The job interview stands as one of the most significant and commonly feared stages. Preparing for the myriad of possible interview questions can feel daunting. CareerHub is here to provide some career guidance and advice. We’ll walk you through the most common interview questions and arm you with the best answers. This will help you stand out in the hiring process and secure your desired role.

  • Begin with Current or Recent Experience

    Firstly, it’s important to start with your most recent or current job. Describe your responsibilities and achievements in that role. For instance, “In my current job at XYZ Corporation, I serve as an administrative assistant where I have significantly improved our invoicing process and managed high-profile client relationships.”

  • Highlight Your Key Achievements

    Next, you should highlight your most significant professional achievements or a track record that is relevant to the position you’re applying for. For example, “One of my greatest professional achievements was when I successfully coordinated an international conference with over 200 participants, which was a first for our company.”

  • Discuss Relevant Skills and Strengths

    Don’t forget to mention any skills or strengths that make you a good fit for the role. Are you applying for a position in a sales team? Discuss your excellent communication skills or your previous success in a sales role. Going for a role that requires leadership skills? Talk about a time when you led a project or a team, demonstrating your management style.

  • Align with the Culture

    The hiring managers will be interested to hear about your personality traits that will make you a good fit for the company. If the company values teamwork and has a flat organisational structure, for instance, you could mention how you thrive in a collaborative, egalitarian environment and provide an example from your previous roles.

  • What Makes You Stand Out?

    Finally, consider what makes you different from other candidates. Are you a self-starter who took online courses to learn a new programming language? Did you solve a problem at your last job that resulted in significant cost savings? These points could make you stand out as a promising candidate.

    These types of interview questions are your chance to sell yourself. Make sure to prepare a concise and compelling story. Remember to keep your answer professional and relevant to the position, demonstrating that you’re not just a good candidate, but the best one.

  • Understand the Role

    Firstly, demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to study the requirements for the job. Mention specific responsibilities or challenges that excite you. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a junior analyst position, you could say, “I’m excited about the prospect of conducting in-depth market research and analysis. During my coursework and internships, I particularly enjoyed working on projects that required analytical thinking and data interpretation.”

  • Connect Your Skills and Experiences

    Next, connect your skills and experiences to the requirements of the job. Mention your achievements in previous roles that directly relate to the new position. If you’re interviewing for an executive assistant role, you might say, “At my last job, I was commended for my efficiency in managing executive schedules and my ability to handle the invoicing process quickly and accurately. I’m eager to bring these skills to a larger organisation like yours.”

  • Show Interest in the Company

    It’s also important to express interest in the company itself. Do your homework and learn about the company’s culture, mission, and recent achievements. Mention specific aspects that align with your own values and aspirations. If the company prides itself on its flat organisational structure and collaborative environment, discuss why this appeals to you based on your past experiences.

  • Align with Your Career Path

    Tie your long-term career path to this role. The hiring managers will appreciate knowing that you see this job as a significant step in your career, rather than just a pit stop. You might say, “In the long run, I aspire to take on more managerial responsibilities, and I see this role as an excellent opportunity to deepen my understanding of the industry and develop my leadership skills.”

  • Avoid Generic Answers

    Avoid giving generic or self-centred answers like, “I need a job” or “I heard you pay well”. Instead, your answer should convince the hiring manager that you are genuinely interested in contributing to the company and excited about the prospect of growing with it.

  • Summary

    Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Your response should be honest, specific to the job and the company, and it should communicate your enthusiasm for both.3. Why are you leaving your current job (or why did you leave your last job)?

    Answer this question professionally and avoid sounding like a job hopper. You might say you’re looking for new challenges or opportunities for growth that align with your career path. Don’t bad-mouth your last company or current company.

  • Avoid Negative Commentary

    Start by understanding that this isn’t an opportunity to badmouth your previous company or boss. Negative comments can give the impression that you’re a difficult employee, which is not the image you want to convey during the interview process. Instead, focus on explaining the situation with as much positivity as possible.

