List of commonly asked questions during Interviews
How to Face Interview Questions: Common Questions. Every candidate has to appear for an interview to enter the corporate world. There are various do’s and don’t of an interview. A candidate has to keep in mind as to what he has written in his resume because the interviewer will pose questions accordingly. Some questions will require a short reply while for answering others you will have to describe the whole situation in such a way that the interviewer understands what you want to explain him. Here in this article, I have discussed on common interview questions which are expected to be asked in every interview. These are the minimum guidelines. You read the questions, then the given answers and then craft your own answers which suit your needs.
An interview is the first step to enter the business world and you have to prepare yourself as much as you can so that you pass the interview with flying colours. I would recommend you to apply for job positions which interest you. This helps you in planning your path and will clear your vision. Once you start facing interview one after another, you will feel a boost of confidence within yourself and you will also have an idea of the type of questions which you can be asked during the interview process. Take your time to answer a question. Do not hurry since that will show your lack of confidence. When you have not understood a question you can always ask the interviewer for a clarification and reword the question if you have understood it correctly. Once you are clear you can answer that question. Be honest and just be yourself during the process of interview. Your Attitude, studies, hard work and extraordinary determination will show up during the interview process. Do not get tensed. Smile and face the interview.
- Tell me something about yourself
- What is an example of the most creative or innovative project that you have worked on?
- Give me an example of your ( persuasiveness, initiative, resourcefulness, leadership skills).
- How do you organize or prepare for major projects?
- What are your hobbies and outside interests?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What skills do you bring that other candidates may not have?
- What do you think of our company?
- What is your dream job?
- If there was one person you could meet, either from the past or present, who would it be and why?
- How do you stay up to date in your field?
- Why are you interested in this position ? or Why do you want to work here?
- What type of salary do you expect in this job?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- What questions do you have about this position or firm?
- What is your technique to approaching a difficult task?
- What would you do if I told you that you performed poorly during this interview?
- Don’t you think that you are overqualified for this job?
- What would you do if our competitor offers you a job?
- Whom do you choose as your reference and why? Can we call all your references?
- What career option do you have at the moment?
- Describe a major goal you have set for yourself?
- What do you know about the position you are applying?
- What is your learning style?
- What mode of communication do you prefer? (on the job or for communication for interview results. This question can mean both)
- Have you had difficulty getting along with others?
- What reservations do you have about working here?
- What do your parents do?
- How flexible are you? (dealing with change or difficult co – worker)
1) Tell me something about yourself
Highlight something which is not mentioned in your resume. Your achievements which fall in sync with the company’s requirements. Something great about your personality which sets you apart from the crowd.
For example – I am very good at maintaining interpersonal relations. There was a time when the unity of our friends group was about to break, I took charge of the situation and removed all misunderstandings and convinced everyone, united we stand and divided we fall.
I am a self-learner and have learned the art of Effective speaking and presentation skills by attending personality development training programs.
Be genuine with yourself while answering questions and quote a real incident not a fake one because your answer will decide the path of the interview.
If applying for a sales job – My parents called me good sales boy as I publicized My school through word of mouth to get donations for a noble cause of poor children. The school received a tremendous response and we were covered by Hitavada newspaper. There is something unique which every person has contributed, mention that.
if applying for a teaching job – The interviewer wants to test the teaching skills and whether you can manage the whole class or not. You can quote examples from school or college. you can tell your interviewer about your teaching skills like you used to solve problems and make the rest of the members aware of the tricks and techniques. If you have any instance where you were the leader and headed a group to complete a task at the college or school do mention them because the interviewer is looking for those skills in you. He just wants to know how your abilities meet the current job requirements.
You need to answer questions which meets the requirements of the interviewer and what he wants to know. Not something which you just desire to say. I always teach in Effective public speaking class. Speak what your audience wants to listen to, you can know that by researching about the audience. In the same way, you can apply this principle to the interviewer. Research about the company and position beforehand so that you know what is the exact requirement. But be true to yourself and don’t pretend to be someone else. Just be yourself and be true to every question you answer and rest will happen.
2) What is an example of the most creative or innovative project that you have worked on?
You can mention about any projects you have undertaken in the college. The type of project will depend on your background, whether from engineering, B.com, Bsc or others. You have to mention here the name of the project. Why you decide to do that project and the goal you had in mind while deciding this project. Then you have to mention the whole course of action how you planned and executed your idea. What were the problems? How you sorted them ? and How you completed your project. Just give a brief, as you cannot take half an hour answering a single question. But while you answer this question the interviewer can discover those traits which he is looking for in the vacant position.
