I have been there, you have been there, we all have been there. You get a call or email from a recruiter inviting you for an interview and you immediately start looking for the most common interview questions that can be asked to you. Also, you look for sample answers because well-thought-out answers will definitely help you stand out in the long and hard process of getting through the interviews…
Well, look no further! With our more than 10 years of interview consulting experience, and after months of research, we aimed to create an “Interview Questions Bible” type of resource and have created a question list that shows the 136 most common interview questions you might be asked and provided our sample answers to help you get started. As a bonus, we added important tips to each question so you can tailor your answer based on the role you’re interviewing for and your professional experience.
These questions are relevant for all kinds of roles including but not limited to sales, marketing, operations, product, and HR managers; team leads, and senior executives. The list includes questions such as “Tell me about a time..” questions, personality and behavioral questions, standard questions such as weakness and strengths, and even salary/travel requirement questions to help you get ready for whatever comes at you.
We also suggest you to check out our other posts like the Star Interview Technique, Top 25 Amazon Interview Questions, or the CV Template That Got Me Into Amazon & Google to get info on various topics.
Do you have a job interview with Amazon? Make sure to check out the Amazon Interview Guide to see how it helped hundreds of people to get offers from Amazon for a wide variety of roles.
Without further ado, let’s see the most common interview questions!
136 Most Common Interview Questions and How To Answer Them
1. Tell Me About Yourself (One of the most common interview questions)
Tip: This is arguably one of the most common interview questions for any candidate. Read the job description carefully and try to understand what specific skills the company is looking for. Tailor your answer to reflect this. Ask if they need clarification at the end of the answer.
Sample Answer: I am a highly motivated and skilled professional with a background in marketing and sales. Throughout my career, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to develop and implement successful marketing campaigns, increase sales, and drive revenue growth. I am a strong team player and enjoy working with others to achieve common goals.
In my current role, I have taken on additional responsibilities such as managing a team and training new employees, which has helped me develop strong leadership and communication skills. I am excited to bring my skills and experience to a new role and contribute to the success of the company.
I hope my answer satisfies what you were looking for. Let me know if you want to dig deeper on some aspects and I’ll be happy to give more details.
2. Why do you want to work for our company?
Tip: Again, one of the most common interview questions. This question is very similar to “Why Amazon?” or “Why X company” and the answers can be used interchangeably. When providing your answer to this question, make sure to look at it both from your perspective and from the company’s perspective.
Sample Answer: I am extremely interested in working for your company because we’re a great match. Let me tell you why: You have a reputation as a leader in the industry and a commitment to innovation and excellence. Your company’s values align with my own and I believe that I can make a meaningful contribution to the team. I am also impressed by the opportunity for professional development and growth within the company.
I am confident that my skills and experience make me a strong fit for this role and I am excited to be a part of a team that is making such a positive impact in the industry. Especially, the XYX project (give some details here) I did in my previous job matches very well with what I think you need here and I’ll be able to provide a positive impact immediately with my skillset.
3. What Are Your Strengths?
Tip: Strengths and weakness questions are pretty common interview questions. Tailor your strengths based on the job description and the team you are interviewing for. So here is a sample answer for What are your strengths interview question;
Sample Answer: (e.g. for a marketing or a product/project management role) I believe that my strongest strengths are my communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to work well under pressure. Throughout my career, I have consistently received positive feedback for my ability to effectively communicate with team members and clients, as well as my ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
I am also highly detail-oriented, which has allowed me to consistently produce high-quality work. These strengths have helped me excel in my previous roles and I believe they would make me a valuable asset to your team. As an example, I have done XYZ in my previous company (give details) that I think properly reflects my skill set and how it can be translated to the work I’ll be doing here. I’m excited!
4. What Are Your Weaknesses?
Tip: This is one of the more tricky common interview questions. Do not fall into the “my weakness is actually a strength” trap by giving answers such as “I find myself working much more than my team-mates and I won’t stop until a job is done perfectly”. Recruiters will know that this is not a genuine answer. Be genuine with your answer when you’re answering the What are your weaknesses interview question and explain how you’re improving on those aspects.
Sample Answer: One of my weaknesses is that I can sometimes be too critical of my own work which has led to missing deadlines in the past. I tend to set high standards for myself and can be hard on myself if I don’t meet those standards and I was used to getting fixated on improving my own work quality so much so that it took my eyes off the target.
To address this weakness, I have been working on learning to be more self-compassionate and to recognize that it is okay to make mistakes as long as I learn from them. I remind myself what is the ultimate gol of a project I’m working on, and do not hesitate to get help from my colleagues. I also try to seek feedback from colleagues and managers so that I can continue to improve and grow. Overall, I am always striving to become a better professional with the end goal/target in mind and I believe that acknowledging and working on my weaknesses is a crucial part of that process. This approach helped me to improve a lot in my last job and in the XYZ project (give details), I got a very positive feedback about my improvements.
5. Why Should We Hire You?
Tip: “Why should we hire you?” question is similar to the “Why do you want to work with us?” question, remember to look at this from the company’s perspective as well. Giving details about a very similar project/product you worked on in your previous job will definitely give you the edge here.
Sample Answer: You should hire me because we’re a great match. Let me tell you why. I believe that I am the best candidate for this role because of my combination of skills, experience, and passion for the work. My background in marketing and sales, along with my strong communication and leadership skills, make me a strong fit for this position.
In my previous job I was working in a similar team with very similar projects like yours, so I will be able ramp-up pretty quickly, which I think is crucial in a fast-paced environment like yours. I am also highly motivated and committed to delivering high-quality work. In addition, I am excited about the opportunity to join your team and contribute to the company’s success. I am confident that my skills and experience, along with my enthusiasm for the role, make me an excellent fit for this position.
6. How Do You Handle Stress or Pressure?
Tip: Good organization skills are a must for handling pressure. Make sure you mention that. Giving examples from your past work experience where you thrived under pressure will earn you a lot of points.
Sample Answer: I handle pressure by staying organized, prioritizing tasks, and communicating effectively with my peers by always being approachable. I find that having a clear plan and understanding of my responsibilities helps me stay focused and manage my time effectively. My previous job at XYZ company was also in a stressful environment and I must say I thrive in those circumstances by “keeping it cool”. Just a short example, in my previous role we found ourselves critically short of time for launching a public product, and I did this and this to successfully navigate my team during the crisis (give an example where you managed a typical “no-time-left” stress).
In these stressful times, I believe in seeking support from colleagues and superiors when needed, as I know that working together as a team can help alleviate stress and pressure. I hope my answer was adequate, please let me know if you want me to give another example of managing work in a stressful and high-pressure environment.
7. How do you handle conflict or disagreement with a colleague or supervisor?
Tip: When answering this question, make sure that know the conflicts are about the job, not about the personalities. Refrain from giving an example of a personal conflict and give a general outline of your conflict resolution approach. At the end of your answer, ask if the recruiter/hiring manager wants to see a specific example.
Sample Answer: I believe that it is important to approach conflicts or disagreements in a calm and professional manner, and know that this a professional conflict in order to solve a problem the company is facing. Everyone is trying to figure out what’s best for the company, so nothing is personal. As my typical approach to conflict resolution, first I try to understand the other person’s perspective and see the situation from their point of view. I then communicate my own perspective and concerns in a respectful and constructive way. If necessary, I am willing to seek mediation or outside support in order to resolve the issue.
Ultimately, my goal is to find a solution that works for everyone and to maintain a positive working relationship with my colleagues and supervisor. I believe that open and honest communication is key to resolving conflicts and disagreements in a healthy and productive way. I also have some examples where the outcome was pretty positive after having a conflict in my previous jobs, and I can give you specific examples if you’d like.
8. How do you handle a difficult customer or client?
Tip: Make sure to let the interviewer see that you don’t take customer complaints personally. We’ve all been both at the giving end and the receiving end of complaints, so staying professional is key.
Sample Answer: One of the first things I did when starting my career was to get the necessary training in managing angry/frustrated customers and I must say this made a big difference in my career. Knowing that frustration is not personal and that most issues can be solved with sincere attention made me very good at solving problems we face from our customers.
It is ultimately important to remain calm and professional when dealing with a difficult customer or client. As my typical approach, first I try to listen to their concerns and understand their perspective. I then work to identify a solution that addresses their needs and resolves the issue. If necessary, I am willing to escalate the issue to a supervisor or manager in order to find a resolution. I also make sure to follow up with the customer or client to ensure that their issue has been adequately addressed and that they are satisfied with the outcome. Overall, my goal is to provide excellent customer service and to find a solution that meets the needs of both the customer and the company.
(Bonus point that shows you think out of the box) Actually, I made a quite positive impact in my last company when I created a customer support/training system that reduced the complaints 25% in two months. The system was based on analyzing & understanding the complaints data, and creating a support website that our customers could use for solving the issues on their own by following the easy-to-use support interface. So even customer complaints can be a good thing in the end!
9. We’re a pretty busy company. How do you handle a heavy workload?
Tip: Here the recruiter wants to see if you are able to manage your time well and if you’re mostly finding yourself doing overtime (which is not really welcome in many top-tier companies that encourage (even pushes) work-life balance more and more). A good point here will be stating you’re able to complete tasks without doing overtime. Shows that you’re efficient!
Sample Answer: No matter if I have a heavy workload or not, I always approach it the same. I always stay organized and prioritize my tasks very well. I find that creating a clear plan and breaking my work into smaller, manageable tasks helps me stay focused and on track. I also make sure to communicate with my colleagues and superiors about my workload and seek help when needed. In addition, I try to be proactive in identifying potential bottlenecks or issues and finding ways to address them before they become major problems.
These principles worked well for me in the past, and I’m happy that I got numerous performance awards / early promotions in my previous roles without doing any overtime (crises situation aside, of course) Overall, I believe that effective time management and good communication are key to handling a heavy workload effectively and it had served me well so far.
10. How do you handle failure or mistakes?
Tip: The key point is showing you have failed, and you learned from it. There has not been an employee since the beginning of time who didn’t make any mistakes 🙂 So do not try to portray yourself as a mistake-free employer, but rather show that you have learned from them.
Sample Answer: I wish I could say I don’t make mistakes 🙂 but I got my share of failures or mistakes, especially at the beginning of my career. I believe that it is important to take responsibility for my mistakes and to learn from them. Trying to find the root cause and determine what steps I can take to prevent them in the future is crucial for learning from them. I also try to communicate openly with my colleagues and superiors about the mistake and any steps I am taking to address it. I believe that it is important to be honest and transparent about failures, as this allows for opportunities to learn and grow.
Earlier in my career, I failed in of the projects I was assigned by not analyzing the data and it led to a sales drop for one of our products. I was able to recover the sales by asking for help and communicating openly about it to the management, and we were able to correct it swiftly. That gave me the first important lesson in my career: Always double-check your numbers and have another eye take look at them if you’re not sure about it.
11. Are you good with working with a team?
Tip: This question will be asked to you if you will work in a team in your new role. Still, even when you’re hired as an individual contributor, team skills are an important asset for every employee. Show that you have experience in both of these scenarios and mention the types of teams you have worked in.
Sample Answer: Throughout my career, I was lucky enough to work both as an individual contributor and as a team player and I must say I’m comfortable doing both. When you work within a team, I believe that effective teamwork and communication are crucial to the success of any project or task. In projects where I work with a team, I try to be a good listener and communicate openly with my team members. I also try to be flexible and open to different perspectives and approaches as I believe great ideas come from the collective mind.
I believe that it is important to collaborate and support one another in order to achieve our shared goals. I also try to be proactive in identifying potential issues or challenges and finding ways to address them as a team. Overall, I believe that working with a team requires effective communication, collaboration, and a willingness to adapt and work together. In my last job, I both worked in small teams (3-4 people) for local projects and in large teams (50 people), managing the engineers for a successful launch of a product, and I’m comfortable in both environments.
12. How do you manage tough challenges and setbacks?
Tip: Here, the recruiter wants to see how well you perform under pressure. Approach this similarly to the “how do you handle the pressure?” question.
When I encounter challenges or setbacks, I try to take a proactive approach and come up with a plan to address the issue. I start by analyzing the situation and identifying any potential roadblocks or challenges. From there, I brainstorm potential solutions and weigh the pros and cons of each option. Once I have a plan in place, I execute it and track my progress to ensure that I am making progress towards my goal. If the plan isn’t working, I am willing to pivot and try a different approach.
In my previous job, we had a problem with one of our projects and I did this (give an example of a tough situation, e.g. related to a project timeline or headcount). Ultimately, my goal is to find a solution and learn from the experience so that I can be better prepared to handle similar challenges in the future.
13. Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision.
Tip: Here, the recruiter is looking for your decision-making skills and if you are able to see the big picture. Give an example from your previous job about this, without going too much into the details (without getting lost in the details). Ask a clarification question at the end.
Sample Answer: I had to make a difficult decision a few years ago while I was working as an account manager at Stripe. The situation was that we were facing a tight deadline on a project that involved a new financial analysis tool for the Stripe frontend, and one of my team members was not meeting their commitments. As a result, the rest of the team was starting to feel overwhelmed and I was concerned about the impact on the project.
After careful consideration, I decided to have a conversation with the team member to address the issue and try to find a solution. While it was a difficult conversation, I felt that it was important to address the issue in order to move the project forward and protect the interests of the team. In the end, we were able to come to a resolution and complete the project on time.”
14. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to meet a deadline or exceed expectations.
Tip: In this question, the recruiter is trying to gauge how flexible are you and how much of a “hard worker” you are, while at the same time thinking out of the box. Try to give an example where your team normally would not do and you were able to contain the situation with your approach.
Sample Answer: I had to go above and beyond to meet a deadline a few years ago while I was working as a product manager at a big tech firm, working on third-party application solutions. We were working on a large project with a very tight timeline, and it became clear that we were not going to be able to complete it on time using our current resources.
In order to meet the deadline, I took the initiative to reach out to other team members and ask for their help in completing the project. Although they were pretty busy as well, I was able to get a signup from their managers by explaining the temporary resources we need and how this project will help them in the long run as well. I also stayed late and worked on weekends to ensure that we were making progress. In the end, we were able to complete the project on time and exceed the expectations of our client. It was a challenging experience, but I was proud of the hard work and dedication that my team showed in order to meet the deadline.
15. How do you handle working on multiple projects at the same time?
Tip: This is all about time and resource management. Efficiency is a key aspect of every successful employee so provide an example that points this out.
Sample Answer: I have experience working on multiple projects at the same time and have developed a number of strategies to stay organized and on track. One of the things that have helped me the most is creating a clear plan for each project, including setting specific goals and deadlines. This allows me to prioritize my tasks and ensure that I am making progress on each project.
I also make sure to communicate with my team and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any potential conflicts or issues are addressed in a timely manner. By staying organized and being proactive, I am able to effectively manage my workload and deliver high-quality results on all of my projects.
16. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team to achieve a common goal.
