Interview questions

On interview you should not tell the raw truth because it could show you in negative light.
You should tell things which interviewer want to hear. And answers should not be a threat for an interviewer or for the company. But never lie.

Q: Tell me about yourself

A: Interviewer want to hear about your education, your experience and your soft skills. Good example: "I am web-developer who posses 5 years of experience in web-development. I have masters degree in Software Development. I am reliable and well organized."

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: Interviewer want to hear about your experience and your soft skills. Good example: "I am web-developer who posses 5 years of experience in web-development. I am reliable and well organized."

Q: What are your strengths?

A: Same answer as for "Why should we hire you?".

Q: What are your weaknesses?

A: You should prepare 2-3 your weaknesses and you should show how you are trying to handle them. For example: "It is hard for me to estimate large tasks so I split them into smaller ones for more accurate estimation". Or you may show a weakness which is not fully weakness. For example: "It is hard for me to say NO if coworker asks me for a help".

Q: What will your former boss or co-worker say about you?

A: Good example: "My boss would say that I am reliable, well-organized and careful to details".

Q: Describe yourself in 3 words?

A: Same answer as for "What will your former boss or co-worker say about you?".

Q: What does success mean to you?

A: Answer should not looks like a threat to an interviewer or for the company. Bad example: "I want to become a manager in this company". Good example: "I want to become a very valuable employee in your company and to become an integral part of the working team". Answer can be abstract. Good example: "When a task is completely done".

Q: Give me an example of your flexibility skills.

A: You should prepare 2-3 real-life examples. For example: "If boss asks to finish something before deadline - I always stay later or come in weekend to finish everything in time".

Q: Give me an example of your organizational skills.

A: You should prepare 2-3 real-life examples. For example: "I arrange my desk every day before I go home". Another example: "Before the end of the day I finish all low-priority tasks collected during the day". Another example: "On previous job I organize all information about the project in one place for easier sharing and maintaining it inside of the team".

Q: Give me an example of your ability to meet deadlines.

A: You should prepare 2-3 real-life examples. For example: "I always prioritize my tasks. After finishing the task - I reorder the tasks according to priority in the to-do list and move to the the next task in the list.". Another example: "I split large tasks into smaller ones during the estimation".

Q: Give me an example of your team-work skills.

A: You should prepare 2-3 real-life examples. For example: "I always help my co-workers by helping them and sometimes educate them if needed".

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Answer should not looks like a threat to an interviewer or for the company. Bad example: "I want to become a manager in this company". Good example: "I see myself as having more responsibilities in this company".

Q: How do you deal with conflict at work?

A: You should tell the story about the conflict situation (or miscommunication) and you should describe how you tried to solve it. If the person does not want to solve the conflict with you - you may go with it to your supervisor. You should go to the supervisor with the problem and with the solution. Another example: "I write down an answer to a person and not sending it immediately and re-read it the next day".

Q: What did you like most of your previous job?

A: Bad example: "I was well payed" or "I got free launch". Speak about people. Good example: "My boss and co-workers were very helpful and guided me thru the issues".

Q: What did you like least of your previous job?

A: Never say bad thing about the company or about people. The interviewer may think that you will say bad things about his company after your leave. You may said bad thing that are less important. For example: "Air conditioner makes air very dry". Another example: "My co-workers were very loud and I always should use headphones".

Q: If you could change something in your life - what could it be?

A: Bad example: "I would change my country or education". You may show that you are proud who you are. Answers may show some improvements in your life. An example: "I wish I could be less scared to make changes in my life". Another example: "I wish I could speak English better". Another example: "I wish I work smarter more often than work harder".

Q: What do you know about our company?

A: Do you homework before the interview.

Q: Why did you leave your last job?

A: Good example: I am starting to feel like I need some new challenges. This position really appeals to me because it would allow me to manage a bigger team and sell more innovative products.

Q: How Do You Keep Up with Your Industry?

A: Can be list of resources:

  • Websites
  • Books, magazines, publications
  • Webinars
  • Conferences
  • Monthly Meetups

Q: How do you handle stress?

