Job Interview Questions and their Answers which are Common and Asked by Employers
So what do you do when you get an interview call? You search and read up all about the company and job, but get asked such a basic job interview questions that you end up losing all momentum? A job interview can be really stressful if one is not prepared. While noone can predict the questions that you will be asked for sure, we have prepared some of the most basic interview questions. Its important to not memorize the answers, but rather focus on the key points that you plan to mention in relation to every question. Below are some of the most common interview questions and their responses:
1) Tell me about yourself
A timeless classic, this question can really stumble you. Its so simple yet tricky, so novice yet complicated, a true soul baring question. Be prepared to tell why you are the perfect fit for the job. Dont give too much or too little about yourself. You can start of with: “Hi, I am (Name) from (City), (Country) . I did my masters from (University) in (Year) in the field of (Major). I have (number of family members), and I am the youngest/eldest or number of sublings”.
Then include a little about your hobbies and end with your current work experience.
You can always write this answer beforehand and read it out aloud to see what it feels like. Also, remember if you mention anything off or different you could be asked to elaborate it so skip fabricating anything.
2) What do you know about the company commonly ask Job Interview Questions
Very likely this will be the next question that you are asked. The employer doesnt want you to simply read out loud what you know about the company. But rather wants to understand if you are in sync with their mission and objectives. Be aware of what the company stands for, its products, its services, its achievements and its environmental standing too.
Example: “Your company has been the forerunner in the textile industry since the past 3 decades with up to date, state of the art technology to minimize wastage and maintain quality. You have 300+ plus employees at 3 locations, including 2 factories. Your company is generally considered one of the best in terms of employee retention and satisfaction. I understand that your company’s goal is to reach the fortune 500 companies and I can see that the goal its not far off now”.
Your answer to this question will be the stepping stone for the next question so be prepared. Again you can write this out in advance.
3) Why should we hire you
If you truly know what the company stands for, then you can very well adjust your position in it as well. This question is the best chance you will get to pitch yourself as the perfect candidate for the job in a job interview. State how you will be able to fulfil the job requirements and do them better than everyone else. Add in how this job will help you advance in your career goals too.
The biggest dont about this question is dont beg. Dont tell how you are desperate for a job or are unemployed. Those statements will earn you sympathy but not the job, so keep it professional and smart.
“I always wanted to work for a big organization and you guys are the leaders of the industry with great potential and growth. I am very interested in the upgrades that you are planning to undertake, especially the implementation of SAP. That will help me polish my skills further and impart my existing knowledge to my colleagues.”
If you are a fresher:
“The internships that I have done have paved my way for a full career in an organization like yours. I have always been a team player and will excel as a great player in the future as well.”
4) Why are you looking to leave your current job
If you are already employed elsewhere then this switch to bound to come up. No matter what the situation, never bad mouth your boss or work. Lets repeat, Never. Even if your previous work place is known for bad practices, dont participate in further fueling it. Keep your answer diplomatic and to the point. Some element of honesty is always welcomed, for example if you are not finding sufficient growth then you can always state: “I am keen on more leadership opportunities. The past 3 years have been great but in order to take the next step in my career, I need to explore new possibilities and enhance my skills further by undertaking more challenging tasks.”
5) What are your strengths
When you are being asked this question in a job interview, the interviewer needs to know the strengths that you actually possess and not the ones that you think he wants to hear. Be accurate and be relevant. Talk about the strengths that you feel will help you with this job. If its a sales job then communication and peoples skills are the most important, for a desk based job focus and resilience will do wonders. Always follow with how you have used these skills professionally.
“I have always been a problem solver and tend to figure out multiple solutions of a problem, while keeping in mind any constraints and limitations. I also tend to be very focused on the answer and the ways to go about achieving it and I am also dead line oriented and will push myself to ensure that they are achieved.”
6) What are your weaknesses
When an interviewer asks this question, they are basically looking to get an insight about how self aware you are. If you haven’t done it yet, do a honest self evaluation and figure out what your actual weaknesses are and how you have managed to overcome that in the past. When answering the question remember to point out the weakness and then mention the ways in which you have managed to over come that. Also, mention any remedial actions that you have taken. This way you can end the question on a positive note.
“I have often observed that I tend to be too harsh on myself. In the attempt to push myself further and excel more, I wasnt giving myself enough credit. So now I always take a moment to celebrate my achievements. This has given me the boost and motivation that I needed plus this helps me understand and celebrate the achievements of my teammates too. It has also done wonders for my self esteem and confidence.”
7) Where do you see yourself in 5 years
In a job interview, If you are desperate for a job, you will likely be confused the objective of this question. However, the answers shares a great deal about you with the interviewer. It helps them judge if you have set any realistic goals for yourself and if this position helps you in achieving them. Saying that you want to see yourself leading this company, or at the top with a huge salary is not the best way to tackle this question. Focus on where this position will actually take you in the next 2 years and then build from there.
“I am excited to take on this post, and polish my skills to help the company in achieving its long term goals. My objective is to emerge as a key player in this industry and utilize the responsibilities and achievements on this position in helping me achieve that.”
8) What is your expected salary
Undermine yourself and you display a lack of confidence in your own skills. Over state the salary required and you will likely be seen as an all talk person. Luckily, you can find the average salary for that post from Payscale.com, Indeed salaries and Glassdoor.com. Take into consideration any inflation, governmental and taxation factors pertaining to the country you are applying in. After giving a range pass on the message that you are flexible in your expectations. This shows that you know the worth of your skills and are willing to negotiate because you want this job.
9) Tell me about a challenge that you were able to overcome
There are many ways this question can be asked. The motive behind this question is to check the candidates conflict solving ability and interpersonal skills. Design the answer using the STAR technique:
Situation/Task: Describe the conflict that you needed to deal with
Action: What action did you take to solve it?
Results/Reaction: What happened as a result of your remedial actions? What would have happened if you hadnt solved it?
“Our year end audit was coming to a close. My boss was supposed to go to Switzerland to sort out a problem with a very important client. The audit partners were not collaborating and were mostly at conflict on insignificant issues. I decided that the best bet is to sort out their issues first so that we wouldnt miss our deadlines. I took them out for tea at the new opened cafe. They were reluctant to come but agreed. There we discuss the issues that they were facing and I emphasized to them how this conflict is making our company suffer. By the end of the day they were friends and agreed to provide the final report within 2 days. Just in time for my boss to happily review and sign it off.”
10) Do you have any questions another commonly ask question in a Job Interview
After being grueled during the interview, this is your chance to cover anything that hasnt been asked already. Take this chance to show the interviewer that you are excited about the position. Some areas that you can still cover include: “what are the chances typically faced by people in this position?”, “what measures are in place for performance evaluation? And if hired, when will be my first review?”, “what are the company goals for the next few years?”, “what are the biggest challenges/opportunities facing the company right now?”.
Remember to ask open ended questions, avoid simlle yes/no answers that you can provide yourself.
The best way to ace an interview is to prepare. Practice speaking out your answers to increase your confidence. The more prepared you are, the more chances you have of being successful in ending your desired job.
Were you asked any of these questions? Let us know in the comments below.
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