Facing the interview board is not a rocket science. Most common interview questions and answers follow certain rules and you easily can crack them if you prepare a simple strategy beforehand and act upon it. You only get a single chance to prove your case and its like taking a driving test once again.
Here, I have laid down basic interview questions and answers that I hope can sail anyone across to the next level. Please remember that, this article is not industry specific. A broader kind of approach just to make sure job seeker like you do not stumble through the process as if volley of fiery questions are coming from left and right. Study the list that I have prepared here from my personal experience. Over the last 12-15 years I have been to countless interviews. I remember, when I was just out of college, fresh, without experience and desperate for a job in a slump market condition, I used to attend 10-15 interviews a week. I can say I learned the trick hard way. One thing I have realized, whether its UK or US or eastern European countries or probably Asia, kinds questions hardly change. It seems like interviewers from across the world are looking for similar human traits to hire the right candidate. The questions are also almost the same, off course you’ll have to tweak them according to your own preference and experience and education.
Remember, being interviewed is a skill that you have to learn to elbow out other candidates from the fray, and you have to learn how to answer. So plan your series of answers way ahead of the big day and trust in yourself that you are ready to deliver them with confidence and ease.
- Tell me something about yourself
This is probably the mostly asked interview question of all time. “Tell me about yourself” is the gateway to just about anything that you want to share with the interviewer. However, remember, do not go overboard by the friendly interviewer’s gestures. It could be misleading. Be yourself, prepare what exactly you want to tell them about yourself. Be short; do not go on and on. There are some who may ask you to share something, which you have not mentioned in your CV or bio-data. Again, there are some, who go by the copybook style and expect you to share your career’s summary in not so creative way. I would suggest if its an advertising agency or gaming company, you can be experimental, but if it’s a call center or accounting job, where the job profile is strict and non-creative, be your honest best and don’t be much creative. Or at all creative. In call center, if they ask you what are your hobbies, straightway tell them with a straight face, watching TV and listening to music. Believe me you wont get any extra point, for example, if you tell them, you are creative, you have flairy hand, you were hot favorite in college amongst boys as they used to ask you to write love letters for their dream girls.
On a lazy and free weekend morning I appeared for a call center walk in, just to kill time. The lady HR asked me what’s your favorite book. I thought of creating some dynamism in the air. As soon as she finished her question, I queerly started looking up at one corner of the room, blankly for 15-20 seconds, and then hissed at her, Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon. I will never forget the facial expression I got in return from the lady and two of her accomplices.
No prize for guessing, they never dared to call me back!!!
2. Why should I hire you
This is also a very common job interview question. Here, if you know the scope of the job, that is job description, you can play with the answer. Yes, you have been called here at the first place, because you suit the role. Tell them how you fit the role, how you can accomplish the job objectives with your experience and education. You can mention your past experiences and what similar additional responsibilities you have undertaken. How you will really excel at the position if given an opportunity.
- Why do you want to work here (What do you know about the company)
Here, what the interview actually wants to hear, whether you are aware of the company, that you have given some thought about it and not appeared in the interview just like that. It also means are you are serious about the role and you perceive the company as one of the desired ones. A place, where you want to work and learn. You are aware of the services/products that they deal with and you see your future is secured with them.
- What are your goals (How do you see yourselves in five year down the line)
I would suggest instead of long-term goals its better to share short-term goals and inspirations. Uttering of long term goals may put you in a close bracket, from where you may later find it difficult to come out. Mention what your strength areas are and how you can grow with it and bring more value to the organization and see you taking more responsibilities in the said and similar areas. You can tell them you can see yourself as a top performer in the organization. Tell them you are also open to learn new skills.
- Why did you leave your last job
It’s a tricky one. If you are fired or sacked from your earlier company you may tell them how the incident can prove as blessing in disguise and how you have an opportunity now to consider jobs that will better suit your experience. There is no pint in lying, because HR will anyway find everything out. It may also happen that the job areas were not in line with your competencies and you think here it would be a good fit.
If you have left on your own then you need to examine the scenario and come out with answers like, the position was not challenging, you got bored, the industry is not happening, there was not room for growth or you were looking for a bigger challenge and it was not happening or may be you are relocating or they have asked you to relocate which was not possible with you for whatever circumstances. You may also check out these reasons here
- Are you a team player
Yes, you are a team player. Irrespective of the fact whether you are or not, you are certainly not going to tell that you are not. Be sure to have few examples ready where you have selflessly helped a team to achieve its goal. Your team attitude reflects to the fact that you have often performed for the good of the team rather than for yourself. Remember, do not brag on this one, just be normal and speak it in a matter of fact.
- Will you relocate if needed to a different city or country
Be honest here. If you do not want to be relocated, state. I know many a persons who would not move their city come what offer hit them. It’s not an issue for candidates who come all the way from interiors to big cities for a job. There may be family compulsions, fear of adjusting to the new place etc etc. Do not lie at the interview board to just please the interviewers. If your answer is no say a firm ‘no.’ By lying you are not only cheating another deserving candidate from his or her job, but also creating a lot of problems for yourself also. Be honest to avoid future trouble.
- What are your strengths
Be positive here. Some good examples would be, how you prioritize your work, your problem solving skills, ability to work under pressure and deliver within deadline, professional expertise, positive attitude etc.
- What are your weaknesses
- What can you do for us
- What is the most important thing to you in a job
- What salary you are expecting
- Have you done anything to further your experience
- Do you have any question for us
To be contd…