A: It's a good idea to give examples of how you have handled stress to your interviewer. That way, they get a clear picture how well you can work in stressful situations.Good examples:

  • Stress is very important to me. With stress, I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive.
  • I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful.
  • I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
  • From a personal perspective, I manage stress by visiting the gym every evening. It's a great stress reducer.
  • Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when, has helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.
  • If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level, I discuss options for better handling difficult situations with them.
  • I find that when I'm under the pressure of a deadline, I can do some of my most creative work.
  • I'm not a person who has a difficult time with stress. When I'm under pressure, I focus, and get the job done.
  • I find it exhilarating to be in a dynamic environment where the pressure is on.
  • I find a past pace to be invigorating, and thrive when the pressure is on.
  • I've done some of my best work under tight deadlines, where the atmosphere was very stressful.
  • I'm the kind of person who stays calm under pressure, and handles stress fairly easily.

Q: Tell Me a Time When You Failed

I was managing a project for one of our biggest clients in my previous company, and I was so eager to please them that I told them we could finish the project within 2 weeks. I thought this was doable, but it ended up taking 3 weeks and they were not happy. Looking back, I realized I should have been more conservative in my estimate to the client. I realized that a client isn’t going to be upset if you’re clear about the timeline in advance, but they are going to be disappointed if you promise something and then don’t deliver. So I took this experience and used it to become much better at managing expectations of clients during projects I oversee. For example, on the next project with a different client, I told them it’d take 4 weeks and we finished in 3. They were very happy about this.

What team are you looking to work at?
How to convince other team members?
What other questions would you like me to ask?
What is the difference between Agile and Scrum?


Q: You have five bottles with pills. One bottle has 9 gram pills, the others have 10 gram pills. You have a scale that can only be used once. How can you find out which bottle contains the 9 gram pills?

A: Number the bottles 1-5. Collect a number of pills from each bottle corresponding to their bottle number. So, 1 pill from bottle 1, 2 from bottle 2, etc. If they all had 10 gram pills they should weigh 150 grams. The difference will be the number of the bottle the 9 gram pill came from. Example, bottle 3 has the 9 gram pills. Total weight read will be 147 grams. The difference of 3 is the bottle it came from.

Q: You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?

A: 3 flowers - 1 rose, 1 daisy and 1 tulip.

“Let’s play a game of Russian roulette. You are tied to your chair. Here’s a gun, a revolver.
Here’s the barrel of the gun, six chambers, all empty. Now watch me as I put two bullets into
the barrel, into two adjacent chambers. I close the barrel and spin it. I put a gun to your head
and pull the trigger. Click. Lucky you! Now I’m going to pull the trigger one more time. Which
would you prefer: that I spin the barrel first or that I just pull the trigger?

A man buys a horse for $60. He sells the horse for $70. He then buys the horse back for $80. And he sells the horse again for $90. How much profit did he make?

Sample Exit Statements

The recent reorganization of XYZ has afforded me the opportunity to explore new
options. With my record of improving profits, extending market penetration, developing new products and
managing significant cost containment, my objective is to locate a position as Senior Operating Executive
in an international publishing environment.

Downsized/Position Eliminated
As a result of XYZ’s decision to get out of the e-commerce business, the Software Development
department was eliminated along with my position as lead developer. Since there are many software development
companies doing similar kinds of work, I am looking for an organization that could benefit from my
software development expertise in e-commerce area.

Merger or Acquisition
When ABC Inc acquired XYZ Inc they were left with a number of duplicate
functions and positions. Because of these duplications, a number of positions have been eliminated,
including mine. I look forward to joining the management team of a new venture in e-commerce. I know that
many of them will value my 10 years of experience in the industry.

New Management
The new management team brought in by XYZ Inc made a number of changes here at the
New York site. As a result, my position was eliminated. So, I’m taking this opportunity to identify local
companies that might need someone with my background in software development.

Interview questions from candidate

  • How do you address technical dept?
  • How do you enforce code standards?
  • How is code review process going?
  • Can you describe the full process of creating new feature?

Salary negotiation

My salary expectation is dependent on multiple factors. Such as:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Pension (RRSP/401k) match contribution. (no contribution matching - extra 4k)
  • Vacation length?
  • Any yearly bonuses?
  • Any additional perks?
  • Any stock options?

My salary range expectation is: $100k-$115. (Where $100k is the salary which works fine for you.)

Do a system design of todo list

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