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Answering Tough Interview Questions

Does the thought of attending a job interview making you nervous and shake with self-doubt? It's natural.

The personal interview is crucial. If the interviewer finds there's a mismatch in your personality, attitude or background, you won't proceed to the next stage in the hiring process – the offer letter.

To help you out, we have gathered proven answers to 100 probing questions on personality, education, teamwork, professionalism, compensation & more. Read this practical guide and get hired.

Answering Tough Interview Questions

Does the thought of attending a job interview making you nervous and shake with self-doubt? It's natural.

The personal interview is crucial. If the interviewer finds there's a mismatch in your personality, attitude or background, you won't proceed to the next stage in the hiring process – the offer letter.

To help you out, we have gathered proven answers to 100 probing questions on personality, education, teamwork, professionalism, compensation & more. Read this practical guide and get hired.

Questions based on Personal life

Questions asked under this category is to understand your personality, strengths, work style, work ethic, motivation, and how you handle stress. The interviewer wants to know if you're a good match for both the job and the company culture . There’s no right or wrong answers, but make sure your response matches what you know about the job and the company.Be honest.

  • 1Tell me about yourself

    (This is a short description about you. Keep it honest, confident and show them a bit of your character and skills which are job relevant)

    I am James, 24 years old, and I completed my Masters in Computer Science this year. I enjoy working as a team and definitely a team player

    My name is Andrew and I’ve been working for the past seven years as a business systems analyst and data manager. I’ve been trained and certified on a number of different software platforms and systems which have helped me explore my industry better.

    My name is Laya. I was a freelance creative copywriter with over three years’ experience. My writings have been published by a few well known magazines. I am now looking forward to work in a full time job with a team

    I'm Jerome. I was born and brought up in Chennai. I went to an all-boys boarding school. And then I pursued a degree in BSc. Computer Science in XXX University. I'm a fresher but I am always eager to learn

  • 2Tell me something that’s not on your resume?

    (Resume has facts but the interviewer wants to know about the person behind the work history. Talk about strengths. Don’t recite your resume.)

    In my previous position as office admin, I discovered that the company was spending thousands of dollars per year on office supplies that no one used or had very little use. I then changed our ordering system and vendor to reduce waste. This saved the company Rs.13,0000 in the first quarter alone.

    Ever since I was little, my family has been a huge supporter of my technology driven curiosity. I was enrolled in the “Learn To Code” program online when I was 7. I currently train 2 kids to code from the slums myself.

    In my latest team review my sales team exceeded its annual goal by 10% under my leadership. I often go out on sales calls with staff to help close deals with major clients. It meant more late evenings catching up on my administrative tasks, but it was worth it.

    Recently, my friends from my neighbourhood and I decided to prepare food for street dogs during the covid-19 21 days lockdown. We were able to bring the community together and care for the voiceless.

  • 3Define success and describe it further

    (This is to give sense of your work ethic, your goals, and your overall personality. Do not focus on money and power. Keep your answer brief.)

    I believe success is a journey and not a destination. If, over the course of my employment, I can leave work each evening satisfied that I’ve learned something new or useful, then this counts as success to me.

    As a HR recruiter Success, for me, will always be about making a difference in other people’s lives. If I know that at the end of the day my work has helped someone to find a job or feed their family or turn their life around, then I sleep well at night and wake up eager to start work all over again the next day.

    Success to me is to wake up every day excited to cease the day. To achieve everyday targets without delay. New challenges constantly excite me. Personal and professional development is also crucial to keep succeeding in this competitive industry and therefore I keep updating myself through online courses during my free-time and gaining knowledge

    I consider reaching both small and large milestones as success. I view success as a process where challenges encourage me to find creative solutions. Facing those challenges helps me progress personally and toward company objectives. I can leave work feeling successful as long as I have made some progress toward solving a problem or reaching a goal.

  • 4Define success in a sentence or two

    (Do not answer more than two sentences. Just your definition of success with no examples required)

    As a HR, success to me is making sure my employees come to a healthy working environment which would drive them to produce better results. Success, for me will always be about making a difference in other people’s lives.

    Success to me is to wake up each day excited to cease the day. To achieve everyday targets without delay.

    I consider reaching both small and large milestones as success. I view success as a process where challenges encourage me to find creative solutions.

    I believe success is a journey and not a destination.

  • 5 What are you strengths and how do you use it at work?

    (This is to identify whether your strengths align with the goals of the company and the job's responsibilities. Do not be over confident)

    I am patient, committed, honest and self-motivated. My biggest strength is probably my passion and motivation as a fresher to learn and grow professionally. I also practice responsibility and my ability to work as a team is my greatest attribute. I hope I can put my strengths to use in your company, in the position of PHP developer trainee.

    I am a skilled sales executive with over 7 years’ experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter by at least 25%, and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.

    I pride myself on my project management skills and my ability to resolve difficult situations. With five years' experience I can effortlessly resolve cross departmental issues when they work on a project. I also have strong communication skills, which help me to work well with clients, team members, and executives. I am known for being an effective team member with a talent for giving presentations.

    I can work independently and complete a project from scratch – something I’ve learned in my freelancing/previous experience. I can also look at the work from the point of view of my clients, trying to understand what they want to achieve with their work, and keeping these goals and the end user in mind while developing the software. Excellent communication skills and time management are my other strengths.

  • 6What are your strengths?

    (Here just give them your strengths. No need to be modest but do not be over confident. Keep it short)

    I am patient, committed, honest and self-motivated. I also have a constant thirst to learn and grow professionally

    I am a skilled sales executive with over 8 years’ experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter by at least 25% going above and beyond expectation.

    I pride myself on my ability to resolve potentially difficult situations. I can communicate effortlessly across teams and be a bridge between the client and the teams.

    I can work independently, and I can complete a project from scratch. Excellent communication skills and time management are my other strengths.

  • 7What are your weaknesses and how have you worked towards solving it?

    (This is to understand your confidence and attitude to work and personal development. Never say you don’t have any weaknesses)

    My biggest weakness is being impatient. If a particular resource fails, I have a tendency to pick up the project on my own. I worked on this attitude with the help of my peers. To compensate for my own weakness, in my previous job, I was handling a 10 member team for who I used to break the entire project into tasks for each employee, followed by deadlines. This process worked brilliantly.

    I struggle to manage my time sometimes especially with deadlines. To overcome this, I have started using post-its in my cabin. I have also begun organizing my time into daily goals, weekly goals, and long terms goals in order to prioritize.

    I struggle with work-life balance. I have trouble saying ‘no’ and end up overwhelmed by my workload. This was truly self-imposed stress. I have now set aside some time for family with every night with no electronics in hand. Just pure family time. As they say, happy wife, happy life. I also make it a point to meet my friends on Sundays. This has helped me de-stress and maintain high productivity levels.

    My biggest weakness is the lack of experience as a fresher. I have designed campaigns for my college projects. But, I still lack the practice with designing campaigns for real market conditions. This is the reason I applied for a job in your organization, because you work on many projects with many international clients. I believe that I can gain experience with you and I promise you I am a quick learner and adapter.

  • 8What are your weaknesses?

    (Quote a weakness that is both negative and positive. Also mention how you worked on it in just one sentence. Gives a positive impact)

    My biggest weakness is being impatient but it has made me a quick learner to identify and solve issues quicker.

    Being a perfectionist I struggle to manage my time sometimes especially with deadlines. I have now begun to organize my time into daily goals, weekly goals, and long terms goals in order to prioritize.

    I struggle with work-life balance. I have trouble saying ‘no’ and end up overwhelmed by my workload. But now I’ve learnt give my family and friends attention too. This has helped me de-stress and maintain high productivity levels after a quick refresher.

    My biggest weakness is the lack of experience as a fresher.

  • 9What motivates (drives) you?

    (The interviewer wants to understand what makes you tick and drives you to succeed.)

    I'm driven by results. I like having a goal to meet and enough time to figure out a strategy for accomplish it

    Meeting targets before deadlines motivates me. I love creating an organized schedule for completing tasks and achieving goals on time. I get a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

    Constant learning motivates me in this ever evolving industry. Which is why I love working with a team because when you brainstorm you see a lot of other innovative ideas and exciting approaches which build my interest and curiosity towards the project.

    What motivates me is creating codes from scratch. I love working from strategy to execution tackling different challenges on the way and coming up with meaningful solutions to them. I believe that I’d be able to do that here

  • 10Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

    (This is to assess your levels of ambition, loyalty and expectation. strike a balance between realism and aspiration. Do not say you don’t know. Do not say CEO of a company)

    In 5 years, I would like to have accomplished my short-term goals in the company pertaining to learning, on the job training, execution and would like to transition into managing my own team. Then, as a knowledgeable professional with enough experience I would share my in-depth knowledge of the industry and teach the ropes for the next set of fresh graduates who are welcomed to the organization.

    Life is never certain. Not everything one plans can happen. But I believe that with enough hard work, a strong will to learn and desire to grow, I can make an important and valued contribution to the organization and even impact in the next five years.

    What I want and what is reality might be two different things. But that being said, I believe the only way to reaching your goals is to think big! I want to be an expert senior full stack developer handling teams PAN India as project lead. Big dream! But it will push me more to set goals in phases and work hard with the big picture in mind and constantly having a thirst for knowledge and improvement.

