Interview Questions and Answers

Common Questions at any sort of interviews

Job interviews are always stressful - even for job seekers who have gone on countless interviews. The best way to reduce the stress is to be prepared. Take the time to review the common interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also, review sample answers to these typical interview questions.

Then take the time to research the company and to prepare for an interview. This way, you will be ready with knowledgeable answers for the job interview questions that specifically relate to the company you are interviewing with. Here are some of the most common questions asked.

Tell Me Something About Yourself - Job Interview Answers.

Try to introduce some of your most important employment-oriented skills as well as your education and accomplishments to the interviewer. Answer to this question is very important because it positions you for the rest of the interview. That's why this statement is often called the "Positioning Statement".

One should take the opportunity to show his/her communication skills by speaking clearly and concisely in an organized manner. Since there is no right or wrong answer for this question hence it is important to appear friendly.

Your answer can be:

1) I am a person with strong interpersonal skills and have the ability to get along well with people. I enjoy challenges and looking for creative solutions to problems.

2) Besides the details given in my resume, I believe in character values, vision and action. I am quick in learning from mistakes. I am confident that the various tests that you have conducted will corroborate my competencies aptitude and right attitude for the job.

3) I attended G.I.E.T where I majored in Electronics and Communication Engineering. My hobbies include religion, basketball, reading and hiking. I’m an easy going person that works well with most people. I enjoy being around different types of people and I always like to challenge myself to improve at everything I do.

4) I went to GIET, Gunupur where I majored in Electronics & Communication Engineering. Afterwards, I started my career at Mumbai as a software engineer in LnT Infotech. I've been there for 3 years now. I love solving riddles and puzzles and I also enjoy jogging, reading and praying the rosary.

Why should we hire you? - Job Interview Answers.

The interviewer asks this question just to find out how your skills, experience and knowledge can add value to the job. Well to answer this question you need to learn what they are looking for and then tie them with your strengths. This ensures that you are a viable fit for the position.

The more detail you give the stronger your answers will be. Try to summarize all your accomplishments and relate what makes you unique.

The question can also be:

"Why should we hire you over other candidates?"

OR

"Why should we hire you over the others waiting to be interviewed?"

Your answers can be:

1) You should hire me because, in my humble opinion, I’m the right person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me valuable for the job - my passion for excellence and minute detail. I am passionately committed to producing truly class results.

2) I believe I’m the perfect fit for this position. I’m very detail oriented, and I organize my work and time very efficiently. But what makes me valuable for your company? If I were in your position I would hire myself because of the passion for this industry and my optimistic personality. I want to make more of an impact than just doing my job. I don’t want to blend in with the company; I would rather want my addition to improve it.

3) There are two reasons I should be hired. Firstly, my qualifications match your needs perfectly. Secondly I’m excited and passionate about this industry and the position and will always give my 100%.

4) Suppose you should hire me. I have a proven track record of success throughout my education. My education graph always kept roaring with time. This position requires someone who has the ability to solve problems quickly and who can logically add value to the job. I believe my skills and abilities matches perfectly with the requirement and what makes me the perfect candidate is my passion towards my work and industry. So I’m confident I’ll be a good candidate for this position.

5) I’m a perfect fit for this position. I have three years of experience in this technology and my skills enable me to develop better products in less time. On top of that I’m a great team player that gets a long with most people.

6) This position seeks a Quality Assurance Manager, and in my humble opinion, I do believe I’m the right person for this job. I have earlier worked with xyz Software Company and I was in charge of a team that was responsible for the quality of three different applications. I have adept knowledge in Quality assurance, Product support and even some creative processes that will benefit a quality assurance team. I love mentoring junior employees since I believe in sharing knowledge to everyone in the company who work with me. So I strongly believe that I’ll be a good candidate due to the combination of my experience, my management skills, abilities and my desire to provide growth in employees.

Always remember: Never compare yourself to other applicants who are vying for the same position.

What Is (Are) Your Strength (Strengths)?

This is a simple and popular interview question. Generally people answer it in two ways. There are people who simply state their strength like “I am Young, Dynamic, gifted with Intelligence, Smart and so on…”. Such answer is neither right nor wrong but does not help you in any way also.

Secondly there are peoples who state their strengths and explain them how he can use his strength for the job and industry.

Do not simply state your strength. Everyone has some strength, all you need is to convert them into benefits. In short, try to advertise yourself by converting your features into strengths.

EVERYONE CLAIM THEY ARE HONEST, HARDWORKING, SMART AND SO ON… BUT WITH AN EXAMPLE IT IS MUCH MORE BELIEVABLE.

