Interviews: How to answer (and ask) the BIG questions

by May 1, 2023

I’m pretty sure no one really like interviews all that much, but if you’ve done your research and prepared a few answers to the more difficult questions it’s a lot easier to head into an interview feeling confident and ready to succeed.

To help you on this confidence-building journey of interview prepping, below are some tips for tackling a few of the questions you might face in a standard interview.

How to answer:

“Tell me about a time when…”

Interviewers love asking questions that require you to give specific examples of instances where you’ve demonstrated a particular skill or ability required in the role you’re applying for. Which makes sense – not only do these questions get you to extrapolate on some of the skills you’ve likely listed in your resume, they also can provide insight into how you problem solve, work in a team, and more.

The slight downside to these questions is that they can be a little tricky to answer if you haven’t prepared beforehand, or have limited interview experience. Lucky for you, there’s a formula for answering these questions that can help! This formula is called the STAR method. Check out this TikTok below for an example of how to answer these types of questions using the STAR method:


This method works for any ‘tell me about a time when…’ interview question! ⭐ #starmethod #interviewanswers #interview #interviewtips #interviewquestions #interviewprep #careeradvice #careertips #careertiktok #corporatetiktok #fyp

♬ Strawberry – Prod. By Rose

“What is your greatest weakness?”

Ooft, the dreaded ‘weakness’ question! While this question has a bad rep, it’s actually not a super difficult one to answer if you think about it.


Easy question when you have you interview answer locked and loaded! @selfmademillennial ⬅️ Video with 3 steps. ? #jobsearch #jobinterview #jobinterviewtips #careertips #careeradvice #careercoach #business #careertiktok #businesstips #jobtips

♬ original sound – Madeline Mann

Employers asking this question want to know more about you, including your ability to self-reflect, analyse, and problem solve your own competencies. They’re not trying to trip you up or find a reason not to hire you – they want to gain a better understanding of where they can help you grow your skills, what areas you want to focus your professional development on, and how you would fit within their team.

When answering this question, think about what areas in your professional life you’d like to expand on that you haven’t had the chance to work on before. Like the TikTok above said, avoid mentioning weaknesses that are also key requirements of the role, and instead think of real skills or abilities you’d like to develop.

“What are your salary expectations for this role?”

This particular question might not come up often for you if you’re applying for an internship or graduate role, but if you’re moving up in your industry it’s not uncommon.

Depending on the ~vibe~ of the interviewer and the industry you’re looking to work in, there are a few answers you can give. Watch the TikTok below for some examples!


All three answers can hep you avoid asking for too little or too much. Which approach would you take? #howto #jobinterview #jobtips #script #careeradvice #money #salary Adapted from “How to Answer ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’” by Amy Gallo

♬ original sound – HBR Ascend

The main thing to do before an interview is research. Look into how much this type of role usually pays, how much you were being paid in your last role, and the size of the company you’re applying to work for. Once you get a solid grasp on these factors, it’s just a matter of being polite and diplomatic in your salary negotiations.

“What experience have you had doing X?”

This question is a pretty common and straightforward one, compared to some of the others. Employers are simply looking for you to talk about a time you showcased some of the capabilities they’re looking for.

Generally, you can answer this question using the same STAR method as above – in fact, we would encourage you to do so! The added complication comes in where the skill or ability they’re asking you about is one that you don’t have a huge amount of experience in. If this is the case, don’t stress too hard about it. Oftentimes, particularly in more entry-level roles, an employer won’t be expecting you to tick every single box. And, if they like you enough, they may even be able to provide training in that particular skill so you can gain that experience.

If that still doesn’t reassure you, do some research on the skills you don’t have much experience in before the interview. That way, if they do ask you to talk about your experience using those skills you can focus on your willingness to learn, your interest in the skill, and your understanding of what the skill entails, rather than your lack of experience.

And don’t forget: even if you don’t have professional experience utlising a certain skill, your involvement in extracurricular activities, sports, hobbies, or clubs and societies may have given you some experience outside of the workplace. So don’t discount yourself too quickly!

What to ask at the end of an interview:

Thinking of what to ask after you’ve just had a stressful interview can be a bit tricky if you haven’t prepared questions beforehand. So, you know, make sure you prepare questions beforehand! Look over the company’s website, social media, and the job ad (at the very least) and think of what sort of details you’d like to know if you were going to start at the company tomorrow that may be hard to intuit just from their online presence.

Things like: What the main challenges of the role are? Why do the interviewers enjoy working at the company? What would success in the role look like? Etc. Check out the TikToks below for further examples!


We recommend sitting upright in your chair while asking these questions. #jobtips #interviewtips #careeradvice

♬ Storytelling – Adriel


you should ALWAYS interview your potential future manager back—this gives you insight on if your working styles will align! #careertok #techtok #recruitingtips #interviewtips #interviewquestions

♬ original sound – Alex | Career Queen


Featured image courtesy of Pexels


By Mia Casey

By Mia Casey

Communications Officer

Mia is a Sydney-based communications professional and content creator for UTS Careers. She helped create the UTS Careers Blog and managed it for five years from its conception in 2016.
Her freelance work focuses on communications development, brand strategy, and helping companies create a cohesive identity narrative tailored for each of their platforms.
She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.