    In five years, I’d like to be an industry expert in my field as a well-rounded contributor on large scale projects that make a difference in the company and to the global community.

  • 11Describe your work ethic and how you have executed it? / Do you have a good work ethic?

    (This is to better understand how candidates approach their work. Ethics means moral principles)

    I am an honest and sincere individual. I am easy to communicate with as I’m very understanding and an active listener. I do not like to boss around. For instance, I take office breaks with my team and organize informal lunch/dinner through which I realized their work pressure. This made me modify the deadline of a project. As a result of which, the team worked enthusiastically and we excelled in overall expectations of the client.

    I’m an eager learner and a positive worker who is dedicated to completing tasks without complaining about the process. For example: We had to completely re-do a client’s project on their request a day before the launch of the product. Everyone was low in spirits. It might sound silly, but I bought a big bag of munchies for my team, and played loud music. Somehow the energy in the room changed. Everyone was in good spirits and worked without feeling stressed and still managed to complete the task before leaving home.

    I’m very honest when it comes to my work. I’m quite disciplined as a person, and I prefer planning before executing which is the foundation to success. My work ethic is strong. I believe in being at work on time and working hard at completing each task that’s assigned to me. I assure you I won’t be missing any deadlines.

    I read on your website that your organization is honest, transparent and goes the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to cease the day every day. Loyalty is very important to me and I stick with a company for the long term and grow with the organization. My work motto is “Work Smart, Have Fun.”

  • 12Describe your work ethic

    (Keep this short. The interviewer wants to know if you would fit in the job and company culture)

    I am an honest and sincere individual. I am easy to communicate with and very understanding. I do not like to boss around.

    I’m an eager learner and a positive worker who is dedicated to completing tasks without complaining about the process. I look at challenges as a learning opportunity

    I prefer planning before executing. Being quite disciplined and honest I believe in being at work on time and working hard at completing each task that’s assigned to me. I assure you I won’t be missing any deadlines.

    My work ethic is aligned to your organization, I am honest, flexible, and come ready to cease the day every day. Loyalty is very important to me and I stick with a company for the long term and grow with the organization. My work motto is “Work Smart, Have Fun.”

  • 13What are your hobbies?

    (This is most often asked as an ice breaker. Gives an insights into your skills. Make it relevant. Talk about extracurricular activities or volunteering you do. Keep it short)

    I love football. I have been playing football since I was three. I now coach kids from my neighbourhood during the weekends.

    I love to experiment in the kitchen. Cooking is a good way to relax after a busy week.

    I absolutely love being the voice to the voiceless. I volunteer at dog pounds and dog adoption drives whenever possible. I have 2 dogs myself.

    I love teaching. I currently tutor math and science 2 days a week during examination months for the children in my neighbourhood for free. I also conduct painting classes for them once a month.

  • 14What are you passionate about?

    (The interviewer wants to know what’s important to you and draw purpose from. They are trying to understand your nature. Always explain why you’re passionate about something. Helps them understand some of your strengths too.)

    I am passionate about football. I have been playing football since the age of three. My father was a national level player and my coach. Even today, I play matches with local teams during my freetime. It’s so refreshing to be on the ground running around and scoring a goal. The excitement is unmatched. I am also a huge fan of team Chelsea FC. I hope they make it to the finals.

    I’m passionate about cooking. I love to experiment in the kitchen. Cooking is a good way to relax after a busy week. I also feel that it helps me to be more creative due to the constant experimenting. As strange as it sounds some of my most creative solutions to work or life problems have come when left alone to cook up something delicious. I’ve been thinking about publishing a book in the future.

    I am passionate about animals. I have two dogs. I adopted one and foster the other. I volunteer at dog adoption drives to help deserted pups find a new home. I enjoy taking my dogs on late night walks. The silence helps me focus and gather my thoughts.

    My passion is working with students from the slums. I tutor a group of children of different grades with “Teach for India” during the weekends. It is so satisfying to see them gradually make a better life for themselves and strive for academic success.

  • 15What makes you unique?

    (Unique means different. Refer skills from the job description and connect it to you. Do not quote generic skills like I am a hard worker. This is to understand your potential. They want to know what sets you apart from other candidates)

    Any project I undertake, I make sure I ask all the right questions and understand the requirement completely. I make sure that the foundation is strong so that we can continue developing with no stops.

    What makes me unique is that I basically taught myself to create a website from scratch.

    It would be my ability to pick anything up and get the job done very quickly and efficiently. I also excitedly take up additional responsibilities as I am always keen to get involved with new areas of the business.

    I have always been a very creative individual with innovative ideas. I would love the opportunity to bring my creative flare to this role. I am well prepared to work on cross-departmental projects.

  • 16Why should I hire you? / What can you offer that nobody else can?

    (This is asked to check if the candidate understands what he or she is being hired for, to check his confidence to grasp new things quickly and what skills you bring with you)

    I have the ability to understand the requirement clearly before I begin the project plan. I make sure that the foundation is strong. I attribute this to my quality of being a perfectionist and never say no attitude. This is something most would find difficult but as an active listener, excellent communicator and keen observer with experience I have a few tips and tricks that makes drawing a project plan easier

    What makes me different is that I basically taught myself to create a website from scratch. I was drawn to it in college and with the limited resources available to me, I decided to take matters into my own hands—and that’s the approach I take in all aspects of my work as a web developer. I don’t just wait around for things to happen, and when I can, I’m always eager to step in and take on new projects, pick up new skills, or brainstorm new ideas.

    I have the ability to pick anything up and get the job done very quickly and efficiently. Having already worked in a small startup before, I know the ins and outs of the industry. I am also happy to take on additional responsibilities and always keen to get involved with new areas of the business. I understand the importance of being open minded and flexible, particularly within a startup environment.

    I have always been a very creative individual with innovative ideas. Throughout my career my ideas were often the final solution that actually worked when faced with challenges. I would love the opportunity to bring my creative flare to this role. At the same time, I have also developed my communication skills from working directly with senior managers. I am well prepared to work on cross-department projects.

  • 17How do you maintain work life balance?

    (The interviewers goal is to determine if home life will interfere with work, if you’ll be happy in general and therefore a better worker, and if you’ll be willing to do some overtime work if it’s needed)

    I pride myself on giving 100% attention to the task at hand be it at work or life. At work, you will never see me checking Facebook or taking personal calls from my desk. I apply that same principle to my time at home or on vacation—giving my family, friends and hobbies, etc. my full focus. I’ve found that this allows me to relax and recharge so that I can give my all during the workweek. No burnouts. But if for some reason there’s a pressing need at work I’d find a way to hop on a quick call or communicate over email to troubleshoot whatever is necessary

    I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. As an organised person, I can balance my professional and personal life very well. I believe that what happens at home stays at home and when at home they get my attention first, and at work I focus on doing my work. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins.

    Yes, it can be a challenge because my shift keeps changing and requires working evenings and weekends. To keep a balance, I make sure to meet my friends during the week and spend time by myself. It's important to stay grounded when you have an irregular schedule.

    I found myself working late quite often not because of the pile-up of work but because of my perfectionism. To top that, as a senior resource I often bring work home. On days when I feel like I have neglected my family, I wind up work immediately, close my laptop and take my family out to dinner and a movie or the beach. It may mean pushing my work to a bit later in the night but having that refresher with family can be incredibly motivating.

  • 18What is your ideal company (workplace)?

    (The interviewer wants to know why you’ve applied to this specific company. What is it about this company that makes it a good fit for your aspirations, values, skills, and priorities? (Ideal-perfect and satisfying)

    My ideal company is one where every individual employee is valued, encouraged to speak up and share ideas wherever necessary.

    My ideal company offers the opportunity to learn, grow and build upon current skills. Where my input is valued, ideas are acknowledged to achieve a mutual goal.

    My ideal company is where I can grow and execute my knowledge and skills to enhance in my career. Location doesn't matter to me but it is important that the environment healthy and motivates all employees.

    For me, my ideal company is one where I show up to work everyday enthusiastically and feel myself contributing, Believing that I play a key role in the success of the company. Also, my ideal company offers products and solutions that I believe in, and has a long term plan for success.

  • 19Describe yourself in 3 words

    (Here be sure to talk about transferable skills that would be relevant to your job)

    I am organized, focused and a problem solver

    I am highly analytical, methodical and thorough

    I am observant, high achieving and a smart worker

    I am proactive, driven and motivated

  • 20How would your co-workers (colleagues) describe you?

    (This is asked to understand your personality traits when it comes to working in an office. They want to know if your flexible, dependable, group dynamics etc.)

    My co-workers and I had an excellent working relationship with mutual respect. We often had cross departmental collaborations and shared responsibilities .Based on these work experiences I believe they’d say I was someone they could rely on to deliver top notch work and easily worked within a team.

    My co-workers would describe me as a team player who is always willing to go above and beyond to get any task completed on time. My former co-worker Jennifer always said that I could light up a room with my positive and enthusiastic attitude.