Tip: Team-work questions are among the most common interview questions. Team-work is an essential skill especially if you are interviewing for a large company that has a flat structure with many teams. Make sure you provide an example that shows you can work effectively with multiple teams.
Sample Answer: I had the opportunity to work with a team to achieve a common goal a few years ago while I was working as a project manager at Cola Cola. While working with multiple teams comes within the territory of a typical project manager, I remember this one, in particular, involving many teams both local and global. as a project manager The goal was to analyze the consumer behavior patterns across many regions to come up with a sales plan that involves the most common spending patterns and we were given 1 month to complete it.
To achieve this goal, we formed a cross-functional team that included members from different departments and levels of the organization, from product management to marketing, from data analytics to sales. We held regular meetings to discuss progress and address any issues that arose. We also made sure to clearly define roles and responsibilities, and established open lines of communication to ensure that everyone was on the same page. In the end, we were able to successfully complete the project on time and exceed the expectations of our stakeholders.
17. Tell me about a time when you had to make a presentation to a group of people about a difficult topic.
Tip: With this question, the recruiter is looking to see your presentation skills/experience as well as performance under pressure. Show how you approached the situation and what you did to ease the stress.
Sample Answer: I had to make a presentation to a group of people a few years ago while I was working as a junior marketing manager at Salesforce. The presentation was to a group of senior executives and was focused on new business ideas. As you can imagine, being a junior employee I was really stressed to present my ideas to industry veterans but at the same time, this was a really good opportunity for me.
In preparing for the presentation, I made sure to do my research and gather all of the necessary information. I also practiced my delivery and used visual aids to help illustrate my points. On the day of the presentation, I made sure to arrive early to set up and test any technology that I would be using and rehearsed a few times to warm-up. During the presentation, I used my notes as a guide but made sure to speak clearly and engage with the audience. In the end, the presentation was well received and I received positive feedback from the executives.
18. Tell me about a time when you had to work with limited resources.
Tip: No recruiter or hiring manager will tell you that, but nowadays almost every employee needs to work in an environment where they need be frugal with all aspects of the work (shoutout to Amazon’s Leadership Principle: Frugality). Show that you are used to working like this.
Sample Answer: I know that during these economic downturns, we need to be especially frugal with the resources we have and I’m happy to say that I have a lot of experience with this. I had to work with limited resources a few years ago while I was working as a technical product manager at Microsoft. The situation was that we were working on a project that had a very tight budget and a very limited engineering resources to work on a prototype product, and we were not given the resources that we had originally requested.
In order to complete the project successfully, I had to be creative in finding ways to stretch our resources. I worked closely with my team to identify any areas where we could cut costs and prioritize the most important tasks. One thing I found useful is analyzing the product specs and coming up with a few design changes that did not distract from the user experience but saved us a lot of resources. I also reached out to industry contacts and vendors to see if they could provide any resources or discounts for the spare parts we needed for the prototype. In the end, we were able to complete the prototype on budget & time and received positive feedback from top management.
19. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was not pulling their weight.
Tip: This question is for understanding your people management skills. Make sure you don’t give an example that involves a colleague dealing with personal struggles in his/her private life as this might be a sensitive topic. Instead, give a purely work-related example.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team member who was not pulling his weight a few years ago while I was working as an account strategist at Google. The situation was that we were working on a project with a tight deadline and this team member was not meeting their commitments.
In order to address the issue, I first tried to understand the root cause of the problem. I had a conversation with the team member to see if there were any issues or challenges that he was facing that I was not aware of. It seemed that my colleague was reluctant to commit due to him thinking he will not be enough since he was pretty junior at the job compared to other members. Once I had a better understanding of the situation, I worked with him to develop a plan to get him back on track. This included setting specific goals and deadlines and providing additional support and resources as needed for his training. In the end, my colleague was able to improve his performance and we were able to complete the project on time and he was much more confident with his skills going forward.
20. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was difficult to get along with.
Tip: We all had colleagues who are “different” than us and not easy to get along. Show that you have experience managing this situation as it might be one of the crucial aspects the recruiter is looking for, especially if you are interviewing for a large & diverse organization.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team member who was difficult to get along with a few years ago while I was working as a finance manager in a consultancy firm. The situation was that this team member had a very different communication style and approach to problem-solving than the rest of the team, which was causing tension and conflict. Particularly his reporting style since we were used to working on big Excel files but his format did not match ours, making it harder to work in sync.
In order to address the issue, I made a conscious effort to try to understand the team member’s perspective and find common ground. I also made sure to communicate openly and honestly with them and address any issues or concerns that arose in a timely manner. Additionally, I worked with the rest of the team to establish ground rules for communication and conflict resolution, and reporting formats (I admit that some of his ideas were useful for the general team as well), which helped to create a more positive and collaborative environment. In the end, we were able to find a way to work effectively together and submit our reports in a timely matter.
21. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult or unpopular decision.
Tip: This is about your ability to defend your arguments and resilience. Try to give an example where you stood your ground and it was beneficial to the company in the long run.
Sample Answer: I had to make a difficult and unpopular decision a few years ago while I was working as a vendor manager team lead at Amazon. The situation was that we were facing difficulty in securing enough items to discount/sell for the upcoming Black Friday period and I had to make a decision to reduce the number of categories we will have discount, allowing us to focus to a tighter group of products.
I knew that this decision was going to be unpopular and that it would have an impact on the team, as this would affect their performance metrics so I took the time to thoroughly consider all of the options and consult with my colleagues and superiors. Ultimately, I made the decision based on what I believed was in the best interests of the company and the team. While the decision was initially met with resistance, over time, people came to understand my reasoning that they would be able to meet their targets by focusing on fewer groups of items but a higher number of items within the allowed product categories. After the Black Friday period ended, all of my team exceeded their sales targets so this had a pretty good outcome at the end.
22. Tell me about a time when you had to make a presentation/ show your ideas to a group of people who were skeptical or resistant to your ideas.
Tip: Similar to the question above, this is about resilience when you know you are right. Show the recruiter that you have confidence when you trust your numbers/analysis.
Sample Answer: I had to make a presentation to a group of people who were skeptical or resistant to my ideas a few years ago while I was working as a large customer sales manager at an IT company. The presentation was to a number of senior executives and I was presenting a proposal for new approaches for field sales.
I knew that this was going to be a challenging presentation, so I spent extra time preparing and rehearsing. I also made sure to do my research and gather as much data and supporting information as possible. I basically made sure that I prepared answers to almost all the questions they have and I made sure to address any concerns or objections that were raised and provided additional information or examples to support my points. In the end, the executives were convinced by my argument and we were able to move forward with a new approach to field sales.
23. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was not aligned with your goals or vision.
Tip: This question is about your persuasion skills. Give an example where you used data/metrics/research to convince other parties.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team that was not aligned with my goals or vision a few years ago while I was working as a human resources manager at a SAAS company. The situation was that we were working on designing a new compensation program for our growing company. I was eager to provide a flexible program where employees can mix&match their desired benefits. There were several team members who had different ideas about how to approach it, namely being more strict with it.
In order to address the issue, I made a conscious effort to listen to the concerns and ideas of all team members and try to find a way to meet in the middle. I also made sure to clearly communicate my own goals and vision for the project, and explain why I believed that they were important. I provided articles and research that shows flexible programs are more welcome by employees, thus increasing their productivity. By taking the time to understand the perspectives of all team members and finding a way to align our goals, we were able to move forward with a hybrid plan that satisfied all parties…
24. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was not performing up to expectations.
Tip: This is about team management and the ability to find an amicable solution. Again here do not give personal problem related examples but focus on purely work-related topics.
Sample Answer: I had to work with an underperforming software development team a few years ago while I was working as an engineering manager at a large IT firm. The situation was that we were working on a project and the team was consistently falling behind schedule and not meeting the quality standards that we had set.
25. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was not diverse or inclusive.
Tip: Many large companies are rightfully big on inclusion and diversity, and having an experience with this can help you drastically in improving your chances of getting hired.
Sample Answer: A couple of years back, I had to work with a team that was not diverse or inclusive a few years ago while I was working as a product management lead at a fast-growing multi-national gaming startup. The situation was that the team was primarily composed of people from the same demographic and there was a lack of representation from other groups.
In order to address the issue, I made a conscious effort to promote diversity and inclusivity within the team. This included reaching out to a diverse group of candidates when hiring and making sure that everyone’s voices were heard and respected during meetings and decision-making processes. I also made sure to educate myself and the team about the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. In the end, we were able to build a more diverse and inclusive team that was better equipped to serve the needs of our diverse gamer customer base.
26. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was located in a different time zone or location.
Tip: Remote working and working-from-home setups are increasing in popularity and for many companies, you’ll see that you’ll be working with colleagues distributed across the world. This question tries to understand if you have experience working in such an environment.
Sample Answer: At the beginning of the pandemic, my (global) company decided to allow remote working and that has led to many of my colleagues moving to different continents to be with their families. This allowed me to get familiar with remote working, zoom calls and distributed meetings in my last job. I had to work with a team that was located in a different time zone last year while I was working as a product manager at Twitter. The situation was that we were working on a project with a tight deadline and the team was spread out across different time zones.
To address the issue, I made sure to clearly communicate our schedule and expectations to the team and be flexible in order to accommodate the different time zones. I also made sure to use technology, such as video conferencing, to stay connected and facilitate communication. By being proactive and adaptable, we were able to effectively collaborate and complete the project on time.
27. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that had a different culture or way of doing things.
Tip: This is about adaptability to different work cultures. If you are planning to join a global organization, this skill would be crucial.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team that had a different culture or way of doing things a few years ago when I started working as an account manager at LinkedIn in Dubai. The situation was that it was my first time working in a Middle Eastern country and they had different work practices and cultural norms than we were used to (working on Sundays was one of them!).
In order to successfully work with this team, I made a conscious effort to understand and respect their culture and way of doing things. I also made sure to communicate openly and honestly with them and address any misunderstandings or issues that arose. Additionally, I worked to find common ground and find ways to incorporate the best practices and ideas of both teams into our work. By taking the time to understand and appreciate the differences between our two teams, we were able to work effectively together with my colleagues coming from vastly different backgrounds.
28. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that had conflicting personalities or styles.
Tip: This question is also about adaptability and team/people management. For a people manager role, this trait would be useful and that’s what the recruiter is trying to see.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team that had conflicting personalities or styles a few years ago while I was working as a creative director at a fashion startup. The situation was that we were working on a new design line and there were team members who had very different communication styles and approaches to design.
To address the issue, I made a conscious effort to try to understand the perspectives of all team members and find ways to accommodate their needs and styles. I also made sure to communicate openly and honestly with them and address any issues or conflicts that arose in a timely manner. Additionally, I worked with the team to establish ground rules for communication and conflict resolution and design principles, which helped to create a more cohesive and collaborative environment. In the end, we were able to successfully launch a new product line that was well received…
29. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was facing a crisis or unexpected challenge.
Tip: Team management in a stressful setting is crucial, especially if you’re interviewing for a senior role in a company. Recruiters will value these experiences.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team that was facing a crisis a few years ago while I was working as a sales manager at a hardware products firm. The situation was we realized one of our routers was faulty and we had to act quickly to address it since it has already been shipped to many customers.
In this situation, I knew that it was important to stay calm and focused. I immediately mobilized the sales team and we worked together to develop a plan to address the crisis by replacing all the faulty routers with an upgraded unit. I made sure to clearly communicate our plan to all stakeholders and customers and keep everyone informed of our progress. In the end, we were able to effectively manage the crisis by replacing 100s of routers in 2 days and minimize the impact on the company and our customers.
30. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was not meeting its goals or objectives.
Tip: Show your team management skills when dealing with an under-performing team (which you’ll find many, especially in large companies!).
Sample Answer: When I was leading multiple teams as a sales director a few years back in a web-based SAAS business, I had to work with a team that was not meeting its sales targets for large customer sales. The situation was that our cloud-based solution was more economical than the competing offer, but we had a lot adoption rate with large clients.
To address the issue, I first tried to understand the root cause of the problem. I held one-on-one meetings with team members to see if there were any issues or challenges that I was not aware of. I also held team meetings to discuss our progress and identify any areas where we could improve. It appeared that our onboarding process was more complex than the competition, both for our own staff and our customers. As a solution, I provided additional training and resources to help team members improve their skills while improving the onboarding process with the frontend team. In the end, we were able to get back on track our sales figures for large customers increased by 6% month over month.
31. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team that was not aligned with your goals or vision.
Tip: This one is about leadership. It is a tough situation to be in an environment where the vision of the team is not aligned with yours and leaders should be able to adapt/overcome that.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team that was not aligned with my goals or vision last year while I was working as a product manager at AirBnB. The situation was that we were working on a project that will enable showing the full price of the accommodation (the final price the customer will pay) and there were several team members who had different ideas about how to approach it.
In order to address the issue, I made a conscious effort to listen to the concerns and ideas of all team members and try to find a way to incorporate them into our plan. I also made sure to clearly communicate my vision for the project, and explain why I believed that they were important. By taking the time to understand the perspectives of all team members and finding a way to align our goals, we were able to move forward as a team and complete the project in a way that satisfied all the parties…
32. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was difficult to get along with.
Tip: For this question, stay within the professional context (so don’t give examples about personal issues).
Sample Answer: During the first few of my career, I had to work with a team member who was difficult to get along with while I was working as a junior account manager at an advertising agency. The situation was that this team member had a very different communication style and approach to client-communication than the rest of the team, which was causing tension and conflict. It was not that he was rude or anything to the customers, but his way of communication did not seem professional to us.
In order to address the issue, I made a conscious effort to try to understand the team member’s perspective and try to understand his communication approach to the clients. It turned out that he was behaving like that (almost too friendly) due to thinking he would be more successful in his job this way. In order to solve this, I had numerous meetings with him to show the different and effective ways of communication and I worked with the rest of the team to establish ground rules for communication. In the end, we were able to standardize our client communication processes and found a way to work effectively together as a team.
33. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was not following the rules or policies of the company.
Tip: Dealing with problematic colleagues is not easy and letting them go sometimes will be the best possible course of action.
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team member who was not following the laptop security policy of the company (using the work laptop for personal tasks way above what is allowed) a few years ago while I was working as an it security manager at an online e-commerce company. The situation was that although he had received numerous warnings and training about this, he kept disregarding the laptop policy and it was causing problems with his work.
To address the issue, I first made sure that the team member was really aware of the policies and procedures that he was not following. I also provided additional training and resources to help him understand the importance of following company rules and policies. But, unfortunately, in the end, he was not able to change his behavior and we have to let him go.
34. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was not a good fit for the team.
Tip: This one is about team management and the ability to take necessary actions in tough situations. Show the recruiter you have what it takes!
Sample Answer: I had to work with a team member who was not a good fit for the team a few years ago while I was working as a customer support team lead at Twitch. The situation was that this team member was consistently not meeting the expectations of their role (the number of support tickets he resolves per hour) and was causing conflict with the rest of the team.
