Most Common Job Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

Great news! Your cv and cover letter impressed the recruiter or hiring company, and you have been invited for a job interview. Job interviews can be stressful to prepare for. You’re definitely not the only one who feels nervous beforehand. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what questions the interviewer is going to ask you during your job interview? While it’s impossible to know everything you’re going to be asked, you can be sure that some common job interview questions will come up. When you’re going to a job interview, there are some interview questions that you can expect regardless of the position that you’re applying for.

Preparing for a job interview does not mean that you should exactly memorize answers to certain common job interview questions. However, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to prepare to discuss certain topics and to get familiar with what you might be asked during the interview. Also, before a job interview, it’s highly advisable that you read into the hiring company to find out what the interviewer or hiring manager is really looking for in your answers. Ultimately, the job interview is your opportunity to impress the interviewer and show that you’re the right candidate for the job. The only way to do this is to prepare as well as possible to come across as a real professional.

On this page, we discuss the most commonly asked job interview questions and the best answers to give. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Job Interview Topics & Common Job Interview Questions

Below you can find a list of job interview topics and the top common job interview questions per category. These are job interview questions regarding:

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. No experience
  25. Performance-based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Scenario-based
  31. Stress
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic

The Basics: Common job interview questions

Besides all common questions per category, there are also interview questions that are not related to a specific category. For instance, think of the job interview questions ‘Tell me something about yourself.’ The interviewers’ goal is to get to know you better and to find out if you’re the right fit for the job. Based on your cv, cover letter, and maybe even a phone interview, they got some basic information about you. During the actual job interview, they want to go more in-depth on your experience.

However, just like the interviewer is trying to get more information about you, you should use this opportunity to get more information from them as well. The interview should show what you can do for your potential employer, but it should also provide you with information to assess whether or not your qualifications and career goals align with the job. In other words, a job interview is used to determine if both parties can benefit from you being hired. Just like you need to determine if the job, work environment, and company culture meet your needs, the interviewer needs to find out if you’re up to the task and if you’re the right fit for the company.

Even though sometimes the questions you get asked during the interview might seem irrelevant, they are always related to the position that you’re applying to in some way or another. Answering common job interview questions requires some preparation on your side. If you really know your way around the job description, your cv, and cover letter well, this will help you to answer the most common job interview questions the interviewers ask you.

How to prepare for common job interview questions

There are several steps you can take to prepare yourself for common job interview questions. Most important is that you have a thorough understanding of the position and company that you have applied for, your own work/educational history, and why you made certain decisions in the past. Below we sum up some steps that can help you cover the basics of the questions that you will get asked during your job interview.

  1. Study your cv and cover letter

A job interview frequently starts with the interviewer asking you to provide a walkthrough of your work experience. Therefore, be prepared to walk the interviewer through your resume and cover letter. Make sure you can do this without hesitation and bring several copies of your documents with you. This way, you won’t get caught off guard and can immediately start talking about your work experience in order from past to present.

  1. Thoroughly go through your work history

During the interview, it’s expected of you to provide more details about your work history. Your resume will cover a lot of basic information, such as the company name, your position, title, starting and ending dates, or any other relevant information. Refresh your memory before you go to the interview so that you can explain your prior work experience accurately and in detail. Expect some more in-depth questions during the job interview. For instance, what is the most challenging project you have worked on? What is your greatest accomplishment? Can you share a rewarding team experience? What do you dislike about your job? But also, What will you miss most about your last job? What do you like about your job? Etc. Also, If you have an employment gap on your resume, make sure you’re able to discuss this as well.

Ensure that you are able to discuss your skills and credentials, especially the soft skills and experience that you have gained that might not be directly visible by looking at the job title. When you’re discussing your work experience, you should focus only on your work and your behavior in the work environment. Keep your answers, to-the-point, and concise.