    I believe they would say I am hard working, punctual and trustworthy. Hardworking because I also stay in work late to finish off projects even if it is a Friday evening. Punctual due to the fact that I hold the record for never being late for work. Finally, I am trustworthy because my boss trusted me with a team of my own although I only had 2 years of overall experience. I completed the project successfully within the stipulated time.

    They would describe me as someone who puts her best efforts into everything she does. This is because with any project, I will work until I am happy with the final outcome being mindful of the deadline. This is also because I would often help my teammates with their work keeping in mind the mutual goal of the project.

  • 21What makes you angry?

    (The interviewer wants to know how you would react or handle a stressful situation. Discuss things that would negatively impact the company and how you handled it. Do not point fingers at the management)

    When I am working on something crucial with complete focus I hate unnecessary roadblocks like a slow internet connection or a power cut. But I also live my life by logic. As a result, my anger subsides quickly when I convince myself that these are situations I cannot control.

    At my previous job, one of my co-workers would frequently slack off at work and miss deadlines which would cost the entire team. Therefore, all of us would have to work harder to compensate. It really frustrated me but by actively communicating with him we were able to work together.

    Anger is a human emotion. So if something makes me angry, I step back, take a deep breath, analyse the situation and come up with an action plan.

    I get frustrated when a team member does not meet deadlines especially after carefully planning it. I once was faced with such a situation and called the co-worker to my cabin. I wanted to fix the problem rather than focusing on how he messed up so I asked him what happened and how I could help. Turns out he had several other deadlines from cross departmental projects which were giving him sleepless nights. Hence he couldn’t work efficiently as planned.

  • 22Describe a major challenge (problem) and how you overcame it at work. / Tell me how you dealt (handled) a difficult situation at work.

    (The interviewer is trying to figure out how you would approach problem solving in your new role, and see if there are any red flags. This a great opportunity to turn a big challenge into a great accomplishment. This helps them understand how you think)

    When I was interning I once found a major flaw in the coding of a team member I was initially hesitant but it could have been very costly mistake to the company if overlooked. So I directly went to him and told him what I noticed when I went through his codes for learning purposes, so that he could fix it before he reports to the team lead

    Rumours destroy any company environment. I recently found out that a co-worker had been backbiting about me I decided to address it directly by having a chat. And after that, I realized the power of communication. Miscommunication causes a lot of misunderstanding. She had taken offence to something I said during the meeting. I was able to communicate further, what I actually meant and what she understood were two different things. I was able to quickly fix the problem and work together better.

    While working on an important project a co-worker resigned 2 weeks before the deadline. In order to finish the project on time I put a minor project on hold to prioritise this project. To make sure that the quality of the work was not affected, I worked a lot of overtime. Although I did feel pressured it was worth it. My client was more than happy with what I delivered and from this experience I recognised my ability to work independently aswell.

    When the development of a new product kept delaying, I held a meeting with the team to brainstorm and managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully resolve issues and push forward, within a very short period of time, without completely burning out the team.

  • 23What’s your favourite book?

    (Another ice breaker question but this also allows the interviewer to understand you as a person)

    I recently read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which provided an in-depth look of what it takes to achieve success in anything.

    My manager recommended the team to read the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. It’s the most amazing book I’ve come across. Complete changes the team dynamics and work approach.

    I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho when I was 17. I still haven’t come across a book that beats that.

    My all-time favourite book is “Rich dad poor dad “ by Robert Kiyosaki . Taught me how to handle my finances. I recommended it to all my colleagues.

  • 24What is your greatest accomplishment (achievement)?

    (The interviewer wants to know what makes you stand out from the crowd. Keep the answer relevant to your job. It’s ok to brag here a bit. They want to know what’s valuable to you)

    Back in college I worked part time to educate myself. It was a huge motivation for me to be able to pay my fees and take care of all my college expenses by myself. I managed to graduate college with 80%.I learned the importance of setting clear goals and working consistently toward those goals.

    When I joined my last organization the entire team was struggling and were failing to execute projects successfully. Quite a lot of young minds who were innovative but lacked experience. I was hired to train and guide them on the technical aspects of the project. Within 6 months, we were achieving 20% above our monthly targets which in turn brought the startup more revenue and clients and they finally found a place in the industry.

    In my previous job I was responsible for technical training programs for our new employees. Unfortunately, the content was not engaging and was outdated. Only 30% completed the training program successfully. We were also receiving poor feedback on the course evaluation forms. I decided to rework the content to make it more relevant to the industry and interesting. Today, 93% of participants complete the training and provide positive feedback about their experience.

    My greatest accomplishment was during my previous position as a business analyst. I designed an innovative business system that streamlined the company’s approach to gather documents and analyze business needs.

  • 25What has been your greatest disappointment (regret) in life?

    (The interviewer wants to know how you handled a tough personal situation which points to your approach in professional situations as well. They want to know that you see challenges as opportunity to grow)

    I recently graduated from college and if I have to tell you about my greatest disappointment in life at this point of time I would say it was missing out on the “Best outstanding student” award. Although I was nominated for it the competition was high but fair and I did not make it. But never the less, being nominated drove me to function to the best of my potential.

    Not being able to go straight to college after graduating from school was my greatest disappointment. However, the two years I spent working helped me grow as a person and understand so much about the real practical world around me.

    It was when one of our recent projects was shelved two days before the launch date. We put in a great deal of time and effort to deliver the project, but there was a change of plans from the management that caused them to shelve our project.

    A few years ago, I turned down a great job opportunity at XYZ .That could have given me the experience I needed to move my career forward faster. It would have given me access to a lot of practical learning from some of the best minds in the industry. But I have to admit I got some great and unique experience with my previous employer too.

Questions based on Education

The interviewer will validate whether you have the credentials listed in your resume. It’s an indication of your ability to handle the role. The interviewer wants to know how prepared you are for the job. Your answers must connect your education to the job. If your degree does not directly match the job, talk about your transferable skills like soft skills, team work, creative thinking, flexibility and problem solving ability. Talk about your academic achievements.

  • 1Tell me about you educational background

    (The want to know about your credentials or any extra courses or certifications you might have done)

    I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Science in 2016 from XYZ University. I received many scholarships due to my strong grades. I was also awarded the best outgoing student of 2016.

    I graduated with a Master's in Computer Engineering in 2019. Before that, my undergraduate degree was also in Computer Science Engineering.

    I have earned a BE degree in IT from XYZ college. I graduated with 80% while working part time so I can definitely say I have learnt time management skills and that I work best under some degree of pressure.

    In Addition to my Bachelors and Master’s degree in ECE I have also completed a certification course in full stack from Crampete.

  • 2Why did you choose your major/masters/ bachelors?

    (Talk about you Your specialization in college. The skills you possess that interested you which are relevant to the job. They want to know how much research you put into this)

    I’ve always wanted to be a software developer as I have forever been fascinated by the computer. So I opted for a BE in computer science which came along with a free ”Learn to code” training program in the evenings. It was a wonderful experience to learn coding from scratch.

    One of my early mentors was my uncle. He was a successful software engineer in a MNC, and he constantly encouraged me to explore opportunities in the industry.It was the combination of my own explorations, along with the guidance provided by teachers while in school, that confirmed computer science engineering was the right path for me

    After completing my Bachelors I did a yearlong internship with XYZ. It really helped me understand my passion for web applications. I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue- A life in the IT industry. Therefore, I chose an appropriate fit for my masters.

    Before I choose my masters, I researched my options. I looked into the obvious factors; salary, development, and demand. The IT industry is becoming increasingly popular even during recession as the world runs on tech now. Job security is important to me, and I noticed that the demand is growing for developers.

  • 3Why did you choose to attend this college?

    (They want to know what drive you to this college. Talk about who or what inspired you. They want to know how you approached a major life decision)

    My brother was an alumni of XYZ so based on his personal and academic development and the reputation it has in the society I chose to attend the same University.

    My neighbour’s son, who I look up to attended the same university. He won many scholarship during his studies and was given many opportunities to explore his industry by the university. I really liked that. Therefore, decided to join the same university. I also received two scholarships and was able to represent my college in IIT Madras for a project work in my final year.

    My college has a very strong BE in IT program and I wanted to study under the best minds in the country. It also offered the specialization I was seeking. Also, they have a very prominent and strong alumni network.

    I chose this college because I was supporting myself, and I wanted a college that was both flexible and affordable.

  • 4Do you think employers should consider grades?

    (Grades –GPA/marks/percentage. They are trying to figure out if you think your grades represent your potential or if there’s more to your skills. )

    It depends on the employer and the job requirements. If I am applying to be a technical trainer to train students, the company might require me to have a good GPA beyond the practical knowledge. But I personally believe skill over grades should be the way

    I believe in the mantra skills over grades. Yes, I do have a good GPA but my internship taught me 70% more than what 4 years of college did.

    Well for a final year student who is looking at campus placement, grades are important as it is the only or foremost criteria to appear for a job interview. But for experienced candidates it’s always the years of experience that demonstrate their skills and knowledge

    A good GPA is a requirement for fresher’s especially when applying at big MNC’s as a good GPA would symbolize that he/she is hardworking, dedicated, and committed.

  • 5What have you done to educate yourself for this job and profession outside of the classroom?

