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Top 100 Job Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on Jun 18, 2020 321 views
Top 100 Job Interview Questions and Answers

What are the common job interview questions you should expect at an interview?

Best still, what are the best answers to these top job interview questions?

That is what we will reveal in this guide.

You see, knowing the top 100 common job interview questions and answers can help you land the job of your dreams faster than you expect it. 

We understand how much hard work you must have put into your job-search that finally got you to the interview stage. From creating a winning CV to learning how to write a cover letter and I am sure the last thing you want to happen is to fail your interview.

Getting to the interview stage of your job-search process is an amazing opportunity you wouldn’t want to make a mess of. This is because only about 5% of applicant actually earn an interview from hundreds of applicants.Relaxing at this stage of your job search can mean you losing out on your most sort after job opportunities.

This is the stage where you should work harder to ensure that you take advantage of the opportunity of landing the job that you have been hoping for. Taking advantage of the opportunity of an interview is preparing for the interview beforehand.

Preparing for the interview means knowing common interview questions, common interview mistakes to avoid and job interview checklist to guide your preparation.

We have created this ultimate list of top 100 job interview questions and answers so that you can practice before going for the interview. Knowing the top 100 interview questions and answers will help you eliminate fear, and build your confidence during the interview that will help you become successful in your job interview and finally land your most sort after job.

In this article, you would learn:

  • How to answer behavioral interview questions
  • How to answer panel interview questions
  • How to answer competency based interview questions
  • How to answer to brain teasers
  • How to answer traditional interview questions
  • How to answer experience based interview questions
  • How to answer opinion based interview questions
  • How to answer trap interview questions
  • How to answer salary interview questions
  • How to answer communication interview questions
  • How to answer hypothetical interview questions

 

What Are The 10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers?

The following questions are usually the 10 most common interview questions for freshers and experienced job seekers. You will will likely encounter most of these when you go for a job interview

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What do you consider to be your strength?
  • Can you tell us about your weakness?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Have you ever been forced to resign?
  • What do you like the least about your current job?
  • How would you boss describe you?
  • Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about how you reached it.

No time to read this article now? Download the 100 job interview questions and answer pdf now.

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How To Answer Basic Interview Questions and Answers

how to best answer traditional interview questions

 

Traditional interview questions focus on your skills and value. This kind of questions are usually very descriptive. It gives the interviewer an idea of who you are, and how you fit into the role and company at large.

Traditional interview question are usually the first set of questions that an employer will likely ask a job seeker. Traditional interview questions tend to be straightforward questions that focus on your personality, preferred ways of interacting with others and how you would likely act when you get the job. 

1. “Tell me about yourself”?

This is one question that you are sure that you will likely be asked regardless of the position that you are applying for. This question can take different forms like; can I meet you? Who are you? Can we know you? You don’t need to be confused they all mean the same thing.

As simple as the question looks, it could also be very tricky. Be careful not to give unnecessary personal details about yourself. All the recruiter wants to know is who you are and how you fit into the role and the company’s vision and work environment.

Be careful to frame your response around what makes you the best fit for the role. You might be tempted to talk about all the good stuff, but you will need to keep it concise and relevant.

These statements will guide your response to the question;

  • Talk about who you are professionally
  • Highlight your competencies
  • Talk about why you are here

For instance, if you are applying for the role of a customer service manager, then your response can be something like this;

Sample Answer

“I am an innovative customer service manager with 6 years of experience managing and monitoring all the aspect of the customer service function-from solving customer’s problems to ensuring customer retention to increasing sales. (Who you are)

I have spent 6 years developing my skills as a customer service manager. I have been able to attract recognition and several awards even national awards 3 times. I love solving customer problems and overseeing my team members do so too. (Competence highlights)

Even if I love my current position, I know that I am ready to take up a more challenging role in customer service, and that is why I am very excited about this position. (Why you are here)”

You can see that the answer responded to the three statements that we made earlier. You can use the statements to frame your own answer too.

 

Never give this kind of answer;

My name is Daniel Peters, I am from Delta state, and I attended St. Johns primary school after which I went to Methodist Boys School. After my secondary education, I gained admission into the University of Lagos. I am from a family of 6, my parents are very poor, and so I need this job so that I can take care of my siblings …”. 

Read this article to learn how to answer the the interview question tell me about yourself

 

2. What are your strengths?

This question could be really confusing and hard to crack most times because you are asked to talk about your strong points. It is quite normal for you to feel awkward talking about your strengths without bragging.

Well, to answer this question effectively, you will have to follow these steps;

  • Assess your hard skills
  • Assess your transferable skills
  • Assess your personal traits

When you are assessing these skills, make sure they are closely related and relevant to the position that you are applying for. When you want to answer, try and stay away from personal qualities and concentrate more on professional traits.

As simple as the question looks, it is also very possible for you to mess the whole interview up especially if you have not taken out the time to discover yourself to know your strengths, and how to properly communicate them to the recruiter.

You should also be able to accurately choose strengths that will help you perform the task well if you are offered the job. It means that you should not have a one fits all answer to this question.

When answering this question, remember that the recruiter is looking for a good fit, and at the same time trying to form a picture of you based on your response, and make sure your strengths are real strengths that will add value to the company. See sample answer to help frame your answer;

 

Sample Answer

If you are applying for the position of a customer service manager, this is what your response will look like:

My strength is my patience to solving problems (Assess your hard skills).

My current position as a customer service manager, I was patient (Personal traitenough to turn a toxic work environment to a positive one, and created a motivating environment where everyone can work comfortably.

I also feel that my communication skills (transferable skillsare top-level because I relate with senior executives on the same basis that I relate with junior staff members.”

This answers the question well to a large extent because the answer highlights the strengths that are relevant to that particular position. The candidate did not give a well-rehearsed answer but also gave a real-life instance that makes it more detailed.

 

3. Can you tell us about your weaknesses?

This may sound like the trickiest question that a recruiter can ever ask. It may feel really awkward for you to talk about your weakness during a job interview when you are supposed to be pitching yourself.

The confusing part of the whole question is how to actually talk about your weakness, but not making it a big threat to the role that you are applying for.

When recruiters’ ask this question, they are not very much concerned about the answer, but they are more concerned about how you answer the question. Many candidates tend to lie about their weaknesses, it is not advisable for you to lie about your weakness even if you should put it in a subtle manner.

When you are answering questions about your weakness, you should be careful not to give cliché answers that are not close to being your weakness at all. Answers like my greatest weakness is that I am so much of a perfectionist, I love everything to be organized and orderly at all the time.

This answer looks perfect, but this is a common cliché that sounds really unrealistic and doesn’t reflect a true weakness at all. This statement will guide you to answer this question well:

  • Be self-aware: To answer this question well, you have to be self-aware to recognize your real weakness. Be careful when choosing a weakness so that it does not affect you getting the job.
  • Be truthful: As much as you want to give a piece of information that will not affect the job, you should also be sure that you are talking about a real weakness.
  • Self-improvement/recovery: After telling the recruiter about your weakness, you should also state the effort that you are putting in to manage the weakness that you stated.

 

Sample Answers

Sample 1

“I am really impatient working in a team (self-awareness)-I love to work independently and so it is difficult for me to rely on others to complete a task. That is why I have pursued a position that makes it possible for me to work independently (be truthful). However, I have also worked to improve this weakness by enrolling in team building workshops. While I work independently, it is important I learn how to trust my co-workers better.” (Self-improvement/recovery).

Sample 2

"Public speaking makes me really nervous (self-awareness). Even if I don’t have to do too much of public in my role as a graphic designer, I nonetheless feel it is an important skill I need to have when communicating with others. (Truthful)

To overcome the fright, I spoke to my manager that I would love to give the introductory speech during our team meetings. This has allowed me to be less nervous speaking to a group of people and has also helped me communicate better with team members to do their jobs effectively. (Self -improvement/recovery)

This answer works well because the candidate mentions a real weakness that does not affect the candidate’s ability to do the job. Secondly, the candidate shows the eagerness to develop strategies to tackle the weakness. Read here on more tips to answer the interview questions "What is your greatest weakness"

 

4. Why are you leaving your current job?

This is one question that can throw a job-seeker off the balance if the person is not very prepared for the question. Many times job-seekers sincerely leave their current jobs because they want to get a better offer, but that is not what you will want to tell your prospective employer.

This question could be really tricky because you don’t want to say that you are leaving your current job because you want a better offer and sound like a “gold digger” that will still leave in search for a better offer somewhere else.

To tackle this question, you would need to give an answer that is closely related to you wanting to move forward in your career. No one would frown at anyone’s attempt to moving their career forward. You have to be careful not to emit “negative vibes” when answering the question.

You can take a look at these sample reasons that are easy to explain;

  • Desire to improve work/life balance.
  • Your wish to learn
  • Your yearn to take on more responsibility
  • Your wish to take on less responsibility
  • Wanting to relocate
  • Desire for a career change.
  • Desire for career growth and development
  • No longer interested in the company’s vision and goal.
  • Desire for a shorter commute to work.

Answering this question, you should not just throw the answer at the recruiter, you should take time to and make sure you are giving the right answer to the question. You can use this opportunity to talk about your interest in the new position that you are applying for and not talk despairingly about your current employer.

Don’t be negative about your current employer, you should rather focus on what the new position will afford you (career wise). If you speak poorly of your boss during an interview, what proof does the potential employer have that you wouldn’t say the same thing about them in another environment?

Always avoid answers that relate to compensation, company finance or poor management. You should always stay positive regardless.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“I have really learned a lot working with an amazing group of people in my current employment, but this opportunity fits very well with the direction I want to take in my career path.”

 

Sample Answer 2

“I have acquired great experience in my current job, but due to the size of the organization growth is limited. So for me to continue to grow, I need to go somewhere else, and working in this company will avail me the opportunity to grow in my career.”

Remember to be positive and frame your answers around the organization you wish to work for.

 

5. Why should we hire you?

Most times when recruiters ask this question, job-seekers are mostly thrown in a state a confusion. Most times it is like putting the job-seeker in the position of the recruiter. This question will make many job-seekers ask themselves this question; “If I were the employer, why would I hire myself?”

Often times when recruiters ask “why should we hire you?” they indirectly want to know why you are the best fit for the job.

As straight forward as the question may look, you still have to be very careful when answering the question. Don’t be in a hurry to throw the answer back at the recruiter, you might end up giving a negative impression about yourself.

You should always avoid answers like:

“You should hire me because I know you urgently need someone to fill this position, and I think I can do the job”.

It is very important for you to take your time to think of a concise and effective answer to this question. Before you attempt to answer the question, you should know;

  1. Why recruiters ask why should we hire you?
  2. how to answer the question.
  3. The best response to give.

 

Why recruiters ask “why should we hire you?”

Job-seekers may feel that recruiters ask this question just to make them feel uncomfortable, but that is not the case. Recruiters ask this question because they want to know why you are the best fit for the job.

Recruiters simply want to know how you fit into the position they are recruiting for.

 

How to answer the “why should I hire you question?”

Since the whole interview boils down to this one question, then it is worth preparing for. You should always understand that the interviewer wants to know how you fit into the position. Make sure your response clearly states why you are the best person for the position.

The best response to give

Since every hire is a risk to the recruiter, then you should be ready to prove to the recruiter that;

  1. You can perform the task excellently
  2. You will perfectly fit into the position and be a great addition to the team
  3. You possess the right skills and experiences that makes you stand out from other candidates
  4. Hiring you will add a great deal of value to the company.

 

Sample Answers

If you are applying for a marketing role;

“From your job advert, I understand that your company is looking for an experienced marketer that will grow the business and help the company stand out from its competitors. At my previous company, I increased the sales by 30% within the space of one year by devising targeted social media advertising strategy. I will definitely bring in that spirit of ownership and innovation to this company if I am given the opportunity.”

 

If you are applying for the role of a web developer;

“I believe that my experience in technology, specifically in web design makes me the best person for this position. In my previous job, I was responsible for updating the company’s website. This required me to always make sure everything goes on well on the web page, update employee profile and ensure proper content upload on the site. I enjoyed the role, which was what attracted me to this company, I would love to bring in my skills to this position”.

 

How to answer the question if you are a fresh graduate with no work experience:

Getting your first job after graduation may not be as hard as you may think. It is true that employers are about getting the right talent to fill their positions, but being a fresh graduate is not a disadvantage if you prepare well for the interview.

If this question comes up in an interview, chances are it will be the only valuable opportunity for you to prove that you are the best candidate for the job.

Remember to stay away from answers that will remind the employer that you have no experience and probably not a good fit. Answers like:

“You know it is really hard to find a job especially when you have no experience, I don’t want to stay idle, and I want something that will keep me busy”

This kind of response doesn’t show the employer that you have a special interest in the job and the company at all, and you have also succeeded in reminding the employer that you don’t have any experience.

Instead of answering like that, you can phrase your answer in such a way that it will show your interest in that particular position, your enthusiasm to be a part of the organization, your interest in learning and development, and your vision to contribute to the overall growth of the company.

Your response should look like this:

“I am a very driven and open-minded person that can really learn fast. During my volunteer with a local retail outlet, I discovered how much I enjoyed solving customers’ problems and rendering service in general. Looking at the job description and what I have learned from the interview, I think this position will support my interest and will also give me the opportunity to contribute positively to the organization, and am very excited about this opportunity”.

This kind of answer will give the employer an idea that you are passionate about the position, and a passionate person is someone that can learn fast. Every employer would love to hire someone with the right spirit.

 

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is one question that employers use to trap you in a corner and you may not even recognize it at all. Employers don’t just ask this question because they are really interested in what you want to do with your life in 5 years’ time. Employers ask this question for two reasons:

  1. The employer wants to know how long you plan to stay in the position.
  2. The employer wants to know if your vision aligns with that of the company.

As much as the employer want know your plan in the position and the company, it could be tempting for you to pour out your sincere intentions, but saying it out like that may not be the best approach to the question.

This is the response that your mind will likely prompt you to give, and it is probably what the interviewer doesn’t want to hear:

  1. Plans about how you would love to take the position of the hiring manager in 5 years.
  2. Strategies about how you would be promoted in a few years.
  3. Your aspiration about owning your own business in a few years
  4. A straight “I don’t know”, “I don’t have any plans for the future, I just want a job now”

I know you would be anxious to ask “then what does the recruiter want to hear?” You should never forget that the business of a recruiter is that he wants to get the right candidate that would stay and grow in the position.

So when recruiters ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years” they simply want to know your career goals within the position.

The hiring manager is interested in knowing how satisfied you are with the position and the company and how hard and long you are willing to grow and stay in the company.

 

Sample Answers

This is how your answer should look like:

“In 5 years, I would love to complete my internal and external training program for my position. I have read about it on your website, and I think it is an amazing opportunity for me to learn. I don’t only look forward to getting the right training for my role, but it will quicken my journey to becoming a marketing manager which is my career goal. My ideal track would be creating awareness in rural areas. I learned that getting your product to rural places is one goal this company wants to achieve."

Answering the question like this expresses two things to the employer:

  1. With this answer, you have given the hiring manager the impression that you are satisfied with the position, and also enthusiastic about developing in the position.
  2. This answer also shows that your personal career goals align with the company’s vision.

More responses

“I am propelled to be the best at what I do, and I want to work in an organization that will give me the opportunity to develop my skills, handle interesting projects, and be part of a team that I can really learn from. A good number of creative thinkers in the industry work here, and that is a big reason why I would love to build a career here”.

 

“My current goal is to fit into a position at a company where I can grow and take on new challenges and responsibilities over time. Moving forward, I would love to assume management responsibility and get involved in pushing the brand. Ultimately, I would love to be a part of an organization where I can build a career”.

