Interview Questions Job Search

Most Common Interview Questions and Answers Asked By HR6 min read

December 17, 2019 5 min read
common interview questions


Most Common Interview Questions and Answers Asked By HR6 min read

Read­ing Time: 5 min­utes

Inter­views! For a fresh­er or some­one with a decade long work expe­ri­ence, inter­views need prepa­ra­tion and we can­not deny this. Prepar­ing for an inter­view involves know­ing as well as study­ing the com­pa­ny, pro­file, KRAs and not to be missed — being well-versed with the com­mon inter­view ques­tions and answers that decide your chances of selec­tion. Some peo­ple take them very light­ly and pay no heed to pre­pare these com­mon­ly asked inter­view ques­tions which play a very impor­tant role in the final ver­dict – a YES or NO.

The most com­mon inter­view ques­tions and answers & the appro­pri­ate way is unveiled for you:

#1.Tell me something about yourself”

This is the very first job inter­view ques­tion of any inter­view and decides how the rest of the inter­view will go. As the say­ing goes, the first impres­sion is the last; the answer to this ques­tion gov­erns the per­cep­tion of the inter­view­er about you. You need to sound pleas­ant as well as con­fi­dent while talk­ing about your­self and the areas that you must spec­i­fy in your answer are your edu­ca­tion­al back­ground, work expe­ri­ence if any and some­thing off­beat about your­self that is worth a mention.

#2. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

This ques­tion is some­thing that every hir­ing man­ag­er will ask a can­di­date. Even if it is a com­mon inter­view ques­tion, it doesn’t mean it needs no prepa­ra­tion. You need to answer this ques­tion care­ful­ly and speak about the abil­i­ties and traits that add val­ue to your work as your great­est strengths. For exam­ple, prob­lem-solv­ing skills, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, etc.

Men­tion your short­com­ings as weak­ness­es but empha­size on the fact that it can cer­tain­ly be worked on. For exam­ple, a sam­ple answer can be “I am over­ly crit­i­cal of myself. Every time I fin­ish a project, I can­not help but feel that I could have done bet­ter even if my work got a pos­i­tive response. How­ev­er, I have been try­ing to take time to view my accom­plish­ments impar­tial­ly and cel­e­brate those wins.” 

Note: You need not sound neg­a­tive when it comes to talk­ing about your weak­ness­es. Talk about only those habits or char­ac­ter­is­tics that can be improved over some time. For strengths, try to for­mu­late an answer that does not sound like bragging. 

#3.Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”

Remem­ber this is one of the most impor­tant of com­mon inter­view ques­tions and answers list­ed here. The answer to this ques­tion reflects your long term vision and seri­ous­ness about your career path. You need to think about the answer and shape it prop­er­ly. Base­less or illog­i­cal vision can be a big neg­a­tive in your inter­view process.

#4.Why did you opt for this company?”

Your knowl­edge about the com­pa­ny, its vision, and your con­tri­bu­tion would help in answer­ing this ques­tion right. Read about the com­pa­ny, you can go through the About Us or Intro­duc­tion page on the com­pa­ny web­site and under­stand the busi­ness. You should be very clear about your role and contribution.

Note: Do not neglect to research about the com­pa­ny. Not know­ing about the com­pa­ny or for­get­ting to do basic research is a blun­der and can min­i­mize your selec­tion chances despite strong domain skills that you possess. 

#5. “Why should we hire you?”

While answer­ing this ques­tion remem­ber your strengths and core com­pe­ten­cies. Your skills – soft and domain decide whether the com­pa­ny will hire you or not. This is your chance to prove you are the per­fect fit for their orga­ni­za­tion. Recall the point­ers from the job descrip­tion and frame your answer accordingly.

Note: Be spe­cif­ic and cite your past work expe­ri­ences to enrich your answer.

#6. “Why did you opt for this job or profile?”