    (They want to understand if you think a degree is enough for a job or if you’ve done some extra learning through courses, projects or practical learning. The drive you have for the job will be established)

    I interned in XYZ during my final year of college and also did a project under them which was quite successful. It helped me gain practical knowledge and skills I required when I started applying for jobs after graduating last month. I think this experience gives me a bit of an edge and confidence.

    I have completed a full stack certification course and a basic HTML course from Crampete because I am clear about what I want to pursue for a career. So these courses helped me specialize in what I wanted to do

    Teaching slum kid’s code from the basics with “Code for India” has really opened my eyes. Every weekend I enthusiastically go prepared to teach these kids who come eagerly to learn and practice on a laptop no matter what hardships they face. This experience has truly grounded me as a person and has taught me to work as a team with complete patience.

    Although I have experience, the industry is constantly evolving so I keep myself updated with the latest news, innovations and practices and I also commit to doing at least one course or certification relevant to my job every year to keep myself updated, refreshed and valued.

  • 6How has your education (degree) prepared you for this career (job)?

    (The interviewer is probing to see if you made practical, real world connections between your academic studies and the world of work.)

    Few of my majors from college have really helped me in work. For example, my Algorithms classes has definitely given me a big hand in my current project as my basics is strong.

    My college education has exceptionally prepared me with skills necessary to succeed. The projects I worked on in college has helped to develop my communication skills, be a critical thinker and problem solver. The experience I gained was truly valuable

    My education has prepared for real-life situations and jobs. Difficult courses have taught me exceptional critical-thinking skills and being a hard worker, I love a challenge.

    To me, formal education is important both personally and professionally. I learned a great deal about discipline and other transferable skills like leadership, communication, analytical thing while in college. My education has focused on not only theoretical learning but also on practical application based on the information learned

  • 7What academic course did you like the most?

    (This question allows them to get a sense of what you are passionate about. Talk about skills you have developed in college that might apply to the job at hand.)

    My favourite subject at university was chemistry. Particularly the chemistry lab classes. I loved the process of discovery in the laboratory. It was always fun and exciting.

    English classes. When I started college I was unfortunately not strong in the language. The skills I have developed in my English classes have been extremely beneficial in my other major coursework, and I have developed tremendously as a writer and speaker. I have even published an article on data science in my college’s departmental magazine

    As a business student, I really enjoyed the many management courses I was able to take. I met a lot of great people and learned many skills that I use in my profession.

    I loved my algorithm classes. I am so glad the professor made it very interesting. He really brought together theory with practical application so beautifully. And today, that strong foundation has helped me on many of my projects at work.

  • 8What academic course did you like the least? / Which academic course did you find the most difficult?

    (This question is designed to see how you handle yourself—do you make valid points or say something offensive or negative. Make sure that the subject you don't like isn’t important to the role you're being considered for. Try to make it positive)

    The college subject I liked least was Tamil . Don’t get me wrong I love the language but I had projects to work on that were important to complete my course and they were a lot more appealing to me.

    I will have to say Math. I was not blessed with same talent for numbers as my mother. Even the best professors struggled to help me succeed to go beyond the average score. But I eventually succeed in raising my score by 25 which to me is huge. I worked really hard for that

    I would have to say quantitative physics was my least favourite in college. I’m not very strong in math so I had to work extra hard on this subject. I don’t like giving up easily so I took up the challenge and succeeded without failing a single exam or test. It is now one of my proudest achievements too.

    Definitely AI (artificial intelligence). It was very new to me and quite difficult. I struggled a lot initially. I probably referred every book in the library on AI and finally succeeded without any arrears.

  • 9Do you have plans for further education?

    (Be very careful when answering this. The employer wants to know if you will pursue training and education that will help you to succeed in the role. But on the other hand you should also know that HR’s aren’t interested in candidates who are “only” using the role as a stepping stone to higher education)

    I don’t have any plans at the moment to take up a master’s degree but I am always open to further education in terms of internal or external training.

    Being well informed on the latest updates is very important therefore I view learning as a lifelong process in this ever changing industry. I plan on doing a short course on XXXX this year as it’s the new and upcoming update on the software.

    My job requires me to be constantly updated on new technologies, so I will attend seminars, on-the-job training and other courses offered by the company with great enthusiasm. But I also consider doing this job a great way to continue my education too.

    No. I believe experience is the greatest teacher. But, I constantly update myself on the latest practices in the industry as learning does not stop with just my degree.

  • 10Why have you not opted to pursue a master’s degree?

    (Sometimes when they profile looks very involved with research they might ask you this to understand if you are planning on quitting halfway through the job)

    Being a fresher I would like to gain practical experience in the field to improve my learning and explore the industry further. Therefore I have no plans for masters yet.

    I did not opt for a master’s degree as I believe specialization in the field through experience, short courses and certifications that are curated specifically for my core work.

    I did not opt for a master’s degree as I had developed extensive programming skills while pursuing my Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, I believed I was ready to begin my career in coding as soon as I graduated.

    I haven’t thought about masters yet as I believe my Bachelors in IT has prepared me well for a job. I also believe that “on-the-job” training and learning is much more important and valued.

  • 11What extracurricular activities did you participate in school or college?

    (They ask these questions because they want to know a bit about your personality, if you are a well-rounded person with interests outside of work, and what skills and abilities you have that relate to the job. Explain how you developed as a person)

    I’ve played sports since 7th grade. I joined the school football team and was the captain of the team in 11th grade. Kept me fit, focused and energized. Also taught me a lot of leadership skills and disciple in life.

    I did a lot of volunteering work back in college. One of my favourite is the “teach a friend” program which functions after college hours for an hour every day. Kids from poor social economic backgrounds from a nearby neighbourhood would get free tuitions from us and they were also provided with snacks every day to give them the energy and focus to study. The visible change in grades was heart-warming and satisfying.

    I was in the scouts in school and when I began college I joined the NCC (national cadet corps). An experience I would definitely credit to molding my character. It taught me disciple, respect and integrity above all. As a part of the program we also did a lot of voluntary work which helped me connect with people from different backgrounds and languages easily.

    I did not participate in extracurricular activities in college as I was working part time after college hours to earn and save for my educational purposes.

  • 12Who helped you decide which college to attend?

    (This will help them understand who inspired or drove you to choose the college-A major decision. To see what was important to you when you chose the particular college)

    My parents gave me the freedom to choose my college and I did enough research to finalize a college that offered a course with my interest of specialization.

    My big brother. He graduated from the same university and department. So his experience helped me understand that I had more opportunities to learn and explore the industry in XXX.

    My friend. We had the same goals in mind for our career.

    I decided on the university with guidance from my 12th grade teacher. I had to choose a college which would allow me to continue my part time job to provide for my education.

  • 13Why did you not complete your college degree?

    (Address it without shying away. If there’s a reason explain it but don’t blame. Show them enthusiasm towards working on it. Do not say you left because you found the course difficult)

    I did not finish my degree and that’s something I regret till date even though I have work experience. I’m planning to re-enrol in correspondence to finish it over time.

    I wasn’t able to complete it during the stipulated time as I had to take care of certain personal commitments. But, I am currently in the process of re-enrolling to study under the distance education program while working.

  • 14What other colleges did you consider attending?

    (The interviewer wants to know if you had a plan and other realistic goals towards your education. What was a priority when you researched for colleges)

    XXX is the only university I applied to as I had my mind set on it ever since I was in the 10th grade. Besides, I had the necessary cut off in 12th grade and was confident that I would pass the interview.

    XXX,YYY and ZZZ were some of the other colleges I considered but I chose VVV as it had a robust curriculum for the course I wanted.

    I always knew I wanted do pursue computer science engineering so I applied to ones that both had a good curriculum and was affordable like XXX,VVV and WWW

    XXX,WWW and ZZZ as they were the top three in the city for IT.

  • 15What skills have you learned in college that apply to your career?

    ( They want to know what specific skills you acquired in college and how you connect them to real world problems )

    My college education provided me with the skills necessary to succeed. In college I was the project lead on multiple projects and presentations. I was able to work as a team, communicate and drive results .The experience I gained was truly valuable. Given that my college had a diverse culture I am additionally fluent in Hindi and Malayalam which allows me to communicate with a broader variety of people.

    College prepared me for real-life situations. I have learned to confidently tackle complex problems and work hard for quality result. Many of my college projects and internship have also given me the opportunity to experience situations first hand and taught me how to come up with the best solutions.

    As a team lead today I can definitely say that the most important skill I gained in college was to accept and respond to feedback from peers and professors positively. This greatly enhanced my growth. I realized that the intent behind the feedback was to help me become more capable and effective. These experiences also taught me to use my language carefully and to focus on shared goals, avoiding comments that could be interpreted as personal or critical.

    Being at college taught me a number of important qualities. For example, I was a very shy and timid student back then. I had a professor who put me in soft skill classes after college hours. That helped me to walk and talk confidently which eventually led me to be the president of the college in my final year. This is definitely something I can pass on to my team members too as a natural leader today.

  • 16Do your grades reflect your potential (ability)?

    (This is specifically about your grades. Whether high or low they want you to be honest about how you think it is in comparison to your actual practical potential)

    I scored 85% in my final year. But if you ask me if that relates to my potential I will have to say no. My internship on the other hand would reflect more on my potential as that was a valuable, on the field learning experience

    My grades accurately reflects my effort. I worked as hard as I can to maintain my score even though I had undergone surgery in the final year, I figured out how to be a successful student.

