The interview is the single most important thing in your job search, and it could make or break your job application. Giving an interview is tricky, because while some candidates might be good at giving interviews, they might not be good at the work itself. The converse holds true as well. And interviewers are always trying to confuse candidates so they could glean the most amount of information from them in the least possible time. This leaves you, as an interviewee, in somewhat of a sticky spot. Since interviewers are looking for prompt responses, many candidates end up saying the wrong things. In our post about top tips for job seekers, we discussed how to prepare and sit through an interview. This is a follow up post about how you can prepare yourself against some of the most common questions interviewers love to ask.
These questions reveal a lot about your personality. So it’d be wise to have answers prepared beforehand.
1. “Tell us about yourself”
Let’s be direct. This is the one question almost every interviewer asks, and admit it or not, most interviewees despise it. You have to explain your whole life and what you can do in a few sentences, and it definitely isn’t an easy job.
With such questions, it is important to note that you don’t need to waste many of your words telling about where you graduated from. Just mention it one sentence, and move on. Focus more on your qualifications, and what you can do. Tell them about your qualities such as honest, hard-working, etc. Don’t be too blunt about it. Say things like, “I expect you want great input from me, and I am sure I won’t disappoint you” (bla bla bla).
2. “Where did you hear about this job?”
Most interviewers will ask you how you got to know about their job vacancy, and will also inquire after your previous job, and how you learned about that. This might seem like a straight-forward question, but it’s much more complicated on the inside. For the first or second time, finding a job through online job portals is fine. But any subsequent job searches there will raise the red flag, because people looking for jobs on online job portals are usually just looking for any job. This doesn’t give a very good impression about your commitment. It’d always be better to go for answers such as “Read your vacancy listing on your website” or something similar, which makes them feel important :)
3. “What do you like about our company?”
Interviewers will also ask you what you know about their company. A lot of people don’t know exactly what a company does when applying to it. For example, a sales manager doesn’t need to know what exactly his software house specializes in. For most candidates, not knowing what a company does can be a deal breaker right there. Always do your homework, and research that company. Crawl through their website, and see what products or services are they offering. In the interview, if you can relate to a certain product or service, and suggest an improvement, you’ll gain instant favor in the interviewer’s eyes.
4. “Why did you leave your previous job?”
That is, if you had any. Interviewers want to know why you left your previous job, so they can asses your character. Don’t say things like “had a fight with the boss” or something that might degrade your own self. Instead, tell them how the work environment wasn’t very good there, or how you’ve always wanted to work for a better company such as the current one you’re applying to.
5. “How much salary would you expect?”
Aah finally, this is the trickiest of all. Most interviewers ask this, and most interviewees feel it awkward. There’s no need to be subtle about it. Just tell them what salary you expect. The trick here is to find the right value for yourself. If you over-price yourself, most likely, you won’t be hired. And if you under-price yourself, then you would be giving away your services cheaply. Research on this, and find out what average salary a person of your qualification has in an industry you are applying to.
This was our pick of the 5 most popular interview questions. If you have had success in interviews, then do share your experience with us! All the best :)