Answering the 55 Most Common Interview Questions: Your Ultimate Guide! ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

Aug 22, 2020 | 0 comments

Your ultimate guide to answering the most common interview questions with real examples of the best answers

I.     Introduction

We have a lot to cover, so I will keep the intro short.
 
This is the most comprehensive guide to answering the most common interview questions out there. You will get at least two or three of these prompts in any interview, regardless of your line of work and how far up the career ladder you are.
 
So, whether you are looking for tips on how to answer common interview questions for interns, entry-level jobs, or experienced professionals, you will find a ton of useful information here.

The best part?

I will provide you with high-quality sample answers and a secret bonus question at the very end.
 
Trust me on this one: in today’s economic climate, you need this guide to get ahead and land the job of your dreams.
 
Let’s get right into it! 

Here is the list of the 55 most common interview questions:

  1. Tell Me a Little About Yourself.
  2. Could You Walk Me Through Your Resume?
  3. How Did You Find Out About This Position?
  4. Why Do You Want to Work with Us?
  5. What Do You Know About Our Company?
  6. Why Are You Interested in This Position Specifically?
  7. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?
  8. What Do You Like Least About Your Current Job?
  9. What Do You Like Most About Your Current Job?
  10. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
  11. Why Did You Switch Career Paths?
  12. How Much Do You Make at the Moment?
  13. What Is Your Salary Requirement?
  14. Why Do You Have a Gap in Your CV?
  15. What Are Your Main Strengths?
  16. What Do You Think Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?
  17. What Makes You Unique?
  18. What Skills Can You Bring to the Job?
  19. What Are You Looking to Learn from This Position?
  20. You Are Underqualified for This Position. Why Should We Hire You?
  21. You Are Overqualified for This Position. Why Should We Hire You?
  22. How Would Your Current Coworkers Describe You?
  23. What Has Been Your Greatest Career Achievement So Far?
  24. What Is Your Biggest Failure?
  25. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?
  26. How Do You Deal with Pressure?
  27. Give Me an Example of a Time When You Showed Leadership Skills.
  28. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Handle a Conflict at Work.
  29. Tell Me About a Challenge You Faced at Your Workplace.
  30. Tell Me About a Time When You Made a Mistake.
  31. Tell Me About a Time When You Went Above and Beyond What Was Required of You.
  32. What Would You Do If You Disagreed with a Decision That Was Made at Work?
  33. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Make a Difficult Decision.
  34. How Do You Deal with Difficult Customers or Clients?
  35. If You Had to Fire Someone, How Would You Do It?
  36. What Makes You Feel Motivated?
  37. What Is Your Managerial Style?
  38. How Do You Like to Be Managed?
  39. What Kind of Working Environment Do You Prefer?
  40. What Would Your Dream Job Look Like?
  41. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
  42. What Are Your Top Three Priorities in Life?
  43. Tell Me Something About Yourself That Is Not on Your CV?
  44. If We Were to Hire You, When Can You Start?
  45. What Would You Like to Accomplish in Your First Month on the Job?
  46. Are You Willing to Relocate If Needed?
  47. Are You Willing to Work Nights or Weekends?
  48. What Is Your Availability?
  49. What Do You Like to Do in Your Spare Time?
  50. What Are You Passionate About Outside of Work?
  51. Sell Me This Pen.
  52. How Many Square Feet of Pizza Are Eaten in New York City in a Day? 
  53. Why Should We Hire You?
  54. Is There Anything You Would Like to Ask Us?
  55. Bonus Question
Table of Contents hide
Answering the 55 Most Common Interview Questions: Your Ultimate Guide! ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ
I. Introduction

1.  Tell Me a Little About Yourself.

The key here is NOT to summarize your resume — the recruiters have already read it. Don’t tell them your entire life story, either. What you should do instead is to sell yourself as if you were a product or an investment opportunity. In other words, pitch yourself.

