Job Interview Questions and Answers 101

By Mike Simpson

“And now, for our feature presentation…”

Normally these words would signal you to lean back in your movie theater chair, put on your 3D glasses and start shoveling buttery popcorn into your face for the next two-and-a-half-hours.

But in this case, while your job interview does have the potential to be an Oscar-winning drama (and hopefully not a B-rated bust), we’re not talking about the silver screen.

The “feature presentation” I’m talking about is in reference to the most important part of the entire interview process.

The Job Interview Questions (and Answers).


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If you’re anything like I was just over a decade ago, the very mention of interview questions is enough to make your temperature rise like a bad fever and your palms to sweat as if you were holding a never-ending tree pose during a hot yoga session.

But why the anxiety?

What is it about these simple little phrases that end with a question mark that causes us to lose our minds and run for the hills?

Well, much like anything else… it’s the fear of the unknown.

You’re afraid of not knowing what interview questions are going to be asked. You’re afraid of giving the wrong answer.

But more than anything, you’re afraid that if you don’t answer all of the questions in the most perfect way possible, you’re going to walk out of the interview room with no offer and make the long, shameful trek back to your parents’ basement.

And I’m not exaggerating. Even about the parent’s basement. Just ask Jeff (a story for a different day).

Here’s the deal: You should be a bit nervous.

There are hundreds of typical interview questions that you could be asked, and there are a right and a wrong way to answer each one of them.

Not only that, but you could be asked these questions at any stage of the 2017 interview process, from the phone interview (for help with these check out our article 8 Phone Interview Tips That Will Land You A Second Interview) all the way to the panel or group interview.

One little slip could mean the end of your chances if one of your competitors is able to do what you can’t and give smooth, confident answers to every question.

And the reality is, if you don’t…

Someone will.

people-out-of-workYou know the deal. There are approximately 90 million Americans that don’t have jobs and a large portion of those people are frothing at the mouth to get back in the workforce.

So needless to say it’s a competitive landscape out there and you need to do what you can to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Luckily for you, Jeff and I have spent the last few years perfecting a method for how to answer interview questions perfectly, and I’d like to share it with you in this article today.

Here's What We Are Going To Cover

  • Traditional Job Interview Questions and Answers vs. Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
  • Your Mindset: It’s Not About You, It’s About Them
  • The Tailoring Method
  • Common job interview questions

  • 3 Example Interview Answers
    • The Traps to Avoid For Each Interview Question
    • The Do’s and Don’t s for Each Interview Question

Before we get started you should download our Job Interview Questions and Answers Cheat Sheet.

It’s a great companion to this article as it gives you perfect example answers to three of the toughest interview questions you will face (not contained in this article) and will also give you access to our VIP Resource area where we have upwards of 10 more free job interview tools. Click Here To Get Interview Question Cheat Sheet!

The Basics: Traditional vs. Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

If you’ve had an interview in the last few years, you may have noticed that nearly all of the tough interview questions you were asked could fall loosely into two types or styles, or should I say “broad categories”.

Generally speaking, every interview question that you can be asked is either a Traditional (sometimes referred to as basic interview questions) or Behavioral Interview Question.

*Now there are a few other categories of questions such as situational interview questions, case, technical and a few others that we’ll cover in future articles, but for the purposes of this article I’ve focused on the two largest types.

A hiring manager uses Traditional Interview Questions to get a general sense of who you are as a person and what your qualifications for the position are.

Quite often, their goal is to explore your professional aptitudes, attitudes and qualifications by asking questions such as, “What is your highest level of education?” or “What were your primary responsibilities at your last job?”.

Pretty straight forward stuff.

Behavioral Questions, on the other hand, are a whole different ball of wax (and the nemesis of a large portion of the job seeking community).

With Behavioral Questions, the hiring manager is trying to determine how you will act on the job (the one you are currently interviewing for) by analyzing your past behaviors.

In other words, the way you behaved in the past is a predictor of how you will behave in the future. These questions usually begin with “Tell me about a time that…” or “Describe to me a situation when…”.

NOTE: Today, our focus is going to be on Traditional Interview Questions.  For more information on how to answer behavioral interview questions, please check out our other in depth article "Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers 101."

Answering Traditional Interview Questions

Okay. So I think we can both agree that it’s pretty obvious that being able to properly answer the commonly asked interview questions is crucial if you hope to beat out your competition and get a job offer from your next interview.

Unfortunately for most people, knowing this and executing this are usually two different things.


Because most people don’t have a planA formula….

…. A way to answer every single interview question that ensures that your answer leaves the hiring manager’s jaw hanging open with astonishment and has them writing you up a job offer before you even stand up to leave the interview.

The reality is, most job seekers simply roll into their interview with no plan and try to “freestyle” their way through the interview.

Look, you might be able to string words together off the top of your head like Eminem, but we’re not auditioning for parts in 8 Mile here, we’re trying to get a job.

So leave the rhyming couplets behind and sharpen your pencil because you’re about to learn the step-by-step method that I know will give you an incredible advantage when you’re in front of the hiring manager.

“It’s Not About You, It’s About Them”

Before I break down our step-by-step method, there is something you need to understand. Actually, I’ll take it a step further. This idea is something that from here on out…

You need to live by.

As the title of this section says,It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Take that in for a second.

