68 Job Interview Answers That Can Help You Win That Job

Job interview answers that you provide are the make or break when it comes to a successful job interview.

So being aware of what the interview questions are likely to be and then practicing [yes practicing] your answers before the interview is critical.

Yet this job interview advice is often ignored by the masses.
For that reason alone you are likely to be more successful if you follow this advice - more successful simply because not many others are doing it!

I strongly recommend you write out your job interview answers and use this information below just to help you shape your thoughts.
I encourage you to write your job interview answers simply because as you write them, it forces you to clarify your responses regarding the questions and this forced thinking puts you in a better position to provide good answers when it comes to job interview time.

Writing them down also helps considerably in remembering your answers.
And it's in your memory that you want them for the interview.

Job Interview Answers Relating to You And The Employer

  1. How do you think you can benefit this organization.

  2. What they are looking for here is for you to sell yourself on how you will add value to the organization.
    Remember that in a lot of ways this hiring appointment is no different to spending $50,000 (or whatever the salary is) on some other business expense.
    And they need to be sure this is money well spent.

    See the job interview advice relating to selling yourself on my job interview tips page.

  3. Why do you want to work in this industry?

  4. When supplying job interview answers to questions like this, keep in mind that the employer is usually looking to try to discern if you have a genuine passion and motivation for this type of work. If you have completed the dream career finder inborn job skills assessment, you should have this pretty well sorted.

  5. Why do you want to work for us?

  6. Job interview answers provided to these types of questions should inform the employer that you know quite a lot about the organization. They are looking to see if you have bothered to do any research on them. And they want to know if you have any genuine passion for working for this particular organization and what the reasons for that are.

  7. Why should I hire you rather than someone else?

  8. This is once again a chance for you to show them your niche.
    That is, what do you bring to this position that other job applicants are unlikely to bring.
    How do you stand out from the crowd.
    This is something you need to work very hard on.
    If you are unable to find your USP [unique selling position], you are unlikely to win their vote
    The very best way to find out how you can stand out from the crowd is to complete the inborn job skills assessment.

  9. What are your salary expectations?
  10. This one is always fun.
    Your main goal in providing job interview answers to questions like this is to not tell them what your salary expectations are, at least not at this interview.

    The reason you don't want to give them a figure is that if it is too high you will most likely exclude yourself from the shortlist.

    If your salary revealed to the them is to low, you have just done yourself out of several thousand dollars, most likely.
    The place to negotiate salary is when you are much more confident that you are in the last two or three on the shortlist.
    So you want to be discussing salary when you are confident they want you, but they are not confident they have you yet.
    So what do you say in the meantime?

    Perhaps something like
    "I'm wondering if I could come back to you on that question as I'm just getting a good feel for what the responsibilities of this position are, and salary is not something that I have had a good opportunity to assess at this point."

For more information on job interviews, please see my job interview tips page.

Job Interview Answers Relating to Your Past

  1. Tell me about your previous experience and training in this industry.

  2. The key when supplying job interview answers to questions like this is to ensure the very best of your industry experience and job training is not missed.
    Once again this is best achieved through planning by writing out your answers beforehand so your job interview answers are very detailed and specific.

  3. Why aren't you happy in your current position?

  4. There is an assumption in this question that you aren't happy. Clearly this needs to be rebuffed.
    The most likely reason that you are leaving is because you are looking for a bigger challenge and believe that you can use your skill base to better effect.

  5. Is your current employer aware that you are looking for a new job?

  6. Tell it like it is.
    If your employer isn't aware, this is perfectly normal when looking for another position.
    They usually don't get to find out until you have an offer on the table

  7. What makes you think you will be happy if you change jobs?

  8. This is a reiteration of number two above regarding new challenges ahead for you and the ability to be able to use the skills you enjoy using the most.
    You will be happier because you will be able to find more fulfillment and satisfaction in a role where there is challenge and you can use your skills to more effect.

