A job interview can really be taxing for a job seeker. Although you might spend hours and hours preparing for it, you never know what question would be thrown your way and catch you off-guard. The better way is to be prepared and field every question with confidence. Here’s a list of some really common interview questions and answers you can refer to and be prepared.
- Tell me about yourself
This is a favorite question of the recruiters and this is definitely not your chance
of delving into a flashback of your personal life and how that foreign language
class was all that you wanted to take, but couldn’t. This is your chance to sell
yourself, the elevator pitch. Keep your answer within a minute and cover all your
skills, professional achievements and academic background.
- Why does this role interest you?
Here, you need to show how much you want this job. Enthusiasm is key. You
need to connect the high points of the job profile and stress on how excited you are to be doing the so and so tasks. You need to demonstrate your willingness.
- Why our company?
This is a question just to check how much research you have done on the
company itself. You need to show you’re a part of the bigger picture and your
perspective aligns with the company. You need to make the recruiter believe that you’re joining them for good.
- Why are you quitting your current job?
What this actually means is, why do you want to change your workplace? But it’s
phrased in the above way, confusing the early on job seekers. You should remember not to speak about your current company or your boss badly because it has high chances of backfiring. Don’t take this chance to rant about how much you’re dissatisfied, but take the chance to explain how this interview and this opportunity is right for you.
- Why have you changed so many jobs?
Hiring managers tend to break a sweat when they get candidates who have changed jobs pretty often. It’s a big decision to hire someone and involves the company’s money and time. Hence, they are skeptical about hiring someone who is fickle minded about their job choices. You need to give relevant reasons for changing over companies, during the course of time. Once they hear the reasons, they are relatively at ease.
- What are your strengths?
This is a very common question, and practically every HR asks them nowadays. This question’s answer should emphasize your work experience and how it aligns with the company’s mission, and also your long-term career goals. You can’t mention a basketball player or a dessert chef as your strength—however good you may be at it. You need to jot down your professional strengths using examples, like for instance, handling the team when it has disparities and getting them to arrive at one decision, seems much better than saying you’re a team player.
- What are your weaknesses?
Now, you might think how can you reveal your weakness, give yourself away and lose major brownie points for it. You need to be smart about this. You need not literally share what you actually believe is your weakness (unless you decide honesty is the best policy, and you’re improving on it), but something that is light and not very serious, and revolving around your job profile. For instance, I can be too diplomatic to people whom I manage, I can be a little too ambitious with allotting work to subordinates, etc.
- What’s your greatest achievement?
Now, again this talks about professional achievement. Seeing these statistics may help the recruiter focus on how you will benefit the company he will hire you into. Make sure you have 1-2 pointers about your achievements with numbers to support them. While it’s advised to not go very deep into it, but be thorough about what you’re saying.
- What about the time you disagreed or had a spat with a colleague? How did you handle?
This is you being thrown into a situation. It might not have happened to you, but using a hypothetical situation, they test your thought process and maturity regarding handling the situation, and the willingness to work together even if you’re at loggerheads with that person. Your response to this question will give away a lot of information about yourself, so be prudent enough and design a good response (and of course, act on it when the time comes).
- Can you deal with pressure/stress?
Obviously, for achieving that job, you might even say yes. But introspect well, and answer. The hiring manager checks if you have the competence and willingness to handle a high-pressure job or tough and stressful situations (maybe because the job profile requires someone like that). If yes, then convince them by saying you applied to this job knowing what it incurs. Being honest is very important here. Remember, this will just give you a heads-up about what is going to be asked (high chances, at least). If you prepare the above questions, it is going to boost your confidence and you’ll sound like you are sure about yourself in the job interview!