Top 10 Interview Questions (…And How To Answer Them)

By Jeff Gillis

I want to give you a quick and easy way to get started preparing for your job interview, and of course, that begins with learning how to answer the most common job interview questions for 2018!

That’s right. If you haven’t had a job interview for a while, you might be surprised at how much things have changed. But don’t worry, because we’ve really gone out of our way to make sure that we are sharing our “latest and greatest” techniques for answering each question.

That’s what this top 10 list is all about….

I’m going to lay out the top 10 job interview questions you need to be ready for along with handy “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for each question so you can avoid the mistakes we see most job seekers making and with these questions.

Here are the interview questions that we are going to cover below:

  1. Tell Me About Yourself
  2. Why Should We Hire You?
  3. What Is Your Greatest Strength?
  4. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  5. Why Do You Want To Work For Us?
  6. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
  7. What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
  8. Describe A Difficult Work Situation And What You Did To Overcome It
  9. Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
  10. Do You Have Any Questions For Me (the interviewer)?

Now granted some of these questions may seem tired and cliche, but I guarantee you they are still being asked in interview rooms consistently, around the world in 2018. So you need to prepare for them!

Without further ado, let’s get cracking…

P.S. Obviously there are other common job interview questions out there as well. Don’t worry, we’ll cover those too in future blog posts!

Get Our Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet!

BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Download our "Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet" that gives you word-for-word sample answers to the interview questions IN THIS ARTICLE including:

  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength?
  • Tell Me About Yourself
  • Why Should We Hire You?
  • And all the rest!


1. "Tell Me About Yourself..."

This classic opening question should probably be put out to pasture but it’s still one of THE most common interview questions you’ll face and it still seems to trip up a ton of job seekers every year. (Plus I doubt it’s going anywhere soon, so you need to prepare for it.) You can check out our article on tell me about yourself for more in depth info.


  • Keep your answer succinct and to the point.
  • Be work specific and tell the hiring manager about where you are now professionally, what you have learned from your past work experiences and then talk about what makes you excited about this specific opportunity.
  • Do your company research and find out exactly what strengths and qualities this specific company is looking for and in your answer try and show the hiring manager you possess them (You can discover these strengths or qualities in the job description or on their website.)


  • Don’t dive into your life story.
  • The hiring manager doesn’t want to hear about you “growing up on 28th avenue down the road from the Trader Joe’s and how it was a coincidence because you had a brother named Joe! (etc…)”.
  • Don’t go on about experience you may have that isn’t related to the job you’re interviewing for.

Jeff's Tip

At the end of your answer try segueing into an insightful question for the hiring manager that shows you understand exactly what issues or problems the company is for looking for you to solve.

2. "Why Should We Hire You?"

This is another incredibly common question and it gives you a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and really show the hiring manager how you can help the company.

The key thing to remember here is: be specific.

Leverage your company research and the job description to find exactly why the company is hiring someone for this position. What problem/pain points does the new hire have to solve? You need to show that you are the perfect candidate that can solve those problems/pain points.

We have written an in depth blog post on why should we hire you here.



  • Show the hiring manager that you are uniquely suited to filling this position. Be the candidate that solves their “problems“.
  • Show you know some significant details about the company and their general practices because you have researched the firm and are prepared.
  • Tell a “success story” that highlights how you have the ‘qualities’ needed to fill their specific needs.


  • Don’t get discouraged if the hiring manager mentions that “they have lots of very well qualified candidates…” before they lead into this question. (It’s a common “lead in”)
  • Don’t be too modest. This is your chance to shine. Make it count.
  • On the flip side don’t go too overboard and sound too arrogant.
  • Don’t be “wishy-washy” or too general with your answer.
  • Don’t answer with “why” you want the job. Answer with “why you are the perfect fit” for the job.

Do you want a word-for-word sample answer to this question? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve prepared a Job Questions and Answers PDF Cheat Sheet that will give you perfect sample answers to Why Should We Hire You as well as the other questions on this page. Click Here To Get It Now


3. "What Is Your Greatest Strength?"

This is a fairly straight forward question to handle. Talk about a “strength” that you know the company puts a lot of value in.

We have written an in depth blog post over at: What are your strengths and weaknesses?


  • Grab hold of the opportunity this question gives you. This question really lets you guide the interview where you want it to go. This your chance to relate your most impressive success story, so take advantage!
  • Highlight a strength that is crucial to the position. (As I mentioned earlier)
  • Find out from your company research and from the job description what strengths the company puts a lot of stock into.


