No matter which job interview you go to, there are a few standard questions that are always asked. You cannot blame a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewer for this, but some questions are repeated interview after interview.
We discuss the 5 most common interview questions out there, and tell you how to answer them. Just prepare well with them. By knowing exactly how to reply to these standard questions, you’ll be able to present yourself in a much better way to the recruiter.
Here are the 5 most common interview questions.
#1. Tell me a little about yourself.
Many job seekers completely misunderstand this question. When an interviewer asks you to tell a little about yourself, he wants to know about your educational qualifications, work experience and professional expertise. He has no interest in knowing what your hobbies are, which sport you are good at, who is your favorite Hollywood actor and so on.
When you are asked this question, you should take this opportunity to give the interviewer a professional personal bio that showcases you as being suitable for the job opportunity and better qualified for the opening than the other candidates out there.
Yes, not to appear as too robotic, you can reveal a bit about where you are from, which were the subjects you liked most in college and what are the things that you are really good at – as long as it makes you a more compelling choice for the job opening in the organization. Your answers should be crisp, informative, confident and articulate. You should find the right balance between humility and over confidence.
#2. Where do you see yourself five/ten years from now?
You may be asked about where you see yourself in a specific time frame, 5 years or 10 years. This is a ridiculously common question, asked in a lot of interviews. You should prepare well for this, and set goals for yourself. Write down the things you wish to accomplish in 5 or 10 years time, and work out how you’d be able to get there.
Work hard on this. But you should understand that the interviewers are not interested in a highly detailed narration of where you will be in 5 to 10 years or how you’re going to get there – they are only interested in finding out if you’re ambitious, clear about your goals, and are realistic enough about what you wish to achieve in life. You should project yourself as an eager learner and as someone who is going to be dedicated to his or her job.
#3. Tell me about your experience at your previous company.
Here, the recruiter is not interested in hearing about your bad experiences at your previous company and what led you to quit it. His interest lies in finding out if you’ve learned anything at all from your previous work experience which would benefit you in your new job. Does your previous job experience make it easier for you to fit into the job position that you’re seeking in the company?
The recruiter will want to know specific “success stories” – about how your intervention brought about a successful outcome in a previous job, such as, a valuable client account that was bagged by you, or a major problem that was solved. Now, be careful enough not to say anything that is untrue here, because this can be easily found out.
#4. Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.
This is often a tricky question, which is asked in every single interview, and yet most job seekers mess it up badly, every single time. Mention 3 or 4 positives, which should be simple enough, you would know about your strengths. But this shouldn’t be an empty boast, because the interviewer is too smart to fall for that. When talking about your weaknesses, be honest and but don’t reveal too much. Don’t reveal a weakness that would hurt your prospects. The weaknesses should be of a moderate nature, nothing that would negatively impact your work at the new company.
#5. Why do you want to work here?
Actually, this is a question you should ask yourself before appearing for the job interview. If there is no compelling reason for you to work in a particular firm, then you probably shouldn’t look for a job there either. Your reasons for joining a particular company should be something more than just the salary on offer. The interviewer won’t be impressed if you simply say that you’re there for the money. You should explain what the company means to you and what you have to offer it, and why you are such a perfect fit for the organization.