Interview questions for Technologist

We analyzed 165 interview reviews for Technologist from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

10 frequent non-technical questions for Technologist:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tell me about yourself
What is your greatest weakness?
Tell me about the most fun job you ever had
Tell me about a successful project you were involved in. What was your role? What was the result?
Why did you choose your major?
What were your responsibilities in your last job?
What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?
What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
What can you do better than the other candidates?

According to our research, hiring managers looking to fill Technologist role ask soft skills interview questions 37% more frequently than for other roles:

Technologist interview question statistics

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?top question

How to answer

This question belongs to a family of behavioral, or even more precisely, reflective questions.

The interviewer wants to see whether you are reflective about yourself, whether you are ambitious and strive to grow as a professional, whether you like to learn and develop your skills.

They are also looking for your ambitions to fit the career path opportunities related to the position you are applying for.

  1. About Yourself

    Presumably, you are interested to grow professionally.

    Think about the possibilities that may lie ahead for you: take a personality test (I recommend 16Personalities which is based on Myers-Briggs test), research the internet on what career paths are possible with your skills and current job.

    What challenges do you like overcoming?

    For example, if you are applying for a software tester position, you may find it fascinating to master automated testing in full and eventually become a software engineer, or you may be a natural trainer and love coaching other people which may lead you to become a QA team or department lead, or you may be more interested in understanding business aspects of requirements which may logically lead you into a Business Analyst position.

    However, if you are happy just where you are and want to further your current skills, that is also fine as long as there is a growth path for you that can be imagined and described.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn what career opportunities may be available in the department you are applying to, and what the trends are in the company in general.

    • Is the business expanding, are they opening new locations, or starting new projects?
    • Or are they heavily automating and cutting staff?

    Let’s say you are applying for a UX designer position for a brand-new product.

    In the future, if the product becomes a success - which is what the company hopes for - the company will hire more designers and you may become a lead designer, or you may become a product manager.

    On a side note: If you train your mind to be open to opportunities you will be amazed at how much this world has to offer to you!

  3. About The Fit

    And, of course, try to see where the perfect fit lies between your own potential and aspirations, and the company’s trends and hopes.

    However, beware of the risk of showing too much excitement for future opportunities compared to your attitude towards the current position.

    If you aren’t really excited about the position you are applying for and you demonstrate this lack of enthusiasm, the interviewer may conclude that you are not a good fit for the current position.

    Try to find a source of excitement in the current position as well, otherwise, you may be doing yourself a disservice by applying to a position you will find boring in 2-3 months.

Pro Tip

This question gives you a good opportunity to showcase your Key Selling Points (e.g. “As I am very good at delegating tasks, I can easily see myself leading a team of software testers in the future…”), and end your statement by asking about current initiatives and goals at the company.

It is generally NOT a good idea to say something like:

“Oh, I cannot imagine what happens to me tomorrow, let alone in 5 years”.

This will show you as a person who is unimaginative and not forward-thinking enough to grow with and be a good fit for the company.

You can practice answering over 150 common job interview questions by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon.

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2. Tell me about yourself

How to answer

This question may sound vague, but it actually requires a matter of fact, concise and relevant answer. Here’s how you can approach it.

  1. About Yourself

    What is your current occupation? Define yourself professionally in one statement.

    Pick 3 key skills that make you great at your work (your Key Selling Points). How have you applied these skills?

    Try to give some numbers to support your statement.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company.

    Based on what you know about the company and the job description, why are you interested in the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit

    • Based on your Key Selling Points and your knowledge about the company, why do you think you are a good fit for this position?
    • Can you support your statement with relevant examples from your past experiences?

    Try to be concise and stay within 1-2 minutes.

Pro Tip

You can also end with a question like:

Do you know what the current needs in the company/department are, where my skills and experience can help?"

That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the "interrogation" into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

Read our blog post to learn more about how to answer this question.

3. What is your greatest weakness?

How to answer

This question ranks as the most challenging for many people. Fortunately, Mr. Simon is here to help!

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, your honesty and openness, and your capability for self-improvement.

  1. About Yourself

    No one is perfect and your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

    While it is good to be honest and open, it will not help you to put yourself down.

    What's important is to find a weakness that you have overcome or something that is not related to the position for which you are applying.

