The Most Common Interview Questions (Part 3)

employment, hiring process, job application, interview, interview questions, behavioural questions,

After letting you in on the questions most commonly asked about you as a person, we’re taking it a step further. Let us now focus on the interview questions that target your work history.

This is where your future employer asks about what you’ve accomplished and learned. A key thing to remember is to recall and practice retelling your stories articulately. Below are some behavioural interview questions centred on your work experience. These are a few great prompts to practice with:

What is your greatest work achievement?

This is the question that allows you to show off. However, you don’t need a stellar career track to pull off an incredible answer. Employers only wish to know that you know yourself enough and are prepared to prove your worth. One handy trick for answering this question is the STAR method. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Illustrate the situation (i.e. company, job position, etc.) and the task at hand. This provides context for the actions you took and its results. Action describes what you did while Result showcases your achievement. Keep it concise and precise, as always.

How did you deal with a challenge or conflict at work?

It is far safer to prepare for this question than to answer that you’ve never faced one. Be honest yet professional when talking about the situation. What is being measured here is your willingness to face difficult issues head-on. Your resolution also attests to your initiative and sincere attempt to fix work issues.

Stay calm in answering follow-up questions on this topic as well. Focus your narrative on the resolution more than the conflict. Bonus points for talking about how you’d do things differently the next time around.

Tell me about a time you failed.

Failure is a difficult topic for many. This is especially true for those who attach their worth to the outcome of their actions. Again, there’s no point in lying. We’ve all failed at work one way or another. Continue speaking honestly and calmly.

You can start by defining what failure means to you. It can be related to poor time management, lack of leadership skills, lack of foresight, communication problems and so on. Then, give an actual failure that corresponds to that definition. Show that you learned something from that experience.


As you can see, many behavioural questions may pull focus on difficult work situations. After all, any good employer and interviewer know that rising up from a fall is a true measure of character. Prepare yourself mentally and create your narratives in advance. Most importantly, always come through with a lesson from your mistakes and challenges.

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Want to review some questions about yourself that may come up in an interview? Check out the 2nd instalment of our interview questions guide here.

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Professor Ricardo Sosa is an expert on radical change. With 20 years of experience on innovation and design, his nuggets of wisdom will come in handy during these trying times. Learn from his interview with Innovator Diaries here.

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