15 Interview Questions You Must Ace to Land Your Next Job



Freshly pressed business shirt? Check. Multiple resume copies? Check. Interview questions prep? Check?

Interviews are nerve-wracking enough. You do your best to look great and calm your nerves. You go early and wait those extra 15 minutes as if you are at the dentist with a sensitive tooth to pull out.

And the worst thing that can happen is when your interviewer throws a curveball question.
Your smile falters, and your whole mind goes blank.

These are 15 interview questions to help you prepare for your interview. It covers the basics, and at the end, I will go through a few bonus tips to help you best prepare for any curveballs that may come your way.


1. Tell me about yourself

Pretty much every interview starts off with this generic question. In fact, you most likely will have answered this question on the phone or on online questionnaires most job applications now have.
You have to have a right balance between being confident and listing your achievements and what sort of person you are. Don’t let your answer be a long list of your accomplishments or you run the risk of sounding arrogant and pretentious.

The elevator pitch is cliched, but the core principle is sound. Your story should be succinct, where it describes your experience and career path, and why you ended up in front of them for this job. Don’t go into too much detail, as they will doubtless ask you about things they are curious about.


2. How did you hear about this position?

Unless the question asks a specific thing, feel free to use questions like these to push across your enthusiasm and love of the company.

For example, you could mention how you were always attracted to the company because of its excellent culture and exciting projects. State that you avidly followed their business news both on their corporate news feed and on their social media pages.

Seek to use the research you have done of the country to convince them of your keen interest in the company. Feel free to mention any personal connections you have with the company.


3. Why work for us?

Similar to question two, this is a direct question where the goal is to find out how much you know about the company.

Basically, they to know how genuine your passion is at wanting to work here. The best thing you can do is formulate a real opinion of why you want to work at the company through research.


4. Why are you in the job market? Why are you looking for another job?

Showing enthusiasm is one thing. Employers look above all else for one thing: will this person be a flight risk?
First off, they are seeking to find out if you are within any category below:

  • Is this person just looking for a job?
  • Can we hold onto this person?
  • Did this person get fired from the previous role?

The above are important questions for employers as it is expensive hiring and training staff. Organisations will want their money’s worth back from you and will want you for a few years minimum to recoup costs and make a profit off you.

As heartless as it may sound to some, one of the core objectives of a business is to make money. Don’t do anything to seem like a flight risk.

And for questions on why you want to leave your current role, make sure to prepare well as it has similar consequences as being labeled a job hopper if you don’t. Prepare your answer to aim it towards career goals, where your move sounds genuine and planned.


5. Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?

Related to question 4, you need to prepare well firstly to avoid being seen as a flight risk.

Secondly, they want to see if you are someone switched on and serious about their career. Businesses thrive on people that are motivated and far-seeing. Think about the role, department and critical people you will interact with.

As it is an interview setting, focus on talking about professional goals and where you want to be within the company.
Not sure? A great way to answer it to say that working here will help you navigate your career and find answers for the next step.


6. Why you?

Don’t mention anything about what a tremendous hardworking person you are. The question is purposefully open-ended to allow you to choose specific skills and experiences to talk about to show why you would be a great asset.

Key here is to have several, preferably five achievements and experiences to rattle off. You want to position your answers directly to the job requirements and responsibilities.


7. What do you do to deal with stress?

Hiring managers use this question to see how you deal with stressful situations professionally. Any workplace will have stressful periods, where you will be stretched emotionally. They want to look at what coping mechanisms you use to keep track of work to accomplish your goals.

Seek to have a few specific tools you use. It could be taking a short walk for a few minutes, or doing some thinking on paper to organize your thoughts and tasks when things get murky.


8. How have you dealt with conflict before?

This is important to ace as it is an essential question for interviewers, to see how you would deal with conflict within their company. Teamwork and fitting in are essential, and they want to see how well you would fit in and resolve conflict when it happens.

Think of a few examples where you had to resolve a situation with a co-worker or client. Simply state what happened, what steps you took. Try and finish on a positive note on how you resolved the conflict.


9. What do you expect of your manger?

The interviewer here is probing to find out what sort of employee you are. Most likely, the interviewer will be someone you report to, and they want to know how well you will work with them in a team environment.

If it helps, bring up the names of your current or previous managers. Describe how you reported and dealt with work and bringing up or escalating issues.


10. What do you expect from your team/coworkers?

Similar to before, this question is aimed at finding out how well you would fit into the culture and team of the company.

Social media and review sites like Glassdoor help, as it gives a better glimpse of opinions and the everyday work of the company. Do your research and talk about what you like about the culture, and how you worked well in similar environments before.


11. What will the first X days/months look like on the job?

Interviewers ask this question to find out whether you can handle the role offered. They will ask what you would do in the first month or three months, to see if you know what needs to be done.

Start by talking about what you would do to gather the information needed for the role, and the actions you will take to start the duties right away.


12. What are your salary requirements?

Not all interviewers will ask this question. Be prepared to have a reasonable estimate of what to expect, as you will want to be paid a fair wage.

Note that employees that do not bargain from the start could lose out or be seen as weak negotiators.


13. Tell me about something from your resume.

Know your stuff front to back. Interviewers expect you to know everything you have added to your resume.

Certain interviewers will pick at specific skills and experiences that are relevant to the role being offered. Try and target these particular examples in advance to have additional examples to bring up to talk about.


14. What is your dream job?

This question is similar to the ‘where do you see yourself in 10 years’ question. They aren’t interested in idyllic fantasy like jobs.

They want to see how ambitious you are and how well you can set goals. Speak of how the role being offered will help you realize certain milestones in your career, whether it be gaining experience in specific skill sets or getting up the ladder to gain managerial experience.

They want to see how well you can plan and manage your career goals realistically. Why? Because a large part of your workload will be setting goals and doing your best to reach them.


15. Any questions?

You will always be asked to ask a few questions of your own. This is your big chance to stand out, so have at least three to five questions to ask. Five is a good number, as often during the course of an interview a few of the questions will be already partially answered.

Recruiters and hiring managers will be more than happy to answer a few questions, as they would want a change of pace from all the listening they have done. Choose questions where you think it will garner enthusiasm from the interviewer. Finding the right topics that they love about will help you stand out as a perceptive candidate.


In closing

Though touched upon earlier, you need to know the job description front to back. In particular, focus on the responsibilities and duties expected.

Research and think up scenarios where you would be doing these tasks. Think of how you would go about actually performing the work and dealing with potential issues. Have a few answers for this prepared.

If you want to go the extra mile, do some further research into how to do the stated tasks. The internet has all the information needed to start training yourself. If asked about question 11, what would you do in the first month on the job? You can begin to talk about the steps you have already taken and will continue to make to train yourself to start the role straight away.

Preparation is vital but having specific answers ready is important. Also, see the questions from the interviewer’s perspective. You will find clarity in what is being asked if you think from the organization’s angle.


What do you think? How do you prepare for interview questions?

Please share your insight and advice in the comments below.

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