    Not really. There's a huge different between actual and classroom setting. For example, I am weak in Mathematics. But, it’s not necessary that the person weak in Mathematics would be weak in decision making. It is unrelated.

    Well yes and no. I have a consistent GPA and I must say it’s not that easy. Takes a lot of hard work, commitment and sacrifices. But on the other hand “on-the-job” training is where you can actually see these skills in action.

  • 17Do you have long term education goals?

    (This is to see if you are interested in constantly updating yourself and enthusiastic about learning and how you do it)

    My long-term goal is to become a full stack developer. For that, I need to fully master both back-end and front-end development, and I am planning on learning both within the next three years by getting direct professional experience and completing various learning modules which would educate me on the same.

    Yes, My passion for computers is the reason I earned a degree in Information technology, and I am planning on pursuing MS in 3 years. Your organization is the ideal platform for me to succeed, as you have a long history of working with a creative team of fresher’s making them bring out their full potential.

    “Never stop the learning process” is my motto for life. Learning is a never ending process in an ever evolving industry. My current long term goal is to complete a certification in data science and PRINCE 2 in the next three years which I think are valuable assets to help me do my job efficiently.

    As part of a team, I want to add value and continue to grow the company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes and what projects I am working on. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team and therefore will update my skills in the field required through learning modules and courses.

  • 18Have you done any projects while in college?

    (Keep it simple when explaining about projects. You don’t necessarily have to go into the details unless asked for. This is asked to understand if you’ve had any exposure to the field of study or capable of researching and bringing about results. )

    Yes I have. I have done projects both as a team and solo projects.

    A few, yes. I have worked on projects through my internship while in my final semester.

    Yes, I am most proud of the project I submitted for my finals as I worked very hard on that day and night and it got the highest score.

    I have been doing projects ever since first year of college. I also have done quite a few projects representing my college in other universities and have won a couple of them as well.

  • 19Do you have any regrets about the way you spent your time during college?

    (This is to understand how you’ve handled mistakes. How you corrected them)

    Probably my biggest regret was not settling on what I wanted to study before beginning college. I initially chose mathematics but in the first six months I just knew it wasn’t what I wanted my career to be in even though I had the skills for it. I was more fascinated by computer science. So I had to restart my course the next year in computer science from year ,but I made up for that one year delay by doing an internship at an IT company before joining the course the next academic year.

    I do regret not being involved in more NSS voluntary work as I would have liked. I had way too many projects to complete especially in my final year.

    My regret is listening to a teacher who said I was stupid in my first year of undergraduate degree because I failed her subject twice. I have now completed my undergraduate degree with a decent score and was an honours student in my masters. I now lead a team of my own who derive amazing results at work. I channelled that negativity into positivity.

    My biggest regret would be not doing an internship while at college to gain some work experience before graduating.

  • 20Why are you applying for a job in a field that’s outside your college major?

    (This question is asked when your education and the job you’ve applied for do not match. The interviewer wants to know how your previous background in a non-related educational field may tie in with the role you are applying for. What motivates you to pursue this role.)

    My three years in college taught me how to conduct intensive research, which is beneficial in any career. Further, I would often represent my college at conferences within my field of study for which I created content and posters, and I learned while applying for jobs that companies almost always mention the need for someone to represent a brand in public settings and other social platforms. And I, as a candidate for the digital marketing can definitely bring these skills to the table.

    My degree is in Physics but I had the opportunity to work at an IT firm as a digital marketing trainee for a year. After seeing first-hand the exciting work they were doing I really wanted to be a digital marketing expert.

    I was doing a short course on the side in PGDCA while pursuing my UG in Physics. After working with computers, I realized how interesting and challenging it was. So I started taking up more short courses because I wanted a career working with computers.

    I enjoyed majoring in psychology as I found the subject very interesting but being a psychologist wasn’t my interest. For my career I wanted to do something I was good at and enjoyed doing. I had the opportunity to work at a small start up as a social media marketing specialist. My skills in consumer psychology definitely helped. My role initially was quite small but I enjoyed the work and ever since I have been studying up about the industry and the latest practices.

  • 21Why is your college percentage low?

    (Many employers greatly consider your percentage for a job especially if you’re a fresher. The interviewer wants to know if there is a reason for why your percentage is lower than others. Try to transition it into a more positive result eventually)

    I do understand that my overall score is less than ideal. I was working part-time to help pay for college. This made my schedule very difficult and impacted my grades. However, I saved up enough money for my final year before it started and focused only on studying for one year. I am extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish in my final year of college. But In the end, I feel that my part time work experience helped me to better prepare for the world of work after college.

    My first year of college did not go well for me in terms of grades. I was not yet clear of my career aspirations and struggled with some of the general classes. However, I focused on my majors more and was able to bring up my overall grade.

    In my first year of college I did not have the focus on my classes that I now have. As a result, my GPA was lower than expected. I have been working part-time to help finance my college expenses. That work experience has helped me become a better candidate. Would you like to hear more about my work experience?

    I was a bit too unfocused on other subjects except for my major subjects not understanding how it was going to massively cost my overall grade. I understood the gravity of the situation only in the final year and worked very hard to make drastic changes in my grades giving equal focus to all subjects.

  • 22How would a professor describe you?

    (The interviewer is looking at how you think others perceive you and some potential insights)

    When I asked my professor to write a letter of recommendation for my last internship, she mentioned my disciple towards achieving goals, research abilities and problem solving nature as keys to my success in college.

    Several of my professors nominated me for the “best outgoing student” award and mentioned my dedication to hard work, leadership ability and verbal skills as reasons for the nomination.

    My favourite professor is my statistics professor. He always said that I was very disciplined and attentive. To me, it’s a great compliment because he has a focused personality himself.

    They would say I was popular in college because I was always open to help other students with their subjects, actively taking part in lessons and paying attention, representing the college in different events and competitions. I mastered the skill of balancing my studies and extracurricular activities.

  • 23How did you handle stress back in college while studying or working on projects?

    (The interviewer wants to know how you handle stress effectively. Employers look for candidates who can deal with a range of stressful situations, especially work-related. Talk about how you work best under stress)

    To be honest I don’t see stress negatively. Stress and pressure creates a drive to achieve goals. I function best under stress. A lot of my best out of the box ideas were developed under stress.

    I have never had problems handling stress. It actually helps me focus on the task at hand without any distractions and I end up getting the job done quicker than anticipated.

    I do my best to anticipate stress and to plan for it. So I always plan prior and break studying or project work into phases, setting myself early deadlines and keeping track of it. I find this greatly relieves the amount of stress.

    When I am under pressure, I stop, take a deep breath and figure out what’s causing the stress. Then, I make a task list and work through that list step by step.

  • 24What was your most rewarding college experience?

    (The employer wants to know if you possess the skills or qualities that they are looking for in a candidate. Explain why the experience was valuable)

    I volunteered to be a tutor at my college's “Fresh start” program in my final year. We offered free help to our juniors who were struggling in majors and needed a little help after college hours. It was such a rewarding experience to see their stressed faces turn into confidence when they leave.

    Getting my undergraduate certificate was my most rewarding college experience. I am the first graduate in my family and was challenged every day by my course. I worked very hard to earn my degree. I have never felt as proud as I did at my college graduation.

    It has to be the voluntary services we did through the NSS club every week. We’ve done a lot of services like tutoring slum kids, cleaning beaches, clearing piles of garbage, educating the slum people on the importance of hygiene and painting the walls. It really helped me to appreciate life and stay grounded.

    I was good at music, specifically singing back in school but I wasn’t sure if I would make it on the college choir due to high competition among fresher’s like me. But I gave it go and to my surprise, I made it. Being a part of a college choir was a new experience. I learnt acapella there. I learnt how my physical health and well-being was so crucial to making music.

  • 25What was your biggest challenge as a student?

    (These challenges might be academic or personal. The interviewer wants to know how you handled it as a student. They want to know if you are self-motivated or if you avoid challenges.)

    Being a student. Sitting through the lectures was very difficult for a person like me who prefers to study by interacting. I learn by practical experience. For example, sitting physically in front of a computer and coding and discussing the subject in class, getting inputs, doing projects and seminars is the best way to learn.

    Living in a hostel. I had never lived away from home before and experienced homesickness often. I almost gave up but decided to make an effort to connect and make new friends in my class and hostel. And I would gladly say, I succeeded.

    Time management. I had multiple majors that required a lot of research and project work. I underestimated the value of time management skills often but eventually stress became my driving force. I used that positively to set goals in phases and completed them on time.

    It was definitely finding the balance between college, entertainment to relax and my part time job. College was completely different from school. There was a lot of work and I could not take it lightly. So I had to come up with a three way plan to help me balance life better. I ended up having a decent score in college, enough time for friends and family and paid my way through college.

Questions based on Teamwork

Most jobs require employees to work with one another on a day to day basis, which include interaction (inter personal skills), completing tasks (time management skills & knowledge about work) and planning (forethought and experience). Recruiters want to check, if the potential candidate could communicate well with the team.