Do not shy away or think that my accomplishments are too small when compared to others. It’s your way of presentation of facts which will decide the course of the interview. Every achievement is big when you are self-confident and you learn the art which many interviewees lack.
If you are a science graduate and you have worked on a pollution control project or collected specimens of different species tell them. Nothing is easy and every person works hard to study his subject whether a regular course or specialization.
Bcom graduates can tell how they analysed data of companies while doing summer projects. This will show your hard work and passion towards whatever you want to accomplish.
Engineering students have compulsory projects. It can be making of a Robot or designing a website. Be clear and answer clearly.
3) Give me an example of your ( persuasiveness, initiative, resourcefulness, leadership skills).
Here the interviewer wants to see all the above-mentioned qualities in you. Here you have to answer about a program or project which you undertook and how you persuaded your team to support you when everyone resented and took a backstage. Tell them about your faith and how you passed the same in your team and things worked out. These types of questions are asked by the interviewer to know about the candidates working skills, whether he can work in a team or can work in a diverse culture, adapt to changes in working environment. Always remember that the interviewer is there to select a person who fulfills his requirement so try to show how best you are suited for the job at hand.
There must be some events or programs you conducted that covered all the above qualities. Tell them about that program. Tell about a real event or happening. Tell them about a project which you undertook at college which was unique but no one had faith in you whether you could complete it or not and how you persuaded your faculties, took an initiative and gathered your whole team to believe in you, this also shows your leadership skills.
4) How do you organize or prepare for major projects?
Here you have to be very specific about how you work on projects and how you undertook a major project and completed it on time. Duration is not important, but the planning is very important because if it’s a small project it may take just 15 days and large ones can go up to 6 months, it’s the work which you do is important and not the project itself.
I got the project to find out about the sales of toothpaste from general stores and how we could increase its sale by applying innovative methods. It was a short term 15 days project. We were 5 people in one group and we had to decide how to go about it. We chose one, one area and used to talk to store owners about which toothpaste sold the most. After completing data for 12 days, the whole group sat down to find out which all places sold most of the toothpaste and which toothpaste sold more than others. On which days there were less selling and how they could increase selling. Then we prepared graphs and presented it before the whole class. While giving an example of this project in an interview, you can sum up the whole stuff in short which shows your management skills.
5) What are your hobbies and outside interests?
There are two reasons behind asking this question. The interviewer wants to keep the interview going or wants to know more about you. Or the interviewer wants to dig deep and find out more about you. He wants to know what you do in your leisure time, your way of thinking and your personality traits. Always remember that a person chooses a hobby which suits his/ her personality the best.
If applying for sales interview – you can give an example of your love for cricket. This shows that you can work in a team. If you are captain of your team tell them how you manage your team while playing matches. This shows your leadership skills and problem-solving abilities.
Nowadays there are many Campus Ambassador Program which allows you to show your leadership skills by representing your college. Enroll in these programs as it helps a lot in shaping your personality.
Always remember that to get the best job you have to shape yourself accordingly. I always recommend students to do something more than studies which add an extra edge to the resume. The employer is looking for some extraordinary qualities so you have to show them how you are better than the ordinary stuff, then only you can crack the interview.
6) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This question is asked by the interviewer to know more about you. Your answer will tell the interviewer how best you fit for the job at hand.
Your strength can be good interpersonal relationship skills and weakness can be that you are not a self-learner. You need someone to teach you. But you can tell your interviewer how you trying to improve by enrolling yourself in organisations like Jaycees or student development clubs which makes you aware of your hidden potentials. This will touch the interviewer. Be true to yourself while answering questions. Do not pretend to be someone else. If you falsify your dignity it might get you the current job but you will not enjoy doing the job and it will effect your efficiency.
Everyone has got weakness, but that does not mean that we do not have have qualities. Describe your strengths with full confidence. Every person in this whole world is earning just by enhancing his strengths and working on the weakness. Do not try to show your strength as your weakness. Try to be true. Do not amplify your weakness or it will dwarf your strengths. Explain and move on.
For example, if you have got good communication skills and you apply for a customer relationship management job, you are more likely to get the job. Your other weaknesses fall short. Always remember that you should have good communication skills and you should be able to convey your thoughts to the interviewer.
If you are applying for a sales job and love travelling and can maintain good interpersonal relations than the job is for you. Always remember the interviewer is conducting an interview to select someone who can do good work and he is least bothered about other things.
