A job interview can really be taxing for a job seeker. Even though you might spend hours and hours preparing for it, a lot of it plays upon luck! The key is to be prepared and face every question with confidence. Here’s a list of 12 basic interview questions and answers you can prepare and ace any interview!
1. Tell me about yourself
As a candidate who goes for an interview, you need to know that the most common question ever asked would be the ‘tell-me-about-yourself’ one. It’s a quick way for the interviewer to understand what value you bring to the table based on the summary of yourself. This is your chance to sell yourself - think elevator pitch. Keep your answer only a minute long and cover all your skills, professional achievements and academic background.
2. Why does this role interest you?
Here, you need to show how much you want this job and about how this role is aligned with your values and future career path. This also shows how you wish to grow. Show enthusiasm and willingness while answering this question.
3. Why this company?
This is a question that mostly checks your research on the company. Read up on news articles, press releases and the company’s website very well. You need to show that you’re truly interested in the company’s activities and your perspective aligns with the company.
4. Why are you quitting your current job?
Remember, honesty is the best policy. You should remember not to speak about your current company or your boss badly because it may give off a negative impression about you. Take the chance to explain how this interview and this opportunity is right for you, and refrain from pointing out faults of your current or previous job.
5. Why have you changed so many jobs?
Hiring managers tend to break a sweat when they get candidates who have changed jobs. They are usually sceptical about hiring candidates who are unsure or confused about their job choices. Give relevant reasons for each of the job changes and the hiring managers will surely understand.
6. What are your strengths?
This is a very common question, and every HR asks them to learn more about you. This answer should stress on your work experience, how it aligns with the company’s mission and your long-term career goals. Support your professional strengths with examples. The interviewer is checking whether you have an understanding of what value you’re bringing to their organization.
7. What are your weaknesses?
You should not 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. The secret is to be positive while sounding negative. For instance, I can be too diplomatic with people in my team, points that the person cares for teammates and wants to work on becoming more assertive.
8. What is your greatest achievement?
This answer may help the recruiter focus on how you will benefit their company. Make sure you have 1-2 pointers about your professional achievements with data to support. While it’s advised to not go very deep into it, make sure you are thorough about what you’re saying.
9. How did you handle a time when you disagreed with a colleague?
This may not have happened to you, but the interviewer is testing your thought process and maturity regarding such a situation and the power of resolving that situation. Your response to this question will give away a lot of information about yourself, so be prudent enough and design a good response. Make sure that you include the process of resolution that you adapted and the lessons you learnt.
10. Can you deal with pressure or stress?
Prepare well for this answer. Do not say yes for the sake of it. The hiring manager is checking if you have the competence and willingness to handle a high-pressure job or tough and stressful situations (also maybe because the job profile requires someone like that). Being honest is very important here.
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This answer needs contemplation and serious thought. Therefore, this definitely needs to be written down beforehand. The interviewer wants to see how ambitious and at the same time, how practical you are. You need to stress the fact that this job is a long-term goal for you and you’ll stick and perform to the best of abilities.
12. What are your salary expectations?
This is a great way to filter out candidates first itself. Don’t answer the question in haste. Take some time and evaluate your role and think about how much you deserve. Emphasise on your value addition in a better way.
Remember, this will just give you a heads-up about what is to be asked! If you prepare for the above questions, it is sure to boost your confidence and will surely help you ace the interview. All the very best!