the “last” project you led, be sure you're not bringing up a project from several years ago.

If your last project was a disaster, move on to the next one.

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18. Can you describe a time you demonstrated leadership?

A common misconception made by job seekers is that leadership questions will only be asked for management positions.

This has been disproved time and time again.

No matter what level in the company you are interviewing for, it is highly recommended to prepare at least one example that demonstrates your leadership ability.

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19. Describe a time when your work was criticized.

Behavioral interview questions can be some of the hardest questions to answer.

Often times, there is no right or wrong answer.

It’s how you frame your answer and what you learned from the experience that is important.

When being asked to describe a time when your work was criticized, there are a few key points to emphasize.

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20. If a manager asks you to do something that you disagree with, what would you do?

Have you ever been in an awkward situation with a manager where they ask you to do something, but you know it’s not right?

This happens all the time!

Just because your manager is your superior does not mean that they are always going to have the best answers.

In this article, you will learn what to do if a manager asks you to do something that you disagree with.

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21. Describe a time you disagreed with a coworker.

The job interview is a great opportunity for you and your employer to get to know one another.

When you are looking for a new job, it’s important that the next company you work for is a good fit.

The interviewer feels the same way about who they hire.

Eventually, you are going to be asked to describe a time you disagreed with a coworker.

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22. Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?

"I take pride in the fact that I have never misstepped while completing work assigned tasks."

Solid answer, right?

NOPE!

Be honest when an interviewer says, “Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?”

Nobody is perfect and pretending to be in an interview will not get you anywhere.

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23. Tell me about a time you had to give someone difficult feedback.

First, it’s important to know whether you will be asked this question in your interview.

If you are applying for an entry-level role, let me save you some time and recommend that you move on to another question.

If you are applying for a leadership role, chances are you will be asked about a time you gave someone difficult feedback.

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24. Have you ever been on a team where someone is not pulling their own weight?

Have you ever been on a team where someone is not quite pulling their own weight?

If so, this question should be easy for you.

If you haven’t, or maybe you were the person not pulling the weight, just put yourself in the shoes of someone who has experienced this.

Everyone has a story when this happened.

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25. Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond expectations at work.

One of the most common interview questions a hiring manager asks is, "Can you tell me about a time you went above and beyond expectations at work?"

Because of this, it is very important that you have a simple answer in the holster.

This question is common because a company does not want to hire real average employees!

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26. Have you ever had trouble working with a manager?

It’s a trap!

When a hiring manager asks, “Have you ever had trouble working with a manager?” they are fishing for negative answers.

These are the types of questions that you should answer with the most caution.

Read the article to see how to navigate this cryptic question.

We would never advise to blatantly lie in an interview.

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27. How would you handle a difficult customer?

Oh, yes.

Anybody who has worked directly with customers has undoubtedly dealt with some grief.

Even if you haven’t worked with customers before, just imagine this situation.

As you are working, you get a phone call.

Guess who is on the phone?

An angry, impatient, chatty, rude, or skeptical customer.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

28. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?

A common behavioral interview question that people struggle with answering is, "What is your greatest failure?"

Some of the trickiest questions seem to be the ones that ask you to explain something negative about yourself.

Similar questions that you might be asked include, "What are your weaknesses?" or, "Tell me about a time you did something wrong."

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29. Tell me about a time you faced a difficult situation with a colleague?

Why would they ask, “Can you tell me about a time you faced a difficult situation with a colleague?”

Obviously, the wording can vary, but the strategy behind the question is the same.

Behavioral questions are asked to see how you would react to certain situations if you are hired.

Here is how you can give a positive answer to the negative question.

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Educational Interview Questions

Educational job interview questions are particularly important for recent college graduates.

If you are a recent grad, or soon to be graduating, it would benefit you to read these common job interview questions before your next interview.

30. Tell me about your educational background

Awesome! Another “walk in the park” question.

This should never be your mindset when interviewing with a new company.

It's great to be confident, but be prepared to sell yourself when the hiring manager says, "Tell me about your educational background."

This question provides a great opportunity for you.

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31. What academic courses did you like the most/least?

When you obtain a degree, you are forced to take a variety of courses that you may not have an interest in.

During an interview, you may have to discuss the academic courses that you like the most and least.

No matter your stance before the class, you may have found that the subject was informational and interesting.

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32. Do you plan to further your education?

Have you ever been asked if you plan to further your education?

This question can bring you down a slippery slope if you don’t answer it correctly.

For the most part, this question is straightforward.

Your potential employer wants to know whether or not you have any goals or motivation to continue learning.

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33. Why did you choose your major?

So you have a French History degree, but want to enter into the business world?

Now you might be asking, “Why did I choose that major?!”

We can promise that those 4-5 years you spent chasing that piece of paper did not go to waste!

Regardless of your major choice, the fact that you completed the program bodes well for you.

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Professional Interview Questions

Typically professional interview questions will not be asked for a recent grad or inexperienced worker.

Professional interview questions are asked to address serious questions or concerns regarding previous employment and your willingness and ability to perform the job.

34. Why do you have gaps in your job history?

You are a diligent worker and constantly seeking job opportunities, yet cannot seem to get your foot in the door.

This is a growing frustration as a gap in your work history begins to expand.

Gaps in employment can happen to almost anyone, so don’t lose all hope just yet!

