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I’ll let you in on the secret to cracking almost every interview you sit for – prepare for it like you would prepare for your competitive exams. Read up about the organisation you’re applying for, study your competitors, get informed about the industry you’re getting into and train your mind and body to keep calm in a challenging and stressful environment. Here are 11 standard questions that will act as guidelines to help you ace that interview!
Most interviewers begin with this question to put you at ease and to give you a chance to fill them in on your educational and professional details. But that doesn’t mean you read your CV, or give them a detailed history about yourself. This question is more on the casual side; so talk about your likes, dislikes and what makes you, essentially, you. Answer the question in a way that you highlight your qualities and sound like a promising candidate at the very beginning of your interview. This is when you build your people skills.
When an interviewer asks you this, he, or she is trying to ascertain from your answer whether you have an ambition in life, whether it’s attainable and whether you would fit the job profile you’re interviewing for. You must be honest in your answer, even if it means telling them that you don’t know where you’ll be in 5 years as long as this job that you’re sitting for features as an important step in your journey towards fulfilling your long term goals.
Don’t be modest while telling your interviewer about all that you achieved in your past work place, or in your college. Remember that he, or she doesn’t know you but is sitting across the table to judge you, so you need to put your best foot forward and make yourself appear like the perfect candidate. It’s better to answer this question by describing a certain problematic situation that arose and how you contributed in resolving it.
Don’t rush to say that you don’t get stressed easily. Prepare for this answer by thinking back to a stressful situation at work and noting down how you dealt with it – by keeping your cool, making to-do lists or delegating work. Now, spout out this answer to your interviewer so that he knows that in the future, you would stay rock strong and have an optimistic attitude even in challenging situations.
Whatever you’re expecting – good pay or higher designation, state it in clear terms to your interviewer, so that while hiring you he keeps your expectations in mind and offers you a package that you won’t be able to refuse. Also, it makes sense to repeat whatever it is that this job profile is already offering so that the interviewer feels what you’re expecting is in sync with what they’re offering.
As intimidating as this may sound, it’s a question that’s put out to test most interviewees. If you’ll only treat this question as an opportunity to pitch yourself as the best candidate, you’ll realise that this is your chance to list out your qualities in a way that perfectly match the profile, without sounding boastful or arrogant. Sell your skills here and make your interviewer feel like he can’t do without you.
Even if your previous employers have a bad reputation or are arch rivals of the organisation you’re currently interviewing with, talking negatively about them is a strict no-no. Instead, you must mould this question in favour of you by telling your interviewer that you’re looking for newer roles, more responsibility and just the kind of work their job profile is offering. Tell your interviewer that this new post fits your aspirations better than the last one and leaving your current job is a professional decision.
Employers want their employees to contribute productively to the organisation, apart from the duties and responsibilities that have been specially listed out to them. To answer this question then, you must appear as being a proactive employee in the past and list out how in your previous organisation, you took measures to bring about changes that benefitted the company in the long term. Be specific and give out details so that the interviewer is assured of your contribution.
You must sit for an interview with a clear idea of the salary package you’re looking at. You can decide on this amount by looking at your educational qualifications, your professional experience and necessary skills. Quote a good amount and then assure your employer that you’re worth this money. However, after having given your number, make sure you tell your interviewer that you’re flexible when it comes to remuneration and are willing to negotiate. Also, when your interviewer is quoting his price, keep an eye out for the various perks and benefits they’re offering and then judge the entire package as a whole.
By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to ascertain whether you’ve studied the organisation you want to work with, or not. No one is more disappointing than the candidate who has no clue about the organisation and seems to have just walked in. So, study the organisation before you sit for the interview and look at what they’re doing better than the others in the industry and where they’re lacking so that you come across as an informed and proactive candidate who knows what she’s talking about.
Always have questions so that you come across as being interested and enthused. But don’t ask questions related to holidays and offs, in general. Ask about the work culture, about some decision they incorporated in their organisation recently, about changes in the industry and what they’re willing to do about it. Remember that every employer is looking for smart employees who know their job and are willing to work hard and succeed.