As the new year begins, job seekers in Singapore are faced with a plethora of opportunities in various industries. Landing the perfect job, however, often depends on how well you do in the interview process. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, this list of interview questions and answers will help you impress your potential employer and secure your dream job.
In this article, we will be discussing some of the most common interview questions and how to ace them to give you the edge in your job search.
13 Common Job Interview Questions and Answers
1. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how it relates to this position?
“Sure, I have a degree in [relevant field] from [University/college] and have been working in [relevant industry/position] for [number] years. I am passionate about [specific skill or interest], and have had the opportunity to develop my skills in [specific task or project]. I am excited to apply my skills and experience to this role and be a part of your team.“
Always read up on the job description beforehand to ensure that what you share is in line with the duties that you will undertake if you get the job. Share your passion and enthusiasm for the role.
2. Why are you interested in working for our company?
“I have been following your company for a while and am impressed by its mission and values, as well as its track record of success in the industry. I feel that this company is a great fit for an ambitious person like myself and I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic team and contribute to the company’s continued growth.”
Google is the magic tool! Always study up on the company you’re applying for beforehand. Whether they’re a startup or an established player in the industry, it would reaffirm the interviewer of your interest in the job if you know a little bit more about them than the other candidates.
3. What are your strengths?
“I am a hard worker with a strong work ethic. I am also a good communicator and enjoy working in a team. I have strong problem-solving skills and am able to think critically to find solutions.”
By providing specific examples of your strengths, you can demonstrate to the interviewer how your skills and experience align with the requirements of the role.
Furthermore, by mentioning that you are a hard worker with a strong work ethic, a good communicator and enjoy working in a team, you are showing that you have the ability to work efficiently, effectively and collaboratively.
4. What are your weaknesses?
“One area that I am working on improving is my [specific skill or task]. I am actively taking steps to improve in this area, such as [specific action or training].”
Ah, probably the most infamous question of all time that everyone dreads. This isn’t an opportunity to rub your own ego; don’t answer it with a typically arrogant answer like “I’m stubborn, when I set my mind on completing a task, nothing can stop me”. Interviewers have heard these answers thousands of times.
They’re looking for you to show that you are self-aware of your areas for improvement and are taking proactive steps to address them. Instead of trying to hide or deny your weaknesses, acknowledging them and providing specific examples of how you are working to improve them, shows that you are honest, reflective and willing to learn.
5. Can you tell us about a time when you had to work with a team to solve a problem?
“One example was when I was working on a project and we hit a roadblock. I organized a team meeting to brainstorm solutions and assigned tasks to each team member. We were able to come up with a solution and successfully complete the project.”
Most jobs require you to work in a team. Your answer should demonstrate to the employer that you have the ability to work well with others, share ideas and collaborate effectively. This is a highly sought-after skill in the modern workplace, where many tasks and projects require input from multiple team members.
Additionally, the ability to work well in a team is often considered a key indicator of a candidate’s potential to be successful in the role.
6. Can you tell us about a specific accomplishment you are most proud of?
“One accomplishment I am particularly proud of is when I [specific achievement]. It was challenging, but I was able to [what you did] and it helped the company achieve [results].”
Answering question number 3 with a specific accomplishment you are proud of, demonstrates to the interviewer that you have a track record of success in your previous roles.
It provides concrete evidence of your capabilities, and shows that you have a clear understanding of what you have achieved and how it relates to the role you are applying for.
7. How do you stay current with industry developments?
“I read industry-specific news and publications, attend relevant conferences and workshops, and network with professionals in the field to stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies.”
This demonstrates to the interviewer that you are proactive in keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in the field. It shows that you have a genuine interest in the industry and that you are committed to staying up-to-date with the latest information.
And of course, it’s important to NEVER LIE. If they call your bluff, there go your chances of that new job. Always do as much research as you can into the industry, and stay updated!
There are plenty of ways to stay updated, such as news websites, social media, or even industry-related forums. For me personally, I get most of my marketing news from Reddit.
8. How do you handle stress and pressure?
“I stay organized and prioritize my tasks, breaking down large projects into smaller, manageable tasks. I also make sure to take breaks and engage in activities that I enjoy to maintain a healthy work-life balance.”