To address the issue, I held one-on-one meetings with the team member to see if there were any issues or challenges that I was not aware of. It turned out that she did not like the role she was in and she wanted to transition to another role within the company. I sat down with her and explained that this is not the way to get recognized for a possible move, and provided guidance and training to improve her skills and performance before a possible move. In the end, she was able to get back on track, performing above her targets for six months, and then was able to change teams where she would be happier with work.
35. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was not meeting their deadlines.
Tip: This is about team management and leadership skills. show the recruiter that you are able to coach an employee to increase his/her performance.
Sample Answer: In my last job, I had to work with a colleague who was not meeting his deadlines while I was working in the sales team of a large e-commerce company. The situation was that this team member was consistently falling behind sales targets and it was causing our overall team not meeting its targets.
To address the issue, I held one-on-one meetings with the team member to see if there were any particular problems I didn’t know about. It turned out that the colleague did not have expert knowledge about some of the products we’re selling and that made him insecure about selling those products. As a solution, I provided training resources to help him improve his product knowledge and did a few calls together with him to help build up his confidence… Additionally, I set clear goals and expectations for his work and provided regular feedback to help him stay on track. In the end, he was able to get back on track and hit the sales figures consistently during his tenure in the company.
36. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a team member who was not meeting the quality standards of their work.
Tip: This question is often asked for candidates interviewing for a team lead or similar role. Your ability to manage employee performance is important for recruiters.
Sample Answer: A couple of years back, I had to work with a team member who was not meeting the quality standards of their work a few years ago while I was working as a software engineering team lead at Weekday. During code reviews, his code was constantly found to be the most problematic (inefficient) and sloppy by reviewers.
To solve the clean code issue, I made a habit of sitting down with him during coding sessions and mentored him about the best practices of coding for 3 months. I also held group meetings with the wider team where we reviewed our codes and provide constructive feedback. In addition to that, I provided additional training and resources to help him improve his clean coding skills. In the end, his code was much cleaner and more efficient at the end of 3 months and he is now one of the top coders in the company.
37. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
Tip: Conflicts are inevitable in nearly all organizations are these types of questions are among the most common interview questions. Coping with it and managing conflicts without making them personal is very valuable for any potential employer.
Sample Answer: I handle conflict in the workplace by first taking the time to understand the perspective of all parties involved. I believe that it is important to listen to everyone’s concerns and ideas in order to find a resolution that works for everyone. I also try to communicate openly and honestly with all parties involved and address any issues or concerns in a timely manner. If necessary, I may also involve a mediator or seek guidance from a manager or HR representative to help facilitate a resolution. Ultimately, my goal is to find a resolution that is fair and respectful to all parties involved and allows us to move forward as a team.
38. How do you handle a situation where you disagree with your manager or supervisor?
Tip: This is again about managing conflict but this time with your superiors. Managing your relations with your supervisor is important and can go a long way to set you up for success in any role.
Sample Answer: I know that in any company conflicts may arise from a variety of topics including promotions, performance reviews or how to approach a business problem. No matter the issue is, clear communication is always important in solving them. I handle these situations by first taking the time to understand my manager’s perspective and the reasoning behind his/her decision. If I still disagree, I try to calmly and professionally express my concerns or suggestions for alternative solutions. I also try to be open to feedback and willing to compromise if necessary. Ultimately, my goal is to find a resolution that is fair and beneficial to the team and the company.
39. How do you handle a situation where you have to deliver negative news to a colleague or team member?
Tip: It is not always sunshine in any company so you must be prepared for delivering bad news occasionally. How well you manage those situations is an important aspect of any leader/manager.
Sample Answer: As a team lead, I’m very accustomed to delivering the not-so-good news to underperforming team members during the performance review season. I handle these situations by being honest and straightforward with them. I believe that it is important to be clear and direct in order to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. I also try to be sensitive and understanding of their feelings and provide any necessary support or resources to help them navigate the situation. Ultimately, my goal is to be respectful and professional in my communication and to help find a solution or next steps to move forward.
40. How do you handle a situation where you have to deliver negative feedback to a colleague or team member?
Tip: This one is specifically for delivering negative feedback, which can be problematic if you cannot find the right balance between constructive criticism and feedback. An important trait if you will be leading a team in your new role.
Sample Answer: As a team lead, I frequently had to provide negative feedback to my team members in the last 4 years, especially during the not-so-pretty performance reviews. Before the feedback session, I make sure that I have all of the necessary information and context. I also try to be specific and objective in my feedback, rather than making personal or subjective judgments. I also try to be respectful and professional in my communication and provide any necessary support or resources to help the individual improve and grow in their role. Ultimately, my goal is to help the individual understand the areas for improvement and to find a solution or next steps to move forward.
41. How do you handle a situation where you have to work with a team member who has a different work style or personality than you?
Tip: If you are interviewing for a global, large company, chances are that you’ll be working with a lot f different personalities. Having experience with this type of environment is definitely useful to feel comfortable in such an organization.
Sample Answer: Coming from a multinational company background, I am very comfortable with working with colleagues with different personalities. For me, being open and respectful of everybody’s uniqueness is key to getting along well. I believe that diversity and inclusion are important and can bring new perspectives and ideas to the team. I also try to communicate openly and honestly with the team member and find ways to collaborate and work together effectively. If necessary, I may also involve a mediator or seek guidance from a manager or HR representative to help facilitate a positive and productive working relationship.
42. Describe a time when you had to solve a complex problem at work. How did you approach the problem and what was the result?
Tip: Problem-solving skills are essential to all types of jobs. The trick for this question is to tailor your example to the role you’re applying to. Make sure you answer the question in the STAR format, using the template below.
Sample Answer: I had to solve a complex problem at work a few years ago while I was working as a (Job title) at (company). The problem was that (briefly describe the problem – make sure it is relevant to the role you’re interviewing for).
To approach the problem, I first (step 1). Then, I (step 2). After that, I (step 3). Finally, I (step 4). (Note that it is better if the solution involves working as a team).
The result was (provide the results by giving improvement metrics). (Bonus:) After the success of my solution, we implemented the same solution/process to other parts of the business and it was a huge success for the company in improving our sales figures.
43. Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision at work. How did you go about making the decision and what was the outcome?
Tip: The quality of your decision-making can make or break your career. In these types of questions, the recruiters are generally looking to see if you have a structured approach to your decisions (rather than the result itself). So make sure you format your answer in a structured manner as outlined below.
Sample Answer: In my previous job, I had to make a difficult decision about cutting the promotion payments of the majority of the workforce in order to be able to let go of employees during the economic downturn.
To make the decision, I first (step 1). Then, I (step 2). After that, I (step 3). Finally, I (step 4).
The employers were generally not happy but since they knew this was necessary to prevent the elimination of some of the workforce, so they were all on board with the decision.
44. Describe a time when you had to take on a leadership role in a project or team. How did you approach the role and what was the result?
Tip: This question is again gauging your leadership skills. Try to give an example that involves a large or multi-faceted team.
Sample Answer: A couple of years ago, I had to take on a leadership role in a project due to my immediate manager being on a 4-month long paternity leave. During his absence, I had to make the budget for the advertising team for 2022.
Since I was in the advertising team myself and I had 4 years of budgeting/planning experience, I assembled a team and we worked on … (give your process of budgeting and task allocation.)
At the end of the project, we were able to complete the budgeting on time and I was praised for my team management skills by the upper management.
45. How do you define success in your career?
Tip: This question is to understand your personality and your ambitions. When answering this question, try to seek a balance between being down-to-earth and imaginative.
Sample Answer: I define success in my career as achieving my professional goals and making a positive impact in my role and organization. To me, success is about continuously learning and growing, and feeling fulfilled and satisfied in my work. It also means being able to contribute value and make a difference in the lives of my colleagues, customers, and the broader community. Ultimately, it is about finding balance and happiness in my career and making a positive contribution to the world.
46. What are your long-term career goals?
Tip: Similar to the question above, do not be too imaginative in your answer as it may seem detached from reality by the recruiter.
Sample Answer: My long-term career goals are to continue learning and growing in my profession, and to eventually take on leadership roles where I can make a positive impact and contribute value to my organization. I am also interested in exploring new opportunities and challenges that will allow me to continue learning and expanding my skills and expertise. Ultimately, my goal is to find a career that is fulfilling and meaningful to me, and to make a positive contribution to the world.
47. What are your short-term career goals?
Tip: Your short-term goals should be about making an impact in the role you’re currently interviewing for (so no 5 year plans in this one).
Sample Answer: My short-term career goals are to continue learning and growing in my current role, and to take on new challenges and responsibilities that will allow me to expand my skills and expertise. I am also interested in exploring new opportunities within my organization or industry that will help me to advance my career and achieve my long-term goals. Ultimately, my goal is to make a clear impact as soon as possible in this role. Since I’m coming from a similar work experience, I believe I have the perfect skill set to achieve this.
48. How do you stay motivated and focused in your work?
Tip: This is about efficiency. Ideally, give examples of how you remained focused in a fast-paced work environment.
Sample Answer: I stay motivated and focused in my work by setting clear goals and objectives for myself, and by finding ways to stay engaged and motivated. I used to work in a startup during its growing phase, and as you can image it was hectic. But with clear goals and detailed scheduling, I was able to work distract-free.
Additionally, I try to surround myself with supportive and inspiring colleagues and mentors, and to seek out opportunities for learning and growth. I find it helpful to take breaks and practice self-care, as well as to stay organized and manage my time effectively. Ultimately, I stay motivated and focused by finding meaning and purpose in my work, with good time management skills.
49. How do you handle criticism or feedback in the workplace?
Tip: With this question, the recruiter wants to see your stress management skills. Try to give an answer with a positive outcome.
Sample Answer: I handle criticism or feedback in the workplace by taking the time to listen to and understand the perspective of the person providing the feedback. I believe that it is important to be open and receptive to feedback, as it can be a valuable opportunity for learning and growth. I also try to be objective and consider the feedback in the context of my overall performance and development. If necessary, I may ask clarifying questions or seek additional guidance or support to help me understand and address the feedback.
If the feedback is given during the performance review, understanding the next step is also crucial. One time I had such feedback based on my performance about being on time with weekly reports. With the overwhelming amount of work I was thinking the targets were unrealistic, I was able to come to an agreement with my manager to provide bi-weekly reports based on my workload being higher than my peers (I was covering for a colleague who was on maternity leave). After our agreement with bi-weekly reports, I was told my performance has improved much in the next performance reviews. So sometimes I find that the reason of negative feedback is not because of you but because of other work-related factors, and being able to openly communicate abut it helped me a lot.
50. How do you manage change or ambiguity in the workplace?
Tip: This question is often asked in interviews of startups or in companies in the hyper-growth phase. Those companies tend to be shifting focus quite often and you should be able to manage that.
Sample Answer: I have a lot of experience in working with ambiguous job descriptions in my professional life, mostly in startups. I manage change or ambiguity in the workplace by staying open and flexible, and by being proactive in seeking out information and resources to help me navigate the situation. I know that adaptability is critical in a fast-paced environment and I’m very comfortable with it.
In these kinds of roles, I try to be proactive in communicating with my manager or colleagues to stay informed and to find ways to adapt and move forward. Additionally, I find it helpful to stay organized and focused, and to find ways to maintain a sense of stability and consistency in my work. Ultimately, my goal is to be adaptable and resilient in the face of change or ambiguity, and to find ways to thrive and succeed in a dynamic work environment.
51. How do you manage a situation where you find out that you are unable to complete a task or project on time?
Tip: This happens a lot in companies where you generally rely on others (i.e. team setting) to complete a project. Communication and adaptability is key here. Show the recruiter that you manage these situations well.
Sample Answer: I find myself not having any problems of this nature when I’m working alone, but it happens quite often in large companies with lots of moving parts from different teams. Acting early is key here. When I realize that a project we’ve been working on wouldn’t be completed on time, I immediately alert my team-members and let upper management about the issue and that working working on it.
I believe that it is important to be transparent and honest about any challenges or obstacles that I am(or the team is) facing, and to seek out support and guidance if needed. I also try to find alternative solutions or ways to prioritize my workload in order to meet the deadline as best as possible. Ultimately, my goal is to find a way to complete the task or project as efficiently and effectively as possible and to learn from the experience to prevent similar issues in the future. If you want, I can provide the details of such an issue we had in my previous job as an account manager in an ad agency and we were able to solve it through clear communication with the customer.
52. How do you manage situations where you are unable to meet a customer’s expectations?
Tip: This is a quite common interview question in external-facing roles. Customers can be demanding and their requirements will not always be met. If you have experience around managing such situations, it will be very important for the recruiter to know.
Sample Answer: There are two sides to this issue, and I’ve seen both. First one is we are not able to fulfill customer’s demand due to an internal problem, and the second is being the customer being unrealistically demanding about the work. I manage these situations by acknowledging their frustration and apologizing if the issue arose from our side. I believe that it is important to be empathetic and understanding of the customer’s perspective, and to take responsibility for any issues that may have caused their disappointment. I also try to find a way to resolve the issue and meet the customer’s needs, either by offering a solution or compensation, or by escalating the issue to a manager or supervisor if necessary.
53. How do you manage a situation where you are asked to do something that is outside of your job scope or responsibilities?
Tip: (Unfortunately) this happens a lot in many companies. You were given aa well-defined tasks at the beginning but your manager asks you to do more. There are two ways of looking into this: You can either openly and respectfully communicate this to your manager, or you can see it as an advantage to show your skills and impress the recruiter. There are no rights or wrongs about which way to go, but you have to decide based on your workload and capabilities. If the recruiter asks for a specific example, make sure that you give a case with a positive ending.
Sample Answer: I think due to me being a high performer, this happened quite l lot in my previous companies and I’m comfortable with taking on additional tasks depending on my realistic workload. In these cases, I first seeking clarification and understanding of the request. I believe that it is important to be clear about my role and responsibilities, and to communicate any concerns or limitations that I may have.
If my workload permits, I also try to be flexible and open to new challenges and opportunities, as long as it is feasible and aligns with my overall goals and objectives. If necessary, I may seek guidance or support from a manager or HR representative to help facilitate a resolution.
54. How do you handle a situation where you are asked to work overtime or on weekends?
Tip: Again, this happens quite often, especially in companies that are known to have busy periods from time to time (e.g. launch of a new product or e.g. workload during the Black Friday period for e-commerce companies). It is important to know the overtime frequency/rights before accepting an offer from a company, but for the interviews, you should not be strongly negative about it.
Sample Answer: First of all, let me say that I know companies would need overtime from time to time, and I’m willing to support my team and company as necessary. Having said that I, I manage these situations first by considering my overall workload and commitments, and by communicating any concerns or limitations that I may have. I believe that it is important to be fair and reasonable in my concern about overtime or weekend work and to be open to finding a mutually beneficial solution.
If necessary, I may seek guidance or support from a manager or HR representative to help facilitate a resolution. In my last job as a software development manager in a startup, you can imagine I was doing overtime for every day of the week so I’m pretty used to it. It was an exciting time for the company and I was really happy to be able to contribute! In the end, we’re all in the same boat working for the success of the company!