    For example, one of our clients admitted that he is not very good at public speaking and that he has recently become a member of Toastmasters International to improve. What a respectful answer and approach, in my view!

  2. About The Company

    Research the company (website, social media, etc) to learn about the company culture.

    What personal and professional qualities do they value?

  3. About The Fit

    It is important that the weakness you decide to talk about is not one that will prevent you from performing the job for which you're applying.

    For example, if you're applying for a front-end developer position, do not talk about how you are struggling to understand HTML code.

Pro Tip

Use this question to sell yourself!

It's important to show how well you've overcome a weakness by motivating yourself and learning a new skill to grow professionally.

4. Tell me about the most fun job you ever had

How to answer

This question lets an interviewer gauge whether the job you are applying for corresponds with your areas of excitement, passion, and enthusiasm.

It provides a telling glimpse into the commitment of you as a potential employee.

Interviewers ask this kind of question to understand how well you work with others and what qualities (such as collaboration and teamwork) help you to stand out from the other candidates.

They want to see evidence of strengths and soft skills you might not have included in your resume or application, that will help you do well on the job.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember a time when you worked with special pleasure and felt most comfortable and determined.

    • What kind of work was it?
    • What made it interesting for you?
    • What emotions did you have working on it?
    • How did it help you on a personal level?
    • Who did you participate with? Were you satisfied with your team?
    • Did you learn something new from the experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and the job description. What duties will you be taking on?

    Try to find out what challenges you will face there and what they value in their employees.

  3. About The Fit

    When you are asked this question, you need to be focused.

    Keep the answer short and professional.

    Use the opportunity to talk about an instance of accomplishment, highlighting enjoyment derived from working with coworkers from a past project or job.

    An expression of enjoying collaborative work or meeting new people often clues hiring managers into your abilities to adapt well in team-oriented or customer-centric environments.

    Focus on aspects of learning and growing as an individual and working with a group of professionals on the job to impress hiring managers and demonstrate a fun yet serious attitude toward work.

    Discuss a successful project you enjoyed completing, or a seminar you attended that offered different learning activities and interactive presentations.

    Using the STAR method, relate specific experiences from a specific job, and if possible, tie it into the new position.

Pro Tip

Don’t hesitate to include emotions to your answer –you should show both enthusiasm and passion!

5. Tell me about a successful project you were involved in. What was your role? What was the result?

How to answer

In the modern business environment, work is often organized in the form of projects. This allows companies to plan objectives and milestones in order to reach their goals, to monitor progress and performance, to clearly define deliverables and success.

With this question, the interviewer gauges whether you have the right mindset for a project-oriented work style.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember a few projects you have been involved in. Depending on your work experience and career level, these may range from small projects like organizing a party to large-scale multinational projects with participants and teams across the globe, million-dollar budgets and high risk and reward stakes.

    For each project you participated in, write down the following:

    1. project name
    2. its reason and goal
    3. your role in it
    4. the duration of the project or its phases (in case only some phases were successful)
    5. the approximate number of people or stakeholders involved in it.

    • What were the top 3 challenges?
    • What was the end result?
    • How did the company (or other stakeholders) benefit from the results?
    • How can you define your contribution in 3-5 key phrases? If you received any praise for your efforts from your boss, peers or clients, what did they say exactly?
  2. About The Company

    Based on the research you did on the company, what kinds of projects can you expect here?

    • What do you know about the goals they are trying to achieve?
    • What do you know about their current challenges?
    • Can you imagine what success will look like for the projects in this company?
  3. About The Fit

    Which of your examples fits best with the projects you may expect at this company?

    Practice telling your story, use the STAR method.

Pro Tip

End your answer by asking the interviewer how they define success for the role you are applying for.

This will provide you with an insight into the company environment and expectations for this role, as well as will help transform the “interrogation” into a conversation, which will give you a break to pull your wits together for further interview.

6. Why did you choose your major?

How to answer

Everyone has his/her reasons to pick a major.

There are hundreds and hundreds of careers to choose from and most people pick a major that will give them a background in the career they want to pursue.

When you come to a job interview you will be definitely asked this question.

The interviewers are seeking to understand your underlying motivations for selecting this career.

It is also a good question for them to learn how much planning and thought actually went into your career selection. It is a window into your personality and interests.