  • Explain the Situation Factually

    Provide a straightforward explanation about your departure. If your previous company was undergoing restructuring, or you were let go due to budget cuts, explain it succinctly. For example, “My previous company had to downsize due to financial struggles, and my department was impacted.”

  • Highlight Desire for Professional Growth

    In cases where you left voluntarily, it’s crucial to frame your answer around your career path and personal growth. Discuss how the new position aligns better with your long-term goals. You might say, “While I valued my time at my last job, I felt that I had reached a plateau in terms of growth and learning. This new role offers the challenges and opportunities I’m seeking to further my career.”

  • Discuss Culture and Environment

    If the environment or culture played a part in your decision to leave, handle this topic with care. It’s okay to state that you were looking for a culture more aligned with your values, as long as you do it respectfully. For instance, “I’m looking for an organisation with a flat organisational structure where collaboration and teamwork are valued, which wasn’t the case in my previous role.”

  • Share What You’ve Learned

    Lastly, demonstrate what you learned from the experience. If you left because of a challenging situation, talk briefly about how it helped you grow. You could say, “Although it was stressful, it helped me realise the importance of clear communication and conflict resolution skills.”

    Your answer should be honest, professional, and focused on the future rather than dwelling on the past. Most importantly, make sure your answer aligns with your job application or resume, as discrepancies may raise red flags for the interviewer.

  • Discuss Your Stress Management Techniques

    Start by mentioning the strategies you use to manage stress and maintain productivity. This could be anything from time management techniques, mindfulness practices, or simply taking a break to clear your mind when things get intense. It’s important to demonstrate that you have effective coping mechanisms in place.

  • Share Real-Life Examples

    Sharing a specific instance from your previous roles where you successfully handled a stressful situation can be very impactful. Discuss the challenging circumstance, the action you took, and the result – a clear indication of problem-solving skills. This can follow the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) which is widely recommended in providing structured and comprehensive answers.

  • Show Your Growth Mindset

    It’s crucial to demonstrate your learning and growth mindset when faced with challenges. You might discuss how stress can be a motivator for you, pushing you to perform better or find more efficient ways of completing tasks. This shows the hiring manager that you view challenges as opportunities for growth.

  • Address the Company’s Needs

    Finally, if the job requirements suggest that the role might have high-stress situations (like meeting tight deadlines, handling customer complaints, or managing multiple tasks), make sure to address this directly. Talk about how you have handled similar situations in the past or the approaches you would take to ensure success in this role.

    To summarise, when discussing how you handle stress and pressure, it’s important to convey that you understand the realities of the role and that you have effective strategies to manage challenging situations. This will help reassure the hiring manager that you are well-equipped to handle the pressures of the job.

  • Showcase Career Paths Aligned with the Role

    Start by aligning your long-term professional goals with the role for which you’re interviewing. For instance, if you’re interviewing for an executive assistant role, you might say, “In five years, I see myself as an executive assistant with in-depth knowledge of company operations and leadership skills that support team success.”

  • Discuss Skills and Qualities You Aim to Develop

    Discuss the skills and qualities you plan to develop over the next five years that are relevant to the role. This shows that you’re not just thinking about career progression, but also about personal growth and improvement.

  • Express Long-Term Interest in the Company

    Your answer should also express a long-term interest in the company. You could mention your eagerness to contribute to the culture, or how the company’s mission aligns with your own values. For example, if you’re interviewing for a sales role, discuss your interest in helping the company raise money and contribute to its long-term growth.

  • Handle with Care if You’re Unsure

    If you’re uncertain about where you see yourself in five years, handle this question carefully. Instead of providing a vague or non-committal answer, focus on how you plan to grow within the role. You might say, “While I’m not certain of the specific title or role, I plan to take on increasing responsibilities and contribute more to the team and company.”

  • Demonstrate Willingness to Stay

    Be sure to avoid suggesting that you plan to move on quickly, as companies prefer not to hire job-hoppers. The potential employer wants to see a return on the investment they make in your training and development.

