20 most common interview questions with sample answers

20 common interview questions and sample answers for the non-native speaker

First, familiarize yourself with commonly asked interview questions in English, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “Why do you want to work for our company?” and then customise those answers to your work, sector and experience.

Practice answering these questions out loud so that you can improve your English speaking skills and build confidence. I can help you prepare for you job interview in English. More information about professional development coaching here

1. Tell me about yourself

“I’m a driven individual with a passion for [field/industry]. I have [number of years of experience] in [related job or industry], and my skills in [skill 1, skill 2, skill 3] have allowed me to [accomplishment/achievement]. I’m excited to bring my skills and experience to this position.”

2. Why do you want to work for our company?

“I am impressed with the company’s mission and values, as well as its reputation for [positive aspect of company]. I believe that my skills and experience align well with the company’s goals, and I’m eager to be a part of such a dynamic and innovative team.”

3. What are your strengths?

“One of my biggest strengths is my ability to [skill or personality trait, e.g. problem solve, communicate effectively, work well under pressure]. I have honed this skill through [previous experiences or examples]. Additionally, I am a quick learner and am able to adapt to new situations easily.”

4. What are your weaknesses?

“I’ve worked on improving my [weakness, e.g. public speaking, organization], and I’ve found that [strategy, e.g. taking courses, practicing, seeking feedback] has helped me greatly. I am still a work in progress, but I am committed to continuous improvement in this area.”

5. Why should we hire you?

“I believe I am the ideal candidate for this position because of my [skill or experience relevant to the job, e.g. project management experience, technical expertise]. I have a proven track record of [achievement or accomplishment in a similar role]. Additionally, my passion for [field/industry] and my strong work ethic make me a valuable asset to the team.”

6. Can you give an example of a time when you faced a challenge at work and how you handled it?

“I faced a challenge when [describe situation]. I approached the problem by [action taken, e.g. gathering information, consulting with a team, finding a creative solution]. The result was [outcome, e.g. successful resolution of the issue, improved process, increased efficiency]. I learned [lesson learned, e.g. the importance of teamwork, creative problem-solving].”

7. How do you handle stress and pressure?

“I manage stress by [strategy, e.g. prioritizing tasks, taking breaks, exercising]. I find that staying organized and taking things one step at a time helps me stay calm and focused. I also make sure to set realistic expectations for myself and communicate effectively with my team to ensure that deadlines are met.”

8. Can you describe a situation where you had to work with a difficult coworker or boss?

“I had a situation where I had to work with a coworker who had a different communication style. I approached the situation by [action taken, e.g. having an open and honest conversation, finding common ground, compromising]. By [result, e.g. improving our working relationship, completing a successful project], I learned the importance of [lesson learned, e.g. effective communication, patience, flexibility].”

9. How do you handle conflicts with coworkers or subordinates?

“I approach conflicts with a solution-focused mindset. I listen to all perspectives, and then work with the parties involved to find a mutually acceptable solution. I find that open and honest communication, as well as a willingness to compromise, are key in resolving conflicts.”

10. Can you give an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision at work?

“In my previous role, I had to make a decision regarding [describe situation]. I weighed all of the options and considered their potential consequences. Ultimately, I decided to [action taken, e.g. prioritize the company’s interests, seek a compromise]. The decision proved to be the right one as it resulted in [outcome, e.g. improved efficiency, increased revenue, satisfied customers].”

11. How do you handle multitasking and prioritizing tasks?

“I use [method, e.g. a to-do list, time management techniques, calendar] to prioritize tasks and ensure that I am using my time effectively. I also regularly reassess my priorities to ensure that I am addressing the most pressing tasks first. I find that clear organization and good time management skills are key to successfully multitasking.”

12. How do you handle working under tight deadlines?

“I stay focused and prioritize my tasks to ensure that I am using my time effectively. I also communicate regularly with my team to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that I have the resources I need to meet the deadline. I find that staying organized and staying calm under pressure are key to meeting tight deadlines.”

13. How would you describe your leadership style?

“I would describe my leadership style as [style, e.g. participative, visionary, servant]. I believe in [leadership philosophy, e.g. empowering my team, leading by example, fostering a positive work environment]. I have found that this style allows me to [achievement, e.g. successfully lead a team, complete complex projects, improve morale].”