  9. What would you say your greatest strengths and weaknesses are?

  10. Make sure this response is well planned ahead.
    When giving job interview answers to this type of question, your aim is to show that you are willing to reveal aspects of yourself that could be regarded as a little bit more risky than the usual information provided.
    It's important that you volunteer a weakness that you believe you have.
    This will build immense credibility with the interviewer.
    Obviously the weakness should not be a critical component of the job requirements.
    In regards to your strengths, this is simply just a matter of relaying the results of your inborn job skills assessment

  11. Of the bosses you have had in the past, which one did you like working for the least? Why?

  12. One of the key things the employer is looking for here is to find out if you are a person that criticizes others easily.
    And if as a response to this question you launch into a barrage of criticisms regarding your previous bosses, there is an assumption that you may do this in your new place of work.

    This is an opportunity for the interviewer to gain an insight into your attitude towards those in authority.
    So what should you say?
    If you have had a number of previous jobs and you say that you like all your bosses, that answer may be looked upon as unlikely.

    However if this is the case, then clearly you need to say that and justify it well with further comments.
    But more likely you have had a boss that you did not particularly like working for.

    As you provide job interview answers to these types of queries, the important thing is that the criticism of your boss must be very objective, fair and reasonable. Your comments must also include his/her good attributes.

Job Interview Answers Relating to Past Employment

  1. Can you please provide me with names and contact details of your last three employers?

  2. Have these available.

  3. It is our company policy to have discussions with your last three employers in the form of reference checks. Are you happy with this and are you willing to sign an agreement for us to go ahead and do this?

  4. Before you give job interview answers to this sort of query, it is good to know that some companies raise these reference check issues at the start of the interview to encourage candidates to give honest and open answers about previous employment.
    The purpose here is to let you know that they fully intend to drill previous employers about you.
    They may also tell you that they value a candidate's ability to know what past employers thought about you.
    They may emphasize that they are more interested in you telling them what previous employers would say about your work and how they would have perceived you, rather than what you thought was the reality of your work. What they are looking for here is for you to be very frank and honest in your comments, hopefully revealing more than you otherwise would.

  5. What would your previous employer say about the way you get along with work colleagues?

  6. Answer something along the lines of [If this is fairly accurate]:
    "Overall I get along pretty well with most people, but every now and then conflict arises on the odd issue.
    My employer would probably say something along those lines"

  7. What would your previous employer say about the way you accept instructions and directives?

  8. When supplying job interview answers to this type of question, keep in mind that what the employer is looking for is to find out how you react to authority.
    Simply explain your style of accepting instructions:
    For example "I am the type of person who likes to be sure about the details of the instructions I receive.
    So I always have questions to ask to get clarification and to make sure that I understand fully what's involved"

  9. What would your previous employer say about the way you plan your work and meet dead lines?

  10. Once again simply explain your style and be real:
    For Example "My boss would probably say that I usually meet deadlines but sometimes projects don't get finished until they are due.
    I do seem to use up all time that is necessary, something that I am trying to get better with so that projects are finished ahead of time."

  11. Have you ever had any supervisory role? Tell me about this.

  12. Example answer:

    "Yes I have had a number of supervisory roles.
    The most people I have been responsible for is twelve.
    To be honest, I love leading a team.
    I guess the thing I enjoy about it most is that I love to encourage people and help them extract the maximum potential from themselves.
    I basically believe that everybody has a great deal of potential if the right environment is created for them"

  13. What problems did you have in this role and how did you overcome them?

  14. Give a good example of an issue that you had to overcome
    For Example,

    "I guess the biggest problem I had was managing one particular staff member who had a history of not turning up to staff meetings, creating dissension amongst other staff members and working on personal issues during work time.

    The way I handled it was that I discussed this issue with my senior and had a number of meetings to address these issues with the person involved.
    We managed to resolve some of these issues quite well by talking things through and both parties understanding some of the problems that were causing these issues.
    This had some good outcomes for a period of time but the old problems began to creep back in again.
    It was about this time that this person left the company."