Say it out loud a few times. Let it rumble around in your head for a bit.

So what exactly does it mean?

Well to this point, you’ve probably approached your job interview something like this…

“I worked at Company X for six years…”
“I am highly proficient in the following skills….”
“I love working with children because…”

This is the point where my hand slams down on a big buzzer like in the Family Feud.


Because the company doesn’t care about you.

Okay, that is a little harsh. It’s not that they don’t care for you and your well-being (although I would argue that a lot of the major corporations simply don’t… but this is a discussion for another day), it’s that there is something that they are a LOT more interested in…


Now, I don’t mean to make the company sound like a selfish, controlling and manipulative ex-boyfriend, but the reality is, the reason they are conducting a job interview in the first place is because they have a specific goal in mind.

They are trying to fulfill their needs.

They have a specific individual in mind for this position, and it’s the person who is best able to satisfy these needs.

The company knows exactly who they are going to hire, long before this person even enters the interview room.

Now, they obviously don’t know the actual name of the exact individual they are going to hire (that wouldn’t be fair), but they do know the type of person that they want and more importantly, they know the knowledge, skills and abilities that this person MUST possess.

Just ask Miriam Salpeter from Keppie Careers, who says:

“While the focus of ‘Why should we hire you?’ (and other similar interview questions) is on ‘you,’ the interviewee, it’s important to remember the answer isn’t all about you..."

Okay, so taking that all into consideration, how do you position yourself as the type of person that this company wants to hire?

How do you ensure that you are demonstrating the knowledge, skills and abilities that your company clearly puts a lot of value in?

In general terms, you want to show the hiring manager the different ways you bring value to the company: how you can help them satisfy their needs and achieve their goals, based on your past training and experience.

You’ll get your reward if they hire you. But be more interested in them than you are in yourself. Be there for them.

Again from Miriam Salpeter

“Framing replies that demonstrate you understand their problems, or ‘pain points,’ makes a big difference when competing with many other qualified candidates.”

(Source: Keppie Careers Blog)

But how does one do this?

By using our Tailoring Method of course!

The Tailoring Method

No, I’m not talking about putting a hem on the bottom of your new trousers or letting the seam of your blazer out a little bit to account for the couple extra helpings of apple pie you had at Thanksgiving.

While that tailoring is also crucial (nobody wants to go into their job interview looking like Jeff does after his weekly visit to Krispy Kreme), the type of tailoring I’m referring to concerns your entire job interview, and more specifically, your answers to the interview questions.

So what is tailoring?

Think of it like “customizing“.

We now know that your company has a specific type of person in mind for the role that they are interviewing for.

They have a specific set of knowledge, skills and abilities that this person MUST HAVE in order to get the job.

So what do you need to do? You need to customize, or “tailor” your entire interview to the needs of the company.

Success Stories

Every interview question should have a base. A stable foundation to build on. Over here at Interview Guys Headquarters, we like to refer to these foundational elements as “success stories“.

A success story is an example from your past work experience that clearly demonstrates you succeeding in some way.

For example, a time that you solved a problem, excelled in a difficult situation or used a certain skill to get the job done.


Every time you go into a job interview, you should have several of these memorized so that you can use them to help formulate your answers to the interview questions.

For example, a success story might be:

  • How you analyzed the annual budget and decided to make cutbacks in certain areas that led to more profit in the company the following year
  • How you helped solve a dispute between two co-workers that allowed your team to work more efficiently and led to increased productivity
  • How you volunteered for the “culture committee” and were appointed lead, where you led the team to make changes to the office setup which improved workflow and overall efficiency

Now here’s the key, and something I hope that you noticed…

You want to be careful not to slip into your old habits and start saying “Me me me me” again. The key is to select success stories that highlight the knowledge, skills and abilities that the company desires.

Okay, so I know what you might be thinking…

“Mike, does this mean I need to have a Success Story ready for every single interview question? What if I get asked 30 questions in my interview? Do I need 30 Success Stories!???”

It’s a fair question.

Here’s the deal: Not all interview questions and answers will require you to go into the kind of depth where using a Success Story is completely mandatory.

As you prepare for your job interview and study the different commonly asked interview questions, you will see that certain questions will warrant an answer with a little more depth or back story.

But there will be other interview questions that are simpler and will only require a more literal, straightforward response. For example, “What is your five-year plan?” This question is forward looking and doesn’t necessarily require the support of a tale of success from your past.

So use your discretion.


Okay, so I’ve mentioned a few times that every company has a list of knowledge, skills and abilities that their ideal candidate must have. We like to group these together into one category and call them Qualities. Common qualities include the following:

  • leadership
  • collaboration
  • vision
  • persistence
  • innovation
  • influence

Everyone has Qualities. Even my partner Jeff (although I’m still working hard to try and figure out what they are). 😉

Okkkk.... That's the second shot you've taken at me. I'll be sure to remember that while writing my next article 😉



What am I saying?

Just having Qualities isn’t enough. You need to have the Qualities that your company puts a lot of value in.

How does one find these Qualities?

Well, as our friend Miriam Salpeter says, “Use their in-depth job descriptions, view videos the employers post about their organization and visit their Facebook page and Twitter feeds.”

We couldn’t agree more.