Pro Tip:

Your pitch should be concise, impactful, and thought-out in advance. It should also be based on facts: mention some of your greatest skills and accomplishments and how these are relevant to the position.
“I am a/an [your job title] with X years of experience. Some of the places I’ve worked at include [company names]. Most recently, I worked at XYZ company, where I helped boost sales by 30% last quarter.”

2. Could You Walk Me Through Your Resume?

Here, you have an opportunity to bring the recruiters’ attention to parts of your resume that may otherwise remain unnoticed. What’s more, you get a chance to explain how seemingly irrelevant bits of your biography are relevant to the position at hand. That’s particularly important if you are changing career paths or have had a bunch of wildly different jobs.
“I have two years’ experience in retail working as a sales assistant at ABC store. Prior to that, I was a kindergarten teacher for seven years. That job taught me a lot about managing unruly people and handling difficult personalities, which I think are some of the key skills a store manager needs to have.”

3. How Did You Find Out About This Position?

Usually, recruiters ask this question to streamline their job advertising strategy. If 99% of the applicants came through, say, LinkedIn, it might be more cost-effective to stop posting job ads elsewhere.

Pro Tip:

That’s a chance to show that you are well-connected (and, therefore, a valuable asset). If you heard about the position from someone in the industry, name-drop them.
“I heard about this position from my friend X. We used to work together at XYZ Ltd. He’s since moved on and is now the CEO of ABC Company, but we still keep in touch and go for drinks from time to time.”

4. Why Do You Want to Work with Us?

Make sure to research the company and what makes it unique — and incorporate that in your response. Mention stats, facts, or other standout features. Don’t give a generic answer that could apply to pretty much any other company.
“I have been tracking your growth for the past couple of years and was very impressed with your performance last quarter. I think the company is headed for an exciting future and would love to be a part of it.”

5. What Do You Know About Our Company?

This is a slightly modified version of the previous question. Here, you want to show that you are familiar with the history and philosophy of the company, what it does, and how it does it. Be as specific as possible.
“I know that since it was founded three years ago, XYZ Company has become quite the game-changer in the industry. Your website had more than a million visitors in the first year alone, most likely due to your unique approach that offers high-quality custom products at affordable prices.”

6. Why Are You Interested in This Position Specifically?

The goal here is to demonstrate that you understand what the specific position entails. That’s especially important if you haven’t had the same or a similar job before. The best place to find this kind of information would be the job description. It’s also a good idea to check other job descriptions for similar positions.

Pro Tip:

You also want to show why and how you’d make a great fit for this particular position — so don’t forget to mention relevant skills and accomplishments.
“I have been working as a copywriter for over five years, during which I have had to collaborate with editors and proofreaders on every piece that I have written. As a result, I have learned a lot about their work and have developed excellent attention to detail. With time, I grew more interested in this line of work and decided to try it myself.”

7. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position? Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?

Keep it positive. Don’t say anything negative about your soon-to-be-ex employer, colleagues, or workplace — even if it might be hell on earth. Give your answer a positive and forward-looking spin, and focus on how you’d like to improve, what new skills you’d like to gain, etc.
“After four years at ABC Company, I feel like I’ve learned everything I could there and am now ready for a new challenge. I need a change of scenery and a fresh perspective. I am also excited to gain new skills and learn from some of the best professionals in the industry.”

8. What Do You Like Least About Your Current Job?

Do NOT start ranting about how terrible your current job is. Instead, pick one or two downsides that won’t make either you or your current employer look bad, and tie them to opportunities for improvement at the position you are applying for.
“Because of the workload and quick turnaround times at my current job, my direct manager doesn’t often have the time to mentor me or anyone else on the team. However, mentorship and feedback from management are very important to me. In fact, one of the main reasons I applied for this position was your company’s mentorship program.”

9. What Do You Like Most About Your Current Job?

Here, choose things that make you look good and highlight key skills you could bring to your potential employer.
“One of the best things about my current job is that my direct manager trusts me enough to allow me to show initiative and leadership without micromanaging me too much. I have client accounts that I am 100% responsible for and make all key decisions myself. Of course, I always report to my manager, but so far, they have never had any issues with the choices I’ve made.”

10. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

Again, don’t say anything negative here. Instead, you could say that you left because you felt that you had reached the end of the learning curve or wanted more or bigger opportunities to learn and grow as a professional.
“I learned a lot at my previous job as a paralegal. However, I passed the Bar in the meantime and wanted to become an attorney, which had always been my dream. The problem was that, at the time, the law firm I was working for didn’t have openings for new attorneys, and they weren’t looking to hire anyone in the foreseeable future.”

11. Why Did You Switch Career Paths?

When changing career paths, it’s crucial to highlight how key aspects of your previous career are actually rather similar to the position you are applying for.

Pro Tip:

Think of any relevant transferable skills, such as critical thinking, working with customers, managing people, negotiation skills, working under pressure, writing skills, emotional intelligence, etc.
“After working as a social worker for ten years, I wanted to address people’s problems on a deeper level, so I went on to study psychology and became a licensed therapist. I find that the empathy and understanding of the underlying socio-economic issues that I developed in my social work make me a better therapist.”

12. How Much Do You Make at the Moment?

Depending on the jurisdiction, it may or may not be legal for employers to ask that. If it is, it’s best to deflect the question and reframe it around your salary expectations instead.
“I am contractually bound by my current employer to keep this confidential. However, the average annual salary for engineers with 15 to 20 years of experience in the industry is X, which is what I will be looking for in my next job.”

13. What Is Your Salary Requirement?

Don’t be afraid to ask for a high salary. Start with a number that is higher than what you actually want (but don’t go overboard — stick to the realities of the market). That will give you wiggle room for negotiation. Don’t use a range either, as it makes you look willing to concede, and the recruiter will immediately jump to the lower end of the range.
“The average salary for my profession is X, but I was already making more in my previous job. For my next position, I will be looking to make X per month/year.”

14. Why Do You Have a Gap in Your CV?

If you have gaps in your employment, make sure you have a great explanation on standby. Whatever you do, don’t say you were fired. Some good answers include personal or family reasons, extended travel, passion projects, or going back to school.
“After I quit my job in 2015, I wanted to make sure I had found the right employer before committing to another job. So, I really took my time; I did plenty of industry research and attended more than 30 interviews before accepting the offer from my last employer. Overall, the whole process took six months, but I had enough savings to get me through.”

15. What Are Your Main Strengths?

Here, you want to pick one or two strengths that are directly relevant to the position at hand. You should also back them up with facts or anecdotal evidence.
“I am a good salesperson. When I was head of sales for my previous company, I managed to increase sales by 60% in a two-year period.”

16. What Do You Think Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?

What recruiters are looking for with this question is to see that you are capable of self-reflection and honesty — and that you are not a complete narcissist.

Pro Tip:

The key here is not to make your weaknesses sound like deal-breakers or, worst of all, humblebrags (trust me, these are very easy to see through, and no one likes them).
“I sometimes tend to take on more projects than I can realistically handle, which is why I need to work on saying “No” or my delegating work to others.”

17. What Makes You Unique?

Maybe you work really well under pressure and tight deadlines motivate you. Perhaps you have excellent interpersonal skills. In any case, make sure to pick skills or personality traits that are relevant to the position.
“I am an extrovert and love interacting with people. Face-to-face communication makes me feel alive and happy, which is why I think I’d make a great fit for this customer-facing position.”

18. What Skills Can You Bring to the Job?

You should know the drill by now — pick one or two key skills that are relevant and back them up with evidence.
“I am extremely detail-oriented and love checking and double-checking facts. In fact, that’s something that I used to do all the time in my job as a proofreader. That, and my scientific background, makes me a great fit for this peer reviewer position.”

19. What Are You Looking to Learn at This Position?

You guessed it — here, you want to show that you have done your homework and know the company and the job description inside and out.
“After three years of working as a financial analyst covering the semiconductor industry, I’m now looking to broaden my knowledge and branch out. With 5G on the rise worldwide, I’d be really interested in covering the telecom industry, which is what your team specializes in. I believe this field has a lot of potential.”