7) What skills do you bring that other candidates may not have?
This is a little tricky question so answer it carefully. You cannot answer this carelessly. You might get caught and the interviewer will see you as a very egoistic person, sick of self-love if you show how others cannot compete with you and are too small when compared to you. You never know others capability than how can you judge. Never show your over confidence or it will destroy all the hard work which you have undergone before. Do not pinpoint some person whom you hate as it totally goes against you.
You can answer this by telling that you don’t have much idea about others, but you have some qualities which make you special like good communication skills and being friendly with everyone. These are great qualities and not possessed by all and if you have them mention it. This will give you an extra advantage over others.
Every person has got different skills and do not think that you do not have any great qualities. You never know who is true or who is pretending so be true to yourself and give the best possible answer.
Some have problems working in a team but if that candidate has got extraordinary qualities where he can work alone and contribute to the growth of the company he will be selected. The interviewer is looking for those qualities which are needed in the particular position of vacancy.
If you love blogging or write articles for newspaper mention them. This will give you an edge over others. Give them the name of the URL which they can check online. Yes, make sure that your blog does not contain any nonsense stuff.
I would suggest you prepare yourself for the interview from the time you enrol yourself for higher studies and start working on your profile so that you land up with a good job. You have got more time and options to work while you are studying rather than when you have completed your studies, prepare a resume and start looking for a job. Work on making your resume employer friendly.
8) What do you think of our company?
For answering this question, you should be well versed with the company information. Go through company website before appearing for the interview. Read about the vision, mission and products. Read all the main subjects and leave the rest because no one is going to get in small details. But it’s always good to have a brief knowledge of all main things happening at the company. The interviewer expects you to know details of the company. If an interviewee does not do his homework well then the chances of rejection increases.
Explain how you feel about the company from your heart. Don’t bluff your non-verbals will speak the truth. Speak all the positives which you feel are great about the company and leave the negatives because that is what the interviewer wants to hear. He wants to make sure about your awareness of the company.
There are Candidates who want to work with multinationals or big companies but get rejected and look for jobs in small companies. When the interviewer poses this question his negative state of mind shows off in the answer. I would recommend such candidates to change their attitude and then appear for an interview. According to me, the size of the company does not matter. It’s you who can make a big or small difference. Show your edge and tell them your views and how you can contribute towards the growth of the company.
9) What is your dream job?
Every person has got a dream job, but the problem is that you cannot relate it with the interview. Your dream job could be to become a full-time writer or Entrepreneur in the long run. You are probably looking for a job to maintain yourself and pay the bills. For example, if you want to do something of your own or set up a software development company and the current company needs software developers, tell the interviewer that you will be working hard and will serve the company and contribute towards its growth. In the long run, how you want to fulfill your dreams of setting up a software company and contribute to the growth of the economy. Every company is aware of the fact that an employee is not going to stick with it for a life long, but the reason behind asking this question is that the current job should not be opposite to what you want to do. If this happens you will be frustrated and leave.
Your dreams and company’s dream should not contradict each other but should be in the same alignment. The interviewer wants to make sure whether you are best suited for the job at hand. This question is usually followed by “ Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years down the line”. He wants to dig deep and wants to understand your mindset before selecting you.
10) If there was one person you could meet, either from the past or present, who would it be and why?
The interviewer asks this question to know more about your personality because we like someone only when we like something in the other person and that depends on our personality. Negative people are inspired by negatives and positive ones are inspired by positive people. Here you can cite an example of any particular person who influences you the most and why? What qualities or characteristics you like in this person and how he / she is different from the rest of the masses.
For Example, I am inspired by Kiran Majumdar Shaw. I like in her the quality of persistence and her hard work and dedication in the building of Biocon. Her belief in her dreams when others did not cooperate. Her vision and fight against all odds to achieve her dreams and make it a reality. I want to meet her learn more about her problem-solving abilities. Here I am giving very specific reasons as to why I am influenced by her and why I want to meet her.
Do not beat in the bush or try to fool the interviewer and yes one more thing have high goals but achievable ones. When you say you are influenced by someone explain why. And what you get to learn from him / her.
11) How do you stay up to date in your field?
The interviewer wants to know more about you. He wants to know whether you are a quick learner or not. Whether you keep your knowledge updated by reading or surfing the net or happy with whatever you have learnt. There are many candidates who stop learning and growing after the completion of studies thinking they have full knowledge. These candidates fail to grasp the new concept as they are not aware of it. It’s very necessary that a candidate keeps himself updated with all recent happenings in his field to shine in the interview.