  1. Analyze the company and the job description

Being able to analyze a job description properly is very important as you prepare for your job interview. This might sound logical, but when you’re stressed about interviewing, it’s easy to forget the exact details of the company, their main clients, and their mission. Therefore, it’s wise to analyze the company once more before you go to the interview.

Start with analyzing the company and research their history, their achievements, their goals, and mission and who you will be interviewing with. Also, make sure that you understand the job requirements, the duties that you will be performing, the needed skills and abilities, etc.

  1. Practice answers

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. This is especially true for practicing job interviews. There are several ways on how you can practice your answers to interview questions that you’re expecting. You can do it, for instance with somebody else to simulate an interview but you could also practice on your own.

There are several elements important when you’re preparing your practice answers. Whatever you choose to do, do not co into the interview cold. Mock interviews can help you formulate concise and t0-the-point answers and let you figure out your weak spots prior to the interview so that you can work on them. A mock interview gives you the opportunity to really think about what questions you are likely to get asked and how to clearly articulate your thoughts in order to answer them.

Finally, check out our 18 steps to a successful job interview here to make sure you come as well prepared as possible.

Common Job Interview Questions: Behavioral Questions

These particular interview questions require you to talk about yourself and how you handled certain work situations. It’s very likely that you will be asked behavioral job interview questions during your job interview. An example of a behavioral interview question is ‘Give me an example of a goal you reached and how you have achieved it?‘. As you can see, this question does not allow you to say yes or no, but it requires you to provide the interviewer with a work situation example you have encountered in the past.

Behavioral job interview questions usually start with:

  • Tell me about a time when
  • Have you ever
  • Give me an example of
  • Describe situations where
  • What do you do when

These types of interview questions are asked because, for the interviewer, the best way to predict your future behavior is your past behavior. Therefore, your answers should be to-the-point and concise. Make sure to highlight your skills, abilities, strengths, and provide background information on the situations that you’ve experienced in the past.

Behavioral interview questions give the interviewer the ability to zoom in on certain situations in your career. The interviewer can focus on the details of the situation that you provide. That’s why you need to ensure that you provide the interviewer the situation you were in, your task in that situation, the action you took, and the specific results that can come out of those actions. In short, this is called the STAR-method of providing an answer.

STAR Interview Technique

The STAR interview technique is a strategy to respond to interview questions that require you to provide an anecdote. Furthermore, the way this technique is used is a great way to streamline your thoughts and formulate the perfect answer. This way, you can give the interviewer exactly what he or she is looking for. Below, the STAR acronym is broken down into each step.

Situation

When you give your answer to the interviewer, start by setting the stage. Provide context around the situation or challenge you were facing. Also, make sure to provide relevant details.

Task

After you describe the situation, talk about your specific responsibilities and what your role was. It’s important that the interviewer gets an understanding of your task.

Action

Then, talk about the actions you took to resolve the challenges you were facing. Provide the interviewer with a step by step description of what actions you took.

Result

Finally, talk about the outcomes of your actions. Make sure to take credit for your behavior that led to the result. Here you answer questions such as What happened? What did you accomplish? Also, provide the interviewer with information about what you learned from the situation. Make sure to focus on positive results and positive learning experiences.

How to answer common job interview questions

There are a couple of things you should focus on when providing answers to the interviewer during a job interview.

General tips for answering common job interview questions:

  1. Before you go to the interview, your preparation should be that good that you’re able to come up with solid answers to the questions that you’re expecting. Of course, you cannot know everything upfront, but make sure that you have several example answers and situations ready that you can bring up if a related question gets asked. Make sure to prepare ahead of time!
  2. Stay calm. It’s alright if you need to take a moment before you provide the interviewer with an answer. Take a breath or just pause. This will give you the time you need to get focused and think of an anecdote or story that you have prepared in your interview preparation.
  3. Display the skills and abilities that are needed for the job you’re applying for and that the interviewer wants to see. In other words, match your qualifications to the job and skills, as mentioned in the job description.
  4. Be serious in your answer and focus on your goal. This is not the time to make funny comments or remarks. Answer the question as a professional and describe to the interviewer what your greatest accomplishments are.
  5. Honesty is key. Interviewers are trained to notice when someone is faking or making up a story. Make sure to prepare yourself well before the interview so that you have several accomplishments that you can discuss if the interviewer asks you to.

