In continuation with my earlier blogs on Common Interview Answers , presenting some of the frequently asked interview questions and their probable answers that can be used in interviews.
Interview Question 1 : Tell me about yourself
This is an open-ended interview question and there is no restriction on what you could or should say. However, it does not seem to be easy and straight forward as you might think. If you are not prepared to face this type of open-ended interview questions, you might end up don’t know where to start or giving answers in all directions that eventually lead to nowhere. It’s time to take a piece of paper and pen to list down points to construct your personal inventory.
It should include:
- Your strongest skills
- Your areas of knowledge
- Your strengths
- Your accomplishments
When answering this type of interview question, it is best to start off with a systematic approach. For example:
A brief introduction on your education and working (if any) backgrounds.
Your greatest achievements.
Your strengths and how these can benefit your prospective employer
Interview Question 2 : What do you want from this position? This company? Describe your ideal job.
Tackling this interview question requires you prepare by writing the job description of your dream job. Include several adjectives that outline the company, the job and yourself.
Interview Question 3 : Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?
This is quite a tricky question. Obviously, no one would be thinking about leaving a job that they are contented and comfortable with. However, you can always say you would want to pursue for more responsibility, more opportunities, the chance to develop new skills and hone the ones that you have.
Interview Question 4 : What are your strengths?
You would be tempted to count all the strengths you think you possess as an employee. However, a better approach is to match your strengths and accomplishments directly to the requirements of the job you are applying for. Therefore, you would be able to stay focused.
Interview Question 5 : What are your weaknesses?
Rarely there is someone who can say he is perfect and without a weakness. Nevertheless, you do not have to confess all you shortcomings to the interviewer. Instead, give on or two weaknesses but to emphasize the steps and actions that you have taken to overcome them.
Interview Question 6 : Where do you want to be five years from now?
With the five years of experience that you will gain along the way and also the experience that you have already gained beforehand (if any), you will of course would want to aim for a higher position with greater responsibility. However, you would not want to be overly ambitious. Therefore, it would be moderate to say what you would want to be in five years’ time would directly depend on your job performance and of course, you would want to be given more responsibility in the course of time.
Interview Question 7 : What would you do if your superior tells you to do something that you know is not right in the way of doing?
People do make mistakes. Perhaps it could be a case whereby the superior has overlooked. You might want to highlight the matter to your superior. If he still insists, then tell him that you are following on his order.
Interview Question 8 : If I were to call your company, what do you think your boss would describe you?
Of course your boss would describe you as a responsible person, able to work independently while good at team work.
Interview Question 9 : What would you say about your time management?
I hope you can truthfully say that you manage your time well and never procrastinate. Always set goal and prioritize your tasks and spend an appropriate time amount of time to accomplish each task.
Interview Question 10 : What do you know about our company?
Before attending any interview, it is important to read up on the prospective company. It would be impressive if you know about the company. It show that you are enthusiastic about the company. Go through job interview tips 1 to prepare for these question.
Interview Question 11 : What are you looking for in your next job?
Interviewers typically ask this kind of question to gauge your level of interest in the job and to check whether you have any doubts. So focus on the job at hand. Stress on the key skills the job requires and emphasize your interest in having a chance to further develop them.
Interview Question 12 : What types of people do you find hard to get along with?
Be careful with this type of question. Try not to give a direct opinion like a pushy or abrasive person. You interviewer might have the personality that you just mentioned. Instead, provide an answer that soften the reason that you find that person hard to get along.
” I have a discussion with my colleague the other day. He told me that I am too impatient with slow performers. He mentioned that the world is full of ordinary people and I cannot expect to everyone to be great performers.
So I guess I do have trouble with poor subordinate. I don’t expect myself to ever accept poor work but I am learning to be patient and make use of the strength that a person possesses.”
Interview Question 13 : How do you handle a conflict situation that occur in your work place?
Question like this intend to gauge your ability to handle conflict situation that is rather frequent in your daily working life. Here is an example to relate specific situation.
“I usually work thing out with other people before a conflict occurs. But in situation where conflict cannot be avoided I will confront them immediately with reasons and explanations to clear the conflict.”
” I had an engineer who was obstinate about listening to any of my suggestion. He would answer me half-heartedly before doing anything I requested.”
” Finally I decided to have a one to one discussion with him and I said, Look we are both professionals. Either one has the right answer, all the time. I notice that you don’t really like my suggestions. But rather than resist implementing them why don’t we just discuss what you don’t like or what is in your mind. We might find a better solution.”
” That worked out fine and we now enjoy being in the same team.”
Interview Question 14 : You seem to have little experience with sales and marketing (in fact whatever). How do you intend to learn up the knowledge you need to perform well in this job?
This is where you need to demonstrate that you are a fast learner who has the ability and flexibility to adapt to different working environments in a short timeframe.
A good answer would sound like this:
” Well, throughout my career I have met many changes and proven to be able to adapt to them quickly. For example, when my company computerized it’s inventory system, I did not have the time to go through the training session. Since the software came with a user manual and computer-base tutorials. I took the initiative to study and practice at home which enable me to master it. I hope I’d able to do the same to pick up the rudiments of your budgeting (or whatever) system.”
Interview Question 15 : What is the last book you read?
This interview question shows the intention of the interviewer to find out what kind of a person the interviewee is. As the saying goes what someone choose to read speaks volume about what kind of a person he or she is.
You need to prepare your reading list carefully as interviewer very frequently have the perception that people who read non-fiction are more interested in the world about them that fiction readers, who they believe is looking for some sort of escape. So choose a popular How-To books or materials that generally try to improve your knowledge and skills rather than talk about the latest thriller you couldn’t put down.
Interview Question 16 : Is there anything else about you I should know?
You might not think you have anything else left to say but you’d better prepare yourself to answer this interview question and close the sale.
Develop a short answer to this question on that plays upon your strengths, past accomplishments, skills and knowledge.
” I think we have cover everything. But I would like to take the opportunity to reemphasize the key strengths that I would bring to the position.
Experience : The job I’m currently in is quite similar to the one I am applying for and I would be excited by the chance to apply whatever I have learned to working for your company
Management skills : I run a department almost the same size as this one. I have been able to manage the change through out my career and is a fair and effective supervisor thus I will be able to perform well if your company decides to offer me the position.
Enthusiasm : I am very excited about the prospect of working here. When do you expect to make a decision?”
This type of answer not only underline the point that you have been trying to make throughout the interview. By ending with a question, you are asking the interviewer to take some action and it should give you a good indication of your chances of getting the job.
Interview Question 17 : The salary you’re asking for is near the top of the range for the job your are applying for. Why do you think we should pay you this much?
Remind the interviewer about the benefits he will enjoy when you come on board. Bring up your previous achievements again, for example, you might say,
” I was able to cut operating expenses by 10% and improve throughput time by re-engineering the work process. Besides, I have been successful in cutting material cost by 15 percent by negotiating better deals with vendors. I think it’s reasonable to expect that any additional salary we agree to would be offset by savings and improvement I could bring to the company. “
Interview Question 18 : When can you start?
As you must be very excited and tempted by now to accept the job immediately, you should be reminded that it is never wise to burn the bridge, as you might come to cross one of them again. So be accommodating as you can to your current employer. You might, for example, offer to train your replacement.
If it will be several weeks before you can assume your new function full time, show initiative and offer to begin studying literature or files about the company in your off-hours. This will better equip you for your next job.