  15. How did you obtain your current job?

  16. When giving job interview answers to this type of question, you need to be providing some insight into how you have tackled important projects in your life previously.
    Jobs obtained through your own initiative are more attractive to employers rather than ones that were gained through family or friends.

  17. What do you like most about your current job?

  18. Example:
    "I love the people.
    We have a great team where I work and we also have a lot of fun."

  19. What do you like least about your current job?

  20. There is always something you don't like about your current job.
    So be real and offer will a good example without it sounding like complaining.

    "Probably the fact that I feel like I can achieve more but the opportunities are not there.
    I would like to be in a position where I can tackle some bigger challenges.
    I know this will give me a greater sense of achievement and fulfillment in my career.
    Also it takes me 1 1/2 hours to get to work each day, which impacts on the family."

  21. What are the main problems you face in your current position?

  22. Be honest and real.
    Everybody faces problems, so find one and explain in a positive manner how you overcame the problem.
    "Sometimes I feel like we are not resourced well enough.
    There are quite often some easy and cheap efficiencies that could be implemented but for reasons I'm not totally sure about, It doesn't seem to happen.

    Also I do struggle to keep within my spending budgets on stock at times.
    This doesn't mean that I don't keep within my budget's, it just means I find it difficult to achieve while maintaining good stock levels."

  23. What would you say is your greatest contribution to your current job?

  24. When supplying job interview answers to this type of query, you will need to communicate that you have a well balanced view of yourself .
    An employer is looking for someone who has the confidence to identify the things they are good at, but at the same time not being overconfident or too full of themselves.

    Find something here that clearly fits with the new role you are applying for.
    "I think my greatest contribution would definitely be my ability to run an efficient team that enjoys coming to work each day.
    I love managing people and I try to make work fun as well as productive."

  25. How much do you currently get paid?

  26. See details above on "What are your salary expectations"

  27. How did you obtain your next previous position?

  28. See answers to number eight above.

  29. What did you like most about this position?

  30. Same as previous questions above

  31. What did you like least about this position?

  32. Same as previous questions above

  33. What were the main problems you face in this position?

  34. Same as previous questions above

  35. What would you say with your greatest contribution in this position?

  36. Same as previous questions above

    [The above questions may be repeated for your last four to five jobs]

    Same as previous questions above

  37. Have you ever been sacked or asked to resign?

  38. If you have been sacked you will usually need to declare that.
    However in many cases today when a person is sacked it is done in a way that allows the person to "resign".
    If this is the case then say that you resigned.
    In this case simply state the reasons why you weren't happy working there and why you left.

    There are always two sides to a conflict and why a person needed to leave a position.

    You are not required to give the other party's view on the issues involved.
    The only exception to this is of course if there were some real issues that involved legal steps that needed to be taken up
    . For example documented dishonesty or theft, fraud, violence or anything of that nature.

  39. Why have you had so many jobs over the past few years?

  40. With workers changing jobs a lot more frequently these days this issue isn't as big as it used to be.
    Some employers even regard a person who has deliberately exposed themselves to a variety of experiences within an industry, or among several industries, as a positive thing.

    However, there may still be some issues a potential employer has with the number of jobs you have had in a short period of time.

    Sometimes there are good reasons for this.
    The most common truthful reason why some people have had a lot of jobs over a short period of time is that they get bored very quickly and need to find new challenges.
    If this is the case with you, you could explain this at the interview by putting an emphasis on the fact that you now have a good hold on what your key
    inborn job skills are and that you are much more likely to be in a job for longer now.

    [Take along to the interview a completed
    inborn job skills assessment from this website.]

  41. Why did you leave each of them?

  42. Have you ever been unemployed?

  43. Be honest and up front if you have ever been unemployed.
    It's not an uncommon occurrence during tight economic times.
    Explain how you became very proactive when looking for work and how you went about your job search.

  44. What were you doing during this period of unemployment ?

  45. Reiterate as per above.
    Explain how you became very focused on finding work and talk about anything else that was a productive use of your time.