14. Can you give an example of a time when you had to motivate a team?

“In my previous role, I was leading a team that was facing [challenge, e.g. low morale, underperformance]. I motivated the team by [action taken, e.g. setting clear goals, recognizing achievements, providing support]. As a result, the team [outcome, e.g. improved morale, increased productivity, completed a successful project].”

15. How do you stay current with industry trends and developments?

“I stay current by [method, e.g. reading industry publications, attending conferences, networking with professionals]. I also make a point to [habit, e.g. regularly attend trainings, experiment with new technologies]. Staying current with industry trends and developments is important to me, as it allows me to bring the latest insights and best practices to my work.”

16. How would you describe your communication skills?

“I would describe my communication skills as [adjective, e.g. effective, clear, concise]. I believe that good communication is key to [importance, e.g. building relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts]. I have honed my skills through [previous experiences or examples, e.g. presentations, negotiations, written reports].”

17. Can you give an example of a time when you had to present information to a group?

“In my previous role, I had to present [information, e.g. a proposal, a project update] to a group of stakeholders. I prepared by [method, e.g. researching the audience, practicing the presentation, creating clear visuals]. The presentation was well received, and I received positive feedback for my [skill, e.g. clear communication, effective use of technology, ability to engage the audience].”

18. What are your long-term career goals?

“My long-term career goal is to [specific goal, e.g. take on increasing responsibility, lead a successful team, make a significant impact in my field]. I am constantly seeking out new challenges and opportunities to develop my skills and grow in my career. I believe that [reason for goal, e.g. I am passionate about my work, I have a strong work ethic, I am committed to continuous learning].

19. Can you describe a situation where you had to work with a diverse group of people?

“I have worked on several projects with diverse teams, including team members from different [diversity, e.g. cultures, backgrounds, experiences]. One example was a project where I had to work with a team that was spread across different locations and time zones. I made an effort to understand each team member’s unique perspectives and strengths, and I communicated regularly to ensure that everyone was on the same page. I believe that diversity brings a wealth of perspectives and ideas to the table, and I am comfortable working with people from different backgrounds to achieve a common goal.”

20. Can you tell us about a time when you had to solve a complex problem?

“I had to solve a complex problem when [describe situation]. I approached the problem by [method, e.g. gathering data, consulting with experts, brainstorming solutions]. I then [action taken, e.g. identified the root cause, implemented a solution, tested the solution]. As a result, the problem was [outcome, e.g. resolved, improved, prevented from happening again].

A very important question

If the interviewer asks the question “do you have any questions for me”?, how should you answer? This is a great opportunity for many important reasons. Asking informed and relevant questions shows that you are interested and engaged in the process, and helps you make a positive impression on the interviewer. Below are some excellent examples. Choose 3 that you like the best and prepare them for your interview. 

  1. Could you tell me more about [aspect of the company or role that you’re curious about, e.g. the company’s culture, the team structure, the typical day-to-day responsibilities in the role]?
  2. Could you give me an idea of what the next steps in the interview process are?
  3. Is there anything else that I can provide to help support my candidacy for this position?
  4. Can you share more about the company’s growth plans and how this role fits into that vision?
  5. What are some of the biggest challenges the team is currently facing, and how do you see this role contributing to overcoming those challenges?
  6. Can you tell me more about the team dynamic and what a typical day might look like for someone in this role?
  7. Can you discuss the professional development opportunities available for employees in this role and within the company?
  8. Can you provide more details on the company culture and what it’s like to work here on a day-to-day basis?
  9. Can you tell me more about the opportunities for advancement within the company?
  10. Can you discuss the company’s approach to work-life balance and how it supports employees in achieving that balance?
  11. Can you provide more information about the company’s benefits and perks for employees?
  12. Can you discuss the company’s approach to diversity and inclusion, and how it’s implemented in the workplace?
  13. Can you describe the performance management and feedback process for employees in this role?

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Justin Donlon

English Teacher & Content Developer Over 15 years of experience in engaging educational content


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