Top 10 most-asked interview questions (and how to answer them) - SEEK Career Advice (2023)

Interviews can be nerve racking, but preparation is the key to feeling more confident. How do you prepare though, and what questions should you expect?

We tracked down the 10 most-asked interview questions by analysing our Interview Builder tool that employers and recruiters use. Then we asked Steve Shepard, CEO of TwoPointZero and Suzie McInerney, CEO of Six Degrees Executive to take us through why employers ask each question and explain what they look for in a response.

Here are the top questions plus tips on how to answer them well.

1. Based on your understanding of this role, which of your skills do you believe will be most valuable to our organisation?
2. What's your understanding of the role and why are you interested?
3. Why are you interested in working at this organisation?
4. At times you will be asked to do many things at once. How do you prioritise your tasks?
5. What parts of your current role do you really love?
6. What parts of your current role frustrate you?
7. Give me an example of a time when you made a mistake or didn't deliver on expectations, what happened?
8. What is the one professional and/or technical skill you would most like to develop?
9. Talk us through your professional and technical skillset.
10. You disagree with the way your manager and supervisor say to handle a problem. What would you do?

1. Based on your understanding of this role, which of your skills do you believe will be most valuable to our organisation?

Why employers ask this: “Employers want to get a sense of how well you understand the role and its day-to-day requirements,” Shephard says. “They also want to find out whether your skills match the job description and what you can do for the organisation overall.”

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How to respond well: “If you can link your skills to what the company or organisation does and its business goals and objectives, you’re on the right track,” he says. “Aim to give practical examples of your past experiences and where your skills can add value. The more you understand about the role and have researched the organisation, considering its stakeholders, customers, business strategy, goals and objectives, the more you’ll be able to talk about how you can contribute.”

Tip: Do some research into the company’s goals and objectives. Check out their website or social media pages, look back to the job ad, then note down which skills of yours could help them in these goals.

2. What's your understanding of the role and why are you interested?

Why employers ask this: “This question helps recruiters gain a genuine understanding of which aspects of the role you are most interested in, in order to assess if you’re well suited to the role,” McInerney says.

How to respond well: Hiring managers and recruiters want to hear how you interpret the role in your own words, rather than just repeating the job ad, McInerney says. “The best answers are those that clearly demonstrate which aspects of the role you will be able to do well and how this will add value to the organisation and help achieve organisational goals.”

3. Why are you interested in working at this organisation?

Why employers ask this: “Have you done your homework? This question shows how much research you have done, demonstrating motivation for the job and providing recruiters with an insight into your own values to ensure they align with the hiring organisation,” McInerney says.

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How to respond well: Take some time to identify your values, then be prepared to talk about how these align with the company and what it does. “If you can build a connection with the organisation's people, strategy and values and your own values and aspirations, you will show the potential employer why you’re an ideal fit,” McInerney says.

Tip: Learn what you can about the company’s values and aims. Many businesses include this sort of information via their website’s ‘About us’ page.

4. At times you will be asked to do many things at once. How do you prioritise your tasks?

Why employers ask this: “This question aims to reveal your time management and decision-making skills,” Shepard says. “Employers want to understand how you prioritise things and the way you engage with people during that process.”

How to respond well: Be prepared to give an example of how you prioritised things in a previous role, Shepard says. Can you talk about how you schedule your day to ensure the most important things get done? Or a time where you were able to handle an urgent priority by reorganising other tasks? It’s also worth considering how you communicate with others about deadlines or how you keep track of your workload via to-do lists or other organisational tools.

5. What parts of your current role do you really love?

Why employers ask this: “This shows the recruiter what is most important to you and how and why you gain satisfaction from different aspects of your career,” McInerney says. “The response helps guide the interviewer on how you can make a difference and what gives you the most energy, for example, people management, processes or innovative thinking.”

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How to respond well: This one is pretty straightforward: focus on what you find satisfying in this role, or other previous roles if this isn’t applicable. “Good answers are less about tasks and more about showing your passion, what you are most proud of, and how you have made an impact in your current role,” McInerney says.

6. What parts of your current role frustrate you?

Why employers ask this: “Employers accept that there will be elements of every job that may be frustrating so it’s important to be honest when answering this question,” Shepard says. “By asking this question they are wanting to find out if you’re compatible with the role you’re applying for.”