20. You Are Underqualified for This Position. Why Should We Hire You?

If you have little or no experience in the field, you need to sell yourself hard. Highlight your strengths and accomplishments. If possible, use real-life examples to show that you are a fast learner.
“While I only have two years of experience in the field and haven’t held managerial positions before, I used to help my manager run five major projects at my previous job. They have all been very successful, as you can see from my manager’s recommendation. Everything I know about project management now, I had to learn on the job, so I’m confident I’ll be able to pick up things quickly if you hire me.”

21. You Are Overqualified for This Position. Why Should We Hire You?

That’s not a problem most people have, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you really want a position that is below your paygrade, you should make it clear that you are willing to accept a lower salary.
“I learned a lot from my work as a school principal, but my real passion is teaching. That’s why I decided to go back to teaching math full-time. Of course, I realize that this would entail a lower income.”

22. How Would Your Current Coworkers Describe You?

Be honest (remember, if you make it to the final cut, the recruiters may contact your previous employer for feedback). Showcase any strengths that you haven’t mentioned so far.

Pro Tip:

Here, it’s acceptable to add a touch of humor (but don’t overdo it).
“I think my coworkers would describe me as hardworking, conscientious, and easy to get along with. They might also tell you that my pet peeve is when I find out that the printer has run out of paper — and no one bothered to load a fresh batch.”

23. What Has Been Your Greatest Career Achievement So Far?

You don’t need me telling you what that one is. However, here, it’s also a good idea to mention your biggest achievement outside of work — it makes you seem more relatable.
“My biggest career achievement is founding a tech startup and helping it take off the ground. Eventually, my partner and I sold the company for $80 million. However, I consider my family and my friendships as my greatest achievements in life.”

24. What Is Your Biggest Failure?

Again, keep it real, but don’t mention any potential deal-breakers. Describe a low point in your professional life, how you were able to overcome it, and what you learned from it.
“Five years ago, I made a bad call and invested in a company that didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. That had a significant impact on the company’s earnings. Since then, I always make sure that our portfolio is as diverse as possible and includes a great number of low-risk investments.”

25. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?

Here, recruiters are looking for evidence that you can handle competing tasks and can prioritize them based on urgency or importance.
“Before I start each day, I make an action plan. I put the most time-sensitive tasks at the top of my to-do list and tick them off first. Toward the end of the day, I dedicate an hour or two to any ongoing long-term projects.”

26. How Do You Deal with Pressure?

The hard reality of the market is that no one’s going to hire you if they suspect that you are not resilient. Prove that you are a tough cookie using real-life examples from your professional or personal life — or both.
“Last year, my wife went on a six-month work trip to Africa. That was a big deal for her, and something she’d always dreamed of. I supported her fully, but her absence meant I had to take over all the childcare and housework as well as continue working full-time. It was hard for me, but I managed to make it through by setting up a regular sleep schedule, eating well, and working out when possible. I also started meditating, and that habit has stuck with me.”

27. Give Me an Example of a Time When You Showed Leadership Skills.

Make sure to have one or two real-life situations from your previous jobs on standby.
“One day, my manager came down with a nasty cold and had to stay home. The problem was that our team had a big deadline later that day. Everyone got panicky, so I thought I should calm people down — even though I was quite nervous myself. I made a list of tasks and delegated each one to one of my coworkers. Eventually, all the work got done just in time for the deadline.”

28. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Handle a Conflict at Work.

With this question, recruiters want to see that you have good interpersonal skills and can manage difficult situations (and personalities).
“I got assigned a project that one of my coworkers had really wanted to manage. She got quite upset and told me she deserved it more because she had worked so hard for it. I actually thought she was very good at her job, so I said that we could both lead the project. We talked it over with our manager, and she agreed. The project turned out quite successful in the end.”