55. How do you react if you are asked to work on a project or task that you are not familiar with?
Tip: This is about being open to new opportunities. Use this question to show you’re open to learning new things and will be happy to do that!
Sample Answer: Honestly I’ll be really happy about it because I always find myself looking for more ways to contribute to the team/company I’m working at. So my first reaction will be “yes!”. I approach new these kinds of projects by first seeking guidance and support from my manager or colleagues, and by taking the time to research and learn about the topic. I believe that it is important to be proactive in seeking out information and resources to help me understand the project or task, and to ask questions if necessary. I also try to be flexible and open to new challenges and opportunities, as long as it is feasible and aligns with my overall goals and objectives. I find that learning new skills and working on new projects also keeps you knowledgeable about more aspects of the work the company is doing, so I’m always eager to do it.
56. How do you handle a situation where you are asked to work with a difficult colleague or team member?
Tip: Especially in large companies, you may come across many colleagues who are difficult to work with. The ability to manage these situations is a must when you’re joining a diverse company.
Sample Answer: Having worked in global companies before, and I have a lot of experience with this. I manage these situations by staying professional and focusing on finding ways to work together effectively. I believe that it is important to try to understand the perspective of the other person, and to communicate openly and honestly in order to address any issues or concerns. I also try to be flexible and open to finding mutually beneficial solutions and seek guidance or support from a manager or HR representative if necessary.
57. What are your salary expectations for this role?
Tip: In many countries and regions, it is prohibited to ask this question in interviews, but still, (unfortunately) it still is among the common interview questions... From the company’s point of view, they are trying to find out if their offer bracket will be adequate for you and they are trying to save time. From the candidate’s perspective, this is not an easy question to answer. Try to be positive with your answer without giving an actual figure. (Many companies nowadays announce their salary brackets for that specific role in the job post, and we think that this is the correct way to do it).
Sample Answer: I am open to discussing salary expectations for this role and am willing to consider a competitive compensation package that aligns with my skills, experience, and the requirements of the position. I believe that it is important to find a balance between my professional goals and the needs of the organization, and I am confident that we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement. I am also open to discussing potential opportunities for advancement and professional growth as part of the compensation package.
58. How do you prefer to receive feedback, and how do you use feedback to improve your work?
Tip: Providing and receiving feedback is an essential part of any organization, and you should be comfortable with both. Show the recruiter that you take feedback seriously and incorporate these into your work for improvement.
Sample Answer: I prefer to receive feedback in a timely and constructive manner, and I believe that it is important to be open and receptive to feedback in order to learn and grow. I find it helpful to ask clarifying questions and seek additional context or examples to better understand the feedback. In my last company we used to receive performance feedback once every year, and I think even once every quarter is useful. The more the better!
As for my actions after getting feedback, I try to take a proactive approach to incorporate that into my work, and to use it as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and to learn and grow as a professional. Ultimately, I believe that feedback is an important part of my professional development and I strive to use it to continuously improve my work.
59. How do you keep yourself updated on industry trends and developments?
Tip: In the fast-changing competitive landscape, being on top of new developments is a must. Show the recruiter that you’re always willing to improve yourself.
Sample Answer: I keep myself updated on industry trends and developments by reading relevant industry publications and blogs, attending conferences and events, and participating in professional development or training opportunities. I also try to stay connected with colleagues and industry professionals and seek out mentors and advisors who can provide guidance and insights. Additionally, I find it helpful to stay curious and open to new ideas and perspectives and to be proactive in seeking out information and resources that will help me to stay current and competitive in my field.
60. How do you handle a situation where you are asked to do something that goes against your values or beliefs?
Tip: Ethical values are the backbone of any company, and recruiters are looking to see if you share the same ethical values with the company with this question. With different laws and cultures across many countries, navigating can be difficult. Make some research about the company before the interviews and provide an answer that aligns with its core values.
Sample Answer: In these cases, I first seek clarification and understanding of the request. I believe that it is important to be transparent and honest about my values and beliefs and to communicate any concerns or limitations that I may have. If I sense that the request is against the company values and/or our legal obligations, I would seek guidance from HR about this as necessary.
61. What is your biggest failure?
Tip: This a question that recruiters love to ask. With this question, they are trying to understand how you manage failures and what you learn from them. Try to give an example of a failure that is not catastrophic!
Sample Answer: One of my biggest failures was when I was leading a project at my previous job working as a young software development manager at Workday during the early stages of my career. I was responsible for coordinating the efforts of a small team to develop a new product for the frontend that will streamline communication with internal members across various teams within the customer’s company. While planning for the project, I made the mistake of not setting clear goals and expectations for the team, and as a result, we ended up going down a few different paths that didn’t align with the overall objectives of the project. It became difficult for us to make progress and we ended up falling behind schedule. As a result of this failure, the project was delayed and we missed an important deadline. It was a disappointing outcome for everyone involved.
I learned a valuable lesson from this experience about the importance of clear communication and effective leadership. Since then, I’ve made a point to be more deliberate in setting goals and expectations for my team, and as a result, I’ve had much more success in managing projects going forward.
62. What is your biggest achievement?
Tip: Similar to the failure question, try not to give an over-the-top, unrealistic answer to this question. Be genuine with your answer and list the awards you have received, if any.
Sample Answer: One of my biggest successes was when I led the launch of a new marketing campaign for our company’s flagship product (e-commerce streamlining SaaS product). This was a global campaign, so it required coordination with teams in multiple countries. As the head of marketing, I developed a comprehensive marketing plan that included a mix of traditional and digital media, such as TV and radio ads, social media outreach, and email marketing. I also worked closely with the design team to create visually striking marketing materials, such as brochures and trade show booths.
The campaign was a huge success. We saw a significant increase in sales and brand awareness in all of the countries where we launched the campaign. The campaign was so successful that it was recognized with a marketing industry award. This experience was a major highlight of my career and it really demonstrated the impact that effective marketing can have on a business. It was also a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills in project management, creative problem-solving, and cross-cultural communication.
63. What is your ideal company like?
Tip: This is a fairly standard question that gives the recruiters an opportunity to know who you are. Try to give an answer with positive vibes without being too imaginative.
Sample Answer: (e.g. for a sales manager interview) For me, my ideal company is one that values its employees and is committed to creating a positive and inclusive culture. I believe that when people feel supported and valued, they are more motivated and engaged in their work.
In terms of the industry, I am particularly interested in working for a company that is innovative and forward-thinking. As a sales manager, I am always looking for new ways to drive growth and increase revenue, and I believe that a company that is constantly pushing the boundaries and exploring new technologies is best positioned to do that.
Finally, I am very interested in working for a global company. I have always been drawn to the challenge of working in diverse, international environments and I believe that my skills in cross-cultural communication and adaptability would be a strong asset in this type of setting.
Overall, my ideal company is one that values its employees, is committed to innovation and growth, and operates on a global scale.
64. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in your last job and how did you come to that decision?
Tip: This is a leadership question. Try to give an answer that shows your decision-making skills under tough circumstances.
Sample Answer: One of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my last job was when I was leading a team of sales reps and we had to let go of one of our top performers. This was a tough decision because this person had consistently been one of our highest-performing reps and was well-liked by the team. I knew we had to make this difficult decision because the rep’s sales numbers had started to decline and they were not meeting their targets. I gathered data and talked with other team members to get their input and perspectives on the situation. I also met with the rep to discuss their performance and try to understand what was causing the decline.
Ultimately, I made the decision to let the rep go. It was a difficult conversation, but I felt it was necessary for the success of the team and the company. I made sure to handle the situation with sensitivity and professionalism, and I provided support to the rep during the transition. This experience taught me the importance of making tough decisions, even when they are difficult. I learned that it’s important to gather all the relevant information, consult with others, and approach the situation with compassion and respect, even when the outcome is not what we had hoped for.
65. Give an example of an out-of-the-box idea that you implemented that had a big impact.
Tip: Thinking out-of-the-box is a welcome skill, no matter what the company size is. Recruiters love people who take initiative and make a positive impact. Try to tailor your answer to the company/role you’re interviewing for.
Sample Answer: One out-of-the-box idea that I implemented and had a big impact was a social media campaign for a local boutique where I was working as a junior marketing manager. The boutique was struggling to attract new customers and needed a fresh approach to marketing. I came up with the idea of creating a virtual scavenger hunt for customers on social media. I worked with the owner of the boutique to come up with a list of clues and prizes, and we promoted the scavenger hunt on the boutique’s social media channels. To make it even more engaging, we partnered with other local businesses to offer additional prizes.
The scavenger hunt was a huge success! We saw a significant increase in new customers visiting the boutique and a lot of positive engagement on social media. The scavenger hunt also generated a lot of buzz and media coverage, which helped to increase the boutique’s visibility in the community. This experience taught me the power of creativity and the importance of thinking outside the box in marketing. It was a fun and effective way to attract new customers and drive sales for the boutique.
66. Why was there a gap in your employment?
Tip: This is a trick question to answer for most of the candidates who has a multi-year gap in their resumes. The key is to be open and honest about it, show that you’re eager to go back to corporate life, and show that you’re a great fit with your skillset.
Sample Answer: There was a gap in my employment because I made the decision to take some time off to travel and pursue personal interests. I had been working in the marketing industry for several years and felt that it was a good time for me to step away and recharge. During this time, I traveled to several different countries and had the opportunity to learn about new cultures and experiences.
I also used this time to further my professional development by taking some online courses and workshops related to marketing and business. I felt that this was a valuable investment in my future and I believe that it has helped me to grow both personally and professionally.
I am now excited to return to the workforce and bring the skills and insights I gained during this time to my next job. I am confident that this gap in my employment will be seen as a positive time that improved my skillset and will enhance my ability to contribute to a new team.
67. Why are you thinking to leave your current company?
Tip: Make sure you tailor your answer to the role/company you’re interviewing with without making negative points about your current company.
Sample Answer: I am thinking of leaving my current job because I am looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to take my career to the next level. I have been working as a product manager for several years and while I have enjoyed my time at my current company, I feel that I have reached a point where I am ready to take on new challenges and explore new opportunities.
I am particularly interested in working for XX (the company you’re interviewing for) because of its reputation as a leader in the tech industry and its commitment to innovation and creativity. As a product manager, I believe that I would be able to make a meaningful contribution to XX’s products and impact the lives of users around the world.
I am excited about the opportunity to work with a talented team of professionals at your company and to be a part of a company that is making a difference in the world.
68. Can you explain why you want to change your career path?
Tip: If you are applying for a role that is much different than what your professional experience has been so far, you should explain it well. Use the template below to construct an adequate answer.
Sample Answer: I am interested in changing my career path from product management to sales because I am excited about the opportunity to work more closely with clients and help them achieve their goals. In my current role as a product manager, I have enjoyed the challenge of developing and managing products, but I have also found that I have a real passion for building relationships and helping others succeed. In my last 2 years in my previous company, I took sales responsibilities in addition to my product management duties and I was able to onboard a number of large clients which was a welcome contribution to the team.
I believe that a career in sales would allow me to fully utilize my skills in communication, problem-solving, and relationship-building. I am confident that my experience in product management (and part-time sales in the last two years) has prepared me well for a career in sales, as I have developed a strong understanding of how to identify customer needs and deliver solutions that meet their objectives.
I am excited about the opportunity to work for a global company and to be a part of a team that is driving growth and making a difference in the world. I am confident that a career in sales would be a fulfilling and rewarding path for me.
69. How would your previous manager describe you?
Tip: The trick here is not to be overly positive. Refrain from using objectives like “great, unbelievable” etc. Give a well-structured answer that outlines your skills that might be valuable in this new role you’re interviewing for.
Sample Answer: I believe that my previous manager would describe me as a highly dedicated, easy-going, and a driven professional. I have always been focused on delivering results and exceeding expectations, and I believe that this has been evident in my work as a product manager.
I am also known for my strong communication and collaboration skills. I enjoy working with others and have a talent for bringing people together to achieve a common goal. My previous manager would also likely describe me as a team player who is always willing to lend a hand and support my colleagues.
In addition, I am known for my attention to detail and my ability to manage multiple projects effectively. I am highly organized and have a track record of delivering projects on time and within budget.
Overall, I believe that my previous manager would tell you that I am a reliable, proactive, and skilled professional who is committed to driving results and making a positive impact on the team and the company. I listed him in my references and I’ll be happy if you also sync up with him to get some feedback.
70. How would your friends describe you?
Tip: Specifically not one of the most common interview questions, this seemingly light-hearted question is actually a great way for the recruiter to understand your personality type. Refrain from using objectives such as “great, the best” etc.
Sample Answer: I believe that my friends would describe me as a dependable and supportive person. I have always valued my relationships and have worked hard to be there for my friends when they need me.
My friends would agree that I am someone who is driven and ambitious. I have always been focused on achieving my goals and I believe that this determination has been a key factor in my success as an operations manager.
Last but not the least, my friends would probably say that I am an easy-going person and fun to be around. I enjoy socializing and making the most of my free time, whether that’s through activities like hiking or traveling, or simply spending time with friends and family.
Overall, I believe that my friends would describe me as an easy-going, responsible, driven, and fun-loving person who is dedicated to my relationships and my career.
71. Why did you choose your major?
Tip: If you’re interviewing for a similar role to your major, then show that you’re committed to this area from childhood, if not, show that your major helped you build a strong foundation and then you changed your career path to the one you like most.
Sample Answer: I chose my major in marketing because I was drawn to the field’s focus on understanding consumer behavior and developing effective strategies for reaching and influencing target audiences. I enjoyed the challenge of analyzing market trends and developing creative campaigns to promote products and services.
While I gained a strong foundation in marketing through my studies and internships, I have come to realize that my true passion lies in sales. I am excited about the opportunity to work more closely with clients and help them achieve their goals. I believe that my marketing background has prepared me well for a career in sales, as I have developed strong skills in communication, problem-solving, and relationship-building.
I am confident that my marketing degree and my passion for sales will make me a valuable asset to the team and enable me to succeed in a sales role.
72. What do you like to do outside of work?
Tip: While listing your extra-curricular activities, give an example of a hobby that might also be beneficial for your current role (if you have any).
Sample Answer: Outside of work, I enjoy a variety of activities. Some of my hobbies include traveling, reading, and playing basketball. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and I am an avid supporter of various charitable causes.
One hobby that I have found particularly useful in my life is my passion for technology, which I think helped me be a better product engineer with my knowledge of new technologies. I have always been interested in staying up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations in the tech industry, and I believe that this has helped me to bring a fresh perspective to my work as well.
For example, I have used my knowledge of new technologies to help identify opportunities for product development and to suggest ways to improve the user experience. I have also found that my interest in technology has helped me to better understand the needs and preferences of tech-savvy customers, which has been valuable in my work as a product manager.
73. Tell me the difference between good and exceptional.
Tip: This is a tricky question and the recruiter wants to learn your way of thinking. You can use the sample below to formulate your own answer.
