7 Top Interview Questions And Answers

Top Interview Questions And Answers

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to know the top interview questions and answers before you walk through that interview door? Well, now you can.

In this article, Richard McMunn from the career guidance experts How2Become.com gives you his top 7 interview questions and answers.

Watch the video or read on (transcription below the video) to find out how to smash your interview and land that top-paying job!

INTERVIEW QUESTION 1 – Tell me about yourself?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Concentrate on telling them about your work-related skills as opposed to your home life. They are not interested in your home life.
  • Download a copy of the person specification for the job and focus on telling them how your skills and attributes match the document
  • Use “power words” in your response, such as: motivated, enthusiastic, loyal, flexible, committed, honest, hard-working, adaptable etc. These will resonate positively with the interview panel.

SAMPLE ANSWER

“First and foremost, I am a hard-working, loyal and enthusiastic person who understands how important work is to my overall happiness. I take my work very seriously and I am always looking to improve my skills and qualifications so I can work to the highest standards possible in my role.

I genuinely believe there are 2 types of employee: the first is someone who turns up to work and does their job so they can just pay their bills. The second employee type is someone who puts their all into their job, is totally committed and does all they can to help their employer achieve their goals. I am the second employee type, and I believe my previous track record and strong appraisals demonstrate that.

I have excellent communication skills and fully understand how important it is to deliver outstanding customer care – after all, without the customer, there would be no business and I would not have a job. I also have very good organisational skills and always plan my weeks’ work in advance to make sure I perform to a high standard.

Having studied the person specification for this job in detail, I strongly believe I can perform the role to a high standard and would very much appreciate the opportunity to work for your company. If I am successful today, I can assure you that I will bring a great deal of experience, loyalty and positive qualities to your team.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 2 – Why do you want to work here?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Tell them about the preparation work you have done in the build-up to the interview.
  • Focus on the person specification, the job description and information you have gleaned from the company’s website and also the literature you have studied during your research.

SAMPLE ANSWER

“Having studied the person specification and job description for this role, I feel I have the skills, qualities and attributes to carry out the job to a very high standard. I also feel the role will give me a new, fresh challenge; something which I have been looking for, for some time now.

Having also studied your company in detail, there seems to be a very positive approach to the work you carry out and I also very much like the way you strive to deliver a high standard of customer care. High levels of customer care are not common nowadays, and I certainly want to work in a company that looks after its customers as I enjoy seeing positive customer interaction, feedback and testimonials within my job.

Also, during my research I managed to speak to two current employees who work for you, and they had nothing but positive things to say about your company. Both of them have worked for you for quite a few years now and they appeared very happy in their work. If I am successful, I plan to stay with you for a long time, so it was good to see that you employ happy, positive people within your team.

Finally, after reading the job description I understand there will be opportunities to both train, develop and take on further qualifications within the company – this is something that is very much appealing to me as I always like to grow and improve as an employee.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 3 – What are your strengths?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Again, focus on the person specification for the role you are applying for.
  • Say something different that makes you stand out from the other job applicants. Give an example of why you are better than the other applicants and try to make yourself RELATABLE and REAL!

SAMPLE ANSWER

“I have many positive qualities and attributes to bring to this role, but I believe my main key strengths are:

  • I have a hard-working nature;
  • I have an enthusiastic demeanour;
  • I am always looking for the positives in every situation;
  • I am a great team player;
  • I like to support and help develop others;
  • I am dependable.

One thing that I feel makes me stand out from the majority of employees is that I am always looking for ways to improve the way I perform at work.

For example, following an appraisal last year, my line manager identified that she wanted me to develop my negotiating skills.

As soon as the appraisal was complete, I searched online for a distance learning negotiating course and studied hard in this area to improve my skills.

Once I had completed the course, and I had the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned, my line manager commented that she had noticed a significant improvement in this area and congratulated me for taking the positive approach to the feedback she gave me at the appraisal.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 4 – Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Don’t tell them you plan to have moved on from their company, either internally or externally.
  • Loyalty is very important to the vast majority of employers. Remember, they have to spend time, money and resources training you up in the role, so they will want to see a return from their investment.
  • Don’t tell them you want to be sitting where they are!