How to respond well: Don’t be afraid to bring up frustrations, but focus on how you handle them. “Rather than just venting things you find frustrating about your current role, try to frame your response in a positive light by talking about how you manage your frustration,” Shepard says. But choose what you focus on carefully, he adds. “Remember to think about the job description – for example, you don’t want to say you find dealing with difficult customers frustrating if the role is customer-facing.”

7. Give me an example of a time when you made a mistake or didn't deliver on expectations, what happened? What did you learn?

Why employers ask this: Most businesses accept that people make mistakes, Shepard says. “What is more important is that you learn from them. Employers are trying to establish what processes you use to analyse problems and how you go about solving them.”

How to respond well: “The key here is to focus on the take outs from your mistakes,” Shepard explains. “It’s a good idea to give an example of a past mistake – what were the circumstances? What was your decision-making process and how did you move forward from the mistake?”

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8. What is the one professional and/or technical skill you would most like to develop?

Why employers ask this: This is about determining whether you’re interested in learning and growing – which can be a great quality in an employee. “Employers want to find out if you have an appetite for self-development and improvement,” Shepard says.

How to respond well: “An answer that shows a desire to improve behaviour and continuously learn and grow is important,” he says. “Always offer a reason for why you want to develop a particular skill. For example, you might say you’re interested in developing your photoshop skills in order to enhance your marketing ability.”

9. Talk us through your professional and technical skillset.

Why employers ask this: They want to get a clearer picture of your abilities and how you can apply them to the role. “This question aims to understand your full skillset to do the job,” McInerney says.

How to respond well: Rather than a laundry list of generic skills, be prepared to talk about your skills that are most relevant to the job and to give examples. “This question is a great opportunity to share your technical know-how by demonstrating how you used a particular technical skill in a past job and how this skill will be relevant to the job you’re applying for,” McInerney says. She says while talking about technical skills is usually straightforward, professional or ‘softer’ skills like communication and leadership can be more difficult to talk about, so it’s important to come ready with examples of these skills in action.

Tip: Examples can be hard to come up with off the top of your head, so prepare a list. You won’t be able to refer to it in the interview, necessarily – but the process of creating it could help firm up examples in your head. Understand what soft skills employers are looking for, or look back to projects you’ve completed or refer to feedback or performance reviews to help you come up with examples of skills that have made a difference.

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10. You disagree with the way your manager and supervisor say to handle a problem. What would you do?

Why employers ask this: Employers want to find out how you handle confrontation, Shepard explains. “Are you someone who is argumentative, or do you stay silent? Or perhaps you are someone who calmly states your case and offers alternatives in a constructive way, accepting that not everyone will agree with your point of view.”

How to respond well: “This type of behavioural question is best answered using an example, Shepard says. He recommends working through the example like this: “This was a time I didn’t agree with my boss, this is how I handled it, this was the outcome and this is what I learned.” Of course, it’s best to pick an example where the disagreement was resolved well.

It’s natural to be nervous in the lead up to an interview, but preparing your answers to these common questions can help you to feel more confident and at ease, and ready to show what you can bring to the role.

Read more:

  • Practice interview builder
  • What’s different about going for a job now?
  • 5 ways to ease your interview anxiety

FAQs

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers? ›

Top 10 Interview Questions and Best Answers
  • Tell Me About Yourself. ...
  • Why Are You the Best Person for the Job? ...
  • Why Do You Want This Job? ...
  • How Has Your Experience Prepared You for This Role? ...
  • Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

What is the best career advice question you can ask? ›

7 career advice questions to ask your career advisor
  • What can I do with my major? ...
  • How should I write my resume and cover letter? ...
  • What should I expect from my next interview? ...
  • How can I improve my online presence? ...
  • Where can I find a job/internship in my field? ...
  • How can I master networking?

How do I answer what I want to do for my career? ›

Laying out a list of goals doesn't make for a very convincing answer. Instead, focus on one or two main goals and briefly explain how you plan on achieving them or how they will benefit your career in the long-term. This shows that you have thought these goals through and are clear about what you want in the future.

What are the top 10 most asked interview questions? ›

Answers to 10 Most Common Job Interview Questions
  • What Are Your Weaknesses? ...
  • Why Should We Hire You? ...
  • Why Do You Want to Work Here? ...
  • What Are Your Goals? ...
  • Why Did You Leave (or Why Are You Leaving) Your Job? ...
  • When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job? ...
  • What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can't?

