While some interviewers try to make the recruitment process out of the box by adopting unusual approaches, most of the job interviews usually involve an exchange of the most common interview questions. Here is a comprehensive list of commonly asked interview questions and some suggestions regarding how to approach them. These are not industry-specific questions, but are behavioural inquiries which are asked by most of the interviewers.
We don't have a canned response for all of these questions. It is better if you don't have too. Take your time with each question, follow our list and craft effective responses that are unique and based out of your experiences. So let's start!
Tell Me About Yourself.
Self-introduction is like an elevator pitch for yourself. It must be short, concise but should give a glance over your professional life. If you are a fresher, convey why you chose this career space, how it will get along with your interests and ambitions etc. For a detailed outlook on this question, take a look at this article for reference.
Why do you want to work with us?
If you are answering this like everyone else, you are missing your opportunity to stand out. Before going for any interviews, do a thorough research on the company. Read about their history, growth, achievements and milestones. Tell them how you want to contribute to their company, how excited you are about the opportunity and why. Try to blend the gathered data along with your answers to give clarity. Even if you didn't get much data on the company history or growth, try to learn about the niche, industry specific details, and competitors; then frame your answer wisely.
Why should we hire you?
This is when you should sell yourself to the recruiter. The question itself is a bit forward. Most of us will feel awkward while answering this. Still, this is the right chance to tell them about your skills and achievements in detail. Always focus on mentioning three key points as the response:
You can deliver great results.
You're the right fit for the company culture.
You honestly feel that you can do the job (or try to do the job) better than anyone else.
Your greatest strengths?
Here, instead of listing out specific skills, think about your core strengths and speak about it. Share any relevant experiences or achievements you've had because of these core skills. It can be either behavioural or industry-related. The best way to convince your skills is through sharing experiences because storytelling is magic! (works every time).
Handle this question with care. You need to find an apt response which strikes a balance between 'perfection' and 'failure'. Instead of pointing out your mistakes, talk about any of your weaknesses and how you are trying to overcome it. For example, if you are not a "people person", tell them you have slight social anxiety but you are trying to overcome it by trying to spend more time out with friends every week.
What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?
Pick one of your best achievements which will get along with the job role. Explain -- your job role, the given task, how you approached it and the results. It is always better to share numerical results and periods if possible. For example, During my career as an immigration consultant for XYZ , I was able to increase the client conversion rate by 30% within 6 weeks.
Tell me about a tough situation you’ve had at work and how you dealt with it?
Be honest and respond to this calmly. You can share a tough situation you had at work and explain what you did to overcome it. Instead of focusing on the conflict, direct the conversation towards resolution and how you managed not to repeat the friction.
Why did you resign from your previous position?
Be positive about this one. Don't rant or spill anything negative about your previous employer. You're not going to gain anything from it. Frame your response slight differently and focus it toward the job you're interviewed for. Start your answer by stating your current job is okay, and you are happy about it. Tell the recruiter that you believe this particular opportunity could help you with your career growth and continue to focus on explaining what made you choose this career.
What’s your current and expected salary?
In some countries, it is illegal to enquire about the salary. However, in India, this question is one of the most common questions asked. The key to this question is not to lie about your number. When you are demanding a higher salary, you can always point out your skills and experience to convey that you're worth it. There are multiple salary comparison websites online, like Glassdoor salaries. Before thinking about your compensation number, go through such websites and get clarity on the industrial scale.
What do you hate about your previous Job?
Instead of saying what you don't like about the current job, you can rather focus on any growth opportunity that is not available with the current employer. Bend your conversation in favour of both of the employers. As the 8th question, be diplomatic and positive about your responses for this one. The best way to handle this question is by conveying your interest or concern in that particular sector or opportunity your current employer lacks. You can also explain how excited you are about the role you're interviewed for.
How would other people describe you?
The recruiter or anyone from the hiring team will call the given references on the last round. To be on the safe side, you can frame the response in a funny way like "the person who always leaves late from the office parties" or frame a vague answer like "the person who asks a lot of doubts" etc. Make sure you keep the response short and safe. Your employer might compare your answers with your references. So be honest and share an unbiased and confident answer for this.
Tell us how you manage stressful situations at work?
One of the best ways to answer this question is to talk about your 'soothing' or 'go-to-strategies' for stress relief. For example, you can say -- "I meditate or I listen to soft music for relaxation, and will try to sort this out when my mind is clear". Sharing any such experiences from life can also work out.
Tell us about your future plans/ Where you’ll be after 5 years?
The hiring manager or the recruiter is certainly going to compare your ambitions and goals with the job role. So when you're answering such questions, make sure your answer will also align with the role. For example, you can say -- "I want to become a content curator and want to lead projects of my own" or "I'd be leading teams hopefully" etc. And if you have any other personal plans like quitting your job and starting something of your own, traveling etc, make sure you convey it positively.
What are the other companies you’ve applied for?
Companies might ask this question to see if you're serious about this job. If you have applied somewhere else, don’t try to cover it. Tell them you've applied for a similar job with some other company hoping for better opportunities. Also, add two-three lines on how the applied job role would help you grow professionally.
What are your interests outside of work?
Be honest and keep the answer short. Specifically, mention something you love to do during your off-time. You shouldn't end up sounding like you have extra hobbies that would slice up the working hours. You can also focus on -- other activities you like to do, skills you're trying to learn, brushing up old skills etc.
Do you have anything to ask us?
Never answer 'No' to this question. Asking questions shows your enthusiasm and willingness to know more about the company. This is an easy one and you can ask about -- the team, new projects, company culture, company's growth, management structure, or even about work from home policy! Try to have a healthy conversation with the recruiter instead of a debate.
What kind of work environment do you prefer?
Maybe you are a person who likes to work alone. If you are interviewed for a team-based position, this answer might backfire. Always learn about the work culture at a firm before applying. When you are answering similar questions, make sure you don't hurt the recruiter's expectations. Be neutral on the role aspect and if you're a person who can't stand working with a team in any manner, be truthful about that too.
Be honest and let your personality shine. Recruiters are always looking for people with versatile personalities, who can take up responsibilities, who are truthful and can be trusted with responsibility. Keep this in mind and try to answer each of these questions individually before going for the interview. Proper preparation will help you handle other out-of-the-box questions too.
Hope you find our comprehensive list helpful. If you think we missed out any topics, feel free to reach out to us or give us a shout in the comment section below.
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