HOW TO ANSWER COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Personal interview is the most dreaded part of a job selection process. If it is your first job interview, the tension will be high. It is normal for anyone. But there are some common interview questions that every employer asks. These sets of interview questions and answers for freshers are common for almost all the fresher’s jobs hence knowing them in advance will come handy.
Most often, freshers fail at interviews not due to lack of skills or qualification, but due to lack of confidence. To boost one’s confidence, preparing these common interview questions in advance will help present a confident self during the interview.
Here’s Ten Common Interview Q & A
Q1. Tell Me Something About Yourself.
It is one of the most common interview questions frequently asked in an Interview. How you respond to this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview. It may seem simple after all you know about yourself but once taken the interview into account it becomes a broad and open-end question.
While answering this question most fresh graduates do not understand the perspective of the interviewer or the hiring manager. They simply talk about themselves sticking to personal detail such as family background, education qualification, hobbies, etc. However, the hiring manager is more interested in knowing what they have learned during their time in university. Highlighting more about your learning and achievements will further take the discussion on a positive side. If you have done any internship then highlighting your experience pertinent to the current job opening will build the platform for further discussion about your suitability.
Here is a little secret to answering “Tell me about yourself “.
Whenever an interviewer asked this question, he or she is more interested in knowing your expertise pertinent to the job you’re interviewing for.
Here is an example to answer this question: –
My name is Aman, I’m 21 years of age, and I recently graduated from xyz University with a B.Sc with Mathematics. While I was there, I learned a lot of theories in subjects like corporate economics, corporate communication and mathematics, and more. I’ve buckled down in my education, and now I’m prepared to apply my insight into practice. While I don’t have any professional experience, I’ve had excellent exposure to the business environment. Many of my courses involved working with real organizations to solve real-time issues. I’m looking to leverage all that I’ve learned in university and get a few hands-on work and experience.
Q2. What are your strengths & weaknesses?
During the interview, the hiring manager is likely to ask this question what are your strengths? Or what are your biggest strengths? Most job seekers wonder how to answers this as being a fresher they are just not sure about their capabilities and cannot streamline them properly with the job skillset.
Most of the job seekers get confused and start answering like I am a hardworking, passionate team player blah blah blah!
What’s important to know here is having self-awareness about your strengths to match the professionalism and expectation of the interviewer. The interviewer would want to know the backup of each strength hence it’s important to have a well-articulated answer that can be streamlined with the job skill set as well. Why do interviewers ask this question?
It’s the keen responsibility of an employer to discover somebody who will act in the position and coexist with the team. With this interview question, the employer seeks to see whether:
- Your greatest strengths line up with the organization’s needs
- You can carry out the responsibility and perform like a pro
- You are the most ideally equipped individual for the role — no compelling reason to wait for somebody better
- You have characteristics, skills, as well as experience that set you apart from other applicants
- You are somebody who will make a magnificent addition to the team
Essential Tips to Talk About Your Strengths
It’s essential to take out some time to recognize your biggest strengths and PRACTICE discussing them ahead of time. That way, you’ll be prepared when you stroll into the interview for your dream job. Read below to know how to talk about your strengths:
Sit calmly with your pen and paper and make a list of your top strengths. Before writing, aim to write 8-10 strengths and make sure to be creative. Your list of strengths could include:
- Talents Soft skills
Now, from the list of 8-10 strengths, note down at least 5-6 top strengths that you are happy with talking about
- Prepare Examples with your answers.
- Make sure to include one example to illustrate your strengths.
- Lastly, link Your Strengths to the job requirements.
Here is a sample of how to answer what are your strength? Well, I consider work ethic to be one of my greatest strengths. I am determined to succeed and deliver the best positive results in my work, which is not the case with many other candidates. For example, during my college internship, I was assigned a lengthy project which my mentor, later realized, was too big to be completed within the time frame of my six months internship program. Although my boss asked me to skip a few modules, I was really into the project and kept on working on it for extra hours to complete it. I had prepared my mind to deliver the whole project by the end of my internship period. In the end, I was able to build a prototype, and it was running correctly before my last day. My mentor was amazed to see the live project running and said how I completed something that he did not think would be possible to do so in fewer time frames.
Answering about your weakness is a difficult task as a job interview is all about presenting the positive side of yourself. Whenever interviewers ask this question, applicants feel more trapped answering this question. In case you’re too honest answering this interview question, you might scare the recruiters and blow out your chances of landing the job. On the other hand, if you’re not honest enough while answering, you’ll lose credibility.
