HR’s Favorite: Top Interview Questions and Answers
We have come up with an exclusive compilation of interview questions, with answers to them. These are some of the favorite questions of HR executives. So, go well prepared with these, and you will come out with flying colors!
1. Introduce yourself / Tell me about yourself:
More often than not, your interview would kick off with this very question. First and probably the best question.
A formula you can actually use is known as the Present-Past-Future formula. Along these lines, first, you begin with the present—where you stand at present. Now, travel into your past—a tad about your experiences (if applicable) and the skills you picked up along the way. Else, you can brief about your educational and family background, along with your major achievements. At long last, talk about the future—why you are totally excited about this particular opportunity.
2. Hi, How are you doing today?
A more of an icebreaker or feel comfortable kind of statements. Approach this one by flaunting a pleasant smile. If at all, your day wasn’t that good, you can still mention it. However, express it in a positive manner.E.g. In case you got stuck in traffic, you can state something like –
“I am doing fine Sir/Madam, it’s just that I got stuck in traffic. However, I ensured that I started early considering the same.”
3. Where do you see yourself in the coming five years?
The best approach to take is to give a real thought as to where this position can take you and reply by using this as a guideline. Also, what if the position isn’t actually a ticket to your goals? It’s fine to state that you’re not exactly sure as to what’s in store in the future, but rather you see this experience assuming a vital role in helping you to settle down on a decision.
Be honest and to the point, regarding your future goals. Also be clear that the hiring manager is interested in knowing the following:
- Whether you are having realistic expectations from your career
- If the position is in alignment with your goals and growth
- Whether you are really having an ambition
4. What is that one thing which you would like to improve about yourself?/ What are your weaknesses?
Here comes the tricky one. The trick while answer lies in the fact that you need to put forth a negative trait, but with a positive twist. A thing or two that can be called a weak point of an individual, but is acceptable from the organization’s perspective.E.g. Many times, I get involved with just too many things, with no or very less time for myself.
5. What are your strengths?
To answer this question effectively, it becomes necessary to know the requirements of the position you are appearing for. Enlist your strengths and put forth the ones that are relevant to the position.E.g. In case you are appearing for the position of a Tech Lead – Java, then offer your Java skills, any additional knowledge of coding in Java you possess that will set you apart, team handling skills etc.
6. What do you like to do in your free time? / Tell me about your hobbies and interests
An employer is always on the lookout for candidates who are multi-faceted and have diverse interests in life. Identify at least one of your interests apart from academics, and frame your answer based on that (avoid saying things like watching TV, eating, sleeping and so on).
7. Why should we hire you?
As far as this question is concerned, it is expected that you discuss the profile you have applied for, along with your experience and strengths that would prove to be a value addition to the job.
Put across that you are flexible in terms of role changes, sharing responsibilities etc., based on the organization requirements.
You can likewise share your achievements from your previous job, and explain how you have developed your skills to suit the job you are applying for. Going further, you can also state that you want to develop further and face new challenges, and hence you are looking for a change in job.
8. Are you looking to pursue higher education?In case you are serious about this, it would be wise to disclose the same. On the other hand, if you are unsure, your answer could be- E.g. “I am looking forward to higher studies, but not immediately. As of now, I would like to work and eventually go for higher education based on the gained experience and career progressions.”
Some of the organizations also support and offer various incentives for higher studies to its employees. So, in case you are already aware of anything like this, aligning your answer accordingly would be a good idea.
9. Who happens to be the most inspiring person in your life?
The catch over here is not who, but why? While answering this question, a name alone is not sufficient. You ought to support it with why he/she happens to be the most inspiring person.
10. Are you willing to relocate if required?In case you are anticipating this question during the interview, it is better to discuss this point with your family in advance.
Anyways, being a fresher, there is not much choice but to be ready for relocation unless there are any compelling reasons. Being flexible in terms of the staffing needs of a company proves to be a great advantage for freshers since they carry lesser baggage.
Remember, saying a “No” for relocation could well mean denying an onsite opportunity as well!
11. Did you ever face a challenging situation? How did you handle it?
This one is generally an add-on question that provides you with an opportunity yet again, to describe your strengths mentioned previously. Grab this one with both hands by providing a suitable example that would highlight your strengths.
12. What about your flexibility with timings (in the event you need to work in shifts)?
The purpose of this question is to again check your flexibility/adaptability. So, an expected answer would be a “Yes”; i.e. your willingness to work in different shift timings. If at all there is a genuine problem working in odd shifts, you can mention it.
13. In the case of project requirements, are you ready to change your profile and role?
Particularly in the case of freshers, you ought to showcase qualities like flexibility and eagerness to learn. Showing that you are flexible does not necessarily mean that you will have to do things you do not like. It just depicts your positive attitude towards learning and trying new things.E.g. Yes, I would be glad to do so. I am willing and eager to learn as many things as possible. I would like to carry out different roles and take up various profiles, as it would help me to grow in the industry.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS SPECIFIC TO THE COMPANY
14. Why do you wish to work for us?
You can begin by discussing the profile you have applied for, and then mention that the organization would provide opportunities for you to gain knowledge and grow in your professional life.
Also, you can discuss how you would be an asset to the organization and your plan to enhance your professional skills.
15. What do you expect from your first job?
If you are a fresher, your foremost expectation has to be “to learn”, and that’s what most employers would expect from you. Personal expectations can comprise of things like giving back to the society, paying back any of your loans etc. While quoting a simple strategy or vision of the company which you liked, is also not a bad idea.
16. Which is that one thing you liked about this company?
It is always better to know about the company, prior to going for the answer. An incorrect approach could cost you the job. One thing to remember here is, no need to align this with your strengths and interests.
17. Do you have a referral in our organization?
The purpose of asking this one could be following:
- If hired, whether you will be sufficiently motivated, to join the company
- To check whether you are familiar with the company culture
In case there is someone you know who is working in the company, there stands a better chance that you will be a stable prospect for the company.
Thus, if you have any referral in the company, you can furnish details like employee number, name etc. Do not go for any fake details. That’s because if you get caught during verification, you had it.
GENERIC HR QUESTIONS
18. Did you find the location easily?
An icebreaker of sorts, to make you feel comfortable. Here’s your chance to stay calm and start discussing your experience. A useful one for cooling your nerves, and to gain confidence.
19. Assume that you win a huge amount of money, will you still continue working?
Amongst the few tricky ones, that could come your way during HR interviews. Such types of questions are not intended to make-or-break your chances. Neither they come with any kind of risk. So, you can reply with ease and in a wise manner.E.g. “It depends on what is left after the expenses and savings”
20. Do you have any questions/doubts which you wish to ask us?
Always go prepared with this one, by keeping a question at hand. E.g.
- You can question whether the organization has any plans for expansion
- Another one you can ask is whether the organization permits both vertical and lateral role changes
- You can request for the details of your role in the company etc…
21. Regarding Current Affairs
If you follow a practice of reading current affairs/news, don’t skip it for interviews. Always stay updated, especially in case of your domain.
STAY AWAY FROM
- Debate or argument
- Improper or casual dressing
- Not reaching on time for the interview
- Speaking lies and putting forth false facts
- Criticizing or talking in a negative manner
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