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Sep 5, 2019
Traditional interview questions are questions that focus on your skills and value. This kind of questions are usually very descriptive. It gives the interviewer an idea of who you are, and how you fit into the role and company at large.

“Tell me about yourself”?

This is one question that you are sure that you will likely be asked regardless of the position that you are applying for. This question can take different forms like; can I meet you? Who are you? Can we know you? You don’t need to be confused they all mean the same thing.

As simple as the question looks, it could also be very tricky. Be careful not to give unnecessary personal details about yourself. All the recruiter wants to know is who you are and how you fit into the role and the company’s vision and work environment.

Be careful to frame your response around what makes you the best fit for the role. You might be tempted to talk about all the good stuff, but you will need to keep it concise and relevant.

These statements will guide your response to the question;

Talk about who you are professionally

Highlight your competencies

Talk about why you are here

For instance, if you are applying for the role of a customer service manager, then you can answer the question in response to the statements above;

Sample Answer

“I am an innovative customer service manager with 6 years of experience managing and monitoring all the aspect of the customer service function-from solving customer’s problems to ensuring customer retention to increasing sales. (Who you are)

I have spent 6 years developing my skills as a customer service manager. I have been able to attract recognition and several awards even national awards 3 times. I love solving customer problems and overseeing my team members do so too. (Competence highlights)

Even if I love my current position, I know that I am ready to take up a more challenging role in customer service, and that is why I am very excited about this position. (Why you are here)”

You can see that the answer responded to the three statements that we made earlier. You can use the statements to frame your own answer too.

Never give this kind of answer;

“My name is Daniel Peters, I am from Delta state, and I attended St. Johns primary school after which I went to Methodist Boys School. After my secondary education, I gained admission into the University of Lagos. I am from a family of 6, my parents are very poor, and so I need this job so that I can take care of my siblings …”.

 

What are your strengths?

This question could be really confusing and hard to crack most times because you are asked to talk about your strong points. It is quite normal for you to feel awkward talking about your strengths without bragging.

Well, to answer this question effectively, you will have to follow some of this formula;

Assess your hard skills

Assess your transferable skills

Assess your personal traits

When you are assessing these skills, make sure they are closely related and relevant to the position that you are applying for. When you want to answer, try and stay away from personal qualities and concentrate more on professional traits.

As simple as the question looks, it is also very possible for you to mess the whole interview up especially if you have not taken out the time to discover yourself to know your strengths, and how to properly communicate them to the recruiter.

You should also be able to accurately choose strengths that will help you perform the task well if you are offered the job. It means that you should not have a one fits all answer to this question.

When answering this question, remember that the recruiter is looking for a good fit, and at the same time trying to form a picture of you based on your response, and make sure your strengths are real strengths that will add value to the company. See sample answer to help frame your answer;

Sample Answer

If you are applying for the position of a customer service manager, this is what your response will look like:

“My strength is my patience to solving problems (Assess your hard skills).

My current position as a customer service manager, I was patient (Personal trait) enough to turn a toxic work environment to a positive one, and created a motivating environment where everyone can work comfortably.

I also feel that my communication skills (transferable skills) are top-level because I relate with senior executives on the same basis that I relate with junior staff members.”

This answers the question well to a large extent because the answer highlights the strengths that are relevant to that particular position. The candidate did not give a well-rehearsed answer but also gave a real-life instance that makes it more detailed.

 

Can you tell us about your weaknesses?

This may sound like the trickiest question that a recruiter can ever ask. It may feel really awkward for you to talk about your weakness during a job interview when you are supposed to be pitching yourself.

The confusing part of the whole question is how to actually talk about your weakness, but not making it a big threat to the role that you are applying for.

When recruiters’ ask this question, they are not very much concerned about the answer, but they are more concerned about how you answer the question. Many candidates tend to lie about their weaknesses, it is not advisable for you to lie about your weakness even if you should put it in a subtle manner.

When you are answering questions about your weakness, you should be careful not to give cliché answers that are not close to being your weakness at all. Answers like “my greatest weakness is that I am so much of a perfectionist, I love everything to be organized and orderly at all the time.”

This answer looks perfect, but this is a common cliché that sounds really unrealistic and doesn’t reflect a true weakness at all. This statement will guide you to answer this question well:

Be self-aware: To answer this question well, you have to be self-aware to recognize your real weakness. Be careful when choosing a weakness so that it does not affect you getting the job.

Be truthful: As much as you want to give a piece of information that will not affect the job, you should also be sure that you are talking about a real weakness.