  1. About Yourself

    This is your chance to highlight your strengths and how your major prepared you for your future plans.

    Your answer to this question should reflect your passion and interest in the field you chose. Be genuine.

    There’s every reason to display your passions and interest in your major. They will give interviewers a sense of who you really are.

    Think about who or what influenced your career choice and include the positive influences, not the negative ones.

    • How does this tie into your major?
    • How will you bring your passion and unique knowledge to the new company?

    Emphasize your strong people skills and excellent communication skills, allowing you to connect with others.

    Think of the skills and experiences you gained through your major, think back to assignments and projects from your studies, internships and previous jobs. Consider the skills you developed working on those projects.

  2. About The Company

    Write down a list of skills and experiences you gained through your major studies.

    Then, look at the job listing itself.

    Match up any of your skills and experiences that relate to the requirements of the job. How can you apply them to your new position, as well as the future?

  3. About The Fit

    Use this question as an opportunity to mention a few skills related to your chosen major that would also be relevant in the workplace.

    Point to a good culture fit.

    Be positive, showing your enthusiasm. Let them know you're excited to be where you are.

    Discuss what you enjoy about the industry you’re considering and why you could see yourself working in it. Even if your major is not directly related to the job, you can likely find connections between the two.

    This is also a chance to explain other ways you have developed skills that will fulfill the role you're applying for.

    For example, perhaps you were a biology major who is applying for a job in computer programming. You might explain that you took a number of online and extracurricular classes on programming to develop the skills needed for the job.

Pro Tip

Let your past decisions and accomplishments shine through. Once you nail your interview, you'll be on your way to a successful career path.

7. What were your responsibilities in your last job?

How to answer

This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that you have experience or knowledge suitable for the job you are applying for.

Even if you have never done exactly this specific kind of job, usually you should be able to name a few “transferable” skills that you used in your previous work assignments that are quite easily applicable to the position you are applying for.

  1. About Yourself

    Remember your last (or current) job and compile a list of things you had to do while working there.

    If you don’t know where to start, picture your typical working day at one of your previous jobs, or college day if you are applying for your first job ever.

    Describe the categories of tasks in bullet points. Then, try to remember the less ordinary tasks you had to do as well, and add them to the list.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company and the job description.

    • What do you expect to be doing in this job?
    • How would your performance be measured?

    List a few items in bullet points.

  3. About The Fit

    Choose a few task categories that seem like a match between your experience and the requirements of the current position. Think of a couple of relevant examples to illustrate your experience.

    Craft your stories using the STAR method.

Pro Tip

Optionally, you can end with a question like “Does this correspond with the expectations for this role? Could you give me an example of what is expected from a successful candidate within the first, say, 3 months?"

That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the "interrogation" into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

8. What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?

How to answer

It’s important to know how to answer a job interview question about mistakes.

They ask questions like this to learn how you handle challenges.
They also want to determine your weaknesses, and decide if you have what it takes to do the job well.

It’s a chance for the interviewer to see that you can learn from your mistakes and use the experience to get better.

  1. About Yourself

    Do your best to tell a positive story about how the mistake was made, how you dealt with it and what learned from it.

    We all make mistakes from time-to-time. Answering some of the following questions will help you understand your own view of dealing with mistakes and their consequences.

    For instance:

    • How do you use a mistake to improve your abilities?
    • Are you self-aware enough to acknowledge failure and weakness?
    • Do you take smart risks?
    • How do you view success, failure, and risk in general?
    • Do you take responsibility for past mistakes instead of putting the blame on others?
    • If the situation repeats, what would you do differently? What would you do again?
  2. About The Company

    Before the interview, look over the job listing, research the company.

    Try to think of a mistake you have made in the past that is not too closely related to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for. What kind of challenges might you face if you get the job here?

  3. About The Fit

    It’s your opportunity to emphasize the skills or qualities you gained from your past negative experience that are important for the job you’re interviewing for now.

    Put a positive spin on your response by defining the “mistake” as a “learning experience” that led to your increased competency in the workplace.

    Talk about a specific example of a time you made a mistake. Briefly explain what the mistake was; quickly switch over to what you learned, or how you improved, after making that mistake.

    You might also explain the steps you took to make sure that mistake never happened again. Say that something you may have struggled with in the past has actually now become one of your strengths.