Sample Answer: To me, the difference between good and exceptional is about going above and beyond in order to deliver the best possible outcomes.
For example, a good product manager might meet all of their performance targets and deliver products on time and within budget. They might also gather customer feedback and make minor improvements to the product based on this feedback.
On the other hand, an exceptional product manager might not only meet their performance targets, but they might also consistently exceed them. They might also go beyond simply gathering customer feedback and actively seek out new ways to innovate and improve the product. They might also be proactive in identifying and solving problems before they become issues, and they might be willing to take calculated risks in order to drive growth.
Additionally, an exceptional product manager would be highly collaborative and would work well with cross-functional teams to ensure that the product is meeting the needs of all stakeholders. They would also be able to communicate effectively with customers, partners, and upper management in order to build strong relationships and drive results.
74. What makes you unique?
Tip: The recruiter wants to learn the traits that might help you stand out. Give an example where you went above and beyond in your professional life that can impress the recruiter. Make it relevant to the role you’re currently interviewing for.
Sample Answer: As a project manager, I think my ability to coordinate very complex global projects that had not been undertaken before makes me unique.
In one specific case where I shone in my previous job as a project manager was when I led the rollout of a new product line for our company, which is the leader in its field. This was a complex and high-stakes project that required coordination with multiple teams and departments, as well as close collaboration with our customers. A product rollout such as this was not done before and it was a high stakes project.
I developed a comprehensive project plan that outlined all of the tasks and milestones, and I worked closely with the project team to ensure that everyone was on track. I also implemented a robust communication plan to keep all stakeholders informed of our progress. In order to stay on top of the project, I implemented regular check-ins with the team and used project management software to track our progress.
The rollout was a huge success. We launched the new product line on time and within budget, and we exceeded our sales targets by 20%. The project was recognized as a best practice within the company, and I received several accolades from my manager and colleagues for my leadership and contributions.
I believe that what made this project a success was my ability to effectively plan and execute the tasks at hand, while also being adaptable and responsive to any challenges or changes that arose for such a unique and high-profile project.
75. What is the one book you read that impressed you most recently?
Tip: If you are not interviewing for a startup or an ad agency, we generally suggest you reply with a slightly business-oriented book in this one. Below, we provide a reply about the book “The Pyramid Principle” by Barbara Minto.
Sample Answer: One of my favorite books was was “The Pyramid Principle” by Barbara Minto. It’s a book about how to structure and present your ideas in a logical and persuasive way.
The book outlines a method for organizing ideas into a hierarchical structure, starting with the most important points and then building on them with supporting details. Barbara Minto argues that this approach helps to make your ideas clearer and more compelling, both to yourself and to others. And I2ve seen it work as I found the book to be very helpful in my personal and professional life.
As a product manager, I often have to communicate complex ideas and concepts to a variety of stakeholders, including customers, partners, and upper management. The Pyramid Principle has given me a framework for organizing and presenting my ideas in a way that is easy to understand and that persuasively communicates the value of my proposals.
I have also found the book to be useful in my personal life, as it has helped me to clarify my own thoughts and to better articulate my opinions and ideas in conversations with friends and family.
Overall, I believe that “The Pyramid Principle” is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their ability to communicate and persuade others, and I highly recommend it.
76. How do you approach problem-solving when faced with a complex or unfamiliar challenge?
Tip: With this question, the recruiter tries to understand your structural thinking skills. Answer bu giving your general approach and provide an example as necessary.
Sample Answer: Being an operation manager in a large e-commerce company, I face complex problems almost daily. I approach each case by first taking the time to fully understand the issue at hand and to gather as much information and context as possible. I believe that it is important to consider the problem from multiple angles and to seek out diverse perspectives and ideas. I also try to be creative and open to new approaches and solutions, and to use a structured and logical approach to evaluate and test potential options.
One complex problem that I faced in my previous job was a significant backlog in our order processing system. The backlog was causing delays in delivery and customer dissatisfaction, and it was not clear what was causing the problem.
I approached the problem by first gathering data on the volume and nature of the orders in the backlog. I also spoke with the team members who were responsible for processing the orders to get their perspective on the issue. Based on this information, I identified several potential root causes for the backlog, including a lack of resources, bottlenecks in the process, and errors in the system.
To address the problem, I implemented several changes to the order processing system. I worked with the team to streamline the process and eliminate unnecessary steps, and I also introduced new tools and technologies to improve accuracy and efficiency. I also made sure that the team had the resources and support they needed to complete their tasks effectively.
As a result of these changes, we were able to clear the backlog within two weeks and reduce the average processing time by 25%. Customer satisfaction also improved, as evidenced by a 20% increase in positive feedback and a 15% decrease in complaints.
77. If you could invent a new holiday, what would it be and how would it be celebrated?
Tip: The recruiter is trying to understand your personality by asking this light-hearted, ice-breaker question. You can choose a funny/goofy holiday theme to go along with this relaxed question, or you can choose a mission-driven holiday to show your business ambitions! The choice is up to you! 🙂
Sample Answer: If I could invent a new holiday, I would create a day dedicated to celebrating the joy and absurdity of life. I would call it International Quirky Day. Lately, everybody is stressed out and I think people around the world could use such a holiday to spread joy and fun!
On International Quirky Day, people around the world would come together to embrace their inner weirdo and to celebrate all of the quirky, unique, and offbeat aspects of life. There would be events and activities in communities and cities all over the world, including costume parades, silly contests, and wacky festivals.
One of the key features of International Quirky Day would be the opportunity for people to relax and to have fun in a way that is often discouraged in everyday life. This might include things like absurdist art exhibitions, funny poetry readings, and wacky science fairs.
I believe that International Quirky Day would be a hilarious and memorable way to bring people together and to promote a sense of joy and wonder in the world. It would be a day to celebrate all of the things that make life fun and interesting, no matter how unconventional or unconventional they may be.
78. If you could travel back in time to any moment in history, where would you go and why?
Tip: With this question, the recruiter is again to get to know your personality better. We don’t suggest giving an example related to your personal life here. Make it general enough that it is easily understandable by the recruiter.
Sample Answer: If I could travel back in time to any moment in history, I would go to the time of the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. My favorite city in the world is Athens and I am fascinated by the ideas and philosophies of most Greek philosophers and Socrates is at the top of my list.
I believe that his insights and perspectives on life, politics, and society are still relevant and applicable today. I would love the opportunity to witness firsthand his teachings and dialogues, and to learn from his wisdom and guidance. I would also be interested in exploring the cultural and historical context of Ancient Greece more, and in learning more about the people and events that shaped this period of history.
79. If you were a character in a movie, which movie would you be in and why?
Tip: This light-hearted question tries to find more out about your personality and your interests. Try to give a character that is widely known so that you won’t have to explain the context in detail.
Sample Answer: If I were a character in a movie, I would like to be in the movie “Erin Brockovich,” which won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2000. In this movie, I would play the role of Erin Brockovich, the legal clerk and single mother who fights for the rights of a community affected by contaminated water.
I would choose to be in this movie because it tells a really inspiring and powerful story about social justice and the importance of advocating for others. And to be honest, I think it resonates with me because I am an HR manager. As an HR manager, I am always looking for ways to support and empower people, so I think that being a part of a movie that celebrates those kinds of values are really meaningful to me.
Plus, I think that the character of Erin Brockovich is a really strong and determined hero, and I would enjoy the opportunity to portray her on screen. She is both fiercely passionate and highly skilled, and I believe that I could bring a lot of depth and authenticity to the role.
80. If you could live in any time period, which would you choose and why?
Tip: Similar to the questions above, try not to be too complex in your answer to this relaxed question. Try to choose and era that many people would know.
Sample Answer: If I could live in any historical time period, I think I would choose the Renaissance. I think the Renaissance was a truly remarkable period in human history, marked by scientific and cultural achievements that had a profound impact on the world.
One of the reasons I would choose the Renaissance is because of the incredible achievements of the time in fields like art, literature and music. From Michelangelo to Shakespeare, the Renaissance produced some of the most enduring and influential works of all time. It would be really cool to see what these incredible people are working on as it’s happening!
Another reason I would choose the Renaissance is because of the intellectual and scientific revolutions that took place during this period. From the rediscovery of classical learning to the beginnings of the scientific method, the Renaissance was a time of incredible intellectual curiosity and creativity.
Finally, I would choose the Renaissance because of the sense of possibility and optimism that seemed to permeate the age. With its emphasis on individualism and human potential, the Renaissance seemed to open up a world of endless possibilities and opportunities.
81. If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?
Tip: This is again a relaxed question that the recruiter wants to know more about your personality. Try not to be polarizing with your answer.
Sample Answer: If I could be any animal, I think I would choose to be a dolphin. As proven, dolphins are intelligent and social animals, with a unique ability to communicate and collaborate with one another. I would be fascinated by the opportunity to experience life under the sea, and to explore the diverse and fascinating marine ecosystem. Additionally, I would be drawn to the physical abilities and agility of dolphins, such as their ability to swim at high speeds and to navigate through complex environments.
82. You are on a game show and have the choice of three doors. Behind one of the doors is a prize, and behind the other two doors are goats. You choose a door, but the host, who knows what is behind each door, opens one of the other doors, revealing a goat. The host then offers you the choice of staying with your original door or switching to the remaining unopened door. What do you do and why?
Tip: Brainteaser or puzzle questions are among the most common interview questions you’ll get. For these brainteaser types of questions (in this case, this is a Monty Hall Problem), try to analyze the question first, then explore the various possibilities to come up with your answer.
Sample Answer: I would switch my choice to the remaining unopened door. When I make my first choice there is a 2 / 3 chance that the car is behind one of the doors not chosen. This probability does not change after the host reveals a goat behind one of the unchosen doors. When the host provides information about the 2 unchosen doors (revealing that one of them does not have the car behind it), the 2 / 3 chance of the car being behind one of the unchosen doors rests on the unchosen and unrevealed door, as opposed to the 1 / 3 chance of the car being behind the door I chose initially. (please check the Wikipedia link above for a full explanation)
83. How many golf balls can you fit inside a 747 airplane?
Tip: For these calculation/estimation questions, the recruiter is looking to gauge your structural thinking skills. So giving a well-structured answer is more crucial than finding the exact right answer.
Sample Answer: First let me explain my approach to this question: To determine how many golf balls can fit inside a 747 airplane, I would first need to gather some information about the dimensions of the golf balls and the 747. I would measure the diameter of the golf balls and calculate the volume using the formula for the volume of a sphere: V = 4/3πr^3. I would then measure the interior dimensions of the 747, including the length, width, and height, and calculate the total volume of the airplane using the formula for the volume of a cylinder: πr^2h (I am assuming the plane is in a cylinder shape and it does not have any seats for simplification).
Once I have calculated the volume of the golf balls and the volume of the 747, I will then determine how many golf balls can fit inside the airplane by dividing the volume of the airplane by the volume of a single golf ball (and then continue with your assumptions for calculations).
84. Can you describe a time when you had to motivate a team that was struggling or facing a difficult challenge?
Tip: This is about leadership skills. Make sure you provide an example that also resonates with the company you’re interviewing with.
Sample Answer: One time I had to motivate a team that was struggling was when we were working on a tight deadline for a high-profile project when I was working as a lead pm in a SaaS startup. The team was feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and there were several setbacks and challenges that made it difficult for them to stay focused and motivated.
To address this issue, I took a number of steps to support and motivate the team. First, I held regular check-ins with individual team members to assess their needs and provide support and guidance. I also made an effort to recognize and celebrate the team’s accomplishments and progress, and to keep them informed about the overall progress of the project. Additionally, I provided resources and support to help them overcome any challenges or obstacles that they were facing.
Through these efforts, I was able to help the team stay focused and motivated, and we were able to complete the project on time and to a high standard. It was a challenging situation, but I believe that my leadership and support helped the team to rise to the occasion and achieve a successful outcome.
85. Can you give an example of a time when you had to manage conflict within a team?
Tip: Managing a conflict within a step is a must skill for team leads. Make sure you give an example that would be similar to what you might have in the new role and explain your process in detail.
Sample Answer: One time when I had to manage conflict within a team was when we were working on a new product that involved a lot of UX/UI design (I was the lead product manager for that project). There were two designers on the team who had very different approaches to design, and they frequently disagreed about the best way to proceed.
One designer was very focused on functionality and wanted to prioritize features that would make the product more efficient and user-friendly. The other designer was more interested in aesthetics and wanted to create a more visually appealing product, even if it meant sacrificing some functionality.
As the product manager, it was my responsibility to ensure that the team was able to make progress despite these conflicting viewpoints. To resolve the conflict, I took the following steps:
- I facilitated a discussion between the designers to better understand their perspectives and to see if they could find common ground.
- I gathered data from user testing to help inform our decisions about what features and design elements were most important to our target audience.
- I worked with the designers to create a set of design principles that would guide our work and help us to make trade-offs between functionality and aesthetics.
- I made sure to communicate with the rest of the team and get their input on the design process as well, to ensure that everyone felt like they were being heard.
Ultimately, these steps helped us to come to a compromise that satisfied both designers and resulted in a product that was both functional and visually appealing. The end result was a 20% increase in user satisfaction, as measured by our customer satisfaction survey.
86. Can you give an example of a time when you had to motivate a team to achieve a common goal?
Tip: For this leadership skills question, it is not always easy to find an answer that is not vague, but make your best effort to give as many details and provide metrics regarding the outcome.
Sample Answer: One time when I had to motivate a team to achieve a common goal was when we were tasked with creating a new database system for the company. The existing system was outdated and had become a bottleneck for many of our business processes, so it was important that we were able to deliver a new system that was more efficient and scalable.
As the senior engineering development manager, it was my responsibility to lead the team and ensure that we were able to complete the project on time and within budget. To motivate the team and achieve our goal, I took the following steps:
- I clearly communicated the importance of the project to the team and made sure that everyone understood how it would benefit the company and our customers.
- I set clear goals and objectives for the teams that will be working on data modeling, indexing, storage, security and scalability.
- I provided the team with the resources and support they needed to be successful, including training and guidance from subject matter experts.
- I regularly checked in with the team and provided feedback and guidance to help keep them on track.
Through these efforts, we were able to successfully deliver the new database system within 4 months and within budget. The end result was a 25% increase in productivity, as measured by the time it took to process transactions, and a 20% reduction in downtime due to system failures.
87. Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a change in the work environment? How did you handle the change and what was the outcome?
Tip: Adapting to change can come in many forms: adapting to a new team, to a re-org, o new members etc. Try to come up with a case that would be relevant for the company you’re interviewing with.
Sample Answer: One time when I had to adapt to a change in the work environment was when I was leading a project to launch a new product for my company. We had been working on the project for several months and had made significant progress, but just as we were getting ready to go live, our company underwent a merger with another firm.
As a result of the merger, there were a lot of changes to the leadership and management of the company, and the new management team had different priorities and goals than the previous team. This included the product launch, which the new team was not initially supportive of.