You can stay updated in your field by reading books, joining a group of like-minded people where you hold fruitful discussions on various topics, attend seminars, read journals and gather information of your field from online sources. This question is asked by the interviewer to check whether you are someone who loves learning and adapting to change or someone who is stubborn and a hard learner. Learning is a life-long process and you have to keep learning to stay ahead of others. Do not give vague answers as the interviewer will easily find out that you are bluffing. Be specific and to the point. You as a candidate has to stay updated in your field for present and future growth or else it is really very difficult to be successful in the fast-paced technology changing world.
For example, I am an entrepreneur and also manage HR functions in my company. I keep my knowledge updated by reading Newspapers as well as surfing the Internet in my free time and reading online journals. This keeps my knowledge updated. Technology is changing every second and if we are not updating and adapting to change we will be left behind and others will progress. In simple words, they want to know how committed you are to your own self & work at hand.
12) Why are you interested in this position? or Why do you want to work here?
The interviewer wants to know what is it in this position that interests you? You can tell how you can serve the company then talk about things which interest you the most. You can show them how your qualities can help them in achieving growth. Research about the company before an interview so that you are prepared for all sorts of question. You will not turn speechless or run short of words while answering questions.
Show genuine interest in the company. Do not apply for jobs in companies which do not interest you. Apply only to those positions or companies where you are really interested in working. It is very easy for the interviewer to find out whether you are interested in the present company or not. Answer this question by citing out all valid reasons as to why you want to work in the current company. What is it that interests you. Your answer to this question will let the interviewer know how long you want to stick with the present company if selected.
After matching your profile with their requirement, you can tell them about other factors such as location, flexibility in working time, work from home opportunities, more facilities and the benefits which attracted you to apply for this post. It could also be the pay package, but I would recommend you not to mention that as it might go against you. Show your genuine interest. Do not compare that position with other companies and bad mouth other employers. Be in a positive frame of mind and concentrate on all positive things.
You can also speak about the great work done by the company and it inspires you to be a part of the team and contribute and learn from them.
13) What type of salary do you expect in this job?
I would recommend a candidate to be modest while answering to this question. He/ she may have great expectations but when you are applying as a fresher you cannot expect much and negotiate with your employer. Your focus is to get the job at the start and not the pay package. The employer may pay you less at the start but have patience, if you are selected and do good work your pay package will increase and you will keep rising. I always suggest people to concentrate on work and I believe that money will flow in.
I have seen many candidates just negotiating for a little extra. Don’t do that it shows your eagerness for money and that goes against you. All other good qualities will dwarf if you just fight for money.
You can answer you pay me according to my knowledge and skills I bring with me to your company. let the interviewer give you the range first. If you are expecting a high salary and they are not willing to pay an entry level employee a heavy salary, you are most likely to lose the job. If you quote too little it might fetch you a small salary so it’s always better to throw the ball in the interviewers quote and then play with it.
At my own Software development firm VinayRas Infotech, I have seen people negotiating for rupees one or two thousand extra per month and they negotiated so much that I actually lost interest in the candidate. It gave me a thinking of their money minded nature and I felt they will not work for something less and if at all they work they will not contribute to the growth of the company. That is the reason I highly recommend do not fight for salary. Your work will speak for you and I believe every company is looking for dedicated employees. If you have that fire in your belly show it and rest will fall in place.
14) Where do you see yourself five years from now?
It’s very tricky question. There are few candidates who have not yet planned or they will plan once things start rolling or they want to start with a small company and end up in a big company.
The interviewer asks this question to know about your future plans whether you will stick with this company or join someone else. He also wants to know about your future plans whether you have any goals in life or not. There can be many reasons behind asking this question but yes you as a candidate has to check how to answer it.
If you say you see yourself working at a Multinational 5 years down the line. The present interviewer is sure that you are not going to stick with him and the chances of your selection reduce. Then how you should craft your answer.
It’s always advisable to tell the interviewer that once you are selected you will join as a trainee and want to keep growing and rising the corporate ladder. In the meanwhile, you also want to enhance your skills so that you prepare yourself for added responsibilities.
If you are a person with split personality and never stick to your words. It will cause problems in the long run. I always advise candidates to apply to a company they are interested in working and not switch over just for extra money. It’s always advisable to learn the skills and maintain a good employment record. Just hopping from one job to another is not going to land you anywhere and at the end, you will be lost. People who grow up the corporate ladder are usually those who show greater commitment and focus towards what they are doing.