Your expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of domain gov­ern your choice of job pro­file you are inter­view­ing for. Here, speak­ing about your time in the work­space and your learn­ing will enhance your answer. You can also men­tion that you want to work at the com­pa­ny and thrive in your dream job, or this pro­file is a good fit for your career plan, etc.

#7. “What are your biggest professional achievements?”

Your answer should be sup­port­ed by num­bers. Talk about your achieve­ments in terms of facts and fig­ures. For exam­ple 50% improve­ment in cus­tomer acquisition.

Note: The achieve­ment that you talk about should be rel­e­vant – match­ing the respon­si­bil­i­ties in the new job. Num­bers should be accu­rate and the “how” of achiev­ing should be clear and artic­u­lat­ed properly.

#8. “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

Rea­sons for leav­ing your cur­rent job should make sense as its indica­tive of your approach and deci­sion mak­ing. Lack of inter­est, con­flict with man­age­ment or team­mates are not good rea­sons to quit a job.

Note: This answer should be framed before­hand in your mind. Prefer­ably, the rea­son for quit­ting the cur­rent job should reflect an inter­est in growth and learn­ing opportunities. 

#9. “What can we expect in the first 3 months?”

Some com­pa­nies ask you to for­mal­ize a strat­e­gy to achieve the desired results in the first three months. This is the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to give them your plan of work. It is always bet­ter to con­vey your thoughts than being awful­ly quiet.

The best way to go about this is by set­ting SMART goals for your­self. Goals that are Spe­cif­ic, Mea­sur­able, Achiev­able, Real­is­tic, and Time­ly (SMART), backed by a strat­e­gy for implementation.

Note: It’s impor­tant to see the fea­si­bil­i­ty of the goals, giv­en the exist­ing frame­work of resources and capac­i­ty to expand. Do your research well and cre­ate an action plan.

#10. “What are your hobbies and interests?”

Your will­ing­ness to share about your­self will engage the inter­view­er and help you build a good rap­port. Your tone of voice can be friend­ly while talk­ing about your hob­bies and interests.

#11. “What is your style of working?”

By this ques­tion, the inter­view­er wants to know whether you like work­ing in a team or pre­fer an indi­vid­ual pro­file that oper­ates sole­ly. You can answer hon­est­ly but under­stand the rea­son behind it.

Note: It is bet­ter if you answer “team” because it shows that you are a team play­er, capa­ble of work­ing in syn­er­gy with your col­leagues which helps to achieve results faster.

#12. “What was your last drawn salary?”

Men­tion the annu­al CTC you resigned at.

Note: This can­not be an approx­i­mate or “near about” num­ber. Your salary at the new com­pa­ny will be based on the last drawn CTC.

Also, click here to find the tips for Nego­ti­at­ing Salary & become a pro in the next 4min.

#13. “Do you have any questions about the company or the profile?”

Ask if you gen­uine­ly have any con­cerns or want to know more about cer­tain aspects of the com­pa­ny or the pro­file. Cov­er­ing points like work envi­ron­ment, shift tim­ings, etc can cre­ate a great answer to this ques­tion. Besides, ask­ing ques­tions show that your lev­el of inter­est is high and you’re seri­ous about the giv­en work opportunity.

Note: Do not shy away in putting for­ward your queries or ques­tions. Ask what you feel is rel­e­vant and will help you to have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the com­pa­ny or the profile.

Many com­pa­nies might con­duct an addi­tion­al phone inter­view pri­or to meet­ing in per­son. They can ask any of these ques­tions dur­ing that call as well. Some HRs like to ask behav­ioral inter­view ques­tions where they ana­lyze your per­son­al­i­ty more keen­ly. But over­all, prepar­ing the above list of Com­mon Inter­view Ques­tions should be enough to nail your next interview.

Isha is a post graduate in Economics and has a passion to curate great content for web users. She has a research and writing background in Higher Education, Jobs and Digital Marketing space.