I knew that the product launch was important for the company and its customers, so I decided to try and persuade the new management team to continue with the project. To do this, I gathered data and evidence to support my case, including market research, customer feedback, and financial projections. I also made sure to be respectful and open to feedback, and to listen to the concerns of the new management team.
Through these efforts, I was able to convince the new management team to continue with the product launch. The outcome was a successful launch that generated significant revenue for the company and received positive feedback from customers. The experience taught me the importance of being adaptable and flexible in the face of change, and the value of being able to persuade and influence others to achieve common goals.
88. Can you describe a time when you had to implement a new process or procedure in your organization? How did you go about it and what was the outcome?
Tip: Working on projects in your previous professional life that had a big impact is always important to recruiters. Similar to the previous questions, it is important to provide an answer that might also be useful for this new company. Changing processes is not always easy and would require skills such as team management, leadership and problem-solving.
Sample Answer: In my previous company, I started working as a project manager responsible for managing the customer complaints queue. Prior to my start at the company, the process for handling customer complaints was reactive, with no clear system in place for prioritizing and addressing issues. As a result, the queue was often backlogged and customers were not getting timely responses to their complaints.
I knew that this was not only frustrating for customers, but it was also damaging to the company’s reputation and bottom line. So, I decided to propose a new process for managing the customer complaints queue that would be more proactive and efficient.
To come up with this new process, I worked with a team of cross-functional stakeholders to analyze the root causes of the backlog and identify opportunities for improvement. We also gathered data and feedback from customers to understand their needs and expectations. Based on this analysis, we developed a new process that included the following steps:
- Complaints would be categorized based on severity and urgency so that the most pressing issues could be addressed first.
- Escalation: If a complaint was not able to be resolved at the initial level of support, it would be escalated to a higher level of support for further review and resolution.
- Communication: Customers would receive regular updates on the status of their complaints, and the team would follow up with them to ensure that their issues were fully resolved.
- Continuous improvement: We would track and analyze data on the customer complaints queue to identify trends and opportunities for further improvement, and implement changes as needed.
I then worked with the team to roll out the new process, providing training and support as needed to ensure that everyone was on board. The outcome was a significant improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the customer complaints queue, with a 50% reduction in backlogged complaints and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction. This not only benefited our customers, but it also had a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
89. How do you define a product vision and how do you go about communicating it to your team and stakeholders?
Tip: Clearly explaining your vision and convincing your peers or managers is important in any company, especially if you’re working as a team lead. In your answer, outline your process and give a specific example if necessary.
Sample Answer: I define a product vision as a clear and compelling statement of what a product will be and how it will benefit customers. It provides a roadmap for the product development process and helps to guide decision-making and prioritize features and initiatives.
To define a product vision, I start by identifying the target market and customer needs, as well as the business goals and objectives. I also conduct market research and gather insights from stakeholders and team members. I then use this information to craft a compelling and achievable vision that aligns with the overall strategy and values of the organization.
To communicate the product vision, I use various channels and methods, including presentations, documents, and team meetings. I also make sure to involve key stakeholders and team members in the process, and I seek feedback and input to ensure that the vision is clear, understood, and supported. I find that effective communication and collaboration are key to driving alignment and buy-in for the product vision.
In my last job, I come up with a project to change the design of the homepage of the company to increase CTR and sales. I defined my vision as “Our new homepage design will provide a clear and compelling value proposition for our target users, leading to a 50% increase in CTR within the first six months of launch.” To communicate this vision to the team and stakeholders, I first held a series of workshops and presentations to share the research and data that supported the need for a redesign, as well as the potential benefits of increased CTR.
Then I created a comprehensive project plan that outlined the steps we would take to launch the new homepage design, including user testing, stakeholder review, and QA. By clearly communicating the product vision and providing a structured plan for realizing it, I was able to successfully lead the team to deliver a new homepage design that exceeded our expectations and achieved a 60% increase in CTR.
90. How do you go about conducting market research for a new product?
Tip: Market research questions are pretty common for candidates interviewing for a marketing manager or associate roles. Knowing how to do market research and being able to clearly explain it is a must for any marketing candidate!
Sample Answer: To conduct market research for a new product, I follow a structured and iterative process. For example, I was given the task to do market research for a new smartphone we were planning to launch and my research included the following steps:
- Define the research objectives: Before starting the research, I define the specific questions that we are trying to answer and the objectives that we are trying to achieve. In the case of a new brand of smartphone, I will be interested in understanding the features and functionality that users value most, as well as the brands and models that they are currently using.
- Identify the research methods: Once I have defined the research objectives, I’ll identify the most appropriate research methods to use. This might include primary research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and interviews, as well as secondary research methods such as industry reports and data analysis.
- Collect and analyze the data: Next, I collect and analyze the data using the selected research methods. This might involve conducting surveys online or in person, gathering feedback from focus groups, or analyzing data from industry reports. I’ll use a variety of tools and techniques to analyze the data, such as statistical analysis, customer segmentation, and trend analysis.
- Draw conclusions and make recommendations: Finally, I create a report and make recommendations based on the data that I have collected and analyzed. This might involve identifying key trends, insights, and opportunities that we can use to inform the product development process.
During my market research, I used a combination of primary and secondary research methods to gather data from a representative sample of users. I conducted online surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews to gather feedback on the features and functionality that users valued most, and I analyzed data from industry reports to understand the competitive landscape. Based on my findings, I was able to identify key trends and insights that I used in my report, resulting in a smartphone that met the needs of our target users and was well-received in the market.
91. How do you prioritize features and initiatives in the product development process?
Tip: Product development is an important responsibility of every product manager. You should be flexible with complex development processes as well as be used to working on high-speed product turnover environments. Tailor your answer to align with the product development processes of the company you’re interviewing for.
Sample Answer: I prioritize features and initiatives in the product development process based on a combination of factors including customer needs, business goals, resources, and risks. I start by defining the product roadmap and high-level goals, and I use this as a basis for prioritizing features and initiatives. I also involve key stakeholders, such as the development team, sales, and marketing, in the process to ensure that all relevant perspectives and priorities are considered.
I use a variety of tools and techniques, such as value vs. complexity analysis, customer feedback, and data analysis, to prioritize features and initiatives. I also consider the potential impact and feasibility of each item, and I adjust my priorities as needed based on changing circumstances and priorities. I find that effective prioritization is key to maximizing the impact and efficiency of the product development process.
92. How do you define success in your career and how do you measure it?
Tip: This is about being well aware of your ambitions in your career and articulating them well. Give a well-structured answer and give examples as necessary.
Sample Answer: To me, success in my career means consistently delivering high-quality work, meeting or exceeding expectations, and making a positive impact on my team, organization, and stakeholders. I measure success in a number of ways, including feedback from my supervisor, team members, and clients, as well as my own personal satisfaction and growth.
I also measure success by setting and achieving goals, whether they are related to specific projects, skills development, or career advancement. I find that setting clear and challenging goals helps me stay focused and motivated, and I use a variety of tools and techniques, such as tracking progress, seeking feedback, and adjusting my approach as needed, to ensure that I am on track to achieve my goals. I believe that being a high performer requires a combination of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
93. How do you stay motivated and engaged in your work?
Tip: These types of questions are asked to see your ability to formulate a well structured answer. You can use the sample below and give an example from your professional life as necessary.
Sample Answer: I stay motivated and engaged in my work by setting clear goals and challenges for myself, and by finding meaning and purpose in my work. I also stay motivated by continually learning and growing, and by seeking opportunities to take on new challenges and responsibilities.
I also find that staying engaged and connected to my team, my organization, and my stakeholders is important to my motivation and performance. I make an effort to build strong relationships and to collaborate with others, and I seek out feedback and support when needed. I believe that being a high performer requires not only a strong work ethic, but also a positive and proactive mindset and a sense of connection to something greater than oneself.
94. How do you define high performance and how do you strive to achieve it in your work?
Tip: Similar to the question above, this question is a supporting question to see if you can structure ideas adequately. You can give a general outline for your approach and provide examples as necessary.
Sample Answer: I think that high performance is about consistently delivering results that meet or exceed expectations and making a positive impact on the team or organization. It involves setting clear goals and objectives, staying focused and organized, and continuously improving and learning.
I strive to achieve high performance in my work by setting high standards for myself and being proactive and disciplined in my efforts. I take ownership of my projects and responsibilities, and I seek feedback and input to help me identify areas for improvement. I also stay up to date on industry trends and best practices and continuously seek opportunities to learn and grow. I find that effective time management, communication, and collaboration are key to achieving high performance.
95. Can you give an example of a time when you had to overcome a challenge or obstacle to deliver high-quality results?
Tip: This question is about thinking outside the box, execution, and communication skills. Provide an example that is complex enough for the recruiter and relevant to the business area they operate in.
Sample Answer: One of the biggest challenges that I have faced as a product manager was when we were preparing to roll out a new hardware product globally during the time I was working at Google. We had spent months developing and testing the product, and we were excited to bring it to market. However, as we began to plan for the rollout, we realized that there were significant differences in the regulations and compliance requirements in different countries.
This presented a major obstacle for us, as we had to ensure that the product met the requirements of each country in order to be successful. We knew that if we didn’t get this right, it could delay the rollout or even result in the product being rejected in certain markets.
To overcome this challenge, we followed a structured process that included the following steps:
- Identify the regulations and compliance requirements in each country: We worked with local teams and legal experts to understand the specific regulations and compliance requirements that applied to our product in each country. This included requirements related to labeling, packaging, and safety, as well as any other relevant regulations.
- Develop a plan to meet the requirements: Based on the regulations and compliance requirements that we identified, we developed a plan to ensure that the product met the requirements of each country. This involved making changes to the product itself, as well as developing new packaging and labeling materials.
- Test and validate the product: We tested and validated the product in each country to ensure that it met the regulations and compliance requirements. This involved working with local teams and partners to conduct additional testing and to ensure that the product was ready for launch.
- Launch the product: Once we had successfully met the regulations and compliance requirements in each country, we were able to launch the product globally. The rollout was a success, and the product received positive feedback from customers and partners in each market.
Overall, this was a significant challenge that required a lot of hard work and collaboration. However, by following a structured process and working closely with local teams and experts, we were able to successfully overcome the obstacle and deliver high-quality results. As a result of our efforts, the product was well-received in each market and contributed significantly to the company’s revenue and growth.
96. How do you handle pressure and deadlines in your work?
Tip: This is about stress management and efficiency. Formulate a well-structured answer and expect follow-up questions.
Sample Answer: Since my previous work experience consists mainly of startups, I’m very used to working under tight deadlines and stressful environments. I handle pressure and deadlines in my work by staying organized and focused, and by using time management and prioritization strategies. I start by breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces and by setting clear goals and deadlines for each step. I also communicate regularly with my team and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is aligned and on track.
I recognize that pressure and deadlines are a natural part of many work environments, and I try to stay calm and positive in the face of these challenges. I also seek support and resources when needed, and I use my stress management techniques to stay focused and energized.
97. Sell me this pen.
Tip: This is one of the most famous sales interview questions. The recruiter is trying to understand your sales acumen and is looking for an interesting and effective sales approach. You can use the sample answer below.
Sample Answer: This pen is one of the best purchases you could make. Let me tell you why.
I won’t go into the details of how durable, convenient, etc. this pen is. You already know that. When do you remember throwing away a pen because it was not useful to you anymore,? I think rarely, right?
I think you’ll want to buy this pen because it looks beautiful, stylish and professional. The sleek design and polished finish make it the perfect accessory for any business meeting or presentation. It’s a pen that will make a statement and impress your colleagues and clients. Why not use a 5 USD pen instead of a 10.000 USD watch to impress your peers in a meeting? You can’t beat the value proposition in that!
But the benefits of this pen don’t stop there. It’s also very convenient to use. The clip on the side allows you to easily attach it to your shirt pocket or notebook, so you’ll always have it within reach when you need it. And the ink cartridge is replaceable, so you can continue using this pen for years to come.
98. How would you compare and contrast two different products in terms of their features and benefits?
Tip: This question is pretty common for product managers, and you should be able to give a well-structured answer easily. There will most probably be a follow-up question after this one, so make sure you also have an answer to complement.
Sample Answer: When comparing two products, I would first identify the key features of each product and evaluate how they meet the needs of the target market. For example, for hardware products working on batteries, if one product had a longer battery life but the other had a larger screen size, I would consider which feature is more important to the target market and how it aligns with the overall goals of the company. I would also consider the benefits of each product, such as whether one has a more user-friendly interface or is more cost-effective to produce. Overall, I would aim to provide a balanced analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of both products and make recommendations based on their potential impact on the business.
99. How would you compare and contrast two different business models in terms of their profitability and sustainability?
Tip: This question is again a set-up question for a possible follow-up. If you can formulate your answers well to this one you’ll have an easier time answering any follow-up questions that may come.
Sample Answer: When comparing two business models, I would first assess their financial performance by analyzing key metrics such as revenue, expenses, and net income. I would also consider the long-term sustainability of each model by evaluating factors such as market demand, competitive landscape, and potential risks and challenges. For example, a subscription-based model may have a steadier stream of revenue but also requires a larger upfront investment, while a product-based model may have higher upfront costs but also potentially higher margins.
100. How would you compare and contrast two different marketing strategies in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency?
Tip: This one is for marketing managers but might also be asked in other relevant roles’ interviews. Show your marketing acumen by providing an easy-to-follow structure.
Sample Answer: When comparing two marketing strategies, I would first consider the target audience and the goals of the campaign. For example, if one strategy is focused on driving brand awareness and the other is focused on generating leads, I would evaluate how well each strategy aligns with these goals. I would also assess the effectiveness of each strategy by analyzing metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversion rates. In terms of efficiency, I would consider factors such as the resources required to execute each strategy and the potential return on investment.
101. How would you compare and contrast two different approaches to project management in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency?
Tip: This one is a similar question but for project management. Give a well-structured answer to this and prepare an example from your past work experience as necessary.
Sample Answer: When comparing two approaches to project management, I would first consider the goals and objectives of the project and how well each approach aligns with these goals. I would also assess the effectiveness of each approach by analyzing factors such as the quality of the final product, the level of customer satisfaction, and the timeliness of delivery. In terms of efficiency, I would consider factors such as the resources required to execute each approach, the level of communication and collaboration among team members, and the potential for unexpected delays or setbacks.
102. How would you compare and contrast two different suppliers in terms of their quality and price?
Tip: This one is for sales / resourcing managers. Use the sample below to construct your answer and prepare an example from your own experience for any follow-up questions that may come.
Sample Answer: When comparing two suppliers, I would first assess the quality of their products or services by evaluating factors such as their reliability, durability, and overall performance. I would also consider the price of each supplier and how it compares to the market rate for similar products or services. In terms of price, I would consider factors such as the volume of the order, any potential bulk discounts, and the terms of payment.
103. How would you compare and contrast two different job candidates in terms of their qualifications and fit for the role?
Tip: Although this may seem a question for HR / HRBP candidates, it is also asked quite often to team leaders who will potentially hire new members to his/her team in the future.
