25+ Interviewing Questions: Most Common Questions for the Interviewees to Master

25+ Interviewing Questions: Most Common Questions for the Interviewees to Master
Interviewing Questions - Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Tripboba.com - As you know, preparation is the key when it comes to job interviews – both for candidates and the interviewer.

This is your chance as an interviewer to determine if the applicant is a good fit for the position, for your team, and also for your company in general. However, that information is really only revealed if you know the right questions to ask the interviewee.

On the surface, interviewing candidates for available jobs sounds easy. With a job description in hand describing specific skills and experience, the recruiter or hiring manager gives a dozen or so questions and they are equipped to make hiring decisions.

In order to succeed in the whole interviewing questions and get through the interview process, as an interviewer, you have to ask the right questions. And through this article by Tripboba, you get to explore all commonly asked interview questions that are perfect for interviewers.

For more on interviewing questions, read on to find out!

Interviewing Questions

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1. What is one skill that makes you most qualified for this position?

While things like cultural fit are important, your first and foremost focus is on finding someone who has the necessary qualifications to fill that open position.

That's why questions like this is among interviewing questions that are important. Not only will you get to hear more details about what the candidate considers to be his/her core competencies, but also the opportunity to confirm that he/she has a proper understanding of all the required roles.

For example, if he/she's touting impressive — but utterly irrelevant — that's a red flag that you're not on the same page about the job's main duties.

2. To date, what professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

Candidates show up for interviews with the intention of impressing you. So, chances are, the suitor is armed and ready with some major accomplishments up his/her sleeve.

Whether it's a certification, an award, or a major project that went really well, asking the interviewee what in his/her professional history he/she is most proud of will give you a better understanding of where the real strengths lie.

Plus, this question offers an opportunity to develop something he/she feels good about — which can ease their anxiety and help boost confidence during the interview.

3. Can you tell me about when you overcome challenges?

You know that most job seekers are really scared of these behavioral interview questions. However, that doesn't change the fact that it's an effective way for you to get a better understanding of how that person's experience translates from paper to the real world.

This particular question is a popular one, and for good reason. Starting a new job is not a walk in the park. And, even after the new hire is created, he/she's bound to run into some occasional snags — whether it's a conflict within his/her team or a project he/she doesn't know how to start.

Understanding how the person copes, and more importantly, handles tough circumstances will help you target the most suitable position for the open role. This is why this is one of top interviewing questions.

4. How would you describe your own working style?

While you don't want to build a completely homogeneous team, you need to make sure that new additions works are able in a way that doesn't interfere with the way things already work.

Therefore, it is important that you ask your candidates about their work style. Whether he/she take a truly collaborative approach or does he/she prefer to work independently. Or, does he/she perform well with a lot of direction or is he/she more independent.

An insight into how each applicant prefers to handle his or her job will be invaluable in determining not only the right match for the job but also for the entire team.

Interview Questions

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5. What three words would you use to describe your ideal work environments?

In the same vein, it is smart to ask what the candidate likes in terms of atmosphere to make sure you find someone who can’t only survive, but also thrive in your existing culture.

Maybe this person is stating that he/she likes a quieter environment with lots of hard work. If your office is very fast-paced and high-energy, it could cause some friction. Or, maybe he/she explains that he/she prefers a lot of structure and predictability, which is not much found in your casual startup where everyone is wearing lots of hats.

For better or for worse, this question will at least help you decide whether the applicant will feel comfortable in the work environments you have fostered.

6. If hired, what is the first thing you will handle in this position?

This is a good question to ask in the next round of the interview, when you are choosing among the final candidates you have narrowed and selected down.

This one is effective for several reasons. First, this is another opportunity to confirm that the interviewee has the correct understanding of all the positions that will be responsible. Second, it gives you the opportunity to understand his/her priorities. What does he/she believe should be at the top of the position's to-do list?

Last but not least, questions like these mean you can go beyond the generalizations that often accompany interviews and gain some insight into how the candidate actually performed in the role.

7. Why did you leave your current company?

Here it is one of interviewing questions that is sure to make any job seeker cringe. Because no one wants to look like badmouthing a previous boss or employer, which makes this one difficult for applicants to answer.

However, asking this question will give you greater insight into the person's professional history, as well as help you identify red flags that might indicate that the candidate isn't the best for this job.

Questions to Ask in An Interview

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8. What is one skill you would like to improve and what are your plans to do it?

If you previously relied on the cliché “what is your greatest weakness” question, give this one a try.

Instead of asking the interviewee to point out his/her flaws and punch holes in their own candidacy, you can turn things around by focusing on areas of improvement.

In addition, the second part of this question gives the applicant the opportunity to redeem themselves by explaining what action plans he/she has to continue to grow and develop in his/her own field.

