Frequently asked questions (FAQ) at the interview
Why are you interested in this position? When doing your homework prior to then interview, make sure you are able to list key point of why you want this job.
What qualifications do you have for this position? During the preinterview prep, you can list some of your strengths and match them with qualities that are needed for the position.
How do you stay up to date in your field? You can state whatever materials, websites, journals that you use in your particular field.
If there was one person you could meet, either from the past or present, who would it be and why? Using someone who is inspiring or that you admire in some way, a quality that you would like to develop, or any character that you have questions for, or that has shaped your life is a good example to state.
What do you think of our company? What do you think about our recent advertisement strategies? What is your favorite product that is made by us? Know the specifics about the company, study recent advertisements that they have and do your preinterview homework!!
What is your dream job? Have a rough idea of what you would do if you were allowed to do anything in the world. Keep it brief and realistic.
What type of salary do you expect in this job? Know the range of pay in your field. Also know the qualifications that are required by the job that you are applying for and make sure you match those standards. You can state that you expect to be (at the low, mid, high) range of their pay scale depending on how your qualifications match with their needs. You can also ask if they can give you a range of they pay scale for such a position.
What skills do you bring that other candidates may not have? This is an ideal time to express experiences that are unique to you and no one else. Avoid generalizations and give specifics.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Have a list prepared. Make sure you are able to say what your weakness are and how you are trying to improve on them.
What are your hobbies and outside interests? Have your hobbies, and outside interests prepare. If you answer with something like reading or painting, be prepared to answer a favorite book or painter and why they are your favorite.
Why have you decided to leave your current position? Be honest in how you answer. Remember that they also may contact your references or previous employer for additional information.
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Have a general idea of where you would want to be in five years. During the interview- you may also be asked how this current position will help you get there.
What experiences have you gained from your previous jobs? Pick a few points and skills that you have obtained from your previous jobs. Be prepared to talk about your presentations, or any papers that you have worked on. Provide specifics and details when asked about these items.
What questions do you have about this position or firm? This is where the list of questions that you prepared in your preinterview prep would come in handy.
What is your technique to approaching a difficult task? Use experiences that you had in the past as a model. Include your strengths- possibly things like organizational skills, multitasking. If the project seems too big, or they keep putting in barriers and difficulties in the task- never be afraid to say that you may ask for assistance from someone more experienced.
How do you organize or prepare for major projects?
How do you manage your time daily?
How do you deal with a difficult co-worker? Explain an experience that you have had in the past. Make sure that you can explain what the difficulties were and how you were able to overcome those differences between you and your co-worker.
How do you manage stress in your daily life? You can state what you do to relax or be calm in a situation. You can state if you have started up hobbies or exercise routines for such states as well.
What is an example of the most creative or innovative project that you have worked on ?
Give me an example of your ( persuasiveness, initiative, resourcefulness, leadership skills) When doing your preinterview preparation, write down some points about examples that have come up in your previous jobs. This can be kept fresh in your mind.
What would you do if I told you that you performed poorly during this interview? If asked such a question, include in your answer that you would ask the interviewer what was done wrong, that you would review yourself where there may have been some miscommunication, and you would clarify any doubts that you had with previous questions. Don’t let questions such as this shake your confidence. Be calm and relaxed.
Why have you selected to join us?
I always longed to work with a company. I am familiar and whose products I have used and trusted.
(Narrate briefly how you can prove your statement. Do good research on the company before facing the interview)
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I would like to be frank. Judge me from the work and I am sure you will put me right where I want to be.
Note : Do not over ambitious and speak in a way that you are not satisfied with your current job which you have applied for.
Describe your ideal career?
Talk of what you enjoy most your skills and natural talents. Do not specify your goal and any job title.
Tell me something about yourself
Do not just repeat what you have given in your resume. Be ready with the answer, a talent or something you did out of the ordinary. You can sound it as unique or give it a touch of your personality.
How did you apply for the job?
Be specific and give a straight answer of how you came to know about the vacancy. If it was advertised specify how you came across it.
Why do you want to work here?
Have a research done about the company / organization
Give just one or two reasons why you are interested. You can add these points (1) company's reputation(2) desire to join the specific field of interest.
Don't you think that you are over qualified for this job?
(This question is put to you to puzzle a candidate. Be calm and answer the question with a positive and confident approach)
Answer in the negative
My experience and qualification will just help me to do the job better. Moreover I am at establishing a long term relationship which my qualification will favor me to handle more responsibilities and help me to rise to your expectations.
What competition do you see if you take up this job?
