Top 10 Common Interview Questions and How You Can Answer them

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One can face the most challenging seconds of their lives during a interview. Especially if it is for an admission or a job. This article will help you get an idea about the most basic questions that you can be asked during an interview and how to tackle them. These may or not form a part of your actual interview but usually employers do measure your capability on the lines of these questions and may put them before you in a different way or style.

10. Tell us more about yourself.


What one should keep in mind while answering this question is that the interviewer already has your CV in their hands. Therefore, there is no need to repeat all the basic details about you like your name, age, sex, college or school name etc. This question is frequently asked and though it sounds very casual, one must beware. The answer to this should not be too lengthy. It is not essay writing on “Myself” like you were told to write in class third. You have a few seconds to tell a complete stranger about yourself and impress them while you’re at it. Your answer should be short and crisp and should portray you at your best. Avoid repetition and mention only the facts that you think the employer would like to know about. In short, try to put forth your USP through your answer.

9.  Why do you want this job?

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This is the perfect opportunity for you to show them that your skill-set matches their requirement. You have to make them understand that your area of knowledge and expertise can benefit the company if this job is given to you and that your experience in this field does justice to your claim. You can also tell them about your understanding of the job position. This will tell them that you have done your home work well and are really interested in the job. Do not try to take the emotional road by telling them how desperate you are for the job.

8. Why should we hire you?

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This is more or less similar to the question above except this will not only require you to talk about your skill-set matching the job profile but will also expect a presentation of your confidence and capability. You may highlight your USP in your answer and also, why you are a better choice than the others who are applying for the same job position. Tell them about your prior accomplishments in this area and reiterate your interest in the company and the job position.

7. Why did you leave your previous job?


This is one question that needs very careful answering. It is best not to criticize your previous employer/company because it may give an impression of hostility on your part. Simply, it may give the interviewer an impression that you are bad-mouthed. You can say that your growth was stagnated and you didn’t find the job challenging enough anymore. You can say you are looking for a better opportunity and that is why you left your previous job; to give yourself enough time to search for a new job and not making your previous employer to suffer in the process. You can even be honest and say you were laid-out due to corporate restructuring or hierarchical reorganization.

6.  How do you evaluate success?


Answering that in figures can be ruled out straightaway. Saying the bigger the salary, the better can make the interviewer raise an eyebrow. That is because it does not show them your passion in anyway and may even imply that you will go to any length to make money even if it means betraying the company. Your definition of success should be in accordance with the company’s definition of it. It should not seem self-serving or contrasting to the organisation you are going to be employed by. You can say you measure success by how far you have managed to complete the short and long term goals or tasks you are assigned.

5. Describe a work situation/problem and how you overcame it.

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Be very professional and modest while talking about it. Do not be self-praising and glorify your role in the situation because the interviewer is capable of catching it. Though there isn’t a definite answer to this question, it can be handled with a careful approach. These type of questions tend to judge how would you perform in the future based on how you performed back then. Give a proper chronological explanation of the situation you were faced with. Then tell them about your role in it i.e. what solution did you provide to the problem? Keep the answer positive and straightforward.

4. How do you handle stress and pressure?

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To answer this question, you should be able to handle stress and pressure first. Also, you cannot tell them how horrifying you find stress. It is a part of most jobs and one can expect a stress or pressure situation to arise in the course of their jobs multiple times. Instead, be positive and tell them you face it with great determination. Some can even say that stress makes them work better. The more challenging the issue is the more efficiency you are able to show. However, the answer will vary from person to person. Don’t let them catch you being overconfident or exaggerating a fact. You can also answer this question straightforward like ‘ I work-out to distress myself’ or ‘I work through pressure by sitting alone for some time and contemplating the issue in my mind’.

3.  What is your greatest strength?

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It is again a question that is frequently asked during an interview and quite simple to answer. You have to talk about your attributes that will help you secure the job you have applied for. It is important to stay to the point and talk about your strengths that are related to the job profile in some way or the other. It is best not mention how great an artist you are when the job you are applying for is of sales and marketing. However, one shouldn’t be too boastful while talking about his/her strength either. If you are talking about a strength, it will be better if you have some examples to support it.

2. What is your greatest weakness?

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This can be a trick question and needs a lot of contemplation before it is answered. This question should be answered wisely and that can be done by talking about skills that are unrelated to the job. For example an employer may not care if you have poor mathematical skills if the job profile is of an editor or a publisher. Also, you can talk about skills that you weren’t efficient with earlier but have improved. For example, you may have been shy and introvert earlier but now you’re more confident and like to socialise with people around you. By doing so, you turn a negative into positive.

1.  What are your goals for the future?


OR ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ is one of the most common questions that come up in job interviews. The interviewer is not really interested to know where you are literally but rather wants to judge your confidence, ambition, focus and growth-capability all in one question. Answering it with “I am married with two kids” can cost you that job because it is simply off the point. On the other hand, saying “I see myself as the company’s CEO” can also do the same harm but in a different way. That will portray you as an over-confident and power-crazy applicant. They will immediately strike you off and for obvious reasons.

Instead, tell them you see yourself growing with the company. You see yourself and your skills developed through efficient working in the job and tasks assigned to you. Say you see yourself capable to take up more responsibilities and handling bigger tasks more efficiently. You can also add that you see yourself with additional qualification and knowledge about the field you are in.


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