Why do interviewers ask this question? When an interviewer asks a candidate “What is your greatest weakness”, they actually want to know:
- If you can be honest and open, especially about your weakness
- If you have self-awareness of a healthy level
- If you seek growth opportunities and self-improvement to battle these problems, rather than letting these weaknesses keep you down.
How to Answer: “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” A good answer to this interview question has two essential parts: Part 1) Your weakness. Quickly and concisely describe a real weakness that wouldn’t be a significant impediment at work. How to select your weakness?
- Pick a weakness related to and worthy to the job position at hand.
- Be authentic.
- Choose a weakness that is relatively fixable and minor.
- Tell your weakness in a neutral, compact way.
Part 2) How you are already working on it. It is an integral part of answering this interview question. Talk about your proactive ways to improve your weakness. This indicates that your weakness will not let you down in your career and drive you to be your best. “I consider my honesty to be my greatest weakness. Sometimes I am a bit too honest while providing feedback to my colleagues. I think myself to be very straightforward and direct, and most of my co-workers really value this part of my personality. But, I have also realized that to be diplomatic in some situations is quite helpful than being honest. To overcome this weakness of mine, I have also undergone conflict management classes online, and it really taught me to communicate differently with different individuals. So now I consider myself far better at providing feedback, even though these feedbacks are not natural sometimes.”
Q3. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE A GOOD FIT FOR US?
What have you got to offer to this excellent organization? Why should we bother to take you on? And again, play your strengths to them. There is no need to sound like you are the answer to their prayers. You just have to be confident in your ability to contribute well and better than what they can already perceive from your qualifications. It is your desire and passion that counts here. These are typical interviewee emotions that they are looking for. Try to get specific, if you can. And most of all know the company values and emphasize how they resonate with you. Borrowing the example from the previous question, you probably shouldn’t refer to children as brats, if you want to get hired in that teaching position. The school cares for the children. You should too.
Q4. What are your hobbies?
This is one of the most common HR interview questions asked in the interview. This question seems conventional yet very important for the hiring manager’s point of view. They may ask this question “what do you do outside of work for fun? or how do you like to spend your weekends? This helps them to explore more of your passion and interest to understand how well rounded and balanced you can be with work and personal life. Having hobbies and interests shows that you do like to channelize your energy into things outside of the work. They would want to hire a candidate who can adapt to the company culture and mixes most easily. A hobby thus shows the other personality traits and strengths you possess.
How to answer this common fresher’s interview question What are your hobbies?
Asking about hobbies is additionally about determining your cultural fit for a company. So whenever answering these questions never say no or never give any dull answers like yeah, I spend weekends sitting home watching television. This shows you are uninterested, lack social skills, do not have any passion and interest. This does not reveal anything interesting about your personality traits which the hiring manager is looking for. Remember apart from skillset, your ability to mix up with the organization culture is also very important.
Instead, you should evaluate your hobbies and interest to understand how these can bring potential value to your prospective employer. You must check the social media pages of the company to research the company culture and extracurricular activities.
Here is a sample example to help you to prepare an answer to this question:
“I love being outdoors with my pet dog Candy. In the past 3 years, my friends and I who also have pets as their family members have gone for several hiking and camping trips to hilly areas together. Going out and wandering about in the wilderness with my canine friends gives me immense satisfaction. It’s not only a hobby but a passion that keeps me going live. Besides, being outside is a great way to rekindle my sense and helps me in de-stressing. Also, camping uphill’s is a great way to spend quality time with my family and friends, away from the hustle-bustle of city life. ” IMPORTANT TIP: Do not talk about hobbies and interests you cannot explain to the interviewer.
Q5. What do you know about our company?
No matter what kind of job position you may be interviewing for- the hiring manager may ask you this question- “What you know about our company?”. This is one of the most common yet important interview questions. So why the hiring managers ask What do you know about our company? If you carefully pay attention to the depth of this question you will find a few reasons. Companies love to hire people who are aware of the industry they are going to serve. Knowing what the company does, the industry it serves, it’s business areas, key executive people, competitors, services and product, competitor and revenue, etc, ensure that you are really interested and have done research about the company. By asking this question interviewer is gauging your interest in the job and the employer. They want to make sure that you were really interested hence applied for this job. It was not one of those random 100 jobs that you came across on a job portal and hit the apply button without actually caring what you are applying to.