  • Don’t make claims that you can’t illustrate with a brief example or fact.
  • Don’t be overly modest but don’t claim to be Superman or Superwoman either.
  • Don’t name a strength that is irrelevant to the job at hand.

4. "What Is Your Greatest Weakness?"

This classic question freaks people out but it shouldn’t. As long as you pick a weakness that isn’t a key competency for the job and you show that you have taken steps to “work on it”, you will be fine. Don’t try and sidestep this question.

For a more thorough look at the what is your greatest weakness question click here.


  • Show that you are aware of your weakness and what you have done to overcome it.
  • Show that you are “self-aware” and that you have the ability to take steps to improve yourself.


  • Don’t you DARE answer with the cliche “I’m a perfectionist” answer or any other such answer that the hiring manager can see right through.
  • Don’t highlight a weakness that is a core competency of the job. (Know the job description “inside and out”.)
  • Don’t dodge this question.

Do you want a word-for-word sample answer to this question? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve prepared a Job Questions and Answers PDF Cheat Sheet that will give you perfect sample answers to What’s Your Greatest Weakness as well as the other questions on this page. Click Here To Get It Now.

5. "Why Do You Want To Work For Us?"

The hiring manager is trying to get at your underlying motivations for wanting this job. Are you here just for a paycheck or do you see yourself becoming an integral part of the company and growing along with it? You need to show them that you want to become “part of the family”.

At the same time however, show how your “wants” coincide with their “needs”.

For a more thorough look at this question, read our “why do you want to work for us” blog post.


  • Talk about specific things you like about the company. Do your homework before and find out the needs of the company and talk about how you’re passionate about “fulfilling those needs”.
  • Be complimentary. Most people enjoy being flattered. (Just don’t go overboard)
  • Show how your strengths perfectly align with the job position and company culture.


  • Don’t come off as a “hired gun” who may be gone in a few months.
  • Don’t say “because I need the money.” (You’d be surprised how many job seekers think this is “cute” and actually answer this way. Don’t.)

Jeff's Tip

Bring up something specific that you've found during your company research phase and tie it in with your answer. For example, if you discovered that they recently held an inaugural live event bringing together people from around the country in their niche, bring it up! The event (or anything else interesting you discover) can be an example of why you admire the company and want to work for them. This tactic will help you stand out from your competitors and get the hiring manager seeing you in the job already.


6. "Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?"

This question can really make a lot of job seekers nervous. If you were literally fired from your last job, you’re going to have to own up to it and show what you learned from the experience and what measures you have taken to address the reasons you were let go.

If you left voluntarily be sure to explain why. For example: You wanted a different challenge. Hint: A challenge offered by the company and position you’re interviewing for 🙂

We tackle this question in more depth in our blog post here.


  • If it was because you left voluntarily then reference a specific characteristic that the company you are interviewing for has that you are attracted to. One that your previous employer didn’t have.
  • If you were let go, be honest and explain the situation and own it. Explain what you learned from the experience, because the interviewer knows you’re human, you make mistakes, and just wants to see that you were able to do something about it
  • Words like “downsizing” and “budget cuts” and “bad economy” are good defenses if they are true and are the reasons for departure from the job.


  • Don’t bash your last company or boss or anything along those lines.
  • Don’t say, “It’s time for a career switch and I’d like to try my hand at the job you are offering” or “I’m tired of doing the same old thing.” Give a pointed, Positive reason for why you want to head off in a new direction.
  • Don’t lie if you were fired.

Do you want a word-for-word sample answer to this question? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve prepared a Job Questions and Answers PDF Cheat Sheet that will give you perfect sample answers to Why Did You Leave Your Last Job as well as the other questions on this page. Click Here To Get It Now

7. "What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?"

This is somewhat similar to the “what is your greatest strength?” question and can be handled along the same lines. You want to pick an accomplishment that shows you have the qualities that the company puts value in and that are desirable for the position you’re interviewing for.

The fact is you may have several accomplishments you could pick from. Pick one that will have the most impact.


  • Talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and for the position you’re interviewing for.
  • Try and show some genuine passion when you’re talking about your accomplishment.


  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your accomplishment is “too small”. The fact is, relating a small accomplishment that is inline with “what the company values” can be more powerful than an unrelated accomplishment. (Remember: “It’s not about you, It’s about them.”)

Jeff's Tip

If your "greatest accomplishment story" highlights skills that would be useful in the job you're interviewing for (which it should!), then you can highlight that fact. For example, if you were relating an accomplishment that centered around "teamwork", you could finish your answer with something like: "...which is why I'm so excited for the possibility of working in this type of team environment. As you can see, I think I thrive in collaborative situations and I'd love to bring that here to XYZ company..."