15) What questions do you have about this position or firm?
This question is asked at the end of the interview by the interviewer as he wants to answer few of your queries. Do not be reluctant to ask questions. While undergoing the process of interview, you might have thought of some questions. You can ask them. This will help you in a better understanding of the company.
You should ask something relevant and no irrelevant questions will be entertained. The irrelevant question shows your foolishness. Please be aware while asking questions. If it goes against your credibility then you have lost it.
What type of questions can be asked?
1) Sir, I have heard that your company is launching a new product. Can I know more about it?
2) Sir how many days leave is allowed at your company?
3) What all facilities I will get as a trainee if I am selected.
4) Can we study part time courses while working?
5) I love working on challenging projects. Will I get an opportunity as an entry level employee, if I get selected.
You can ask questions related to company’s mission and vision and future of associating with it.
Location of its different branches and your own growth opportunities.
16) What is your technique to approaching a difficult task?
The interviewer wants to know your approach towards a problem. How you solve the problem ? and how much brainstorming you do before solving a problem. This shows your attitude towards the problem. It tells about your approach and intrinsic qualities. There are many people who do not plan things and just work on and on while there are others who plan and have a proper vision while implementing a goal. You as an interviewee need to be aware of all these. Always remember that the interviewer is asking questions to know more about you and your personality which is not written in your resume. That is the only reason for conducting interviews.
You can answer I always plan things than work. If it’s a difficult task then I will consult my seniors and then work ahead. If it’s a team work I will take inputs from every team member and then sort out the problem. I never give up and persist till a problem is solved. Here you can also cite an example from your college days how you solved a difficult task. For example, you wanted to organize a job fair in your college but the college authorities did not support you as it would costly. You can tell them that you will approach the companies and tell them that the college authorities will lend the premises but cannot pay them. The companies, in turn, will get well-qualified individuals from his and nearby colleges and serve their organisation. It was not easy, but you tried and persuaded many companies and a lot of them participated in the Job Fair making it a big success. Or any other example relevant to your background. But be specific and explain in brief so that the interviewer has an idea of what exactly was done by you.
17) What would you do if I told you that you performed poorly during this interview?
I would suggest candidates to maintain their cool and not to over react. Just think that your life is not going to end if you do not clear this interview. There is always a next time where you can prove yourself and get selected. The interviewer asks this question to see how you react to it. He is just checking your emotional balance. Few candidates burst at this declaration. It’s always recommended that you maintain your calm. The interviewer wants to know how you react when adversity affects you or when you are unprepared to handle a failure.
The interviewer wants to check how you respond to negative gestures or situations and wants to see your most balanced self. Life is not only about success, but you learn most from failures. You can tell the interviewer that it is ok and you will work on your skills and perform well next time. You will update your knowledge and fill in all the gaps to get a good position. When the interviewer tells you that you performed poorly, it hurts but then it is useless reacting to it though you might have worked day and night just for this interview. It is ok, accept interviewers response with a calm mind and move on. This is not the end of the world. Work harder and perform well in the coming interviews.
You can answer this question by telling that there might be some gaps between the current requirement and your current qualifications but its ok and next time you will sharpen your skills and appear for an interview. This is the positive answer to one of the negative question and it reflects your composed personality.
I would suggest candidates to remain cool when provoked by an interviewer. it’s no use reacting to situations. Sound professional and display matured personality to get selected.
18) Don’t you think that you are overqualified for this job?
The interviewer asks this question to test your patience. Your reaction speaks a lot about you. Remember that when you are called for an interview then your resume was selected for the particular interview. If they thought you to be overqualified they would have left you. The interviewer is aware of it and wants you to talk to him about it.
Stay calm and you can explain to him how you fit the job at hand. What qualities you bring to the company which other candidates might be lacking. You can apply your knowledge and skills and achieve exceptional growth if given a chance to do so. It’s good to be over qualified then under qualified. There can be other reasons too for asking this question. The interviewer thinks that you will serve the present organisation for a short period and will probably leave when you find a good position and salary. You have to explain him your stand. You have to tell him that after your selection you want to learn new concepts and way of doing things. It’s not the salary which is important at the start of the career but the prospects you have ahead once you learn and grow.