Self-improvement/recovery: After telling the recruiter about your weakness, you should also state the effort that you are putting in to manage the weakness that you stated.

Sample Answers

Sample 1

“I am really impatient working in a team (self-awareness)-I love to work independently and so it is difficult for me to rely on others to complete a task. That is why I have pursued a position that makes it possible for me to work independently (be truthful). However, I have also worked to improve this weakness by enrolling in team building workshops. While I work independently, it is important I learn how to trust my co-workers better.” (Self-improvement/recovery).

Sample 2

"Public speaking makes me really nervous (self-awareness). Even if I don’t have to do too much of public in my role as a graphic designer, I nonetheless feel it is an important skill I have to get used when communicating with others. (Truthful)

To overcome the fright, I spoke to my manager that I would love to give the introductory speech during our team meetings. This has allowed me to be less nervous speaking to a group of people and has also helped me communicate better with team members to do their jobs effectively. (Self -improvement/recovery)

This answer works well because the candidate mentions a real weakness that does not affect the candidate’s ability to do the job. Secondly, the candidate shows the eagerness to develop strategies to tackle the weakness.

 

Why are you leaving your current job?

This is one question that can throw a job-seeker off the balance if the person is not very prepared for the question. Many times job-seekers sincerely leave their current jobs because they want to get a better offer, but that is not what you will want to tell your prospective employer.

This question could be really tricky because you don’t want to say that you are leaving your current job because you want a better offer and sound like a “gold digger” that will still leave in search for a better offer somewhere else.

To tackle this question, you would need to give an answer that is closely related to you wanting to move forward in your career. No one would frown at anyone’s attempt to wanting to move forward in their career. You have to be careful not to emit “negative vibes” when answering the question.

You can take a look at these sample reasons that are easy to explain;

Desire to improve work/life balance.

Your wish to learn

Your yearn to take on more responsibility

Your wish to take on less responsibility

Wanting to relocate

Desire for a career change.

Desire for career growth and development

No longer interested in the company’s vision and goal.

Desire for a shorter commute to work.

Answering this question, you should not just throw the answer at the recruiter, you should take time to and make sure you are giving the right answer to the question. You can use this opportunity to talk about your interest in the new position that you are applying for and not talk despairingly about your current employer.

Don’t be negative about your current employer, rather you should focus on what the new position will afford you (career wise). If you speak poorly of your boss during an interview, what proof does the potential employer have that you wouldn’t say the same thing about them in another environment?

Always avoid answers that relate to compensation, company finance or poor management. You should always stay positive regardless.

Sample Answers

“I have really learned a lot working with an amazing group of people in my current employment, but this opportunity fits very well with the direction I want to take in my career path.”

 

“I have acquired great experience in my current job, but due to the size of the organization growth is limited. So for me to continue to grow, I need to go somewhere else, and working in this company will avail me the opportunity to grow in my career.”

Remember to be positive and frame your answers around the organization you wish to work for.
Sep 5, 2019
Avoid talking about how much the project frustrated you

Show the interviewer that you are capable of the work

You should avoid the following:

Avoid giving answers that are not related to the question

Sample Answer

“Working as an accountant, I know how errors can sabotage the whole accounting process. In the early years of my career, I used to double check my work to make sure that all the details are entered correctly, but later I discovered that checking the work twice is not enough so I decided to start checking the accuracy of the data even before I start entering them.

So I stopped checking my work twice and started checking it several times”.

 

 

How do you deal with stress?

Employers know that everyone feels stressed at one point or the other while performing their task. So when you are asked interview questions about how you deal with stress, the interviewer does not expect you say that you don’t feel stressed. The interviewer only wants to know how stress affects you and how you go about dealing with it.

When you are answering this question, you pay attention to the following:

Give an example of how you have handled stress well in the past

Talk about a stressful situation that is related to the work

Walk the interview through how you managed stress previously

You should avoid doing the following:

Avoid talking about a stressful situation that is not related to the job

Avoid talking too much about the stress rather than how you were able to manage it

Avoid giving answers like this “I never feel stressed”

Sample Answers

“I know that sometimes it is hard to avoid stress, but I try to face the situation, rather than being stressed. Regardless of how much work I have to do, I make sure that I tackle the situation rather than being overwhelmed by the problem. That way, I handle the situation better and don’t get stressed. For example, when I dealt with an unsatisfied customer that was really angry and was ready to give a negative review about our product. Instead of feeling stressed, I concentrated on finding out what her challenge was exactly and looked for ways to help her get the problem solved addressing it to the right channel. My ability to remain calm when dealing with the unsatisfied customer reduced my stress and the stress that the customer may face”.