Tips for answering behavioral job interview questions:

  1. Give the interviewer an answer in the form of a logical ‘story.’ Walk them through the challenges you were facing and how you approached them. Furthermore, talk about your actions and the success you had by following them.
  2. Stay positive. There are a lot of behavioral interview questions that require you to focus on times you have failed or where you had to put your focus on a problem. It’s very important that you are able to describe the situations while focussing on the challenges or issues you faced. However, do not focus too much on the negative aspects of the situations. Your answer should demonstrate how you approached and solved the situations you faced at the time. Also, tell the interviewer what you have learned and what positive results you have achieved.
  3. Structure your story logically. If applicable, use the STAR interview technique to do this. STAR is an acronym that stands for a situation (S), your task (T) in that situation, the actions (A) you took, and what results (R) you got based on your actions. Below, the STAR technique is described in more detail.
  4. Highlight your achievements in your answer. This might sound logical, but make sure to put the focus on demonstrating that you’re the right person for the job.

Common job interview questions and example answers

Below you can find common job interview questions with sample answers. The sample answers are indicative of the information that they should include, and they are all based on random interview situations.

  1. Tell me about yourself

The interviewer’s goal is to assess whether or not a job candidate can perform outstandingly in the position. Therefore, tell something about yourself and your background so that they can get to know you. Provide them with information about your current position and provide them with relevant and important highlights that demonstrate that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Example answer:

‘In my current position as team leader of the customer service department, I’m responsible for building relationships and the handling of questions and concerns of our clients. 

From my eight years of experience in customer service, I’ve developed great communication skills and have a lot of experience managing teams to make sure everybody’s on the same page. My greatest value that I can add to the team is my ability to accomplish goals and build solid relationships with clients. 

From the job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for someone who understands a customer service team’s dynamics and needs in terms of structuring schedules and new initiatives. As a person who’s able to stay patient and calm in challenging situations, I thrive on making sure the team understands what’s expected from them and increasing customer satisfaction continuously.’

 Why this is a strong answer:

This answer is appropriate because it starts with a short introduction. After that, more details are given about work experience that also gives information that can be quantified. It’s likely that the interviewer will ask you about your statement on accomplishing goals and building solid relationships with clients. Make sure you have answers to such follow-up questions. Another important aspect is that the mentioned skills are connected to the job description, and the current job responsibilities are aligned with the role that the person is applying for.

  1. How would you describe yourself?

Interviewers ask you to talk about yourself to get more information about you as a person and your character. In other words, they’re trying to figure out if you are the right fit for the position. Interviewers are looking for certain qualities and characteristics, and if yours align with the skills and abilities needed to succeed in the position you’re applying for. Your goal is to demonstrate that you possess the skills and experience that make you the right person for the job.

Example answer:

‘In my current job as a project manager, I would say that I am proactive, committed, and inventive to make sure that I deliver all projects within deadlines. Also, I’m comfortable to adjust to any situation or challenge that might occur during a project. I don’t get flustered easily when something unexpected comes up.

As a project manager, I keep my focus on managing the risks involved and coordinating the tasks at hand. I measure the success of the projects that I’m involved in by keeping the original deadline, the quality of the output, cost management, and stakeholder satisfaction. By keeping my clients updated on the progress of the project, I try to minimize uncertainty, which has led to me consistently delivering successful projects.

This has helped me increase my client retention rate by more than 50% in the last year and led to deliver 100% of the projects I worked on within the original deadline.’

 Why this is a strong answer:

This answer shows the qualities and characteristics that you need to successfully perform the job. By quantifying your results, you are able to emphasize your skills, even more, to demonstrate how you use your abilities to drive success.