I would suggest you to be mentally prepared before applying for such type of jobs where it shows your over qualifications. There are reasons because they may be paying much less than your expected salary and if you are selected and you start working and leave the company after few months. It goes against you and it loses your credibility in the market. when you show that 5 – 6 months experience you are sure to be questioned about your previous employment. It will sound negative if you try to fool the interviewer and if you speak the truth the whole situation goes against you. That is the only reason I always recommend job seekers not to commit if they are not mentally prepared. And if you are prepared then serve the organisation with complete enthusiasm and commitment. Remember “What you give comes back to you”.
19) What would you do if our competitor offers you a job?
Every answer you give speaks about you and your personality. Show your fidelity that once you are committed to the present organisation after knowing your interview results you will not work with their competitors.
You as a candidate has applied for jobs in different organizations and has no idea of competitors. If you are selected in a company, you say yes to the job and then get selected in another company which is the present company’s competitor then you have to stick to your promise and work with the present company in spite of everything else. You should pose yourself as a person who can be relied upon and trusted. You cannot show your fiscal nature here. It sends a bad reputation in the market about you. Learn to keep your promises if you are bad at decision making. Take on the responsibility which comes with decision making, your words have value. Don’t undermine yourself and your value. Pose yourself as a strong person and a person with a strong frame of mind. Your decision speaks about the type of person you are within, and the person you are within is always depicted by the words you speak and the actions you take.
They may also ask you if you are offered a high pay package then what do you do?
You can answer it by saying that its the present work which is important. You can tell them that you will work hard and grow in the same organisation. Do not ponder over the question for a long time it shows your lack of decision-making skills. Do not tell that you will ask your parents and then decide. It’s you who has to do the job and not your parents. Grow up and take your own decisions. Do not pose as a kid in front of the interviewers.
20) Whom do you choose as your reference and why? Can we call all your references?
The references you choose speaks a lot about you. If you give reference of top level college authorities or good working employees, it shows you get well along with others and you have no problems maintaining good relations with them. If your references are only your friends and parents it shows you do not stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. References are people who speak about your credibility in the market and with the employer. Be very careful while choosing references. Do not give the name of references you are not sure of will speak positively about you. No negative referrals. Keep in touch with your references and do not mention names you have lost touch with. They might not be aware of your current happenings.
References are your credibility. You may be the best in your field but if other people do not talk and feel good about you then that is what they will speak and it will tarnish your image in the corporate world. It is very important to do good work and let your work speak boldly for you. You should be a people’s person and not a reserved kind of a person. Mingle and associate with good people and maintain good contacts. This will work in your favour when you are looking for a new job. You associate with people whose frequency matches with yours and your references are nothing but a greater extension of the person you are within.
Lots of candidates get hired by reference checks so it’s important to have good and positive references. Build a good credibility or else one negative spark and your dream job is lost.
The interviewer will ask the next question “ Can we call all your references?”
You answer surely why not. Be sure to talk to all the references mentioned in your resume as the employer may call any of them or all of them to know about you. Prepare your references to talk all good things about you. Call your references and tell them they will receive a call so that they are mentally prepared to answer them.
21) What career option do you have at the moment?
You are having a whole lot of career options at the moment, but there is something towards which you feel committed and desire to pursue. If you want to study further you can mention that as your career option. You can tell the interviewer that you want to study as you work so that you learn new concepts and gain practical experience while working.
Career option is something which you have to be clear about because that will decide which way you will move further. Be very precise and clear so that you reach your destination or else you get lost and land nowhere. If you are not fully prepared for a job and want to study further than do not appear for job interviews because the interviewer will come to know about your lack of interest. Decide your career path and then go out and reach for it. Many candidates want to give one shot to everything and are not clear about what to do. I would suggest such candidates to sit with themselves and decide exactly what they want to do. This way career goals are clear and there is no frustration from doing something which the candidate is not interested in doing. The company where you are appearing for the interview will help you in all possible ways to grow. Your knowledge and skills will help them, so do not hesitate to speak about your study plans. Some companies even help candidates take leave from their respective jobs and pursue full-time study so that they can help the company in future growth.
If you want to be an Entrepreneur than you are wasting your time and interviewers time. If you want to study and have no desire to earn then it’s no use appearing for an interview.
Be clear and specific “ What is it that I want to do now “ Job, Study or business. Your clarity of thoughts speaks a lot about you, your future goals & your personality.
22) Describe a major goal you have set for yourself?