What is the star method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

What are good questions to ask at the end of an interview? ›

20 smart questions to ask at the end of your next job interview
  • What do you personally like most about working for this organisation? ...
  • How would you describe your organisation's culture? ...
  • Can you tell me about the kind of supervision you provide? ...
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

What are the 7 most common interview questions and answers? ›

7 most common interview questions
  1. Where do you see yourself in five years? ...
  2. What are your strengths/weaknesses? ...
  3. Why should we hire you? ...
  4. Tell me about yourself / your past work experience. ...
  5. Why do you want to work for us? ...
  6. What are your salary expectations? ...
  7. What skills or experience will help you succeed in this role?

What are the top 3 questions to ask an interviewer? ›

7 good questions to ask at an interview
  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role? ...
  • How could I impress you in the first three months? ...
  • Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/company? ...
  • Where do you think the company is headed in the next five years?

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

What makes you a good fit for this job? ›

Determine what makes you unique in terms of your qualifications for the job. Ensure you fully understand what the position entails and what they are looking for in a job candidate. Assess your own confidence level in terms of your ability to do the job. See how you handle challenging situations.

Why do u want this job? ›

Talk about specific examples of how you can help this company achieve their goals and highlight any relevant transferrable skills that will make you stand out as the right candidate. Write down any recent achievements you can talk about or any challenges you've faced recently that might be related to this new job.

What are 10 job interview tips? ›

Interview Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Interview Performance
  • Practice Good Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • Dress for the Job or Company. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Don't Talk Too Much. ...
  • Don't Be Too Familiar. ...
  • Use Appropriate Language. ...
  • Don't Be Cocky. ...
  • Take Care to Answer the Questions.

How do I prepare for a 2022 interview? ›

Here are the most important interview skills to focus on and how to make sure you project professionalism and expertise in your field.
  1. Interview preparation.
  2. Know the company.
  3. Speaking skills (clear, cohesive, calm)
  4. Think first, speak second.
  5. Listening.
  6. Show interest, not desperation.
  7. Show gratitude.

What are the 5 STAR questions in an interview? ›

The most common questions are:
  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a challenging situation. ...
  • Do you usually set goals at work? ...
  • Give me an example of a time you made a mistake at work.
  • Have you ever faced conflict with a coworker? ...
  • Tell me about a time when you handled the pressure well.

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

What is your strength best answer? ›

You can say that your greatest strength is: Creativity. Originality. Open-mindedness.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Common stress management strategies include:
  1. Staying positive.
  2. Using stress as a motivator.
  3. Accepting what you can't control.
  4. Practicing relaxation methods, like yoga or meditation.
  5. Choosing healthy habits.
  6. Learning how to manage time better.
  7. Making time for your personal life.
29 Jun 2021

How do you answer confidently interview question? ›

So, give a clear, concise and compelling outline of who you are and what you've achieved. Steer clear of personal details. Instead, focus on the skills and experience that you have that are relevant to the job. A good tactic is to discuss your present, your past, and your future.

How can I face confidently in an interview? ›

Use these tips to express confidence during an interview in a way that's natural to you:
  1. Dress appropriately. ...
  2. Stay alert. ...
  3. Practice breathing techniques. ...
  4. Prepare and rehearse your answers. ...
  5. Respond thoughtfully. ...
  6. Consider eye contact. ...
  7. Evaluate your body movements. ...
  8. Think positively.

What are 5 unique questions you can ask at the end of an interview? ›

Questions to ask at the end of a job interview
  • How would you describe the company's culture? ...
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company? ...
  • How do you see this company evolving over the next five years? ...
  • How would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

What should I say in an interview introduction? ›

Greet the interviewer/interviewers and start by formally stating your name, qualification, specific training, interests, or previous experience. How can I introduce myself as a fresher? As a fresher, after stating your name, qualifications, emphasize your interests and industry-specific qualities.

How do you answer tell me about yourself? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? ›

"Enthusiastic, confident and friendly are three words I'd pick to describe myself. My enthusiasm for health care allows me to stay motivated at work and find importance in what I'm doing. My confidence helps me recognize my abilities while also knowing that there's always room to learn more.

What are three most important keys to success in interviews? ›

Employers rate showing enthusiasm (for the job, company, industry) and making eye contact as the most important keys to success at interviews. Since interviews are a conversation between the potential employee and the employer, speaking clearly (and loud enough) is also vital.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years answer? ›

Be sure to keep your answer for the “where do you see yourself in 5 years” interview question brief and general. Talk about how you want to develop yourself as a professional in the context of the position. For example, you want to learn an extra, relevant skill that will compliment your role.

