Do you dread interviews?
Does even thinking about being in an interview room give you cold sweats and get your heart pumping fast?
Before any interview, do you have thoughts like “What will the interviewer ask?”, “will they like me or not?”, “Will I make a fool out of myself in the interview”?
Well if yes, don’t worry. It’s completely normal.
Preparing for an interview can be tough and scary not only for people who’ll be sitting for an interview for the first time, but also for people who have previous experience in the same.
And the main problem lies in not knowing the type of questions which the interviewer will ask and how you can tackle them to answer them right.
And that’s the reason why we have curated a list of the 7 most commonly asked questions and their correct answers. Preparing for these 7 questions properly will give you a head start over the others and a better probability to crack that interview for your dream job!
Types of Interview
Before we get into the questions, let me tell you about some types of interviews .
Broadly interviews are of two types :
- The Technical round: Technical rounds are meant to assess your technical knowledge around the job description. If you are applying for an IT role, the technical round would involve questions about Programming, Data Structures, Algorithms etc.You will get questions about your previous projects, internships and professional certifications, if you have any. If it’s a business related role, you will have to come up with a strategy to promote sales or you will have to show your ability to persuade people.
- The HR round: After the technical round, there’ll be an HR round. The HR round involves assessing what type of a person you are. The interviewer wants to know about your personality, your passion, interests, and if you would be a good fit in their company.
We will be talking about the Top 7 most asked questions in the HR round. We re going to tell you why an interviewer asks those questions, how to exactly answer them, and what exactly you are NOT supposed to say!
Let’s see what these questions are.
The first question would be:
Tell me about yourself
No matter whichever company or job opening you are sitting in an interview for, 90% of the time this the first question you’ll have to answer.
There’s absolutely nothing difficult about answering this question! Interviewers ask this question to break the ice and judge your communication skills. And by asking you about yourself, they want to check your self- image, what you think of yourself, and how confident you are!
How to answer:
Give them a compelling pitch about your educational background and work experience. For example, if you are a final year engineering student, you could tell them about your area of interest and how you found out you’re interested in that area. It could be from a specific project you worked on or it could be from an internship experience.
A right way to answer this question would be,
“Hi, My name is Subhshakar Chakraborthy and I’m in my final year of Electronics Engineering in xym University. I’m interested in microprocessor design and analysis. I have a CGPA of 7.4 and I am passionate about technology because of how the world has changed drastically over the past 20 years.”
If you are a business student, talk about which part of doing business gets you excited the most!
“Hi, I am Karan and I’m in my final year of B.com. I’m interested in sales because I’ll get to meet a lot of new people and learn more about how to persuade someone to buy a product.”
Do Not talk about irrelevant things like how your parents struggled to raise you up, or how you ran on the streets when Dhoni hit that sixer! The interviewer doesn’t want to know these things!
The next question is,
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
The interviewer asks you this question for a very simple reason : To understand how self-aware you are. Are you a person who knows their strengths, and if yes, how do you use them! Also, how are you going to work on your weaknesses.
Through this, the interviewer will know where to place you in their team!
Don’t exaggerate too much about your strengths but make sure you let them know what you are good at.
And also make sure that your strengths are somehow related to the job role you have applied for to make a real impact.
How to answer:
“I’m very adaptable to any situation. During college fest days, I was an Organiser of an event and some of my teammates left the team. I still managed to get the event organised by pulling a few strings and devoting more time than I initially thought of allocating for the event.”
Now when it comes to talking about your weaknesses, you need to come across as a self-aware individual who knows what their weaknesses are, and also how to overcome them!
You would answer like this :
“The area in which I need to work more on is my public speaking skills. 4 years of engineering in a college with more than 40,000 students has made me a little shy. I have decided to attend more networking events, talk to more strangers at regular basis and practise speaking in front of a crowd!”
The next one is,
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Interviewers ask this question to see if you want this job because of the money or if you’re just desperate for a job. OR if you’re really interested in this position.
The interviewer wants to understand how much effort it would take to get you ready for the job, and if they are looking at a future leader or not!
The key to this question lies in being honest with the interviewer. If you plan to stay in the same stream, tell them that. But if you want to shift streams and become an influencer in the future, share your plans with them. A good interviewer will understand this and appreciate your individuality!
How to answer:
If you are applying for an IT role, you could say something like
“I plan on heading a product development team at a futuristic tech company in the future. I am very inspired by the Product Managers at Razorpay.”
If it’s a business role, you could say something like
“I plan on becoming the Regional Marketing manager in the future. I want to start with sales because it is a great stepping stone towards becoming a great Marketer.”