When you answer, clearly show that you have researched carefully and acquired more in-depth knowledge about the company.
Enumerate some positive and negative traits of the company and their competitions.
Feel confident to show that competition is not an unexpected one.
What would you do if our competitor offer you a job?
Show your confidence in the company's worth, stress the point 'I would say No' by pointing out some qualities you found out in your research about the company.
Why are you leaving your current job?
You should give two or three reasons for leaving.
Lack of challenge, focus on the limitations etc. Point out your ambition to prove your worth confidently.
What salary do you expect?
(This is a tricky question to be answered carefully. Interviewers often accept people with realistic financial goals.)
If you mention a salary that is low it shows that you are not up to the mark. If you mention too high you have ruined a chance to get a job. So the best is to ask for the salary they offer and then show your capacity, how your experience and qualification rate with what is offered.
What interests you most about the job?
(Show how you believe that you are most suited to the post. If you can find out an earlier experience it would be fine.)
If you have experience, you can quote some similarities from the past and how you achieved success.
What is your dream job?
Make the question a chance to display your aptitude that fits the job you have applied for. Display how your skills can be put into suite the challenges and modern trends.
Why should we take you?
This is often the concluding Question( Some tips to the answer)
Don'ts : Do not repeat your resume
Do not enumerate your experience
Do's: Prove Your interest
Be positive in your answer
Be prepared with confidence in what you are going to say
Make sure the answer comes from the bottom of your heart.
If you have unlimited time and financial resources how would you spend them
Even though it is tempting to discuss thing you would do for fun, answer these questions with strict coherence with the job you have applied for.
Egg: If you are into teaching, touch on your interest in adult literary programmers and other teaching oriented aspects.
How is your experience relevant to this job?
Sketch out some similar work which you have done in your previous job. It should be something justifiable by you, even though others may think differently.
You can even ask some question where you can prove that your experience stands in good strand.
How could you enrich your current job?
Design your answer to show that you are still interested in the job and you point out a few instances where improvements can be made. Convince the person that you can be relied on and you will not get bored with what you do with time.
How many days where you absent from work?
Give a solid attendance record. But at the same time show you were not responsible . Convince that you are willing to take up responsibility.
Egg: I was absent 7 days. 4 days due to conjunctivitis and one day due to the death of a close relative and 2 days had to accompany my parents for their check up.
Tell me about a time you had to deal with an irritate customer, how did you handle the solution?
The question is aimed at you to hear from yourself how you handle people when others loose their temper. Here the best answer you can give to describe a situation and show how you handled it with maturity and diplomacy.
How do you manage stress in your daily work?
You can describe a situation of how you had managed stress in your previous work if you had one or narrate how you can find time in your busy schedule to relax a bit.
Describe a professional skill you have developed in you?
It will be better if you be specific with your answer. Narrate some thing you worked for to fulfill your work more efficiently. Describe how you attended a seminar and brought about the changed in your work.
How do you manage your work to meet dead lines
Answer the question effectively . Describe in detail how your plan out, set priorities, determine schedules, how you follow out to see the progress and meet the dead line.
What books you read?
Do not ever say you have read a book which you have not. Here your suggestion can lead the interviewer to know your taste and interest. It can also hint on how you take your profession.
What are the most rewarding aspect of you most recent job?
The best way to answer it is to focus in what you do efficiently, keep in mind the position you are applying for.
What aspects of this job do you feel most confident?
Narrate what you are good and match it with the present job requirements. You may ask questions to clear if that particular skill will add benefit to the company
What can motivate you?
The Interview expects an answer to know you better .Keep in tune with your job and work you have applied for. Do not beat around the bush.
Whom do you choose as your reference and why?
Name the references and how you know them. You can also show that you are a person who care for relationships and how you stand in good stead with them.
Can we call all your references?
If you have given your present boss as your reference you can tell that you prefer to call your current boss only after you receive a confirmed offer as he may not like you changing the job.
Do you have any questions?
Be prepared to answer this question in advance. List out a few questions you wish to know more about. After you have faced the interview your logic will guide you to ask the question you really want to know more about.
How do you handle criticism
Here the interview is on the look out for your accountability and professional character.
Simply explain a situation that caused a problem and narrate how you faced it and overcame it.
Tell me about a situation that upset you at work
Her the interview is trying to find out how you deal with pressure. Be diplomatic and objective with your answer. Prepare the answer so that the answer comes as a smooth reassurance
Have you ever been fired?
If the answer is negative, the answer is simple. But if you have been fired, you need to be prepared to the answer the follow up questions that my come up.