You must have set goals for yourself in life. Short term or long term goals. Tell the interviewer what career goal you have set. You want to rise the corporate ladder, you want to become an entrepreneur after 5 – 10 years, You want to be in the board of directors. It can be anything but yes be very specific. It’s your goal and you should be clear about it. If you are unclear or hesitant about your career goal it sounds negative as you will not reach a specific destination until and unless you plan and you can never dream of doing something big without proper planning and execution.
Goals are the specific destinations which have been planned by you and you also allot a certain time period for its completion. In the absence of properly planned goals, you seem as a confused personality. An employer wants to hire people who are determined and have a fire within them for the achievement of their goals and reaching a specific destination within a planned time period.
As a candidate, you have to sound very confident when you describe the goals which you have set for yourself. Do not shy away from expressing yourself even if you think that the goals which you have set by you are too big for your achievement. With proper planning and extraordinary determination a common man can reach the sky. Describe your goals in details and do full background work so that you are prepared to answer all the questions which will follow once you answer about the major goals you have set.
The interviewer wants to check your farsighted vision and your future planning. Always remember all questions are posed by the interviewer just to check how suitable you are for the vacant post. If you are up to the mark, you will pass the interview with flying colours.
23) What do you know about the position you are applying?
Do your homework well. You should know about the position you are applying for ? and why?
If it is an entry level job you tell them that you are expected to serve as a good trainee, learn the ins and outs of the work before getting into the hardcore office environment. If you are being hired at the managerial level, learn from the company website as to what you are expected to do. You can speak about the company’s expectation from the selected employee and how you fit in it. Talk to the point and do not blow your own trumpet.
Knowledge of details of position always helps. It helps you knowing the expectations of the employer from the selected employee. The qualifications he should possess and the etiquettes to fit in the office environment. When you are aware of the employer’s expectations from you, you are in a better position to handle this question because you may have all the necessary skills to fill the vacancy. If you sound unprepared things may go against you.
You as a job seeker has to be aware of current position you are applying for. An interviewer expects you to know some fine details of the company too along with knowledge of the currently vacant position. Prepare yourself thoroughly before appearing for the interview.
Research in advance about the company you are applying for an interview. The interviewer expects you to answer some questions regarding the employer. If you sound unprepared it looks very unprofessional on your part and your chances of selection reduce.
You get only one chance to prove yourself. Give your best shot.
24) What is your learning style?
There are various reasons behind asking this question though at times it sounds useless to the interviewee. Every person has got a different learning style and the same style of teaching cannot be applicable to all. The interviewer wants to know whether you are a self-learner, or you like coaching and training to enhance your skills. There are companies who hire trainers to motivate their employees to do good work and in the absence of this extrinsic motivation employees perform poorly. But if you are a self-motivator you might not need any assistance and get motivated intrinsically to improve your work and enrich your job.
You might learn by seeing, hearing or experimenting. The interviewer wants to assess in which category you fall so that they do not face problems in retention in the near future.
Learning style differs from person to person. The specific reason behind asking this question is that the interviewer wants to know whether you are a self-learner who learns by ownself or you are someone who needs external motivation by means of motivational workshops to enhance your productivity. Self-learners are the ones who needs less of companies investment and they are an asset for the company because they are the ones who learn and adapt to changes in the technology fast and they can help others in enhancing their skills and abilities. Self-learners are a boon for the company and they are always on the companies priority list. They are the last to be laid off and are the first to be hired.
There are people who are go-getters and fast learners while there are others who are slow learners. Fast learners are the ones who can occupy leadership positions and help in the growth of the company.
Your learning style is your unique selling proposition.
25) What mode of communication do you prefer? (on the job or for communication for interview results. This question can mean both)
There are three modes of communication which are widely accepted i.e Phone, email or Post.
Let’s answer the first question – What mode of communication do you prefer on the job?
Everyone has got preferences and you too are having it. You do not want your office authorities to call you up and would prefer them to communicate through email as you check your emails very often. But there are many people who want them to be reached by phone calls as they do not check emails very often. Then there are those who prefer face to face communication. The company designs a particular mode of communication with all its employees so that the communication is effective.
The employer will decide the mode of communication wth you according to your need. Every person does not have access to everything. Be clear and specific and do not shy away from communicating about your mode of communication. Your clear and precise answer will not only help you, but it will help the employer in understanding you and your communication problems better.
A lot of miscommunication happens in the absence of valid facts.
Now – What mode of communication do you prefer to get interview result?
You may prefer, phone, email or postal service. Communicate clearly to them. If you are staying at a remote location where it will be difficult for postal people to reach you or you have problems accessing the internet, you can prefer the phone. Answer which mode of communication is best suited to you. Many people travel long distances just for an interview and for them an email or phone conversation would be great. Be clear and answer every question adequately.