SAMPLE ANSWER:

“If I am successful today, the first thing I plan to do is get competent in the role as soon as possible. I have no idea how long this will take; however, based on my high levels of enthusiasm, I aim to get trained up very quickly.

Once I am trained up in the role to a good standard, I would like to consolidate my skills and become experienced within the team. It is very important to me to be accepted and respected by my work colleagues and peers and I also want to do well in my appraisals.

So, I guess the short answer to this question is that I want to become good at my job, be accepted by my team and line managers and also enjoy my work as much as possible.

If the opportunity presents itself for me to progress within the organisation, that would be amazing. All in all, I plan to stay with the company long-term if I am successful at interview.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 5 – What are your weaknesses?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Anyone who tells the interview panel they have no weaknesses is telling porkies! We all have weaknesses.
  • Don’t give a weakness that is one of the key requirements of the role. For example, if punctuality and good timekeeping are important, don’t tell the panel you struggle getting out of bed in the morning!

SAMPLE ANSWER

“I do have one weakness, and that is I sometimes get slightly irritated when people don’t carry out their work to a high standard.

Because I set myself high standards, I expect others to have them too, and this is not always the case. Although it can irritate me at times, I have learned to just focus on my own job and do it to a consistently high standard.

Having said that, I have recently been trying to turn this weakness into something positive by helping other people within the working environment to improve. So, if I notice a member of the team struggling, or not performing to the required standard, I will always offer to help them improve, which I feel can only serve to have a positive impact on the organisation and its goals overall.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 6 – What makes a good team player?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • List the qualities I am going to give you in the sample answer that follows.
  • Back up your answer with a specific example of when YOU have worked well as part of a team using the STAR technique.

SAMPLE ANSWER

“Effective teamwork is vital in any organisation and I feel what makes a good team member is:

  • Having a dedicated leader;
  • An ability to focus on the end goal;
  • Great communication amongst the team members and its leader;
  • A comprehensive initial brief so that every member of the team knows what they are doing to achieve the task;
  • Being supportive of the other team members;
  • Learning from any mistakes that were made during the task so that things can improve for next time.

A team is only as strong as its weakest link and it is important that everyone in the team works together and helps each other.”

INTERVIEW QUESTION 7 – What makes a good team player?

TIPS FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

  • Try to give an example of when you have carried out a difficult/pressurised task under strict time constraints.
  • Give a specific example and don’t forget to use the STAR technique in your response.

SAMPLE ANSWER

“Yes, I can. I am often required to carry out time sensitive tasks under pressure, but one particular incident springs to mind. I work in a large retail shop just outside of town. One Friday a few weeks ago, my manager called a team meeting and he explained to us all that a large delivery was due to arrive within a couple of hours’ time. Unfortunately, the delivery was a week early and he’d not had time to prepare. We were understaffed and it was already 4pm on Friday, so we only had one hour after the store had closed at 5pm to get the stock take accepted, loaded in store and checked for accuracy.

He asked all of us whether we would volunteer to help him out with the delivery. I immediately put my hand up and volunteered to help. I could see that he was slightly flustered and he clearly needed help from the team. Unfortunately, only I and one other member of staff offered to help. However, we were both determined to do a good job for our manager and we immediately started planning how we were going to get the stock unloaded, checked and placed in store within the one-hour timeslot allocated.

We decided to play to each others strengths. I would utilise my organisational and accuracy skills to check the stock as it

came off the lorry, whilst my colleague would carry it all to the stock room, as he was physically strong and extremely fit. As we progressed with the task we communicated with each other to make sure we were working to the required standards and time frame. The end result was that we completed the task thoroughly with just 6 minutes to spare. This gave us time to report back to our manager who thanked us for volunteering and working hard to achieve the goal.”