You should be “mining” the company’s various web properties to look for these Qualities, and then infusing them (along with a supporting success story) into your interview answers.

Putting It All Together

So have you figured out what you’re supposed to do? This is how it works.

Once you’ve figured out the Qualities that your company puts a lot of value in, you need to be able to show them that “YES!”, you do have these Qualities.

The best way to do this is to choose success stories from your past that help highlight those Qualities.

This is the big key.

The shift from the traditional way of interviewing. The part that most people get wrong.

It’s in the selection of these success stories that you will separate yourself from the pack.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you discover through your research that your company puts huge value on the candidate being detail-oriented. Well, you need to go into your interview armed with a success story that demonstrates you being detailed-oriented.

Pretty simple right?

Now, when it comes time to actually answering the question there is a little more to it than that, but don’t worry, we’re going to use three examples of questions that will clearly show you how to use a success story and Quality to answer the question perfectly.


Despite the winning formula we've just provided, you want to be careful not to overdo it. As I said earlier with Success Stories, some questions will simply require a literal, general answer, and should be treated appropriately. Don't try to get too cute by weaving an elegant success story laced with several Qualities when the hiring manager simply wants to know how long you worked at a past job, what your core responsibilities were, or something similarly simplified.  

Common Job Interview Questions

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses
  • Where do you see yourself in five years
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • How would your coworkers describe you?
  • How do you deal with pressure?

  • How do you manage your time?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are your goals?
  • How do you make decisions?
  • Why is there a gap in your resume?
  • How do you handle difficult customers?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

If you want some sample answers to some of these common answers that you can get inspiration from then you should get our “job interview questions & answers cheat sheet. It’s pretty helpful because in it we give you word-for-word sample answers you can model. Click Here To Get The Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet

3 Examples of Typical Interview Questions With Sample Answers

In the following three examples, we’ll show you how to answer three common interview questions using the formula that we demonstrated above.

Beside each question is the Quality that the company values the most (which we discovered through our research done while preparing for the interview). In the answer to the question, you’ll see that the Quality that we are trying to highlight in the answer is in ORANGE, and the success story that we are trying to use to help support the Quality is in BLUE. Make sense?

You’ll also see that I’ve added a “tarp” that people fall into in each question. Remember as I said before, many interview questions have little traps, sometimes traps that are not so obvious, and you need to be able to identify and avoid them.

I’ll also wrap the question up with a few “Do’s and Don’ts” to remember when you go into the interview room.


1) What is your biggest strength? (Desired Quality: Versatility)

As an architect at the small firm Big Building Inc., I had to learn all phases of running a business, from taking care of the IT work to visiting construction sites to doing accounts payable and receivable. I also passed the Architect Registration Exam in the 90th percentile of scores meaning I bring my architectural expertise, but I also have the entrepreneurial strength and spirit. Since your construction company is a start-up, I think that would add a lot of value. My experience shows that I excel when wearing a few different hats, even if one of them is a construction helmet.

TRAP: Many people hear this question and take the opportunity to gloat about their accomplishments, losing sight of the fact that the ONLY important thing you need to do his highlight a strength that aligns with the company’s needs. Never has the importance of the Tailoring Method been so clear.

DO’ s

  1. Highlight one of your strengths that you know the company puts a lot of value in
  2. Use a story from your past to support the strength you are trying to demonstrate
  3. Quantify your level achievement (“90th percentile of scores”)


  1. Don’t brag about your accomplishments
  2. Don’t bring up strengths that aren’t relevant to the company you are interviewing with
  3. Don’t make any claims you can’t support with hard facts.


2) How are you with time management? (Desired Quality: Efficiency)

Working as a travel agent, I had to be excellent at time management, as I was expected to sell and coordinate packages of flights, lodging, car rentals, admission passes, and tickets. All of these items needed to be coordinated and documented efficiently in order to ensure that my clients’ vacation expectations were exceeded. One other aspect of this position that was time-related was the fact that time zones played such a big role in the process. I was able to factor these differences into my work and ultimately provide my clients with a high level of service. I'd say that this experience accurately demonstrates my proficiency with time management and I believe that I'm well prepared to manage similar tasks at you company."

TRAP: Literally EVERYBODY who answers this question is going to say they are organized, and the hiring manager knows this. They expect you to provide cold hard data and examples when it comes to your claims, so don’t even think about claiming your organizational aptitude if you can’t back it up with facts.

DO’ s

  1. Always support your statement with hard facts
  2. The Quality desired is almost always “efficiency”, “organization”, or “time management”, so there should be no surprises
  3. This is one interview question that you can be 100% prepared for because you know it is coming and what you can say to answer it perfectly


  1. Don’t make up any BS stories about being organized if you can’t back it up. Remember, all it takes is one quick call to your old boss about your habits and your House of Cards can come tumbling down pretty quickly
  2. This is a straight forward question. Don’t get cute and try to weave in any extraneous Qualities that aren’t relevant to your level of efficiency
  3. There is NO excuse to not have this answer prepared perfectly prior to your interview. You know it’s coming so make sure you have your success story ready.