26) Have you had difficulty getting along with others?
It’s a very personal question and if you reply negatively the interview is lost for you. There are many companies which require team to complete a particular job and if you have difficulty getting along with others, it’s difficult for you to work. The current job may require lots of travelling and visiting new offices, at that time you need to manage yourself very well or else you cannot work efficiently.
You should answer that I never had difficulty getting along with others. You remember one incident from the past when you had a misunderstanding with your close friend, but you tried hard and sorted every issue. You are a problem solver and not a problem creator.
Yes, I would also like to mention that if you do have difficulty getting along with other people, mend your habits. Go for soft skills coaching, change your habits and attitude if you want to succeed. A person cannot achieve a big goal in life with a negative and egoistic mindset so change for a better tomorrow.
I have seen candidates who are very egoistic about their past achievements. I would suggest them to come out of their cocoon and see the professional world with a new mindset.
27) What reservations do you have about working here?
You can answer there is nothing which will stop you from working there in the organisation. You are ready to learn and adapt to new surroundings. If you do face problems in the near future after recruitment you will let them know.
You do not have to discuss the issue. There must be something you have heard from outside, but that may or may not be true. If you ask a wrong question you lose all hopes of getting the job.
Every candidate has some or other reservations before working in any organization. It is ok, but your reservations may not be true so it is better to keep them to heart. There must be something you must have heard from grapevine communication, but that may or may not be true and to find out the reality you have to talk to people working in the particular organization and trust the facts.
There are various types of people working in a particular organisation and they may be having their own reservations which will automatically come to your ears when you confront those employees, but it may not be the same for you if you are selected and hired. Every person does not face the same problem. It is your work, your attitude and point of view that makes a difference so trust your gut feelings and give an appropriate answer.
Do not tell the interviewer what you have heard from outside since it will negatively impact your image in front of the interview. You really need to work and show the interviewer that you are someone who trusts the facts and not any grapevine communication for coming to a conclusion.
28) What do your parents do?
The interviewer wants to know about your family background. What your parents do and by taking up this new job how you are going to support them. From your answer, he will deduce what type of person you are, your likes and dislikes, your current mindset.
Some candidates from poor families work hard for studies and they are ready to work for any employer. These type of employees are very faithful and they work hard to get success.
Remember any question which the interviewer poses is for a reason. Either he wants to know more about you or your knowledge. He checks the synchronization between you and your resume so do not take any question lightly and don’t get too personal while answering questions.
Checking about your family background will let the interviewer know about your upbringing and your home environment. Well qualified parents pass on good knowledge to their children while others have to seek out external help to gain knowledge. If you are someone from a poor background and have worked very hard for education then it will show up in your answer and that is sure to impress the interviewer. Such kind of employees are always welcomed because they will always find out ways to solve every problem and seek knowledge.
Parents play a big role in the development of their children. They are the ones who influence your life the most. Another reason for the interviewer to ask this question is to check what type of work culture they are exposed to since they will share their experience and pass on the same to their child. These experiences will be in your memory as preconceived notions which play a vital role in your growth in the future.
29) How flexible are you? (dealing with change or difficult co – worker)
You as a candidate has to show your flexibility about change or a difficult co-worker. If you are ready to accept changes at the office it will not be difficult for your employer to cope up with you. He can give you different tasks. The employer has got these things in mind while he is posing this question to you. Be versatile while answering this question. If you have difficulty adjusting to change then it will create problems for the employer as you will resist anything new in your life.
I would recommend candidates to change their nature if they are adamant to change because no one wants to work with a difficult employee or coworker. Change your attitude by reading books or undergoing training sessions for personality development. Your soft skills go coherently with hard skills because hard skills will help you in getting the job, but it is the soft skills which will help in your retention and decide your future.
The interviewer asks this question to confirm that you are not a difficult employee. If you are one then you will add stress and make others stressful too. But if you are someone who is flexible towards change and a difficult co-worker. You will deal with things in a more cool and calm manner and look for solutions rather than aggravating the problems. A company will always welcome a problem solver rather than a problem creator.
Many people have problems dealing with technology changes, such people are advised to work on themselves and learn the art of adapting to changes because it’s you has to change according to the environment. If you can’t you are obsolete and out. An employer is looking for candidates with whom they can stick for the long term because they will be investing a lot of money on training and development.