Interview Questions and How to Crack them

Interview Questions and How to Crack them

Job Interview

What is an Interview

An interview is a conversation between a job applicant/interviewee and the board of experts or interview panel. Where questions are asked by the panel to obtain information about the interviewee. So impressing the panel is of utmost importance for the applicant to achieve the dream job that he has always wanted and also if selected, your first impression would be formed based on how you perform during the interview.

Given below are some important interview questions that usually gets asked for any interview. In certain questions it is specially mentioned what not to say and what to say, while for other questions, a generally acceptable answer has been given which might prove effective in improving your chances of clearing the interview.

Interview Questions

Q1) Tell me about yourself?

Without any doubt, this is the most important question irrespective of the company that you’re applying for and every interview would definitely start off with this question. When it comes to preparation point of view, the very first thing to start preparing is about yourself. Might feel like an easy question but this question is definitely the tone setter for your interview. Why because they’re asking about you. If you do it right, the process has a high probability to proceed smoothly but if you go wrong somewhere, you’ll set a bad impression as the notion might rise up that if you don’t know about yourself, then how will you know the remaining things that would be tested in the interview.

What to say

Your self-intro must be crisp and to the point. Ideally it should take 2 minutes or maybe 3 minutes. As mentioned you can steer the interview to your advantage through this question. So mention things that you’re absolutely confident about and also things from which you’d be able to answer when being questioned about. Also rather than talking a lot about trivial facts such as where you were born and brought up, how many siblings you have etc. bring in relevant points that make you stand out from the other applicants and also try to establish a link between your achievements or hobbies with that of the objectives of the organization/institution. Also make sure to talk about all the prominent points in your resume, as it can indirectly make the interviewer to ask more questions about it.

What you shouldn’t say

Never try to impress the interviewer by including things that you’re not sure about. For example if
you’ve done a 2 day workshop on Arduino Bots, mention it if you’re well versed in that topic and is
confident that you’d easily answer majority of the questions. Otherwise it will create a negative
impression. Never mention about your grades if they’re not impressive enough, only talk about it if
asked about your grades.

Q2) Why should I hire you?

If you’re a fresher you can go on to say that it’s the starting phase of your career and you want to make it big. So you believe that a reputed organization like their’s can definitely help you in making a good start in your career and also as you’re a fresher, you’d put your heart and soul for the betterment of the organization to make your mark big in the organization.

If you’re experienced, you can say that you’ve been in the industry for so and so years and have gained expertise and honed your skills throughout your journey. So for further growth in your career, you believe such a reputed organization like their’s can make your dreams come true and also you’d work even more passionately and with more dedication to further your interests in this field.

Q3) Why would you want to work in our company?

This is a question where you can you can impress the panel with your knowledge regarding their organization.

What you shouldn’t say

Don’t give unprofessional answers like the salary package is high or that the company is located in your native or is near your home. These answers do not express your interest in being part of the company in any way as the answers are based on your well being and nothing to do with the company’s achievements.

What to say

Include maximum points regarding the company’s achievements and noteworthy points. The panel should understand that you’ve run a deep research about them and know pretty well about them. You can list out if the company is a fortune 500 company or you can mention about any of the recent awards or achievements of the company that aligns with your interests and goals. This shows that not only are you interested but well read and surely will impress.

Q4)What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is a question which you’ll have to answer with slightly more emphasis on your strengths but at the same time not neglecting weaknesses.

What you shouldn’t say

Never go on and on about your strengths and in the end forget to mention your weaknesses. No human being is perfect, so it’s perfectly natural and expected to have weaknesses. But never mention weaknesses like you’re lazy, irresponsible, lack confidence etc. These are clearly traits that no organization would prefer having in their potential candidate.

What to say

Your weaknesses should also be given as much importance as your strengths because failure is the path to success. Make sure you mention your weakness for which you have a solution since they would inevitably ask how you’re overcoming your weakness. So prepare a really impressive answer to show how you’ve changed or planning to overcome that weakness. The panel would be more keen in knowing about that rather than your strengths. Also highlight the fact that your yesterday’s weakness are your today’s strengths and made you a better competitive person and eventually your weakness today would be your strength tomorrow. It would be best to highlight instances from your life for the above mentioned points.

Q5) How long would you expect to work for us if hired?

What you shouldn’t say

Never say any particular number of months or years. If you say 2 years, the panel would simply ask you why not 4 years and you’ll simply find it hard to justify and also give an early signal that you’re planning to switch. Also never say unprofessional answers like as long as the company doesn’t terminate me. It might show lack of confidence in yourself.

What to say

You can say that you would like to work for the company as long as your work is appreciated and you’re a major player in the achievements of the organization. You’d be more than happy to continue working as long as both the company’s as well your goals are satisfied thereby forming a nexus between your and the company’s wellbeing.

Q6) Can you work under pressure?

