Most Common Interview Questions and How to Prepare for Them

Interview Questions, Answers And Tips

Would you like to feel confident and well prepared before any interview?

While every company is different and their interview processes unique, there are some common interview questions that you are likely to be asked in almost every company's interview.

There are also general tips and ways of preparing for these interview questions, which are our recommendations of how best to answer these questions. However, you should definitely personalize these sample responses according to your profile and personality.

Most Common Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What are your greatest strengths?
  3. What are your greatest weaknesses?
  4. Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?
  5. Why should I hire you?
  6. Why do you want to work at our company?
  7. What changes would you make if you came on board?
  8. Can you work under pressure?
  9. Tell me about your work in the last company
  10. Give me an example where you showed good team spirit

Before getting into the details of showing you answers to the above questions, a few pieces of general advice:

Be positive and confident

Always have a confident, optimistic attitude when appearing for interviews.

Whenever you talk about past experiences or examples from your personal life, don't focus on the negative aspects of those experiences. Instead talk about how all your experiences, whether good or bad, were a great learning opportunity for you.

Be honest

It never helps to present a false picture of who you are or what your skills and experiences are. Apart from the fact that people appreciate honest, sincere individuals in an interview, setting the wrong expectations might land you the job, but your true skill and effectiveness will only show in the work that you deliver.

Besides, some companies invest time and resources to perform background checks of potential employees. So rather than worrying about a falsified story or claim being cross checked with a reference, be honest and keep your mind at ease.

Pay attention to your body language

  1. Dress well (Business formals for men and Formals or Indian ehtnic wear for women)
  2. Sit upright
  3. Smile
  4. Shake hands confidently
  5. Try to maintain eye contact whenever appropriate

Read about the company and role

Before going for any interview, do your homework about the company and the specific role you are applying for.

Go through their company website – you should at least know what the company does. Read about what are the core products or services the company offers.

If possible, go through their Vision, Mission or Values statements – if you use them in your answers, it helps you make a good impression.

Last but definitely not the least, read about the Job Description and the Requirements for the position that you are applying for thoroughly. Basically, find out what your potiential employer wants, and in the interview, show them how you are a good fit for their requirements.

Now, let's get into the details of answering the most common interview questions:

1. Tell me about yourself

Below is a basic framework of answering this question:

Tell Me About Yourself

And these are a few sample answers for this question:

1. Your full name and where you stay:“My name is Rahul Desai, I stay at Andheri West”
2. Your Educational Qualifications:“I have completed my HSC from Maharashtra Board in 2016, with a score of 66%”
3. Skills or Knowledge that you have:“I have done a MS-CIT course and my typing speed is 20 words per minute”
4. Experience that you have, if any:“I have worked in a Call Centre for 10 months, where I used to do Sales and Marketing”

Once you have presented your basic information, go into the details of how your skills, qualifications and experience are quite relevant for the requirements that the company has.

This is where your homework about the company and the role that you are applying for will help.

Another way to answer this question is to follow-up your introduction with a question to understand "what is the interviewer exactly looking for in this profile?".

It saves a lot of time if you focus only on those skills or experiences that are relevant for this position.

2. What are your greatest strengths?

This question is an opportunity for you to present your best self. Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths.

You should have one or two specific examples for each strength, chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.

As a general guideline, some of the most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are:

  1. A proven track record as an achiever – especially if your achievements match up with the employer's requirements
  2. Honesty and integrity – basically a decent human being
  3. A team player who fits well in the company
  4. Positive attitude
  5. Good communication skills
  6. Dedication – willingness to take extra efforts to achieve excellence
  7. Having a purpose or clear goals
  8. Enthusiasm – high levels of motivation
  9. Confidence, and leadership skills

More updates on the remaining 8 interview questions yet to come, stay tuned!


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