 

“For me, communication is key to a stressful situation. Many times I communicate as much as possible to make sure that I am on the same page with everyone involved in what I am working on. It reduces errors and cuts down stress to a very large extent. In my previous job, I was working on a project with another team and found out that after a while we had a different approach on the same project. I called for a stand-up meeting so that we can come to a logical conclusion and carry on with the project. At the end of the day, we agreed on one vision and the project went on successfully”.

 

How do you plan to ensure you complete a number of tasks effectively?

Most times employers or interviewers ask this question so that they can understand how you are able to juggle task. This question basically assess your ability to multi-task.

Multi-tasking is one of the abilities that employers look forward to when trying to get a new hire because most times, you may not always do the things that are in your job description. You may likely be asked to perform other task side by side your major task.

When you are answering this question, you should pay attention to the following points:

Give an example of a time that you managed multiple task

Walk the interviewer through your multi-tasking process and how you were able to meet up with deadlines

Always avoid errors like:

Telling the interviewer how much you hate multi-tasking

Avoid giving short or too general answers like; “I love multi-tasking a lot” “I always find a way to get anything done”

Sample Answers

“No matter the number of tasks I have to complete, I always calm down first and figure the best way to go about completing the task. Whenever I have multiple tasks to complete, I start by organizing the tasks from the most important to the least important task, then I would start working on the most important task. If I am experiencing any challenge working on any of the tasks, I don’t hesitate to ask a professional for assistance”.

 

“Whenever I have multiple tasks to complete, I, first, of all, maintain a positive mindset on the whole task and avoid getting frustrated. I then come up with a plan to carry out the task and meet up with the set deadline. And if I cannot meet up with the set deadline I would politely ask for an extension”.

 

What was the biggest change you had to deal with in your previous employment? How did you handle it?

Change is one thing that is unavoidable in life, both in your personal and career life. When interviewers ask you questions about how you dealt with a change, they simply want to know how well you can handle change when the situation arises.

The interviewer would love to know how flexible you are, and how you can deal with change because it is inevitable sometimes.

You can answer this question well with the following guidelines:

Give an example of a real life situation where you dealt with change

Talk about how the change affected your job and how you were able to deal with the situation regardless of the  change

Don’t forget to mention that change is a pet of the work life, that all you have to do is to embrace it and work with it

You should also avoid:

Capitalizing on the negative change

Avoid criticizing the factor that led to the change

Sample Answers

“I understand that change happens and it may likely happen when one is not prepared for it. No matter how the change comes, I try to maintain a positive attitude towards it and understand the purpose of the change. This approach helps me get used to the change quickly and set my eyes on the goals that we set to achieve.

In my previous position, I was working as a content developer charged with the full responsibility of developing content for the websites. Then the company hired a new content developer without stating what my contribution would be. I walked up to my supervisor and asked her about my contribution to the team, she explained to me that I will handle the more complex content while the new hire takes care of the other ones. This gave me better clarity on my role, and I could help the new hire get used to her role too”.

 

“I know that change can happen when you least expect it, but whenever a change happens I keep an open mind to embrace it. In my previous employment, I got used to working alone with little or no supervision at all. The director hired a manager that I was supposed to report to. Understanding her goal for a project was a bit of a struggle for me, but as time went on I came up with a plan to have a meeting with her before I start working on any project to make sure that we are on the same page. As time went on I understood her perfectly and we achieved more working together as a team.

 

How do you build relationships with other members of your team?

The relationship that you build with your team members goes a long way to determine how productive you will be at work. Teamwork is always one top skill that employers look out for when they are trying to get a new hire.

Employers ask this question to see how well you can work in a team and to see level of relationship you have with other employees

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

Use specific examples

Demonstrate your interpersonal skills even from the way that you speak with the interviewer

Emphasize with your answers that you build a good relationship with people

You should avoid the following:

Focusing on the negative or blaming another person

Avoid showing any trait that may likely play down on your interpersonal skills

Sample Answers

“I understand that building a good relationship with team members will increase productivity. When I am new to a team, I try to first understand the personalities of team members. Understanding their personality type will help you better deal with them. I also get interested in what they do and show concern about their interest and goals, then we can communicate on a more shared ground”.

 

“I build an interpersonal relationship with my team members by building interest around what they do. In my current job, I always take a look at what someone has done and give a form of review or an opinion about how it can be better, or simply encourage good work. I was known to be the eagle’s eye of my team”.