 

Since this question is very tricky, it is very important for you to be careful not to just speak out words that come to your mind immediately the recruiter ask the question. Be careful not to give answers like: “I have never settled for less all my life, so in 5 years’ time I would be working my way through to becoming the CEO”.

See preparations you should make before attempting to answer the question:

  • Know the long term goals that can grow from this position.
  • Do a good research on the company and the position to know; the career path for the position, research if there are development opportunities, if there are interesting projects that you would love to be a part of, and finally if you share the same values with the organization.

Always keep these in mind when you are answering this question:

  • No recruiter sincerely care about what you want to do with your life in the next 5 years, and they don’t expect you to have the exact picture of where you are going to be in 5 years.
  • Recruiters ask this question because they look forward to getting a hire that would take the role seriously.
  • Recruiter wants to find out if you would be available for a long time to do the work.
  • In all sincerity, all a recruiter wants to hear when they ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years is “HERE”. As funny as this may sound, this is the truth, employers look forward to getting someone that would love to build their career in the company.

 

7. Why are you leaving your current job?

This question could be a really tempting question especially if you are applying for a new position. This question could tempt you to talk about any negative experience that was associated with your past role.

As tempted as you may be to expel negativity, you still have to be very careful not to go on about how terrible you felt in your previous position, you should rather concentrate on things that make this position the best fit for you.

You should always open doors to discussions that emphasize how the position is a perfect position for you.

Whether you were asked to leave or you willingly resigned, it is important for you to frame your answer in such a way that it casts you in a positive light. Be careful and make sure you avoid “bad mouthing” your previous employer.

You should never make statements like; “My boss is an oppressor, he loves to set unrealistic targets and unnecessary work achievement that sets employees against one another”.

Even if your boss is not a model, it is not useful to talk about it in an interview. Imagine that the recruiter is a friend to your previous boss, what do you think would happen after the interview?

Giving a negative answer doesn’t tell well of you to the recruiter, so you need to be neutral and leave your boss out of the conversation.

You should rather focus on the reasons why you want to take up the new role. For example;

“My current job puts a lot of focus on collaborative achievement, but I look forward to working in an environment that encourages personal growth and development. I would love to be able to measure my career growth and be open to dealing with bigger challenges”. This is a better response

 

See why interviewers ask this question:

Your reasons for leaving your current job is always very important to the recruiter because the recruiter wants to find out the following:

  • If you left your job for a good reason.
  • If you were fired or if you left voluntarily.
  • Did you leave on agreed or good terms.
  • What are your work values and successes are.

It could be really confusing to answer this question well especially if you were fired. If you were fired there is really no point for you to develop goose bumps and run away from answering the question. Even if you were fired, you should still focus on the positive side and be careful not to give off the negative energy about your current employer.

 

This is how your response should look like if you were fired:

If losing the job was not directly your fault and not as a result of poor performance, then you can frame your answers like this:

“Our biggest clients were leaving the market, and so my company was forced to dissolve some positions and unfortunately my position happened to be one of the newest positions that were created in the department at that time, and it was dissolved. I am extremely happy about my stay in my previous employment because I did learn a lot that will help me propel my career to the next level”

 

See what you have achieved answering this question like this:

a. You have made the recruiter understand that losing your job was not your fault, it happened as a result of an unforeseen event and it can happen to anybody.

b. You made the recruiter understand that you have a positive mindset about learning and development.

 

If you were fired due to low performance, then your answer can look like this:

“The management of my previous organization experienced a reformation, and I was assigned a new line manager. Working with the new manager, after a while it became obvious to me that my new manager had expectations that did not match up with my strength.

After a while, my manager recommended that he brings in someone he had worked with that had a better experience both in the local and international market, and I was replaced.

I learned that my strongest strengths were in customer service rather than project management. I know that my skills in customer service will be of great asset to a role like this that focuses on improving customer experience”.

This answer is great because the candidate sounds neutral and the situation is described without a form of negativity. The candidate also keeps a positive tone and draws the recruiter’s attention to the lesson learned and his strength.

This question is very sensitive, and as such should be treated as one.

 

8. Have you ever been forced to resign?

During an interview, it is quite normal for the recruiter to bring up discussions about your previous employment.

One question that the recruiter may likely ask you is if you have ever been forced to resign. The interviewer will likely use your response to the question to know the kind of issue that may likely arise if the company hires you.

The recruiter may also judge your ability to learn from the situation and how much you are able to sincerely account for your actions from your response to the question.

When answering this question, you need to be very careful, these are the mistakes you should avoid:

  • Don’t lie about the situation that led to the resignation in your previous employment.
  • Do your best to avoid being negative about your experience and try not to bad mouth your previous employer.
  • Avoid pushing all the blame of the incident to the organization or the employer. You should try your best to show how some of your actions contributed to the situation.
  • Avoid putting yourself in the state of pity that would make everyone else involved wrong. It gives the recruiter the idea that you would repeat the same action again.

 

This is what you should rather focus on:

  • Tell the recruiter about what you have learned from the situation, and how the experience has molded you into a better person.
  • Show that you have made an effort to address the action that contributed to you being fired.
  • Always let the interviewer know that you have eliminated any action that may make you face the same situation with a new employer.

 

Sample Answer

 This is an example of an answer that will properly deal with this question:

“I was forced to resign because marketing wasn’t a strong fit for me. My employer was extremely pleased with my customer service and support skills, but over a long period of time, I wasn’t meeting up with my monthly sales goals. I have decided to shift my focus on customer service and support. This position offers me a better opportunity to leverage on my communication skills”.

 

This question may appear to be one question that you want to avoid. Focusing on the positive angle when answering this question will give you the opportunity to explain that you are the right person for the position.

 

9. What do you like least about your job?

This question can seem like a net to trap you because the recruiter looks forward to getting a negative response from you, and if you are not careful, you may likely prevent yourself from getting the job.

It is important for you to understand that the interviewer is trying to know if you are going to be satisfied with the position.

So if you give the interviewer the impression that you were dissatisfied with your previous job, the interviewer may have the impression that you may also be dissatisfied with the position that you applied. 

When you are asked this question, try to be honest with your answers and also maintain a positive tone. This is what you should emphasize when you are about to answer this question:

  • Don’t mention something you dislike that is common with the position that you are applying for.
  • Avoid talking about personal issues you have with co-workers in the office.
  • Avoid answers that will make you appear as an incorrigible person.
  • Avoid giving the interviewer the impression that you are difficult to please.
  • Don’t use this question as an opportunity for you to start bad mouthing your previous boss or company.

You should rather look forward to creating an impression that will make the recruiter not scared about you taking up the new position. You can start off your answer by using this approach:

  • Mention what you like about your previous job.
  • Touch on what you did not like and focus on things you like about the task or a particular situation.
  • You can talk about how you were able to manage the situation until you decide to move on in your career.

Sample answers:

Sample Answer 1

I really liked my previous employer and the talented people in my team. One of the challenges that I faced was working remotely from my location, and it became more challenging for me as the company grew bigger. I was also tired of limiting myself to working alone. Why I am enthusiastic about this job is that it will give me the opportunity to work remotely when the need arises. I look forward to connecting with team members physically and not online”

 

Sample Answer 2

“I really cannot say I dislike anything about my current job. My company is a start-up that is still in its infantry stage which gives a limited room for advancement. I think I have gotten to the peak of my career in my current organization, and I would like to learn more about technology because the world is becoming technologically based. Regrettably, we don’t work with technology- based tools, in order to advance my career, I’ve decided it is time to move on”

 

Sample Answer 3

“It is a really great company overall, but my position kept me behind the scenes (I was always in the computer room), with very little interaction with co-workers and customers. I love solving computer or gadget related problems, but I value human relation a lot too, this is why I am really enthusiastic about this job”

When you are answering this question, be careful not to go on negative about your current job and employer. You should rather use the question as an opportunity to tell the interviewer how the job matches your skills and personality.

 

10. How would your last boss describe you

When employers ask this question, they simply want to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. The answer you give will help the interviewer understand why your current employer sees you as a great asset to the team.

These are the points you should focus on when answering the question:

  • Relate your answers to why you think you are a good fit for the position
  • You can point out two to three points about how your boss sees your performance
  • Don’t forget to state how you enjoyed working with your boss
  • You can tell a story about your recommendation with your boss

You should also avoid making mistakes like:

  • Bad mouthing your boss to bring out your good traits
  • Don’t spin out negative thought that your boss had about you, even if there are some negative feelings you should also see the positive light of it.
  • Avoid bragging about how well you and your boss went along

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“My last boss would say that I am always proactive and prepared to solve any form of challenge. Nothing really takes me unawares, I am usually prepared to face future challenges. I think that my ability to see a problem beforehand and solve them while they are still at the formative stage is what sets me apart from other employees”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“My last boss would see me as a problem solver and when I newly started my past position, I was always ready to face challenges and solve problems with ease. I think that my ability to be calm when there is a difficult situation is what really distinguished me from other employees”

 

Sample Answer 3

“I think my boss would talk about my two most obvious traits which is hard working and result oriented. My boss has always known me as someone that loves things to be done the right way and at the right time. So I was always putting in more hours to make sure that we achieve the desired result in any project. My boss always commended me for that. I also work hard to keep myself up-to-date on current industry trends and technologies by attending meet-ups and workshop to better position myself to face up to any challenge that may arise in the cause of performing my job”

 

Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

how best to answer behavioral interview questions

For traditional interview questions, the interviewer may ask questions that will eventually show your educational background, skills, abilities, etc. But in the behavioral interview questions, the interviewer focuses on how you were able to handle different work situations in the past. Your answer will reflect your skills, abilities, and personality.

 

11. Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it

Most interviewers ask the question because they want to know how you have been able to achieve success and also the things that helped you achieve the success at that particular time.

It is advisable for you to use the STAR method to help you give a more structured answer. Using this method will provide you all the information that the interviewer is looking for.

 

The STAR method includes the following steps:

Situation: You should start by describing the situation that you were or the task that you needed to complete. You must describe a specific situation or event.

Task: Describe the goal that you were looking forward to achieving.

Action: Describe the specific action that you took to address the situation. You are also explaining the actions you took to reach your goals.

Result: You must be able to give the result of your actions using specific details. The result is going to be an important part of your response because the interviewer asked about a time that you achieved success. Meaning that there would definitely be a result.

Answering this question, you have to:

  • Make sure the situation you are describing is relevant to the position that you are applying for.
  • Make sure that you are clear and realistic with your responses. 

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“In my recent internship program, I set a personal goal to accomplish my objective for my internship which is developing my experience in IT support. I also set a goal to learn the basics of computer programming before the end of my internship program. I worked really closely with the IT and programming team to make sure I develop my skills. At the end of my internship, I had 1- year experience in IT support role and was able to horn my programming skills to intermediate level”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“This year, I set to push my customer service skills from intermediate to advance. I decided to work closely with the customer service department to learn the core of customer service from experts. I also took professional classes in customer relations management. After working really close with the customer service department for that, I was amazed at how good I have become with my customer service skills that even customers spoke very well of me to my boss”.

 

12. Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance.

When interviewers ask this question, they simply want to understand how you take your work (how much you care about your job) and to what extent do you consider yourself responsible for your success in the role.

Take note of the following before you attempt the question:

  • Make sure the examples you are giving is relevant to the job that you are applying for.
  • Talk about your previous role.
  • Give tangible reasons why you think you were not satisfied.
  • Give an example of what you have learned.
  • State how your learnings have helped you improve.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

When I got my first job as a marketer and was given a target for the month, I was overwhelmed by what I was supposed to achieve, so I simply went out to get customers the possible way I thought. At the end of the month, I noticed I was the only one in the team that did not meet up with the target. I felt really bad.

I spoke to my boss about it, then he advised me to be more strategic and create a plan before carrying out any action. Working with his advice, I devised a marketing strategy and broke down plans to achieve my goals before I went out. After working with my strategy I become one of the top marketers in my company. I realized that it is very important to plan and that doing too many things at the same time does not guarantee success”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“At a point in my current job, I discovered that I was used to working in a team and because of that I became too dependent on other team members to get things done. My supervisor talked to me about it, and I started to be more responsible in carrying out my task and I wanted to start working more independently. I worked closely with my supervisor so she could give me personal tasks which she did. After doing more task alone, I develop a better sense of independence carrying out my task. Because I started working independently I developed other skills like advanced Excel skills that I applied to make my work better”.

 

13. Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose supervision. (How did you handle that?)      

Most times when interviewers ask this question, they want to know how well you can work in a team, how you relate with a superior and how well you can work independently.

When answering the question, always talk about;

  • What the situation was like.
  • The action you took to handle the situation.
  • What you learned.
  • How you finally handled the situation.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“In my previous job, I was working under a supervisor that was almost always busy with official duties, so he did not really have the time to supervise my task. It was quite challenging for me as an entry-level staff member with very little experience in Human resources. I decided to ask my colleagues in the same department how they carried out their task and they were always willing to help me through my task. Getting more knowledge from other people helped me work better and deliver result to my supervisor with ease”. (Working under loose supervision)

 

Sample Answer 2

“In my previous job, I was working as a content developer for the media team, but my line manager’s supervision was too close and almost intense. She watched everything I do and virtually sits by me all day. I felt very uncomfortable with it because it kept me under pressure almost all the time. Over time, I discovered that she did not really trust me to handle projects alone because I was new. I decided I was going to build her trust for the projects I handled. I talked to her about handling a project without supervision, she agreed reluctantly. I did my best to research and perform well in the project. The project was very successful, and since then she really did not need to supervise me with so much intensity”. (Working under close supervision).

 

14. Tell me about a time when you went above your duty to do a job.

When interviewers ask this question, they simply want to know how passionate you are about your job. They would also love to know the extent you can go to get your job done. Interviewers also use this question to know how result-oriented you are.

Sometimes interviewers ask this question to see if you are the kind of person that is ready to take challenges and goes over the minimum to ensure that the job is done properly (when necessary).

These are aspects you should focus on when answering this question:

  • Focus on the goal of the question which is going over and beyond to get the job done.
  • Focus on the qualities that you displayed rather than the situation.
  • Focus on understanding what the interviewer means by going above your duties.
  • Understand how you would explain going over and above your duties to the interviewer.

Avoid the following:

  • Avoid exaggerating anything.
  • Don’t be in a haste to answer the question.
  • Avoid giving an example that is not related to the question.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“For me, I think that going beyond my call of duty is making sure that the right things are done at the right time and not just doing what I am expected to do. A very big company contacted us to get them the invoice for a range of product. The mail was sent to our mailbox. Fortunately, I picked the mail from the mailbox and discovered it was going to be late by Monday and it was already Friday. I took the mail home did my research and forwarded them the invoice even if it was not my duty. The following week we were awarded the multi-million contract”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“Going beyond my call of duty is going out of my way to make sure that everything works out perfectly. For example, I once worked as a logistics manager, so one day our big client made an order that needs to leave that night, I decided to assist with the packaging even if I was a manger till almost midnight. I did not want the client to lose trust in our vision which is express national delivery. I knew that was the only thing I could do to save the moment”.

 

15. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work

Employers understand that no two people are the same, and working together with people there will points of agreement and disagreement. Most times, interviewers ask this question because they want to know how well you can work in a team, and how well you deal with disagreement.

When answering this question, you should focus on:

  • The decision you disagreed upon.
  • Why you disagreed with the decisions.
  • The alternative suggestion that you offered.
  • The result of the disagreement.