If the termination was for reason beyond your control narrate it. If not do not try justifying yourself. If you had a fault, admit it and convince the interview that you have corrected it.
Do you change your job frequently?
Be honest and if you had changed the jobs frequently there could be ample reasons to do so. Put them up as contracts that expired at the stipulated time.
Be convincing when you say that you long to have a steady and long lasting relationship with the present job you are applying for.
What is the toughest job you had?
Avoid making any negative statements especially about your previous employer. Change the question with a positive outlook and answer it with a satisfied remark of your outcome.
How do you handle tension?
Answer with ease that in any job and any situation that tension is a part of it. Relax before putting the f act you are very used to such type of works.
What is your current salary?
Do not bluff. Be specific on the answer. Do not hesitate to say the benefits you enjoyed in the previous job. It may be verified so never mention the benefits you have not got.
Will you be willing to accept transfer?
Tell you preference but do not specify that you will be not willing to work else where.
What is your weakness?
Turn the question to a positive one. Simply say that you are a perfectionist and your commitment to output of high quality perfect work. Say this is your weakness.
How did you get your last job?
A polished answer is what is expected. Frame the answer in such a way that it shows how you had planned to get the job. Make sure it was not by happenstance.
What was your position in your last employment?
Provide a consistent answer. Precision will help you from answering the questions which will follow from ambiguous answers.
What is the reason for you leaving your last job?
Answer the question with confidence. Do not give a selfish answer. Frame the answer in a broader way. Do not point out short comings of the company.
How did you hear about this position?
Be honest with the answer. This will help you from complicating the interview by giving a wrong answer later.
Have you received any other job offers?
A positive answer can show that you are efficient. A positive answer should be true as it may be verified.
What do you do with your spare time?
The interviewer is looking for some insight into your personality by asking the question. If you say something be ready to answer more question on the topic.
What is your current salary?
Answer carefully. If you have filled up a form they would already know it.
Have you been denied a salary increase?
A positive answer shows that you are a person with a problem.
Have you had a pay cut?
A detailed explanation is needed it you agree you have had one. Be prepared for the follow up questions .A negative answer is the best.
Have you been asked to resign?
Prepare in advance how to answer the question if the answer is yes. Disclose the circumstances objectively.
Has your work been criticized?
This question asked by an experienced interviewer can give an insight into your ability to communicate, your tolerance to take criticism, and the environment you have been working. The ideal way is to describe a situation that shows your work was criticized, but portray them as being borne out by situation itself.
We find gaps in your resume. What were you doing this time?
You should be prepared to answer the question before hand. Make your answer crisp, brief and focused on the point and but do not be defensive.
Do you have any objection to psychological testing?
You can answer that you have no objection to being tested. The interviewer is probably just trying to find out if you have any problems.
Can we contact your references?
Be sure that the references you give are people who will stand strong in your favour. You can therefore answer in the affirmative.
Are you looking for a temporary or a permanent job?
Prepare your answer carefully before hand because it offers your potential employer a clear chance to judge you by the statement you make.
How long have you been without work?
Answer the question with a convincing tone with a positive touch. If possible narrate why you were unable to work.
What career option do you have at the moment?
Be specific with your answer. If you are answering to a human resource consultant you may quote your interest if not stick on to what you have applied for because the person may lose interest in you if you divert from the present context.
What do you look in your job?
Whatever you say add that I am looking for a job where I can make meaningful contributions and grow professionally.
Describe a major goal you have set for yourself?
Plan the answer carefully. Select a concrete project either professional or personal. It can be concerned with education or some personal development programme.
How do you feel about your career progress so far?
Be frank with the answer. Keep it so straight forward that it becomes the answer to demonstrate satisfaction to a point which is the reason for deciding to move in the particular direction now.
How do you define success?
This is a question which should be answered in a way to impress the interviewer. Example; I define success as being able to financially provide for my family while performing work that is tied to the success of the organization that employ me.
What personal trait is needed to be a success in this job?
Some of the qualities that are to be included as you answer the question are Persistence, Work Ethics, Loyalty, Truthfulness and Insatiable Curiosity. Be ready for the follow up questions by preparing some instances where these qualities were put to use.
What are your long range goals?
Aim for the top and express it politely. Do not forget to be practical and realistic.
What will you do if this job is not offered to you?
Show your disappointment. Simply express how you have a lot to loose .
If you could start your career again what changes will you prefer?
This is a tricky question .Be careful with your answer. Just point out how you could have improved your career rather than go for a change in career.
What do you know about the position you are applying?
Do a lot of ground work before you attend the interview. This will help you to answer the question with precision.