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46 thoughts on “7 Top Interview Questions And Answers

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Anita,

      Typically, interview questions during the oil refinery operator will focus around health and safety, team work, communication, and your previous experience. Obviously there will also be some technical questions too. Many of them will be competency-based questions, which directly ask you to talk about how you’ve demonstrated certain behavioral qualities in the past.

      Hope this helps!

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Neeten,

      Thanks for your comment. We do not currently have any interview questions and answers specific to this role. However, we can conduct a bit of research and see if we can pool together some common interview questions for payroll and benefits specialists for you!

      Kind regards,
      The How2Become Team.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Andy,

      Sure, we’d be happy to help! Please could you provide us with a bit more information about the role?

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • Nadia K says:

      This was extremely helpful! Thank you so much. Could please provide tips, questions, sample answers related to an Asset Management/ Financial Advisor role. I would really appreciate it. Thanks again 🙂

      • Jordan Cooke says:

        Hi Nadia,

        We don’t have specific sample questions for this, but it is likely that the interview would focus around the following qualities:

        -Numerical understanding and efficiency.

        -Organisation

        -Ability to take on new challenges and responsibility

        -Customer service skills

        -Empathy and understanding.

        If you can demonstrate all of the above, we have no doubt that you’ll ace the interview! Best of luck!

        Sincerely,

        The How2Become Team

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Emeka,

      Interviewers for Telecommunications will want you to provide evidence of the following:

      1. Giving great customer service (e.g. ‘Can you give us an example of when you provided excellent customer service?’)
      2. Communication skills (e.g. ‘Can you give us an example of when you used your communications skills to overcome a problem?’)
      3. Your desire to work in telecoms (e.g. ‘Why do you want to work in telecommunications?’)

      As for your answers, think of suitable examples that match what’s being asked of you in the question. Remember to be honest and always look for answers which show a positive outcome based on your hard work.

      Good luck in your application process!

      The How2Become Team.

  1. mary says:

    good afternoon,
    thanks very much for your channel.
    do you know about some question and answer about Customer service representative for airline company?
    thanks in advance
    kind regards
    Mary

  2. sarah says:

    Hi
    i am a student and i am applying in Radiologic Sciences program and this program before a get accept in it the interview me. its group interview 5 supervisor who work in hospital and i din’t what kind of question will ask and what is the good answer. i need help with it please thanks

  3. ossy says:

    Hey! What kind of questions should I expect at Customer Service & Sales in a bank. My second interview ever.. and so nervous! and how should I answer active sale? like how should i answer if they ask me about active selling?? My experience is only from retail where i simply stocked items and sold milk and break at the counter…?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Ossy,

      It’s great to hear you’ve got an interview! The questions for customer service will likely be situational. For example, they might say to you: ‘What would you do if a customer walked in and said….’ or they might say to you, ‘Give me an example of a time when you’ve dealt with an unhappy customer’. In essence, they’ll want you to demonstrate your people skills. For active selling, please could you clarify what you mean by this?

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team.

      • Ossy says:

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply my question! For active selling I mean, they are asking me how can i help them sell more? how can I help sell more insurance? Here we are supposed to try our best to sell their products, one of them is insurance and other is a loan. How am I supposed to answer this without any experience before?. My main job is to answer the telephone and help the customer and secondly is to answer emails. Have to try and sell their products at the same time while helping the customer.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Diana,

      Thank you for your comment, we’re really glad you found this useful!

      Sincerely

      The How2Become Team

  4. Angel says:

    Thank you for your blog. I have learnt a lot already! But do you have any tips for a contacts officer in children’s services interview tips

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Angel,

      Thanks for the comment. We’ll get working on some interview tips for children’s services jobs.

      Good luck with your application!
      The How2Become Team.

  5. Sheila says:

    This is helpful!
    Hie, Do you have interview tips or what questions are mostly likely to be asked for a bookkeeper role? I have interview tomorrow.