3) Is there anything else I should know about you? (Desired Quality: Deals well with pressure)

I didn’t mention an interesting anecdote when I was the safety manager at SkyScraper Construction Co. I had just completed my CPR and First Aid courses, and a man on site suddenly went into cardiac arrest. My supervisor looked at me and said, ‘You’re in charge of safety!’ I had practiced on a dummy but never on a live person. I knew I had to keep calm and simply do what I was taught. I revived him while others called 911. He later thanked me for saving his life. Although I don’t anticipate such a thing happening often, the incident taught me that, no matter what happens, keeping calm and putting one’s training into motion will often resolve a threatening situation. I think that was excellent training for an air traffic controller position, in addition to my FAA certification, of course.

TRAP: You wouldn’t believe how many people hear this question come out of the hiring manager’s mouth and take it as an invitation to list off their hobbies and interests. Look. They’ve seen your resume and are well aware that you “enjoy hiking.” This is another opportunity for you to take control of the interview by zoning in on their desired quality and really hammering it home with a well-positioned success story.

DO’ s

  1. Turn the interview from an “interrogation” to a “conversation” by taking this opportunity to highlight one of the Qualities you’ve discovered in your research.
  2. Keep a few success stories in your back pocket just for open-ended questions like these. They will really impress the hiring manager.


  1. Don’t EVER simply say, “No, I don’t think so.” Use the opportunity you’ve been given.
  2. Don’t ramble on and on.  It’s not an invitation to tell your life story.
  3. Don’t simply list off your hobbies and interests.

The Home Stretch

Okay, so by now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to apply our Tailoring Method to answering a typical job interview questions with ease.

Success stories (when needed)?


Discovered Qualities through detailed research?


Formula for answering any interview question perfectly?

You bet!

The main thing to remember is that “it’s not about you, it’s about them“, so you should be answering every interview question with that in mind.

Find the Qualities that your company is looking for in their perfect candidate and infuse them into your answers. And if the question warrants it, reference the Success Stories you have in your back pocket to help demonstrate you have that Quality.

Now, of course, this assumes that you know what questions you are going to be asked.

And that’s the next step…

A Quick Word of Warning

Don’t make the same mistake that everyone makes.

Don’t go to Google and punch in “best answers to interview questions” and on the first site that pops up, print off all the questions and answers and memorize them.

The internet, while making great strides, is still the Wild West at heart. There is a lot of bad information out there that can really have a negative effect on your interview preparation.

So stick with the experts. Hmm… let me think if I know any I can recommend… 😉

Joking aside, you obviously need to go to a reputable place to get the information you need to ensure your interview success. At the end of the day…your career depends on it.

Good Luck!

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Here's what you're getting:

  • Word-for-word sample answers to the most common interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself, why should we hire you?, What's your greatest weakness and more!
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  • Mike Simpson

    Reply Reply February 19, 2015

    Hey Job Seekers! We want to find out which job interview questions annoy you the most! Do you have a particular question that has always been a thorn in your side? We want to hear from you!

    For me, the oddball questions that don’t seem to have any real relevance have always annoyed me. You know the ones.

    “How many airplanes are in the sky in the United States at any given time?”
    “How many ridges are there on a quarter?”

    I understand that they often do inspire some critical thinking which I certainly can appreciate, but most of the time they are just silly and don’t have any real purpose.

    Thankfully these types of interview questions were a fad and most companies are now going away from them.

    Which question(s) annoy you?

    • CarolDeSantis

      Reply Reply February 25, 2015

      How about the question “tell me about yourself”?

      Giving one success story does not seem to answer it.

    • wizard535

      Reply Reply September 20, 2015

      This was asked randomly by my interviewer so I was taken aback. “How would you describe what a TV is to someone who doesn’t know what it is?”
      Pretty annoying since I think everyone knows what it is.

      • Mike Simpson

        Reply Reply September 20, 2015

        Unfortunately, some companies still think that using these kinds of questions are useful. All you can really do is give them your best answer while trying not to overthink it too much.

    • Zee

      Reply Reply February 25, 2016

      I had a company throw this one at me: “What question do you wish I had asked you during this interview?” I was totally thrown for a loop by it.

      • Anonymous

        Reply Reply February 27, 2016

        When can you start?
        Would be a good answer. 😉

        • Jeff

          Reply Reply February 28, 2016

          Haha, nice!

        • Loren

          Reply Reply July 19, 2016

          I was actually asked the same question and gave that answer! I was hired!

    • Angella

      Reply Reply February 29, 2016

      Coming to the party late, but I was asked “What is my favorite TV show? Then, which character do you identify with and why.

      I responded “Dexter” – admitting that my favourite TV show was about a serial killer probably may not have been my best choice. :/

      However, for “who do you identify with”, I had to respond that while I didn’t tend to “identify with” anyone, Dexter was, in fact my favourite character due to the complexity of the character and his growth and the fact that the actor himself was completely amazing in the role.

    • Rezaul Hasan

      Reply Reply May 15, 2016

      Once a Swedish interviewer of a Food Delivering Company was taking my interview for the post of Online Customer Service Agent. One of the questions was ‘What would you do if a customer gets angry on you and doesn’t want to listen to you anymore?’.

      I tried my level best to give him an appropriate answer but he was just telling me that ‘the customer is still not satisfied’.