9. What excites you most about this position?

Skills can be taught, but there's one thing you can't, and that is enthusiasm. When the interviewee is genuinely excited about the opportunity, it usually translates to an excellent job and greater longevity with your company.

Ask the prospective employee what initially drew him or her to the position. What made him most excited about the prospect of working there?

Doing so will not only confirm his/her understanding of the role's duties once again, it will also give you the opportunity to find out what aspects of the job interest him/her the most.

10. What do you like to do outside of work?

While this is not one of the most common interview questions, it is important to remember that you are hiring the entirety of the person. So, you want someone you and your team can connect with, not a robot who can't bond, share interests, and build relationships.

If you don't feel comfortable asking questions like this in the formal setting of an actual interview, you don’t need to force him/her for answering this question. Instead, you can work on small talk before or after you sit down.

This way, you'll have the opportunity to connect with that candidate on a more personal level, while also getting a more holistic view of what moved him or her.

For more human resources interviewing tips, you can scroll down and head to the next section.

Interview Questions and Answers

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In this section, you’ll learn more about interviewing questions with their answer to help you understand better and get your dream job.

1. Tell me about yourself

This is instantly a question that will be asked by the interviewer. This question has purpose for the interviewer to understand your qualifications, what led you to this job, and why you think you would be a good fit for the job and the company.

You can start by describing your background with a summary of your most impressive responsibilities. And then briefly summarize your previous experience with key achievements. And then you can end it with how you found the new job and why it’s a good fit for you and your goals.

Example: “I am an ambitious and driven individual. I thrive in a goal-oriented environment where I can constantly challenge myself personally and professionally. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and grow. These characteristics have helped me achieve success in my career. For example, I was promoted three times in less than two years in my last position.”

2. What makes you unique?

Interviewers often ask this question to identify why you may be more qualified than other candidates they interview. To answer that, focus on why hiring you will benefit the employer. Since you don't know the other applicants, it may be difficult to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong and great candidate and the person for the job.

Example: “What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion.”

3. Why do you want to work here?

Often times, interviewers ask this question to know if you are taking the time to research the company and think critically about whether or not you are a good fit. The best way to prepare for these questions is to do your homework and learn about the products, services, mission, history, and culture of this workplace. In your answer, state aspects of the company that interest you and align with your values and career development and goals.

Example: “The company’s mission to help college grads pay off their student loan debt resonates with me. I’ve been in student loan debt myself and would love the opportunity to work with a company that’s making a difference. Finding a company with a positive work environment and values that align with my own has remained a priority throughout my job search and this company ranks at the top of the list.”

4. What interests you about this role?

Hiring managers often ask this question to make sure you understand the role and give you the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. Study the job description carefully and compare the requirements with your skills and experience. Pick a few responsibilities that you enjoy or are good at and focus on those responsibilities in your answer.

Example: “While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how I’m looking to grow in my career paths. I’m also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.”

5. What motivates you?

Among interviewing questions is the things that motivate you to want to work in the company. Employers ask this question to measure your level of self-awareness and make sure your source of motivation aligns with the role and the company. To answer this question, be as specific as possible, provide a real-life example, and tie your answer back to your job role and/or company mission.

Example: “Making a true difference in the lives of my patients and their families motivates me to strive for excellence in everything I do. I look forward to seeing my patient’s reactions when we get a positive outcome that will change their lives forever. That’s why I became a nurse and why I’m pursuing a position in pediatrics.”

And also, you can consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • “What did a great day at work look like in your previous role and why?”
  • “What made you choose your profession or field?”
  • “What prompted you to apply for the role when you read the job description?”

6. What are your salary expectations?

Another common question that interviewers ask in almost all interviews – what kind of salary you expect? If this is your first interview, don't feel obligated to give a specific number – and don’t hand out information on your salary history. What you do instead, you can ask about the salary range they charge for the position you're applying for to get an idea of whether that range meets your expectations.

If you are going for a second interview, take the time to research the average salaries for people in positions with the same experience and education as you. You can use this number as a starting point when discussing salary during an interview.

Behavioral Interview Questions

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Behavioral interview questions usually asked in job interviews to gauge how successful you are at solving problems. These questions can give the interviewer insight into your personality, skills, and also your abilities. Since each behavioral interview question requires you to share a specific story that highlights your strengths and skills, careful preparation can help you feel confident and prepared.

Here are interviewing questions that Tripboba has found about behavioral interview questions with their examples:

1. Tell me about a time when you handled a challenging situation

Example: "My manager left town unexpectedly when we were in the middle of pitching large sponsors for an upcoming conference. I was tasked with putting together the slide decks for the presentations to secure these sponsors but all I had was a few notes left behind by my manager. Because he was unavailable, I called a meeting with members of our team and we generated a list of the biggest selling points that would be most impactful with potential sponsors. After creating the slide deck, I presented the presentation successfully and we got the sponsorship. I'm incredibly proud of the results we achieved when we worked together."

2. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. What did you do to correct it?

Example: "When I was working at a printing company, I misquoted the fees for a particular job. I realized the mistake, I went directly to my manager and explained what happened. He said he appreciated my honesty and suggested that we waive the setup fee for the job as an apology to the customer. I spoke to the customer directly and explained what happened and that the quoted price was actually higher than my original estimate, but that we would be happy to waive the setup fee. The customer understood and appreciated the effort to make the situation right. After that happened, I printed our price sheet to have it quickly at hand and implemented a new process for quoting estimates, one in which I double-check the final estimate before sending it."

3. Tell me about a time when you were in conflict with a peer and how the situation was resolved

Example: "I had a sales manager who was great about stepping in to help when members of our team were struggling with meeting goals. However, she had a single approach that didn't work for everyone and members of our team were getting frustrated and felt they were being micromanaged. I suggested that I sit down one-on-one with our manager, having heard the frustrations of the team. I avoided us all sitting down because I didn't want her to feel ganged up on and become defensive. After talking, we decided that she would let team members know her door was open if they needed help but that she would let them be in charge of the strategy they used to meet their goals. We also implemented a monthly, optional training program where we had different team members present what was working for them in order to offer a variety of approaches."

4. Tell me about how you work under pressure

Example: "I had been working on a large project that my team committed to turning around for the client in 60 days. My manager came to me and said that the client wanted it back in 45 days and that we would need to speed up our work without losing momentum on our other projects. I met with our team and we reviewed the calendar. We eliminated team meetings and shifted lower-priority tasks until the end of the 45-day period to add extra hours to our workweeks. I challenged my team to complete the project in 45 days or left and as a reward promised two days of extra PTO time. Our team got the job done in 42 days."

5. Give me an example of how you set goals

Example: "Within a few weeks of beginning my job as a server at a restaurant, I knew I wanted to work in the foodservice industry as a chef. I decided I would learn all I could in my current position until an opening became available in the kitchen, even for less pay. I wanted the experience of working in a restaurant kitchen environment. I also started saving up money at that time to go to the culinary academy. I knew that by the time I finished school, I would have been working in the kitchen for a number of years and would be highly competitive as a candidate for chef roles."

6. Give me an example of a time you made a decision that was unpopular and explain how you handled implementing it

Example: "I took over management of a gym where the trainers were allowed to cover one another's shifts without the knowledge or approval of management. I didn't like the uncertainty involved, because if someone failed to show up for a class, there was no way to know which trainer was supposed to be there. I implemented a new policy that required trainers to go through management to make schedule changes. I also explained the problem with the previous approach and how this would resolve any possible issues."

7. Share an example of how you were able to motivate a coworker, your peers or your team

Example: "I noticed that one of my coworkers was having a hard time meeting her sales quotas each month. I told her that not every sales technique works for every personality and that it can take time to figure out what will work best for her. I suggested we find time over the next day or two and I would show her some techniques I was using that I found highly effective. And it worked! After a couple of weeks of practice and trial and error, she was consistently hitting her quota."

8. Tell me about a goal you set and reached and how you achieved it

Example: "In my last role, I managed all social media content. One quarter, I set a stretch goal to increase conversions to our website by 75%. I broke it down into weekly goals and researched what other brands were experimenting with. I noticed they were using videos and seeing great engagement from their customers, so I asked my boss if we could do a low-budget test. She agreed, so I produced a video cheaply in-house that drove double the engagement we normally saw on our social channels during the first week. With the new strategy, I not only met my stretch goal, but I also exceeded it by 5% increasing total conversions by 80% over the quarter.”

9. Tell me about the last time your workday ended before you were able to get everything done

Example: "We had a client who wanted us to deliver new social media content to them by Wednesday of each week to get it scheduled for the following week. One week they requested double the content in order to increase their online activity in advance of a big launch. I decided to stay late the night before the deliverable was due. I also let the manager know that we might be a few hours behind for our content that week. A coworker and I went in early the next morning, together, made our deadline."

10. Tell me about a goal you failed to achieve

Example: "I was working on a start-up where our goal was to create content that would educate parents about why it's important to spend time as a family around the dinner table. Unfortunately, we were never able to figure out a way to monetize the business. We polled our audience and tried many different ideas, but after a year we had to move on. However, I learned so much from the process. I developed numerous skills and realized I'm incredibly good at shifting direction when something isn't working. I realized I don't let defeats discourage me for long. Each time something didn't work, I picked myself back up and moved forward."

Useful Tips

  • If you’re asked about gap in your employment, you can prepare a short and yet straightforward explanation that you feel comfortable with. Highlight the way you met your challenges and overcame your problems.
  • If you’re asked about your previous roles, keep it short and most importantly, be honest. You can frame it in a way that puts you in a good light.


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