Mon, Aug 8, 2022

From brainteaser to boring, there are plenty answers you can prepare in order to crack job interviews.  Avoid interview traps by understanding traditional and modern interview approaches.

Here’s a list of frequently asked interview questions and instructions on how to answer them.

Nail it!

From Traditional to Tricky

An old fashioned interviewer, the traditionalist,may stick to time-tested question techniques and plod through your history or lack of it.

The modern approach is to confirm details as well as your creative problem solving skills and mental agility. They want to test if you’ll fit into the working culture and if you can bring anything extra to the mix.

If you can communicate a willingness to learn, the ability to accept responsibility and an interest in the company and position, you could score a goal.

Prepare for the questions below!

Interviewers may surprise you with an unusual WTF brainteaser question:

  • How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
  • How would you weigh a plane without scales?
  • Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
  • Sell me this pencil / water
  • If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
  • Why is there fuzziness on a tennis ball?
  • If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
  • With your eyes closed, tell me step-by-step how to tie my shoes.
  • Why are manholes round?

These questions test your experience, logic, confidence, problem solving and lateral thinking ability. They’re surprising questions to see if you can do more than blank out. Think of responses to these questions and write them in the comments section below.

Interview Basics, Boredom and Bulls-eye

Prepare for the popular questions. 

Interviewers know how to fake interest in a boring unplanned answer:

  • Tell me about yourself.
    • Focus on career goals not your personal history.
  • What are your strengths?
    • Match your 5 key strengths to the job requirements.
  • What are your weaknesses?
    • Look at the job description, match the job duties with your strengths.
    • What is a strength you have that someone may consider a weakness? 
    • Tell hiring managers what you are working on improving and what you’ve done to build your skills in these areas.
  • Why do you want this job?
    • Show how your skills match;
    • Show your enthusiasm for the job;
    • And show how you fit into the culture.
  • Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
    • This tests your level of ambition
    • Interviewers want to know how you will fit in with the company’s team, vision and culture.
  • What’s your ideal company?
    • A company match isn’t just about your qualifications, but motivation, attitude, potential, culture and more.
    • Communicate the type of environment that enables you to do your best work (work in a team, independently etc.)
  • Why should we hire you?
    • this is your opportunity to sell yourself
      • 1. Show that you can be the solution to a problem.
        2. Use specific examples.
        3. Talk in soundbites. Ask yourself, “What were my greatest accomplishments at my most recent job?” and “What sets me apart from other candidates?” Prepare short snappy answers.
        4. Explain the “how” behind your accomplishments. You’ll need to talk about what you’ve put in your CV.
        5. Use the right nonverbal communication. (body language)
        6. Show enthusiasm.
  • What did you like least about your last job?
    • this interview question finds out if you’re going to be satisfied in the job for which you’re interviewing
  • When were you most satisfied in your job?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What were the responsibilities of your last position?
  • Why are you leaving your present job?
    • the interviewer wants to understand your motives and gain insight as to how you handle work relationships
    • They want to know if you’ll leave them in the lurch if you become dissatisfied or if there’s any dirt in your past.
    • “Why did you leave your last job?” is one way for the interviewer to ensure you’re a person of integrity.
  • What do you know about this industry?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Show me the money! Salary Questions

You hate these questions right? Employers are cagey about amounts because they want to save money and find the best person at the lowest wage.

If there is no amount in the advert, be on guard as they may not be offering a competitive package, they may not even be serious about hiring.

  • What salary are you seeking?
    • Say you’re willing to comply with industry benchmarks and ask their budget or salary scales.
  • What’s your salary history?
    • Some companies want proof attached to your application. However your salary is confidential and if you attach it to your application, the receptionist, manager and HR person would see it before you even have an interview.
    • Offer to provide this confidential information if an offer is made.
  • If I were to give you this salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?
    • This question links your salary expectations to your understanding of what you can deliver or offer. It’s a fair question.
  • What’s more important to you — the work itself or how much you’re paid for doing it.
    • Direct the focus away from money by saying something about being willing to accept fair offers from a company that you admire – such as their’s. Focus the answer on how excited you would be at the opportunity at that particular company. Hopefully you’re applying to a job that you’re genuinely passionate about! 

Career development questions to test your ambition and commitment:

  • What are you looking for in terms of career development?
  • How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
  • What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?
  • If I were to ask your last supervisor to provide you additional training or exposure, what would she suggest?

Getting started and fitting in questions:

  • How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  • How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  • What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?
  • If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?


Read more useful tips and advice in articles below.

“What are your pay expectations?” Interview Advice

Negotiating A Salary? #TalkPay

8 Questions to Rock at Your Interview

Top Interview Question Answered: Why do you want to work here?


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