  • 1What is your strength, working in a team or working alone?

    (In this question you are asked to compare between the two; working in a team or working alone. Remember “Unity is strength”, so your answer should definitely be “team player” as it is a qualification.)

    Working alone could be individually productive, but communication between the team would be ineffective.

    Working as a Team is my strength, because I believe in effective communication skills and group effort.

  • 2What strength would you bring to a team?

    (In this question the recruiter is enquiring about your contribution to the team.)

    (If you are experienced) - Leading a team of ten; I have been a team player in my previous company, all my experience would be of great help depending on the situation.

    (If you are a fresher) – I have been the cultural secretary in my college the post demanded extensive leadership skills, so managing people and being diplomatic in situations is something what I could contribute.

    I think my greatest strength is listening; everyone has an opinion, so listening to others would give more clarity.

    I am efficient in organizing, coordinating, and leading the team. Every opinion has to be respected; I believe there are two sides to a coin.

  • 3Do you prefer working alone?

    (Even if you say you are a team player this question is about your preference, before you answer, make sure you know if the job requires you to work alone or not)

    I am a creative person. I understand the importance of a quiet mind, but when it comes to working in an organization; independent style of working will not benefit, collective ideas will contribute to generate concepts.

    Working alone has many benefits for workers and for the company, but it is not the only way. Teamwork can produce great results members in the group balance for each other’s weakness.

    Yes, I prefer working alone, but depending on the nature of the job. I can work independently without any supervision from the leader.

  • 4Are you productive working alone/ independently?

    (This question is about your ability not your attitude. At times you are expected to work alone and be productive. A team player has to be independently productive as well.)

    Yes! I am productive when working alone, but when it comes to team work overall productivity is vital than individual output.

    In my opinion, working independently would make one accountable and that would motivate to meet the standards and I see it as a pride and my desire to excel.

    (If your job requires working alone) - I have worked both in groups and alone, and I have found that I could focus much better on the task at hand when I work alone.

    (If your job requires working alone) – Working independently is something I have found I can focus better I could concentrate and perform well when alone. I work hard and fast in formulating my thought.

  • 5List some examples on your teamwork.

    (This question is about explaining the situation in which you were a team player).

    In my years of experience as team leader in my previous sales and marketing job I was able to become a keen listener than a curious speaker, I believe an effective listener can speak sensibly and purposefully. I was able to resolve conflict and guarantee well-timed completion of the dedicated projects.

    Last year, I was given an opportunity to work with a team in a project with a critical deadline. A particular team member felt that his ideas were purposely omitted, and as a result, he wasn’t working quickly enough on his element of the project. As a team player I involved myself in to the situation, took time to listen to his problems, and together we came up with a solution and made him feel proud. The team member felt satisfied that he was listened to, so this initiative helped our team complete the project productively and within the allotted time.

  • 6Explain about a time you worked well as part of a team.

    (This question is asked to know on what you consider as your achievement)

    (If you are a fresher) - My lecturer gave us lot of positive feedback in getting an ‘A’ grade on the project, when we ended up working as a team. The project involved collecting usage data and creating statistics on fast moving consumer goods, when I suggested segregating potential buyers on income based groups, two of the group members did not embrace my proposal in the beginning but later my idea was well taken.

    (If you are experienced) - As a mentor, my team is small, I deliver lesson plans in my classroom, and I have three teaching assistants to whom I give instructions on a daily basis. As a team member, I am easy going. I take initiative and add a lot of positive energy to a situation.

  • 7Are you a leader?

    (This question is about a person who can think for himself or take charge when needed.)

    I am a flexible person, so I adapt to the position based on the requirement.

    I believe one can learn about being a good leader by being a good follower. I get deeply involved and passionately devoted in whatever I do, I think that’s the path of becoming a good leader.

    I think action speaks louder than word; If you inspire others to do something, to improve themselves, or to become better at something, you are a leader. I am in the process of becoming a good leader.

    I strongly believe leaders cannot do much alone, it is better to work together to achieve goals.

  • 8Mention an incident where you displayed your leadership skills.

    (This question is about an occasion, where you showed your ability to guide, educate, and lead a team)

    Incidentally, I always had the opportunity of experiencing various leadership roles. Basically I am service oriented and have an eye on keenness and I am good at extending my help in finding the best talent in people.

    At this moment I remember a crisis which we faced at work. A product was broken during delivery and we were about to be swamped with irritated customers. We had very little time to convince the angry customers and get organized. All my colleagues were worried and nervous not knowing how to react. There was total confusion.

    No one took the initiative as we were all trained to take orders not give, so I took the lead. I assembled our finest negotiators in the front line to handle the errant customers, and made few agents to stay at the back and try to ease the problem. It was a long day, but we were all dedicated in solving the problem.

  • 9Explain about the leadership positions you have held?

    (This is a questions asked to understand your capability as a leader)

    In my previous job, I was a Training coordinator for a Multi-National company. The company required new training methodologies and innovative approach for the new recruits; in order to improve the interpersonal skills of the existing staff members, and our manager requested all the associates to suggest possible approaches. I took initiative and delivered a brief presentation with a solution, which involved changes to our training curriculum. The team leader welcomed my idea, and put me in-charge of the training department also implemented the solution I proposed. I led a team of ten, and we implemented new training techniques.

  • 10Explain how your team members describe you?

    (This question is intended to check your honesty and to focus on your personality).

    Regular self-assessment will provide a course correction. I react to situations, rather than to pressure, so the situation is handled and does not become stressful. My team members say I truly work better under pressure and I prefer challenges which help me grow with endurance. Frankly, I don’t take compliments to my head same way I don’t take criticisms personally. In my opinion, I manage stress through regular workout. Dependable all the time. A great team player is constantly reliable, not just occasionally. Communicates with confidence. Provides information and ideas without hesitation.

    Adjusts quickly and effortlessly.

    Exhibits sincere commitment.

  • 11How do you build a correct Teamwork environment?

    (This question is important because it talks about your leadership, teamwork and co-ordination)

    Firstly, I think we should have a common purpose and goal towards a proper Teamwork environment.

    Trust and trustworthiness are the two main features in achieving correct atmosphere for Teamwork.

    To accomplish suitable situation it is vital to clarify the roles of the team members in detail from the beginning.

  • 12How do you introduce yourself to new colleagues?

    (Introducing yourself properly can establish a solid foundation at work place, but this question is asked so the recruiters could understand, if you like to make connections and network with co-workers).

    (First you would consider if you should introduce yourself in a casual or formal way depending on your work place culture, then you would include your name and job title in your introduction). · Example – “Hi! Mohammed here, I am the new Training Manager”.

    (Sometimes depending on the situation, you should give more information about your career, interests, and hobbies). · Example: “Nice to meet you. My name is Sachin. I am the new visual graphic designer. I worked at Dimensions Animations for five years. Otherwise, I enjoy cycling and reading books.” How about you?

  • 13Share an instance of a team project that failed?

    (Recruiters want to hear success stories from their candidates, but in this question you are asked to talk about disaster, be subtle in talking about failure). Look at the example.

    I would like to share my experience about my team member, who is extremely talented, but struggled with communication; as a result he remained discreet. This led the team losing deadlines and incomplete projects, because a wrong person was nominated by me in the key position. But very soon I took measures in training the team member and regulate the setbacks. (Do not say that you have not failed in any projects; instead say that you had one or two situations, and you worked out a suitable solution. In this question if you say, that you don’t have any failed projects then it shows; no learning experience or you lost a good chance to speak about your problem solving skills)

  • 14Can you share some resourceful ways to handle failure?

    (This question is asked to learn about your willingness to take risks)

    Failure is just part of the process and not part of our identity; when we understand this it is easy to maintain the confidence to continue chasing our goal.

    We should learn to see our failure as constructive criticism. After gathering the facts, we should ask ourselves on what I could learn from the experience and what change I could bring to achieve a different result next time.

    We should shift our perspective away from negative thoughts and focus on positive suggestions.

    I suggest that, we should instruct ourselves, that our failure brings us one step closer to reaching our goal.

  • 15What strategies would you use to motivate your team?

    (You have to be motivated first, in order to motivate others; in this question the recruiter has already visualized you as a leader).

    Motivation is the catalyst for all human endeavors, rewarding top performers in the form of compensation, recognition, appreciation, and benefits demonstrates our thankfulness and set standards for other team members to work towards the same.

    “Open door policy”, transparency and communication are the key elements in motivating the staff. Proper communication also eliminates doubt about goals, priorities, and hierarchy.

Questions based on Professionalism

Confidently convey the recruiter about your qualifications, but avoid being arrogant or self-centered. Confidence with little modesty is the best. Provide occasions where you've worked in similar jobs. Inform the interviewer about any education you've earned, that directly relates to the position, and explain how other associated knowledge you've gathered will help you fulfill the job responsibilities. Share examples of how your experience would improve your ability to perform the duties of the job for which you are applying.

  • 1What do you know about our business?

    (The most professional attitude of all is to understand about the company you are about to attend the interview with. When going from one place to another if you were asked “where you are going” will you say that you don’t know? In the same way, when going for a job interview make sure you learn about the company’s business).

