As a fresher, going for interviews was always extremely stressful for me. Worried about making the right impression, eager and ready to start working – it was a wide range of mixed emotions that I went through during those years.
While not very shy, the interview room would always leave me tongue-tied. And even though the same questions would repeat in almost 9 out of 10 interviews, those questions would still take me by surprise, and I would find my stumbling to say the right words and make the best impression.
As a recruiter at Quotum Technologies, I always tell the prospective job seekers I work with that they need to be better prepared for that first encounter. Being able to portray confidence in one’s own abilities and express one’s talents requires nothing more than a little bit of preparation.
I have outlined 10 of the most common questions and answers to help you put your best foot forward.
Tell me something about yourself
This is normally the first question that most interviews begin with. The answer does not have to be something long drawn – you don’t have to list out your accomplishments from your childhood to date. The key is to keep it short and restrict yourself to the position you have applied for. Prepare a brief elevator pitch of 2-3 sentences about yourself and your chosen career path. Highlight the key decisions you took that led you to this career and how you landed at this interview.
Why should we hire you?
The interviewer is trying to understand the key skills that you would offer the team. You should use this opportunity to talk about specific achievements that would address the requirements of the job. When you look at the job description, identify key requirements that you can demonstrate with your past experience/skills. Answering this question with such detailed descriptions would give you better weightage than generic statements like, ’I am a good worker.’
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
While it might be hard to outline a specific career path in any organization, you should answer this question keeping in mind your goals for the future. Is there a specific position/job responsibility level that you are working towards? Answering this question by charting that growth will show that you have thought about this and are realistic in your approach to what you are working towards.
Tell me about a stressful situation you have dealt with?
You need to prepare for an example of how you have dealt with tough situations at work/school/home beforehand. Explain in quite simple terms how you dealt with it and show how you resolved the problem/situation. This will give the interviewer an insight into how you deal with unexpected situations and whether you can think on your feet.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
While the answer to this question can be as varied as each person who it's directed at, the trick is in using this opportunity to talk about any soft skills that you have built on over the years. For e.g., team player, time management skills, performance under pressure, etc. on the other hand, answering questions related to weaknesses should not seem scary. The ability to talk about your weaknesses and ways in which you are working to improve them will show the interviewer that you are willing to learn and improve yourself. For e.g. controlling situations, work overtime to beat deadlines. Talk about these in terms of a story and talk of how you used those learnings to improve on in the future.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
This would be a great opportunity to highlight a key accomplishment that you are proud of. Think back on any particular event that would focus on any interesting assignments/events that have helped you grow into the person you are.
Why do you want to work here?
The interviewer is looking for any reasons why you would want to join their company. It also is a great platform to show the research you have done about them and explain your passion for the position offered. Remember to do your due research and find any interests/passions that you can co-relate to your personal interests.
What is your dream job?
This is a question related to the one about where you see yourself five years from now. Use this question to give further details about how you are working towards your future goals and how you could use the skills you learn here towards that end.
What is the salary you are looking for?
Take some time to research the salary paid for the position in your city. Use this as a starting point to lay out your expectations based on your experience etc.
Do you have any questions?
Make a note of at least a few questions about the job profile or the company plans/targets for the coming year. It is an easy way to show that you have researched the company and are really interested in joining the team.
I hope you can use these questions to prepare for your next interview. Remember to be yourself and show the interviewer how amazing you are! The rest is all down to your hard work.