2023 is not any other year. It was preceded by some of the most epoch-making years in recent history. The market has changed and so has the approach of hiring managers toward talent acquisition. These questions will help you calmly nail delicate interview scenarios like a boss.
So what if you are just starting out? There is nothing wrong with appearing well-versed and confident during an interview. To be honest, when you are a fresher, most companies do not care about your grade point average or how well you remember that one historical fact that you came across in an odd semester.
They want you to impress them with your presence of mind, your command over your nerves, your connection with the society around you, and of course, your ability to communicate, your willingness to learn, and your adaptability. So, from someone who has been on both sides of the table, you got this.
We’ll go through some questions and scenarios that are quite common during interviews and I’ll tell you, from my personal experience and knowledge passed onto me by my seniors and mentors over the past decade, how to handle them.
1. Please tell us something about yourself/ Introduce yourself to us
DO NOT LIE. If there’s one thing that will get you through every interview that’s honesty. While you do not have to spill out every dark secret from your college days, you should not paint an overly whitewashed picture of yourself.
A lot of experts advise you to avoid anything that’s been already mentioned in your CV, I do not quite agree. While the interviewers have skimmed through your resume, they can’t possibly have read every detail. So, pick and choose the most defining sentences about yourself. Be neutral with your tone. Express humility. Introduce your interests in short. Again, don’t lie.
2. Describe yourself in one word
Have a well-rehearsed answer with you, because you will burn a lot of CPU thinking of this one word during the interview. But, do not be so spontaneous with your answer that the interviewers identify your preparedness. Whatever you say, have a real-life example ready at hand to crisply back the answer.
3. Why did you apply for this job?
Do not say, for the money, for God’s sake. Carve an answer along the lines of “the job description closely matches my skill set, and the roles and responsibilities mentioned would help me hone my existing skills and acquire new ones”. It helps if you can add a word or two about the company’s reputation as well.
4. What do you know about our business?
This is the only question for which you should really study hard. If you want a job at a specific firm, learn everything there is to learn about them. Their products and services, regions where they are active, annual revenue, recent acquisitions, founders, shareholding patterns, and hierarchy. You should be aware of every bit of publicly available information.
Do not spill it all out at once. Craft 2-3 sentences that highlight the best in the company. Then, wait for the leading question, because there will be some. Since you know everything about them, you’ll exude confidence.
Also Read – Making A Great First Impression At A Job Interview: A Guide
5. Are you a team player?
There is only one answer to this. Yes, you have to say yes, like it or not. The trick here is not in the answer but in the way that you deliver it. They should believe you when you say yes. Keep a real-life example handy, just in case.
6. What did you do during the lockdowns?
This question is specific to the post-pandemic world. You are in luck if you did something really interesting – learned a new skill, read a bunch of books, or helped people out. If not, just help them understand how you were occupied. Remember, these are character-testing questions.
7. Are you aware of our competitors?
There is only one answer – yes. And study for this one. Carry 4-5 competitors in your head, remember their key offerings, and how if at all the interviewing company is better than those.
8. Strengths and weaknesses?
Just be honest with them about the strengths and only expose weaknesses that are mild or do not have a potential impact on teamwork or collaboration. Do not say, I’m moody, for instance.
9. What motivates you for doing a good job?
Keep your answer along the lines of – challenges, opportunities for learning new skills, and exposure to new cultures, etc. If the interview is for a creative job, you can go with something like the joy of creation.
10. What is an ideal day at work for you?
Just play by ear with this one. Meeting deadlines, helping a co-worker, getting the assignment just right, grabbing an opportunity to share an idea, all can go in. You can add something like a hearty lunch just for fun.
Remember, the interview is an opportunity for you to learn about the company just as much as it is a way for the company to assess your fitness for the role. Take this opportunity to ask the right questions and be honest about your prior commitments and reservations regarding relocation, overtime, etc.