 

Brain Teasers Interview Questions and Answers

Brain teasers are questions that are abstract. This kind of question will require you to come up with a good answer based on logic and analysis. Interviewers use this kind of question to check your problem solving abilities through your thought process. Most times, the interview does not expect you to get the answers right at once.

Employers that use brain teasers interview questions are employers that are interested in knowing your approach to solving a problem and your creativity. Often times, IT related companies use brain teasers to understand the candidate’s analytic skills.

 

Describe the internet to someone that is just waking up from 30 years coma

To answer this question, you have to show the interviewer that you are creative. You can look for a perfect thing that existed 30 years ago that you can use to compare the internet. You can also add a bit of humor to win the interviewer over.

Sample Answer

If the person is not a Nigerian or a Nigerian that watches American movies, you can remind the person of scenes in movies like “harry potter” where the use crystal balls to see clearer and to see the future, then you tell the person that the internet is like a  crystal ball or tarot card of today. Since the crystal is really clear, then the internet is something that helps you see clearer providing you with loads of information.

If the person is a Nigerian, you can use the imagery of a traditional practice where people look into a calabash of water to see far and tell the future, then you can tell the person that the internet is the calabash that can help you see better from one point.

 

There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of its box. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?

 

Sample Answer

Since all the boxes are not labeled correctly if the fruit I picked from the first box is an orange, I will label that box orange, knowing that the first box is now correct, I will leave the other labels on the boxes.

 

Is It Better To Be Perfect And Late, Or Good And On Time?

 

Sample Answer

“It is better to be good and on time than perfect and late. When it is good and on time, there is still enough time for it to be perfect, but if it is perfect and late, it may no longer have the effect it will have if it was perfect. It is possible it will no longer be needed if it is late.
Sep 5, 2019

 

"Who Is The Smartest Person You Know Personally? Why?"

When you are answering this question, you should give an example using anyone that you know, but you should always give at least one reason why you think the person is smart.

Sample Answer

“The smartest person I know is my best friend, I think he is smart because he thinks 10 miles away from others, has an idea on almost every subject matter, there is no problem I have watched him faced that was not able to solve”

 

 Why Are Manhole Covers Round And Not Square?

“First of all, a manhole is utility hole that is usually covered with round metals. Manholes are usually diagonal shaped. If it is covered with a square and held diagonally the lid can fall into the holes, but with a round cover it is protected”.

 

“Tracy’s mother had 4 children. The first child was named April, the second was named May, the third was named June. What was the fourth child called?”

When you are answering this kind of question, you should think it true before answering and not be in a hurry to give out the answer.

“The fourth child is called Tracy”

 

How many times a day does a clock's hands overlap?

As simple as this brain teaser sounds it could also be really complex. When interviewers ask this question, they are not necessarily looking for the correct answer, they rather want to know how you would think the process through.

When you are answering this kind of question, you should take note of the following:

Take your time to think about the answer

Take note of your thought process when you are answering the question

Show that you are capable of thinking through problems

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid blurting out your answer without thinking it through

Avoid saying I don’t know when you are asked this type of question, you should at least try

Sample Answer

“Since we have 24 hours in a day, then a clock hand overlaps 22 times. This can be explained because the hand overlaps first at 12:00, 1:05, 2:10, 3:15, 4:20, 5:25, 6:30, 7:35, 8:40, 9:45 and 10:50 twice a day. You will notice that there is no 11:55 because the hands will not overlap at that point because the hour hand is moving toward 12 when the minute hand is at 11. Summing the same calculation up, you would notice that the clock hand overlaps 22 times”.

How do you test a simple calculator?

This kind of question is usually asked during IT related interviews. Interviewers ask this question to find out your thinking ability. So it is important for you to run the interviewer through your thought process.

Sample Answer           

“I would test a simple calculator by checking its functionality and its non-functional operations. I would perform simple mathematical operations on numbers and check for the correct result. I would also try using long strings of operations to see if it follows the normal principles. I would also try the basic functionality test by:

Dividing a number by zero and seeing the result

Try calculating the square root of a negative number and try comparing the result

Calculate mathematical equations on large numbers and see how the calculator handles them

Check the functionality of some buttons like; the back button and the clear button that should reset the calculator to zero.

Check for the screen display

 

You’re in a room with three light switches, each of which controls one of three light bulbs in the next room. You need to determine which switch controls which bulb. All lights are off to begin, and you can’t see into one room from the other. You can inspect the other room only once. How can you find out which switches are connected to which bulbs?

To answer this question, you have to be really tactical about it so that you don’t make a mistake, sit down and relax before you attempt to answer the question. Walk the interviewer through your thought process.