The Next question!
What are your biggest achievements?
If this question comes up then, consider yourself lucky because the interviewer is giving you a chance to set yourself apart from the other candidates!
How are you really different from the other people waiting outside that door.
What all have you done? And what all have you achieved through that.
Through this question, an interviewer wants to know if you are ambitious and a driven person.
How to answer:
There are two ways to answer this question.
- If you have an achievement in the same line of work, you should mention it. For example if its a business role : “I was the Sponsorships lead for the cultural fest at my college and I was supposed to raise 5L . It was a challenging task because it was the first time I was raising money from corporate sponsorships and I had to have the funds ready 6 months from when I started. Despite all that, I managed to collect 6.7L and I am really proud of having done that!”
- If you are a fresher and don’t have anything to talk about in the same line of work, just mention some general achievements. But DO NOT forget to mention why you think they are achievements.For example “I bagged the 1st prize at an inter college debate conducted in my city. This was a great achievement for me because i have always been a shy and introverted kid, who would shiver even thinking of the stage”
Why should we hire you?
This, my dear friends, is a question which has beaten the best of the bests. And there is a reason behind it.
Okay before you start feeling dreadful about facing this question, let me tell you why an interviewer would throw this question at your face!
The total number of candidates who have applied for the same job are in thousands. They come from different backgrounds and are very talented. Why are you special? This question, like the first one is about your self-confidence, convincing skills and self-image.
How to answer:
If it is an IT role, you would say something like “I think my programming skills, the projects that I have done, and the internship experiences I have had could be a good mix for the team. I am a good team player.”
The interviewer wants you to sum your experiences, your hard skills or your technical skills, your soft skills and something that I call your X factor, while answering this question!
The next question is
Why do you want to work in this Company
The reason the interviewer is asking you this question is because they want to know how much you know about the company, how would you be able to help them achieve their goals in the short and long run.
This question is a twisted version of “why should we hire you’’. Asking you this question might make you think about what you want from the company, but this question is really about what you could offer the company in helping them achieve their goals.
The best way to answer this question would be to do homework about the company.
You can learn more about the company on their website. Going through their vision and mission statement gives you a good idea about the values of the company and how they want to make the world a better place.
Looking at their products, especially the products on which you’ll be ideally working on gives you a good idea about their style and how it’s different from the products their competitors make.
Although doing this gives you a good start on answering this question, staying up to date with the company’s current happenings gives you a great edge over the others, who would prepare for the same question.
How to answer:
You could say something like,
“ I would like to work in Hackerrank because I’m passionate about teaching people to code and Hackerrank excels in doing that! My past experience in this field suggests that I’m a skilled coder and a good teacher. I am really good at coming up with algorithms and I can add value to Hackerrank by creating exercise algorithms problems for contests. “
Or something like this if you’re into marketing
“I would like to work in Zomato because Zomato is one of the leading startups in India which attained massive global recognition in just a few years time. Particularly marketing because Zomato’s marketing team is a class apart from the other companies in the food industry. I would like to add more value to the content marketing team by curating content for Social media platforms.I would be a good fit in Zomato because I’m a passionate foodie who’s interested in blogging and Zomato is one of the platforms where I can show my food blogging skills. ”
Do you have any questions for us?
Time to interview the interviewer now!
This is the part where the interviewer tests whether you’ve been actively listening to them and how serious you are for the job opening. It’s really easy to jot down a couple of standard questions on a piece of paper and interview the interviewer back for a change.
But what you could do is you could ask them something relevant to what happened in the interview! if you’re wondering what type of questions you should ask, ask them about the job! Ask them what you’ll get to work on! Ask them the company’s future plans!
How to answer:
If it’s an IT role, you could ask about the current projects going on and where they would have a requirement after the training period. Ask them about the programming languages you’ll have to get familiar with.
For example, you could ask, “ What frameworks do I need to get familiar with before I start, if I get the role?”
If it’s a business related role, ask them about the channels you’ll be dealing with. You could even ask about the monthly targets and prepare yourself mentally for that!
Or you could ask, “What Kind of training will I get before I get into the field”.
Stuff like this will let the interviewer know that you’re really interested in the job and you’ve been completely present during the interview.
Finishing this article with a little bonus tip:
Workout on your interview day! Go for a run or a swim or hit the gym! Whatever you can do the day before the interview and on the day of the interview! It has been proven to improve your confidence levels!
You’ll face a lot of interviews in your life and not all the jobs are yours.
Keep trying and keep practicing ! You’ll get the job which is meant for you!
All the best!