You should avoid:

  • Using negative words on people involved in the decision making
  • Avoid being defensive
  • Be careful to not sound opinionated

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“My team members were working on a publication for the company, and my supervisor and other members of the team were keen about setting time targets to help us come up with the publication. I disagreed with that, I know setting a time target puts you on your feet to get the job done, but it also creates a tense environment and team members will work under pressure which will not help them see things from their creative space. I told them that it is better we take our time and come up with something that is worth it at the end of the day. After alot of deliberations, my supervisor and other team members agreed with me and the publication still stood out as one of the best that we have ever done”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“I was working on a project that needed us to reach out to so many people. My boss instructed me to go out on rallies so that we can create aware of our program. I did not agree with his instruction on going on the street of Lagos for a rally. I advised him that we should run an internet campaign that it is fast, easy and cheaper. He was really impressed with my online campaign suggestion that we carried out and we were able to reach out to the number of people that we wanted to reach ”.

 

16. Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it

Interviewers ask this question because they want to have an idea about how determined you are, how purposeful you are, and also want to have an idea of your vision and goal to see how it points at you being the best fit for the job.

Use the STAR method to answer this question effectively.

You should focus on the following:

  • You should focus on telling the interviewer about the goal.
  • How you set to achieve the goal.
  • The action you took to achieve success.
  • The result of the action that you took.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“When I first got to my current company, I discovered that increasing the customer base was the core of what the company wants to achieve. I set a goal to contribute to a least 10% to the existing customer base of the company. To achieve that I did a research on what method the company has been using, I decided to take a course in a marketing and sales promotion. At the end of the course I was able to better make use of online marketing solution as well as offline and PR. At the end of that year I was able to contribute over 10% to our customer base and my boss was very happy”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“During my internship period in my previous company, I set a goal that I would build my career in human resources even if I was just a front desk officer. I always spoke and interacted with the human resources department to get a grasp of what they are doing. I took a course in HR and indirectly practiced in my company. At the end of my one year internship program, I was able to discover my career path, and had gained useful experience in Human Resources”.

 

17. Can you an example of a time that you were pleased with your work (what happened, what was your reaction)

When an interviewer ask you this question, the interviewer simply wants to understand what success means to you. Simply put; the interviewer wants to have an idea of your definition of success and a feel of what brings satisfaction to you. The interviewer also wants to know how much concern you have for the growth of the company.

When answering this question, focus on:

  • What exactly you did
  • The actions you took that led to success
  • Why you were pleased with the actions
  • What effect did the action have

Avoid:

  • Bragging
  • Exaggeration

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

I was handling a project to do a blog post that would inspire people. So I did a research on topics that people will be interested in and a topic that can help people become better. I asked a couple of friends about their suggestion and I started the post. I also reached out to CEO’s that could be a source of inspiration to others. When we published the post, we discovered that we got far more recognition than what we planned for initially and we received an enormous turn out of testimonial that affected our sales that year. I was very pleased with the approach that I took to make that project a success”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“In my first job, I was working as a sales intern, but I was really interested in pushing my sales skills to the next level. I told my supervisor to allow me sell a product on my own without any guidance or assistance. She agreed, so I did my research, used my internet and PR skills to sell over 90% of the product that I was given. I was really pleased with the fact that I was able to achieve that level of success even with my limited access as an intern”.

 

18. Can you give an example of a time that you solved a problem

When interviewers ask this question they are really interested in how you go about solving a problem. The interviewer looks forward to understanding your problem solving skills to know how well you will deal with challenges on the job.

How to answer this question:

  • Identify the problem
  • Clearly explain the method you used to solve the problem
  • Why you decided to use the approach
  • What the solution to the problem was eventually

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

In my role as the growth lead in my previous company, I was in charge of managing the growth of the company and to make sure that everything that will finally lead to increased revenue is functioning well. At a point, I noticed that our growth was limited to just one source (online source) and this was limiting the revenue capacity that we would have gotten over time.

Our offline activities were declining fast, and according to my research, I noticed that a better portion of our revenue can best be tapped into from offline activities within our niche. So I called to talk to our sales and marketing team to see how best we can handle the situation. We agreed and came up with offline branding and a lot of PR strategies to put our brand in front of people’s eyes. After a while we noticed that we now had a good number of walk-in request and this increased our client base and revenue too”

 

Sample Answer 2

“In my role as the Human resources manager, I was responsible for staff welfare and management. During the course of my work, I noticed that we were finding it difficult to get the best candidates for our positions and that of clients. This became a big problem because this was the service that we provide to customers and not getting it right would have an effect on our reputation.

I called a meeting with other Human Resource executives and we tried to find out what we are not doing well, and how fast we can get candidates to clients as early as possible. After series of deliberations, we discovered that we don’t search for our candidates the right way, so we decided to add a page to our website where we can have the database of candidates for different positions. We also decided to use online tools like LinkedIn to search for candidates. We found out that we wait till there is so much pressure to start head hunting for talents, so we decided that we will start processing the candidate request as soon as a request is made. All the reformation helped us get candidates faster and also retained our clients”.

 

20. Can you give an example of a time when you experienced difficulty at work

This is a broad question, and it can come in different forms. Interviewers ask this question basically for these reasons; they want to understand what you consider to be difficult (this largely depends on how you choose to answer the question). To know how you go about identifying a problem and your approach to solving it.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Focus on talking about a difficult situation or a problem that you have successfully resolved.
  • Focus on talking about a problem that is related to your work.
  • Carefully make the interviewer understand what caused the problem.
  • State the actions you took that solved the problems.

The STAR method will help you answer this question well

You should also avoid making the following mistakes:

  • Avoid talking about your personal problems.
  • Avoid dwelling too much on the damage the problem caused, focus on what you learned instead.

 

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

In my current internship in the product management department, the customer service personnel directed a customer to me that was really upset with a particular functionality of our product. The customer explained that it was the major reason she bought the product and she is so angry that the product cannot satisfy her needs. I talked to everyone in the team to see how we can handle the problem, but the solution was not forth coming.

So I pleaded with the customer and assured her that I will make sure we give her a new one with the functionality she intends to see. So instead of just solving the problem, I decided that we add that function to our new product, and promote the product with the new function when it is out.

At the end of the day, we achieved solving the woman’s problem as well as satisfying our customers with our products by adding a function. This led to a great brand and product awareness”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“In my current position as customer success executive, we noticed that we were focusing on getting more customers to buy our product and services than retaining them. This was a major problem that everyone in the company was yet to resolve. This created a lot of tension for the marketing team, because they kept thinking of how to get customers.

I thought of how we could improve our customer retention to enable us build loyalty in our customers. I came up with a plan for us to improve our reward system for customers and also how we can improve engagement with our customers. I decided that we should create social media pages on different platforms where we can reach out to our customers and help them even before they visit our website. So we improved engagement with our customers and that way we were able to increase our customer retention and revenue for the company”

 

20. Can you tell me about a time that you disagreed with your supervisor

This question sounds like a trap. When interviewers ask this question, they want to find out how you handle disagreement especially with a superior.

The interviewer is aware of the fact that disagreement happens, so the interviewer is not trying to stir up your anger, the interviewer just wants to know how you communicate your differences with a superior person.

Interviewers ask this to also know how well you will work with a supervisor, and your ability to compromise.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • How the disagreement with your supervisor helped you learn to better deal with co-workers.
  • Mention the skill or ability that helped you manage the situation.
  • Explain the situation that led to disagreement (be brief)

You should also avoid:

  • Dwelling on the disagreement for too long
  • Being disrespectful talking about your supervisor
  • Playing the victim

Sample Answer

In my position as a Human Resources Executive, I disagreed with my supervisor about making sales representatives and customer care executives work during the weekends. Rather than talking to her where the sales and customers service executives were I spoke to her about it privately in her office. I was open and honest with her about how I feel these people will feel they are over used. After our discussion, I became clear about the motive of the decision.

The decision was taken because we have greater customer turn out during the weekends even more than week days and we cannot afford to lose that. She also explained to me that the management is working on their compensation plan. It then occurred to me that the disagreement was just a simple misunderstanding. The disagreement made me understand the importance of communicating and how to better deal with issues at its formative stage”.

 

Opinion Based Interview Questions and Answers

The opinion based interview question could be a bit confusing to prepare for because it is a mix of both the traditional interview question and the behavioral interview question. Just like the name sounds, the opinion based interview question sometimes seeks to know your stands on a particular issue in the workplace or in your job field.

Some opinion based interview questions that you would likely be asked will require how you would act in a given situation.

 

21. What would you do if you have a bad boss?

This question could be a little bit tricky. Interviewers ask this question because they want to find out how well you can cope with someone that has a different ideology from you and how well you can manage and work together with people.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • How you will handle the situation.
  • Talk about your reaction to the situation.
  • Talk about what you will discover.

Avoid doing the following:

  • Avoid dwelling on the negative part of the whole situation.
  • Avoid taking wrong decisions.

Sample Answer

“If I have a bad boss I would try to understand the personality of the person to know what the problem is or what makes the person bad. If the boss is aggressive, then I would try and understand what will likely make the boss angry and try to avoid doing that. I would also look out for what makes the boss happy and try to it more often.

Ultimately I will try my best to understand why the boss behaves in that manner and look for a better way to act towards the person.

I will also ask other workers how they have dealt with the boss over time”.

 

22. What kind of supervisor would you like to work with?

Employers often ask this question to understand or have an idea about how you would work under supervision. They ask this question to find out how well you would fit into their management style.

Most times they ask this question to find out about your past experiences with your supervisor and understand your preference when it comes to the management style.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • The qualities of your most preferred job.
  • State how you can adapt to different management styles.
  • Think your answers through before attempting the question.

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid criticizing a past supervisor.
  • Avoid getting carried away with your answer, know where to draw the line.

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“My ideal supervisor would be someone that would encourage good communication between himself and the team members. I believe that communication is a key factor when it comes to working together as a successful team and even one that can push the entire business forward”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“I would like to work with a supervisor that will give me a reason to do more. When I used to work as a salesperson, I used to work with a supervisor that always complains and yells that our sales team can be better regardless of how much work. When she retired another supervisor replaced her, the new supervisor was always acknowledging the little we have done and encourages us that we can do more. Working with the new supervisor increased turn over without pressure. This is the kind of supervisor that I would love to work with”.

 

23. How can you describe a good work environment?

Employers understand that employees are happy and more productive in an environment that they love to be in. An environments that best fits their personality type. Interviewers will likely ask you this question to know if you into the work environment that they have already.

Before you answer the question, you should focus on the following:

  • Research the company to find out about the company structure to know if it is large or small company, have an idea of work/life balance, company size etc.
  • Talking about an environment that will facilitate growth and development.
  • Emphasize your interest to work in a team-oriented place.
  • Talk about how you would prefer to work, be careful it is in line with the company’s vision.

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid talking about a workplace that allows a series of vacation, flexible work hours and fun.
  • Avoid building your response around people.
  • Avoid not fusing the company into your response.

Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

“My ideal work environment is one that is built around team work, one that encourages team members to work together to achieve success taking advantage of their different abilities and skills and one that would at the same time expand everyone’s talent. While I was researching your company, I noticed that you pay great attention to fostering teamwork. That was something that really impressed me about the position. I found out that I work better in an encouraging and powerful environment”.

 

Sample Answer 2

“I love to work in a small environment where there are few people. This doesn’t mean that I can’t thrive in a well structured and large organization. I have worked for Coca Cola which is a large organization, but I enjoy being a part of a success story that is why I would rather work in a small company than a large one.

I find somethings more fascinating than others. I find coming up with strategies that actually grows a business trilling than following laid down structures. I read the description for this position carefully, and I noticed that everything is in place".

 

24. What do you describe as a satisfying job?

Interviewers ask this questions to know what you are passionate about in your work, what kind of job will bring that satisfaction, they want to know what your definition of a satisfying job is. Interviewers also ask this question to know how satisfying their job will be to you.

When answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Focus on an aspect of your work that is tied to the job you are applying for
  • Focus on being enthusiastic when you are talking about your work environment
  • You can focus on other things like growth and development etc.

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid focusing on aspects of the job this is very minor
  • Avoid giving a rehearsed answer that has nothing to do with the job

Sample Answers

I would describe my ideal job as one that will enable me to make the best use of my skills and abilities. One that will constantly challenge me to put in more effort to do more. I look forward to a job that will provide me with growth opportunities and good supervision, which are the things that I have noticed in this job.

Generally, a positive work environment filled with people that want to do more will encourage me to put in my best”.

 

“My ideal job is one that will involve me working by myself as well as working with others to achieve great results. I am really self-motivated because I love to push myself beyond the limit. My ideal job would be one that will enable me to work together with like minds to achieve the set goal and utilize my abilities.  I am also interested in working in a place that will give me the opportunity to add my value to the growth of the company and a place that will foster my growth and development”.

 

  1. What does motivation mean to you?

This question is very broad and can also be easily misinterpreted. So when you are asked this question, you should be careful about your answers. Make sure you are honest enough with your answers and also remember to tie your answers to the job that you are applying for.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on:

  • Talking about a real thing that motivates you
  • Focus on tying whatever motivates you to the job that you are applying for
  • Always give useful examples that would help make your point clearer

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid stating that things that are responsible as things that motivates you
  • Avoid lying

Sample Answers                      

“Setting goals and achieving it is one thing that motivates me. I am a result oriented person, and knowing that I planned to do something and eventually achieved it at the right time and with a great result as well is one thing that will always push me to do more”

 

“Learning new things motivates me and gives me a reason to still hold on. Problem-solving is one of my top skills that is why I love challenges. Challenges push me to do more while I learn. I believe that learning never ends especially in a competitive world like ours, to beat the competition, one should submit himself/herself to learning always. The fact that I can learn something new, is one thing that will always motivate me to do a job. Looking at the description for this job, I know that this job will be a motivating one for me”.

 

  1. How can you describe success in your job?

As direct as this question may be, it is also important that you pay maximum attention when you are answering this question. When employers ask this question, they want to understand your work ethics and your personality. As much as the interviewer want to understand your work ethic, they also want to understand your measurement system.

Many interviewers want to know how you plan to measure success if you get the job, or if you have any plan at all.

When you are answering this question, you should make sure:

  • you give instances of times that you achieved success performing your task
  • Explain the steps you took to achieve success to your interviewer
  • You can also talk about the goals that you set for yourself and how you were able to exceed the expectation for that goal.
  • Be honest

 

You should avoid the following:

  • You should avoid talking about successes that are not real or don’t relate to the business.
  • Avoid exaggeration
  • Avoid boasting
  • Avoid sounding very perfect, it will not give you a room for improvement

Sample Answers

“I define success as not just doing the best in my work, but also that of my team. I believe that going beyond the expectations that are set for me and the ones that are set for the team is what I regard as success. If the team is able to achieve both individual and collective goals, then that is success for me”.

 

“Success for me is performing my job more than expected and knowing that what I do adds real value to the organization. As much as my work adds value to my life and the lives of other people”.

 

  1. How do you describe your dream company?

When interviewers ask you this question, don’t be a hurry to spill out that dream of working in a company that will be able to pay you six figures, access to expensive vacation, flexible work hours. All these are not what the interviewer wants to hear. The interviewer wants to hear something that will convince him that you are the right person for the job.

You should take note of the following when you want to attempt this question:

  • Be sincere about what an ideal workplace is for you
  • Make sure that your dream aligns with that of the company
  • Pay attention to what you can offer the company too

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid exaggeration, avoid saying that this is the best job when it is not
  • Avoid citing a specific employer as an example it might be risky

Sample Answers

“For me, my dream company is one that will help me better harness my skills and abilities to contribute to the overall success of the company. I value a company that will recognize and appreciate excellent performance”.