Sample Answer

To solve this problem or answer this question, you have to name the switches. Let’s name the switches A, B, and C.

Leave switch A off.

Turn switch B on for ten minutes.

Then turn it off and quickly turn on switch C

Go into the room and inspect the bulbs

The bulb that is still warm but turned on is controlled by switch B. The one that’s currently lit up is switch C.

 

How would you determine the weight of an airplane without Scaling?

You can calculate the force of the airplane by finding out the thrust of the airplane engines.

You can find the acceleration of the airplane by calculating the change in velocity divided by the time interval. Then use the numbers in Newton's Second Law which states that the force of an object is equal to its mass times in acceleration.

Solve for mass by switching the formula to read: mass equals acceleration divided by force (m = a/F).

 

Experience-Based Interview Questions

Just as the name implies, experience-based interview questions are competency based interview questions that check if a candidate has the required experience to perform the job that the person is applying for.

In an experience based interview, the candidate is made to answer questions about his or her actions in a past employment situation. The interviewer is looking forward to hearing the candidate describe his or skills, achievement and experience and how they emphasize him/her as the best fit for the position.

Hiring managers use this question to assess if the candidate for the position possesses the right skills and abilities that are needed to perform the job using the candidate’s experience as a yardstick for measurement.

 

Tell us about what you have done to prepare for this job?

It is the goal of every employer or hiring manager to find the best hire that will fit into the position for which they are hiring. The interviewer will likely ask a candidate this question in an interview to find out if the candidate understands to a large extent the job he/she is applying for.

Since hiring managers look forward to hiring candidates that have the highest level of qualification, skill, and experience to perform the job. The candidate’s response should reflect that he/she has the right education, qualification, skill, and experience to perform the job.

When answering this question, you should focus on the following:

Your response should show that you understand the job that you applied for

Talk about courses and training that will help you perform the job better

Show how your experience makes you the best person for the job

You should avoid the following:

Avoid not talking about your skills and achievements that make you the best person for the job

Don’t forget to talk about other things that makes you the best person for the position

Sample Answer

“Preparing for this position is one of the most important things that I have prepared for all my life. From a really young age, I have known that I would be doing something that has to do with people even if I had not clearly discovered it. As I grew older, I was able to identify that I was interested in employment/recruitment and personnel management.

“Understanding the role that humans play in the work chain I decided to study Human Resources and Personnel management as an undergraduate. Taking it further, I did my Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Personnel management. Meeting with other professional and knowing the core of Human resource practice is important in the practice. I took a certificate course in Human resources and personnel management.

While getting the required knowledge to perform excellently as a Human Resource manager, I have also gained over 8 years of experience in Human Resource practices. With over 4 years of experience working as a human resource manager in a manufacturing company, I know that it won’t be challenging for me to perform this role effectively”.

 

Sep 5, 2019
Can you describe a complex problem you had to solve?

This is one of the behavioral interview questions that interviewers ask to know the candidate’s problem-solving abilities. Employers understand that challenges are inevitable in any work situation, but they want to understand how you face challenges.

This question can come in any of these forms;

Tell me about a problem that you have solved in the past

Tell us about a time in your previous job when you solved a problem

Tell me about a time that you handled a difficult situation

When you are answering this question, you pay attention to the following:

Give an example of a difficult situation that you were able to solve

Focus on how you were able to solve the problem

Use the STAR method

These are pitfalls you should avoid:

Avoid speaking poorly about your previous employer or co-worker

Choose a situation that is related to the job

Avoid discussing your shortcomings except it is showing a growth process

Sample Answers

“In my previous role as a secondary school teacher, I discovered that I had a very rude student that was bent on not following any instruction that I give. This got me worried because the boy will not follow any instruction that I give and because of that he was doing badly in his academics and the management was worried about his situation.

I thought it was a minor case until I noticed that the boy had influenced almost everyone in the class. Almost all the student that I teach no longer listen to me and this made it difficult for me to teach them and for them to even learn.

So I decided to call this boy and talk to him instead of going back to the management on this situation. As I spoke to the boy, I discovered that the boy doesn’t like the fact that he is a science student, which makes him really angry, so he is trying to discourage every other person from paying attention in the class because he is not interested.

Finding out this, I counseled him and spoke to his parents about it. The boy was then moved to the Arts, and that was how I could get my peace back as a teacher”.

 

 

What was your most significant accomplishment in your previous job?

Interviewers ask candidates questions about their accomplishment to find out if the candidate is a good fit for the job that he/she is applying for. Answering this question well will help the interviewer get an understanding of your value and interest. Your answer to this question will help the interviewer decide whether your personality will be the best fit for this company.