29. Tell Me About a Challenge You Faced at Your Workplace.

Here, you want to show the interviewers that you can face difficulties and come up with effective solutions to problems.
“Last June, we had a major power outage in the area that lasted for a good twelve hours. As a result, we had no internet connection and no working computers at the office. That meant we were bound to fail to meet a few deadlines that day. So, I called all of our clients personally, explained the situation, and offered them a discount as compensation. The good news was that they all said they understood and that no compensation was needed.”

30. Tell Me About a Time When You Made a Mistake.

I am sure you catch my drift by now. Here, you want to describe a non-fatal mistake that you were eventually able to overcome.
“I once emailed a set of confidential documents to the wrong client. I caught my mistake half an hour later, and called the client immediately to apologize and ask them to delete the email and the files. Luckily, they hadn’t even looked at their email, so no harm was done.”

31. Tell Me About a Time When You Went Above and Beyond What Was Required of You.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The key here is to keep it real and don’t brag too much. If you were a part of a team, make sure to mention other people’s contributions too — recruiters know that you are not a one-man orchestra, so don’t try to paint yourself as one.
“I was working on an op-ed for a major national newspaper. I had submitted the draft, and it had already been proofread, edited, and approved for publication. Nevertheless, I decided to go over it once again just to be on the safe side. I noticed a couple of mistakes that had escaped everyone’s attention. The editor called me personally to thank me for my attention to detail, as the piece was meant to go on their front page.”

32. What Would You Do If You Disagreed with a Decision That Was Made at Work?

Here, you can either give a real-life example or imagine a hypothetical situation. In any case, you want to show that you are no pushover and can stand up for yourself but also know how to have civilized arguments.
“My manager wanted to increase the price of our best-selling product threefold. I ran the math, and the projections didn’t look good. So, I asked if we could have a meeting later that day and put across my argument. I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of the team. He actually came to agree with me, and the price stayed the same. Our sales increased by 70% by the end of the year.”

33. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Make a Difficult Decision.

With this question, potential employers are looking to see that you can be tough (but fair) when the situation demands it.
“Our company took a hard hit in the 2008 crisis. As a manager, I knew that we would have to scale down and let some people go. I ended up giving up my salary for a two-year period, but that was not enough to keep everyone on board. Eventually, I ended up making some people redundant. However, I rehired most of them as soon as the business started picking up three years later.”

34. How Do You Deal with Difficult Customers or Clients?

Again, interviewers want to see if you can keep your cool when dealing with difficult personalities. It’s best to give a real-life example here.
“Once, an elderly lady walked into the tech store I was working at. She walked right up to me and started shouting that we had sold her a faulty computer and owed her a full refund. I took a deep breath, counted to ten, and told her calmly that I’d be happy to assist if she could provide the original receipt and the computer. That seemed to calm her down, and we managed to work things out in the end.”

35. If You Had to Fire Someone, How Would You Do It?

This is a variation on the earlier question about making difficult decisions. Interviewers want to see that you are tough but also reasonable and empathic. Feel free to use a real example or an imaginary situation.
“If I were to fire someone, I’d first make sure that I’m 100% familiar with the company’s firing policy as well as any relevant labor legislation. I’d then send an email to the person asking them for a one-on-one chat. We’d meet somewhere where no one can hear or interrupt us, and I’d calmly but firmly explain the situation. I’d make sure to justify my decision using facts and statistics related to that person’s performance or behavior. However, I’d also give them ideas and advice as to how to move on in their career.”

36. What Makes You Feel Motivated?

There are no wrong answers here. Employers know that people are different and try to motivate them accordingly.

Pro Tip:

Be honest but also realistic (if you are highly money-driven, the non-profit sector might not be a great fit).
“I find that I feel most motivated when my superior compliments my work and gives me positive feedback. I also appreciate it when they take the time to discuss my future and career development.”

37. What Is Your Managerial Style?

If you are applying for a position in management, it’s highly likely that this question will come up during the interview. Be upfront — if your style is not a good match for the company, it’s best to find that out sooner rather than later.
“Personally, I don’t believe in micromanagement. I check in on every member of my team once or twice a week, but that’s it. If I didn’t think they could do their job to a high standard, I wouldn’t have hired them. Of course, they know that my door is always open for mentorship or if they have any questions.”