What you shouldn’t say

Never say you will try to avoid pressure or something like that. Any competitive industry would be working under pressure once in a while depending on the work.

What to say

Say that work pressure is required for a competitive environment and also only the mentally strong one’s would survive in today’s competitive world. So you can handle and work under tough and pressure bound situations as it would boost a person’s acumen as well as confidence and in turn makes him a competitor. You can list any situations from your life where you have handled pressure successfully.

Q7) Are you willing to relocate?

What you shouldn’t say

If possible try to avoid saying a no. It would show lack in flexibility from your part.

What to say

It is ok to say a no if you have a really genuine reason that restricts you from relocating. Otherwise it is better to agree to the idea of relocation to show your flexibility.You can say that a change is required in a person’s life once in a while to freshen up his life and rejuvenate his mind. You’d be happy to relocate as it would help you travel places and can learn new things both professionally as well as outside of office from the challenges that the new place has to offer, which in turn boosts your productivity.

Q8) How do you feel about working nights and weekends?

What you shouldn’t say

Never say that you’re not willing to do it as it would be part of the company policy to put the employee into shifts. So it would lower your chances or getting through the interview. If you have a really genuine reason, even then it’s best to not mention it during the interview but rather discuss it with your supervisor in future.

What to say

Express your desire to become the key player in whichever department that you’d be working for. And also mention that work-life balance is essential for any employee to bring about his peek performance. So if the job requires you to take up shifts in a way that won’t affect your work-life balance adversely, you’re willing to work in shifts and weekends.

Q9) How much salary do you expect?

This is a tricky question and should be handled maturely. Most of the firms do disclose the pay offered whether be it job portal, recruitment through campus etc.

What you shouldn’t say

Never tell an amount or salary expectation unless you have prior work experience. For a fresher any figure that you say would have to be justified and you’ll face a hard time doing it.

What to say

If you have prior work experience, it is ok to say your remuneration in the previous firm if the employers would genuinely like to know your expectation to arrive at a conclusion as to how much you’re expecting. But it is always best to tackle the question by saying that you’re applying for this job because you’re passionate to work in this field and that you always dreamt of being part of this company. So you’re a happy man if you’re able to realize your passion and dream come true and money is secondary and you’d be happy to receive a remuneration that your designation deserves and is as per industry standards.

In this way, you can show that you’ve applied for the job out of interest and not for money.

Q10) What is the difference between hard work and smart work?

Hard work Is one essential quality that is inevitable for any successful person in a particular field. But once a person gains expertise in his field, his hard work automatically transforms into smart work where he can save more money and resources. A fresher should always opt for hard work as it is the foundation for better performance but with experience he must try to convert it to smart work to stay ahead in the competition.

Q11) Why did you leave your previous job?

This question applies only to experienced candidates.

What you shouldn’t say

Never say that the workload was high or that you got fed up of the work over there. It might make you
look like a lazy person and lower your chances of clearing the interview.

What to say

You can first of all thank your previous company by saying what all things you’ve learned over there and how it made you proficient in the skills that you possess. Then you can say that change is inevitable for growth for everyone and hence you’re in pursuit of better opportunities to further improve your competency and hone your skills.

Q12) What motivates you to do good job?

Say that you’d like to be the best in the field that you’re passionate about and would like to be the face of the company/field that you’re representing. Apart from that, your success in the past can be given credit to your failures which has always taught valuable lessons and it motivates you to be better at it to turn your failures into success. Also your parents have done a lot for you in making you who you are today. So that too motivates you to be even better and be there for your parents and make them proud.

Q13) How do you define or evaluate success?

Your answer to this question will give the interviewer a sense of your work ethic, your career goals, and your life goals. You can say that success has different definitions in different spheres of your life. At work or at office it means to complete the objectives or tasks assigned to you by your supervisor in time, when at team meetings it means to be a team player and lead the team, at home it means to be the guardian of your home and be a loving father, husband, brother and son to your family. In the end you can consider yourself to be successful when you have a sense of achievement in every field that you’re involved in and have a positive work-life balance.

Q14) Your academics compared to other candidates is on the lower side. So aren’t they eligible than you for this job?

This question applies to a person who’s academics is low or has dipped down when comparing previous grades. You can say that yes previously your performance wasn’t good enough but failure is always the path to success. Through your failures you’ve decided to become a more hard working and dedicated person and decided to stay focused on your goals to survive in this competitive world, and as a result of your improvement, you’ve been shortlisted for the interview along with candidates who were at one point better than you. You can top the answer by agreeing by saying that you agree that your grades are low but because you’ve experienced failure, you’ll be in a much better position to deal with failure and work related pressures more than a person who may not be as tough as you are.

Q15) If you had won a lottery, would you still work for us?

What you shouldn’t say

Never say no. It creates a bad impression about your personality.

What to say

You can say that the money you get is easy money and there’s no sense of satisfaction. Whereas if you earn it, there is satisfaction. Besides you’ll be working for the company for the passion that you have for job. So you’d be sacrificing your passion if you quit your job upon winning a lottery.