What are your skills and strengths? ›

In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses.
...
What employers are looking for:
StrengthsWeaknesses
Analytical skillsHard skills (defined by the job description)
Communication skillsSoft skills (such as public speaking)
Leadership skills
Ability to work in a team

What are some unique interview questions? ›

Unique interview questions
  • "If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?" ...
  • "What was the last gift you gave someone?" ...
  • "How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year?" ...
  • "If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?"
15 Oct 2018

What not to say in a job interview? ›

Photos courtesy of the individual members.
  • Speak Negatively About Yourself.
  • Criticize Your Previous Employer.
  • Act As If You're Not Excited.
  • Be The First To Bring Up Compensation.
  • Ask For Feedback At The End.
  • Discuss Personal Things.
  • Ask Why The Position Is Vacant.
  • Admit You Didn't Do Your Research.
30 Mar 2021

What qualities make you a good candidate? ›

Desired Candidate Attributes
  • Leadership. Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Dependability and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Maturity and a Professional Attitude. ...
  • Adaptability and Flexibility. ...
  • Good Personality.

What can you bring to the company? ›

How to (and how not to) answer the interview question 'What can you bring to the company? ' The simple answer to this question is you: you bring all of your skills, qualities, values, interests, academic knowledge, internships and life experience to the company.

Why you left your last job? ›

I was offered a considerable pay increase.” “My company hired a new manager, and I felt it was a good time to find a new opportunity.” “My role changed over time, and I was no longer doing what I was interested in.” “I reassessed my career goals and decided my current role no longer fit those goals.”

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

What are 7 common interview questions and answers? ›

7 most common interview questions
  1. Where do you see yourself in five years? ...
  2. What are your strengths/weaknesses? ...
  3. Why should we hire you? ...
  4. Tell me about yourself / your past work experience. ...
  5. Why do you want to work for us? ...
  6. What are your salary expectations? ...
  7. What skills or experience will help you succeed in this role?

How do you answer tell me about yourself? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

What not to say in a job interview? ›

Photos courtesy of the individual members.
  • Speak Negatively About Yourself.
  • Criticize Your Previous Employer.
  • Act As If You're Not Excited.
  • Be The First To Bring Up Compensation.
  • Ask For Feedback At The End.
  • Discuss Personal Things.
  • Ask Why The Position Is Vacant.
  • Admit You Didn't Do Your Research.
30 Mar 2021

What qualities make you a good candidate? ›

Desired Candidate Attributes
  • Leadership. Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Dependability and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Maturity and a Professional Attitude. ...
  • Adaptability and Flexibility. ...
  • Good Personality.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Common stress management strategies include:
  1. Staying positive.
  2. Using stress as a motivator.
  3. Accepting what you can't control.
  4. Practicing relaxation methods, like yoga or meditation.
  5. Choosing healthy habits.
  6. Learning how to manage time better.
  7. Making time for your personal life.
29 Jun 2021

How do you answer confidently interview question? ›

So, give a clear, concise and compelling outline of who you are and what you've achieved. Steer clear of personal details. Instead, focus on the skills and experience that you have that are relevant to the job. A good tactic is to discuss your present, your past, and your future.

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years answer? ›

Be sure to keep your answer for the “where do you see yourself in 5 years” interview question brief and general. Talk about how you want to develop yourself as a professional in the context of the position. For example, you want to learn an extra, relevant skill that will compliment your role.

What are the 20 most common interview questions and answers? ›

  • Tell me about yourself. ...
  • What are your weaknesses? ...
  • Why should we choose you for this job? ...
  • What are your hobbies outside of work? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in five years' time? ...
  • Why are you leaving your current position? ...
  • What are your main strengths? ...
  • Why do you want to work here?
17 Jan 2018

What is your strength best answer? ›

You can say that your greatest strength is: Creativity. Originality. Open-mindedness.

Can you tell me a little about yourself Example answer? ›

Sample Answer for Fresh Graduates and College Students

I was also part of the student government, and maintained a GPA of 3.6. I've worked hard in my education and now I'm ready to apply my knowledge into practice. While I don't have any real-life work experience, I've had a lot of exposure to the business environment.

Why do you want to work with us? ›

I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my …” “I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …” “I believe I have the type of knowledge to succeed in this role and at the company because …”

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