38. How Do You Like to Be Managed?

That’s the other side of the management coin. Again, be as honest as possible — you don’t want to end up with a boss whose style of work you detest.
“If possible, I like to receive very detailed instructions at the start of each task or project. I don’t like it when new or contradictory instructions keep popping up as the work is well underway. It slows everything down and makes it seem as if the manager didn’t think things through in advance.”

39.What Kind of Working Environment Do You Prefer?

This question helps recruiters gauge whether their workplace is a good fit for your personality and work style.

Pro Tip:

Don’t lie or sugarcoat your answer. The last thing you want is to end up in a work environment you are incompatible with — it will suck the life out of you.
“I’m an introvert, so I prefer quieter environments. I find shared or noisy working spaces overwhelming.”

40. What Would Your Dream Job Look Like?

You guessed it: you want to make the description of your dream job similar to the position you are applying for (if that’s what you really want).
“My dream job combines teaching and mentoring young people and working with the arts on a daily basis. That’s why I believe I’d make a great fit for the music teacher position in your school.”

41. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Only one answer works here: you should say that you see yourself working in your potential employer’s line of work — and, ideally, in their company.
s

Important:

Note that some recruiters may use this question in an underhanded way to gauge whether you plan to start a family any time soon. If that’s the case, it’s best not to mention anything about your personal life — especially if you are a woman.
“I’m a human resources director at the moment, so in five years’ time, I hope to have graduated to the position of senior HR.”

42. What Are Your Top Three Priorities in Life?

Again, interviewers want to see if you can keep your cool when dealing with difficult personalities. It’s best to give a real-life example here.
“My top three priorities are my family and friends, my health, and building a meaningful and inspired life with a rewarding career.”

43. Tell Me Something About Yourself That Is Not on Your CV.

This one right here is your chance to stand out from the crowd. Think of a unique skill, strength, accomplishment, or interest that may or may not be related to your professional life — and make it relevant to the position you are applying for.
“In my spare time, I’m an avid speleologist. I try to explore new caves as often as I can. My hobby can be quite dangerous and has taught me the importance of courage, not taking unnecessary risks, and trusting your teammates — which, I guess, is just as important in construction work as well.”

44. If We Were to Hire You, When Can You Start?

Be realistic, but don’t make yourself seem too unavailable. Most employers will be looking to fill in any job openings as soon as possible.
“I’d have to give my current employer two weeks’ notice. After that, I’d be free to start work right away.”

45. What Would You Like to Accomplish in Your First Month on the Job?

Again, what you want to do here is demonstrate that you have researched the position and know what the job description entails. You also want to show that you are realistic and can manage your expectations — don’t say you’d be expecting a promotion by the end of your first month on the job.
“By the end of my first month on the job, I should have met all my coworkers and learned what their positions entail. I should also know my way around the building, the server, and any specific programs or software, and have a good grasp of what’s expected of me. I should have finished my training period and hope to have completed my first few tasks or little projects.”

46. Are You Willing to Relocate If Needed?

If the position involves travel or the company is part of a global conglomerate, you may be asked to relocate at some point. If that’s not something you’d be willing to consider, it’s best to be upfront about it early on.
“I have three underage children. They have their school, friends, and extended family here. I wouldn’t want to uproot my family at this stage, but I’d be happy to relocate once the kids are off to college.”

47. Are You Willing to Work Nights or Weekends?

You shouldn’t work after hours if you are not adequately compensated. But even if the work conditions are good, think before you answer this one. Evening and weekend work can be draining and socially isolating — not everyone is cut out for that.
“I’d be happy to work one weekend per month. However, the rest of the time I’d prefer to stick to regular working hours.”

48. What Is Your Availability?

If you are applying for a part-time or freelance position, this question is bound to come up. Be honest, and don’t make promises that you cannot keep.
“I work Monday to Friday from 3 to 10 pm. Realistically, I can handle one to two graphic design projects per week.”

