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Best answers to the most frequent job interview questions

Have you got an interview lined up in the next few days and you feel anxious and unprepared for it? Or are you just feeling edgy and concerned about which questions you could be asked? Would you like to come up with the best answers for the most frequent job interview questions? In the present days it is hard enough to get an interview so we definitely don't want to mess it up due to lack of preparation. Of course during a pandemic or recession you are competing with many more applicants so if you don’t get the job don’t be discouraged. I have been in that situation myself so I fully understand how that can put someone down and make them feel depressed and hopeless. Just think that it will not last forever, keep yourself busy and be productive while looking for work and be hopeful and confident that eventually it will be your turn. So let's discover the answers to the most asked questions in a job interview.

Why do you want to work for us or what are the reasons for wanting to work here?

When an employer asks this question what they are really testing is if you researched the company and what you already know about them. They are probably also looking to see how passionate you are to work for the company, how long you will be working there for and what are the real motives for you to apply. So the first step is to read the job description and visit their website where you can find all the relevant information needed to give a great response. What you need to look for is for example the latest achievements of the company, an increase in business growth, are they launching a new product, good things that the company has done to help the society or maybe the environment, required skills & desired skills, key responsibilities, company main focus etc.

Sample answers:

  • I have read a story on your site about helping out the local community. I would like to work for a company that cares about their community….

  • I feel that my skills are particularly well-suited for this job…

  • I share the qualities and goals of the company...

  • I see this opportunity to be part of an innovative and forward thinking company who works hard to stay on top of the industry..

  • I believe that I have the knowledge and experience required in this position..

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

It is crucial that even if your plan is to work somewhere else in 2 or 5 years time that you never tell that to your employer. This question is usually asked to find out how long you’ll last in the company, how serious you are about working for them and to find out your strengths and aspirations for the future.

Sample answers:

  • In 5 years I would like to take part in the internal training program so that I can gain all the knowledge needed for my position but also have the opportunity to move up to a higher position

  • In the years to come I would like to gain more skills and knowledge in the business and hopefully advance to a stage where I can be given more managerial duties…

  • At the moment my goal is to learn as much as I can from this company and grow my skills & knowledge and eventually I would like to assume more challenging tasks and move up to a supervisor role..

Why did you leave or are you leaving your job?

This can sometimes be a sensitive question to answer especially if you have left due to bad experience such as being treated unfairly, underpaid, being undervalued etc. If you still feel emotional and upset you might tend to give answers such as “my previous boss was unfair and I didn't like his/her attitude” or “I hated working in my previous company” but that will only put the new employer off and make you look unprofessional. So avoid to mention anything negative about your previous job or the people you worked with.

Sample answers:

  • I am looking for a new challenge..

  • I was made redundant or the company went under…

  • I am looking for better career prospects…

  • I am looking for a change in career…

What is your salary expectation?

This question can be tricky as you don’t want to give a too low or a too high salary figure as one can leave you feeling undervalued and the other may scare the employer away!

Sample answers:

  • This is something that hasn’t primarily been on my mind as I was more focused to find a company who shares similar goals to mine, who is supportive and where I can find a new challenge so I am willing to consider an offer that is fair to the role..

  • I don’t really have a specific number on my mind yet..

  • In my previous job my salary was £19.000 per year but for this position I haven’t really thought about what salary I would like to receive..

  • In my previous job my salary was £20.000 per year but I am willing to consider an offer with matches the

  • I am flexible with the salary which is offered in this company as I am really more interested in the job itself

  • I can see that the salary range is from £25.000 to £40.000 per year and I am willing to accept an offer which is fair to my work experience

In your previous jobs, how would your colleagues or managers usually describe you as?

Your answer for this question has to be concise and clear avoiding to tell your employer a list of all your skills and qualities. Just mentioning two or three of them gives also an example that will be enough for the employer to learn more about you. The reason why your employer would ask this kind of question is to find out how you fit in a team, how you communicate and support your coworkers, if you can work with others and solve issues together.

Sample answers:

  • I believe that my coworkers describe me as being helpful, supporting and very organised. I recall a time when we had a deadline for a project and some of the people in the team were struggling. Due to my organisation skills I managed to finish my tasks earlier and helped out the rest of the team to catch up and to make sure that we succeeded as a team….

  • I think that my teammates described me as being a punctual, reliable and a hardworking person. As being punctual, for example in my last company, in 4 years working there I have never arrived late to work. I have been reliable because all the tasks which have been assigned to me were always completed even if that meant to finish late. I have been described to be hard working because I always tried to do more than what I was given as tasks throughout the day...

What can you do for us that other candidates can’t? Why do you think you are a good fit for this position?

In order to give the best answer for this question you need to check the job description first so that you can specifically mention the skills that you possess which are related to the job you are being interviewed for. You can also give some examples with the samples answers below:

  • I possess the experience and skills needed to back this job plus I have some extra skills to offer such as…

  • I have a combination of skills & experience that uniquely qualify me for this job..

  • I am an experienced administrator with a strong set of skills that makes me stand out from the crowd..

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When you answer these questions you want to make sure to not sound too confident and at the same time to downgrade yourself too much.

Sample answers (strengths):

  • My greatest strengths are my problem solving and time management skills. For example...

  • I work well in a team and I am great with customers, as I am a really sympathetic person that gives me the ability to understand people and their needs, I like to be a support for my coworkers and I enjoy being around people...

  • My strong assets are my verbal and listening skills. I am great at communicating with people, I am a great listener as I believe that this is crucial if you want to resolve a customer issue in the quickest and best way…

Sample answers (weaknesses)

  • I am a bit of a perfectionist and because of that I tend to triple check everything resulting in overworking myself and leaving me worn out…

  • I sometimes complete tasks all by myself as I feel uncomfortable asking for help…

  • I tend to speak too long on the phone to assure that the customers are receiving a great customer service experience.

One more thing to say I wish you “ Good luck”

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