Practice the top 10 interview questions to help you prepare quickly for the big interview and find a job. These free interview answers and tips on how to answer interview questions will get you ready fast.
Keep in mind, when you are reading the free interview answers here, that no one except you can put together the best answer for the questions you will be asked. We’ve provided the structure for your answers — you fill in the specific details.
When it comes to knowing how to answer top 10 interview questions, there is simply no way through but thoughtful practice. Anything else makes you seem stilted, inauthentic or worse. Use these free interview questions to prepare. Think through how you might highlight your answers with a specific example. Then practice — with a friend or in a mirror — until you are satisfied.
Tell me about yourself.
There’s no escaping this question. It is all but certain it will be one of the top 10 interview questions. You might as well practice it and get it right. It will come up again and again as you network and seek new opportunities. It’s so important hat we’ve written a whole article on mastering your personal introduction. Spend the time to nail this. Answer with a quick overview of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for the job. Sell yourself.
Tell me about your most significant accomplishment.
It’s not easy to come up with the single most important accomplishment on the fly, so prepare extensively for this one! This will highlight your greatest strengths and could get you the job. Tell a two-minute story with details and discuss personal involvement. Demonstrate how the accomplishment you describe was worth achieving. Discuss hard work, pressure, long hours and the important company issues that were at stake.
Why are you leaving (or why did you leave) your current job?
Don’t fall into a conversational trap here — keep your answer brief and positive no matter what the circumstances. Companies want to hire a team player. If you have been downsized, address it in a straightforward way. Your answer should demonstrate that you don’t carry resentment and you are wise enough to see the split as a business matter. If changing jobs was your own choice, briefly explain why so you don’t seem irresponsible.
What is your greatest weakness?
Your thoughtful answer here will demonstrate your self awareness. Choose wisely and think through your answer in advance. Show how your awareness has led to improvement (I used to be nervous speaking in public, but now that I’ve led our group meetings for the last few months, it is not as much of a challenge as it used to be.) Or choose a weakness might be a strength that was carried too far (I sometimes get impatient if a project is running behind schedule.).
What is your greatest strength?
Again, a thoughtful response here will show both self awareness and your ability to see the big picture. When candidates are unprepared for this question, it leads to awkward rambling. Keep your story short. Focus on your ability to lead, adapt, grow or solve problems and pick an example that demonstrates those qualities.
What do you know about our company?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to know it all. This is where you put your research to work and can discuss major industry trends or challenges. Mention the company’s major products, revenues/size and history at a high level. Show that you are eager to learn more. Keep your discussion upbeat and positive.
Why should we hire you?
Your answer to this one of the top 10 interview questions will smoothly combine two or three the most important aspects of the job with your strengths and specific past accomplishments. Tie your accomplishments back to why they are relevant to what the employer is seeking. Discuss for two minutes, with specific supporting examples. Be enthusiastic! Avoid overgeneralized answers like you want the job, you have the right skills or other blah answers.
What salary are looking for?
While this hopefully will not be one of the top 10 interview questions, you must be prepared for it in case it is. When they pop the salary question early in the process, it’s best to defer detailed discussions until you have the information you need. For detailed information about how to do this, see our related article about how to handle salary negotiations during the interview process.
Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond what was required in your job.
Answer with a series of short examples that showcase how you have gone the extra mile to get things done. Proactive, results-oriented people tend go above and beyond what is required. Describe at least one example in detail. Demonstrate how you make the extra effort, have a strong work ethic and are a creative problem solver.
If you could start over, what would you change about your career up to this point? (Also asked as: Are you happy with your career so far?
Present yourself as a person who is happy with your life and career when answering interview questions like this. If there are things you would change, mention them. However overall it is important to convey that you have enjoyed the good things and learned from the rest. After all, it is the past that has prepared you for this position.
If you take the time to write your answers clearly to the top 10 interview questions and work with someone to review them with you, you’ll be prepared to ace your next interview. Remember this sage career advice: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Use these top 10 interview questions to prepare to succeed.
Need a bit more interview preparation? We’ve put together career advice and interview tips here to boost your success! Check it out:
- Interview Etiquette
- Dress for Success – Interview Attire
- Twenty Difficult Practice Questions (And Answer Tips)
- 50 Sample Employment Interview Questions
- Phone Interview Tips
- How to Deal with the Salary Question During an Interview
- Questions You Should Ask During an Interview
- Preparing for a Second Job Interview
- How to Make a Great Impression with an Interview Thank You Letter