8 Perfect Interview Answers: Frequent Interview Questions & How to Get Them Right

8 Perfect Interview Answers: Frequent Interview Questions & How to Get Them Right

Wondering how to answer interview questions confidently? Knowing some perfect interview answers beforehand helps. 

Regardless of your industry, there are tried-and-true questions that will show up. Many interviews follow a similar pattern, and preparing for certain types of questions helps you get ahead.

Here are 8 common interview questions and how to answer them.

Question 1: Tell us about yourself.

This standard (but dreaded) question is so often answered incorrectly. It’s easy to give a lengthy answer and go over all parts of your work history; instead, you want to be concise and compelling.

Here’s how to answer this question. Discuss:

  • Your current role, its scope, and maybe a big accomplishment you’ve had
  • Background on how you got this role
  • Some experiences that are relevant
  • Transition into how that means you’re a perfect fit for the role you’re interviewing for
  • Keep answers to 2-3 minutes or less; don’t get overly lengthy

Like other perfect interview answers, your response here should be compelling and not drag on. This question is also a chance for interviewers to get to know you, so feel free to add some personality.

Question 2: Why do you want to work at this company? 

Employers want to feel that your interest in working for them is sincere. If you’re applying to a company simply for salary or benefits, you aren’t the fit they’re looking for. 

Many perfect interview answers are perfect because research was done behind the scenes to inform them, and this question is no different. You should have researched the company before applying; use those insights to discuss aspects of the company that most interest you.

Here’s how to answer this question. Touch on some of the following: 

  • Do your research and find a unique aspect of this organization that appeals to you
  • Connect that to personal experience
  • Focus on the company’s future growth and how you can contribute
  • Mention if you’ve been following the company for a while and any growth you’ve noticed
  • Share any positive interactions you’ve had with current employees so far

Question 3: What can you bring to this company?

Most perfect interview answers require insight into what approach to take when responding to a question. While many people address this question by discussing their background, the strongest responses take a different route. 

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Research the company and understand some of its biggest problems. Know how you can work to solve them
  • Know how you’ll fit into the company
  • Address any issues you’re being hired to solve and how you’ll make an impact

Especially if you’re looking to rise up the ranks at this company and expand into senior leadership, impact is everything. The goal of answering this question is to demonstrate that you’ll positively affect the organization.

Question 4: Give me an example of when you demonstrated leadership skills.

Aspiring senior leaders out there (as well as anyone else) need to know leadership. In all of our careers, we need to apply leadership skills, and employers will want to see that you’re capable of this.

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Use the STAR method (situation, task, action, result)
  • Have a situation in mind where you applied leadership skills
  • Know the task you were solving
  • Describe the actions you took and the results they had
  • Be specific and share anecdotal evidence

Perfect interview answers are specific; make sure to do that here.

Related: All About Changing Career Paths: 7 Tips for a Remarkably Smooth Transition

Question 5: Tell me about a time you disagreed with your boss and how you handled it.

Looking for some tough interview questions and answers? This might make your list. Perfect interview answers to this question are honest; we’ve all disagreed with leadership at some point. What’s important is how you handled it.

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Talk more about the resolution than the conflict
  • Explain how you stayed calm and professional
  • Demonstrate what you learned from that experience
  • Say that you don’t shy away from tough situations and instead learn from them

Question 6: Tell me about a time you failed.

The most perfect interview answers are those that are brutally honest. We all fail, and you want to be transparent about that here. Pick a real time you failed and use that to answer this question.

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Use an anecdote to describe when you’ve failed
  • Explain your definition of failure
  • Discuss your situation and why you perceived it as a failure
  • Explain what you learned from that mistake and what you do differently now

Remember: It’s okay to fail. Your employer is trying to gain insight into your response to failure, not whether or not you’ve ever failed (because we all do).

Question 7: What are your long-term career goals?

Employers are using this question to assess your aspirations and if you as a candidate are a good long-term fit for them. Perfect interview answers to this question are well thought out and paint an accurate picture of your long-term goals.

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Research roles like yours at this company. What’s the timeline?
  • Know your personal goals
  • Explain your ideal future
  • Connect the progression of your role with your ideal future (if you can). It’s also okay to remain flexible
  • It’s most important to demonstrate that you’re an aspirational person who’s thought about their future

Question 8: How would you spend the first 90 days at this job?

Any aspiring senior leaders out there? This is a question you may encounter. Employers want to know how you’ll begin solving problems and making an impact in your first 90 days.

Here’s how to answer this question:

  • Explain the most significant problems you’re looking to address and why you chose them
  • Describe who you’ll set 1:1 meetings with and get to know
  • The key here is to focus on your thought process behind why you’re starting where you are. Make sure you’re addressing some of your (potential) team’s most substantial challenges
  • Explain that you’re also flexible and will go with the flow as needed; your first 90 days don’t have to be mapped out

Final Word

Perfect interview answers are honest, anecdotal, and research-based. We hope that these sample answers helped you gain confidence going into interviews.

Need help finding the perfect company? Jennings Executive can help. We specialize in matching senior leaders (including aspiring ones) with the best companies. Learn more today!

Related: Career Progress 101 for Senior Positions: 8 Tips For Breaking Into That Senior Role

Scroll to top