  1. Why do you want to work here?

Employers are always interested in your reasons why you want to work for them. This question also comes in different forms, such as:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What made you apply for a position in this company?

Your goal is to show genuine interest in the company and provide reasons for your excitement. Think about the company culture, their position in the market, mission, and vision, etc. Ensure that you align these elements with your personal skills and goals to make the best impression possible.

Example answer:

‘I’ve been working as a software developer for eight years now, and I have used your software for many years during that time. I have been impressed with the amount of innovation and development of your products in such a short amount of time. The way your products structured and the level of accessibility on how to learn how to use your products have consistently impressed me. 

When I started looking for new, challenging opportunities, I purposefully sought out companies that are committed to developing state-of-the-art products that were innovative and groundbreaking in the market. For me, your company and its products development team are at the top of this list. Personally, I’m really excited about this opportunity to be a part of an innovative team where I can utilize my skills to continue the development of the innovative work you’re performing here.’

Why this is a strong answer:

The answer you give the interviewer gives them the opportunity to gauge your genuine interest in the position. This answer demonstrates that you’re well informed about the organization and role in general. By sharing that you have used their products and your experience with it, you display your enthusiasm the right way.

  1. What interests you about this position?

This open-ended interview question is asked a lot by interviewers during job interviews. The reason for asking this is that they want to assess your excitement about the position and what motivated you to pursue it. Also, they want to see if you are able to provide an honest answer when they put you on the spot. It’s important that you focus on the opportunity you’re discussing rather than talking about any concerns with your current job or employer. It’s okay to mention your situation at your current job but does not go into detail on any negative aspects.

Other ways the interviewer can ask you a similar question:

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What is your motivation to apply for this job?
  • Describe to me why you are interested in this role

Example answer:

‘I’ve been working at my current employer as a business analyst for five years now. While I very much appreciate the opportunities I got over the last years to develop myself professionally and personally, there are no more goals for me to achieve there that align with my career objectives.

This job position matches perfectly with my skills and abilities and where I see my opportunity to grow further as a professional. I’m very interested in and skilled at learning new technologies, and I possess the strong technology, analytics, and communication skills that are needed for this job. Also, this job allows me to build on my previous experience as I have years of experience in financial modeling, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting, which are requirements for the position. Can you tell me more about what your ideal candidate for this position would look like?’ 

Why this is a strong answer:

The answer demonstrates that you understand the requirements of the position that you’re applying for. Furthermore, it shows excitement and enthusiasm. Also, the answer includes the alignment of your goals and experience to the position. It shows that you’re the right person for the job and that you can add value to the team and company.

  1. What motivates you?

By asking what motivates you?’, the interviewer is trying to gauge whether or not the sources of your motivation align with the position that you’re applying for. Another reason for asking this question is to find out if you are self-aware enough to know what motivates you and where your drive comes from.

Other ways the interviewer can ask you a similar kind of question:

  • What inspires you?
  • What makes you excited to come to work?
  • Where do you get your inspiration from?

Example answer:

‘I get motivated by challenging myself and making progress on a professional, but also on a personal level. My years of sales experience allow me to do this. When I started as a sales representative for my current employer, I took on a challenge that required me to acquire and develop new skills. These range from cold calling potential customers to presenting sales pitches to clients.

This experience has changed my entire life, not only my professional career, and made me more open towards new experiences and challenges. I’ve worked myself up the ranks to become a sales manager, and every day I’m still motivated to get the best results possible. Having the opportunity structure and lead the sales team in your organization is one of the reasons I’m so excited to apply for this role.;

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer demonstrates that you’re passionate about your profession and provides the underlying reasons why. By expanding on your motivation and providing information on what prompted you to apply for the job, you leave the interviewer with a positive impression.