 

“My dream company is one where I can contribute to the success of the company. A place that I can get new opportunities that will help me better make use of my skills and abilities. An ideal company will also be one that will provide me with the opportunity to grow my career”.

 

  1. What is your definition of failure?

It is good to count successes, but interviewers think it is also important that they know what you describe as failure. Interviewers ask this question because they want to understand what failure means to you to see if it aligns with the expectations that are set for that particular position.

Take note of the following when you want to answer this question:

  • Make sure that what you consider as failure aligns with what the organization will recognize as failure for that position or in general
  • Be honest and straight forward

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid lying
  • talking too much so that you do not create unrealistic expectations for yourself

Sample Answer

“For me, I define failure as someone’s inability to meet up to a work expectation. Failing is not all about not working hard to get things done, it is about not been able to provide a result that will stand as evidence for the work that you have done”

“I define failure as a situation where someone has not been able to contribute to the overall success of the company over time. Failure is when you are not adding value to the position and the company in general”.

 

29. How do you set your job goals?

This question can be very easy to answer since it is straight forward. Many times interviewers ask this question because they want to know how organized you are, and they also want to know how you set your goals or if you have any goals at all.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on:

  • Your practical approach to setting your job goals
  • A hint about why you set your job goals

You should also avoid the following

  • Not being specific with your response to the question

Sample Answer

I set my job goals by carefully examining my task both short and long term tasks, understanding what result is expected from those tasks, and how I intend to carry out the task. Before I start performing all the task for a particular day, I look at the task according to their level of importance. I start with a smaller task with a small goal so that there would be room for progression. I basically set my job goals with the expected result in mind”.

 

  1. How do you deal deadlines on multiple tasks

This is a very tricky question that can make you lose your balance if you are not careful. Employers ask this question because they want to understand how you will be able to deal with deadlines that will arise in the course of the job.

When answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Always remember to walk the interviewer through your plans of achieving deadlines in the job or the task in general
  • Show that you are organized and that you prioritize well

Avoid doing the following:

  • Complaining about deadlines and how you hate doing too many things at the same time
  • Don’t give the impression that you are lazy

Sample Answers

“No matter how much the task seems to be, I would sit down to look at the best way I can go about performing the task. I would start by organizing the task from the most important to the least important task. I will also ask for assistance where necessary”.

 

“First of all, I would maintain a positive mindset regardless of how huge that task may be, then develop a plan that would help me achieve result bearing the deadline in mind. I clearly understand the importance of meeting up with deadlines, but if I absolutely cannot meet the deadline, I would politely ask for an extension”.

 

Competency-Based Interview Questions and Answers

Just as the name sounds, competency-based interview questions are questions that check your competencies in the position that you are applying for. Competencies like skills, abilities, behaviors, and knowledge of the position that you are applying for are things that will be checked for when asked a competency based question.

Interviewers will likely ask you open questions to discover how you use your competencies in a given real-life scenario. Employers use competency-based interview questions to predict a candidate’s future performance.

 

  1. Tell me about a time you led or worked in a team

This interview question is a situational question. This kind of question tends to see how you would show your competency in a particular situation. Your response to the question will help the interviewer understand how you would react in a particular situation.

The STAR method is a great approach to attempting this question.

When you are answering these questions, you should focus on the following:

  • Give an example of where you demonstrated working in a team
  • Make the interviewer understand how you have worked in a team

You should avoid the following:

  • Avoid sounding like a lazy person
  • Avoid sounding unprofessional

Sample Answers

“In my previous job as a sales executive, we were divided into teams to see how we can improve sales on the new product. My team members and I developed a plan to have each member handle a specific area so that we specialize and deliver at the right time.

At the end of the day, we were able to increase sales with up 10% from what we used to have in the previous year”.

 

  1. Describe a situation where you solved a problem

Employers usually ask this question because they believe that problems solvers have an amazing attitude that makes them face up with challenges and an open mind that makes them learn easily.

Since challenges are inevitable when performing any task or in any work environment, employers tend to ask this question to have an idea about how you would react when you are been faced with some of the challenges.

Pat attention to the following details when you are answering the question:

  • Makes sure you identify a real problem that you have solved sometimes in the past
  • Carefully walk the interviewer through the problem and how you were able to solve it
  • Use the STAR method to organize your response
  • Make sure that the problem that you have chosen to talk about is one that will contain the skills that the interviewer needs to evaluate that you are the right person for the job

You should also avoid the following:

  • Don’t give an example of an unrealistic problem
  • Don’t pick a problem that will not emphasize your skills and abilities
  • Avoid talking about a problem that you were not able to solve at the end

Sample Answers

“In my previous role as an account manager, we got a deal from one of our top clients, and as we were about to start the processes, our top employee resigned and there was nobody readily available with that kind of experience that can handle that kind of request.

Even though I was handling loads of project already, I had to take up the responsibility of managing the clients account to savage the situation because, with that deal, we will meet up to 45% of our target for the year.

I worked extra 5 hours on work days, and all through the weekend to make sure that we deliver at the right time. When we finished with the project, we were able to deliver it in 3 days before the deadline. At the end of that project, were able to meet up with our target for the year and we kept the promise we made to our client”

 

  1. Describe a situation where you showed leadership

Leadership is one of the competencies that employers look for when they look forward to getting a recent hire. It is easy for you to think that leadership abilities are the most sort after in management positions, but that is not always the case. Interviewers ask this question because of the following reasons:

  • If you are applying for a management position, then they are asking this question because they want to know if you will be able to jump in and perform the leadership role immediately.
  • Some other job roles like project management will require you to learn how to work together with people effectively
  • If you are applying for an entry-level position, then they are asking you the question because they want to know how you will thrive in a leadership position. They may want to know how fast you can grow internally

You will need to consider the following details to answer the question directly:

  • You have to sell yourself properly
  • Be ready to tell a good interview story using the STAR format

Sample Answers

“In my previous company, we experienced a serious financial breakdown, and as a result of that, the company dissolved some of the departments and laid off many workers too. So there was so much workload on the remaining people that were there and it was almost frustrating for them that they wanted to quit. I had to show them that there is a need to do whatever you do well with my performance and enthusiasm. I consciously took on more work, which led and motivated them to do more”.

 

“In my previous company, where I worked as the team lead, I noticed that my team members were becoming unconcerned and lazy about their work, this was a serious problem for me because I had to fill in the gap which means taking up more jobs. I discovered what the problem was a new staff member that did not like what he was doing and tried to drag other team members to do the same. I spoke to the man and advised the HR unit to fix him in another role where he can perform better, they did that and I put in more effort to be diligent in my work and also show that I love what I do. The team came back to normal and we were able to achieve all our goals for the year”.

 

  1. Give an example of a time when you spearheaded a project

With the question, the interviewer wants to know your leadership ability and how you take initiative to handle a project. Interviewers ask this question to have an idea about how you can solely take charge of a project and deliver.

How to answer this question:

  • Give examples about times that you have managed people
  • Make sure that the example you give should be one that demonstrates a time that you delivered a good result on time
  • Talk about the resources you made use of and how you made use of those resources to achieve the result

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid talking about how much you hate taking leadership roles
  • Avoid talking about how much the project frustrated you

Sample Answers

“In my previous company where I worked as a technical lead, it is my duty to make sure that every project is successful. The first thing that I did was to look at things that may likely prevent us from achieving our goals after I must have written down and brainstormed on the goals we want to achieve.

I scheduled meetings with people that I know will contribute to the success of the project. I organized different sessions to help us work better on the project, I worked overtime and on weekends to make sure that the project is successful and on time”

 

If you are applying for an entry-level position;

“During my internship, I headed a small team of interns like myself to develop a user feedback system that would work on the new website that we were building. I divided the group into 4 units and shared responsibilities among team members, I shared the responsibilities into the different task that I labeled (ABCD) I handled A while other team members did their part. At the end of the day, we came together and integrated the whole system to one robust system. The project got the attention of the managing director and we were commended for it. This project opened the door to other projects”.

 

  1. Describe a time when you made a mistake in your work

This is one question that may come out as tricky because you are made to talk about your own mistakes. Interviewers ask this kind of question to understand how you face challenges and your approach to the challenges that you face.

Interviewers also use this question to determine your weakness to know how well you will perform if you are given the job.

Consider following these steps to answers the question effectively:

  • The best way to tackle this question is talking about a particular mistake that you made
  • Briefly explain the mistake, but don’t dwell on it
  • Talk about what you have learned in the course of the mistake

You should also be careful not to do the following:

  • Be careful not to mention a mistake that would be critical to your success
  • Avoid mentioning a mistake that is a flaw to your character

Sample Answers

“When I was new in my previous company, I accepted to take on two projects from different people simultaneously even when I knew that I may not be able to handle it. I didn’t tell them to think that I could not handle the job. I could not explain to any of them that I was handling another project.

I could not meet up with the deadline for the projects, so I told my manager and she assigned another person to work with me to hasten the project. I learned to keep my employers updated on any task and take on tasks that I can handle easily”.

 

  1. How do you minimize the risk of errors in your work

This type of interview question is usually asked to check the candidate’s level of accuracy. Most interviewers ask this question because they want to know how much you can work with minimal errors. Interviewers always ask accounting candidates this question. This is a competency-based question that checks a candidate accuracy competency.

You should take note of the following when answering this question:

  • Give an example of a work that you have done earlier
  • Give instances of your accuracy
  • Show the interviewer that you are capable of the work

You should avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving answers that are not related to the question

Sample Answer

“Working as an accountant, I know how errors can sabotage the whole accounting process. In the early years of my career, I used to double check my work to make sure that all the details are entered correctly, but later I discovered that checking the work twice is not enough so I decided to start checking the accuracy of the data even before I start entering them.

So I stopped checking my work twice and started checking it several times”.

 

 

  1. How do you deal with stress?

Employers know that everyone feels stressed at one point or the other while performing their task. So when you are asked interview questions about how you deal with stress, the interviewer does not expect you say that you don’t feel stressed. The interviewer only wants to know how stress affects you and how you go about dealing with it.

When you are answering this question, you pay attention to the following:

  • Give an example of how you have handled stress well in the past
  • Talk about a stressful situation that is related to the work
  • Walk the interview through how you managed stress previously

You should avoid doing the following:

  • Avoid talking about a stressful situation that is not related to the job
  • Avoid talking too much about the stress rather than how you were able to manage it
  • Avoid giving answers like this “I never feel stressed”

Sample Answers

“I know that sometimes it is hard to avoid stress, but I try to face the situation, rather than being stressed. Regardless of how much work I have to do, I make sure that I tackle the situation rather than being overwhelmed by the problem. That way, I handle the situation better and don’t get stressed. For example, when I dealt with an unsatisfied customer that was really angry and was ready to give a negative review about our product. Instead of feeling stressed, I concentrated on finding out what her challenge was exactly and looked for ways to help her get the problem solved addressing it to the right channel. My ability to remain calm when dealing with the unsatisfied customer reduced my stress and the stress that the customer may face”.

 

“For me, communication is key to a stressful situation. Many times I communicate as much as possible to make sure that I am on the same page with everyone involved in what I am working on. It reduces errors and cuts down stress to a very large extent. In my previous job, I was working on a project with another team and found out that after a while we had a different approach on the same project. I called for a stand-up meeting so that we can come to a logical conclusion and carry on with the project. At the end of the day, we agreed on one vision and the project went on successfully”.

 

  1. How do you plan to ensure you complete a number of tasks effectively?

Most times employers or interviewers ask this question so that they can understand how you are able to juggle task. This question basically assess your ability to multi-task.

Multi-tasking is one of the abilities that employers look forward to when trying to get a new hire because most times, you may not always do the things that are in your job description. You may likely be asked to perform other task side by side your major task.

When you are answering this question, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Give an example of a time that you managed multiple task
  • Walk the interviewer through your multi-tasking process and how you were able to meet up with deadlines

Always avoid errors like:

  • Telling the interviewer how much you hate multi-tasking
  • Avoid giving short or too general answers like; “I love multi-tasking a lot” “I always find a way to get anything done”

Sample Answers

“No matter the number of tasks I have to complete, I always calm down first and figure the best way to go about completing the task. Whenever I have multiple tasks to complete, I start by organizing the tasks from the most important to the least important task, then I would start working on the most important task. If I am experiencing any challenge working on any of the tasks, I don’t hesitate to ask a professional for assistance”.

 

“Whenever I have multiple tasks to complete, I, first, of all, maintain a positive mindset on the whole task and avoid getting frustrated. I then come up with a plan to carry out the task and meet up with the set deadline. And if I cannot meet up with the set deadline I would politely ask for an extension”.

 

  1. What was the biggest change you had to deal with in your previous employment? How did you handle it?

Change is one thing that is unavoidable in life, both in your personal and career life. When interviewers ask you questions about how you dealt with a change, they simply want to know how well you can handle change when the situation arises.

The interviewer would love to know how flexible you are, and how you can deal with change because it is inevitable sometimes.

You can answer this question well with the following guidelines:

  • Give an example of a real life situation where you dealt with change
  • Talk about how the change affected your job and how you were able to deal with the situation regardless of the  change
  • Don’t forget to mention that change is a pet of the work life, that all you have to do is to embrace it and work with it

You should also avoid:

  • Capitalizing on the negative change
  • Avoid criticizing the factor that led to the change

Sample Answers

“I understand that change happens and it may likely happen when one is not prepared for it. No matter how the change comes, I try to maintain a positive attitude towards it and understand the purpose of the change. This approach helps me get used to the change quickly and set my eyes on the goals that we set to achieve.

In my previous position, I was working as a content developer charged with the full responsibility of developing content for the websites. Then the company hired a new content developer without stating what my contribution would be. I walked up to my supervisor and asked her about my contribution to the team, she explained to me that I will handle the more complex content while the new hire takes care of the other ones. This gave me better clarity on my role, and I could help the new hire get used to her role too”.

 

“I know that change can happen when you least expect it, but whenever a change happens I keep an open mind to embrace it. In my previous employment, I got used to working alone with little or no supervision at all. The director hired a manager that I was supposed to report to. Understanding her goal for a project was a bit of a struggle for me, but as time went on I came up with a plan to have a meeting with her before I start working on any project to make sure that we are on the same page. As time went on I understood her perfectly and we achieved more working together as a team.

 

  1. How do you build relationships with other members of your team?

The relationship that you build with your team members goes a long way to determine how productive you will be at work. Teamwork is always one top skill that employers look out for when they are trying to get a new hire.

Employers ask this question to see how well you can work in a team and to see level of relationship you have with other employees

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Use specific examples
  • Demonstrate your interpersonal skills even from the way that you speak with the interviewer
  • Emphasize with your answers that you build a good relationship with people

You should avoid the following:

  • Focusing on the negative or blaming another person
  • Avoid showing any trait that may likely play down on your interpersonal skills

Sample Answers

“I understand that building a good relationship with team members will increase productivity. When I am new to a team, I try to first understand the personalities of team members. Understanding their personality type will help you better deal with them. I also get interested in what they do and show concern about their interest and goals, then we can communicate on a more shared ground”.

 

“I build an interpersonal relationship with my team members by building interest around what they do. In my current job, I always take a look at what someone has done and give a form of review or an opinion about how it can be better, or simply encourage good work. I was known to be the eagle’s eye of my team”.

 

Brain Teasers Interview Questions and Answers

Brain teasers are questions that are abstract. This kind of question will require you to come up with a good answer based on logic and analysis. Interviewers use this kind of question to check your problem solving abilities through your thought process. Most times, the interview does not expect you to get the answers right at once.