What is your learning style?
Even though it may look to be a silly question if asked a definite answer should be given .The question can be made use to project your systematic nature.
How do you keep update with the latest trends in your job?
This is a question which throws light on your personality. It should be answered with accuracy. Include the latest techniques available like the Internet.
Why did you choose the subject?
A simple question but it will show how you determined your career and what aspects made you choose the career that you are pursuing.
Have you worked for a difficult person?
This question is aimed at you to show how you handle work pressure and how you will satisfy tense situations as and when they arise.
How much time do you spend for your hobby?
A question to be answered in a creative and subtle way that the time you spend will not interfere with the working span.
What mode of communication do you prefer?
In the present situation most of the big companies are with their communication on line. Answer the question considering the level to which you have applied for. Do not hesitate to say you are well versed in all modes
Do you plan and organize before you start a work?
This question is aimed at you to show how systematically you plan and proceed with your projects. If you have experience give a systematic answer. Do not beat around the bush as they are looking for a concrete stuff in your answer.
How were you evaluated in your last job?
Be brief and honest. Clarify the evaluation with a system.
What are things that you find difficult to do?
The question is asked to make you answer the thing you do not like to do. Remember to have a piratical touch in your answers.
What is your relationship with your former employer?
It is a question aimed at to know you better. The answer will throw light on how you were in the last work place.
Describe a situation where you could not attain your goal?
Be ready with the answer before hand or you may land in trouble. Choose one and give correct details
Can you work overtime?
Do not be intimidated. Agree if you are willing but clarify the details before making commitments.
Do you have any questions?
Be casual and clear all the doubts you have. Do not try out any question that will bring forth any questions back to you.
Have you had difficulty getting along with others?
Give a reply in the negative and bring forth the idea that you are easy to get along with others.
What can you do for us that others cannot?
This is a question that can be answered to bring out your talents and to prove that you are efficient and dynamic.
What reservations do you have about working here?
Do not have any negative at the moment to pint out. Answer the question with a positive statement. Point out the organization as one where you really wanted to belong and work.
Why do you want to work here with us?
Do a deep study about the organization and have a list of merits ready so that you will be able to give a steady and easy answer.
This job requires long hours will it be a problem for your spouse /children?
Frame the answer in such a way that you give equal importance to your work and family. You should be able to prove your credibility.
Do your spouse work?
The question gives an insight if you are the only bread earner of the family. If the answer is yes there will be follow up questions as to who takes care of the children and the rest.
Whom should we notify in case of an emergency?
The question gives a clear insight on whom you depend and trust .It is almost as equal as giving a reference.
Are you in the habit of changing your jobs frequently?
Answer the question with the resume you have given .If it shows many places worked give a reply that you wish to stick to the present job applied for.
What do your parents do?
The question is asked to understand the background of the applicant. If a parent has a positive tie- in to the organization /industry that you are seeing, employment you may mention this.
Are you a religious person?
An odd question but if the organization is run by religious institutions your answer in the positive will have real good effects.
What organizations do you belong to ?
You may list the various organization in which you are a member. Make sure you do not list any organization that can bring negative impact.
How old are you?
Just a question asked to remind you that you are too old for the job or too young for the job. Be aware and answer the question with accuracy.
How flexible are you ?
Be brief, direct and focused with the answer. Prepare the answer and keep it ready.
How do you deal with change?
The ideal answer is to give an idea that you can accept any change as long as it is for the good. The answer also throw light on the personality. It also reflects how dynamic you are.
Do you think you are too young for this post?
Convince the maturity that you have will stand in good stead than the years of experience.
Will you be willing to start at a lower salary because of your inexperience?
Deal with the question by emphasizing the fact that inexperience will not come in the way of doing the work efficiently. Have many justifications to prove it.
Do you have any disability?
This is a broad question to be answered carefully. If you have any, disclose them.
How long have you been disabled?
A follow up question of the previous one that can be supported with documents.
Have you filed a compensation claim with any company you worked for?
If the answer is yes it is better to say that you do not wish to answer the question and end at it. There is no law that prevents one from getting a job because of prior workers compensation claim.
Have you been a target of sexual harassment? Have you filed a complaint?
This question is raised to determine your proclivity to take legal action at work place. Be open and express yourself freely as the question came from them and it was not you who initiated it.
Have you ever been arrested?
The question can be answered negative unless you were arrested and proved guilty by a court of law. This is because a person who is arrested is innocent until proven guilty.
Has any court found you guilty?
This question is asked to clear and clarify if any criminal record is present.