  6. Shirly says:

    Thank you for your blog. I have learnt a lot already! But do you have any tips for a production coordinator in garment field?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Shirly,

      We’re so glad to hear that you found this useful =]. Although we don’t have specific questions for this role, the types of questions that you can expect would largely be focused around qualities such as:

      -Organisation.
      -Leadership.
      -Timekeeping.
      -Attention to detail.
      -Ability to produce good work under time constraints.
      -Ability to work with others.

      They might ask you questions about when you’ve demonstrated these qualities in the past, so have some examples prepared before you go into the interview!

      Best of luck,

      The How2Become Team

  7. Hilal Breiss says:

    Hello and thank you very much for this overview.

    However can someone help me in: What are the questions that I need to ask the HR manager when applying to a job (specifically technical consultant)

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Hilal,

      No problem =]. In regards to the questions you need to ask, it really depends on what has been said during the interview. Of course, you need to ensure that you don’t ask questions which have already been answered. A good idea is to ask questions such as:

      -What opportunities are there for progression in this role?

      -Is there any extra training I could do, that would make me even better prepared for this role?

      -Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the role? (This is a bold question, but gives you the chance to constructively show the interviewer that you are even stronger than they think).

      Hope this helps, and we wish you the very best of luck!

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Bilal,

      The best way to incorporate power words into your responses is to think about what qualities the interviewer is looking for.

      For example, if the interviewer wants to see examples of being highly motivated, try to think of working experiences of being highly motivated. Then, describe the situation, then explain why this shows that you are highly motivated.

      We hope this helps, good luck with your next interview!
      The How2Become Team.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      For an accountancy interview, you are likely to be questioned on the following:

      -Your skill with numerical data.

      -Your experience with handling numerical data.

      -Your attention to detail.

      -Your efficiency.

      We hope this helps, and we wish you the best of luck with your interview =].

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

  8. Shahla Ahmed says:

    Thank you for your blog. I have already learnt a lot. But do you have interview tips or what questions are mostly likely to be asked for a data analysis role?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      We’re so glad to hear that you found our blog useful =]. In terms of a data analysis role, it depends on the company that you are applying for, but you will be questioned on topics such as:

      -Your analytical ability.

      -Your experience of problem solving.

      -Your ability to use numbers quickly and efficiently.

      -Your attention to detail.

      -Your ability to spot problems, quickly.

      We hope this helps, and we wish you the very best of luck with your interview!

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

  9. Apra says:

    Thank you for your amazing content. I found this article super helpful as I prepare for an upcoming interview. Do you have any tips for Environmental Health & Safety Specialist interviews?

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Apra,

      Our best advice for interviews of this kind is to practice with some sample questions. Here are a few to get you started:

      1. Give me an example of when you have had to gather data in order to come to a conclusion. How did you achieve this?
      2. Tell me about a time when you used your scientific knowledge to oversee a project. What was the outcome?
      3. Have you ever used your deduction skills to identify an error? Tell me about this situation.
      4. Give me an example of when you evaluated data to solve a problem.
      5. Tell me about a time when you had to solve a more complex problem than usual. How did you do this?

      Good luck in your interview!

      Kind regards,
      The How2Become Team.

  10. Abby says:

    Hi do you have any tips for warehouse interview? What are the most likely to be asked? Tips for answers too pls

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Abby,

      For a warehouse interview, it’s likely that you’ll be asked questions which focus on qualities such as:

      -Efficiency.
      -Attention to detail.
      -Organisation.
      -Time management.

      If you can give examples of where you’ve demonstrated these qualities in the past, then this will really increase your chances of progression!

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

  11. Azah Loveline Akoh says:

    Thanks very much for this piece. It is very enriching. Please I have to attend an interview as clerical assistant in an Embassy, could you kindly propose some questions I could be asked?

  12. Renette says:

    I have an interview for Student Recruiter at a state college. Can you give any tips? Thank you. I have some experience in recruiting. Thank you.

  13. nadia K. says:

    Could you please give tips and examples on how to answer the interview question about what your greatest professional achievement is.

    Questions like:

    “What has been your best work achievement to this point in your career. What made this achievement important?”

    Anything would help. Thank you.

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