      That was an odd moment when I felt very confused and gave up! 🙁

    • Cyndy

      Reply Reply December 21, 2016

      In my job, I work with people who have a wide range of disabilities and are looking for employment. To find good information for them, I scour websites daily looking for good websites for various aspects of the job search process. This is one of the VERY best sites I’ve found on interviewing!

      On annoying questions – If you are in an interview and are asked a question you ABSOLUTELY do not know how to answer, this could be a good sign. Often an interviewer wants to see how you handle yourself in a such a situation.

  • Michelle Savage

    Reply Reply February 20, 2015

    I agree with your examples. At every interview I am asked “what do you find difficult to handle” and if you had to pick a flaw what is it”. I have a hard time answering these questions and I’m certain my answers are what prevent me from getting a second interview. What would you suggest?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply February 20, 2015


      This is actually just the “What’s your greatest weakness?” question in disguise. There are many theories out there regarding the best way to answer this question, but here’s our point of view…

      We always believe that honesty is the best policy. At the end of the day, the hiring manager can find out what your weaknesses are by having a chat with your references. So offer something that you have actually needed to work on.

      But here’s where you want to be careful. You don’t want to admit a weakness that is aligned with one of the core competencies of the position you’re interviewing for. For example, if you are applying for a coding job at Google you don’t want to profess a weakness with your typing speed. Make sense?

      Here is the other important part. The key is to show that you have acknowledged the weakness AND have taken the appropriate steps to remedy it. It also helps to have some evidence to show that you have improved in the area. The hiring manager simply won’t take your word for it.

      I hope this helps!

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply May 24, 2015

    Hi Mara,

    This question gives you a great opportunity to employ the Tailoring method as discussed in the article above.
    You should bring up the qualities that you know from your company research and by studying the job description the company puts a lot of value in.
    Talk about specific things you like about the company. The key as always is to show how your strengths perfectly align with the job position and company culture.

  • Sharon Hall

    Reply Reply May 29, 2015

    Salary questions, how can I avoid them..

    I am going on a interview tomorrow I know the salary is less then what I was making about $15K but I have been without a job for almost a year and how do I negotiation vacation once a position been offer. (I know get the job first)

  • Adrian

    Reply Reply July 24, 2015

    Is it a show of interest to ask when you would hear from them at the of the interview or it’s one of the things that you would classify as an old and tired question?

    • Lucinda Kisip

      Reply Reply November 30, 2016

      That article on how to handle salary was just awesome. I think I just got hired !

      • Jeff

        Reply Reply December 5, 2016

        That is great to hear! Congratulations Lucinda!

  • Eugene

    Reply Reply November 26, 2015

    Dear Mike & Jeff,

    Can i put “born at home” at the place of birth in the personal information?
    Because i was born in our house by the help of my neighbor.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 1, 2015


      While it does make for a great story, your prospective employers don’t need to know the specific location or facility you were born in. For “place of birth”, your city or town and the name of your country should suffice.

      Hope this helps.

  • Donald Givens

    Reply Reply December 15, 2015

    Thanks for the information, Its gives me time to better think ahead of the job interview, so thank you. And be better informed about the job I am going for in the job interviews.

  • Tinika McMullen

    Reply Reply December 20, 2015

    For the question, “is there anything else you will like to tell us”, what if you have already touched all the areas you should from answering previous questions should you reiterate?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply December 22, 2015

      Generally speaking, you should never say “no” when given an opportunity at any point during your interview. Do you want them to think you are interesting? Of course. So you should have a few key things prepared that you think will paint you in the best light relative to the position (and company) you are interviewing for. In other words… tailor!

      You can also use this opportunity to mention that you do have some questions. They may want you to wait until then the of the interview, but in all likelihood they’ll let you fire away!

      Hope this helps.


    Reply Reply February 17, 2016

    Thank you for the information!! This is very helpful

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 17, 2016

      You’re welcome Janine! Thanks for stopping by and good luck on your interview!

  • Anne

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    Thanks for the tips. I never have thought of answering questions in “it’s not about you, it’s them” perspective. I’m also one of the guilty ones that google correct responses to questions. So thank you so much for this great idea!

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply March 24, 2016

      You’re welcome Anne! Best of luck to you!

      • mvikeli

        Reply Reply March 31, 2016

        u guys are the best.going to my second inteview tomorrow after freestyling the reading this i think i am well prepared

  • Carletta

    Reply Reply March 30, 2016

    Thank you so much for all the great advice. I was getting job interviews but haven’t had much luck getting selected. I finally looked up interview techniques and that brought me to the interview guys. I interviewed and got selected for a second interview. The applicant pool was narrowed down to three and I am one of the three! I am anxiously waiting for my second interview this afternoon. I love your site!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 30, 2016

      Great work Carletta! Good luck on your second interview…Fingers crossed for you over here at “Interviewguys Headquarters”!

  • Ali

    Reply Reply April 4, 2016

    Hey, thanks for the article its been really helpful. I have a job interview in a couple of days (I just graduated from college) however he problem is that I have an involuntary stutter. The best I can do is to stutter with confidence but I dont know how much my speech impediment is going to effect my interview. Have you guys ever helped someone with a stutter, if so then what advice would you give me?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 5, 2016


      Unfortunately, we do not have any experience helping people with stutters. I will say this though. Research has shown that people with stutters make for better employees! Check out this article:

      Here’s the bottom line. You need to be confident in yourself and your abilities, and most importantly, the value you can bring to the company! Your stutter doesn’t define you OR your ability to be a successful member of a team.