Q16) What are you passionate about?

Here your answer shouldn’t necessarily include about work alone. The company is looking to determine if you’re a well-rounded person, and what you enjoy doing outside of work can give them insight into the type of employee you’d be if you were hired. You could mention that the field in which you’re planning to work is definitely among your passions but at the same time do mention all your other passions and also achievements that you’ve achieved down the line while pursuing your passion. Give them the impression that you’re a jack of all trades and that you’re a person who can master anything with ease.

Q17) Would you lie for the company?

This is one of those questions where both yes or no is ok but both yes or no does require a really good justification. You can consider this as a stress question.

You can say you’re a firm believer in ethics and ethical work and by default you believe in trustworthiness and honesty. But if at all a situation arises where a lie can save a company from a big loss, you wouldn’t mind doing it as long as the lie is for a good cause. Also, a lie can be replaced with honest and even better hard work if it’s for a noble cause.

Q18) What are your career options right now?

If you’re a fresher you can say as a fresher you want to make a really good start to your career track by getting into a reputed organization like their’s and would like to enhance your knowledge, skill, abilities and competency and be a reputed member of the firm.

If you’re experienced, you can say you’ve gained good experience and have a good technical know how in the field that you’ve worked and would like to foster further learning and in turn be part of all the changes and achievements of the organization.

Q19) What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?

You can say like you follow what your heart and mind says is right and try hard to make it right. As Ratan Tata has rightly said “I don’t believe in making right decisions. I take decisions and make them right.”

Q20) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

What you shouldn’t say

Never give answers like I’m planning to take an MBA or MS from so and so university after 5 years. It will show that you won’t be available for a long term contract and would lower your chances of getting selected. And also never give unprofessional answers like you’d like to be a manager or you’d like to earn more money etc. because these basically are not in your hands.

What to say

Answer in a way that aligns with both your’s as well as the company’s objectives. You can say that you’d like to see yourself in a more respectable position and play a leading role in pursuit of organizational objectives which in return helps you achieve your career goals. Also, you’d like to be more proficient in terms of your knowledge, skills and abilities and become an asset to the company through your hard work and dedication.

Q21) On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me as an interviewer?

This is one standard question which one can expect towards the end of the interview. It is a bit tricky but could be handled well if done with caution.

What you shouldn’t say

Never say that the interviewer is 10 on 10 because obviously it might indicate the interviewee as buttering up the interviewer and might consider you a sycophant. At the same time, never give a really low rating as eventually the interview might not go in your favour.

What to say

It’s safe to give the interviewer a rating of 9 if you’re satisfied and can find no fault in him and ok to give an 8 if you have a genuinely good reason that you can give but at the same time not aggravate the interviewer.

The better option is to give a 9. But that answer would be followed by an inevitable question, “Why not 10 on 10”. But still it’s safer than saying 10 on 10, as it shows that you have seriously analyzed his interviewing skills rather than blindly saying 10 on 10.

Upon receiving the question as to why not a 10, you can safely say that no human being is perfect and everyone even the best has room to improve. I’m awarding 9 because I find you very pleasing and an erudite person and this has been one among the best interviews that I’ve faced. But still everyman becomes a better man through experience and passion for his work. So in my books, 9 is a really impressive score.

Q22) Do you have any questions for me?

This would most probably be the last question for any interview. This question is important to better your chances of getting selected and might even be the turning point of your interview if answered sensibly.

What you shouldn’t say

If possible, try to avoid saying that you’ve got nothing to ask. If you don’t have anything to ask, it show that you applied for the interview just for the sake of getting a job in that particular organization. It also shows lack of interest in knowing more about them. Only avoid asking a question in the worst case where you don’t have any relevant question to ask. If the question that you’re about to ask might make you look silly.

What to say

It’s always best to ask a couple of questions to the interviewer. It shows your interest and zeal in being part of that particular firm. Also if you’ve done enough research about the firm and could find out 2 or 3 relevant questions to ask. Which is unique, you would easily impress the panel. Irrespective of how good or bad your interview went. Do ask them 2 or 3 relevant questions because that might be the tie breaker when evaluating your scores. But make sure the question is sensible, professional and to the point.

You can also do a course on Perfect Interview Strategy, to know more about the real insights on how to prepare for a Perfect Interview.

Perfect Interview Strategy Course

You should also do some relevant online certification courses to make yourself updated.

Hope this helps and help you bag your dream job.

Dream Job

Article Submitted by
Ajish Rahman - Vskills Intern
(Govt. Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara)
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Myinterviewpractice
    April 20, 2018 11:21 am

    I like your content very much.It is good for beginners searching for job. You have mentioned basic questions that are asked in interviews.

  • Top engineering college in noida
    May 17, 2018 4:05 pm

    Thank for this valuable information.


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