    This question is a chance to show that you’re ambitious, career-focused, and committed to a future with the company. So, when you answer, consider your career goals, the needs of the company, and the specifics of the role. By doing so, you can ensure that your answer aligns your career path with the trajectory of the company, making you an attractive candidate for the position.

  • Align Strengths with Job Description

    Begin by identifying the key skills and attributes in the job description. Then, connect those requirements with your strengths. If you’re applying for a role in a sales department, discuss your excellent communication skills, resilience, and proven track record in sales.

  • Provide Evidence

    To avoid sounding like you’re simply listing desired traits, be sure to provide specific examples of how you’ve used these strengths in your previous roles. If you’re applying for a position that requires problem-solving skills, discuss a challenging situation from your last job where your ability to think critically and solve problems effectively came into play.

  • Discuss Soft Skills

    Don’t just focus on hard skills; soft skills are equally important. If the job requirements emphasise a flat organisational structure, indicating a preference for team players, discuss your collaboration skills. Perhaps you could share an example from your current job where you worked as part of a team to achieve a common goal.

  • Show Self Awareness

    Exhibiting self-awareness can help to establish trust and authenticity. Acknowledge that while you have strengths, you continuously strive for self-improvement. For instance, you could say, “While I’m proud of my time management skills, I understand the importance of constant improvement and often take online courses to further develop my productivity techniques.”

    Your answer should go beyond just stating your strengths. You should provide evidence, connect your strengths with the job requirements, and demonstrate self-awareness. Remember, the aim is to convince the interviewer that your strengths can add value to the company and the role you’re applying for.

  • Be Honest, but Tactful

    Start by choosing a real weakness, but make sure it’s not a key competency for the job. Avoid clichés like, “I work too hard,” as these can come across as disingenuous. Instead, you could say something like, “I tend to get caught up in the details of a project, which can lead to over-analysis.”

  • Discuss Steps for Improvement

    After mentioning your weakness, it’s essential to discuss what steps you’re taking to improve. This shows that you’re proactive and committed to personal growth. For instance, you could say, “However, I am aware of this and have been working on it by setting stricter timelines for decision-making in my current job.”

  • Showcase Your Ability to Learn from Mistakes

    Give examples from your previous roles where you’ve learned from your mistakes. This not only demonstrates your ability to learn and grow but also your resilience. You could say, “At my last job, there was a situation where my attention to detail caused a delay. However, I learned from that experience and have since implemented time management strategies to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

  • Connect with the Company

    If the company values constant learning and development, emphasise your commitment to these principles when discussing your strategies for improvement.

  • Wrap it Up

    Finally, remember to keep your answer short and focused. This question is not an invitation to share your life story or delve into personal issues. Keep it professional and relevant to the environment.

    In summary, when asked about your greatest weakness, it’s important to show that you’re self-aware, honest, and proactive about improving. With the right approach, you can turn this challenging question into an opportunity to demonstrate your personal growth and resilience.

  • Select a Relevant Situation

    Start by selecting a challenging situation that is relevant to the requirements of the job. This should ideally be a situation where you utilised skills that are important for the job you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a position as a junior analyst, you could choose a situation that involved crunching numbers under pressure or presenting complex data to a non-technical team.

  • Use the STAR Method

    Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your answer. Briefly describe the situation, the task you were responsible for, the action you took, and the result of your action.

  • Detail Your Action and Thought Process

    When discussing the action, highlight your thought process and the steps you took to address the situation. This demonstrates your problem-solving skills and shows that you’re capable of thoughtful, strategic action. Explain why you chose a particular course of action and how you implemented it.

  • Discuss the Outcome and Your Learning

    Talk about the outcome. Did your action solve the problem or lead to an improvement? Be sure to also discuss what you learned from the experience and how it has influenced your work going forward.

  • Connect to Future Performance

    Finally, indicate how this experience has prepared you for dealing with similar challenges in the future. This shows the interviewer that you’re able to learn from experience and improve over time.