      I hope this helps with your confidence going into your interview!


  • Tim Somers

    Reply Reply April 4, 2016

    I came to this website and just from the looks expected it to either be a “freemium” model where I had to pay to get any real information, or for it to be a series of short lists with no real content. NOT THE CASE!!! Thank you so much for putting so much time into helping out people in their time of need and giving them real thoughtful tips.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 5, 2016

      Thanks Tim! We are so happy that we are able to help.


  • Malik Gordon

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    I absolutely hate the question of,”where do you see yourself in five years?” Me being at the young age of 18 I’m honestly not sure what’s going to happen in five years, let alone predict it. This question honestly has stumped me every time. Nevertheless I have responded with my college plans and how I can grow with their company.(But still unsure as to how i may answer that efficiently, effectively, and precise.) This has been a great study tool so far going to test out some tips and advice this Friday. 10/10

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      I hear you Malik! When I was your age, I felt the same thing.

      Here’s the deal. You don’t need to try and predict your future in great detail. You just need to demonstrate that you are committed to the company and position you are interviewing for, while at the same time showing you have some ambition to grow within the company.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck to you!


    • Jay

      Reply Reply April 17, 2016

      Malik- I used to hate this question too, but over the years I realized that part of it, is they want to see that you’re not some aimless person. A person who has goals, and a plan of how to achieve them, tells them that you are potentially responsible enough to see it through. It takes some self-discipline and responsibility to achieve any long-term goals imo. If you’re 18 and don’t know where you wanna be in 5 years, best start thinking about it now, cause you don’t wanna be in your mid-30s asking yourself the same question. Course sometimes you have to live your life to find out what it is you want 🙂 Good luck!

  • Shantall

    Reply Reply April 14, 2016

    Hay! I came to this web site seeking help for my resume and not only did I get great help from you guys within the same day off applying for the job. I missed the call though but i did call them back first thing this morning (4/14/2016) and I now have a job interview first thing Monday morning!!! You guys are the best I would sooo recommend you guys to all my friends. I can’t wait!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 25, 2016

      Haha great news Shantall!

      Good luck!

  • Jen Porter

    Reply Reply April 15, 2016

    I just wanted to thank you guys for everything on this website. It gave me the confidence and the tools to turn a phone interview in to a second interview. The second interview led me to getting an offer that exceeded my expectations within thirty minutes of sitting down. I can’t thank you enough for everything I learned here.

    Thank you!!!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 25, 2016

      Wow awesome news Jen! Congratulations, we’re so glad we could help!

  • Ifeoluwa

    Reply Reply May 3, 2016

    I wish I had seen this site earlier, although I’ve not gone for any interview before,I believe I will pretty soon. The information has been really helpful. Thanks Jeff and Mike

  • Taylor S

    Reply Reply May 5, 2016

    Thanks for this great article, Jeff! I’m preparing for an interview in two weeks with my dream organization (at this point in my life, at least). I was surprised they even called me back for a second interview because I live several states away now and I hadn’t expected them to pay the travel expenses. I’ve had some practice with interviewing over the past few months and have some other job offers to fall back on but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well for this interview. I used to seriously lack confidence and get extremely nervous during interviews. Lately I’ve been a lot better at it but those interviews have all been over the phone.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 12, 2016

      Great to hear Taylor! Good luck, I hope it goes well..

  • Tiffany

    Reply Reply May 10, 2016

    Jeff and Mike-Thank you for all of the great material you’ve provided. It has definitely helped with buffing up my resume and preparing for interviews.

    In interviews I’m always asked, “why do you want to leave your small business?” My business is a slower-paced trade and I’ve answered that I miss the fast-pace office environment were I’m presented with many challenges and problems that I enjoy to resolve. This seems to be hindering me. Do you have any advice?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply May 13, 2016


      What makes you think that this specific issue is hindering you? Has this specifically been communicated to you? Is it possible there is another factor that is holding you back?


  • Emmanuel David

    Reply Reply June 2, 2016

    TO Mike & Jeff,

    I have my interview in 2 weeks time, the company i am going to give interview is a very profitable company in Australia, pay is great and I have applied for an Assistant Store Manager. The question I struggle with is, Why you are leaving your previous job ?
    the last job i have been with i have worked there for 10 months and after working there i saw that there is no succession planning. And i am very passionate and I want to go up the ladder. I have seen few senior Managers have left the business because of same problem and i dont want to be in that position where i have been in the business for 5 year and still in the same role.
    How can I make my answer so good that the Interviewer will not think that I am Job Hopping.

  • Emmanuel David

    Reply Reply June 3, 2016

    Cheers M!!,

    Found some good reasons.

    Thanks for your help.



  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply June 5, 2016

    Dude, u guys r the best

  • KL

    Reply Reply June 15, 2016

    Thank you for all the information you have on this site. Very helpful. The most common questions I get 1. What type of animal are you and why? 2. Describe to me a problem solving issue and how you handled it?

    I am trying to relocate out of state within my company and I have two interviews tomorrow.