Sample Answer: When comparing two job candidates, I would first evaluate their qualifications by considering factors such as their education, experience, and skills. I would also assess their fit for the role by considering factors such as their communication skills, teamwork abilities, and cultural fit with the company.
In terms of qualifications, I would consider which candidate has the most relevant experience and skills for the role and how they compare to the requirements outlined in the job posting. In terms of fit, I would consider whether one candidate seems more aligned with the company’s values and goals and how they interact with the rest of the team during the interview process.
104. How would you compare and contrast two different proposals in terms of their feasibility and potential impact on the company?
Tip: This question is for external-facing roles. When you’re an account manager / sales / resourcing manager, having the necessary skills for analyzing proposals is crucial.
Sample Answer: When comparing two proposals, I would first assess their feasibility by considering factors such as the resources required to implement the proposal, the potential risks and challenges, and the potential return on investment. I would also look into the potential impact of each proposal on the company by considering factors such as the size of the market, the competition, and the potential for growth or expansion.
In terms of feasibility, I would consider whether one proposal is more realistic or achievable given the company’s current resources and capabilities. In terms of impact, I would consider which proposal has the potential to bring the most value to the company in the short and long term.
105. How would you compare and contrast two different job offers in terms of their compensation and benefits packages?
Tip: Knowledge about offers and compensation packages is crucial for any HR / recruitment manager or HRBPs. Use the sample below to tailor your answer to the company you’re interviewing with.
Sample Answer: When comparing two job offers, I would first compare the compensation packages by considering factors such as salary, bonuses, and potential for salary increases. I would also consider the benefits packages and evaluate which one offers the most value and aligns with my personal and financial goals (or the company for which I’m doing these on behalf of).
In terms of compensation, I would consider which offer is more competitive and reflects the market rate for similar roles. In terms of benefits, I would consider factors such as the quality of the healthcare coverage, the retirement plan options, and any additional perks such as flexible scheduling or remote work options.
106. How would you compare and contrast two different customer segments in terms of their needs and preferences?
Tip: Knowledge about customer segmentation is a must regardless of your role in a company (well, unless you’re a software developer. Even then, this info would become handy). Use the sample answer below to create your own answer and tailor it to the company you’re interviewing with.
Sample Answer: When comparing two customer segments, I would first assess their needs by considering factors such as their demographics, behaviors, and purchasing habits. I would also consider their preferences by evaluating factors such as their preferred communication channels, their loyalty to the brand, and their willingness to pay a premium for certain products or services.
In terms of needs, I would consider which segment has the greatest potential to drive revenue and growth for the company and how well the company’s current offerings meet these needs. In terms of preferences, I would consider which segment is more likely to engage with the brand and provide valuable feedback for future product development.
107. How would you compare and contrast two different regions in terms of their potential for business growth and expansion?
Tip: If you’re interviewing for an international company or for a role that involves dealing with multiple regions, then this is one of the questions you need to look at & prepare well for the answer.
Sample Answer: When comparing two regions, I would first assess their potential for business growth by considering factors such as the size of the market, the level of competition, and the economic conditions. I would also consider the potential for expansion by evaluating factors such as the availability of resources and talent, the cost of doing business, and the local regulations and laws.
In terms of growth potential, I would consider which region has the most untapped potential and how well the company’s current offerings align with the needs and preferences of the local market. In terms of expansion, I would consider which region offers the most favorable conditions for the company to expand its operations and grow its customer base.
108. How do you involve others in the decision-making process, and why is this important?
Tip: Communication skills and working well with a team are important for any company. As one of the necessary leadership skills, it is important to be able to involve other teams to find a solution for a problem you’re having. Give an answer that also might be useful for the new company you’re interviewing for.
Sample Answer: At my previous company, we were working on building a new website for one of our products. As the sales manager, I was responsible for gathering feedback and requirements from various stakeholders, including our customers, sales team, and marketing team. However, I also knew that the success of the website would depend heavily on the technical capabilities and input of our software development team.
My task was to ensure that the software development team was fully involved in the decision-making process for the website project. This meant not only consulting with them on technical requirements and limitations, but also actively seeking out their ideas and input on features and functionality.
To involve the software development team in the decision-making process, I made a point to regularly meet with them and solicit their feedback and ideas. I also provided them with all of the relevant information and requirements that I had gathered from other stakeholders, and made sure to clearly communicate the importance of their input.
This approach to involving the software development team in the decision-making process was very successful. Their input and expertise helped us to create a website that was not only technically sound, but also user-friendly and aligned with the needs of our customers. In the end, the website received a very positive response from users and contributed to a significant increase in online sales. In fact, online sales grew by 25% in the first quarter after the new website launch.
Involving the software development team in the decision-making process was important because their technical expertise and input were crucial to the success of the website project. By actively seeking out their ideas and input and regularly communicating with them, I was able to ensure that the website was of high quality and met the needs of our customers. This approach ultimately led to a successful outcome, as was seen by the increase in online sales.
109. Describe a time when you had to make a quick decision in the workplace. How did you ensure that it was a good decision?
Tip: Thinking on your foot and making great decisions are important traits for a manager that is accustomed to working well under pressure. Give an answer that demonstrates that.
Sample answer: At my previous company, we were working on building a new website for one of our products. One day, while testing the website, we discovered that the search function was not working properly (auto-population was not working properly in some scenarios). This was a major issue, as the search function was a key feature that our customers relied on to find products and information on the website. And having a problem with auto-population would potentially make the customers think the were big issues about the website.
As the product manager, it was my responsibility to come up with a solution to fix the search function as quickly as possible. We only had a few hours before the website was set to go live, and we needed to ensure that everything was working properly before launch.
I quickly gathered the software development team to assess the problem and brainstorm potential solutions. We discussed different options and their potential pros and cons, and I made sure to listen to the input of all team members. In the end, we decided to temporarily disable the auto-population function until we could fix the underlying issue, and to instead provide customers with a list of relevant products and categories on the homepage.
This quick decision ended up being the right one. By disabling that function and providing customers with alternative options, we were able to maintain a positive user experience on the website. The website launched on time, and we were able to fix the issue within a few days. In the end, customer satisfaction remained high and there was no negative impact on sales.
110. How do you approach new clients in account management for a consulting engagement? What steps do you take to understand the client’s needs and objectives?”
Tip: Account management is mostly an external-facing role and having a skillset that includes dealing with customers, understanding their issues and clear communication would be useful for any account management arsenal.
Sample Answer: When starting a new consulting engagement, I take a structured and iterative approach to understanding the client’s needs and objectives. First, I try to gain as much context as possible about the client’s industry, business model, and challenges. I do this by reviewing relevant materials, such as annual reports and industry research, and by speaking with key stakeholders and subject matter experts. Then, I work with the team to develop a detailed scope of work and research plan that outlines the specific questions we aim to answer and the methods we will use to do so. Finally, I conduct primary and secondary research to gather relevant data and insights, including interviews with key stakeholders, surveys, and analysis of financial and operational data. And then I synthesize the findings and present them to the client in a clear and actionable format, along with recommendations for next steps.
111. What methods do you use to identify new opportunities and build relationships with clients/new candidates?
Tip: Whether you are a marketer, salesperson, or an HR manager, finding new opportunities for new potential candidates / new target audiences or new sales leads is an important part of being a proactive person in a job. Thinking outside the box and being proactive are always important to recruiters. For this answer, give an example that shows your proactivity.
Sample Answer: As a sales manager, identifying new sales opportunities is a crucial part of my job. I use a variety of methods to find potential leads and drive sales for the company. Some of the strategies I use include:
- Networking and building relationships: I believe that building strong relationships is key to finding new sales opportunities. I make an effort to network with industry professionals, attend events and conferences, and engage with potential clients on social media to build my network and find new leads.
- Analyzing market trends: I keep a close eye on industry trends and changes in the market to identify new opportunities for sales. For example, if I see that a particular product or service is gaining popularity, I might consider offering it to my clients.
- Leveraging data and analytics: I use data and analytics to identify patterns and trends that can help me find new sales opportunities. For example, I might use customer data to identify segments of the market that are underserved, or use analytics to find trends in customer behavior that could indicate potential sales leads.
- Partnering with other businesses: I also look for opportunities to partner with other businesses to find new leads. For example, if I have a client who is interested in a particular product or service that my company doesn’t offer, I might reach out to other businesses that do offer it and see if we can collaborate to meet the client’s needs.
I would like to give a specific example of this by explaining my sales tactics that worked well for me in my previous job as a printer salesperson for large customers at Canon. As the junior sales manager at Canon UK, it was my responsibility to come up with new and innovative ways to find sales leads. I had to constantly think outside the box and be proactive in finding new opportunities.
We were operating in a highly competitive market, and it was important to stay ahead of the curve and find new leads before our competitors.
One of the methods I used to identify new sales opportunities was to reach out to local businesses and offer free trials of our printers. This allowed me to showcase the quality and reliability of our products, and gave potential customers the chance to see for themselves how our printers could benefit their businesses.
This method ended up being very successful. We were able to secure several new customers as a result of the free trials, and we saw a significant increase in sales. In fact, our sales grew by 20% in the first quarter after implementing this strategy.
In this example, offering free trials was a proactive and innovative way to identify new sales opportunities as a printer salesman. By showcasing the quality and reliability of our products, we were able to secure several new customers and achieve a significant increase in sales.
112. Describe a situation in which you had to overcome a language or cultural barrier on a project you’re working on.
Tip: When you’re interviewing for a role in a global company that involves dealing with peers or customers from multiple regions/religions / variety of cultures, being able to overcome these difficulties is important. Provide a solid answer that shows your skills around this.
Sample Answer: One situation that comes to mind is when I was managing a project to localize our SaaS product for new markets. Our team consisted of members from several countries and cultures, including China, Germany, and Brazil. We encountered several language and cultural barriers during the project, particularly when it came to translating the user interface and marketing materials.
To overcome these barriers, we implemented several strategies. First, we hired native speakers of the target languages to handle the translations. This helped ensure that the translations were accurate and culturally appropriate.
As the final step, we established clear communication channels and protocols to facilitate discussions and decision-making between team members who spoke different languages. For example, we used translation software and interpretation services during meetings and made sure to provide written materials in both English and the target language.
In the end, our efforts paid off. The localization project was a success, with our product being well-received in the new markets. We also received positive feedback from team members, who appreciated the inclusive and culturally sensitive approach we took.
113. Describe a time when you had to work with limited resources or constraints. How did you adapt and deliver results in this situation?
Tip: Working with limited resources is a must especially for startups during the growth phase (or in big companies like Amazon, as depicted in the Leadership Principle “frugality”). Give an answer that shows you’re resourceful.
Sample Answer: One time I had to work with limited resources or constraints was when I was leading a project to improve the supply chain for a small start-up. The company had limited budget and personnel, and we had to work with what we had to achieve our goals.
To adapt and deliver results in this situation, I focused on maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of our efforts. This included streamlining processes, identifying and leveraging existing resources and relationships, and working closely with the team to identify and prioritize the most critical tasks and initiatives.
I also tried to be creative and find innovative solutions to challenges and constraints. The outcome of the project was a 30% improvement in delivery times and a 20% reduction in costs, which helped the company to grow and scale. I achieved these results by focusing on what we could control rather than dwelling on the constraints we faced.
114. What do you think sets you apart from other candidates for this role?
Tip: For this question, the trick is to show the recruiter that you’re a perfect match for what the company is looking for. Give examples of the work you have done previously that translates well for this new company.
Sample Answer: As a project manager, I believe my strong background in product management sets me apart from other candidates for this role. In my previous role as a project manager for building smartphones, I was responsible for overseeing the entire lifecycle of our products, from idea generation to launch. This included conducting market research, developing product roadmaps, and leading cross-functional teams to bring products to market.
One specific project that I believe sets me apart is my work on the successful launch of a new smartphone model in a highly competitive market. I was responsible for gathering and analyzing customer feedback, identifying market trends, and working closely with the engineering and design teams to develop a product that met the needs of our target customers. Through my leadership and attention to detail, we were able to launch the product on time and achieve strong sales results.
I believe that my experience in both project and product management, combined with my ability to lead cross-functional teams and drive results, make me a strong candidate for this project manager role at this company.
115. What are your long-term career goals, and how does this role fit into those goals?
Tips: With this question, the recruiter tries to understand if your career goals align with what the company provides. Do your research about the role and the company and give a thoughtful answer that will align with the company’s goals.
Sample Answer: My long-term career goal is to become a leader in marketing for gaming consoles. I am very passionate about the gaming industry and I believe that I have the skills and experience to succeed in this field. I believe that this role at Sony, as the brand marketing lead, aligns perfectly with my career goals. Sony is a well-respected and innovative company within the gaming industry with its PS% gaming console and AAA gaming titles, and I believe that working with the talented team at Sony would give me the opportunity to grow and develop my skills as a marketing professional. I am excited about the potential to contribute to the success of Sony’s gaming console brand and to be a part of a company that is at the forefront of the industry.
116. When can you start?
Tip: This can be either a lighthearted question at the end of a successful interview or a formal question to understand your flexibility. Consider other arrangements with your current company and be mindful about cutting ties with them properly in case you get offered this role.
Sample Answer: I have an X weeks notice period with my previous company and ideally I would like to be courteous to them if I hopefully get this offer. Other than that I am available to start as soon as possible and am flexible to work with the company to determine the best start date. I am excited about the opportunity to join the team and am eager to get started and make a positive contribution to the company. Is there any additional information that I can provide or anything else I can do to facilitate the onboarding process?
117. Where do you see yourself in three years?
Tip: This is about your ambitions in the company. It is important to give a decent answer to this (i.e. without being to imaginative), so make your research about promotion paths, company employee levels etc beforehand to give a meaningful answer.
Sample Answer: In three years, I see myself as a well-rounded product manager who has gained valuable experience through early promotions and has become a respected and high-performing team player at Spotify.
I am really interested in becoming a leader in managing technological products and I am an avid Spotify user who likes music a lot, so going up in the ranks in Spotify by performing well is my main goal.
During my tenure here, I’m planning on taking on new challenges and responsibilities as they come. I believe that the culture at Spotify values continuous learning and growth, and I am confident that this role will provide me with the opportunity to develop my skills and contribute to the success of the company.
118. What separates hard work from smart work?
Tip: This is a light-hearted question to understand your thinking skills. Use the sample answer below to devise an answer in your won words.
Sample Answer: I don’t think there is a clear-cut answer to this as I believe each has its merits depending on the situation. Hard work is putting a lot of effort and time into something, while smart work is defined as using one’s resources and skills efficiently to achieve a goal. Hard work can be admirable, and while there are situations that it is useful (chopping woods for winter is hard work but you cannot get around it by being smart) but it’s not always the most efficient way to get things done, depending on the scenario. Smart work, on the other hand, involves being strategic and using one’s resources effectively to achieve a goal.