  46. Do you have some examples of previous projects/achievements in past employment?

  47. Always have some good examples of work where you have used your inborn job skills and communicate these to the interviewer in a way that matches with the requirements of their job.

    What I mean by good examples is that you explain to them, using some specific examples of how you have used your skills in previous jobs or even nonwork situations.
    Ensure you communicate with passion.

    If your background provided an opportunity for you to produce something tangible that you could take to the interview, this is also a good idea.

  48. How many days have you been away from work in the last two years? [Except holidays]

  49. If you have had they high number of days off sick or with injury, you will need to convince the employer that these problems are now well sorted.

For more information on job interviews, please see my job interview tips page

Job Interview Answers Relating to Your Future

  1. What would you like to be doing in five years from now?
    In 10 years?

  2. The answer to this question regarding the five-year plan should align well with the direction of the job you are applying.
    But also keep it real.
    Most employers know that people have personal ambitions in their careers and that they will not be looking for you to work for them for the rest of your life.

    I once asked this question of an applicant in an interview.
    He replied that he was "quite keen to have his own business in the industry by then".
    Probably not a very wise response on his part.

  3. If money or education or background were not barriers to employment, what would you choose as your dream career?

  4. This is a common question I ask people when providing career change advice.
    If your answer to this question does not align with the job you are applying for, you're in trouble.
    The interviewer would probably be asking the question,
    "Why are you applying for this job then?"

  5. What type of people do you prefer to work with?

  6. Don't do what many job applicants do when asked this question, that is they give a wishy-washy answer which basically says "I love everybody".

    Personality theory tells us that we all prefer to work with certain types of people over others, so we shouldn't be afraid of communicating this.

    Having said that, you would be in trouble if you described the type of people that you prefer to work with as the exact opposite of the type of person you are likely to find in the organization that you are interviewing at.

    For example if you said that you like to work mostly with flamboyant extroverts who were very creative and you were applying for a job in an accountant's office, you could be in trouble.

    And if the person interviewing you is going to be your boss, you wouldn't want to be telling her that you like to work mostly with a personality type that is quite opposite to them.

  7. What attributes do you desire in your future employer/boss?

  8. Explain the attributes you most like in an honest way.
    Mostly they're wanting to hear about character traits, fairness, respect, honesty.
    Don't talk about your past bosses here.
    It can sound too much like you are complaining.

  9. Are you willing to work nights and weekends if required?

  10. These types of questions are often about how committed are you to your job.
    A good balanced reply is normally best here.
    Employers do not expect you to live and breathe work, but at the same time they expect an element of flexibility to go the extra mile from time to time if it is needed.

  11. How many hours per week are you willing to work?

  12. Similar question to above, they are searching for commitment levels.

  13. How much do you expect to be earning in five years from now?

  14. What they are normally looking for here is to gauge your ambition for the future.
    This is similar to previous salary questions, however unlike the previous questions, this one could be answered at this point without too much problem.

    Because it is five years away, it doesn't have too much bearing on what salary you might be expecting for this position.
    But it is also probably quite easy to avoid giving a specific answer because of the distance into the future.

    Probably something along the lines of:
    "You know, that's not something I've given a whole lot of thought to.
    I would need to be earning more than what I am now, but the most important thing would be that I was doing work that I enjoy very much."

Job Interview Answers Relating to Personal Issues

Please note that some of these job interview questions are very personal.
In some countries/states it is illegal to ask some of these questions, however that will not stop some employers from doing so.

Many employers do feel there is a connection between your personal life and your ability to be an effective and productive employee.

It is unlikely you will be asked all of these questions in one interview and quite possible you won't be asked any, however it is a good idea to at least have thought about what you might say if you were confronted with such a question, even if you conclude that your answer would be something like
"I'd rather not answer that if that's okay."
  1. What are your nonwork pursuits/interests?

  2. What well known personalities do you admire? Why?

  3. The interviewer is looking here to see what type of people might be your role models.
    This can tell a person quite a lot about you.
    Probably what's more important than the answer you give is the reason behind your answer, So Asalways give the why to your answer.