Employers that use brain teasers interview questions are employers that are interested in knowing your approach to solving a problem and your creativity. Often times, IT related companies use brain teasers to understand the candidate’s analytic skills.

 

  1. Describe the internet to someone that is just waking up from 30 years coma

To answer this question, you have to show the interviewer that you are creative. You can look for a perfect thing that existed 30 years ago that you can use to compare the internet. You can also add a bit of humor to win the interviewer over.

Sample Answer

If the person is not a Nigerian or a Nigerian that watches American movies, you can remind the person of scenes in movies like “harry potter” where the use crystal balls to see clearer and to see the future, then you tell the person that the internet is like a  crystal ball or tarot card of today. Since the crystal is really clear, then the internet is something that helps you see clearer providing you with loads of information.

If the person is a Nigerian, you can use the imagery of a traditional practice where people look into a calabash of water to see far and tell the future, then you can tell the person that the internet is the calabash that can help you see better from one point.

 

  1. There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of its box. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?

 

Sample Answer

Since all the boxes are not labeled correctly if the fruit I picked from the first box is an orange, I will label that box orange, knowing that the first box is now correct, I will leave the other labels on the boxes.

 

  1. Is It Better To Be Perfect And Late, Or Good And On Time?

Sample Answer

“It is better to be good and on time than perfect and late. When it is good and on time, there is still enough time for it to be perfect, but if it is perfect and late, it may no longer have the effect it will have if it was perfect. It is possible it will no longer be needed if it is late.

 

  1. "Who Is The Smartest Person You Know Personally? Why?"

When you are answering this question, you should give an example using anyone that you know, but you should always give at least one reason why you think the person is smart.

Sample Answer

“The smartest person I know is my best friend, I think he is smart because he thinks 10 miles away from others, has an idea on almost every subject matter, there is no problem I have watched him faced that was not able to solve”

 

  1.  Why Are Manhole Covers Round And Not Square?

“First of all, a manhole is utility hole that is usually covered with round metals. Manholes are usually diagonal shaped. If it is covered with a square and held diagonally the lid can fall into the holes, but with a round cover it is protected”.

 

  1. “Tracy’s mother had 4 children. The first child was named April, the second was named May, the third was named June. What was the fourth child called?”

When you are answering this kind of question, you should think it true before answering and not be in a hurry to give out the answer.

“The fourth child is called Tracy”

 

  1. How many times a day does a clock's hands overlap?

As simple as this brain teaser sounds it could also be really complex. When interviewers ask this question, they are not necessarily looking for the correct answer, they rather want to know how you would think the process through.

When you are answering this kind of question, you should take note of the following:

  • Take your time to think about the answer
  • Take note of your thought process when you are answering the question
  • Show that you are capable of thinking through problems

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid blurting out your answer without thinking it through
  • Avoid saying I don’t know when you are asked this type of question, you should at least try

Sample Answer

“Since we have 24 hours in a day, then a clock hand overlaps 22 times. This can be explained because the hand overlaps first at 12:00, 1:05, 2:10, 3:15, 4:20, 5:25, 6:30, 7:35, 8:40, 9:45 and 10:50 twice a day. You will notice that there is no 11:55 because the hands will not overlap at that point because the hour hand is moving toward 12 when the minute hand is at 11. Summing the same calculation up, you would notice that the clock hand overlaps 22 times”.

 

  1. How do you test a simple calculator?

This kind of question is usually asked during IT related interviews. Interviewers ask this question to find out your thinking ability. So it is important for you to run the interviewer through your thought process.

Sample Answer           

“I would test a simple calculator by checking its functionality and its non-functional operations. I would perform simple mathematical operations on numbers and check for the correct result. I would also try using long strings of operations to see if it follows the normal principles. I would also try the basic functionality test by:

  • Dividing a number by zero and seeing the result
  • Try calculating the square root of a negative number and try comparing the result
  • Calculate mathematical equations on large numbers and see how the calculator handles them
  • Check the functionality of some buttons like; the back button and the clear button that should reset the calculator to zero.
  • Check for the screen display

 

  1. You’re in a room with three light switches, each of which controls one of three light bulbs in the next room. You need to determine which switch controls which bulb. All lights are off to begin, and you can’t see into one room from the other. You can inspect the other room only once. How can you find out which switches are connected to which bulbs?

To answer this question, you have to be really tactical about it so that you don’t make a mistake, sit down and relax before you attempt to answer the question. Walk the interviewer through your thought process.

Sample Answer

To solve this problem or answer this question, you have to name the switches. Let’s name the switches A, B, and C.

Leave switch A off.

Turn switch B on for ten minutes.

Then turn it off and quickly turn on switch C

Go into the room and inspect the bulbs

The bulb that is still warm but turned on is controlled by switch B. The one that’s currently lit up is switch C.

 

  1. How would you determine the weight of an airplane without Scaling?

You can calculate the force of the airplane by finding out the thrust of the airplane engines.

You can find the acceleration of the airplane by calculating the change in velocity divided by the time interval. Then use the numbers in Newton's Second Law which states that the force of an object is equal to its mass times in acceleration.

Solve for mass by switching the formula to read: mass equals acceleration divided by force (m = a/F).

 

Experience-Based Interview Questions

Just as the name implies, experience-based interview questions are competency based interview questions that check if a candidate has the required experience to perform the job that the person is applying for.

In an experience based interview, the candidate is made to answer questions about his or her actions in a past employment situation. The interviewer is looking forward to hearing the candidate describe his or skills, achievement and experience and how they emphasize him/her as the best fit for the position.

Hiring managers use this question to assess if the candidate for the position possesses the right skills and abilities that are needed to perform the job using the candidate’s experience as a yardstick for measurement.

 

  1. Tell us about what you have done to prepare for this job?

It is the goal of every employer or hiring manager to find the best hire that will fit into the position for which they are hiring. The interviewer will likely ask a candidate this question in an interview to find out if the candidate understands to a large extent the job he/she is applying for.

Since hiring managers look forward to hiring candidates that have the highest level of qualification, skill, and experience to perform the job. The candidate’s response should reflect that he/she has the right education, qualification, skill, and experience to perform the job.

When answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Your response should show that you understand the job that you applied for
  • Talk about courses and training that will help you perform the job better
  • Show how your experience makes you the best person for the job

You should avoid the following:

  • Avoid not talking about your skills and achievements that make you the best person for the job
  • Don’t forget to talk about other things that makes you the best person for the position

Sample Answer

“Preparing for this position is one of the most important things that I have prepared for all my life. From a really young age, I have known that I would be doing something that has to do with people even if I had not clearly discovered it. As I grew older, I was able to identify that I was interested in employment/recruitment and personnel management.

“Understanding the role that humans play in the work chain I decided to study Human Resources and Personnel management as an undergraduate. Taking it further, I did my Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Personnel management. Meeting with other professional and knowing the core of Human resource practice is important in the practice. I took a certificate course in Human resources and personnel management.

While getting the required knowledge to perform excellently as a Human Resource manager, I have also gained over 8 years of experience in Human Resource practices. With over 4 years of experience working as a human resource manager in a manufacturing company, I know that it won’t be challenging for me to perform this role effectively”.

 

  1. Can you describe a complex problem you had to solve?

This is one of the behavioral interview questions that interviewers ask to know the candidate’s problem-solving abilities. Employers understand that challenges are inevitable in any work situation, but they want to understand how you face challenges.

This question can come in any of these forms;

  • Tell me about a problem that you have solved in the past
  • Tell us about a time in your previous job when you solved a problem
  • Tell me about a time that you handled a difficult situation

When you are answering this question, you pay attention to the following:

  • Give an example of a difficult situation that you were able to solve
  • Focus on how you were able to solve the problem
  • Use the STAR method

These are pitfalls you should avoid:

  • Avoid speaking poorly about your previous employer or co-worker
  • Choose a situation that is related to the job
  • Avoid discussing your shortcomings except it is showing a growth process

Sample Answers

“In my previous role as a secondary school teacher, I discovered that I had a very rude student that was bent on not following any instruction that I give. This got me worried because the boy will not follow any instruction that I give and because of that he was doing badly in his academics and the management was worried about his situation.

I thought it was a minor case until I noticed that the boy had influenced almost everyone in the class. Almost all the student that I teach no longer listen to me and this made it difficult for me to teach them and for them to even learn.

So I decided to call this boy and talk to him instead of going back to the management on this situation. As I spoke to the boy, I discovered that the boy doesn’t like the fact that he is a science student, which makes him really angry, so he is trying to discourage every other person from paying attention in the class because he is not interested.

Finding out this, I counseled him and spoke to his parents about it. The boy was then moved to the Arts, and that was how I could get my peace back as a teacher”.

 

 

  1. What was your most significant accomplishment in your previous job?

Interviewers ask candidates questions about their accomplishment to find out if the candidate is a good fit for the job that he/she is applying for. Answering this question well will help the interviewer get an understanding of your value and interest. Your answer to this question will help the interviewer decide whether your personality will be the best fit for this company.

This question also gives the interviewer an idea of the accomplishment that he expects from you if you are given the job.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Give examples of a situation that you achieved a lot
  • Talk about the skills and abilities that helped you succeed
  • Talk about lessons that you learned during that period
  • Talk about the problem that you solved

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid watering down your accomplishment to appear modest
  • Avoid talking about achievements that are not related to the job
  • Avoid lying or exaggerating an accomplishment

Sample Answers

“I have several notable achievements in my previous job, one of the most notable achievement is using a failed product to increase sales for the year. We had a plan to add some new features to our products as recommended by our customers. So while the company worked on the product, after the product was launched we noticed that the number one feature we wanted on our product was missing and we had already produced millions of copies.

Leaving the product like that in the store will not increase sales for us, and the company had invested so much money to make this project a success. The entire team was perplexed about the situation, so I decided to take on marketing measures to ensure that we sell the product before we can make changes in the product.

I strengthened our online and offline marketing strategies. At the end of the year, we had up to 90% sales on the product. I was happy that we were able to handle that challenge and I was rewarded for that idea”.

 

“I had several accomplishments in my previous job, but the most notable one was during my internship when I had to urgently replace a team member in the IT team. The company has been working on a project for over a long time and while the team had gone halfway, a team member that was handling working on the mobile version for iOS resigned immediately, and due to the urgency of the project, I had to replace him.

Due to the fact that I had developed an APP for iOS and no other person in the team could do that, I worked on the project for the remaining 6 months of my internship. I completed the project when my internship was ending. After developing the APP, the project was launched and I was applauded for the good work. I was also glad to know that the APP already had over 150 reviews before the end of my internship”.

 

  1. What do you like most about your last job?

This kind of interview question is really tricky, you should be careful not to talk yourself out of the job. Remember to be honest whenever you are asked this question. While you are trying to be honest, you should also keep your response on the positive side.

One major reason why interviewers ask this question is to know if you are going to be happy and satisfied with the job. Every employer looks forward to working with people that will be happy and satisfied with their jobs. So if you were not satisfied performing the same role in another company, the hiring manager will simply believe that you will not be satisfied performing the role in the company too.

You should take note of the following, when you are answering this question:

  • Give an example of things that you enjoyed in your previous job
  • Make sure that what you choose to talk about is related to the position that you are applying for
  • Make sure that your answer is direct and straight to the point

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving an example that may water down your abilities. Examples like “I enjoyed my previous job because I usually have little or nothing to do most times”
  • Avoid sharing an irrelevant experience like “I enjoyed the fact that my team members were all very beautiful ladies”
  • Avoid exaggerating things from your last job

Sample Answers

“In my previous job, I really enjoyed the fact that the company is enthusiastic about employees’ growth as much as I am passionate about my career growth. Within the first 3 years of my stay in my previous job, I had taken several content development trainings all of which helped me develop my skills in content development. Both the internal and external training has helped me move up my career ladder as the team lead for content development in the company. I really enjoyed the fact that there was an opportunity for growth”

 

“Before my last employment, I have always looked forward to working in an environment that supported teamwork to a large extent. In my last job, I was a member of the IT team and we handled both internal and external project, I usually enjoy the fact that we handle different bits of the project, and at the end we come together and those tiny bits will become on whole amazing project. The integration of people to achieve a goal is what appeals to me in my last job, and that is why I am also enthusiastic about this job too”.

 

  1. What did you hate most performing your role at your last job?

It could be challenging to respond to this kind of question because you don’t want to come out all negative about your previous position. The interviewer is asking you this question to find out the things that you would probably not like about the position.

When you are answering this question, it is important for you to be honest about the things that you did not like about your previous job, but you should also try as much as possible to still focus on the positive aspect of the job

You can also make the interviewer know that the things you did not enjoy in your previous job are the things that you are enthusiastic about in this position.

You should focus on:

  • Things that are related to the job
  • Talking about things that will emphasize that you are the best person for the position

You should also avoid:

  • Talking too much about the things that you don’t like
  • Avoid being personal about the things that you did not like about your previous job
  • Avoid being too negative and critical

Sample Answers

“I did not like the way I got used to doing the same over a long period of time. I did the same thing every day, and at a point, I got bored because there were no challenges. I am someone that thrives on challenges which is why I am applying for this position”.

 

“One thing that I did not like about my last job is lack of specialization. I was employed as a customer service executive, but I never spent 2 months performing that role. I understand that multi-tasking is important, but I love to practice my profession and develop my career. I am passionate about my career growth which is why I am applying for this position”.

 

  1. What is the most significant thing you learned at your last job?

Employers are usually interested in employees that can learn easily. Being able to identify the things that you have learned in your previous job will give the interviewer the mindset that you are teachable and that you are willing to learn.

It is important for you to note that the interviewer wants to learn how your experiences in your last job were for you. It does matter if it was positive or negative. The interviewer just wants to know how you turn experiences into learning projects.

When you want to answer this question, you should:

  • Focus on the positive side of the situation
  • Provide a specific example
  • Think about the things that you have learned in your previous job that is related to this
  • Always remember to stay positive

You should also avoid the following:

  • Don’t talk down on your previous employment
  • Don’t admit that you did not learn anything
  • Avoid keeping quiet when you are asked the question

Sample Answers

“I have always been used to working all by myself and that is because I am a freelancer. Working in my previous company made me learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration. In my previous job we worked as a team and as a team we were able to achieve a lot together”.

 

“In my previous job, I learned to communicate well. Over the years I got used to working on my own with little or no communication with others. When I got to my previous job I had to communicate with people to understand their ideas. Since communication is key to every business, I have learned to communicate better”.

 

  1. Can you tell me about your responsibility in your last position?

When you are answering this question during an interview, you have to be careful about your response. Many times when interviewers ask this question, they want to know what you have done earlier in your previous position so that they can see if you are the person for the job. The interviewer also wants to know where you are heading in your career.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following points:

  • The interviewer wants to know about your previous experience, so you should emphasize the skills that you used in your previous job to show that you are the best fit for the position
  • Let the interviewer understand that your main functions in the job relate to the job that you are applying for
  • While talking about your experience, don’t forget to mention how your experience will help you to perform your job better.

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid talking about the task than talking about your responsibilities
  • Avoid playing down on your achievement

Sample Answers

“As a customer service representative, my job was to assist customers with product information, help customers resolve any complain they may have about the product, engage customers that come physically, direct complains to the appropriate channel and make sure that I represent the brand image and that I keep up with the company standard while ensuring that customers are satisfied always”.

 

“In my last position as a content developer, I was responsible for creating all forms of content ranging from videos to text to infographics on our online platforms. I ensure that all contents on the platform pass through the company’s quality check”.

