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9 commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them

. 6 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
9 commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them

Nervous about your interview? Well, it’s justified. From your confidence level to your attitude and interests, the recruiter will be making careful observations, which makes it vital to make a lasting first impression.

While you may not know how the interview is going to go, you can always prepare – Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that will give you a general idea of how to answer questions and make a favourable impression.

Consider this list as your interview questions study guide. Go on, take a print-out, and ace that interview! (You can thank us later.)

1. “Tell us something about yourself. Take me through your profile.”

This interview question aims to understand the kind of employee you are, so it’s a good idea to make a brief self-pitch on why you are perfect for this job.

Pro tip: Start with talking about how passionate you are about your profession, and take them through all the exciting work projects you have been involved insofar. Tell them about some of your professional goals and career milestones, but remember not to recite your resume.

Example: “I am a passionate writer and a keen learner. I’ve always wanted to see my articles in print, and that truly is what keeps me going.”

2. “Do you see yourself as a good fit for this job? Why do you want to work with us?”

This is a commonly asked interview question. This question is asked essentially to find out how serious you are about your prospects with the company, so treat it that way. Instead of giving vague answers, talk about why exactly you want to be associated with this company and why you find this role exciting.

Pro tip: Do your research, as this question will play a huge role in getting you that callback. Google important details about the company (such as its milestones and projects), and read about your interviewer on LinkedIn. In your answer, use that information and focus on how you are looking to be a part of a passionate and interest-driven team for the long run

Example: “I’ve seen how this company has grown, and I am amazed at how you handle all the brands in your kitty. I would love to work with such a brilliant team.”

3. “What are your strengths?”

This question is a tool to understand how confident you are about your work and how you deal with conflict. Again, do not sum up your resume here; instead, give honest examples that add to your overall experience.

Pro tip: This sounds like an easy, straightforward question, but the answer can be tricky. Make sure whatever you say is true, and if you’ve got numbers to support your claims, state them to add credibility. Read the job description carefully, and specifically mention the points that they’re looking for.

Example: “My colleagues say I am a people’s person and know how to get my work done.”

4. “What are your weaknesses?”

Treat this interview question as to the employer’s way of understanding if you can ease through high-pressure situations or are likely to give up. Your answer, in this case, should be tweaked to not reflect too poorly on your profile.

Pro tip: Be tactful with this question so that you don’t end up alarming the employer. Meanwhile, don’t also be boastful of not having weaknesses since that’s not possible. It’s a good idea to put forth a real weakness but something that won’t matter with your role.

Example: “I trust people easily, and I think that often puts me in an odd spot.”

5. “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?/ What are your short-term goals?”

This question in an interview aims to understand how serious you are with your career and what you intend to achieve in the next five years. Are you someone who believes in switching jobs as and when you desire, or do you stick with the company to watch your career grow?

Pro tip: Show your potential employer that you are ambitious, driven, and passionate. Don’t make false claims of being with the same organisation for the next five years, Instead, tell them about how you love your job and that you want to scale up the ranks doing what you like. A good cheat tip is to talk about your dream job and tie that in with the position on offer.

Example: “In the next five years, I am hoping to be with a company that understands my dreams and passions, and I think this job fits the bill perfectly.”

6. “What are your salary requirements?”

You need to do thorough research to answer this interview questions like these. Research well about your position. Some candidates mention absurd expectations that do not match the role at all. Avoid doing this. Not only does it make your case unfavourable, but it also makes you look absolutely unprepared for the interview.

Pro tip: Ask about the compensation details when they reach out to you after going through your CV and explain the job role to you. You may even check out reviews on websites such as Glassdoor, as they provide the inside scoop on salary structures among other things.

Example: “I thank you for considering me for the position. Based on my research, I believe a base pay of Rs.___ would be fulfilling my expectations. It would be very helpful for me if you could throw some light on the compensation package you expect to pay for this role.”

7. “Can you share an incident where you had to manage a difficult situation?”

Here, the interviewer is trying to probe you further to know about your skills and qualities and wants to verify their authenticity by listening to examples of real problems that you’ve tackled in the workplace.

Pro tip: Make sure the answer you give is a work-related answer and is strictly professional unless otherwise asked for. You need to mention and briefly explain a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it. This question is an opportunity for you to highlight your relevant skills for the job.

Example: “I was working as a store manager at this store and it was the night of the introduction of the GST regime. Overnight the taxes and prices of our products were to change. This was a challenge for us, and it required me to lead the entire team to prepare a game plan, and smoothly execute the strategy. We had been strategising our moves for a month and I oversaw the streamlining of the process.”

8. “Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume”

Now, this question is a good chance for you to mention the traits and qualities that you did not mention in your resume.

Pro tip: This interview question is a good chance to give an example from your past experiences that help you elaborate on a relevant skill for the job. You can leave some information out of your resume so that you can elaborate on it during the interview.

Example: “My colleagues say that I have a good sense of humour, and this, I believe, helps me build valuable professional relationships while dealing with clients or working in a team.”

9. “Do you have any questions for us?”

This is your chance among all other interview questions to learn more about the company or the job role – things that you wouldn’t find on the internet. Ask your interviewer about the work culture of the company. You can also ask them about the challenges they feel a person working in the position you’re interviewing for, would face.

Pro tip: Do not say you don’t have any question because if you have researched the company well, you would have questions. Having no questions reflects under-preparation on your part.

Example: “I’m excited to work with your organisation and the entire team. I’m curious about the work culture and some challenges that the chosen candidate for this position could face in the near future.”

Once you have gone through these commonly asked interview questions and their answers, improvise for yourself and rehearse well.

We wish you a very fruitful interview!

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