“Employers are genuinely not interested in you until and unless you are not interested in them”
How to answer this question:
Tips: Before appearing for the interview spend some time researching about the company. Make notes of specific details such as company business areas, executive people, competitors, services and products, etc. You can check the company website, social media channels or news articles to check any specific announcement, event or any new business partnership company has recently acquired. Stating these details while answering will demonstrate your understanding and interest in their business.
Here is an example of What do you know about our company? ABC Corporation has been in the business for over twenty years, with an excellent reputation in the market for delivering the best software solutions to its clients. Your clients range from small businesses to large software development companies worldwide. So, being a fresher, I am very interested in working in with you and learning more about programming and developing software. I am sure; I will work with commitment and dedication in your company and reach new heights in my professional life. As a fresher, this is an excellent chance for me to begin my professional career and enhance my coding skills to the next level. So I need one opportunity to serve your organization as this is one of my dream companies. I trust your organization will be satisfied after hiring me as a software developer.”
Q6. Why should we hire you?
Why should we hire you? It is one of the most common interview questions asked during the interview. This question seems simple yet very strategic. By asking this question the hiring manager is giving you a chance to sell yourself. How you present yourself will make him understand why your candidature is a perfect fit for this position?
Employers ask this interview question to learn a few different things about you which are not mentioned in your resume.
- They want to know what makes you superior from other applicants they might be interviewing.
- How easily you can handle difficult situations as it can be quite challenging to explain why you’re the best fit for a job.
- How well you can justify your presence while working for the organization
Here are few things to keep in mind while crafting a response to this question
While preparing your answer for why should we hire you, consider the following steps to craft a well-justified response:
- Study the job posting
- Research the company
- Tie your background (if you are experienced) to the job posting
- Quantify your achievements
- Go above and explain your strengths related to the job description
Your response to this interview question should be a brief sales pitch strategically aligned with job description your skills set and experience: that typically explains what potential value you can bring to their organization.
Here is an example of how to answer this common interview question: Why should we hire you? Sample Answer: Well, I don’t have any professional work experience, but I have done core Java and advance Java training courses from NIIT Institute. During my training courses, I had successfully completed many Java projects. As the job description mentioned you require someone who has a basic understanding of java principle, framework, c++ and .net, and can demonstrate the effective results. I have developed applications on java while doing my training courses and I am capable of understanding the process and making effective decisions to get the job done. Being very flexible, I can mold my-self in any situation and direction to successfully complete the work assigned to me by giving my 100% result. So, my presence in this organization as a Java developer will be surely beneficial for me and this organization.
Q7. Why do you want to work with us?
Your interview is going smoothly. You’ve almost finished answering “tell me about yourself interview question”, and suddenly the employer asks you the interview question; ‘why do you want to work for us?’
Why do employers ask this interview question?
Recruiters pose this question to check an interest of applicant’s in the company. It also offers the candidate hiring managers a chance to talk about how their career objectives match the goals of the job they have applied for. No matter how simple this question seems, many answers can also cost you a job. In other words, HRs wants
- To see your knowledge level by asking this question
- To see your career goals
- To see are you the perfect fit for the company or not
How to answer this interview question?
The appropriate answer changes accordingly, depending on the job role and the company you’re applying to. In fact, career professionals advise that candidates should try to have a different answer to this interview question for each interview you attend. Your proper valid reason of what attracted you to this company should be tailored specifically to the job posting you’re applying for.
Consider these important rules while answering this important interview question for a particular job interview.
- Tell employers reasons why really you want this job
- Before appearing for an interview check the company’s complete details like its mission, vision, and values
- Think something unique which sets you apart from other candidates who have applied for the job
Sample Answer for Why do you want to work for us? I have heard of your prominence in the market and would feel proud to be a part of a company with such an incredible track record for the past many years. You have also set a strong example of leadership for many other companies that are trying hard to reach the heights where you are at present. I have a friend of mine who is working in the testing department in your company, told me that the management here supports pursuing higher education, and learning on the job and organizational culture of this company is top-notch. Based on his experience and assessment, I think I would be a suitable fit here to make an immediate impact.
Q8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is again a simple, tricky, and broad end question of the interview. Whenever a hiring manager asks this question multiple thoughts might go through your brain like “Running my own business”, “working at a higher position managing my own team”, “working as a consultant”, “working for some MNC”, etc.