 

  1. Do you think you're qualified for this position?

During an interview, the interviewer can ask you questions like; why do you think you are the best person for this? Or why should we hire you?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know why they should hire you over every other candidate. So while you are trying to answer this question, you should focus on things that make you the best person for the position. Emphasize your skills, your abilities, and experience to emphasize that you are the best person for the position.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on:

  • Your skills and abilities that match that of the company
  • Emphasize how you wish to help the company achieve its goal
  • Show the interviewer that you are interested in the position
  • Pick a valuable skill that will set you apart from other candidates. A skill that will help you perform excellently in the job

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid focusing more on your personality rather than the skill
  • Avoid watering down your skills and experiences
  • Avoid bringing down other candidates

Sample Answers

“My 6 years of experience in customer service has given me insight into what your customer service job entails. I am a very result driven person, and my enthusiasm for problem-solving has motivated me to do more as a customer service person and also to help my team members achieve more. During my stay at my previous job, I was able to manage a team of 50 customer service representatives. Building enthusiasm among my team members and motivating them to achieve results is what made us stand out among other teams in my company”.

 

“In my previous role as a marketer, I have taken almost every responsibility in the marketing department. I manage and optimize the company website, social media marketing, physical marketing, and PR. Because of my vast knowledge in almost every aspect of marketing, I know that I can bring in that same unique skill into this position”.

 

 

  1. How does your experience prepare you for this role?

It is no news that employers look forward to hiring candidates that have the right kind of experience that would help them perform the job well. When interviewers ask you this question, they want to know how your experience will help you perform the job better than other candidates.

The interviewer also wants to know how your experience aligns with the description of the job that you are applying for.

Hiring managers judge your experience to see if you are going to add value to the position that you are interviewing for.

You should take note of the following when you are answering this question:

  • Describe your experience in your previous job and how it relates to the job that you are applying for
  • You can also talk about your achievements in your previous jobs that will be useful in the position that you are applying for
  • It is important for you to be honest about your job experience

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid talking about what you did not like about your previous job
  • Avoid mentioning experiences that are not related to the position that you are applying for

Sample Answers

“I developed great skills like problem-solving and patience assisting customers with our product even when they are really frustrated. I am excellent at enduring customer’s rage and finding a way to help them solve their problems and make them become satisfied customers.

During my stay in my previous company, our returning customer rate rose from 2 to 10% that year. Since improving customer satisfaction is the major goal in this role, I know that my experience in customer service will be of great value to this company”.

 

“In my previous position as a content developer, I developed great hard skills like; excellent writing skills, graphics design skills, video editing, and animation. Aside from the hard skills that I acquired, I also learned how to communicate effectively to make sure that everything is working perfectly well. While we had different people focusing on different aspects of content in the agency, I was the only one that worked across all the forms of content. So I managed and supervised other team members.

 

“I learned that this position requires someone that is versatile with various forms of content. I believe that my experience handling different forms of content has prepared me to be of great value to this company”.

 

  1. Tell me about a successful project you handled in your previous job?

When interviewers ask these questions they simply want to know how you have handled a successful project and how well you would perform in a project that is related to the position effectively. The interviewer also wants to understand the process that you take to make sure that your project becomes successful at the end.

You should focus on the following:

  • Give an example of a project that you completed successfully
  • Walk the interviewer through how you were able to complete the project successfully
  • You should tell the interviewer about the result of the project

You should also avoid the following:

  • Downplaying your achievements in the project
  • Avoid talking about a project that is not related to the role at all or one that would show the necessary skills needed for the job

Sample Question

“As a civil engineer, the most successful project I carried out was building the government house in Nigeria. I consider this project as one of my most successful projects because of the challenges that I experienced working on this project. Before the construction of the building, I wrote the goals that I wanted to achieve to constantly remind myself of it.

I divide the team into groups based on areas of expertise explaining the goals to every member of the team. Having the goal at the back of our hands was what made us successful at the end”.

 

Trap Interview Questions

Trap interview questions just as the name suggests are interview questions that aim to stir up the applicant to respond to uncomfortable and unexpected questions. In this kind of interview questions, the interviewer is more interested in your approach to the question rather than the response.

 

  1. What are your weaknesses?

Interview questions about your weaknesses are questions that candidates hate the most. Candidates feel uncomfortable with the question because they know quite alright that everyone has a weakness, but how would you talk about your weakness without looking like a terrible candidate for the job.

The best way to answer this question is minimizing the weak traits and emphasizing the positive angle to it. While you point out a weakness, it is equally important that you talk about how you plan to manage them.

You can take these steps to answer the question:

  • You can think about something that you are not very good at in the past
  • You can look at steps you have taken to put that in check
  • Emphasize that you are working on becoming better

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid lying
  • Avoid giving answers like “I don’t have a weakness”

Sample Answers

Well, I used to have a problem setting priorities. I usually accept any task that comes to me without even considering if I could do it or not. So at the end of the day, I try my best to complete all the task and most times I find myself stressed out without even completing the task and most important task suffer.

So considering the problem, I took a course in time management where I learned how to manage my time effectively. Now, I put priorities on the bigger projects and task before attending to other ones. Even if I still take up more task, I have learned to a great extent how to prioritize well”.

 

“Well, I used to be not so good at public speaking, I get really nervous when I am in the front of people and I knew it was a problem I was supposed to fix. I decided that I would make myself available when there is an opportunity to speak to a group of people. So I decided to give a short speech before every team meeting. I also enrolled in a public speaking class to help speak better in public. During our last conference, I spoke to about 1000 people even if I still felt a little bit uneasy and I was greatly congratulated”.

 

  1. Where would you ideally love to work?

We all have a picture of our ideal company. As a job-seeker, when an interviewer asks you this question, the interviewer wants to have an idea of what an ideal company means to you. The interviewer also wants to understand or see if the company will be an ideal place for you to thrive.

When you are answering this question, make sure that the description of your ideal work matches the position and company you are applying to.

You should take note of the following:

  • Describe a place that will affect your growth
  • Be sincere about what an ideal workplace is for you
  • Make sure that your dream aligns with that of the company

You should also avoid the following:

•  You should avoid exaggeration, avoid saying that this is the best job when it is not

•   Avoid citing a specific employer as an example it might be risky

 

 

Sample Answer

“My ideal company would be one that would show me challenges that would allow me to use my skills and ability to contribute to the value system of the company. And I see that this position in this company will help me better utilize my skills and abilities to help the company achieve its aim”.

 

“I would love to work in a company whose vision is to provide a solution to a real problem. I would love to work for a company whose vision is to create high-quality products that meet with customer’s need which also aligns with my passion for customer service”.

 

  1. If you were an animal what animal would you be?

Many interviewers ask this (odd) interview questions for different reasons, and not because they just want to joke with you.

Interviewers ask this question because they want to have an idea about your personality type, asking you this question, they are simply asking you to describe yourself using an animal. Some interviewers ask this question because they want to understand your thought process and your level of creativity.

When you are answering this question, take note of the following:

  • Always consider the job role before you choose an animal
  • Make sure the characteristics of the animal that you have chosen match your skills and abilities
  • Be careful that the characteristics of the animal matches the job description

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid choosing animals with known poor qualities
  • Avoid choosing animals with opposing characteristics to the job role

Sample Answer

“If I were to be an animal, I would be a lion. A lion always loves challenges, and does not like to be spoon-fed. A lion knows what it wants and goes for it. I thrive with challenges, and I think that a lion better describes me”.

 

Animals and their traits

  • Elephant: Elephant trunks are capable of doing many hardcore jobs that are not limited to breathing or water spraying.
  • Dolphin: Dolphins are known for their self-sacrifice and selflessness. They are the best rescue team of all times. Even during times when they find someone is injured or needs help, they always initiate.
  • Cows: One can easily compare the similarities by counting oneself as the cow and show their loyalty towards the company they will work for in the future.
  • Dogs: Dogs are known for their loyal feature and friendly nature all around the world.
  • Lions: Yes, the king of the jungle stands tall and ready to fight. Moreover, even after being strong and mighty they never leave the hand of their pack.
  • Butterfly: Always in one stage or another of development, waiting for your day to fly.
  • Owl: Very wise, very good at seeing the big picture, very good at getting what it wants
  • Ant: Hard worker
  • Chameleon: Blends in well, not one to stand out, very sneaky
  • Dove: A peacemaker, always looking for the non-violent solution

You should avoid animals like:

  • Snake: snakes are usually sneaky and tricky
  • Tortoise: tortoise is known to be sluggish

 

  1. Why are there gaps in your CV

Having a gap in your employment is one thing that many candidates get worried about because they think that it is a form of downgrade on their employment prospects. Employers really don’t have problems with employment gaps, they want to know why there was a gap, and what you were doing during that time.

When you are answering this question, you need to be careful about the following things:

  • Explain why you resigned or if you were why you were fired
  • Explain the situation that led to the briefly
  • Let the interviewer understand that what happened before will not happen again
  • Emphasize your interest in the position

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid giving the impression that you may likely take a break again
  • Avoid showing any form of disinterest in the job that you are applying for

Sample Answer

“I had to resign from my previous job to take care of a sick family member. I did this for one year. While I was assisting the family member, I developed my writing skills. After a few weeks ago I and my siblings hired a caregiver, so now I am available to work”.

 

“I was laid off from my job due to the company’s financial distress, ever since then I have been searching for a job while I run a certificate program in Human Resources to better prepare myself for the future”.

 

  1. Describe yourself in 3 words

This question usually come out as confusing to the job seeker. When interviewers ask this question, they want to have an idea about your personality, and they want to know if you are the best person for the position.

When you are answering this question, focus on:

  • Traits that best describes you in relation to the job that you are applying for
  • Why the interviewer should hire you
  • Skills and abilities that set you apart

Avoid

  • Describing yourself with unpleasant words
  • Avoid lying

Sample Answer

“I am thorough, passionate and motivated”

You can describe yourself in these words

  • Reliable
  • Driven
  • Passionate
  • Enthusiastic
  • Curious
  • organized
  • Responsible
  • Flexible
  • Team player

 

  1. Looking at your qualification, you seem overqualified for the job, and you might get bored what do you think?

As much as having no qualification could be a problem so does being overqualified too. Many employers usually have a double mind employing people that are overqualified for the position because of the following reasons;

  • Employers usually think that over qualified candidates will ask for a higher compensation
  • Employers think that overqualified candidates will want to assume higher positions like management position as soon as they come in
  • Employers think that over qualified candidates may end up not becoming good team members because they may feel they are more qualified than others.
  • Employers think that over qualified candidates will get bored over time
  • Employers may think that their lack of enthusiasm may drag other team members down

Looking at the following reasons, how would you convince the interviewer that you are the best person for the job and that you will not get bored performing the role?

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Emphasize that you have the right qualification needed for the job
  • Emphasize that you are passionate about the role
  • Emphasize that your experience will be of great value to the organization
  • Emphasize that the position will help you advance your skill set

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid sounding overqualified for the position
  • Don’t show off pride because of your experience

Sample Answer

“As much as I am fully aware of what my everyday task will look and also have the capabilities to carry out the task effectively, I don’t think I will get bored doing what I am passionate about. My own philosophy is that I don’t think I can ever be overqualified considering my enthusiasm for Human Resources and my desire to mentor others. I see this opportunity as a learning process for me, where I can sharpen my skills in Human Resources and at the same time add value to this organization”.

 

  1. Will you be out to take my job?

Sometimes hiring managers want to know your long term plan, but they may not be straight forward about it. They may not ask you the usual question “what are your long term plans?” They may come with questions like will you be out to take my job?

When interviewers ask this question they simply want to have an idea about your attitude and your future plan.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Let the interviewer know that you are passionate about the position that you are applying for
  • Show that you would love to grow in the career path that you have chosen
  • Walk the interviewer through your long term plan

You should also avoid:

  • Showing the interviewer that you will be out to take his job as soon as you get hired
  • Avoid sounding like the interviewer’s competitor

Sample Answer

“I won’t be out to take your job because I plan to grow and develop in my career both internally and externally, which is what forms my 5-10 years plan. I read about the trainings that this company offer staff members which is one of the reasons I am enthusiastic about this position. I look forward to growing in my career while I add value to this company. I may be out to take your position may be in 25 years’ time, by then I guess you should be running a really big company where you may be needing an experienced and dedicated person to lead this team”.

 

  1. What is your biggest weakness that is really a weakness and not a strength?

We understand that it could be quite difficult to present your best self to the interviewer during an interview especially when you are asked this question.

Interviewers don’t ask this question to trap even if it is a trap interview question. Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you are self-aware enough to recognize a problem and how motivated you are to making sure that the problem is fixed.

When you are answering this question, you should;

  • Be honest enough to admit that you have weaknesses
  • Identify a weakness that is really a weakness and not a strength
  • Show that you have put in the effort to fix your weakness

You should avoid:

  • Disguising a strength as a weakness
  • Avoid lying about your weakness
  • Avoid talking about a weakness that will ruin your chances of getting a job

You should avoid answers like this: “My greatest weakness is that I am such a perfectionist, I pay attention to every detail and I am keen on organization, and that is really annoying”

This kind of response comes out as an obviously disguised strength, and it tells the interviewer little about you.

See answers

Sample Answer

“My weakness is that I don’t give a proper estimation on how long it will take me to complete a task, so I usually underestimate the time that I will spend working on a project. This makes me carry on extra task and at the end, I may not be able to meet up with the deadline. I have currently enrolled in a time management class”.

 

  1. Rate yourself over ten

Sometimes interviewers want to know your competency without formally carrying out a test. Interviewers ask this question because they want to find out how your strength in a particular area, they want to know if you have the right qualification to perform the job, they also want to know if you are confident enough to perform the job.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Take note of the most required skills that you rate yourself on
  • Be honest with your ratings
  • Let the interviewer see your effort for improvement

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid lying about your ratings
  • Avoid rating yourself generally

Sample Answer

“Looking at the skills needed for this job, I will rate myself 9 out of 10 in excel, and that is because I am currently learning how to create pivotal tables (here you have shown your effort to improve).

I will also rate my public speaking skills 9 out of 10 because my previous boss always told me that I am the best speaker she has ever met, that was a rating for me. I rate myself 9 because I am currently taking a course to become a better public speaker”.

 

  1. What is more important to you, the money or the work?

You should not be surprised to hear this kind of question during an interview. Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you are interested in the job or if you are taking the job just because you need to pay bills.

Employers look forward to hiring passionate people that will be enthusiastic about what they are doing. The recruiter looks forward to revealing your intentions with this question.

When you are answering this question, you should consider the following:

  • Be diplomatic about your answer to the question
  • Let the interviewer know how important the work is to you
  • Emphasize that work and money are both important

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid choosing one over the other
  • Avoid choosing money regardless of your financial needs
  • Don’t pretend you believe so much in value and choose work

Sample Answer

“As much as I would love to be adequately compensated for my job, I look forward to achieving more than a fair pay performing my duties. I am passionate about growth both personal and organizational growth, and I think that this position will offer me the opportunity to be in a challenging environment that will push me to learn more and grow. As much as I want to contribute to the value system of the organization, I also love to be fairly compensated for the work that I do”.

 

Interview Questions About Salary Expectations

These kind of interview questions are interview questions that are centered on your salary expectation for a particular position. Interviewers usually ask this question to find out if they can afford to pay you.

When employers are hiring for a particular position, they usually have a range for the salary they wish to offer the candidate. So asking you about your salary expectation will help them know if they are on the same page with you.

Interviewers also ask this question to know how much you value yourself and your skills/abilities that is why it is important for you to know your worth.