    I will let you know how it goes. I am sitting here preparing myself for both of the interviews and I just came across your website. Thank you

  • Kimberly

    Reply Reply July 1, 2016

    Hi Jeff and Mike,
    I experienced knowing it was about them when asked if you had a job offer from five of our competitors why would you choose our organization. While the answer I gave about it being about if I like the people somewhere in my mind I knew they wanted a different answer. She asked me that question the first time as why. would you want to work for us. Then expanded on it. I got the impression she was trying to help me see the bigger picture. It was a learning experience for sure.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 19, 2016

      Thanks for that input Kimberly, I think it will help our other readers as well.

  • Victoria

    Reply Reply July 3, 2016

    Hi guys! I love your site, is well made and filled with useful information! Can you help me with an answer, please?! Ok, so I applied for a job that requires fluent English ( I’m not a native English speaker and even though my English is not bad, is not fluent). Can I say that this is my weakness? There is a point to hide it being that obvious? Thank you for your answer!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 18, 2016

      Hi Victoria,

      Yes you can use that as your weakness. Just make sure you make it clear that you are working very hard to improve your english. You should mention specific classes or training you are taking.

      • Diane

        Reply Reply September 20, 2016

        I wondered about this too, although in my case they are looking for Spanish. I have been working on it for months, and found an immersion course I will take once I have an income again, but I cannot afford it before I’m working. Although it wasn’t enough to knock me out of the interview process, it is something they want so it will invariably come up in the interview at some point. Do you think it would be better to wait to see if they mention it, or should I bring it up in the weakness question? Also, it is worth noting that I have been interning with this agency for a year. Thanks.

        • Jeff

          Reply Reply September 24, 2016

          Hi Diane,

          I think you can wait for them to bring it up and then be ready with your response that includes specifics on when you’re taking the immersion course, why you think it’s going to help so much with your Spanish and your future role with the company. You don’t really want to bring up a quality/skill that you KNOW they are looking for as your “weakness” because if you do, it will most likely trigger a few alarm bells in their heads. (Even if you explain properly how you are addressing it… It’s just human nature.)

          Good luck!

  • mary

    Reply Reply July 18, 2016

    To mike and Jeff
    Hello, I am fresh graduate and i have interview july 21 for university lecturer and i don’t have any idea in what area to prepare, how to answer the questions like “tell me about urself”, “why should we hire u?” ,”what r ur strength and weakness?” in generally i know nothing. It is my first interview in my whole life and i don’t know what to expect or how to answer. so can you help me please.
    thank you

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 18, 2016

      Hi Mary,

      Good luck on your first interview! If you take a look at our specific articles on those interview questions, you’ll see that we do have some tips for grads…

  • Peter F.

    Reply Reply August 2, 2016

    I once was asked in an interview “how to make a sandwich?”

    This job was for a remote tax expert position where you are answering calls from clients who are trying to prepare their tax returns.

    As it turns out, they wanted you to ask questions of the interviewers in order to determine what ingredients are available. You could then move forward to describe how to make the sandwich. The key was that you needed to ask questions in order to provide the best possible answer….

  • brian

    Reply Reply August 14, 2016

    hey guys this site is awesome i have an interview in a week time the information here has given me confidence i love the how to tailor the answers quite a helpful piece

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply August 15, 2016

      Thanks Brian! Good luck to you! Let us know how it goes.

  • Bruce

    Reply Reply August 17, 2016

    Hey mike, i just wanted to firstly say thanks for the all the info on this website. it has been so useful because i have really struggled blitzing interviews.

    Anyway, i got a really curved ball last year asking me “Tell me a time when i dealt with failure? As i know now, its was to put me off. The company was passenger rail.

    How would you answer something like that….???

    Thanks Bruce.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply August 17, 2016

      Don’t be afraid of admitting to failure. We have all failed at one point or another!

      The key is to “pivot” and clearly demonstrate how you learned from your failure and the steps you have taken to ensure that this kind of mistake doesn’t happen again.

      But make sure to show concrete examples of the work you have put in trying to better yourself. Simply saying “I learned from my mistake” won’t be enough to convince the hiring manager.

      Hope this helps!

      – Mike

  • Meghan

    Reply Reply September 6, 2016

    Hey! My husband introduced me to this sight to help me study and gain confidence for my interview that’s coming up and it’s been incredibly helpful! I was just wondering if you have ever worked with people who have anxiety and what extra tips you could give? The advice “it’s not about you, it’s about them,” really helped me see the interview in a different light that isn’t quite as scary. Any other advice on how to keep calm and see the interview as ‘less scary,’ for lack of a better word, would be much appreciated! Thank you for all of your advice 🙂

  • Annonymous

    Reply Reply October 5, 2016

    Thanks for giving good tips and information.