    Answering this question effectively requires thoughtful reflection on past experiences. By selecting a relevant situation, using the STAR method, and discussing your learning, you can provide a comprehensive, impressive answer that showcases your problem-solving skills and resilience.

  • Emphasise Your Openness to Feedback

    Begin by stating that you welcome and appreciate feedback. Make it clear that you view feedback as a tool for personal and professional growth rather than a personal attack. You might say, “I consider feedback essential for improvement and always welcome it.”

  • Provide Concrete Examples

    To make your answer more convincing, provide specific examples from your previous experience. Perhaps you received constructive criticism in your current job or your last company that helped you improve a certain skill or work habit. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a position where time management is crucial, you could discuss how feedback helped you enhance your time management skills.

  • Discuss Your Approach to Constructive Criticism

    Go a step further and explain how you typically handle constructive criticism. Do you take time to reflect on the feedback? Do you come up with an action plan to address the issue? Discussing your process shows the hiring manager that you have a thoughtful and proactive approach to feedback.

  • Show Your Ability to Maintain Professional Relationships

    Constructive criticism can sometimes strain professional relationships if not handled properly. Therefore, make sure to mention how you manage to maintain positive relationships with your coworkers and managers, even when facing criticism. This shows that you have the maturity and emotional intelligence to handle difficult conversations.

    When answering this question, remember that your goal is to demonstrate that you’re someone who welcomes feedback, learns from it, and maintains positive professional relationships. By adopting a positive attitude towards feedback and providing specific examples, you can turn this question into an opportunity to highlight your growth mindset and emotional intelligence.

  • Select a Relevant Example

    Start by selecting an example from your previous roles where you demonstrated leadership. This doesn’t necessarily mean a time when you were in a formal leadership position. You might have led a project, initiated a new process, or stepped up to help your team during a difficult period.

  • Use the STAR Method

    Structure your answer using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. Describe the situation and your role, discuss the action you took, and highlight the outcome.

  • Highlight Your Leadership Style

    In your example, be sure to showcase the qualities and behaviours that define your leadership style. This could include communication skills, decision-making abilities, empathy, or the ability to inspire and motivate others. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a position with a sales team, you might discuss how your leadership led to increased sales or improved team cohesion.

  • Show Impact and Learning

    Discuss the impact of your leadership. Did your actions lead to improved team performance, better project outcomes, or increased efficiency? Also, highlight what you learned from this experience and how it shaped your approach to leadership.

  • Connect with Company Culture

    Lastly, relate your leadership style and values with the company. For example, if the company values a flat organisational structure, you could emphasize your democratic leadership style that encourages input from all team members.

    Answering this question effectively requires a well-chosen example and a clear depiction of your leadership skills and style. By demonstrating your leadership abilities and showing how your style aligns with the culture, you can present yourself as a strong candidate who could add significant value to the team.

  • Do Your Homework

    Before the interview, research the average salary for the role in your location and industry. Use sources like salary surveys, online job posting sites, and professional networking platforms. This will help you develop a realistic range for your expectations.

  • Factor in Your Experience and Skills

    Consider your qualifications, skills, experience, and the requirements for the job to determine where you should fall within the typical salary range. If you have unique skills or more experience than the average candidate, it could be reasonable to ask for a salary above the median.

  • Provide a Salary Range Instead of a Single Figure

    Instead of giving a single figure, it’s often beneficial to provide a range. This gives you room to negotiate and signals to the interviewer that you are flexible. Make sure the lowest number in your range is something you’re comfortable with, as the employer may lean towards it.

  • Focus on the Total Compensation Package

    Remember, your salary is just one part of your total compensation. Other elements can include health benefits, retirement plans, vacation time, and other perks. If the interviewer suggests a salary lower than you expected, you could discuss these elements of your compensation package as areas for potential negotiation.

  • Maintain Professionalism and Positivity

    Regardless of how the conversation goes, it’s important to stay professional and positive. Emphasise your interest in the role and the company, and show that you’re open to a fair discussion about salary.

