Job Interview Questions and Answers: The Most Common Yet Tricky Ones
Most of the job seekers fail in interview and the reason is due to the lack of preparation. Here, We have come up with a list of the popular and frequently asked interview questions.
Go through the list, prepare yourself well and improve your chances of getting hired:
Question 1: Tell me something about yourself
If you’re the interviewer, there’s a lot you should already know: The candidate’s resume and cover letter should tell you plenty, and LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook and Google can tell you more.
The goal of an interview is to determine whether the candidate will be outstanding in the job, and that means evaluating the skills and attitude required for that job. Does she need to be an empathetic leader? Ask about that. Does she need to take your company public? Ask about that.
If you’re the candidate, talk about why you took certain jobs. Explain why you left. Explain why you chose a certain school. Share why you decided to go to grad school. Discuss why you took a year off to backpack through Europe, and what you got out of the experience.
Question 2: Define your biggest or key strengths
One of the frequently repeated question in the interview is to describe your strengths. Try to make a list of your strengths, do not forget to align it with your skills which are required for the position you have applied for. The idea behind this question is to evaluate how well you know yourself and how much confidence you feel with your strengths.
If you’re asked, provide a sharp, on-point answer. Be clear and precise. If you’re a great problem solver, don’t just say that: Provide a few examples, pertinent to the opening, that prove you’re a great problem solver. If you’re an emotionally intelligent leader, don’t just say that: Provide a few examples that prove you know how to answer the unasked question.
In short, don’t just claim to have certain attributes — prove you have those attributes.
Question 3: What are your weaknesses or the things you want to improve in yourself?
A trick questions which demands a smarter answer!! You are required to answer this question with a negative trait but giving it a positive twist.
Every candidate knows how to answer this question: Just pick a theoretical weakness and magically transform that flaw into a strength in disguise!
For example: “My biggest weakness is getting so absorbed in my work that I lose all track of time. Every day I look up and realize everyone has gone home! I know I should be more aware of the clock, but when I love what I’m doing I just can’t think of anything else.”
So your “biggest weakness” is that you’ll put in more hours than everyone else? Great…
A better approach is to choose an actual weakness, but one you’re working to improve. Share what you’re doing to overcome that weakness. No one is perfect, but showing you’re willing to honestly self-assess and then seek ways to improve comes pretty darned close.
Question 4: Describe your achievements
Here’s an interview question that definitely requires an answer relevant to the job. If you say your biggest achievement was improving throughput by 18 percent in six months but you’re interviewing for a leadership role in human resources … that answer is interesting but ultimately irrelevant.
Instead, talk about an underperforming employee you “rescued,” or how you overcame infighting between departments, or how so many of your direct reports have been promoted….
The goal is to share achievements that let the interviewer imagine you in the position — and see you succeeding.
Question 5: Why do you want to work with us or our company?
The purpose of an interviewer to ask such question is to know how much homework you have done about the company before coming for the interview. They want to get an indication that you have not just sent your CV for an interview rather you have given some thought on it.
Now go deeper. Don’t just talk about why the company would be great to work for; talk about how the position is a perfect fit for what you hope to accomplish, both short-term and long-term.
And if you don’t know why the position is a perfect fit … look somewhere else. Life is too short.
Question 6: The reason for leaving your current job
You should always state your reason with a positive context.
Let’s start with what you shouldn’t say (or, if you’re the interviewer, what are definite red flags).
Don’t talk about how your boss is difficult. Don’t talk about how you can’t get along with other employees. Don’t bad-mouth your company.
Talk about what you want to achieve. Talk about what you want to learn. Talk about ways you want to grow, about things you want to accomplish; explain how a move will be great for you and for your new company.
Question 7: How did you learn about the opening?
Job boards, general postings, online listings, job fairs … most people find their first few jobs that way, so that’s certainly not a red flag.
But a candidate who continues to find each successive job from general postings probably hasn’t figured out what he or she wants to do — and where he or she would like to do it.
He or she is just looking for a job; often, any job.
So don’t just explain how you heard about the opening. Show that you heard about the job through a colleague, a current employer, by following the company … show that you know about the job because you want to work there.
Employers don’t want to hire people who just want a job; they want to hire people who want a job with their company.
Question 8: What are your short-term or long-term goals?
This question intends towards knowing your career aspirations and your commitment towards the organization. Whether you have an immediate plan to move on or you see working for the company for long term.
If you have any specific future plan, then you should explain giving a proper reasoning and if not, then a generic answer will work which you can relate with some interesting activity that you would like to take up while working with the organization.
Question 9: How well you can handle pressure or can you work under pressure?
A simple ‘yes’ will not work for this answer. The interviewer wants to know whether you have faced any such situation or how much capacity you have to work under pressure. The best way to deal with this question is citing examples from your work life and explaining how well you were able to handle the pressure efficiently.
Question 10: What can we expect from you in your first three months?
Ideally the answer to this should come from the employer: They should have plans and expectations for you.
But if you’re asked, use this general framework:
- You’ll work hard to determine how your job creates value — you won’t just stay busy, you’ll stay busy doing the right things.
- You’ll learn how to serve all your constituents — your boss, your employees, your peers, your customers, and your suppliers and vendors.
- You’ll focus on doing what you do best — you’ll be hired because you bring certain skills, and you’ll apply those skills to make things happen.
- You’ll make a difference — with customers, with other employees, to bring enthusiasm and focus and a sense of commitment and teamwork.
Then just layer in specifics that are applicable to you and the job.
Question 11: Why should we hire you or how you are better than other candidates?
A candidate cannot compare himself with people he doesn’t know, Describe your incredible passion and desire and commitment(Way too many interviewers ask the question and then sit back, arms folded, as if to say, “Go ahead. I’m listening. Try to convince me.”)
And you learn nothing of substance.
Here’s a better question: “What do you feel I need to know that we haven’t discussed?” Or even “If you could get a do-over on one of my questions, how would you answer it now?”
Rarely do candidates come to the end of an interview feeling they’ve done their best. Maybe the conversation went in an unexpected direction. Maybe the interviewer focused on one aspect of their skills and totally ignored other key attributes.
Do remember!! There is no right and wrong answer to any question. What matters is the right way to answer and it all depends on the candidate.