This is essentially the most dreaded word among the job aspirants. And rightly so. After all, an interview is a holistic evaluation of one’s profile. The interview questions, for most people, can prove to be extremely challenging. However, with the right preparation and awareness, there’s nothing about an interview that you need to dread about.
Here we list down 51 most frequently asked interview questions. Being familiar with these questions and having a basic idea about the answers to them at the back of your mind will surely get you through any kind of interview.
1. Introduce yourself/ Tell me something about yourself
Well, this is one of those interview questions which are there in almost all the interviews. In fact, this where they always start from! And as you know, well begun is half done. So prepare a very good answer to this question beforehand. Take this opportunity to highlight your strengths, positive character traits, and set the tone for the interview.
Be prepared, but make sure that you do not sound rehearsed in front of the interviewer.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Staying positive is the key here. Do not start recounting all that went bad. Instead, give an aspirational answer. Something like – You wanted to move forward in your career. Or, that you wanted to diversify your profile, will be the perfect answer.
3. Do you have any experience in this field? Explain it in detail.
Well, if you do have an experience, go all out explaining everything about it. Starting from what your job role was, what projects you worked upon, to how you handled difficult situations – all of it.
If you do not have relevant or substantial experience, explain that experience is what you seek, and you are all up to learn and grow on the way.
4. Do you consider yourself successful?
YES – should be your answer to such arbitrary interview questions, to begin with. Quote some of the life experiences that make you feel successful (You can be a bit philosophical here!).
However, you should also put forth the point that there is so much to learn and so much to achieve, and its a continuous process.
5. What do your friends & colleagues say about you?
The best way to answer this question is to quote some people from your everyday work life. Tell honestly what kind of reviews you get from your friends and what kind of relationship you share with them.
6. Have you done your research well? What do you know about this organization?
This question is completely in your hands. Research the organization you are appearing for, and gather basic information like year of inception, key people, the scope of operations, mission and vision of the company. Tell them freely about all you have gathered.
7. What are the things you done recently, to improve your knowledge?
Be very specific in your answer to this question. List down some of the courses you have completed, books you have read or professional events you have attended recently.
8. Are you applying for other jobs as well?
Be honest. Tell them if you have applied elsewhere. It will only put you forth as an aspirational competitive individual. However, keep it brief and do not spend much time discussing inconsequential things.
9. What are the reasons that you wish to work for this company?
You would have to think a bit and come up with a convincing answer to this. Give good reasons like you find yourself aligned with the culture of the organization, or that you foresee good growth and opportunities as a part of the organization.
10. Do you know anyone from within the organization?
Be honest. However, be aware of any HR policy that the organization may have related to relatives working in the organization.
11. What compensation are you expecting?
Do not reveal what’s in your mind straight away! It can backfire. Instead, try to duck such interview questions while gaining some insight from the interviewer. Ask about the salary range in the job position. Put across the message that you would certainly like a competitive compensation package.
12. Are you a team player?
Say a big YES in answer to this. Saying no, of course, is going to make it tough for you.
However, substantiate your YES with examples from your experience, where you worked in a team, what were your contributions and how well did you perform.
13. Do you tend to frequently switch organization? How long do you plan to work for us?
Here again, being specific would not be a good idea. Instead, come up with a diplomatic answer. Something like – as long as I continue to enjoy my work and create value for the organization, would be a perfect answer here.
14. Have you ever fired anyone?
This question can have some serious implications. Do not take it lightly. Give an analytical answer. Why you fired someone if you did? What were the parameters to take that decision? What were its implications?
15. What is your philosophy towards work?
Here the interview is not looking for a well-framed and pitch-perfect answer but is trying to gain insights into your thought process and work values. So be honest, and tell the interview what work means to you, and how you plan to get the things done.
16. Suppose you have enough money for the rest of your life. Would you like to retire?
Well, it can be a yes or a no, depending upon your preference. But keep in mind the pros and cons of both the answers. A yes would present you as a practical, but a money-minded and selfish person, A no may put you across as a philosophical but dedicated person. The choice is yours to make!
17. In your professional life, have you ever been fired?
Give an honest answer. If you have not, say no. If you have, explain in brief. There’s no need to spread negativity about it.
18. Explain some ways how you would be an asset to this company.
Highlight your existing skillset relevant to the job, your character traits, and also how you are a cultural fit in the organization. Relevant experience from the past can also be included in this answer.
19. Why should we hire you?
Again, a very common interview question, and a bit difficult to answer. The approach should be to highlight how you meet the organizational requirements, and how you are the best fit in the role.
20. Tell a suggestion or an improvisation that you made in your previous job/ project.
Be sure and include a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.
21. What irritates you about co-workers?
Gain a trap question to infuse negativity into the interview and see how you respond to it. But you need to stay positive! Tell them how flexible you are, and tend to get along with everyone with an accommodating attitude.
22. What is your greatest strength?
Remember they are asking for the ‘greatest’ strengths. So mention only the most prominent ones that are relevant to the job… A few good examples: Your ability to take initiative, self-motivation, design thinking, problem-solving, etc.