    Pick a story that ends with a compelling example of a lesson learned. Tell your story using the STAR method.

Pro Tip

Make absolutely sure that the interviewer understands that you learned from the experience.

Never blame others for what you did (however, if you were part of a team failure, you could relate this experience, just be sure to own up to your part in it).

Always be accountable for what you could have done differently in the failure. Demonstrate that you’ve had the maturity to benefit from previous “lessons learned” and you can move on with increased wisdom and competency.

9. What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?

How to answer

In the workplace, it is not always possible to agree with everyone since we are all human beings and have our own unique thought processes.

This question helps to find out how you handle situations of conflict and disagreement with other people at work and whether the disagreement is controlled or acrimonious. The interviewers will also note whether your response shows that you will fight, give in, or seek proactive resolution.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of the times you had to deal with disagreement with your co-workers.

    • What were the different ways you were able to address the situation?
    • Did you try to look at the matter at hand from the other person's perspective or did you always stick with your own viewpoint?
    • What were the key lessons you learned through your experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • How do they deal with conflict resolution?
    • How do the employees value each other?
    • Do they have any specific standards and policies?
  3. About The Fit

    Your response should show that you are reasonable and thoughtful, always trying to keep the situation under control, avoid disputes if you feel that dialogue may become aggressive.

    Tell the interviewer that if you disagree with someone, you

    • always focus on facts
    • listen to the points they are presenting
    • never attack his or her ideas and beliefs, because that's not at all helpful or productive
    • recognize the good.

    These statements will help you to highlight your skills like listening, communication and emotional intelligence.

    Give examples from your own experiences of how you used politeness and adaptability.

    Phrases such as “What you are saying may be correct, but I do not think it is applicable in this situation,” “I think ABC is a better solution. What do you think?” Or “Can we try out this option instead?” show how you master potential conflict situations.

Pro Tip

Emphasize that you look at professional differences of opinion as a positive thing.

Remember that even though it is important to put your views forward, it is also important to understand what the other person’s views are.

Explain that your goal is not to win but to clear the air in any disagreement at work for the benefit of the company.

10. What can you do better than the other candidates?

How to answer

This question is another variation of the question “Why should we pick you instead of someone else?”

The interviewers want to know not only about your skills and experience, but who you are as a candidate and as a person.

They are testing your confidence, problem-solving skills and the ability to think on your feet. It is also a way to check how you can differentiate yourself from others and if you can convince the interviewer to hire you.

  1. About Yourself

    Think hard about how you can differentiate yourself from others. What makes you special?

    It is an opportunity to highlight your strengths and Key Selling Points to the potential employer.

    Just be sure when you do so, you don't imply that you are better than everyone around you.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company. Go through the company's website, glance through the career section and check the qualities that they are seeking in the potential candidates. Do your qualities match those required by the company?

    A job description will give you a good handle on what kind of employee a company is looking for. You can tailor your answer based on how your strengths align with the type of employee they want to hire.

  3. About The Fit

    Give a specific example of how your education or skills directly match the job description and make you an asset.

    To show that you will fit company’s culture, your answer can be started with something like:

    “Although I cannot compare myself to any other specific candidates since I do not know their qualifications for this position, I can speak to my own skills and abilities which include…”

    At this point, you can throw in something which separates you from the other candidates, and that highlights your additional abilities.

    Skills that are specific to you, that can be mentioned together and are relevant for the position.

    For example, you speak several languages and have a great sense of humor; you are a great communicator and technically minded; you are great with numbers and a perfect team player, etc.

    This will definitely be bright and remarkable. Conclude by saying that you feel confident that you will be able to fulfill the necessary job requirements thanks to your experience, expertise, previous successes, your ability to learn quickly - whatever the reasoning is, just be completely honest and enthusiastic.

Pro Tip

Remain positive and avoid answers that make you look arrogant, overconfident, difficult to get along with, or otherwise overly critical.

Focus on what you can do, not what others can’t.

Your enthusiasm, confidence and body language will speak volumes. Look directly into the interviewer’s eyes, smile and speak clearly.


This page has been updated on August 17, 2020.

You can practice answering this question, as well as over 160 other common job interview questions for Technologist by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon. As an artificial being, his undeniable benefits include:

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