This question also gives the interviewer an idea of the accomplishment that he expects from you if you are given the job.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

Give examples of a situation that you achieved a lot

Talk about the skills and abilities that helped you succeed

Talk about lessons that you learned during that period

Talk about the problem that you solved

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid watering down your accomplishment to appear modest

Avoid talking about achievements that are not related to the job

Avoid lying or exaggerating an accomplishment

Sample Answers

“I have several notable achievements in my previous job, one of the most notable achievement is using a failed product to increase sales for the year. We had a plan to add some new features to our products as recommended by our customers. So while the company worked on the product, after the product was launched we noticed that the number one feature we wanted on our product was missing and we had already produced millions of copies.

Leaving the product like that in the store will not increase sales for us, and the company had invested so much money to make this project a success. The entire team was perplexed about the situation, so I decided to take on marketing measures to ensure that we sell the product before we can make changes in the product.

I strengthened our online and offline marketing strategies. At the end of the year, we had up to 90% sales on the product. I was happy that we were able to handle that challenge and I was rewarded for that idea”.

 

“I had several accomplishments in my previous job, but the most notable one was during my internship when I had to urgently replace a team member in the IT team. The company has been working on a project for over a long time and while the team had gone halfway, a team member that was handling working on the mobile version for iOS resigned immediately, and due to the urgency of the project, I had to replace him.

Due to the fact that I had developed an APP for iOS and no other person in the team could do that, I worked on the project for the remaining 6 months of my internship. I completed the project when my internship was ending. After developing the APP, the project was launched and I was applauded for the good work. I was also glad to know that the APP already had over 150 reviews before the end of my internship”.

 

What do you like most about your last job?

This kind of interview question is really tricky, you should be careful not to talk yourself out of the job. Remember to be honest whenever you are asked this question. While you are trying to be honest, you should also keep your response on the positive side.

One major reason why interviewers ask this question is to know if you are going to be happy and satisfied with the job. Every employer looks forward to working with people that will be happy and satisfied with their jobs. So if you were not satisfied performing the same role in another company, the hiring manager will simply believe that you will not be satisfied performing the role in the company too.

You should take note of the following, when you are answering this question:

Give an example of things that you enjoyed in your previous job

Make sure that what you choose to talk about is related to the position that you are applying for

Make sure that your answer is direct and straight to the point

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid giving an example that may water down your abilities. Examples like “I enjoyed my previous job because I usually have little or nothing to do most times”

Avoid sharing an irrelevant experience like “I enjoyed the fact that my team members were all very beautiful ladies”

Avoid exaggerating things from your last job

Sample Answers

“In my previous job, I really enjoyed the fact that the company is enthusiastic about employees’ growth as much as I am passionate about my career growth. Within the first 3 years of my stay in my previous job, I had taken several content development trainings all of which helped me develop my skills in content development. Both the internal and external training has helped me move up my career ladder as the team lead for content development in the company. I really enjoyed the fact that there was an opportunity for growth”
Sep 5, 2019
“Before my last employment, I have always looked forward to working in an environment that supported teamwork to a large extent. In my last job, I was a member of the IT team and we handled both internal and external project, I usually enjoy the fact that we handle different bits of the project, and at the end we come together and those tiny bits will become on whole amazing project. The integration of people to achieve a goal is what appeals to me in my last job, and that is why I am also enthusiastic about this job too”.

 

What did you hate most performing your role at your last job?

It could be challenging to respond to this kind of question because you don’t want to come out all negative about your previous position. The interviewer is asking you this question to find out the things that you would probably not like about the position.

When you are answering this question, it is important for you to be honest about the things that you did not like about your previous job, but you should also try as much as possible to still focus on the positive aspect of the job

You can also make the interviewer know that the things you did not enjoy in your previous job are the things that you are enthusiastic about in this position.

You should focus on:

Things that are related to the job

Talking about things that will emphasize that you are the best person for the position

You should also avoid:

Talking too much about the things that you don’t like

Avoid being personal about the things that you did not like about your previous job

Avoid being too negative and critical

Sample Answers

“I did not like the way I got used to doing the same over a long period of time. I did the same thing every day, and at a point, I got bored because there were no challenges. I am someone that thrives on challenges which is why I am applying for this position”.

 

“One thing that I did not like about my last job is lack of specialization. I was employed as a customer service executive, but I never spent 2 months performing that role. I understand that multi-tasking is important, but I love to practice my profession and develop my career. I am passionate about my career growth which is why I am applying for this position”.