    "I am interested in Bank of Scotland, but also specifically for what’s being done in the banking & finance. My accounting experience has been heavily software focused and my background working with ‘Ajuba’ directly aligns with BOS’s business needs for this role within the funding Project."

    "I have read about your company’s reputation for building and growing your leadership talent from within. There are not many companies who can say that their current CEO was a college grad hire, yours is one. So it is your company’s commitment to not only the entry level job, but also the commitment to career development at each subsequent stage of my career that interests me the most. I want to work for a company where I do not have to change employers to advance in my career."

  • 2Why do you want this job?

    (This question is to check your interest; use this question as an opportunity to “sell” yourself).

    I want this job because it emphasizes sales and marketing, two of my greatest skill sets. In my previous job, I increased sales by 15 percent in what was at the time considered a flat industry. I know I could bring my ten years of sales and marketing experience to this company, and help you continue your years of growth.

    I understand that this is a company on the rise. As I’ve read on your website and in various press releases, you’re planning to launch several new products in the coming months. I want to be a part of this business as it grows, and I know my experience in product development would help your company as you roll out these products.

    This job is a good fit for what I've been doing and enjoying throughout my career. It offers a mix of short-term projects and long-term goals. My organizational skills allow me to successfully multitask and complete both kinds of projects.

  • 3Give us reasons on why we should hire you?

    (Hire means to get the job or get appointed. This question is raised to understand about your self-confidence and self- image. Whether you think you are a valuable asset?).

    This is a wonderful opportunity for me to get interviewed at such a renowned company. Your organization will surely prove to be an excellent platform for me to establish my skills and knowledge in the corporate world. Even though I am a fresher, I assure you that I will give my best and work to my full potential so that I can contribute as much as I can towards the growth and welfare of this great brand.

    When I read the job posting, I noticed that you specifically mentioned you were looking for someone with a mid- or intermediate level of supervisory experience at your restaurant. Now, my resume may have told you that I have five years of restaurant management work history, during which I increased sales by 47% while cutting overhead. However, what my resume does not include are the various other roles in a restaurant that I’ve become familiar with. From the front-of-house positions, where I started as a waiter, to the back-of-house, I’ve gained knowledge of each and every important aspect of running a busy restaurant. I believe that this experience, coupled with my personable attitude and hard work ethic, is why I am a great candidate for the job.

  • 4Why are you a good fit for this position?

    (This question is asked to understand, if you have made your research on the position)

    Explaining about my suitability the traits and characteristics pertaining to the position, I would say I have always been efficient with strong work ethics, I can get along with team members with ease, to mention about work my previous internship experience quickly saw me into a supervisory role.

    I believe that my resume speaks for itself when it comes to relevancy in my experience and skills. So, I’d like to answer this question by mentioning you whatever is not included in the resume.

  • 5Out of so many candidates how are you the best for the job?

    (This question is about your positives when compared to the other candidates).

    Being the best is proved when a situation arises. Knowledge is based on experience; I have varied exposure, so comparatively I could work towards the company’s goal better than most of the candidates here.

  • 6How could you contribute for the growth of the company?

    (This question is about the candidate’s part in the growth and development of the company).

    The first and foremost thing to do is to understand the vision of the company, if only an employee could work hand in hand with the goal in mind that’s the biggest contribution.

  • 7Tell me about a time you made a great presentation.

    (This question is asked to understand your presentation skills and your contribution toward development).

    There was a time when we had to convince a big client to go with a pricier alternative that would ultimately make them higher profits. I put together a demonstration based on 10 real-time applications. They not only went with our suggestion, they became a long-term client.

  • 8Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult manager.

    (The answer for this question should not be complaining, rather an explanation to the recruiter on your problem solving skills).

    I had an editor who always complained about my work no matter how hard I tried. I added a second round of editing on each piece. Since then, I’ve received numerous compliments from editors over my level of “refinement.”

  • 9How did you get the interest in this field?

    (Field means an area of work, such an Information Technology, Medicine etc.).

    Computer always interests me programing, coding is creative and challenging

    I believe machines and human could complement each other for innovation, speed, and creativity.

  • 10When can you start work?

    (This question is to understand the notice period if any in your previous company. If you are a fresher it is about your readiness to start work).

    (Best answer is to say) - At the earliest.

    After learning more about this role, I am confident it would be a great fit for my experience and skillset. I can be available to start as soon as the beginning of the next work week.

    (If in case you have to serve the notice period clearly mention the notice period) - I am excited about the opportunity to join your team. I have several projects to wrap up in my current role at Amazon. I have agreed to give them four weeks’ notice to make a smooth transition for my co-workers and I will be happy to come onboard with the team any time after that.

  • 11Do you have any questions?

    (If you have questions about your work, the company, or the responsibilities; you should not ask anything personal). If you have any genuine question this is the time.

    When can I expect the results?

    When should I start my work?

    How many members in my team?

    What is the company’s vision statement?

    What is the project I would be expected to work?

  • 12Do you like to take risk in life? Explain.

    (Risk taking describes your attitude, if you say you are a risk taker then the recruiter would ask you the occasion in which you had to take the risk)

    (The suitable answer for this question would be) - It depends on the situation.

    (Remember if you work in a team even when you are not the decision maker in a project sometimes certain responsibilities fall on you. So a leader should be ready to take decisions which could be risky)

    (So saying you will always take risk or playing safe by mentioning you will never take risk would land you in trouble – “I would take calculated risk’.

  • 13Why did you resign from your previous job?

    (This question is to understand the motive behind your resignation. It is absolutely fine to leave your job and find a change, if you feel it will help you advance your career in the future even if it’s not an immediate promotion).

    I had been with the company for a long time and learned what is required, but felt ready for a change.

    I am offered a significant pay increase.

    I left for an opportunity to advance my career.

    I left to work on a product I am passionate about.

    My branch hired a new manager and I felt it was the right time to leave.

    I was hired for a certain role, but over time that changed and I was no longer being given the opportunity to do the work I was interested in.

  • 14Describe a situation where you had to make a good impression on a customer. How did you do it?

    (This question is asked to understand about your customer handling ability. In a job were you have to interact with customers on a day to day basis; the acceptance that the customer is the boss is crucial)

    In my Event Management Job, a particular client chased me day and night before his daughter’s wedding. I asked my supervisor, if I could get rid of this client. He said that this customer is errant, that his photographer, event decorator, cook, and the band had quit, and I was given a go ahead. But, I decided to stick with him. Eventually, he was pleased; that he hired me to do his other daughter’s wedding the next year. The company was made their exclusive vendor.

  • 15Why do you want this Job?

    (When answering this question, you should show that you have researched about the company. Use this opportunity to sell yourself to the employer).

    I want this job because working for you would give me the opportunity to build upon my experience and skills in recruitment, sourcing, and payroll.

    As part of what I understand it would be an inspiring and rewarding environment associating with your company.

  • 16How do you prove your talent and expertise?

    (The meaning of the question is, if given a chance, how you will establish your knowledge).

    Sales and marketing is my forte, in my previous job, I single-handedly increased sales by 10 percent during the lean period.

    I could contribute all my years of experience in accounting & finance to the company and help maintain the years of growth.

    As a key account manager, I was requested to pitch the service to one of my accounts. The objective was to communicate the unique selling points of this product. My initiative was well received by the client, who not only understood the service but also used it out within their business shortly after the meeting, which doubled our monthly revenue

    (You could tackle this type of question during your interview by preparing to speak with conviction and by answering questions confidently and clearly).

Questions based on Salary

Reviewing these questions well in advance will help you negotiate your salary with the employer. You will feel more confident with a little preparation and practice.

  • 1 You are overqualified for the position. Why are you interested?

    (Overqualified means - The candidate is educated or more experienced than what the position requires).

    I understand that I am slightly over qualified, but it is more important for me to utilize my skills in an area that interests me than to maintain my previous pay at this point of my career. (This answer is fine if you are ready to take the pay cut). (Answer this way if you want better salary than before.) I wish to make a career change, and I am looking for new challenges in areas where I can use my skills but I expect a better pay than my previous position as I am more experienced.

  • 2This job would not offer the same pay as what you have been receiving. Why are you interested?

    (It is very rare that a candidate would choose a job which offers lesser salary than the past job. This may also mean that you are not confident enough).

    The possibility of receiving other benefits would balance the difference in salary.

    The company I am currently working is reorganizing, (do not use the words downsizing or retrenching) as I have decided to remain in this line of work which I am interested in, I don’t mind the difference in the pay, moreover I have made clear financial arrangements.

    This company is my dream company. I would like to be part of this esteemed organization, so salary difference is not a matter of concern.

  • 3We can offer 75K per month for this position. How does it sound to you?

    (The meaning of ‘sound’ here is, are you happy hearing the number?)

    (If you are not satisfied) – is it negotiable? (If you are satisfied) – Fine that’s impressive; it is a good opening offer. (If you stay quiet just dragging) – 75000 per month ………?

  • 4What is your salary expectation? What kind of pay are you looking for?

    (Your expectation on salary; This is a tricky question, because if you mention too high, then there is chance of you losing the job, or if you say something too low then you will be earning less comparatively.)

    I will think through a reasonable proposition.

    I am looking somewhere between 75000 and 80000 per month.