There are many reasons an employment gap can happen.

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35. Why have you changed jobs so frequently?

So, you’re a job hopper.

If so, the question, "Why have you changed jobs so frequently?" may require a more strategic response.

A job hopper is not as bad now as it was 20 years ago so there is still hope!

Although you have not found the right “fit” yet, loyalty is still very important to employers.

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36. Why should we hire you over the other candidates?

It’s fair to say that when you are interviewing, the hiring manager is trying to determine if you are a good fit for the position.

However, being a good fit alone won’t cut it.

There are a lot of good fits so they need to determine how you rank up against the other candidates.

The hiring manager wants to make their own decision.

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37. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 30-60-90 days?

You have all the tools to dominate an interview at your disposal, yet most are unprepared when the time comes to prove themselves.

Describing your strategy for the first 30-60-90 days of a new job is possibly the strongest resource you can have while in the interview process.

Many will spew clichés with little substance towards the hiring manager.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

38. What do you know about this industry?

Your resume looks great!

You landed an interview with an awesome company, and then you are asked, “What do you know about this industry?”

GULP!

This is where you need to shine.

You can have a degree from a prestigious school, but if you can’t apply your knowledge to your desired field, that piece of paper is worthless.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

39. Are you willing to relocate?

Have you ever applied for a position in a faraway city or even state?

If so, you have probably been asked, “Are you willing to relocate?”

This question is very common on a job application as well as in an interview.

Although it is possible, it is rare that one would spend their entire working career in one location.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

Salary Interview Questions

Many people struggle with salary interview questions.

These types of job interview questions can either be very good or very bad depending on your experience.

A great negotiator will walk out of an interview with a much higher salary than someone who is not able to answer these questions.

40. What are your salary expectations?

Congrats!

When someone asks, "What are your salary expectations?" this is a clear sign you are nearing the finish line.

All your hard work of preparing a resume, applying for jobs, and phone screens has paid off.

Unless you are already a master negotiator, it is important to take some time to prepare for this question before the interview.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

41. What is your salary history?

As of 10/1/2017, New York City prohibits any company or recruiter from asking about an employee's salary history.

More US states have recently agreed to ban the practice of requesting salary history.

See if you are affected locally by these new laws.

So, your interview is going smoothly until you are asked, “What is your salary history?”

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Personal Interview Questions

Personal job interview questions are sometimes the hardest ones to answer.

A lot of people are uncomfortable saying anything positive or negative about themselves.

Learn what to say, without sounding too cocky or throwing yourself under the bus.

These nine job interview questions provide a great foundation for any other curveball questions that might get thrown your way.

42. What do you think about your previous boss?

“Well, to be honest, my previous boss was TERRIBLE! He was disrespectful and completely unqualified to run the branch. He is a big reason I am here today seeking a new career.”

That is an example of how NOT to answer the interview question, "What do you think about your previous boss?"

Is this relatable to you?

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

43. Who was your favorite manager and why?

This question is a cake walk, right?

All you have to do is pick a supervisor you would enjoy catching a game or grabbing a drink with….

Not quite.

When describing who your favorite manager was, you must approach this question correctly as it is a fairly easy opportunity to shine!

Choose one of your references to start.

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44. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

Uh oh!

I bet you have been holding your breath the entire interview hoping that no one asks this question.

Or, maybe you’re relaxed because you have a clean record.

Whatever the case is, we are going to show you how to answer the question, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" with ease.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

45. What kind of company culture are you most comfortable with?

When someone asks you to talk about the company culture you are most comfortable with, you better make sure you have put some thought into this answer before the actual interview.

You should know the answer to this question before you even start applying for jobs.

Imagine the time you would save applying to jobs if you eliminated 50% of them.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

46. What is your ideal work environment?

The question about your ideal work environment is completely geared towards finding what you need around you to be successful.

Be honest and tell them all the vacation days you deserve and all your pet peeves so they can make sure you’re comfortable.

The last thing you would want is to end up at a company you are going to be miserable with.

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47. How would you describe your work style?

“I smash quotas, get along great with my coworkers, and will work long hours until the job gets done!”

Sounds cheesy, right?

But we can guarantee that the people you are competing against will say something along those lines.

And to be honest, hiring managers love that kind of answer.

Learn more about describing your work style in this article.

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48. What are your long-term career goals?

What are your long-term career goals?

Have you ever been asked this question in an interview?

This may seem like an easy question, but in reality, the right answer might be tougher than you think.

Don’t walk into an interview unprepared.

In this article, we will break down the do’s and don'ts when answering what your long-term career goals are.

Click the link above to be taken directly to the full article.

49. What negative comment would your boss or professor say about you?

When answering what negative comment would your boss or professor say about you, the most important thing is to be honest.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be strategic with your honesty.

Many people think this is some trick question.

They answer by saying, “Nothing, my last boss loved me and I was an all-star!”

This isn’t the best or only answer.

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50. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Hopefully, you are reading this before your interview and not dwelling on the questions you may or may not have answered correctly.

Either way, being asked to describe yourself in 5 words is a very common interview question.

There are people who can talk about themselves all day.

Do not be one of them.

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Wrapping Up

Now that you have access to all the top job interview questions, click on the questions that you need the most help with and begin mastering your pitch today.

We have great insight and examples for each and every question listed above!

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