49. What Do You Like to Do in Your Spare Time?

Again, interviewers want to see if you can keep your cool when dealing with difficult personalities. It’s best to give a real-life example here.
“I go boxing three times a week in a local gym. I find that it helps keep my stress levels down. It also gives me the stamina and energy I need to handle a bunch of cute but hyperactive preschoolers seven hours a day.”

50. What Are You Passionate About Outside of Work?

This question is an excellent opportunity to showcase any charitable or community work you may have done. Employers like that, as it could help them with their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
“Twice a month, I volunteer at a homeless shelter. I help the staff hand out food, clothes, and personal hygiene items. I also do a bit of admin work for them.”

51. Sell Me This Pen.

This one is quite common in interviews for sales positions. It can be a pen or any other random object. The key here is to focus on the unique features of the item and how it could change or improve the consumer’s life.
“This pen means business. It fits your hand like a glove and glides effortlessly on the page. The sleek design is a token of professionalism and smart elegance. With this pen, you will never look unsophisticated when signing business deals. Overall, it’s the perfect addition to your work briefcase or your office desktop.”

52. How Many Square Feet of Pizza Do Americans Eat in a Year?

With these prompts, interviewers are not looking to get the right answer. Often, they themselves don’t know what that is. What they are looking for, however, is logic, critical thinking, and numerical literacy.

Pro Tip:

This question comes in many variations. How many cellphones are there in Manhattan? How many tennis balls can you fit in a Boeing 747?
“The population of the U.S. is approximately 300 million. Most, but not all, will eat pizza; let’s say 200 million. Next, let’s assume the average person eats pizza two times a month and has two slices at a time. That makes four slices a month.

I’d say the average slice is something like 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. So, the surface area of the slice would be 30 square inches (since it’s a triangle). By extension, four pizza slices would measure 120 square inches.

If I’m not mistaken, one square foot equals 144 square inches. So, if each person eats pizza roughly one square foot a month, that makes for 200 million square feet of pizza.”

53. Why Should We Hire You?

Use this opportunity to reiterate your best-selling points and highlight any that haven’t been mentioned yet.
“I have five years’ worth of experience in the field. I come highly recommended by my previous manager and have made valuable contributions to my old team. Furthermore, I am a quick learner, easy to get along with, and highly motivated.”

54. Is There Anything You Would Like to Ask Us?

Please, don’t say “No.” It makes it seem as if you don’t really care. Instead, make use of this question to show that you’ve researched the company thoroughly.
“I saw that the company is opening a branch in Russia later this year. What made you enter that market?”

55. Bonus Question

And now, the bonus question!

➤ What Is One Thing Your Former Manager Thinks You Should Improve?


Show some self-reflection here, but don’t go overboard. The key is to show your enthusiasm for self-improvement and learning.

“My previous manager used to tell me that I was not assertive enough during group meetings. As an introvert, I find it hard to speak up when there are many people around. That’s why I signed up for assertiveness training last month. I have five more sessions to go to, but I’ve already noticed a significant improvement.”

II. The Most Common Interview Questions: Final Thoughts

Phew! That was a long one, wasn’t it? Thank you for making it to the very end, folks! I hope you learned something new. As always, feel free to leave a comment below or ask me any questions. And please, let me know if you ended up using any of my tips and how that went — it would mean the world to me!

And just to recap, here are the key takeaways for answering the most common interview questions:

» Answering the Most Common Interview Questions: Key Takeaways:

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Key Takeaways

  • Research the company or organization thoroughly.
  • Be able to recite the job description for the position you are applying for in your sleep.
  • Research similar job descriptions posted by other companies.
  • When answering interview questions, be honest, but don’t focus on the negatives too much.
  • Don’t bring up any major failures or potential deal-breakers.
  • Make a list of skills, experiences, and personality traits that are relevant to the position.
  • Write a sample answer for each of the questions above. Practice saying it out loud.

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