An interview is not a test of your knowledge, but of how you present yourself through your personality and your words. Any well-planned interview would consist of three types of questions: TECHNICAL, ANALYTICAL and BEHAVIORAL. Technical questions are technology-related questions asked while applying for an IT job. Analytical are basic Mathematical and Mental ability questions. These constitute almost 20%-30% of the questions in the interview. The rest 70%-80% questions are Behavioural. And that is what we are going to hit the nail on today.

Here are 20 of the most often asked questions in an interview which help the interviewers decide whether you are a perfect fit for the job or not.

Tell me something about yourself?

Here, the interviewer is not interested in the content of your answer, but how you answer it. The elements they are looking for are CONFIDENCE, ENTHUSIASM, and PASSION. This is the perfect time for you to show you’re Communication Skills. Your answer should include points like your education or your academic experiences, where you grew up, your work experiences (if you have had any in the past) and your interests.

For example:

“I grew up in Lucknow. I did my Bachelor’s in Law from RMLNLU, Lucknow and my Masters in the same from National Law University, Delhi. I used to work for a law firm for about 8 months. I am an enthusiast when it comes to debates and Model UNs. That’s where my skills in the presentation of arguments originated from. I like reading in my spare time, and working out.”

What are your strengths?

While there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The interviewer is looking at how positive your thoughts are about yourself.

For example:

if you are someone who is an outgoing extrovert but exercises discipline at the same time in your life. Instead of boasting about your social skills here, way you should answer this question this way: “My strongest trait is following a systematic and disciplined life. And, it is because of the outgoing nature that I have had some of the best professional experiences of my life. These are a few traits as my strengths.”

What are your weaknesses?

While answering this one you don’t have to be very negative about yourself. If you have patience or temper issues, those can be your weaknesses, but mentioning it in an interview—sounds like a bad idea. The interviewer here is looking at how you can identify your weaknesses and cover it up at the same time.

For example:

“Precision. I am someone who strives for precision in his work. But that also makes me realize how this trait makes me lose a lot of my time resulting in delayed submissions and likewise. So, that is something I count as a weakness.”

Here, your time management weakness is covered up by a positive trait. And displays how you strive to be a perfectionist.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Here, the interviewer is willing to know your long-term goals. Remember, the interviewer is in search of a dedicated professional to work for his company. The answer that they are looking for should thus show them that you are willing to stay committed to working for the company for the long-term.

For example:

“Five years down the line I would like to gain expertise in the domain of accounting and finance. Also, I know that this company would give me that opportunity. That is what excites me most about this job and the position.”

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What do you look for in a job?

The interviewer would want to know not only how the job benefits and attracts you towards the position, but also how you benefit the company and the job profile. Also take a look, how your expectations mingle with the company’s to make you the perfect candidate for the job.

For example:

“Growth. Growth is the opportunity I look for in a job. An organization that caters to individual growth is the one which will help me be devoted to the job profile more efficiently.”

What do you know about our company?

It is not to gain knowledge about the company’s profile that they are asking you this. But to get to know how much you cared to prepare and know about the company and the requirements of the job. This displays to the interviewers how serious and committed you are for the position that you are applying for and also towards the company and its policies.

For example:

“Your Company has a great reputation in the market for its growth trend and promising deals. It has also won awards in various spheres in the last three years. Adding to that you, of course, have a great clientele. Those are a few of the factors which make your company stand out.”

Why do you want this job?

The interviewer wants to know what exact feature of the company and the position you have applied for that attracts you to want the job. Is it the money, the reputation of the company, the promising nature of the job, the stability that it provides or because the profile you have applied for is the one that holds your strength in the area of work? Neither should your answer sound too good to be true or otherwise.

For example:

“I would love to work with your company. A company that appreciates new talent and promotes individual growth. This, in turn, would help me contribute towards the growth of the company. Your company would give me that opportunity. Looking at the growing trend of your company for the past four years, it will be an honor to work with such an organization.”

Tell me about your achievements

We all know the importance of extra-curricular and the worth that it adds to our CV. Here’s the right opportunity to display your achievements. State the role you played in a particular activity and the position you acquired associating it with a skill set and how it helped you get there.

For example:

“I have been known for my leadership skills throughout my sports and academic career. I was made the Vice-Captain of my school football team because of the same. My interests and willingness to stay updated with current affairs also won me the State Level Quiz Competition.”

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How well do you handle change?

Companies come up with different policies and strategies, old employees leave and new ones join. Such changes happen now and then in a company. The interviewer wants to know how adaptable you are to changes in your surroundings and how you handle it. You have to tell them about one of your prior experiences when you dealt with change at work and how.

For example:

“Well, yes, I can handle change. One of our immediate bosses, at the company I used to work for, had to quit. The new boss that took over changed the entire strategy of the project we were working on at that instance. We managed it with changes in approach and a few other aspects here and there. That is one of the reasons I know that I am flexible and adaptive when it comes to handling changes.”

Do you work well under pressure?

The interviewer wants to know if you get stressed or panicked when, for a certain reason, you have to work under pressure due to changes in deadlines/strategies and other such factors.

For example:

Well, working under pressure or without pressure works the same for me. The company I before worked, had given my team a project to be handled in 4 days which would have otherwise taken at least 8 to 10 days. At that instance, my teammates got confused and panicked and because of my patience,

I was able to calm them down. We then planned out the way to go about it and in an organized manner. Though we had to work late nights for the project, it helped us complete it within 4 days.

