Common interview questions and answers

Each interview has a different focus, but because some questions come up frequently, it makes sense to prepare as much as you can for them. You need a plan for success, not pre-written responses. Your objective should be to draw attention to the experiences in your background that most closely match each interviewer’s requirements.

In this series, we’ll examine some typical interview inquiries and pointers for crafting effective answers. You will be well-prepared for your next interview if you practice answering each potential question and developing your own responses. It helps to write out potential answers. Even better: Practice aloud with someone.

Though it seems innocent, the question actually has a bit of a trap in it. The interviewer wants to see how you carry yourself when they ask you this question, but they are not asking you to recite your resume in response.

This question, which is always asked at the start of the interview, presents a predictable chance to create an enticing executive summary of who you are professionally and why you are there. Although there isn’t a set time limit, let’s say it should last no longer than a minute. If you are given the chance, take advantage of it to build momentum.

In response, the more obvious the link between your experience, expertise, and interests and the position at hand, the more compelling a candidate you will be. If there is anything noteworthy from your personal life that strengthens your application or explains your professional development, include it. Otherwise, unless specifically asked, refrain from sharing personal information at this time.

10 personal interview questions with sample answers
  • Tell me about yourself. …
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses? …
  • Can you describe yourself in three to five words? …
  • Why did you leave your last job? …
  • What kind of compensation are you looking for? …
  • Do you work better alone or as part of a team?

Tell Me About Your Background Tips


This question is a common ingredient during interviews.

Once you are settled and the interviewer has engaged you in any chitchat or informal greetings, one of the first questions they ask is typically this one.

Having not prepared for the question and not having thought through your response can contribute to some of your anxiety.

Think in advance about your strategy for answering. Your main goal should be to give a concise overview of your accomplishments and explain why they make you a strong candidate for the position.

One way to respond to the query is to start by outlining your current title, place of employment, and primary responsibility.

After that, go backwards and list a few relevant positions you’ve held.

Briefly mention your educational background, and then tie everything together by mentioning how your work experience has allowed you to complete tasks like x and y that are necessary for the position you are currently interviewing for.

It helps to practice your elevator pitch beforehand. This reduces anxiety when you are in the interview.

You can record your pitch and then time it to determine how long it takes.

Aim for a duration of between 30 and 2 minutes. This is a reasonable length.

Do not ramble endlessly about your entire life history. Remember to deliver your pitch at a moderate pace. Do not rush through.

Furthermore, you don’t have to say your pitch word for word again. Simply internalize major bullet points and speak naturally.

In fact, to help you remember your pitch as you practice saying it, you can write it down in bullet points during your practice sessions.

Additionally, you can record yourself speaking your pitch, play it back, and listen to how it sounds.

Keep adjusting it until you feel the rhythm, delivery, and content sound just right. Do you sound enthusiastic and convincing?

What are your major skills?

Your potential employer is keenly interested in what you will contribute to the business. The abilities you have attained are one way to prove your worth.

Make sure to review the job description again before the interview so that you can remember the precise qualifications the hiring manager is seeking in a candidate.

List down your skills alongside those required. This exercise is meant to make sure that you possess the necessary abilities, if not even more.

Confidently discuss your key competencies during the interview and provide examples of how you have used your competencies to achieve success.

If you have more skills than are necessary for the position, you can briefly mention that in addition to the ones required for the job, you also have additional skills x and y that you have previously used to complete tasks a and b.

Additionally, you can describe your level of technical proficiency as either beginner, intermediate, or expert.

You could even mention additional certifications you have in your field of expertise or the fact that you are an expert trainer who instructs others in a particular skill.

Mention how you have in the past imparted your expertise to others, and they have gone on to perform admirably.

Employers are looking for employees who are willing to train others in addition to having knowledge.

Possible answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

Well, I’m an account executive at Smith right now, looking after our best client. Prior to that, I worked for a company where I was responsible for three different important national healthcare brands. Even though I really enjoyed my work, I’d love to have the chance to focus more on one particular healthcare organization, which is why I’m thrilled about this opportunity with Metro Health Center. ”.

Why should we hire you?

Out of all the candidates who applied and are being interviewed, this question inquires about what makes you a great candidate for this position.

This is the time to start selling yourself, so to speak, by donning your salesperson hat. Make a mental note of the top five reasons why hiring you would be a good idea.

Consider why hiring you would be advantageous or a good deal for the company. Your justifications ought to be primarily centered on the needs of the business rather than how you hope to gain from it.

Mention things like how you’re likely to adapt quickly and get started right away based on your experience and having worked with systems and procedures that are similar to those used by the company.

Draw attention to your ability to support others in achieving goals by demonstrating how well you work in a team.

You can claim that in addition to meeting their requirements, you also bring additional expertise and knowledge that are necessary in the market’s current, rapidly evolving and cutthroat environment.

You can say that you consistently received top performance ratings and that your output was nearly twice as high as that of other coworkers with comparable qualifications.

Mention how eager you are to contribute to the company’s ongoing strategy and vision, how much you respect the way they conduct business, how well-known they are in the industry, and how you are passionate about joining the team.

At the same time, emphasize your desire to provide them with quality work and support it with brief examples of prior achievements.

As you list your main arguments, your voice should reflect your passion and enthusiasm. That is part of the persuasion process.


What are background interview questions?

Typical background questions ask about your undergraduate and/or business school, major, and, if you’ve studied abroad, the purpose of your trip and the location. As long as you are considerate and have a solid justification, these questions are not too challenging to respond to.

How do you prepare for a background interview?

Key Takeaways
  1. Structure your answer in a way that makes sense. Stick to the past-present-future format, and you’re all good!.
  2. Keep it relevant and brief (1-2 minutes max). No one wants to hear your whole life story.
  3. Mention any of your top achievements and relevant work experiences.

How do I explain my background in a job interview?

10 most common interview questions and answers
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What attracted you to our company?
  • Tell me about your strengths.
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Please describe a time when you faced a business obstacle.

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