In my experience, I prefer smart work because it allows me to be more efficient and effective in my work. For example, as a sales manager, I know that my time is valuable and that I need to use it wisely in order to achieve my sales targets. Instead of just blindly putting in long hours, I focus on being strategic in my approach. This might involve identifying key accounts to focus on, leveraging technology to streamline my sales process, or seeking out new sales channels. By being smart about my work, I’m able to achieve my goals more efficiently and effectively.
119. Why was your GPA low?
Tip: Sometimes the recruiters will ask about your GPA, especially it is near the low end (2.00-2.50 / 4.00). If it was not due to personal issues, explain your extra-curricular activities that may compensate for your grade. (In our free resume writing guide, we suggest not putting your GPA in your resume if it is below 3.00 / 4.00. Make sure to read that article as well!)
Sample Answer: During my time in college, I was very involved in extracurricular activities, including serving as the president of the marketing club and interning at a local startup. These activities required a significant amount of time and energy, and as a result, my GPA suffered. Despite the lower-than-average GPA, I made a conscious decision to prioritize these experiences because I believed they would be valuable for my long-term career development.
These extracurricular activities ended up being extremely valuable for my professional growth, as they allowed me to gain hands-on experience and build a strong network in the industry. I believe that my extracurricular activities, combined with my strong work ethic and problem-solving skills, make me a strong candidate for this role at Microsoft.
120. Are you willing to travel for this job / how much?
Tip: More often than not, established companies will announce the travel necessary for the role in their job posts by giving a percentage (e.g. This role involves 20% travel across different states of US). So before applying to the job and your interviews you should be eligible to travel for such a role. Even if the job post does not say anything about travel plans, it is wise to think about it (and your preference) before your interview in case it comes up.
Sample Answer: Absolutely, I am willing to travel for this job. I have a lot of experience traveling for work as an area sales manager, and I have always enjoyed the opportunity to see new places and meet new people. In my previous role, I traveled about 50% of the time, and I was able to manage my workload effectively while on the road. I understand that this job may require a similar level of travel, and I am comfortable with that. I am eager to do whatever it takes to be successful in this role.
121. What do you plan to accomplish in this job in the first 90 days?
Tip: This question aims to find out your attack plan for the new job. It is important to know that preferably you should make a concrete positive contribution within your first 90 days as well. Make sure you researched your role thoroughly and answer accordingly.
Sample Answer: In my first 30 days as a creative manager on the industrial design team at Apple, my primary goal would be to familiarize myself with the company’s design processes and philosophies, as well as the current projects and priorities of the team. I would also aim to build relationships and establish open lines of communication with my colleagues and stakeholders.
I know that we are in a fast-paced business, so I’ll make sure to speak to my manager to learn about the opportunities that would allow me to make a measurable impact in my 2nd or 3rd month.
122. What criteria are you using to evaluate people reporting to you?
Tip: Every company has its own standardized process of performance evaluations, make sure you let the recruiter that you’ll adhere to those standards but also add a few ideas of your own.
Sample Answer: As a product manager, I believe it is important to evaluate my team members based on a variety of criteria. First and foremost, I look for team members who are highly skilled in their respective areas and have a track record of delivering results. Additionally, I value team members who are proactive, willing to take on new challenges, and able to work collaboratively with others. I also look for individuals who are able to adapt to change, as the product development process is often fluid and dynamic.
This is my process of evaluating team members who report to me but obviously I know that this company should have its own procedure for evaluations, and I’m happy to work with that as well.
123. Describe a typical work day for you.
Tip: In your answer to this question, try to show that you manage your tasks efficiently and have a standard way of working that works very well in a variety of work environments.
Sample Answer: As a product manager, my typical work day is focused on driving the success of my products and team. I start my day by checking my emails and prioritizing any urgent tasks or requests. On Mondays, I hold a weekly meeting with my team to review our progress and discuss any roadblocks or issues that need to be addressed.
After the meeting, I spend the majority of my day working on longer-term projects and initiatives, such as identifying new market opportunities, conducting market research, and developing product roadmaps. I also make time for regular check-ins with cross-functional teams, such as engineering and design, to ensure that our projects are on track and aligned with the overall business goals.
In addition to these daily responsibilities, I try to carve out time for proactive, strategic thinking by blocking off time on my calendar for deep work and focus. This might involve spending a few hours each week on researching new technologies or brainstorming new product ideas.
So overall, my goal is to use my time effectively and one thing that also worked well for me so far is trying to limit my email check-ins to just two times per day, and I also use tools like Trello and Asana to manage my tasks and track progress.
124. If we cannot fill this product manager position with you, we have another alternative account manager position. Will you be interested in that?
Tip: Especially in global companies that have hundreds of job openings, sometimes the HRBP will ask if you’re open to other positions in the company. While this may seem disappointing at first, it is actually a hint that the hr folks think you are a fit for the company. It is better to think about this before you go into the interview so that you will not be blindsided with this question.
Sample Answer: Ideally I would like to have the product manager position but sure, I would be interested in the account manager position as well. I have experience in sales and customer relationship management, and I believe my skills and expertise would be valuable in that role as well. I am a flexible and adaptable employee, and I am always open to new opportunities and challenges.
125. Did you ever quit a job? Why?
Tip: There can be many reasons why somebody quits a job. If you have such an experience, it is best to tell the recruiter openly about it, but try not to be aggressively critical about your former employer as this could raise some concerns with the recruiter.
Sample Answer: Yes, I have quit a job before, and it was a difficult decision for me as it was a popular company to work for. However, I believe it was the right one for me personally and professionally. The reason for my resignation was a difference in management styles. I had been working with the company for a few years and I had always been a strong performer and a team player. However, the new management team had a very different approach to how they wanted to run the business, and it did not align with my values or my career goals. To be specific, the new management wanted to put profits first to a degree that they decided to shut down the help center to better focus on revenue generating activities. Seeing all the customer complaints on social media and Reddit, I was truly disappointed about this decision.
Despite my efforts to have constructive conversations with the upper management and try to find a middle ground, we were unable to come to a resolution. As a result, I decided to resign and move on to a new opportunity where I could continue to grow and contribute to a team that shares similar values and goals. I am grateful for the experience and the lessons I learned from my previous employer, and I hope to take those forward in my career.
126. Tell me about the biggest risk you have taken in your life.
Tip: These types of questions are asked to asses your personality during the interviews. Do not give a personal or controversial example here, and try to make it business related.
Sample Answer: I think the biggest risk I have taken in my life was quitting my job at a large, well-established company to join a startup 5 years ago. At the time, I had been with the big company for several years and was comfortable in my role, but I had always been drawn to the fast-paced and innovative environment of startups.
Despite my reservations, I took the leap and joined a SaaS startup as a project manager. It was definitely a risk, as the startup had no track record and no guarantees of success. However, I am happy to say that the risk paid off. The experience I gained at the startup was invaluable, and I was able to take on more responsibility and grow my skills in ways that I never would have at the larger company. In the end, the risk I took turned out to be one of the best decisions of my career.
127. How do you keep track of a remote team that is working for you?
Tip: If you’re interviewing for a senior role in a multi-national company, chances are you’re going to be dealing with teams in different time zones. If you have experience managing remote team, that would be useful in your new job as well.
Sample Answer: As a senior marketing leader, I’ve worked in a number of companies where I had to manage remote teams and individual contributors across different countries. I believe that regular communication is one of the key aspects of managing remote teams. I make sure to schedule regular check-ins with team members, whether that be through video conference or a simple phone call, at least once in two weeks (I don’t want to micro-manage teams as well). These check-ins provide an opportunity for team members to share any updates or challenges they are facing, and for me to provide guidance and support.
In addition to these regular check-ins, I also use project management tools like Asana or Trello to keep track of tasks and progress. This allows all team members to have visibility into what needs to be completed and when, and also allows for easy collaboration and communication on specific tasks.
128. What is the biggest challenge you think you’ll face in this job?
Tip: To answer this question properly, you have to know the ins and outs of the company and the details of the role you’re interviewing for. More often than not, job posts will give you an idea about what your challenges might be. Use it as a guide in creating your answer.
Sample Answer: I did some research on the role (as well as I could, but obviously I do not know the company from inside), and I think one of the biggest challenges I’ll face is navigating the complex organizational structure of a multinational company. As a marketing manager, I’ll be working with various teams and departments, each with their own goals and priorities. It will be important for me to effectively communicate and coordinate with these teams to ensure that our marketing efforts are aligned with the overall goals of the company.
Each company has its own tools and processes, so another challenge would be getting used to them very quickly to be able to make a positive impact within my first two months.
129. Explain Artificial Intelligence to a child.
Tip: These types of brainteaser questions are asked to find out how good you are with dissecting complex topics into well-structured and understandable bits. Use the sample below to create your answer.
Sample Answer: Imagine if you had a robot friend who could play games with you, solve puzzles, and help you with your homework. That’s kind of what AI is like, but instead of just being a fun buddy, it can also be used to do important tasks in the real world like driving cars and helping doctors diagnose patients.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is like a super smart robot toy that can think and learn on its own. Just like how people can learn new things, AI can do the same thing by looking at lots of different data and information. It can even do things like recognize faces, answer questions, and make decisions without needing a person to tell it what to do.
130. I see that you were a team lead in your previous job. What were the top 3 qualities of your team collectively?
Tip: This question is about team management. Every company would have a different set of skills it prioritizes, so make your research about the one you’re interviewing for before answering this question. For example, frugality might in the top 3 for Amazon, but a sales-oriented role/company might prioritize communication ability more. Tailor your answer according to this.
Sample Answer: Coming from a sales-oriented team in a very competitive market, I would say one of the top qualities of my team was their aggressiveness in tackling sales goals and meeting deadlines. They were always eager to take on new challenges and push themselves to achieve the best results. Another strength of the team was their excellent communication skills, which is crucial in a sales team. The third one will be efficiency as my team would always strive to streamline processes and find ways to increase productivity. These qualities contributed to our success as a team and helped us achieve our goals.
131. What do you know about our company?
Tip: This is your moment to shine and impress the recruiter with your research about the company and the role. In order to increase your chances in any job application (and to understand if you really want this job), proper due diligence is necessary. To give an impressive answer to this, make sure also research competitive product/companies and incorporate that info into your answer.
Sample Answer: Being a heavy user of AWS Cloud services in my previous company, I’m pretty familiar with many technologies it has, from EC2 to S3. I know that it is the leader in cloud computing services with its storage, database, analytics, machine learning services.
I think that one of the things that set AWS apart from its competitors is its focus on innovation and customer satisfaction. AWS (and Amazon) regularly releases new services and features to meet the changing needs of its customers, and it has a strong track record of uptime and reliability. I also know that AWS has a large and active community of developers and users who share best practices and provide support to each other.
On the downside, I know that AWS is a bit pricier than its competitors, but when you take everything into account, I think AWS is in a very strong position in the market.
132. Are you legally authorized to work in US? (or the company you’ll be hired in)
Tip: This question may seem trivial, but nevertheless it is important to think about it beforehand, especially since remote working is the hype in the last few years. So make your due diligence and answer accordingly.
Sample Answer: Yes, I am legally authorized to work in the US. I am a citizen of the US and have a valid work visa. I am also able to provide all necessary documents to verify my legal authorization to work in the US.
I am not legally authorized to work in the US. However, I am open to remote work as stated in the job description. I am a skilled project manager with a strong track record of delivering successful projects on time and within budget. I am confident that my skills and experience make me a strong candidate for this role, even if I am unable to work in the US on a traditional visa. I am willing to explore alternative options, such as obtaining a remote work visa, to be able to work for the company.
133. What academic courses did you like the best?
Tip: This question tries to identify your interests and their relation to the work environment. A person who enjoyed math more will be more suitable for finance/analysis type of jobs whereas a person who liked social sciences most could be more suitable for pr/marketing/communication roles (generally).
Sample Answer: I would say my top 3 courses were behavioral economics, corporate finance and financial modeling. I found the concepts of financial analysis, valuation, and capital budgeting to be extremely useful in my professional career as a finance manager. Behavioral economics course gave me a deeper understanding of how people make financial decisions and how to better anticipate and address their needs and preferences. Financial Modeling helped me develop skills in building and analyzing financial models, which has been extremely valuable in my job as a finance manager. I would say these courses have helped me develop a strong foundation in finance and have had a direct impact on my professional success.
134. What do you think the future of this business will look like?
Tip: This question is about seeing the big picture and staying on top of industry trends. While this is not as common as the other questions, it is important to be prepared for it. Make sure you do your research in case this question comes up. Below we have provided a sample answer for “e-commerce”.
Sample Answer: I think innovation will continue to be the main driving factor of e-commerce in the near future. With the increasing proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices, more and more consumers will turn to online shopping as a convenient and efficient way to purchase goods and services. We will likely see an increase in personalized and targeted marketing, as well as the integration of virtual and augmented reality into the shopping experience.
I think that the e-commerce landscape will become increasingly globalized, with companies from countries like China and Germany playing a larger role on the world stage. For example, Alibaba and JD.com in China have already established themselves as major players in the e-commerce market, and I expect them to continue to grow and expand internationally. In Germany, companies like Zalando have a strong presence, and we will see more cross-border collaboration and competition in the future.
135. Do you prefer to be an individual contributor or a team member?
Tip: The trick to answering this question is you should not object to each one of them strongly and say you are comfortable with both. Give examples of each and show how you were successful in both settings.
Sample Answer: As a product marketing manager, I understand that being able to work both as an individual contributor and as part of a team is crucial to the success of any project. Personally, I enjoy being able to contribute my own ideas and work on tasks independently, but I also understand the importance of collaboration and teamwork.
For example, when I was working on the launch of a new product line at my previous company Stripe, I took the lead on conducting market research and developing the go-to-market strategy. This required a lot of independent work, including analyzing data and creating reports. However, I also made sure to involve key stakeholders and team members in the process, holding regular meetings to share updates and gather feedback.
On the other hand, I have also had the opportunity to work on cross-functional teams where I have contributed to the success of the team as a whole. As an example, when I was leading the rebranding effort at one of my previous companies, I worked closely with the design team to ensure that our new branding was aligned with our product positioning and messaging. I also worked with the sales and customer success teams to roll out the new branding internally and to our customers.
So in summary, I believe that being able to adapt to different roles and work effectively both independently and as part of a team is essential in many companies.
136. Do you have any questions for me?
Tip: This is arguably one of the most important questions you can get in an interview as it has several benefits like recovering from your no-great answers and showing your genuine interest in the company. We listed some of the questions you can ask below, but also make sure to check out the last question in this blog post to get more insights.
- How does a good day feels like here?
- Did my answers mostly satisfied your expectations or do you want me to clarify or go deeper with anything?
- What are you most frustrated with in your daily routine?
and that’s it! We hope that you find this post useful. If you are interviewing for a specific company, make sure to check out our best-selling services that helped more than 5000 candidates to get offers since 2016. For more content about interview support, company information and resume-building tips, make sure to check out our blog for posts on various topics.
Good luck with your interviews!