15 Most Common Interview Questions : How to and not to answer them

Do you have an interview anytime soon? Here are 15 Most Common Interview Questions . How to and not to answer them.

To start, please bear in mind that no two interviews can be the same as there are always different factors that determine how an interview will go.


The interviewer, the ambiance, the questions can all play different roles on the outcome. You can check this article on a 'Practical way of approaching an Interview'.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

No: The interviewer is not asking you what political party you support. At this point, he / she doesn't care if you go with Messi or Ronaldo.

About yourself should be an elevator pitch that you have practiced and mastered overtime.

Example: I am a hardworking professional with ___ years of experience. I’m excited to find a role where I can leverage and expand on my current skill set while also learning, growing and contributing to a great organization that aligns with my values.

Read also : Interview Preparation 101 : How to prepare for interview.

2. Why should we hire you?

No: Don't go mentioning achievements that do not tie or relate to the role or the organization in question.

The more specific you can be about what your skills are & how valuable of an employee you can be the better.

Example: I have the skills and competencies needed in this role and the drive about your organization will help me thrive here. I also believe I can contribute immensely to the company culture by ___________.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

No: This isn't about your personal goal of getting married, having kids, buying a house etc.

This question is to find if you set realistic goals, if you are ambitious and to confirm that the role aligns with your set goals.


1. In five years, I’d like to be an established team member here where I must have mastered my Java, Python, Coding Skills. And further use those skills to achieve set team objectives.

2. I will have taken on a leadership role where I am helping manage and grow others.

Read also : Types of interview and tips on how to handle them.

4. What are your biggest strengths?

No: I can eat 7 wraps of fufu without drinking water. No bro, don't. You shouldn't also state that you can travel 7 miles for the D.

The essence of this question is to highlight those skills and competencies that differentiates you.

Example: I pride myself in learning new concepts and tools quickly. Also, my communication skill is second to none, and even though these are my strengths, I am always looking forward to build on them.

PS: Add as many key skills.

5. What motivates you?

No: As much as a Burna Boy music will motivate you to blow 'ganja', it's not what is required here.

Here, you need to make the end goal of whatever activity it is that motivates you tie to the objectives of both the role and organization.

Example: I am always motivated when I put a smile on a customer's face, and that makes me want to do more as a sales rep. I believe if given the opportunity here, I'd continuously put in the effort to always seek customer's satisfaction.

6. How do you deal with pressure?

No: I was asked this question when I interviewed for my present role and I answered with a smirk on my face, 'What is pressure?', and everyone started laughing. Don't, because ambience might be different.

Explain your ability to remain calm.

Read also : A guide to an exceptional performance for your next interview.

Simple Example: First, I deal with pressure by remaining professional. I also deal with pressure by reminding myself that things are temporary, thereby taking things one step at a time.

7. What do you know about our company?

No: Don't go basic on them. Most people will just mention the year it was founded and what the company does.

The recruiter wants to see how much research you did before coming.

Example: I know ___ company is known for ___ and is in the ___ industry. Your major competitors are ____ and ____. It is based in ___ and has about ___ employees. It is one of the best places to work and that's why a dedicated professional like myself would fit in.

8. What are your biggest weaknesses?

No: You can't go telling the interviewer that once you see alcohol you won't be yourself anymore. Or that you can't be trusted with money. No one wants to know your vice at work.

You can mention the list skill relevant to the role.

Example: I am self-aware of my basic Microsoft Excel skill and I believe I can improve on it in order to be able to use Macros, Pivots etc. However, I am presently taking an excel class to improve on this weakness.

Read also : How to prepare for MS/PhD programs interview in USA.

9. Why do you want to leave your current job?

No: My present boss is a jerk. My company doesn't allow us work from home. My company deducts pay when we are late. etc.

The interviewer wants to know how positively inclined you are. Also, do you just burn bridges?

Example: My main reason is due to my career growth. The job duties and opportunities for this role both aligns with my interests, and I believe as the right fit it would propel my career growth in the direction.

10. What do you expect from a manager?

No: I expect that my manager understand I have life outside work. So if I tell him I am leaving work early, he needs to let me go 😳

In some cases, the manager will also be an interviewer and he'd like to see how you fit into his team.

Simple Example: I value a manager who communicates clearly with his employees and continues to give feedback on performance. This helps one focus on objectives of deliverable as well as holding onto the bigger picture. I also value a manager with an open door policy.

11. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work and how you dealt with it.

No: This is not an opportunity to talk about gbos gbas gbos fight at work.

How to best answer this is to explain the situation, the action taken and the result or outcome.

Read also : How to prepare for Skype Interview with a Professor and Questions you can ask professors during an interview.

Simple Example: A disgruntled employee stomped to the HR office complaining of deductions from this salary. On printing a copy of his pay slip, I was able to explain what the deduction was about. That day, he learnt a new policy surrounding possible deductions from salaries.

12. What would your last colleagues say about you?

Here, you can emphasize your skills again and talk about how it aligns with the role.

Example: They will tell you of how I am resourceful when it comes to questions on excel & how reliable I am on completing programming tasks.

13. What do you like to do outside work?

Everyone has one hobby or the other, but some hobbies relate well to the skills required for a job. But don't lie. For instance, someone who loves to read and write can be a good fit for a job that requires extensive communication skills.

14. Why is there a gap in your employment?

The short gap in my employment is as a result of taking some classes in my field. I was trying to expand my skill set through methods besides working a job and the knowledge I gained will absolutely help me perform better in this role.

15. Describe your proudest professional achievement.

Before going to the interview, identify a professional achievement that stands out and that is relevant to the job role. Your proudest achievement shouldn't be your degree. There are millions out there with such degrees.

Read also : 5 likely interview questions and answers.

Example: In my last role, I successfully facilitated the recruitment and on-boarding of 600 employees globally for our offices in U.S & India. As a result, we to met certain goals with a net revenue of ________ as opposed to ________ of the previous year.

Practicing for an interview is very important. However, as much as there are loads of interview questions to practice from, it is good to know how to answer such questions as well.

Be Professional.
Speak Professionally &
Ooze Professionalism.

Thanks for coming and good luck!


Tags: interview questions,interview

Author : Kekeocha Justin