  1. Why are you leaving your current job?

There can be a lot of reasons why you’re leaving your job. However, you should be able to substantiate your personal reasons for why you’re looking for a job and why you’re applying for this one. Make sure that you prepare an answer that will give the interviewer the feeling that you’re making a conscious decision. Avoid any negative talking about your current (or previous) job and focus on the position and your future. Also, discuss what you want to gain in your next job.

Example answer:

‘I have enjoyed the last five years with my current employer, and I had the possibility to develop myself on a personal and professional level. However, the opportunity that your company offers fits very well into my career goals and the direction I want to take my professional career. I’m looking for an opportunity where I can build on my current successes and experience by working in an organization that allows me to grow further.

I’m ready for the next challenge in my career, and the opportunity to build and lead my own team is definitely a goal that I’m pursuing. This job position excites me because it’s a new challenge, and the fact that it has a heavy focus on management growth makes this a very suitable position for my background to add value to the team and company.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer demonstrates your reasons on why you’re looking for a job and how your current experience aligns with the position you’re applying for. It shows your relevant career goals and why the position makes a good fit for your background and career plan. This question is a great opportunity to highlight your skills and demonstrate why this job is what you’re looking for.

  1. What is your greatest strength?

Questions about your strengths are a great opportunity for you to highlight your skills and demonstrate your suitability for the position. Therefore, use this opportunity to do just that. Discuss your qualities, skills, and personal attributes and relate them to the job and its requirements. That’s also the reason why interviewers ask this question. They want to find out whether or not your strengths align with the responsibilities of the job and the needs of the company. In other words, are you the right fit for the job that you are interviewing for?

Example answer:

‘I am proud of my communication skills. I’m very experienced in collaborating with teams from different departments and coordinating projects. In the projects that I’ve managed, I have worked together with a variety of professionals on different kinds of assignments. Since I’ve started at my current position as a project manager, I have increased productivity by twenty percent and retention by forty percent over the last five years.

Another strength of mine that got me where I am today is my strong work ethic. If I commit to a deadline, I will do whatever it takes to live up to this responsibility and deliver on time. A good example of this is the last project that I worked on. We had an interim report due and got the numbers from our team in Europe late. I knew our client had to receive the report within the set deadline to progress in their deal. I went above and beyond and worked till the early hours in order to deliver the report according to our quality standards to our client.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer demonstrates that you possess the qualities that the interviewer is looking for. These are strengths that are applicable in general as an employee, such as communication and work ethic, but also specific qualities such as project management and the ability to streamline processes to increase productivity and retention.

  1. What is your greatest weakness?

Just like strengths are discussed during a job interview, the interviewer is also interested in your view on your weaknesses. This might sound nerve-wracking, but you should view it as an opportunity to demonstrate your self-awareness and professionalism. It’s therefore important that you prepare a solid answer to these questions prior to the interview.

Example answer:

‘I’m naturally a very straightforward person, and occasionally, I can be a little too direct when I’m providing feedback to team members or colleagues. Even though most people I work with appreciate this trait of being honest, for some people, it can come across a little harsh at times. Through experience, I learned that there are occasions where a more diplomatic approach is required.

A couple of months ago, I enrolled and finished a conflict management training course. In this course, it became more clear to me that different people require a different approach in terms of communication. Also, it taught me to approach situations more constructive while still delivering the same message. I’ve grown as a professional in this area, and I’ve improved my ability to provide constructive feedback when needed.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This is an honest answer on a weakness that is relatively minor in nature, while still being related to the position in general. It demonstrates self-awareness and also goes into detail on what you have done to resolve the weakness you’re discussing.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Employers want to know if you have personal career goals and if the position you’re applying for aligns with these. During a job interview, you should be able to discuss your personal development objectives and provide the interviewer with a general idea of what skills and abilities you want to develop. Also, talk about the positions you would like to be in and things you want to get accomplished over the next few years. Demonstrate your ambition and provide the interviewer with clear examples of your goals.

