Frequently Asked Interview Questions: Part 2

By Relebohile Sera


Gearing up for a job interview requires intense preparation both mentally and physically. While there may be questions that are easy to answer, some necessitate thorough attention as they are designed to see how good you are at thinking on your feet thus you cannot truly prepare for them. You can check back part one of this post for interview questions we recently addressed.

Here’s an addition of frequently asked interview questions and the best responses you can give out:


  1. What Would Your Previous Boss/Professors say About Your Performance?

The Hiring Manager is looking for your capability to view yourself from an outside viewpoint as well as potential insights from others who know you well. The best approach is to be able to back it up with a written letter of recommendation. You can then proceed to relay a recent positive performance review backed up by your letter of recommendation and you need to practice an answer that is neither over nor under confident.


  1. Would you Take Work Home with you?

Hiring Managers ask this question for different reasons. They may want to know if you make work the centre of your life and want to appraise how dedicated to the job you will be. Others may want to know if you are organized and can do all your work in the time allotted to you. This question will therefore require you to make an intensive research on the company regarding the job in question and the overall company culture.


  1. Tell me about your least-favourite manager or professor.

Answering this question will be a bit like walking across a loaded minefield, so be aware! Keep in mind that the Hiring Manager doesn’t want to learn about your former supervisors; they instead want to learn about the way you speak about them. Though the Hiring Manager may lure you to make a negative statement about your former employer, doing so can create a multitude of problems.

Even if your claim is completely true and justified, the Hiring Manager may conclude either that you don’t get along with other people or that you shift blame to others. The best way around this dilemma is to choose and example that’s not too negative, touch upon it briefly, and then focus the rest of your answer on what you learned from the experience.


  1. What Are your Salary Expectations?

You want to aim high but also make sure you don’t overprice yourself. Similarly, if your target salary is too low you end up leaving the interview room feeling miserable because the pay wouldn’t be too desirable to you.

Hiring Managers ask this question because they want to know if they can afford you before they invest time and a lot of their resources trying to win you over to work for them. Another reason could be they are trying to see if you value your work. Don’t come out right and give a number but try to push this question until you have completed all of the interviewing rounds.


  1. Tell us About a Time you Didn’t Perform to Your Capabilities

This question forces the candidate to describe a negative situation. Do so in the context of an early career mistake based on inexperience; then demonstrate the better judgement you now have as a result of that learning experience. This shows the Hiring Manager that, despite the negative situation, you allowed yourself to grow from it; don’t just leave it at what went wrong.