  4. What type of material do you read? What books have you read in the last 12 months?

  5. Once again looking to find out more about you by what you feed your mind with. Again always give the reason why you'd like to read this type of material etc.

  6. What is the state of your health?

  7. Employers want to know if they take you on, are they going to be saddled with someone who is going to be off work a lot.
    If you have any significant health problems, you should probably be declaring them here.
    But don't go into issues that are no longer a problem for you.

  8. Do you smoke/drink? How much?

  9. Once again, employers are looking for anything that might get in the way of your work.
    It also can help them from a employment legal position if you don't declare any major issues here and it turns out later that you are an alcoholic etc.

  10. What are your partners/wife/husband feelings towards your work?

  11. Once again looking for any potential problems.
    If you have a spouse or partner that is not supportive of this new move, that would be of interest to an employer.

  12. Do you own your own home/car?

  13. Here the employer is looking to get some sort of insight into your financial situation.
    For example if you have had a well-paying job for many years and do not own any assets, that might be interesting to them.
    This type of question could breach privacy laws in some countries and many job applicants would suggest that it is none of their business.

  14. How would you describe your current financial position?

  15. A continuation of the above question.

  16. Have you ever been arrested?

  17. This is a fairly standard question in job applications these days depending on where you live.
    The only answer you can give here is the truth.

  18. Have you ever been separated/divorced?

  19. Once again the employer is looking to get some idea of your past.
    Has the separation or divorce happened recently.
    Is this likely to impact on your work.
    Most of the following questions are looking at trying to uncover information about aspects of your private life that may have some influence on your work life.

    Some of these questions delve into personal issues which many workers would say are not relevant or are none of the employer's business.
    And in a number of cases they may be breaching privacy laws.

    You can always say "I would rather not answer that question if that's okay".
    However if the employer regards the question as fair and relevant, then your chances of a successful job interview diminish.

    But you may well decide that you probably don't want to work for an organization that feels they need that sort of personal information anyway.

  20. How did you cope with this?

  21. See above

  22. Who raised you?

  23. *For this question and the questions that follow, the first thing you need to decide is if you are willing to answer these types of questions.
    And if so, what type of answer would you provide.
    In many cases there would be no reason not to answer the questions, a lot of them are designed to simply get to know you a bit better.

  24. Are your parents still alive?

  25. *See number 12 above

  26. Which of your mother or father had greatest influence over you?

  27. *See number 12 above

  28. How would you describe your relationship with your mother?

  29. *See number 12 above

  30. How would you describe your relationship with your father?

  31. *See number 12 above

  32. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

  33. *See number 12 above

  34. What is your marital status?

  35. *See number 12 above

  36. Are you willing to discuss the circumstances surrounding your divorce/separation?

  37. *See number 12 above

  38. How did this affect your work?

  39. *See number 12 above

  40. Why did your marriage/relationship breakup?

  41. *See number 12 above

  42. How would you describe your spouse/partner?

  43. *See number 12 above

  44. How did you meet your spouse/partner?

  45. *See number 12 above

  46. Explain what domestic problems you have faced and the way you handled them?

  47. *See number 12 above

  48. If not married/in a relationship, what are your intentions regarding this in the future?

  49. *See number 12 above

It's important to be real when providing job interview answers.
By this I mean, you need to offer genuine answers and make yourself a little bit vulnerable.

One of the single biggest factors that influence an employers hiring decision is if they like the person applying for the job.
And one of the best ways to get a person to like you is to be incredibly honest and real with them, almost like you would be with a good friend [but not quite].

Think about it, who do you enjoy spending time with and being around the most. Somebody who is very honest and doesn't present any type of facade.

When you walk out of the interview room, you want the person to say behind your back, "I like her..."

Back to Job Interview Tips from Job Interview Answers

Back to Career Change Advice from Job Interview Answers

Simon Davies Career Change Counselling
Gold Coast: Robina, Queensland Australia 4213
Phone Mobile (outside of Australia) +6148 1333 415
Phone Mobile (in Australia) 0481 333415
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