    Based on the information I received this position typically makes 80K.

    What is the company’s offer for someone with my experience and qualification?

    I will let you know what my expectation is, but before that I would like to understand more about my roles and responsibilities.

  • 5What is your salary requirement?

    (Here in this question the salary for your position is not fixed so based on your requirement the recruiter would fix a payout.)

    My salary range is flexible. I would like to receive a fair compensation for my experience also by considering my best employee of the year award and my sales record in my previous company.

    I am open to discussing the numbers, after discussing the details of my position.

    Before discussing any salary, I’d really like to learn more about what this role entails.

    Opportunity to take on new responsibilities and gain experience even if my salary didn’t increase accordingly.

    (If you are experienced) - As this position is not exactly the same as my current job, let’s discuss what my responsibilities are in this company and we will work together to determine a fair salary for this position.

  • 6Can you take a guess on what salary we might pay a candidate with your skillset and experience?

    (The truth is you probably have no idea about their hiring budget? On how many positions do they need to fill for this job? How badly do they need to fill the positions and how’s the company doing in terms of revenue, profits, and growth?).

    I cannot guess, because I have not thought about what my colleague would receive. I would prefer to focus on the value I can add to this company and not what others are in to.

    I guess that this package would be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility and compensation. (If you underestimate then you will leave money on the table, if you overestimate in giving a number you may set off red flags that cause them to rethink the interview process altogether).

  • 7Where are you right now in terms of salary and what are your salary expectations if you make this move?

    (This question is asked to know your current salary?)

    I don’t have a specific number in mind for a desired salary.

    It is clear that you are trying to qualify me for a salary range. If you want to tell me what that range is, I will be glad to tell you if it’s in the ballpark.

    My current salary is 20% less than my expected salary, but my previous company had flexibility in work timings and other benefits. I really don’t have an exact number in mind for an expected salary, and I look forward to hearing what you suggest.

    This is a difficult one! Let me put it this way, I would accept anything that is at par with market standards as well as remains suitable for my job level.

    As I am just starting my career, it would be difficult for me to figure out a particular package now.

    Being relatively less experienced, I see myself in no position to demand a certain package.

  • 8Mention a salary below which you will not join?

    (This question is about salary range to understand how much you would cost the company, if appointing you would be a better bargain)

    Based on my past experience and market research, I believe that a range of 75 to 85 per month would be a suitable number for the job role.

    Currently I am looking for a position and work exposure that finds a good fit for my interests and skills. I would accept a competitive salary that best fits the industry standards.

    Money is one of the major motivators for professionals, so I wish I receive 20% more from my last received pay with the same benefits.

  • 9What was most and least financially rewarding times in your previous company?

    (This question is asked to understand your idea about money. This is also a tricky question; you are asked this question, so that you highlight the positives when answering. Focus on praising the areas of the job that will be vital in your new position. The answer you give for “least rewarding” should specify something minor and innocuous).

    I am a passionate content developer, and I love the opportunities developing and educating myself in this role. I had my training for mentorship and proof reading at a multi-national company in Houston. I was rewarded with appreciable monetary compensation and comforts. The only thing I disliked was the commute, which is why I’m eager to find a job closer to home as travelling is way too expensive.

    The most rewarding financial benefit in my previous company was my quick promotion and compensation based on that. The least beneficial times were when my sales target was not achieved and the reason being lack of constructive feedback about my performance.

  • 10Explain about something you would have done differently at work for better compensation?

    (This question is asked by the recruiter to understand what effort you will put differently to get a rise, if you are ready to accept change!)

    As a sales manager, I think I should have increased my teams target at regular intervals. I was a little easygoing assuming smaller achievable targets would increase the teams pride with a sense of accomplishment; instead it created over confidence and lethargy. If only I had realized this earlier I would have increased the target, which would have been a reason for better sales and ultimately my compensation.

    I understand the importance of asking for help; actually it is more productive to ask for support as well as to offer it back in return. I was afraid that asking for favor would make me look incompetent. As a result, I made expensive mistakes, that could have been avoided had I simply asked a peer about what approach I should take. This minor change in attitude would have made the deliveries in time and doubled my compensation.

Jobs

Job specific interview questions are designed to determine if you have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job for which you are being considered. Share your past experiences from previous jobs. Don’t be reluctant about your credentials – mention any courses or training you’ve undertaken. Check the requirements in the job posting.

  • 1Are you open to work rotating shifts?

    (In this question the recruiters want to know if you are flexibility with a work schedule. Employers are aware of the challenges of rotating shifts, and look to hire people who can handle this unpredictability).

    I would be willing to work any shift. Provided, I would know at the start of an assignment on what the hours would be, but I would prefer to keep one shift throughout the assignment.

    I wouldn't prefer to work at night and weekends but during peak workloads, I am ready and will be available to work whenever need arises.

    I am only available during regular business hours, as I have an elderly family member, who needs care and attention.

    I appreciate night work, because it is peaceful. However, I need my weekends to refresh and rejuvenate.

  • 2Do you prefer working from home?

    (This question is asked to understand if you are flexible with work patterns).

    I am very well-organized when I work in my home office, because everything is set up exactly the way I need it to be.

    I accomplish a better work-life balance, when I work from home.

    The flexible hours allow me to be there for my kids in the mornings and get them off to school and available for them when they come home.

    I like the flexibility a work-from-home position offers. I tend to do my best work early in the morning.

    Being able to set my own hours allows me to work when I am most alert. Ultimately, I am more productive when working from home than commuting to an office and wasting time stuck in traffic.

  • 3Tell me about a time you used written communication skills.

    (This question is asked to understand about the effectiveness of your communication skills; expect this question based on the position you have applied for).

    I write reports as part of my daily shift. My section head frequently commented that my reports were the shortest and easiest to understand of the entire department.

    Writing is a productive skill, an active ability. I have 7 years’ experience being a personal secretary, where I have extensively used writing capability.

  • 4Where do you see yourself in five years?

    (This is a question about your future; you have to keep it related to the job and industry and try to be honest).

    Being futuristic and thinking ahead in life is important so I have planned my career well in advance in five years, I would like to escalate to managerial position.

    I would be eager to develop my skills in the field of Computers, Engineering, or Medicine in five years I would move to head sales, team leader, or project head.

  • 5Discuss you interest in the Job?

    (This question is to understand if you will be happy doing your job).

    I am totally interested and excited to learn more about the business and develop my skill set from the most successful and regarded pioneers in the industry.

    As far as this job is concerned, I have developed and expanded my client base which makes my job interesting.

    This job is challenging and I look forward for a new challenge every day. It helps me excel and improve.

  • 6How motivated are you to carry out your job?

    (This question is to understand if you will be competent in your role.)

    One of the many things that motivated me to this job is the opportunity to wear many hats.

    I have plenty of scope to continue developing my skills that keeps me motivated.

  • 7How long will you want to stay in this job?

    (This question is to understand, if you will be dependable.)

    I have a clear idea of what I am going to do in the next five years. It involves personal growth and development not quitting at least for now.

    Not all jobs are stepping stones to higher positions but my role in this company has great scope for upgrading.

  • 8What are your plans in achieving your career goals?

    (There are personal goals and career goals this question is to know if you are goal oriented. If you have big goals it would mark you as ambitious).

    I will focus on achieving my career goals and continue my professional development by participating in conferences and seminars related to my profession.

    I want to gain experience as a finance manager and build clientele in a huge investment firm.

    I want to gain a deeper understanding of the stock market and continue building a network of clients within the next quarter.

    I would build a variety of professional associations, engage in in-house training and would be interested in taking relevant classes.

  • 9Tell me about a time your workload was heavy.

    (This question is asked to check, if you could handle pressure).

    In my previous company we had two major orders at the same time. I delegated one assignment to my subordinate. He had some problems completing it, but eventually after numerous disputes, we got both orders shipped on time. Though the workload was heavy we received huge profits and repeat orders for bigger business and I proved myself to be a capable leader.

    I worked for an event management company. The client was too demanding as it was his only daughter’s marriage after persistent pitching and demonstrations he presented us with a huge order. Since it involved two families there were many last minute changes, which was very demanding.

In Conclusion

After the interview it is common to come up with something you missed saying during the interview. Make a note of it, if necessary you can use it for your upcoming interviews. Do not regret later.

If you haven’t heard from the company after the interview you can call and ask. Sometimes they might be late in the selection process or the position is closed (offered to another candidate) . Do not feel disappointed get some feedback on why you did not get the job

Quick Bite

First and foremost research on the company and the recruiters.

Practice your answers to common interview questions.

Prepare and organize clever questions for the interviewers.

Carry copies of your resume, a notebook and a pen.

Remember - first impression is the best impression.

Do's

Answer Enthusiastically

Ask a Follow Up Question

Smile!

Buy Time if Necessary

That’s a great question! Let me think about that

Wow. I’ve never been asked that before! You’ll have to give me a second.

Huh, and I thought I’d be ready for anything. Let’s see…

Dont's

Never talk bad about you previous company, especially if you were fired.

Don’t say you had a fight with your colleague

Don’t make it sound like money is the only thing you care about

Always be upfront and take responsibility

More than what you say, how you say something is important. Practice your answer so you do not hesitate.