How to answer the most common job interview questions?

Questions that you will likely be asked during an interview:

  1. Can you briefly tell us about yourself/ take us through your career path/ brief us about your profile?
  2. Are you aware of the vision and mission of our organisation?
  3. What do you think makes you an ideal candidate for this job?
  4. Do you understand the challenges that you might have to face in this position?
  5. What are your strengths? How did you use them to achieve results in your previous roles? How do you think you can use them to benefit the organization in this role?
  6. What are your weaknesses? Did they impact your efficiency? How do you manage to overcome them to ensure productivity?
  7. Can you give an example of a challenging situation that you have dealt with or overcome in your previous roles?
  8. Why are you looking for a new job?
  9. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five years?
  10. What do you consider to be your biggest achievement and failure?
  11. Are you a team player or you prefer to work alone? How is your rapport with teammates and how would they describe you as a professional?
  12. Did you ever have any issues or conflict of opinion in decision making with either your seniors, peers, or juniors? If yes, how did you deal with it and manage to resolve the issue? Can you share an instance?
  13. Why is there a gap between jobs?
  14. What are your expectations in terms of salary?
  15. Do you have any questions for us?
  16. When are you available to join?

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How to introduce yourself impressively to the employers?

  • As you reach the interview site, introduce yourself at the reception and tell the receptionist about your appointment with the interviewer. For example- Hi, my name is Andrew Wong. I am here to meet Mr. David Jobs or I have an appointment with Mr. David Jobs at 3:00 pm.”
  • You may be asked to sit and wait before someone arrives to take you to the interview room. When someone appears to greet you, it is courteous to stand up to give them a firm (but not crushing) handshake with a warm smile followed by introducing yourself with your full name e.g., “Hi, I am Andrew Wong”.
  • When the person tells you his/her name, respond by saying, “nice to meet you” citing the person’s name. If this individual is not the interviewer, thank them for taking you to the interview room before they leave.
  • When you finally meet the interviewer/s, greet them with a smile, firm handshake, and by saying “pleased to meet you” followed by their name.

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Below are some points to keep in mind for an impressive interview:

  • It is important to do your homework to know the professional background of your interviewers through company’s website, professional networking sites, and the like.
  • Take time to do your research about the organization to understand its vision, mission, culture, business, and competitors.
  • Dress up appropriately, preferably in formals. Work on your body language to come across as a confident person. Avoid fidgeting and putting your hands in pockets. Think before you communicate and speak slowly, softly, and clearly.
  • Be prepared to discuss your CV as well as elaborate the key points and answer any questions the interviewer might have about the information you shared earlier.
  • Maintain moderate eye contact (about 60-70% of the time), and do not get distracted to indicate that you are listening carefully and engrossed in the conversation.
  • At the end of the interview, most interviewers would ask you if you have any questions for them. Prepare a few questions in advance that you can ask the interviewer. For example-
  • Who does the position report to?
  • How would you describe the culture of the organisation?
  • What would you expect from someone to achieve in the first three months of joining?
  • How soon do you wish to fill this position?
  • Bring the interviewers attention towards the strongest aspects of your experience that make you an ideal candidate for the role, in addition to expressing your keen interest in the position. When the interview is over, thank them for their time and tell them that you look forward to hearing from them. Always send a thank you email after every interview.

Be prepared to smartly and confidently answer common questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”-

  • Most employers ask questions about your strengths and weaknesses as they provide an insight to know you better and an opportunity to understand your personality traits.
  • When asked about your strengths, share a couple of most relevant key skills you possess reflecting the requirements of job description such as leadership, collaboration, interpersonal, communication, time management, attention to detail, good with numbers, teamwork, resourceful to name a few. Share details of when and how you have used those skills in your previous roles to achieve results. Give one or two examples of specific situations you have dealt with in the past using your strengths which are directly related to the role.
  • Weaknesses may range from being over protective, low risk taking, self-critical, easily overwhelmed, unorganized, perfectionist, too competitive, as well as having lack of confidence, interpersonal, and leadership skills etc. Mention one or two weaknesses that are not very relevant to the role making sure you portray them in a positive way by emphasising how overcoming your inadequacies have made you a better professional and what you have learnt from them.

Hope you find this article helpful. Wish you all the best for your interview!

 

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