Interview! This word creates a mixture of emotions - fear, stress, anxiety, confidence, and nervousness.
First times are always difficult and the same applies to students fresh out of college. However, an interview is not a tough nut to crack when your preparation is beyond excellence. Although each response can change according to the position and industry, we bring you a mutual and proactive approach to some most common interview questions and answers.
1. Self-Introduction Questions
Interview questions such as “Tell Me About Yourself”, “How Do You Describe Yourself?” and so on are considered recruiters’ favourite questions of all time. Even though the answers to such questions are very easy, candidates often fail to prepare for this and end up speaking about their entire history.
One of the best responses is to present your achievements along with speaking about your soft skills. Tell them you are a result-oriented and practical individual, mentioning an example where you took an innovative measure to deal with a problem. Alternatively, you can let them know about your hard skills in a way that aligns with the position.
Always try to get into the shoes of employers and try to think if you were them, what kind of candidate would have appealed to you. Form at least 2-3 responses for self-introduction interview questions by analysing all your professional and personal achievements. A well-formulated answer helps in creating an impression, and recruiters get a better idea of you as a person right from the beginning.
2. Why Should We Hire You?
47% of recruiters don’t hire candidates who haven’t researched about the organization, says a report by Twin Employment Training.
If you are giving a general answer, chances are quite high that you may not receive a call for the next round. Let us help you eliminate this possibility.
Before going for an interview, make a note of the keywords listed in the job description. Next, visit their website, read the published pieces, and go through all other reference sources.
Understanding the vision and getting familiar with the company's expectations and culture (if it is listed on their website) is the first thing you should do. Craft an appealing and comprehensive answer based on your research.
All these steps eventually lead to a crisp and wholesome response to the question.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Coming up with the best answer to interview questions related to weaknesses (and strengths) can be quite tricky. When interviewers ask you “What are your weaknesses?”, you do not need to get uncomfortable. Instead, make use of your excellent communication skills and handle the situation carefully.
"I stretch my preference for doing things flawlessly. Being a perfectionist, I often dedicate attention to the smallest of details, which sometimes annoys my peers."
An answer like this displays how you make things perfect but in a subtle manner. Think about things you would like to emphasise and slip them into the conversation.
4. How do you deal with external networking?
This interview question for customer service, business support, or anyone in the client-facing role majorly determines whether you will make it or not. Over the years, we have seen how the corporate world has strengthened, and with changing times, it is important to catch up with the trends.
Networking is one of the must-have skills on your profile.
However, coming up with an impressive answer to demonstrate your networking skills should not be difficult. Pick up challenges where you acted as a point of contact between two parties and solved disputes or handled miscommunications.
"I organised a cultural fest in my college. We had invited Mr. X to perform, but a sort of misunderstanding emerged (ABC issue). I immediately contacted his manager, proposed a mid-path, and we got through it smoothly."
Circumstances where you displayed a great amount of patience, mindfulness, and skilled networking turn out to be a great way to respond to such interview questions. Take some time and list the challenges you faced all these years, and you will eventually come up with an impressive answer.
5. What are your expectations?
In terms of salary:
As a fresher, we understand it is difficult for you to quote your expectations. However, that does not mean you should say that you can manage with whatever amount the company can pay. You need to negotiate your salary.
Go through various networking and corporate statistics websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Payscale that provide insights into various jobs. Do your research and come up with the most suitable answer based on the position and industry. Alternatively, you can also answer smartly by saying, “I would like to get paid as per current industry standards”.
In terms of work experience:
Upon being asked about expectations, present your selfless and self-centric side in a perfect balance. Only Interview Questions with the Best Answers make the finest pair. For the best response, try to be unique. Tell them you not only want to work on new challenges as a personal goal but also support expanding the firm’s reach and setting new corporate goals to achieve greater heights.
Prepare a broad answer which highlights your long-term goals as well as independent measures you would take for the company’s growth. This will surely turn out to be a win-win situation for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
Dos and Don’ts
Apart from these five common interview questions and answers, it is important that the candidates ask questions as well.
Here is the cheat sheet for interview questions you should ask:
1. How are you planning to expand your services?
Or something similar based on the industry. It will help you understand their vision better.
2. Do you plan on getting involved in a social cause in the near future?
This can go well if the firm is not yet into environmental causes, CSR, etc or if it still works to attract leads from a particular region. It helps you understand their goals and how invested they are in society as an established business.
3. How do you invest in employee development? Are there specific training modules to favour soft skills or personal development?
This gives you insights into how employees are treated in the company.
Of course, anything else specific to your position can also be asked as a question.
Avoid asking these questions:
When should I expect a promotion?
What are my responsibilities?
How often do you provide salary hikes?
Ultimately, avoid looking desperate. The key to a good interview is to remain calm and composed throughout the process. Coming up with unique answers makes you stand out from the rest.
Be confident, and prepare for the best and worst. Don’t be hard on yourself even if you lose track while answering. Try to maintain a calm posture, no matter what happens, and we are sure you will be able to sail through it easily.
While candidates work their best to land their first job, it is also important to take up professional advice. Many placement cells and recruiting agencies team up with professional services to help the candidates land desired positions.
English For India aims to lend a hand and strives to bring the best out of entry-level professionals and fresh graduates to help them kick-start their careers. Interview Pro+ is a handy, all-inclusive, and comprehensive course designed by recruiting experts to teach the intricacies of landing a new (or first) job.
Wishing you all the luck for your next interview!