    Answering the salary expectations question requires careful preparation and tact. By researching ahead of time and considering your unique skills and experience, you can provide a realistic range that reflects your market value. Remember, negotiation is part of the process, so maintain an open mind and a professional demeanour throughout the conversation.

  • Select a Relevant Tool or Technique

    First, pick a tool, technique, or practice that is crucial to the job description and one that you are comfortable discussing. For instance, if you’re applying for an executive assistant role, you might discuss your experience with a specific project management software or the invoicing process.

  • Discuss Your Depth of Experience

    Start by stating how long you’ve been using the tool or practising the technique. Talk briefly about how you’ve applied it in your previous roles, demonstrating your competency and depth of knowledge. For example, “In my current company, I’ve been using this tool for two years primarily for task coordination and team communication.”

  • Share Achievements and Outcomes

    Next, highlight any significant achievements or positive outcomes associated with your use of the tool or technique. Did your proficiency lead to an increase in efficiency, savings, or the successful completion of projects? Use specific examples and, if possible, quantify the impact.

  • Discuss Any Advanced Techniques or Features

    If you’ve used any advanced features or followed any best practices with the tool or technique, be sure to mention these as well. It shows that you’re not just familiar with the tool, but you know how to leverage it effectively.

  • Show Your Ability to Learn and Adapt

    Finally, it’s worth noting your ability to learn new tools and adapt to new techniques. This is especially relevant in a fast-changing environment. Even if the company uses different tools, showing that you’re a quick learner can be a big plus.

    When discussing your experience with a specific tool, technique, or practice, it’s crucial to demonstrate both your depth of experience and your ability to adapt to new systems. With concrete examples and clear evidence of your competence, you can convince hiring managers of your readiness to take on the role’s responsibilities.

  • Demonstrate Your Understanding of Prioritisation

    Begin by acknowledging the importance of prioritisation in managing multiple projects. Emphasise your understanding that not all tasks are created equal and that efficient work involves distinguishing between high and low-priority tasks.

  • Detail Your Approach to Prioritisation

    Discuss your specific methods for prioritising work. This might involve using productivity tools, creating to-do lists, setting deadlines, or delegating tasks. If you employ a specific time management methodology, such as the Eisenhower Box or the Pareto Principle, mention this.

  • Provide Concrete Examples

    To make your answer more convincing, provide specific examples from your previous roles where you successfully managed multiple projects. Discuss the strategies you used and the outcomes you achieved. For instance, did your prioritisation methods help you meet all deadlines, lead to improved productivity, or result in positive feedback from managers or clients?

  • Discuss Adaptability and Flexibility

    Sometimes, even well-laid plans need to change. Talk about your ability to adapt your priorities in response to unexpected situations or urgent issues that arise. Show that you can maintain your composure and productivity even when circumstances change.

  • Connect Your Skills with the Job Requirements

    Finally, link your prioritisation skills back to the role you’re applying for. For example, if the job description mentions managing multiple tasks or projects, stress how your approach to prioritisation would benefit the team and company.

    When answering this question, your goal is to demonstrate your efficiency, organisation, and ability to stay calm under pressure. By detailing your approach to prioritisation, providing specific examples, and highlighting your flexibility, you can convince the interviewer that you’re equipped to manage multiple projects effectively.

  • Show Your Understanding of the Role

    Start by discussing your understanding of the role based on the job description and explain how it fits with your career path and interests. Highlight the aspects of the job that excite you and how you believe your skills and experience make you a great fit.

  • Align with the Company’s Values and Culture

    Research the company culture and values before the interview. Discuss how these align with your own values and professional goals. For example, if the company is known for its flat organisational structure and emphasis on teamwork, you can talk about how you thrive in a collaborative and inclusive environment.

  • Highlight the Company’s Reputation and Achievements

    Discuss any positive things you’ve heard or read about the company, such as recent achievements, its reputation in the industry, or its commitment to certain causes. This shows you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the company.

