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Faqs In A Job Interview And Model Answers With Tips

Question 1 : Tell us about yourself in detail

Just do not start reiterating your résumé as a response for this question. Probably they had already taken a good look at your paper résumé before they called you for the interview. Instead, use this opportunity to talk about your academic or work-related skills and activities. You can answer this question concisely and in a structured way by touching all the important things about yourself like your work experience, personal traits like leadership, or your computer skills. But you better be prepared with a rehearsed response.


Question 2 : Where do you see yourself in five years?

Answer to this question has to be prepared keeping in mind your long- and short-term goals and the organization’s policies. For ­instance, if you have applied for a government job where promotions and increments are time-bound, your answer suggesting you need to have a promotion every alternate year to reach your desired goal would point towards flaws in your expectations from the job. An interviewer of a private company may appreciate your fire and hunger for success, but the interviewer for the government job will look at you as someone who might end up frustrated and unsuccessful after five years, if awarded the job in contention. Therefore, you have to cleverly chalk out a suitable answer for this question. Make it clear that you aim to be promoted at a relatively higher rate above the average, and that your promotions will be earned through hard work and not just because of seniority in the company.


Question 3 : Are you willing to relocate?

If you have done proper homework before applying for a job, you know this one will be discussed. Set your priorities right by preparing for some connected questions about family, especially children and working wife/husband (if any). Companies generally advertise such details and these cannot be negotiated at any point. Do not press your point during the interview that relocating is not needed in the job offered and that you can manage otherwise. Remember, it is the company’s business and they know what is required to run it.

Question 4 : Are you willing to travel?

This question is being asked keeping in mind requirements of the job. The interviewer is not interested to know about your ­recreational travels. So it is acceptable to say “Yes”. If you show keen interest in that, it is good to give an affirmative answer. Along with your answer, cite some illustrations of work-related travel you have done. However, if the interviewer wants to know about your liking for travelling as a hobby, be honest in telling it.


Question 5 : Do you have problem working overtime?

This question is asked because the job might demand you to stay ­after office hours to complete tasks which are important. In the ­Indian context, it is expected that females will be more averse to working overtime than males. But this is a myth. There are no female- or male-specific jobs in the corporate, and if there are any, those can be aligned with this issue. So, staying overtime for important work should not be a problem with you. But in case there are commitments like picking children from the crèche or dancing class after office hours, be open and discuss this. Because, it might get you into trouble, and your stay at the new job may be short-lived.


Question 6 : Have you ever owned your own business?

Replying in affirmation is the best answer, since it shows initiative and that you have had some experience marketing services or products. One good answer I came across was: “Yes, I ran my own business while in college. I offered to design digital résumés for my brothers and their friends. Digital résumés made by me became quite popular in that network and I earned a decent sum of money in just a few months, enough to pay for a new mobile phone and subsequent bills.”


Question 7 : Do you mind if I contact your references?

You should always inform the people whose names have been ­mentioned in your CV as your references. Many a time, candidates mention names of influential people as references in their CVs ­despite the fact that they are not known fully to those people. It is highly advisable to make sure that you provide only those references which are known to you personally or professionally. Also, remember to alert your references that you have provided their names and that your prospective employer might just check about you from them. This will not only help your references not to be caught unawares but also prepare them to give a positive response about you in case they are contacted.

Question 8 : Please let us know about your greatest strength or strengths?

Use this as an opportunity to talk about some of your work-related skills and personality traits that can be linked as your strengths for the work. Follow it up with some examples to support your answer.

For instance, you can answer this question as:


“I can work with small teams and create small user-defined software programmes to help compile or disseminate information fast and easy. For example, while working as an intern in the HR department of ABC Bank Ltd., I created a small programme which remembered dates of birth of all employees and on daily basis would send birthday greeting to the respective employees. This helped the birthday employee to start his office-day in a happy mood, and besides bringing people together socially, it also helped improve aspects of teamwork for sure.”

Question 9 : What you think is your greatest weakness or weaknesses?

Do not open the Pandora’s box here but just confess one weakness of yours. And ensure that the weakness should not be related to the job applied. Avoid confessing fake or baseless weaknesses such as, “I take pains to ensure jobs of my colleagues are also completed ­before I leave office for the day.” Just speak about the weakness, how it ­affected your performance and steps you have taken or plans you have made to overcome this weakness.

Question 10 : Do you perform best working alone or as part of a team?

This is a straight question and the interviewer wants to understand your style of work. The answer to this question will depend upon the kind of job you have applied for. Many jobs require you to do a lot of work alone, like the jobs of editors, accountants, etc. Then you can state that you like to work alone. However, jobs usually demand working in teams, and so you have to weigh your options before ­answering this question.

Question 11 : Are you organized?

Please highlight your style of work and some job related skills. 
A model answer might be, “I plan for a given task and ensure good time management. This usually helps me complete tasks ahead of schedule.” Demonstrate it by talking about a project or event that you organized and timely finished. Avoid disclosing that you are usually late or that your tasks linger on till the end.


Question 12 : Do you consider yourself to be a risk-taker?