 

  1. What are your salary requirements?

Interviewers ask about your salary requirement for different reasons. Some interviewers will ask about your salary requirement because they want to know if it matches what they are ready to afford. It is always important for you to be careful about your response to this question so that you don’t get underpaid at the end of the day.

When you are answering this question, take note of the following:

  • Make sure you have researched the salary range for your position before going for the interview
  • Always give a range and avoid giving a clear cut answer
  • Be flexible

You should also avoid:

  • Blurting out a salary range

“I think I am looking at something in the range of N100-N150, I believe that is the range this company offers for my level of employment. I think I am comfortable with the range”.

 

  1. How much are you earning now?

It is scarier to answer this question in an interview rather than when you are sending your application online. Sometimes interviewers ask this question because they want to be sure about the range that you should earn in the current position.

It is important to be careful about your response when you are asked this question. Telling the interviewer your current salary may put you in a disadvantaged position.

According to research, companies add not more than 10% of your current salary when they are considering what you should earn.

It is advisable for you to form your answers around the following:

  • Turn the table around for the interviewer
  • If you must give a figure, do your research and give a range

You should avoid:

  • Telling them the outright amount
  • Avoid lying

Sample Answer

“I would love to share my current salary with you, but my previous employer considers it confidential and I am afraid I cannot breach that agreement. However, if you share the salary range for this position with me, I can confirm if my salary is within that range”.

 

“I am not allowed to share salary information with outsiders as part of my previous company’s policy, however, I can give a salary range based on my research and the value for my skills and abilities”.

 

  1. Can you take a wild guess what salary we might pay someone with your skill set and experience to do the job you applied for?

When interviewers ask this question, they simply want to know how much you expect to get paid in that position without coming out straight. Interviewers want to have an idea of how much a prospective hire would love to get so that they can see if it matches well with what they planned out for that position.

You need to be careful when answering this question because the interviewer is indirectly asking you how much you want to earn.

When you are answering this question, make sure you:

  • Research the salary range for your role
  • Make sure you give a range and not a clear cut figure

You should avoid:

  • Saying a particular figure
  • Don’t refuse the question outrightly since it is a wild guess

Sample Answer

“I am looking at a range of 100 – 150, I believe that this is the range that most companies like this will pay someone with my skill and experience”

 

  1. Can you also write a phrase like “Negotiable” to demonstrate your flexibility?

Many times when interviewers ask for your salary expectation, they simply want to have an idea about how you much you would love to be paid performing that role.

Many employers want to know if your salary requirement is negotiable. It is important for you as a job-seeker to be open to negotiating your salary, because you can actually negotiate your way to a higher paying job.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Understand that the interviewer wants to know if you are open to negotiating the salary.
  • You should know that your openness also shows that you are flexible

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid refusing to negotiate your salary, you may lose your chances of getting your dream job at the end of the day.
  • Avoid negotiating poorly

Sample Answer

“Based on my research, I think that the salary range for my position is N100 – N150, I understand that salary range for this position is within this range. I am open to a negotiation that is within this range, I will also be open too if I get to know the salary range for this position. I believe that I will be fairly compensated according to your employment policy for this position”.

 

  1. What were your starting and final levels of compensation?

When interviewers ask this question, they simply want to know what salary you received in your last job and how it has changed over time there. The recruiter will want to have an idea of your compensation history. You can also include some bonuses that you may have received.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Walk the interviewer through your compensation journey
  • You can give ranges

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid lying

Sample Answer

“I started earning N50, 000 when I started out as an intern at ABC Group of Companies and with over years of experience I currently earn N450, 000 as a manager. I get internet allowance, clothing allowance, free lunch, and discount car when I am not working”.

 

  1. Would you take a job that pays you less money?

Interviewers mostly ask this question if your salary history is not in line with the compensation of the job that you are interviewing for.

Most interviewers ask this question because they would probably wonder why you want to earn lower than what you used to earn in your previous job. Employers are most concerned about getting a new hire that would stay for a long time considering the cost of getting a new hire on board.  

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Always think through your answers  
  • Make sure your response reflects your exact intention

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid lying as much as possible so that you don’t get to feel cheated on at the end of the day
  • Avoid passing the wrong message to the employer through your response and even body language

Sample Answer

“Even if I will love to be fairly compensated for the job that I do, I am really passionate about problem-solving and adding value. Aside from the pay that I get at the end of the month for the job that I do, I would love to contribute to the success of the organization that I find myself doing what I love to do most”.

 

  1. Would you like to be overpaid?

Of course, everyone wants to earn more, but the question is how do you go about earning more? Sometimes hiring managers may ask this question to know if you would like to earn higher than what you earn and if that is the case, how do you go about it.

Hiring managers at this point are waiting for the kind of response that you give so that they can understand your work ethics.

As much as you need more money to pay bills, you should also be careful not to say yes almost immediately the interviewer ask you the question.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • The interviewer is trying to have an idea of your value system
  • Walk the interviewer through the entire thought process of your response

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving an answer without thinking the question through
  • Don’t sound like you are only after the money you will get doing the job

Sample Answer

“As much as I would love to earn more, I would love to earn more if I have actually been able to give more to the organization. If I get overpaid because the company recognizes my value and deems it fit to reward me, yes I would love to earn more, but if I get overpaid accidentally and not as a result of my performance, then I don’t think I would love to be overpaid”.

 

  1. What do you think can make you underpaid?

This is a very tricky question, and here the interviewer is trying to see the reasons why you may not be a good fit for the job.

As a job-seeker, you should not fall into the trap of self-pity and start pointing out all the reason why you think you are not a good fit for the position.

You should rather use this opportunity to sell yourself and tell the interviewer why you think you are the best candidate for the position.

When answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Sell yourself to the interviewer
  • Emphasize that you are the best person for the job
  • Show that your skills and abilities match the position that you are applying for

You should avoid

  • You should avoid talking about things that would not make you a good fit for the job
  • Avoid giving a wrong impression to the interviewer

Sample Answers

“I don’t think that anything would make me underpaid for the position. Considering my skills, abilities, and experience in this position, I think that I would be duly paid for what I do”.

 

  1. Looking at your qualification, how much do you think you should be paid?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how much you value skills and abilities. As a job seeker, this is not the time for you to play humble and modest, rather it is a time for you to sell yourself to the interview and prove that you know your worth.

With this question, the interview is indirectly asking you how much you think you should earn.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Research and know your worth
  • Show that you have a great value for your skills
  • Sell yourself to the interviewer

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid playing down on your skills and abilities to please the interviewer
  • Avoid saying a specific amount

Sample Answers

“With my expert skill in digital marketing and 6 years of experience I think I should be offered the compensation that is due to my skills and experience, a range of N200, 000 – N250, 000 from my research will not be a bad idea”.

 

  1. How do you intend to increase what you earn over time

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you have growth prospect in the position that you are applying for. Some interviewers want to know what you think about your performance in relation to the job.

Interviewers know that employees usually look forward to earning more over time, so the recruiter wants to know your view on reward according to performance.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Know that the interviewer wants to know how you seriously you take your performance
  • The interviewer wants to get an idea of your value system

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid throwing the question back to the interviewer with a response like this “I don’t know how I would increase my salary, I think that is left for the management of the company to decide

Sample Answer

“I believe in adding value and contributing to the overall growth of any organization that I find myself. I believe that a reputable company like this that is passionate about providing the best electrical services to Nigerians will always reward excellence and success.

 I intend to be rewarded by performing my task excellently and helping the company achieve its vision in the best way that I can, this is how I intend to increase my salary over time. I believe it should be a win-win situation for both me and the company”.

 

Hypothetical Interview Questions

Just like behavioural interview questions, HR managers ask these questions to find out how the candidate will behave in a particular situation. Interviewers ask these questions so that they can have an idea of the candidate’s thought process on how he/she will handle a particular situation when faced with one.

A hypothetical interview question just as the name implies is a situation whereby the recruiters puts the candidate in an imaginary situation to see how they would handle the situation. Interviewers ask this question to analyze the candidate’s analytical skills.

Interviewers ask hypothetical interview questions so that they can:

  • They can know the candidate’s attitude towards the role
  • To know a candidate’s attitude towards the company
  • To measure a candidates management skills

Read this before answering hypothetic interview questions:

  • Don’t be in a hurry to answer
  • Stay calm and put yourself together before answering the question
  • You can give examples to make the interviewer understand your thought process
  • Take your time, and respond to the interviewer confidently

 

  1. How would you handle it if the priorities for a project you were working on were suddenly changed?

When interviews ask this question, they want to know how you would act in that particular situation. The interviewer wants to know how you would act if that particular situation shows up. The interviewer will also want to know your problem-solving skills.

You should prove to the interviewer that you can successfully figure out a solution to a problem. Always make the interviewer understand your thought process.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Show the interviewer how well you can handle pressure
  • Show the interviewer the skills and abilities you possess that will help you perform the job better

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid showing off any form of stress performing the project
  • Avoid showing the interviewer how angry you would be if that kind of situation plays out

Sample Answer

“Well, I understand that at some points the vision that one may want to achieve doing a project may change due to different reasons. So if the priority of a project that I am working on changes, I would not get myself worked up over the change, I will rather understand that it is for the best interest of the company and that we must continue to put in our best to achieve great results.

The first practical thing I will do is to make sure that I understand why the priorities were changed, how I would adjust to this change putting in my best effort”.

Answering this question this way shows the interviewer that you have a positive attitude, and that you can work well under pressure.

 

  1. What would you do if you disagreed with the way a manager wanted you to handle a problem?

When interviewers ask this question, they want to know how you deal with a superior and how you express your disagreement on a particular issue.

The hiring manager knows that disagreement happens, so they are not trying to make you feel bad for being in that situation, they simply want to know if you have a good relationship with people in authority.

Your relationship with your manager or supervisor says a lot about you as a person.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on skills and experience that helped you dissolve the disagreement.

Focus on the following when you are answering the question:

  • Briefly explain the disagreement
  • Show the interviewer how  you were able to solve the problem
  • Let the interviewer know what you have learned from the experience

You should also avoid:

  • Don’t speak poorly of your previous manager
  • Don’t give off the attitude of “I have never had a disagreement before”
  • Don’t play down on the part you played to resolve the dispute

Sample Answer

“If I disagree with the way my manager wants me to handle a project I will walk up to my manager and explain why I think that is not the best approach, then I will give him/her good reasons why I think that my approach is the best for this project.

I believe that communication is key, and communicating my ideas respectfully with my manager is what will help us have a single vision on a project. If I see the reasons why my manager’s idea is the best for the project, then I would admit that too. I believe communication is the key”.

 

  1. What would you do if you were assigned to work with a difficult client?

This is a very tricky question, and you have to be smart to answer the question effectively. The interviewer is aware that working with a difficult client is not easy to deal with, but the interview wants to know how you would act in that situation.

The interview would love to know how you would act if this kind of situation comes up during the time of your work.

When you are answering this question, you should let the recruiter know:

  • That you have a great problem-solving skill
  • How you go about solving a problem
  • Emphasize the skills or abilities that helped you work with the client

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid giving the interviewer the energy that you would be overwhelmed by the situation
  • Avoid complaining about how you would not like to work with a difficult client

Sample Answer

“First, I would try and understand the problem that the client is experiencing, then I would try to see how I can help the client solve the problem, and I would try to make the client understand what went wrong and how I can help the client solve the challenge at hand while pleading about the inconvenience that the client might have passed through”

 

  1. How would you handle working closely with a colleague who was very different from you?

Interviewer understand the idea of workplace diversity, so the interviewer may ask you this question to find out how well you can accommodate other people that are quite different from you. The interviewer may ask you this question to find out if you can work in a team.

Employers look forward to getting candidates that can function well in a team.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Prove to the interview that you can accommodate difference
  • Let the interview see how well you can work in a team

You should avoid:

  • giving off the attitude that you cannot accommodate a different person

Sample Answer

“I understand that there is diversity in the workplace, and I am open to embracing and accepting people the way they are. In my previous position, I was working closely with a colleague that is really reserved and accommodate little communication, and I love to ask questions and communicate a lot.

At first, I did not find it interesting talking with my colleague, but later I discovered that she loves to work with little or no distraction at all and I understood and accepted her that way. Her reserved nature helped me complete my task even faster. Since then I learned to value and accept differences”.

 

  1. How would you handle an instance of receiving criticism from a superior?

Interviewers always ask this question most times because they want to know how you handle the pressure that comes from work. Interviewers understand what it is like to face criticism especially when it is coming from a supervisor, so the interviewer wants to know how you can handle criticism.

As a job-seeker, you should know that the interviewer wants to know how you handle criticism if you take it in the positive or negative light.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Show that you can handle a difficult problem
  • Let the interviewer know that you learned from the situation

You should avoid:

  • You should avoid being overwhelmed by the criticism
  • Avoid giving the impression that you hate to be criticized

Sample Answer

“I welcome constructive criticism because I feel it is a way to make me do better. In my previous job, my boss always criticized me that I don’t communicate well, I did not feel down by his comment I rather got to know that It was a problem I had to fix, and I am happy he brought that problem to my notice, it has really helped. I appreciate constructive criticism a lot”.

 

 

  1. You realize that an early mistake in a project is going to put you behind the deadline. What do you do?

Nowadays interviews are not interested in a candidate’s skill or qualification for a position alone. Many employers are particular about how an employee will thrive in a particular work environment and situation.

Hiring managers are looking for candidates that will fit in all round. To discover how an employee will likely act in a particular situation.

Interviewers ask this question to know how you would act in a stressful situation, how you would handle the stress and you must have probably learned from it.

You can follow these guidelines to answer this question:

  • Use the STAR method
  • Be confident; the interviewer does not really want to know the details of the project, what the interviewer wants to know is the issue that came up, how you dealt with the situation, and what you learned from the situation.
  • Always show the positive side to the situation

Since interviewers don’t expect you to be without flaws, then these are the mistakes you should avoid answering this question:

  • Avoid giving off a negative feeling
  • Avoid being thrown off balance by the situation
  • Don’t give short general answers like “I work with minimal errors, I don’t think it can happen in the first place”

Sample Answer

“Even if I realize that an early mistake in a project will put me behind deadline, I will sit down and figure out the best way to complete the task. In my previous job, I was once asked to give the estimated date that I would complete the project so that we could get back to the client. So I made a mistake by underestimating the deadline.

At a point I realized that I could not meet up with the deadline because of the mistake I made, so I decided to work for longer hours after work. When I noticed that I would still not be able to meet up with the time, I had to speak to my boss about it and plead for an extension to complete the project which I did eventually. Since then I learned to always be sincere with what I can really do and not push myself overboard”.

 

  1. Describe a situation where you weren’t satisfied with your job. What could have made it better?

Interviewers don’t expect you to be perfect at all times. They don’t expect you to be perfect with your job at all times, they understand that there are times that you may feel otherwise about your work situation and they want to know your behavior at those times

With this question, the interviewer wants to know how you would react when you are unsatisfied with your job. The interviewer wants to know the following:

  • What led to the dissatisfaction if it is something that will also dissatisfy you in the current position you are applying for
  • How you dealt with the situation so that if the same situation happens, they will have an idea about how you would handle the situation
  • The interviewer is also interested in knowing what you learned from the situation
  • The interviewer is also concerned about how you would have made it better

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Use the STAR method to tackle the question
  • Give an example of a time that you were unsatisfied with your job and how you solved it
  • Emphasize what you learned from the situation
  • Keep a positive outlook

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid putting the blame on your previous employer or co-workers
  • Avoid bad-mouthing your previous company

Sample Answer

“At a time when I newly resumed at my previous place of work, I was asked to create content for the company’s website, so I created one and was applauded by my manager. After a while, I took a course in content development and I also asked experts for their suggestions on my works.