 

What is the most significant thing you learned at your last job?

Employers are usually interested in employees that can learn easily. Being able to identify the things that you have learned in your previous job will give the interviewer the mindset that you are teachable and that you are willing to learn.

It is important for you to note that the interviewer wants to learn how your experiences in your last job were for you. It does matter if it was positive or negative. The interviewer just wants to know how you turn experiences into learning projects.

When you want to answer this question, you should:

Focus on the positive side of the situation

Provide a specific example

Think about the things that you have learned in your previous job that is related to this

Always remember to stay positive

You should also avoid the following:

Don’t talk down on your previous employment

Don’t admit that you did not learn anything

Avoid keeping quiet when you are asked the question

Sample Answers

“I have always been used to working all by myself and that is because I am a freelancer. Working in my previous company made me learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration. In my previous job we worked as a team and as a team we were able to achieve a lot together”.

 

“In my previous job, I learned to communicate well. Over the years I got used to working on my own with little or no communication with others. When I got to my previous job I had to communicate with people to understand their ideas. Since communication is key to every business, I have learned to communicate better”.

 

Can you tell me about your responsibility in your last position?

When you are answering this question during an interview, you have to be careful about your response. Many times when interviewers ask this question, they want to know what you have done earlier in your previous position so that they can see if you are the person for the job. The interviewer also wants to know where you are heading in your career.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following points:

The interviewer wants to know about your previous experience, so you should emphasize the skills that you used in your previous job to show that you are the best fit for the position

Let the interviewer understand that your main functions in the job relate to the job that you are applying for

While talking about your experience, don’t forget to mention how your experience will help you to perform your job better.

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid talking about the task than talking about your responsibilities

Avoid playing down on your achievement

Sample Answers

“As a customer service representative, my job was to assist customers with product information, help customers resolve any complain they may have about the product, engage customers that come physically, direct complains to the appropriate channel and make sure that I represent the brand image and that I keep up with the company standard while ensuring that customers are satisfied always”.

 

“In my last position as a content developer, I was responsible for creating all forms of content ranging from videos to text to infographics on our online platforms. I ensure that all contents on the platform pass through the company’s quality check”.

 

Do you think you're qualified for this position?

During an interview, the interviewer can ask you questions like; why do you think you are the best person for this? Or why should we hire you?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know why they should hire you over every other candidate. So while you are trying to answer this question, you should focus on things that make you the best person for the position. Emphasize your skills, your abilities, and experience to emphasize that you are the best person for the position.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on:

Your skills and abilities that match that of the company

Emphasize how you wish to help the company achieve its goal

Show the interviewer that you are interested in the position

Pick a valuable skill that will set you apart from other candidates. A skill that will help you perform excellently in the job

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid focusing more on your personality rather than the skill

Avoid watering down your skills and experiences

Avoid bringing down other candidates

Sample Answers

“My 6 years of experience in customer service has given me insight into what your customer service job entails. I am a very result driven person, and my enthusiasm for problem-solving has motivated me to do more as a customer service person and also to help my team members achieve more. During my stay at my previous job, I was able to manage a team of 50 customer service representatives. Building enthusiasm among my team members and motivating them to achieve results is what made us stand out among other teams in my company”.
Sep 5, 2019

 

“In my previous role as a marketer, I have taken almost every responsibility in the marketing department. I manage and optimize the company website, social media marketing, physical marketing, and PR. Because of my vast knowledge in almost every aspect of marketing, I know that I can bring in that same unique skill into this position”.

 

 

How does your experience prepare you for this role?

It is no news that employers look forward to hiring candidates that have the right kind of experience that would help them perform the job well. When interviewers ask you this question, they want to know how your experience will help you perform the job better than other candidates.

The interviewer also wants to know how your experience aligns with the description of the job that you are applying for.

Hiring managers judge your experience to see if you are going to add value to the position that you are interviewing for.

You should take note of the following when you are answering this question:

Describe your experience in your previous job and how it relates to the job that you are applying for

You can also talk about your achievements in your previous jobs that will be useful in the position that you are applying for

It is important for you to be honest about your job experience

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid talking about what you did not like about your previous job

Avoid mentioning experiences that are not related to the position that you are applying for

Sample Answers

“I developed great skills like problem-solving and patience assisting customers with our product even when they are really frustrated. I am excellent at enduring customer’s rage and finding a way to help them solve their problems and make them become satisfied customers.

During my stay in my previous company, our returning customer rate rose from 2 to 10% that year. Since improving customer satisfaction is the major goal in this role, I know that my experience in customer service will be of great value to this company”.