Your answer should show that you have strategies in place to manage stress and pressure effectively. You should use this opportunity to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a good work ethic and a proactive approach to handling stress.
This can give the interviewer confidence that you can handle the demands of the job and that you can maintain a good performance under pressure.
9. How do you handle criticism or feedback?
“I welcome constructive criticism and feedback as an opportunity to improve. I listen carefully and ask clarifying questions to fully understand the feedback. I then take the necessary steps to address any issues and incorporate the feedback into my work.”
Your answer must show that you welcome constructive criticism and feedback as an opportunity to improve, and show that you have a growth mindset and that you are willing to learn and improve. It should also demonstrate your ability to understand the feedback, process it and act on it.
10. How do you handle a deadline?
“I make sure to stay organized and prioritize my tasks. I also communicate effectively with my team and manager to ensure that everyone is on track and working towards the deadline. I also make sure to ask for help if needed.”
This shows that you have a methodical and organized approach to meeting deadlines. You ought to demonstrate to the interviewer that you are able to plan, coordinate and execute tasks in a timely manner, and not be afraid to ask for help when required; that you value open communication.
11. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult team member
“One example was when I had to work with a team member who was consistently not meeting their deadlines. I scheduled a meeting with them to discuss the issue and find a solution. We were able to establish clear expectations and a plan of action, and they were able to improve their performance.”
If you’ve ever had a job before or worked on a group project at your university, you’ve probably encountered that one team member who was difficult to work with. If you handled it well, you should show that you have good communication skills and the ability to collaborate with others to find solutions.
However, if you’ve not handled it well in the past, it’s perfectly fine. But you must also show the interviewer that you learned something from that situation as well.
For example, you could mention that you have learnt to listen actively to what difficulties team members are facing that might inhibit their performance. And that you have also learnt to then provide feedback or suggestions to help them alleviate these issues.
12. What are your long-term career goals?
“My long-term career goal is to [specific goal]. I am committed to continuously learning and growing, and I see this role as an opportunity to develop my skills and gain valuable experience that will help me achieve my goal.”
This approach shows that you have a clear vision for your future and that you are committed to professional development and that you are aware of the potential of this role and how it can contribute to your career development.
This shows the interviewer that you are motivated to take advantage of it and gives him/her a sense of your professional aspirations, your motivation and your potential to grow in the company.
13. How are you at communicating and working with others of different cultures?
“I understand that effective communication is key to successful collaboration, and I am able to adapt my communication style to meet the needs of my team members, regardless of their cultural background. I am comfortable with different approaches to communication and problem-solving, and I am able to understand and respect different perspectives.”
According to SingStat, as of 2022, out of Singapore’s population of 5.64 million, approximately 1.57 million of them are non-residents, including foreign students and those on work passes. That means more than likely, you’ll have to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Answering the question in that way highlights your understanding of the importance of effective communication and cultural sensitivity in a team setting. It also shows your ability to be open-minded, respectful and considerate of different perspectives.
Bonus Question: What is your expected salary?
I am open to discussing my salary expectations within the range of $4,000 to $5,000, based on my research on the typical salary range for this position in this location.”
When an interviewer asks about your expected salary, it is best to be honest and straightforward with your answer. It is also a good idea to have done research on the average salary range for the position you are applying for in the specific location of the job.
One approach is to give a well-researched range. This shows that you have done your research and are aware of the typical salary for the position, but also leaves room for negotiation.
For fresh graduates, here is a comprehensive list of local degrees and their respective starting salaries.
Disclaimer: Be Truthful and Honest
Naturally, these interview questions and answers are only a guideline for how you can approach such questions. Being honest in an interview is important because it establishes trust with the interviewer and shows that you have integrity.
If you’re dishonest, the interviewer may question your credibility and trustworthiness, which could negatively impact their perception of you as a candidate.
Preparing for a job interview requires not only knowing the common questions that may be asked. You must also understand the ideal answers and be able to articulate them effectively.
Additionally, remember that an interview is a two-way street, and it is just as important for the interviewee to ask the interviewer questions to ensure that the position and company are a good fit. You can read up on our blog, 5 Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview for tips on what to ask, and why.
Being well-prepared and confident increases your chances of making a great impression and landing the job.
For more tips on personal and professional development, please visit our blog!