How do you make important decisions?

An ideal candidate is the one who can be beneficial to the company in a long-term scenario. This is the reason the interviewer will want to know your way of decision making and whether you will be able to make decisions that are fruitful for the company or not, in the long run.

For example:

Decision making requires balance. For making a decision I will first look at all the advantages and disadvantages, the consequences, as well as take advice from my teammates. Keeping in mind all of the above would help me not only in concluding but that which I will be certain about.

Tell me about the challenges you have faced at work in the past?

By asking this, an interviewer wants to know how well you work under stress and pressure, your way of solving problems and getting things done. To answer this, talk about the challenge and focus on how you overcame the challenge; most what you learned from it and how you helped other teammates overcome similar challenges.

For example:

I was working for M.N.C. Industries last year. While working for them, we had to face a delay in our major project releases. It was then that I had to work to bring the team together so the schedule could be brought back on track. We targeted the problems we faced and solved them according to the requirements.

On further investigation, I got to know that the lack of proper communication was the main cause. I also organized weekly meetings and sessions to avoid such issues from occurring in the future. This challenge taught me that along with technology, proper communication is necessary for driving a project to completion.

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Tell us about the last organization you worked for and why you chose it?

Here, you need to focus on the positive attributes of the organization you worked for. This reflects how positive you are in your attitude.

For example:

R.R. Industries, which I was working for last year, is known for its customer service and great clientele. It also helped me develop many personality traits like decision making and time management. It helped me grow as an individual while I worked to help the company grow, serving its expectations. These are a few of the reasons for having chosen the previous organization I used to work for.

What type of salary do you expect from this job?

If you are a fresher, you can answer this question like: “As a fresher, learning is more important to me than earning. So, my main focus is to gain knowledge. And I do trust that the company pay will be consistent with the market.”

If you are an experienced professional, you will have to do your research according to the market trends in the salary for the job position you are applying for as well as coordinate with the calculations of your expenditure.

Remember to always answer not as a particular amount but as a packaging range. This leaves room for further discussions. You can also question the interviewers if you are not sure about the requirements of the job before you get to the discussion of the salary.

For example:

I would like to make a request. That is, it would be great if I could get to know some more about the job profile and other work aspects before quoting my expectations for the salary.

Give me an example of your leadership skills?

The company is looking for an employee who can take lead in projects and responsibilities in the future to help them grow. They so want to know how good a leader you are.

For example:

I was one of the lead members of the organizing committee for our annual college fest. I was able to keep everyone on the same page while handling challenges and overcoming them. The event was a success and our team was thus appreciated by everyone.

What made you choose your career in this field?

This question is put forward to get to know how planned and organized approach you have towards planning your career and how inclined you are towards the job profile you are applying for.

For example:

My Radical approach. I’ve always had a radical approach towards things and an inclination to take a stand for the right. This led me to attend and take part in various MUNs and Debates which helped me choose Law as a career path and Civil Law as my specialization. You will have to mould your answer according to the job profile you are applying for.

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Describe the ideal working environment for you in an organization

Here you have to link the kind of environment that the company provides with your expectation of an ideal working environment. And for that, you will again have to research the company well in advance.

For example:

Progression and dynamism. These are the two factors, I believe, lead to a much more successful and excelling working environment. And in the current scenario, a workplace is usually very dynamic. It contributes well to excelling at work. I am more productive in an environment that is inclusive of good communication and great teamwork.

Since your organization lays special emphasis on team building, it must be an ideal working environment for me.

What if I say you are rejected?

This is a stress question, put forward to check your reaction of how you give up. All you have to do is handle the question.

For example:

Here is how you can answer this question without getting stressed or letting that show on your face and especially in your words. “I have worked hard to get here and gave this interview my best shot. I also believe that everything must be seen as an opportunity leading to growth. Therefore, if I am rejected, I will see this experience as the same. I must work on myself so that I can improve and become worthy of a position like this.”

Do you have any questions for me?

While many candidates would answer this as a “No, I don’t have any questions”, that is not actually how you should. This shows that you don’t care. This is the best opportunity for you to get to know about the job and the company from an insider. Also, you wouldn’t want to mention your queries about the salary and the likes of the offer that the company has for you at this stage.”

For example:

You can ask Job/Company-related questions like: “What are the qualifications you are looking for in a suitable candidate?”; “What is the company culture like?”

Note:

Don’t ask too many questions.

Why should we hire you for this position?

The interviewer through this question allows you to tell them the reason they should choose you over others for that particular position. Yet, this does not mean that your answer should reflect on how you consider yourself as a candidate better than others. Instead, it should contain the reason why you and you alone stand as a perfect fit for that position.

While answering this, you must remember that research is key. You will have to read their job description and requirements as a prerequisite. Prepare a realistic answer to this question.

For example:

Interactive skills. That is what I believe are the primary requirements for this position. I have prior experience in work with expertise in the same. My experience in the sphere of public speaking, which is a need for the position, is evident from my debating and MUNs experiences. My communication skills, as well as my decision-making ability, will add value to this position.

Conclusion

The answers here are examples of how a good answer is structured. Remember, it is your interview. Your experiences, knowledge, personality, and qualifications are what should be part of your answers. We hope this would help you in the best possible way. All the best for your interview!

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