Example answer:

‘Within the next five years, I would like to run my own sales team and be an expert in the field of e-commerce. The main thing that drew me to apply for this position is that you get to work in different kinds of projects together with colleagues from different departments. As a sales representative, I know there’s plenty of room to continue to develop my communication, customer service, and project management skills even further. I’m also very excited about the internal educational programs that you offer to get to a management position. Not only would this give me all the needed training for this role, but it would allow me to achieve one of my personal goals.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer demonstrates that you are happy about the position you’re applying for to keep developing yourself to eventually grow into a management position. It shows enthusiasm and alignment of the position with your personal career goals.

  1. Tell me about a challenging work situation and how you overcame it

This is one of the common job interview questions that is used to find out how you perform under pressure, and if you possess problem-solving skills and critical-thinking abilities. Make sure to apply the STAR method for this question and walk the interviewer through a real-life work situation. Discussing a challenging work situation that you overcame is a great opportunity to show your suitability for the job.

Other ways the interviewer can ask you a similar question:

  • Tell me about a time you had to handle a difficult situation at work
  • Describe how you handled a challenging situation at work
  • Tell me about a challenge you had to overcome in the workplace

Example answer:

‘In my previous job, I worked at a start-up as the financial manager. We encountered a difficult period in which our financial position came under pressure. This required us to think outside of the box to solve this and get through this challenging time. I contacted several of our suppliers and successfully negotiated payment schedules in order to remain solvent. Based on a payment plan that was beneficial for both parties, we were able to keep running our operation. Also, due to this solution, we kept our strong relationship with our suppliers, and we are still working with them to this day.

What I’ve learned from this experience is that when times get tough, this calls for creative and out of the box solutions. Also, constantly staying in touch with suppliers and continuously building a positive relationship really helped us out during these challenging times.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer provides a clear challenge that you’ve encountered during your work. It also demonstrates how you approached and tackled the issue. Also, it highlights the results of your actions and what you have learned from the situation, which is important to mention.

  1. Why should we hire you?

This question is the comprehensive goal of the job interview; why should they hire you over any of the other applicants? Are you the right candidate for the position? Here you should answer the interviewer with a short sales pitch that demonstrates that you can offer the employer what they are looking for. In a job interview, the interviewer is trying to assess how you qualify for the position and if you fit into the company culture.

Example answer:

‘Based on the job description and the research that I have done, you’re looking for a candidate who possesses strong communication and leadership skills to successfully run the marketing department. My experience aligns perfectly with these requirements, and the experience that I have as a successful sales manager makes me believe that I’m a great fit. Building strong relationships in business is the main reason why I pursued a career in sales, and I’m really excited to work for a company where that is one of the core values. I really believe that my diverse skill set can add value to the team.’

At my previous company, I increased my team productivity by 30% within two years by implementing and optimizing more efficient systems. In turn, this led to a more efficient sales process and a 20% increase in client sales. 

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer provides the interviewer with more information about the skills and abilities you possess and what experience you can offer the company. Also, it demonstrates that you have done your research and know what they’re looking for. The answer relates your background to the job posting, which is the best way to show your suitability.

  1. What did you like most about your last position?

It’s important for the interviewer to know what you liked most about your last position. This way, they get more insight into your skills, abilities, and how you prefer to work. In general, the interviewer asks you about what you liked to see how your previous position can help you succeed in the job that you’re aiming to get. Relate your answer to the needs of the company and explain why you applied to this job.

Example answer:

‘In my last position, I got to work on my leadership skills, which were new to me at the time, so that was exciting. I’ve been with that company for over five years and enjoyed the experience and colleagues that I worked with. However, to take the next step in my career, I feel that I need to join a larger organization to further develop my leadership skills. I enjoyed working on smaller projects, but to grow as a professional now is the time to put what I’ve learned into more challenging projects.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This demonstrates clearly what you liked about your last position and relating that to why you’re applying for a new job. This shows that you have career goals and that you want to keep challenging yourself.