However, the hiring manager has something else in his mind. He would like to know if investing his resources in nurturing your talent could lead to contribute to company success in the long run. Whenever he is asking where do you see yourself in 5 years his aim is to test your loyalty and commitment for the company.
it might be challenging to express where you would be in your professional career next year, let alone long five years down the road. But even when you still know, it’s important to be cautious about how you answer to question because you’ll need to tailor your response to the job position for which you are interviewing.
Hiring manager ask this question just to understand:
- What are your long-term career goals and objectives?
- How are you planning to head towards your career goals?
- How this particular job role will contribute toward your goal and success?
- How will you be able to contribute to company growth?
How to answer this interview question?
In order to answer the question ‘where do you see yourself five years from now’, figure out an answer in a line or two with the job role’s goals and objectives. The following where do you see yourself in five years sample answer will help you shape a better response.
- Keep your answer general, especially if you are not aware of a lot about that particular career path at the organization.
- Reveal your enthusiasm for the job position as an exciting next successful step for you. Most importantly, try to make it clear that you are inspired to take on this golden opportunity right now.
- Focus your interest in the long-term professional career at the organization (especially, if you have different short job tenures mentioned on your resume)
Here is a sample answer to where do you see yourself in 5 years? “My goal, at present, is to find a position at an organization where I can reach new heights and be a part of new challenges over time. Ultimately, I’d like to accept more management responsibilities and get involved in generating new product strategies. But most important of all, I want to work for a company where I can head my career towards success”
Q9. How much salary are you expecting?
Your prospective employee interview will have a lot of tough inquiries you should figure out how to navigate. However, maybe the hardest of all includes money – the recruiter may ask you the question ‘What are your salary expectations?’ and you must be prepared to answer it.
Why do hiring managers ask this question?
There is consistently a purpose behind every interview question. The employer is giving close consideration to what you are stating because all that you state shows how well you’d perform in the job. That is the reason it’s essential to get ready for each job interview question.
Thus, what’s the purpose behind ‘What are your salary expectations?’, as on the beginning it may appear to be a futile inquiry to pose? The questioner is verifying whether:
- They can bear the cost of you.
- You have a good understanding of your value
The general-purpose about asking your value is to check if you have a good understanding of your value and worth, just as the business and market. You need to persuade the questioner that your ability merits a specific amount and that this figure lines up with what the organization can pay and what the market believes you’re worth.
How to answer this interview question?
Here are various approaches to prepare a response to this question
- Try to deflect the question
- Give a salary range instead of a fixed number
- Offer a range with negotiation options
- Research properly to prepare your answer
Sample answer: “I’m basically keen on finding a job that is a solid match for my interests and skills. I’m sure that you will offer a salary that is competitive in the present job market. After all, you might have decided the salary for this specific job position before conducting an interview”
Q10. Do you have any questions to ask?
The interview is almost about to an end, and the tables are turned by this time now, and the recruiters ask you, “Do you have any questions to ask?” The opportunity to ask questions toward the end of your prospective employee interview is your chance to discover details of the job you truly want to know. It’s likewise an extraordinary chance to impress the hiring manager- by showing to them how interested you are in the organization and how appropriate you would be to the job.
Why do Interviewers ask this question at the end of the interview?
- To see if you are a perfect candidate for the role
- To know if you have adequately researched the company
- To see your engagement about the job role
WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK AN INTERVIEWER?
Your questions for the interviewer should clarify that you were locked in during the interview and have immediately increased a sense of the organization’s priorities and goals. You can try to reflect on the in-between moments within the job interview or any questions related to the company and its goals.
Important Tip: Aim to consistently ask open-ended interview questions and not questions that can be replied with a “yes” or “no.”
The following are a couple of general questions categories that are good to ask.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JOB:
- What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
- How has this role grown or adapted to suit the needs of the organization?
- What are your short- and long-term goals for a new hire with this job title?
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER OR THE COMPANY:
- Why do you enjoy working here?
- Can you describe some of the company’s recent challenges and achievements?
- How would you describe the company’s culture?
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU:
- Are there reservations regarding my fit with the role or company?
- Do you have any concerns about my experience or skill set?
- What qualities do you look for in a candidate?
Having gained insights on how to answer the most common interview questions, We wish you all the very best