8. "Describe A Difficult Work Situation And What You Did To Overcome It..."

This is one of those pesky behavioral interview questions and is one of the most common. You need to have a “success story” ready to go for this. Relate a story where you dealt with a problem successfully. The key here is to pick a success story that shows you exhibiting the qualities/skills required at the job and company you are interviewing for.


  • Pick an example that shows you tackling a problem that could arise at the new company you’re interviewing for. This shows your value.
  • Be specific and fairly concise.
  • Use the S.T.A.R. Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result – Read our behavioral 101 article for explanation.)


  • Don’t bash anyone in your success story. (Coworker, boss or customer!)
  • Don’t ramble.

Jeff's Tip

To really stand out, tell a success story that not only shows you handling a problem that could arise in the position you're interviewing for, but also shows you have multiple other desired qualities you know from your research the company desires. For example, you could tell a problem solving story about you handling a productivity problem at your last job by exhibiting leadership and your ability to handle conflict between coworkers. (In other words, combine multiple desired qualities into one answer.)

9. "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?"

This question catches a lot of job seekers off guard because on the surface it seems simple enough but when you dig a little deeper you’ll see that there are a couple of traps you could fall into.

You DO want to show that you are an ambitious person BUT you need to show that you don’t have your “head in the clouds” and are focused on the job at hand. For more in depth info on this question check out our blog post: Where do you see yourself in 5 years.


  • Demonstrate when you answer the question your level of commitment to the position they are interviewing you for.
  • After you have demonstrated your commitment to the role you are interviewing for, outline a realistic growth strategy that is directly tied to the role you’re in and the needs and values of the company.
  • Stress your interest in a long-term career at the company


  • Don’t exhibit ambition to the point of seeming like this particular job is just a “brief stepping stone” for you. You need to show commitment.
  • Don’t say you want to be CEO of the company in 5 years.
  • Don’t say “Actually I want to be in YOUR seat within the next 5 years.” to the hiring manager. facepalm

10. "Do You Have Any Questions For Me?"

Around 75 percent of job seekers will say “Nope, I think that’s everything” to this question.

Terrible response.

This question gives you a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show your knowledge and passion for the company or organization you are interviewing for. Always have a few questions prepared and have one based around something you found during your company research phase. For more in depth info, check out our blog post: Top 14 questions to ask during an interview.


  • Focus your questions on the company and what you can do for them.
  • Ask about something you’ve discovered in your company research. This will show your passion and knowledge of the company.
  • Ask if there is any reason the hiring manager wouldn’t hire you. (This can be a little daunting to ask BUT can really pay off. It allows you to address something they may be thinking in their head but haven’t brought up.)


  • Never say “No, I think I’m good.” Always have questions ready!
  • Don’t focus your questions on yourself and what you can get from them. (i.e.
  • Don’t ask questions that you could easily find the answer to.
  • Don’t ask about time off and benefits too early in the process.
  • Don’t ask how soon you can start applying for other positions in the company.

Jeff's Tip

Just because the interviewer may often ask you this question at the end of the interview doesn't mean you shouldn't ask any questions beforehand. In fact, one of the best ways to turn the interview from an "interrogation" into a "conversation between colleagues" is to ask questions throughout the interview. Asking questions throughout will make the interviewer see you as part of the team already and it will calm your nerves (if you have any) significantly.


Ok there you have it. Our top list of job interview questions for 2018. (Along with the Do’s and Don’t s on how to answer them.)

The key thing to remember is to focus on the needs of the company instead of your own when answering any job interview question. As we always say every job interview and every one of your answers to any job interview question should be “tailored” to the company you’re interviewing with. The next thing you should download our free special report that outlines the “tailoring method” and gives you sample answers to 5 of the questions we went through in this list!

Check out some of our other interview questions articles:


Please be kind and rate this post 🙂

Top 10 Interview Questions (…And How To Answer Them)
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FREE: Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet!

Download our "Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet" that gives you word-for-word sample answers to the interview questions IN THIS ARTICLE including:

  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength?
  • Tell Me About Yourself
  • Why Should We Hire You?
  • And all the rest!

Click Here To Get The Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet


  • Jeff

    Reply Reply March 17, 2015


    What are some other common job interview questions you’ve faced recently?

    • David

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      What is my personalities?

  • Roddy Negron

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    I was asked the following question on my last interview with a senior executive: “Why are you here interviewing with us?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 19, 2015

      Thanks for commenting Roddy.

