Cracking an interview is one of the most anxiously searched topics on internet. Considering this, I will share some “Gyaan” on How to Crack an Interview. In this post, you will get a list of “10 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions along with their Best Answers”. In addition to this, I will also discuss on “Answers to be avoided during an interview”.
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Presuming that you are eager on this subject, let’s get to business straight away.
Here is a list of Most Frequent Interview Questions :
1 ) Introduce yourself !
9 out of 10 times, you will find this as the first question of an interview. Quite surprisingly, over 80% people aspiring for their first interview find this difficult. The basic idea behind this question is to make you feel comfortable. There is nothing tricky in this as the interviewer is giving you space to get your senses together. The most general answer to this question is :
“I am ABC, currently pursuing MBA from XYZ university. I am currently working with EFG Limited as a Developer. I am currently drawing a CTC of Rs.10,000 p.m. I have done my graduation from ….so on.”
Avoid such kind of answers as this can ruin your first impression. All these details are mentioned in your CV and there is no point on reciting same things again. Another important thing to take care off is Grammar. Avoid using sentences like “Myself Mr. ABC,…… so on.” The term Myself Mr. ABC here is grammatically incorrect. Be careful. Take this question as an opportunity to get up close & personal with the interviewer and create a healthy atmosphere for interaction. Infact, one of the earlier posts by Mr. Vaibhav Mittal on “How to introduce yourself in an Interview” will provide you a complete idea to answer this question. However, an example answer to this could be :
“I am a fun loving person, who believes in Live life as it comes. I am very fond of classical music and have acquired a professional degree in this also. Playing online chess is my favourite pastime. I believe Internet is the future of human civilization and would love to see myself as a successful Marketing Manager.”
2 ) Where do you see yourself after 5 years from now ?
Here, the interviewer wants to check your instincts. He wants to know whether you are a practical person or a day dreamer. This question is to check your planning skills. Avoid giving answers like “CEO of this organization or HOD of a department.” If you are an executive, Manager is the maximum you can attain in five years. (The designation maybe different according to your industry but the common thing is that you will be in Middle Level Management.) Some of you might be thinking of another answer i.e “I want to see myself as the best in my profile.” Be very clear on a fact that nobody can be the Best. You can only be first among equals. By giving such answers, you are reflecting that you have no vision. Rather you are happy to be the same after 5 years. Therefore the following answer can be the most suitable one :
“I would imagine myself being in middle level management after 5 years from now. “
3) If not selected today, what will be your future course of action?
This is the second check point for your practical instincts. Here the interviewer is analyzing your approach toward failures. The most popular answer to this question is – “If I am not selected today, I will try in some other organization.” This is an answer which can ruin the positives you have attained/will be attaining in the interview. You need not tell your worth at any point during an interview. It’s the job of the interviewer to decide how efficient you are. Avoid leaving the impression of an opportunist. The most apt answer to this interview question can be :
“I believe in Learning from my mistakes. Likewise, if I am not selected today, I will kindly request you to tell me my shortcomings so that I can go back, work on those and sit again in front of you (obviously if rules allow) to turn my failure into success.”
4) If in case you are working on bidding for a project which is very important for organization’s growth. Will you consider bribing the authority to ensure decision in your favour?
Now it’s time for a personality test. At the first level, the interviewer wants to test your diplomacy. Be very clear that this question has no connection with your family values or principles. It’s just to test your art of handling tricky situations. Every organization wishes to hire people who can think smartly. Thus, avoid giving a Yes or No straight away. The best possible answer to this can be :
“Sir, I have been brought up in a family with high moral values. I consider my workplace as my family. If an awkward situation arises, I will try my level best to resolve it amicably. However, if it requires me to bribe someone for the well being of my family, I will definitely consider it.”
By giving this answer, you will surely sink deep inside the mind of your interviewer.
5) How many hairs on your head?
Since your diplomacy has been evaluated in the previous question, it’s time to judge your smartness. Be crystal clear that this question isn’t to create a relaxing atmosphere, rather it aims to test your presence of mind. Don’t give any vague answers like “As many on your head” or “I have never counted”. Just let them know your smartness by saying :
“As many stars in the night sky”. (Don’t forget to put a little smile on your face.)
This way you will maintain the humour as well as prove your mental strength to the interviewer.