 

“In my previous position as a content developer, I developed great hard skills like; excellent writing skills, graphics design skills, video editing, and animation. Aside from the hard skills that I acquired, I also learned how to communicate effectively to make sure that everything is working perfectly well. While we had different people focusing on different aspects of content in the agency, I was the only one that worked across all the forms of content. So I managed and supervised other team members.

 

“I learned that this position requires someone that is versatile with various forms of content. I believe that my experience handling different forms of content has prepared me to be of great value to this company”.

 

Tell me about a successful project you handled in your previous job?

When interviewers ask these questions they simply want to know how you have handled a successful project and how well you would perform in a project that is related to the position effectively. The interviewer also wants to understand the process that you take to make sure that your project becomes successful at the end.

You should focus on the following:

Give an example of a project that you completed successfully

Walk the interviewer through how you were able to complete the project successfully

You should tell the interviewer about the result of the project

You should also avoid the following:

Downplaying your achievements in the project

Avoid talking about a project that is not related to the role at all or one that would show the necessary skills needed for the job

Sample Question

“As a civil engineer, the most successful project I carried out was building the government house in Nigeria. I consider this project as one of my most successful projects because of the challenges that I experienced working on this project. Before the construction of the building, I wrote the goals that I wanted to achieve to constantly remind myself of it.

I divide the team into groups based on areas of expertise explaining the goals to every member of the team. Having the goal at the back of our hands was what made us successful at the end”.

 

Trap Interview Questions

Trap interview questions just as the name suggests are interview questions that aim to stir up the applicant to respond to uncomfortable and unexpected questions. In this kind of interview questions, the interviewer is more interested in your approach to the question rather than the response.

 

What are your weaknesses?

Interview questions about your weaknesses are questions that candidates hate the most. Candidates feel uncomfortable with the question because they know quite alright that everyone has a weakness, but how would you talk about your weakness without looking like a terrible candidate for the job.

The best way to answer this question is minimizing the weak traits and emphasizing the positive angle to it. While you point out a weakness, it is equally important that you talk about how you plan to manage them.

You can take these steps to answer the question:

You can think about something that you are not very good at in the past

You can look at steps you have taken to put that in check

Emphasize that you are working on becoming better

You should also avoid the following:

Avoid lying

Avoid giving answers like “I don’t have a weakness”

Sample Answers

“Well, I used to have a problem setting priorities. I usually accept any task that comes to me without even considering if I could do it or not. So at the end of the day, I try my best to complete all the task and most times I find myself stressed out without even completing the task and most important task suffer.

So considering the problem, I took a course in time management where I learned how to manage my time effectively. Now, I put priorities on the bigger projects and task before attending to other ones. Even if I still take up more task, I have learned to a great extent how to prioritize well”.

 

“Well, I used to be not so good at public speaking, I get really nervous when I am in the front of people and I knew it was a problem I was supposed to fix. I decided that I would make myself available when there is an opportunity to speak to a group of people. So I decided to give a short speech before every team meeting. I also enrolled in a public speaking class to help speak better in public. During our last conference, I spoke to about 1000 people even if I still felt a little bit uneasy and I was greatly congratulated”.

 

Where would you ideally love to work?

We all have a picture of our ideal company. As a job-seeker, when an interviewer asks you this question, the interviewer wants to have an idea of what an ideal company means to you. The interviewer also wants to understand or see if the company will be an ideal place for you to thrive.

When you are answering this question, make sure that the description of your ideal work matches the position and company you are applying to.

You should take note of the following:

Describe a place that will affect your growth

Be sincere about what an ideal workplace is for you

Make sure that your dream aligns with that of the company

You should also avoid the following:

•             You should avoid exaggeration, avoid saying that this is the best job when it is not

•             Avoid citing a specific employer as an example it might be risky

 

 

Sample Answer

“My ideal company would be one that would show me challenges that would allow me to use my skills and ability to contribute to the value system of the company. And I see that this position in this company will help me better utilize my skills and abilities to help the company achieve its aim”.

 

“I would love to work in a company whose vision is to provide a solution to a real problem. I would love to work for a company whose vision is to create high-quality products that meet with customer’s need which also aligns with my passion for customer service”.

 

If you were an animal what animal would you be?

Many interviewers ask this (odd) interview questions for different reasons, and not because they just want to joke with you.

Interviewers ask this question because they want to have an idea about your personality type, asking you this question, they are simply asking you to describe yourself using an animal. Some interviewers ask this question because they want to understand your thought process and your level of creativity.

When you are answering this question, take note of the following:

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