      The question is along the lines to the “why do you want to work for us?” or “why should we hire you?” question…

      Thanks for adding it to the list!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply June 8, 2016

      Recently, I was asked how do you deal with confrontation and what are somethings that frustrate you and how do you deal with it?

  • stephen

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    I was asked a similar question to question no. 8 – “tell me about a time when you had to be tough”. I answered it by telling a story about when I was leading a team, one of whom continually questioned my decisions.

    I explained to the interview panel that I had to point out to her that her actions were damaging morale within the team. I said that I was open to criticism but not open to allowing a situation where progress was continually being hampered by one staff member. I asked if there were reasons for the behaviour and she voiced her surprise that she had come across so negatively. She was having some personal problems and obviously they had subconsciously fed into her attitude at work. She volunteered to discuss those issues and I offered some help in that regard. Now she’s a valued member of the team and very positive.

    So, a sort of STAR methodology and it worked for me for 2 reasons – one, I sorted out that problem and 2) I got the job!

    Your website gave me some great tips so thanks guys.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 19, 2015

      Thanks for your comment Stephen! I’m glad our site gave you some good tips..

      Sounds like you handled that question perfectly with an appropriate “success story”.

      Obviously you nailed it since you got the job,congratulations!

  • mariam magara

    Reply Reply November 19, 2015

    Hellooooo Jeff hi am soooooooooo grateful for your support. I have liked everything in your guide.

    May God bless more and more.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 24, 2015

      Thank you so much Mariam!

  • Gary Hardison

    Reply Reply December 21, 2015

    Thank you so much for this information, it’s a great tool for planning and preparation.

  • nikita agrahari

    Reply Reply January 10, 2016

    thank you so much jeff

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 11, 2016

      You’re welcome Nikita, good luck!

  • parimaan

    Reply Reply January 27, 2016

    Thanks alot jeff 🙂 you helped me alot 🙂

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 28, 2016

      No problem! Glad it helped!

      • Tajman

        Reply Reply October 25, 2017

        It helped me alott
        Thank you Jeff!

  • charles macharia

    Reply Reply January 30, 2016

    thanks alot jeff i have benefited alot in ur work….keep up

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 30, 2016

      Thanks a lot Charles, I appreciate that! Good luck!

  • Emma

    Reply Reply March 14, 2016


  • kirkland

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    nice place to go when about to go to a job interview…

  • john

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    Do you recommend doing yoga before an interview or will it get me too sweaty?

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016


      Yoga is a wonderful way to focus, relax your mind, and loosen up your body. In other words, it can be a stress buster!

      That being said, you probably don’t want to go straight from a hot yoga session into a job interview. Give yourself some time to take a cool shower and get yourself ready for your interview.


  • masixole ngcube

    Reply Reply April 7, 2016

    Hey Jeff thanx a lot tomorrow im going to an interview so youv really armed me

  • Ajoka Jeddy Abram

    Reply Reply April 15, 2016

    Thanks alot

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply April 16, 2016

    Mike & Jeff,

    Just wanted to give my thanks to you guys.

    This week I had an interview for a position that would be pivotal in my film career.

    In order to nail the interview, I sought the help of online resources. And to my fortune, I came across your site: specifically this post. I instantly recognized the quality and thought that went into the content of your site, and I wasted no time in studying your advice. I studied this post, as well as every single linked post included on this page.

    Consequently, I created personal success stories based on the company’s top values that I was researching.

    I also prepared for each one of these “Top 10 Interview Questions,” by writing the answers down, rehearsing them out-loud, editing them, and ultimately memorizing or “integrating” them into my subconscious.

    The result?

    I nailed the interview. AND I got the job! Why? Because I had all the answers to the most difficult questions. I had a success story to backup every value the hiring manager was seeking: I did the thinking beforehand, as opposed to thinking “on the spot.” In essence, all the answers were conveniently packaged and polished in my mind at that point (during the interview), it was just a matter of getting it out my mouth. And this made me super-confident, and in a sense, I was almost magnetic because of it. I even started to become friends with some of my future colleagues!

    After sending in my “Thank You” letter to the hiring manager via email a few hours after the interview, including my website and demo reel, I heard back from them in 24 hours with a “Congratulations! We would like to officially offer you a position…!”

    Nailed it.

    Now of course, for others reading this post: the key take away is preparation is critical, because it’s one of the few factors you have SO much control over of, and can give you so much leverage during the interview, regardless of what they throw at you. But at the end of the day, you still need to know the technical skills of your field, and master them. Nothing can substitute mastery of technical skills, no matter how well you nail the hiring process. Which is what I greatly attribute to my success here: I do have the technical skills as well, at an oddly high proficiency. But you guys essentially “guaranteed” my success here. So, thank you Mike & Jeff!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 25, 2016

      Wow Patrick congratulations!