6) What will you do when you come across a whistle blower at your workplace?
After diplomacy and smartness, now it’s time for maturity. This question is to test your character as a professional. There are many distracting people around you at the workplace. This includes all those “Boss Favourites” and “Office Politicians”. The interviewer wants to know how you tackle them. Don’t reply with “I will go and discuss if there is any personal problem with him.” Nobody is interested to share his/her personal life at the workplace. Be careful not to answer this way. Also, avoid answers like “I will complain to his/her reporting authority”. This answer devaluates your rating as a team man. Just give a simple answer :
“I will not repent until his/her activities start hampering me or my team’s productivity. If the situation goes beyond control, I will kindly bring the matter to the notice of his/her reporting authority.”
7 ) Tell me something about your previous boss.
Your personality test is now over. It’s time for professional aspects. Here, the examiner wants to analyze your track record. Be very judicious with your words usage because this is a showcase in which the interviewer expects himself to be in after 2-3 months. The most general answer to this question is :
“He is one of the best professionals I have come across. But unfortunately, I had a number of disagreements with him. He is not open to suggestions and always insists on his sayings. Infact he is one of the reasons I am leaving that organization.”
This shows that you have a malicious track record. Answering in this negative way will surely hamper your chances of selection. Another popular answer to this question is :
“He is a very good man with exceptional skills. He always encourages me to learn new things. He has helped me a lot to develop my skills and it’s he who has brought me to this level.”
Avoid this one too. Don’t overemphasize on your boss or else you will be judged as a stooge. If your boss is such an eminent personality than why are you leaving the organization? You will end up in a web of such questions. The best possible answer to this can be :
“He is an excellent person to work with. Always ready to share his experiences. I have learnt many things from him and will always count on him at difficult situations.”
8 ) Ask me 2 questions of your choice.
This is the second level of your professionalism test. Many of you may consider this as the simplest of all questions in an interview. But to your surprise, this is the most important tool for an interviewer to verify your candidature so far. He wants to know whether your answers are a result of “overnight preparation” or you actually own that sense of professionalism. That’s why you should be cautious to ask questions. Avoid asking things like “How is the incentive structure”, “What is the employee strength?”,”What will be my reporting hierarchy?”, “Can you elaborate your business model?”and one most general one “When will I get the response for my interview?” All these questions are miles away from the mind of a professional aspirant. Even talking about the business model is no less than stupidity. Whenever you come for an interview, you are expected to have already gone through the company website and other stuff. The most preferred answer could be :
“There is not much I would like to ask but if you could give me a brief idea on future expansion plans it would be great.”
9 ) Why this company ?
This is the last level of your professional test. Till now, the interviewer is almost done with you. He just wants to confirm his evaluation. I assume that nobody of you would say stuff like “As the call came from your HR department regarding an opening, so I am here.” The most obvious answer to this is :
“I think working in an esteemed organization like yours will definitely help me to evolve as a complete professional. I believe that I can make the best use of my existing capabilities in a constructive working environment like herein.”
10) Why should I select you?
Now this marks the end of an interview. But don’t conclude that you can take it easy. Rather a judicious reply can assure you a place in your dream organization. The interviewer is now completely aware of your in & outs. Now he is just enquiring if something has gone unnoticed. Thus, a little word here and there from your side and you will create a trap for yourself. Just reassess what you have said and assert only those facts. Generally people say “You should select me because I am a hard worker and will do my best to achieve organizational goals. I will prove to be an asset to the organization.” Simply avoid such replies. You have already told your worth with your answers. Don’t elaborate yourself. The most preferred answer is :
“Since you have now evaluated me on all your benchmarks, I believe you would know better if I should be selected for the profile or not. As from my side, my job is my passion and that’s a one word summary of my candidature.”
Remember that an interview is the ultimate gateway to your dream organization. If you are not amongst the few unlucky ones, your interview shall be a 20 minutes interaction with someone who will test your personality & professionalism. Each & every question will check your level & sense of understanding.
This concludes my post on “How to Crack an Interview.” I wish you can get maximum answers to your queries on aspiring for an interview. Feel free to share your opinion on any of the above points. All the questions and answers discussed are solely based on my online research and Business Communication lectures of Prof. Gaurav Vashisht (IMT – Ghaziabad).
Good Luck for your interviews.