Your answer to this question depends on the type of company it is. If it is a company within a highly competitive industry then they are probably considering those who are willing to take risks. If you think the company is of this type, then offer an example of a risk you have ­taken in business. But if the company is an established industry ­leader then the risk-takers will not be highly valued. Moreover, no company is looking for employees who are foolish in their risk-taking behaviour, so a good rule of thumb is to place yourself somewhere in the middle—you are neither too foolish nor overtly cautious.


Question 13 : Do you think being a self-starter helps?

Well, everybody wants people in the company who are self-starters and require minimum supervision. So, you got to respond “Yes” for this question. However, if you can talk about any incident in the past of how you were able to work with minimal supervision, that will work as icing on the cake and will help you project yourself as an efficient, accurate and a productive worker.


Question 14 : Have you ever experienced unfair criticism from supervisors, and how have you reacted to it?

Respond to this question in such a way that projects you as a person who can deal with criticism in a very positive manner. At the same time, avoid going overboard with statements like “I don’t care” or “I concentrate on work without getting affected”. However, you can say that generally you do not get angry, defensive or arrogant and also firmly say that you do not let people criticize you unnecessarily.


Question 15 : Can you handle change?

The best possible answer is to say that you can handle change very well. Support your claim by offering an example of how well you coped with a major change that took place in your work environment. One of the most commonly known changes that occur is when the employer brings in new automation or changes the work culture. Tell the interviewer what you did to cope with a change that occurred with the previous employer—remember, this should be a major change, not a minor one.


Question 16 : Do you hate doing a lot of routine work?

Well, you should know the type of job you are being interviewed for, and understand the requirements thereof. If a particular function ­requires you to do daily chores such as filling tenders or ­making spreadsheets of daily data, place emphasis on the significance of that work for the department. And you may always drop an ­understandable statement, like: “I know this position requires such routine tasks, but it’s important and if I can handle it well, it will help my line managers to make better and informed decisions.”


Question 17 : How do you handle disputes with co-workers?

People working together do disagree on various points. So, it may sound untrue if you say that you never had a dispute with a co-­worker. The best response to such a question would be to discuss about some on-work problem you had with a colleague and the way you resolved it so that the outcome was positive. Do not miss to end it up by ­telling how you became compatible again. The idea is to show your ­capability in handling conflicts in a mature way.


Question 18 : Do you read books? What books are you reading these days?

Preferably drop the name of one book on subject related to your ­career or business in general. For example, if you are a salesperson, say that you are currently in the middle of “The Power of Six Sigma” by Subir Chowdhury, or mention the title of a book on improving time management, personality, efficiency, etc. It is suggested that you start reading one or two books so that you can intelligently discuss them if the subject is brought up during an interview. Please remember the correct title, sub-title, author and publisher of the book. Also, if possible, read some reviews on that book which will help you to discuss the book and its subject intelligently.


Question 19 : Do you watch movies? Tell us about the last movie that you saw?

Avoid a statement like, “I hate to watch movies as it leaves less time for me to work.” However, if you do not watch movies because you do not like it, say it straight. No reason to sugar-coat it with your commitment to work in an attempt to present yourself as a workaholic. You can always tell that you enjoy healthy activities and like to devote some time to relaxation and entertainment. Avoid saying (even if these are true) that you’ve seen a particular movie 15 times or that you use all your free time watching movies.


Question 20 : Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Avoid responses which suggest that you change hobbies frequently and that consistently following a hobby is a problem for you. Here, the interviewer wants to figure out more about you and know if you can maintain an interest in a particular subject for a long period. Answers that reveal interest in sports are among good responses to such questions. You may tell: “For the past five years I have been an avid golfer. I have competed in a dozen or so competitions and I have won a few.” Avoid revealing a hobby or an activity, if you have any, that most people would consider strange.


Question 21 : What do you watch on TV and why?

Avoid revealing the fact that you have seen every episode of the Kyun ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, or that you race home from work everyday to watch Kaun Banega Crorepati 2. Also, do not swing the other way and claim that you never watch television or only watch BBC World and CNN (if you do not do so) because the interviewer will know that you are lying. The best answer reveals that you do watch television, but you watch respectable and very popular programmes such as 8 p.m. News on NDTV or Sherlock Holmes.


Question 22 : How important is good health for you?

Obviously, if you are fit, you can tell in detail about your gym ­routines, morning walks or jogs, but if you are overweight or obese, answer the question politely. Do not take it as an offence and react angrily. Instead you may say that you may not be getting up early and jogging daily, but you do exercise whenever you get time. Or that you walk or jog for 30–45 minutes every evening.


Question 23 : Please inform us of physical problems, if any, that could affect your ability to perform this job?

Though such questions may violate your civil rights, but many a time such questions are mandatory for the job. For example, people with chronic backache problems are not suitable for loading or excess travelling jobs. The best response to such questions is, “No, I don’t have any such problems.” However, it would be good if you can ask your interviewer the details of the job to see if there is any issue you want to discuss.


Question 24 : How do you balance career and family?

Prefer to simply respond, “I haven’t had a problem balancing my work and private life. One has never interfered with the other. I am capable of getting the work I need to get done without it interfering with my personal life.”

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