      You obviously really took everything we talk about on board 100% and did the work needed! You clearly understood the strategy needed and most importantly DID THE WORK needed beforehand!

      Again congratulations

  • Kenzie

    Reply Reply April 27, 2016

    Hi! I’m in high school and I was looking for some tips for an interview for a scholarship. The interview is tomorrow morning and I definitely feel more confident after reading your tips. (Even though it’s not a job interview.)

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 28, 2016

      Thanks Kenzie! Glad we could help!

  • John Njoroge

    Reply Reply May 3, 2016

    thank you Jeff. u have helped me a lot with your tips

  • Sangita

    Reply Reply May 4, 2016

    I am very happy

  • Jessie Ann

    Reply Reply May 5, 2016

    thank you for this,it helps a lot:)

  • Nikki

    Reply Reply May 10, 2016

    Hi, Jeff! I have a mock job interview with my English professor this week and I’m glad to have found your guide. I’m sure this will help me a lot. Thank you very much! 🙂

  • maame serwaa

    Reply Reply May 23, 2016

    oh my God, i luv it and im hired!!!!!!!!!
    im starting today, thanks jeff

  • Akhil

    Reply Reply May 25, 2016

    This is very helpfull.. thanks man

  • Kieran

    Reply Reply June 16, 2016

    These are some helpful tips

  • Jaylhan

    Reply Reply June 17, 2016

    Thank you so much guys for this, it really helps me a lot. ☺

  • MichaelL

    Reply Reply June 22, 2016

    Hi Guys,

    I just would like to personally thank you guys for the fantastic advise.

    Last week I had an interview for my dream job and the day before my interview I read through your article and prepared according if any of these questions were asked.

    Out of the 10 questions, I was asked 8 and had a sufficient answer for all of them! Today I received a call that I got the job and basically doubled my current salary!!

    You guys are rock stars! You pretty much made my dreams come true! Thank You!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 21, 2016

      Hey Michael! Fantastic news, we are so glad we could help! We hope the job treats you well…

  • Thalapathy

    Reply Reply July 2, 2016

    the tips were so good. hope it helps in my upcoming interview

  • I see businesses are having phone interviews. Any suggestions regarding phone interviews?

  • melinda

    Reply Reply July 7, 2016

    Hello Jeff, thank you for this Great tips. But there’ s a missing questions/topic, like,.. what is your asking salary? Or how much your salary package in your previous company.? Is it ok to answers these questions directly? Thanks in advance..

  • Ubong m.

    Reply Reply July 25, 2016

    Thanks for this great tips, it really help.

  • Hillary

    Reply Reply July 27, 2016

    Hie Jeff.Tomorrow i’m going for a cctv controller interview with one of the major players in the hospitality industry and very hopeful these tips will equip me with the best answers for the questions.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 27, 2016

      Good luck Hilary!

  • Ry

    Reply Reply July 27, 2016

    I used these tips to prepare for the first interview of my career, and I’m happy to say that the company is very interested in hiring me. Right now I’am patiently waiting for HR to extend the job offer to me. Thanks a bunch !

  • Kenneth Cather

    Reply Reply August 2, 2016

    I have a new one for you. “Please make a presentation right now based on a personal project you are working on.” I had to do that recently with no indication I should be ready for one. I was also expected to do it on the spot with no prep time.

  • Mary Njeri Mburu

    Reply Reply August 3, 2016

    wow thanks alot Mike and Jeff for the above advise next week on,Tuesday am heading for an interview and the site is really helping me to prepare I will take keen to the above and am sure I will nail the job.God bless you people.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 3, 2016

      Thanks Mary and good luck!

  • raphy

    Reply Reply August 6, 2016

    hie Jeff iam going for a records clerk interview with one of the major players in the records industry and very hopeful these tips will equip me with the best answers for the questions.

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply August 7, 2016

    Hi guys, on my interview 5 of these questions were asked. Thanks to your awesome blog, I could flawlessly answer all of them, and had enough success stories in my bag to pull out for the other questions I got. They offered me the position last week! I want to thank you guys soooo much, you are the best!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 7, 2016

      Fantastic news Lisa! Congratulations!

  • Abongile Nkabi

    Reply Reply August 8, 2016

    Thanks a lot Jeff for your tips they really helps lot of people may God grant you with many more years so that you can continue helping those who are in need of them

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 8, 2016

      Thank you Abongile!