  • Connect Your Personal Goals with the Company’s Goals

    Discuss how your personal career goals align with the company’s objectives. This could relate to the company’s growth plans, the industry it operates in, or specific projects it’s undertaking. For example, if you’re applying for a junior analyst role at a financial company, you might discuss your interest in finance and your goal to grow within a company that’s raising the bar in the industry.

    Answering this question effectively involves a balance of showcasing your interest in the role, demonstrating your alignment with the company’s values, and indicating how the company can help you achieve your career goals. By doing so, you can show the interviewer not only why you are interested in the job, but also why you would be a good fit for the company.

  • Use This Opportunity to Show You’re Engaged

    Asking thoughtful, relevant questions signals to the interviewer that you’ve researched the company and are serious about the opportunity. It shows that you’re engaged and eager to learn more.

  • Ask Questions About the Role

    Start by asking questions related to the job description. This could include questions about the day-to-day responsibilities, the team you’ll be working with, or the key goals and challenges of the role. You might ask, “Can you tell me more about the sales team I’d be working with?” or “What would a typical day look like in this role?”

  • Inquire About Company Culture and Work Environment

    Gaining an understanding of the company culture is crucial to determine if it’s a good fit for you. Ask about the work environment, team dynamics, and management style. For instance, “Can you describe the company’s management style and culture?” or “How would you describe the environment here?”

  • Ask About Career Development and Advancement

    Demonstrate your ambition and commitment to the role by asking about career paths and professional development opportunities within the company. Questions like, “What are some common career paths in the company for someone in this role?” or “What kind of learning and development opportunities do you provide?” can be effective.

  • Enquire About the Next Steps

    Asking about the next steps in the hiring process shows that you’re eager to move forward. This could be as simple as asking, “What are the next steps in the interview process?”

    “Any questions for us?” is more than just a polite way to end the interview; it’s a chance for you to stand out and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and the company. By asking insightful questions about the role, the company culture, career development, and the hiring process, you can leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Summary and Conclusion

Facing a job interview can seem daunting, but with the right preparation, you can confidently navigate the process and leave a strong impression. This comprehensive guide to the 15 most common interview questions will equip you with strategies to deliver thoughtful, well-structured answers that highlight your skills, experience, and fit for the role.


Merely knowing how to answer these interview questions might not be enough. You also need to be prepared to deliver these answers convincingly, which is where mock interviews can be incredibly beneficial. Through CareerHub’s career guidance services, you can participate in realistic mock interviews, helping you fine-tune your responses, improve your delivery, and grow accustomed to the interview environment.

How can CareerHub help

Before even getting to the interview stage, you must first make it through the initial screening process, which will likely involve a close examination of your CV. CareerHub also offers expert CV writing services, ensuring that your CV is professional, persuasive, and tailored to the specific roles you’re targeting.

What is a mock interview?

A mock interview is a simulated practice interview that mimics the structure and content of a real job interview. It’s designed to help candidates prepare for actual interviews.

The Structure of a Mock Interview

During a mock interview from Careerhub, you’ll be asked typical interview questions by Michelle, who will play the role of the hiring manager for the job you’re applying for. As in a real interview, you’re expected to answer the questions as thoroughly and professionally as possible.

The Feedback Process

Once the mock interview is over, you will receive feedback on your performance. This can cover a variety of aspects such as your responses to questions, your body language, eye contact, and the way you present your skills and experience.

The Benefits of Mock Interviews

Participating in mock interviews can offer numerous benefits. They can help you understand what to expect in a real interview, improve your interview skills, reduce your anxiety, and boost your confidence. Mock interviews are an invaluable tool for job interview preparation, especially if you’re new to the job market or haven’t interviewed in a while.

By leveraging CareerHub’s comprehensive suite of career guidance services, including mock interviews and CV writing, you can significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job. Through diligent preparation and practice, you can go into your next job interview with confidence, ready to tackle any question that comes your way.