  1. What did you like least about your last position?

This is regarded as a tough interview question, but there are ways to provide a solid answer. The interviewer wants to analyze how you respond when you’re asked to discuss a ‘negative’ work experience. Your answer gives them more insight into your fit into the culture of the company. Therefore, use this as an opportunity to use the situation by giving your story a positive angle.

Other ways the interviewer can ask you the same question:

  • What didn’t you like about your last job?
  • What do you dislike about your job?

Example Answer 1:

I liked the team that I worked in, but I found out that there was no longer any room for professional development. The company went through a challenging time, and as a result, there were no more funds to further develop employees to push the business forward. My growth as a professional and career goals that I wanted to reach was interrupted, and that’s also the reason that I applied for this job. I’m at a stage in my career where I feel like growth is essential to reach my goals’.

Example Answer 2:

‘When I started at the organization as a graduate, they offered me a lot of opportunities. However, after being there for over five years now, I feel like I was not able to work up to my full potential anymore. The projects became somewhat repetitive, and the structure was more or less set in every one of them. Eventually, this led to a feeling that I was not challenged anymore, and there was also no room for promotion.

After a talk with my manager, I got the feeling that my situation was not going to change anytime soon. I really enjoyed working there, but I feel like I’m at a point in my career where my skills could be employed better somewhere else. A position in which I can utilize my capabilities more and where I can grow as a professional as well.’

Why these are strong answers:

The answer focuses on your career growth and excitement for joining a company that offers what you’re looking for. Also, both answers tell first what you did like about the company. In general, it’s an honest answer that shows respect towards a previous employer.

  1. How do you handle stress?

The interviewer is interested in how you react to stressful situations at work. Furthermore, they want to know if and how you stay motivated while working under pressure. The way you handle stressful and challenging situations indicates your problem-solving abilities. For some jobs being able to keep your cool is an essential characteristic; you need to stay motivated when under pressure while still staying productive.

Example Answer 1:

‘Effective communication is most important for me in stressful or challenging situations. Making sure that everyone understands their responsibilities and is on the same page is the key to success. For instance, during a project, I worked together with another team, and we discovered that there was uncertainty about responsibilities, which led to team members producing duplicate work. A daily standup meeting, together with short communication lines with the managers and team members, solved this issue.

Every day I would gather the team meet for a quick status update, which led to an increase in productivity and efficiency. Eventually, the project was finished on time, and the client was satisfied with the end result. I believe that a healthy amount of pressure during work gets the best out of me and helps me produce quality work.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer demonstrates that you can react to challenging and stressful situations in a constructive way. The example situation in the answer shows that you understand where situations can go wrong and what you have learned from the experience.

  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

Common job interview questions about accomplishments require you to discuss your career and the highlights in it in a positive way. The interviewer is interested in your character, core values, and work ethic. Questions about your accomplishments are so-called ‘behavioral job interview questions.’ Behavioral job interview questions focus on work situations that you experienced in the past. The way you respond to such questions and the information you give the interviewer reveals a lot about your skills, abilities, and personality.

Example answer:

My greatest achievement happened in my previous job as a regional sales manager. I often saw colleagues struggling to locate specific but essential client details in the system. As a result, productivity went down, and it became harder to reach sales targets every month.

After I noticed this, I took the initiative to implement a new, more up-to-date CRM system that I already had experience with. After it was implemented, I trained and coached my team members on how to use it and showed them with what ease they could find and file client information.

We reviewed the results after three months of working with the new system, and our time sheets indicated that we spent multiple hours less on collecting the needed client data. As a result, we were able to increase our sales targets, which we already met in the fourth month of implementing the new system.’

Why this is a strong answer:

This answer is related and relevant to the workplace. Also, the answer demonstrates important skills such as problem-solving, innovation, teamwork, creativity, and adaptability. The project used in the example situation turned out a success; this adds value to the specific accomplishment discussed.