Looking at what I did after some time, I was really dissatisfied with what I did and the result that I got. After that experience, I realized that I could have researched keywords and planned a marketing strategy to have gotten a better result on the content.

I learned to always research and seek knowledge before starting a project”.

 

  1. Tell me about a time you reached a big goal at work. How did you reach it?

Employers love employees that look forward to achieving something in the future and not people that merely want to complete tasks and get paid for that. Interviewers are interested in getting hires that can set goals and achieve them eventually.

When interviewers ask this question, they are interested in knowing in if you are the kind of person that set achievable goals and dedicate your time to actually achieve those goals. The interviewer is also interested in how you were able to achieve the goals you set.

When you are answering this question, you should give an instance of career-related goals.

Always remember to take note of the following when you are answering this question:

  • Choose your most remarkable achieved goal
  • Tell the interviewer how you achieved the goal
  • Talk about what you have learned from the experience
  • Let the interviewer be aware of how you are going to apply the lessons that you have learned

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid talking about goals that are not career related
  • Avoid giving answers like “I have never set a big goal to talk of achieving success”

Sample Answer

“This year I set a goal for myself to successfully increase the company sales from 40% to 60% and to also increase our customer retention rate. I dedicated myself to researching and taking courses on different marketing strategies that would likely work. I also had to work extra hours aside from the work hours.

At the end of the year, the company sales moved from 40% to 72% and our customer retention rate also increased too”.

 

  1. How would you handle it if your employee wasn’t meeting your expectations, or was performing below average?

This question is a really tricky one that can mar your chances of getting a job. Interviewers usually ask candidates that are going for managerial positions this question.

Interviewers ask this question because they want to understand how you can handle the situation of underperformance if you applying for a management role.

Sometimes an interviewer may ask you this question to find out more about your sense of judgment, the interviewer is also trying to measure your problem-solving skills which are very important for the employer.

When you are answering this question, it is important for you to do the following:

  • Think through the question before answering
  •  Put yourself in the position of the employer
  • If you are applying for a management position, the interviewer wants to see that sense of responsibility and how you can solve a problem
  • Always run the interviewer through your problem-solving process

You should avoid the following:

  • Avoid sounding very critical about the situation
  • Avoid giving short general answers

Sample Answer

“I understand that people perform well in different job roles and in different work conditions. I don’t expect people to thrive in exactly the same atmosphere.

So if an employee does not meet up with the job expectation, then the first thing I would do is to have a meeting with that person to understand the reason for his/her underperformance.

Once I am able to discover the reason for the employee’s underperformance then I would discover measures to help that employee perform better in his job by giving the person another chance. If the person is still not performing well, then maybe the person needs to be in another work environment”.

 

  1. What would you do if you worked hard on a solution to a problem, and your solution was criticized by your team?

Interviewers understand that situations that may lead to disagreement may likely come up, so they are expecting that those kinds of information will not come up. What interviewers are interested in is how you would handle such a situation when they arise.

With your answers to this question, the interviewer wants to know how you handle criticism and your approach to dealing with different people.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Let the interviewer know how you handle criticism
  • Tell the interviewer know how you handle the criticism that you got
  • Talk about what you learned from the criticism with the interviewer

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid showing off any form of anger and resentment
  • Avoid giving a response like “I am a perfectionist and I am very careful about my work, so I don’t think anyone in the right state of mind will criticize anything that I do”.

Sample Answer

“I totally understand that we all look, but see things differently. So if I am approaching a solution from a different perspective that I think is the best, one that I assume will provide the best solution and my team members disagreed with it despite the hard work that I have put into it.

The best thing I can do is to understand what the criticism is all about, see from their own point of view and take note of things I did not do right.

In my previous place of work, we noticed that our sales for the month dropped, so we were thinking of how to come up with a solution to grow our sales, I came up with strategies and advert campaigns, my team members criticized it and at the end I got to understand that we did not have enough financial resources to run paid adverts etc.

From that project, I learned to communicate my ideas with my team members before I take a decision to avoid time wastage”.

 

Communication skill interview questions

Interviewers understand that communication is one of the most important skills for every work environment. So preparing for an interview, the interviewer will likely ask you questions that are will help the interview rate your communication skill.

These kinds of interview questions tend to test your ability to effectively communicate with others in the work environment. The interviewer checks your ability to communicate with your superiors and co-workers.

 

  1. How well do you work with other people?

Most employers and hiring managers know that communication is one thing that can make a business thrive. So interviewers may ask you this question to discover how well you can work in a team.

If you lack good communication skill, then you cannot thrive in a team. As a job-seeker, you should make use of this opportunity to tell the interviewer that you are a good team player.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Emphasize your sociability and ability to work alone
  • Give an example of an experience that showcases how well you can interact with others effectively
  • Make sure that your response is related to the position that you are applying for

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving the impression that you don’t need to interact with others
  • Avoid being judgmental about other people

Sample Answer

“I am really patient when it comes to listening to other people’s ideas and opinions. Which I think is a key skill that can help one function well in a team, because it will give you the opportunity to listen to team members and take note of their suggestions.

Listening will help me understand other team members thought process and know how to incorporate the ideas together towards achieving the team’s goal. I will offer my opinions too”.

 

  1. How would you go about persuading someone to see things your way at work?

Since communication is one of the top skills that hiring managers always want to see in a prospective hire. If you are looking forward to getting a job in sales and marketing, then this is one question that you should be prepared to answer.

Interviewers are usually looking forward to hiring candidates that can sell the company’s product to prospective client regardless of their previous experience.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Emphasize how you can persuade someone to buy into your idea
  • Give examples to make your response clearer
  • You can give an example of a time that you persuaded someone to buy into your idea

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving the impression that you don’t like to persuade people

Sample Answer

“In my previous company, I used to work with some vendors to make sure that we meet up with the set deadlines and also come up with enough contents. I suggested to my boss that instead of renewing the contract with the vendors that we have been working with, we should consider walking with new people that will come with their fresh ideas considering our current project.

Initially, my boss disagreed with the suggestion, then I requested she give me a little time to research for top players in the industry. After my research, we discovered a good vendor that can handle times two of what the previous vendor was doing. At the end of the day, we were able to save time and achieve more with our vendor”.

 

  1. What would you do if you there was a breakdown in communication at work?

Employers and interviewers are aware that there are some unforeseen circumstances that may likely show up in the workplace. Interviewers are not expecting you to be a superman, but they are more interested in how you go about tackling the problem.

What the interviewer is looking out for in a candidate when they ask this question is your problem-solving skills. The interviewer wants to know how you would act if that same situation plays out during the course of performing your duty.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Show that you recognize the importance of communication to the business
  • Walk the interviewer through your problem-solving process
  • You can give an example of a time that you solved a communication problem

You should also avoid the following:

  • You should avoid giving answers like this “I don’t think that there is anything that I can do in this kind of situation”.

Sample Answer

“I believe that when there is a communication breakdown that the first thing to do is to discover what must have resulted in the break in communication and try to fix it as soon as possible.

In my previous job, I misunderstood a mail that a co-worker sent to me and I interpreted the content in such a dreadful manner, so I decided to walk up to my colleague and ask why she had sent that message. After the conversation, we discovered that there was a punctuation error that caused the breakdown.

After then we decided to have more verbal communication and be careful and double check before sending out a mail or message”.

 

  1. Tell me about a time you had to relay a piece of bad news to a client or colleague.

When interviewers ask questions to assess your communication skills, you should expect questions that would reveal how you would act in a particular situation where you would have to relay a difficult message to a co-worker or boss.

One of the major reasons employers ask this question is to find out how well and effective you can relay a piece of bad news to a co-worker and how you can motivate them.

To be able to relay a piece of negative information effectively, you have to be sensitive, honest and tactful enough to pass the information across effectively.

When you want to answer this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Tell the interviewer the measure you took to relay the message to the person
  • Walk the interviewer through your process and the technique you wish to use to relay the negative feedback
  • Tell the interviewer what you did to ensure that the person understood the information
  • Explain to the interviewer the follow-up measure you adopted

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid talking about a general approach you adopted to solve the problem
  • Avoid giving the impression that you would make negative feedback subtle

Sample Answer

“One of our employees was performing poorly at her job and we had to address this issue because it was beginning to affect our revenue. I had to tell her that we were not satisfied with her performance, I scheduled her for a meeting where we discussed what was responsible for her performance.

I told her the importance of her role to the company, and how not performing excellently will not help everyone in the company. After the conversation, I discovered that she doesn’t like her job then I decided to change her position and after then she started performing better than she used to earlier. Having that conversation with her made me understand the importance of not assuming but communicating effectively when there is a problem”.

 

  1. Can you rate your communication skills on a scale of 1-10?

Since the interviewer is trying to evaluate your communication skill, then the interviewer is trying to know how you rate your communication skills.

The interviewer is trying to know how effective your communication is with this question.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Understand that interviewer is trying to find out your communication skills by asking you to rate yourself, and this is why you should be careful when you answering this question
  • Be careful about how you rate yourself so you don’t ruin your chances of landing a job
  • Show that there is a room for improvement
  • Use an example to back up your claim

 

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving yourself a 10 over 10 because no one is perfect
  • Avoid rating yourself really low
  • Avoid lying about your rating

Sample Answer

“I rate my communication skill 9/10 that is because there are times when I have to explain somethings I have said more than once because it did not come out as clear as I intended it to. My co-workers can tell that I am always open about any information I need to relay to them, and they also get to tell me when they are not clear about anything”.

 

  1. How do you start a project?

Since every company will definitely have a project they will work on, so interviewers always want to know your thought process and how you begin a project. This question is common when you are interviewing for roles like project management.

It is also important for you to understand that the interviewer is also looking out for your communication skills. The hiring manager is trying to measure your communication level.

The interview is trying to understand through this question your clarity of thought. The interviewer knows that communication is the most important and the first step you need to take to ensure the success of a project.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Understand that the interviewer is trying to evaluate your communication level
  • Emphasize the importance of communication in every project
  • Show that you communicate effectively to make sure a project is successful

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid concentrating on the what of the project instead of how
  • Avoid giving the impression that you are perfect and don’t need to communicate with anyone

Sample Answer

“I believe that communication is a really important factor to consider before I even begin a project. The first thing I do when I want to start a project is to clearly understand what the project is all about and the goal of the project.

I really cannot achieve that unless I effectively communicate with everyone that is involved in the project and make sure that we are all on the same page. Then carrying out the project itself would be a walkover.

In my previous job, I was part of a project that was set for one month. Knowing this the first thing I did was to call a meeting for 1 week to make sure we all understand the thought process for the project clearly, even others felt the meeting was taking time, at the end of the project they thank me for that because we had limited cases of corrections and adjustments”.

 

  1. What was the most significant conflict you had with another employee? How did you resolve it

Interviewers ask some behavioral interview questions as an indication of what the candidate will likely do when hired. Interviewers ask this question because they want to understand how you would react when you are in a particular situation.

Employers know that conflict is almost inevitable in any work environment, they don’t expect you not to experience conflict, but they want to know how you handle the conflict.

To answer this question effectively, you can use the STAR method

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Show the interview that you have conflict resolution skills
  • You should also walk the interviewer through the process that you used to solve the problem
  • Talk about what you learned from the situation
  • Show the interviewer that you are a team player

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid giving the impression that you don’t work well with others
  • Avoid giving off the attitude that you can’t control or resolve conflict

Sample Question

“In my previous employment, I once disagreed with a co-worker about how he dealt with an unsatisfied customer. My colleague insisted that the customer’s approach was wrong. I went and had a peaceful conversation with my co-worker and told him that the customers are the reason we are here. So in the end we came to the agreement that our goal is to make sure that our customers are always happy regardless”.

 

  1. Described An Occasion When You Withheld Your Own Opinion, And Tried To Obtain The Opinion Of Others, And Why Was This Action Important?

When interviewers ask this question, they want to know how much you can work and communicate effectively within a team.

Working with a team, you have to see things beyond your own perspective and try to get other people’s opinion on a subject matter. Hiring managers know that a good leader should be one that would listen and reason with others.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Show that you are a good listener
  • Show the interviewer that you are a good team player by showing your good communication skills

You should also avoid the following:

  • Avoid giving the interviewer the impression that you are egocentric
  • Show how well you accept other people’s opinions

Sample Answer

“As a team lead, I always brought up project ideas that we would work on, then assign different task to team members, but at a time I noticed that almost everything that we did had almost the same result and we need a change.

So I decided to call all my team members for a meeting, in the meeting I asked everyone to bring their suggestion on the kind of project that we should do next, and I got amazing feedbacks that I would have never imagined. Since then I learned to seek other people’ opinion while working on any project because I believe that communication is key”.

 

  1. How You Deal With Situations When Others Are Finding It Hard To Communicate Effectively With You?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how accessible you are. If you are going to function well in a team.

Interviewers will also ask you this question to see if you have the right attitude to accommodate people and also pass across information in the way that people can understand.

When you are answering this question, you should do the following:

  • You should show the interviewer that you have a good listening ability
  • You should also show that you welcome and accommodate other people’s opinion

You should avoid:

  • Showing that you are authoritative
  • Don’t give off the impression that you are not accessible

Sample Answer

“I believe that listening to other people and being interested in their ideas will definitely help you communicate with people better.

In my previous job, I noticed that other people in the team find it difficult to communicate with me because I got used to talking rather than listening, and I often gave instruction, so at some point, I was not really approachable. When I noticed this, I decided to listen more and subject myself to other people’s ideas. After a while, everything changed and I learned to listen more to effectively communicate with others”.

 

100.  Are You Capable Of Getting To Bottom Of A Situation, When Some One Is Incapable Of Communicating What They Really Mean? If So How Do You Achieve This?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how well you are able to read and interpret information that is beyond words. You should be able to read people’s attitude to understand something that they may not clearly state or talk about.

Most times if you are going to head a team, the interviewer would want to know if you can handle work-related languages and also be intuitive about human emotions.

When you are answering this question, you should take note of the following:

  • Show that you are sensitive to other people’s emotions
  • Show how you can find the true state of an issue even when they cannot communicate effectively with you
  • Walk the interviewer through your result process

You should also avoid:

  • Avoid Showing off any form of insensitivity
  • Avoid giving answers like this “I don’t think there is a need for me to derive the truth from anybody when they are not ready to talk”

Sample Answers

Yes, I am capable of getting to the bottom line of a situation when someone is not communicating effectively. In my previous employment, I was the team lead, and I always hear a particular team member complain about many things in the company.

From what she says, it would seem like she is not easy to please, but watching her closely and how she reacts to tasks, I got to understand that she doesn’t like her role and cannot come straight with it, rather she gets tired of everything.

I called her and told her what I had discovered, at the end of the meeting she agreed that she finds her role really difficult and not interesting, I took that to the Human resources manager and her role was changed. From that experience. I learned to be more human and sensitive as a team member and most especially as a team leader”.

 

 

If you successfully went through this list, then you deserve a big congratulation! From us, want to know why? It is simply because you are getting a job soon.

We know that this list is really comprehensive, but sometimes employers may decide to ask role based questions during an interview, but you don’t have to worry, we will get that across to you as soon as it is ready.

We took our time to put this list together just to make sure you never fail any job interview again. I am sure that by now you know you should prepare well before showing up for an interview, you can use this job interview checklist to be sure you are doing the right thing.

If there are questions you would like us to answer, you can drop them in the comment box below as we would be glad to take your questions.

 

 

100 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers 

 

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