Common job interview questions and answers

23rd February 2021

Job interviews are still one of the most prominent ways of assessing whether an applicant is capable enough of being hired or not. In the selection process often after the aptitude test and group discussion, an interview is scheduled. It can be categorized into two sets, one really confining to technical and role-specific domain other being HR interview. Although an interview cannot always go according to your plan and expectations but you can still give your best by preparing for it in advance. As it is said it’s not the best candidate who gets hired but the candidate who gives the best interview does. 

To calm the interview nerve, it is very important to be prepared for some of the questions which are very prevalent and can be expected by most of the HR managers. 

In order to help you in answering these questions to ensure your selection, here are some interview questions and answers suggestions:

About yourself

Tell me about yourself 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, in fact, your interview can begin with this very question itself. Your answer should be short, crisp and to the point. You should summarize about yourself in a presentable manner, maybe try to write it down somewhere and practice it beforehand. A way to begin answering can be to start with a salutation and then go on stating where you come from, family background, education, work experience etc. Make sure you don’t reveal way too much of your personal information else you won’t be left with much time to talk about your relevant skills, also you should always be very professional until and unless personal questions are really asked.

What are your weaknesses and strengths?

Do a thorough SWOT analysis of yourself. Know what your strength, weakness, opportunity and threats are. 

Possible answers : You can talk about your strength by mentioning qualities like being patient, honest, committed, self-motivated, etc. By mentioning that you are a team player and believes in impacting people around you positively. You can also talk about relevant work skills which you are master at. 

Similarly, you can talk about your weakness like maybe you are very emotional, or have bad handwriting, fear of public speaking etc. 

At the same time, you should be able to answer what you are doing to overcome your weakness.

What are your interests and hobbies?

Talk about your area of interest and fascination. What you like to do in your free time. You should have all the information regarding your hobbies, say if you talk about reading novels then you should be able to answer questions like your favourite writers, books, genre etc. Why you like to read books and how does it help you?

Why should we hire you?

Talk about:

  • How you are culturally fit for the company and role.
  • What will be your value addition and contribution to the company?
  • How you are good and efficient at delivering the required results.
  • How your experience and skills are relevant to the position.
  • That you’re personal and organizational goals align.

What are your success and failures?

While answering about your success talk about your accomplishments so far, avoid sounding arrogant. 

Take time to explain your success and simultaneously try to showcase how you are an asset to an organization. 

While explaining your success story, if possible, talk in numbers and technicalities of how you contributed. 

Talk about your failures, be honest, but avoid giving an impression that you are incapable of handling the pressure and job. 

Talk about your struggles and show how you overcome them. Try to explain what your takeaways are from both your success and failure story, that how has it helped you in evolving as a better person.

About the company

What do you think of our company? 

Do some research before applying to the company, should give the impression that you know what you are seeking and is interested in being a part of the company. You should do thorough research of the company and know its goals and vision.

  • You should have a proper understanding of their business and should be able to talk in facts and figures about it.
  • Know about their products and services.
  • Their culture, diversity, number of employees etc.
  • Who are their biggest competitors, what are the markets they are catering to?
  • Use social media, Google, LinkedIn, company website to gather the information.

Why do you want to work with us?

You should answer in line with the question “why should we hire you”, show them how your personal and organizational goal aligns and how working there will be a boost to your personal aspiration.

What is your dream company and ideal workplace?

Talk about the environment that will be conducive for your personal growth and will use your skills and experience. Also, take into account the existing environment of the company you are interviewing with, highlight your desire to work in a high-performance, team-oriented culture. Try to gel with the company’s vision.

Salary expectations

When asked about salary expectations, be confident and choose any number or range as per the position. You need to be reasonable and logical, you should be confident of your worth, aim high as well as be flexible.

Do you have any questions for us?

When asked this question, try to leverage the opportunity. Show your interest in them and try to know more about them. You can ask anything from gaining clarity on roles or challenges a new employee can face. You can even ask them their expectations from you.

Career and academics

Walk me through your resume? 

Mostly this is asked at beginning of any interview. You should try to encapsulate all the relevant information in your resume and try to make a lasting first impression. You should try to engage the interviewer and should be prepared to answer anything and everything that could be asked from your CV. 

Regarding career switch or career gap 

If you have a career switch or career gap then questions can be asked regarding it, be prepared to give authentic and logical answers.  

What's most important thing for you in your job or career? 

Talk about what you expect in a career, growth, innovation, teamwork, fair competitive environment etc. 

Biggest challenge that you have faced 

Describe a challenge or conflict that you might have faced and how you handled the pressure and situation to resolve the issue and managed the emotional turmoil.

Future aspirations

Questions regarding future goals and aspirations are asked by interviewer generally to know whether you are a fit for the organization or not and do you plan to invest yourself at the organization for long term or not. You should give reasonable answers and demonstrate that your ambitions and aspirations are in line with the company. Talk about skill sets and how working there will help you achieve your career goal.

Other common questions

Some questions can be asked as per your cv and experience. You must be able to answer that why you left your last job and some questions like whether you are open to relocating or not. 

Keep in Mind 

Any interview preparation should start from knowing yourself really well.

Take some time to reflect back on your journey so far. 

Try to figure out what you stand for and what your aspirations are. 

Be aware of your personality and introspect on your work philosophy. 

While you should prepare for the answers but don’t try to be really impressing the interviewer with made answers, rather be honest about yourself as it will help you in long run. 

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