  • ZydenJarry

    Reply Reply October 18, 2016

    Hy guys, First I want to thank you so much for putting together such an amazing website and system! you probably saved me hours and hours of searching online unreliable articles that doesn’t offer much help. I also think this is the Biggest investment I made for my career, so thank you again for such wonderful works.
    Here is my question that I hope you can give a tip or some guidance. I have an interview in 2 weeks with a health care services private non-profit, they are the biggest in my state. I’m not in the health industry, I do data analysis. I finished a phone interview a few weeks earlier, and then I got contacted by the same person who interviewed me, telling me they would like me to come for an in-person interview. they contacted me later to interview with 8 people for 1.5 hours. then a few days later they contacted me again and asked me if I can come earlier, they want to have 3 hours interview! they send me a detailed schedule with whom I will be meeting and the times. There will be 3 individual interviews half an hour with managers and lead people. Then a 1.5 hours panel interview with 4 higher people one of them is the vice president. They also sent me the job profile which is an extended version of the job description and it outlined what they are looking for and the interview will be (Individual) Behavior-Based Competencies and they explained the competencies. My question is, 3 hours seems very long and a bit intimidating to meet all these people, do you guys think there might be a technical interview also? and how do I prepare for such long interview? would it be ok if I ask the person who interviewed me if there is going to be technical questions?
    By the way, thank you for the awesome formula, it makes a lot of sense, I’ve collected some good M’s.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply October 18, 2016

      Hey there,

      First of all congratulations on your interview process so far! Clearly you are doing something right to get so far.
      2 things: First of all feel free to reach out and ask if you can expect to receive any technical questions, that’s fine.
      Second thing I would do in your case is to go over the new “job profile” they sent you with a fine tooth comb. These types of documents are a treasure trove for job seekers because in it they are clearly outlining their “perfect candidate”. Obviously you want to present yourself as the type of person who fits as many of the qualities you can find in that job profile as possible. A lot of your competitors are going to essentially deliver a very similar interview to their first couple. What you need to do is use the info you find on the new job profile (qualities they’re looking for) and incorporate it into your final interview. While all your competitors will remain the same in their eyes, you will come across as even more perfect with more depth and understanding of the position. Remember to prepare as many success stories as you can that highlight the qualities you find in the job profile. It sounds like you’ll be dealing with behavioral questions a bunch so also make sure you brush on our 101 article:

      Good luck!

  • Kaye

    Reply Reply October 27, 2016

    Thank you for this! I am going to apply as an online English teacher for a company. They do conduct phone interviews. Your tips really help. Jotting down some notes right now. 🙂

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      Good luck on the phone interview Kaye!

  • Peter

    Reply Reply November 3, 2016

    Hey interview guys,you are the best.Am in Kenya and follow you concerning interview.Am a driver in one of the multinational organizations.One question that i don’t get a good answer is:What is your biggest weakness.Can you please give me an answer specifically from a drivers perspective.At the same time am not able to purchase some of your subscription

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for reading! The key to answering the “weakness” question is to talk about a weakness that is NOT a core strength needed for the job in question. For example, as a driver you don’t want to talk about how your “driving” is a little shaky! Obviously that’s an extreme example but you get the point. Go through the requirements for the driving job, note down all the core strengths and abilities needed from the job description and make sure you do not bring up any of them as a weakness. Next thing you need to do when talking about a weakness is make it clear that you are taking steps to improve said weakness. For a ton more info check out our blog post here:

  • Siddhant

    Reply Reply November 29, 2016

    Hey Interview guys, as a soon to be graduate i only have a few success stories in my pocket. Do you guys have any suggestions, as to how should i face my campus recruitment interviews.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      College students often feel like they don’t have as many success stories to pull from but keep in mind they can be mined from any experience. Classes, school projects, sports, any extracurricular activity even family disputes if it highlights a good “quality” you want to highlight!

  • nisa

    Reply Reply December 4, 2016

    Hi guys, i’m a fresh graduate and i’m worry if the interviewers will ask me why i took a long time to graduate compared to others. i’m supposed to graduate in 2 and a half years but it took me 3 and a half years. what am i supposed to answer?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      Hi Nisa,
      I wouldn’t worry too much about this Nisa. The fact is you graduated and there are lots of ways to handle this. For example, perhaps you were exploring other extra curricular interests that extended your school time. Maybe you were working part time in order to gain some real life experience and some extra income. As long as you were pursuing some other interest at the same time that was enriching your life, that will work fine.

  • koko

    Reply Reply January 23, 2017

    Hi Guys,

    Your tips got me two second interviews and I am forever grateful!

    The question that I found weirdest during one interview was probably “If you were an object, what would you be?”

    I do have one other question, though. I have an interview with a headhunting company in three days. They are specialised in conveying trainee-positions in pharma companies.
    How do I prepare for this interview? Surely, I cannot research their values and tailor my answers as they are only middle men?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 3, 2017

      Hi there,

      I’m glad we could help! In your case you are going to have to focus mainly on the job description. Pull out all the qualities they are looking for and prepare success stories showing you possess them. Job seekers often neglect how much great information can be found in the job description. They tend to just rattle off their experiences as opposed to letting the job description guide their answers.

  • yohannes negasi

    Reply Reply January 28, 2017


  • shelly

    Reply Reply April 29, 2017

    No matter how many times I put in my email address in order to achieve the cheat sheet, it never comes through!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 1, 2017

      Hi Shelly,

      I’m sorry to hear that. At times certain email service providers might block certain emails. It could be in your spam folder. If it’s not there, please email and we’ll get it sorted out for you 🙂

  • Doreen

    Reply Reply April 29, 2017

    Hi Jeff and Mike,

    what should i answer to the question why i leave my job ? if i apply for sales. I have 10 years of sales experience. I was asked to tender resignation due to poor sales performance in last employment. I am no working for 11 months.

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