23. Which is your dream job/ company?
Don’t name a specific job or company. And never say the very job that you are appearing for. It will make you sound inspirational.
Be generic and say something like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can’t wait to get to work.
24. Do you think you will be able to well in this job? Why?
Give your answer in two parts – One, highlight your relevant skills. Two, talk about your sheer interest in the field.
25. What kind of people do you dislike?
Here are some keywords for your answer to such interview questions – disloyal, insincere, violent, judgemental, etc.
26. What would you prefer: money or work satisfaction?
Give a diplomatic answer here, because you really can’t choose one. Money is certainly of primary importance, but it also underlines how satisfaction is equally important and how the two drive each other. That would be a perfect answer!
27. What would your previous colleagues, managers, and supervisors say about you?
Again, here are some keywords for the answer: Hardworking, Dedicated, Loyal, Friendly, Problem Solver, Creative, Energetic, Positive, Patient, Go, Getter, Happy….
28. Okay let’s be candid, tell me about a problem you had with your manager. (Biggest of all traps)
Well, well, well…the interviewer wants to test whether you talk ill of your superiors, and disclose internal conflicts to third parties? Refrain from falling to this trap, and simply develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor!
29. What has disappointed you about a job?
This is your opportunity to be an aspirational person who wants the best. But make sure you do not go trivial or negative. Instead, include analytical and logical points in your answer.
30. Can you work under high-pressure situations?/ How does work pressure impact your performance?
Of course, you need to give a positive answer to such interview questions. Quote an example of experience from the past where you worked under pressure, how was your performance and what you learned from that experience.
31. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
This one – that’s why you are there! Your goal is to present yourself as the best match for the job. So, there’s no point giving fuel to the suspicion that you are looking for something else.
32. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
Again, it depends upon you. But try to come up with a good and unique answer. Some examples include appreciation, self-satisfaction, challenge, and reward.
33. Are you willing to work overtime?
Answer honestly! After all, in answer to interview questions like these, you are setting an expectation here!
34. What are your determinants of success?
This is a subjective question. There can be different measures of success. Frame this answer beautifully. Tell the interviewer how you measure success through satisfaction, appreciation, rewards or whatever.
35. Are you open to relocation?
Well, it’s always your personal prerogative. But make your mind about relocation beforehand. Do not sound confused and indecisive.
36. What do you value more – self or the organization?
Choose “organization”! Through this question, the interviewer is judging your loyalty and dedication. Self is important, but let the interviewer hear what he wants to hear from you!
37. Describe your management style.
Have some basic knowledge of the management styles, and pick the one that suits you the best. However, also keep in mind the organization’s way of functioning and try to find a harmony between the two.
38. How do you respond to the mistakes you make? Do you learn from them? How?
This question is a very good opportunity for you to highlight your learning tendencies. Quote some specific incidents where you made some mistakes, and then some similar circumstances which you handled by improving on them.
39. Do you have any blind spots?
Again, a trick question. If you are already aware of what your blind spots are, how do they remain blind spots anymore?! Do not reveal anything here.
40. What do you think are the traits that an ideal candidate for the job should possess?
It’s simple. Mention the traits that you have and you think are required for the job. Because you need to present yourself as the ideal candidate!
41. Are you overqualified for this role?
No. This is a trap question to judge your ego. Stay humble regardless of your qualifications. Tell the interviewer that you only consider yourself to be ‘well-qualified’ for the job.
42. Do you think your lack of a job can come in the way of your work? How do you plan to compensate for it?
There’s only one right answer to the twisted interview questions like this one. Tell them that you are a quick and eager learner. You will learn all that is required for the job!
43. What are your expectations from your boss?
Take this kind of interview questions easy and give a generic answer. Do not sound too demanding. The safe qualities of your prospective boss that you can mention are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, approachable, etc.
44. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others?
Here, your negotiation and people skills will be tested. Be specific with the incidents you quote, and not arbitrary.
45. Do you consider yourself to be a leader or a follower?
Now, this is another of the interview questions that demand you to be diplomatic. Underline the importance of being a team player, and tell the interviewer how you would like to be in different roles and learn from each one of them.
46. How important are work ethics for you?
Yes, should be your answer. But do not sound too good to be true! Back your answers with examples and past experiences where you took an ethical approach.
47. Have you ever failed? Why? And how did you react to it?
Never say no! Failures are an indicator that you went out of your comfort zone and took risks. But make sure to quote an experience from the past, where you gave your best but failed due to things out of your control. Highlight a positive reaction and leanings from it.
48. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
This is your opportunity to present yourself as a fun person you would be good to work with. However, ensure you quote an experience where you had fun by accomplishing something for the organization.
49. Give one reason why should I hire you?
Here again, highlight your strengths. Tell the interviewer how you are unique, and how you can add value to the organization, which most other candidates can not.
50. Do you have any questions?
Always have some! In most interviews, this will be one of the interview questions towards the end of the interview. It’s your opportunity to appear interested and inquisitive. But make sure that your questions are relevant and reasonable.
Examples: What will be the career trajectory? What are the technologies being used at work?
So, these were some questions which must help you while answering.
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