Your answers can be:

1) I am a hard worker and because of this ability I can work for additional hours to accomplish my tasks. I am commitment oriented and hence I always enjoy the trust and confidence of my team mates which enables me to perform my duties very easily.

2) I am adaptable, so I can handle any type of people and situations and also bring out the best from them in spite of conflicting situations or opinions. I am a quick learner, so I can learn any subject quickly and analyze my job and add value to it as well as I can identify the problem and solve them faster and better.

3) My strength is that I have very strong values and ethics and a very good eye for detail. I believe in strong relationships and have a very supportive family and very good friends.

4) I’ve always been a great team player and therefore I can work efficiently to produce quality work in a team environment. I can accomplish a large amount of work within a short period of time hence I get things done on time.

IF YOU ARE INTERVIEWED FOR A MANAGERIAL POSITION OR FOR AN ADMISSION IN A MBA COLLEGE.......

Your answer can be:

Well, I believe I am good at planning and execution, and working with people. I’ve always been good at detailing all the steps too. Even in college, I used to spend time organizing my week and planning a strategy to tackle each class and assignment. I love working in a team environment where I try to use strengths of each individual in a team and hence produce the best results.”

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SMART WORKER & A HARD WORKER?

A: A hard worker always do right things but a smart worker always put things right.

Q: TELL ME ON THE BASIS OF WHICH STRENGTH SHOULD WE SELECT YOU?

A: As an individual, I am a package of all my strengths that I have stated to you and I strongly believe that if you have to select me, you have to do so for all my strengths put together and not for one strength in isolation. However if you still insist that you would like to select me for a specific strength than the prerogative is yours sir.

Can You Work Well Under Deadlines Or Pressure? - Job Interview Answers.

Here the question is: How well do you handle stress and pressure?

The best answer to this question is “Yes”. Working well under pressure is a good strength/trait to have. But saying yes is not enough; you need to explain how you can handle pressure situation to bring the best out of it. Tell the interviewer that you work the same with pressure and without pressure.

Your answers can be:

1) Sir, I can handle pressure of work. Whenever there is pressure of work, we need to tackle it from the mental and physical stand-point. Mental stand-point would mean being in a state of relaxation and composure so that I do not feel stressed out during the course of my work and from physical stand-point; I always prioritize my job in their exact order of merit and importance so that I can dispose them off quickly and effectively.

2) I work well under pressure because I don’t panic. I use the pressure to help me work more efficiently. I maintain self control and work as efficiently as possible. At times, I try to prioritize and plan as much as I can.

3) Working under pressure has always been a learning experience for me because it helps me grow. I have always worked well during deadline, and I always learned how to work more efficiently afterward.

4) Well I believe I work the same if there’s pressure or not. I try and take the emotional factors and work hard regardless of down time. I always prioritize and organize my work and hence that gives me a Psychological advantage over pressure. At times whenever time becomes a constraint I put extra effort and time to meet the deadline. So pressure has nothing to do with my work.

Harder questions with smart answers

Now to get more specific with both questions and answers here are some of the best answers to the questions that tend to be harder. Jobseekers need to treat interviews like a final exam, because it's "rigorous" and "psychologically draining."

Make no mistake: in order to prevail, you are going to need to trounce your competition. You could be competing against someone with three times your experience, or conversely, against someone who can do the job at half your salary level.

Q: Will you be out to take my job?

A: When and if I’m qualified enough for that job, and if I would make better use of it, but by then, I suspect you'll be running the entire company and will need a good, loyal lieutenant to help you manage this department!

Q: What if you work here for five years and don't get promoted? Many of our employees don't. Won't you find it frustrating?

A: I consider myself ambitious, but I'm also practical. As long as I am continuing to learn and grow within my position, I'll be a happy camper. Different companies promote people at different rates, and I'm pretty confident that working for you will keep my motivated and mentally stimulated for several years to come.

Q: What is your biggest weakness that's really a weakness, and not a secret strength?

A: I am extremely impatient. I expect my employees to prove themselves on the very first assignment. If they fail, my tendency is to stop delegating to them and start doing everything myself.

To compensate for my own weakness, however, I have started to really prep my people on exactly what will be expected of them.

Q: You have changed careers before. Why should I let you experiment on my nickel?

A. As a career-changer, I believe that I'm a better employee because I've gained a lot of diverse skills from moving around. These skills help me solve problems creatively.

Q: If you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn't you get out of the company sooner?

A: I was working so hard to keep my job while everyone around me was being cut that I didn't have any time left over to look for another job. With all of the mergers that have been happening in our field, layoffs are a way of life. At least I gave it my best shot!

Q: From your resume, it looks like you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?

A: After I recuperated from the shock both times, it made me feel stronger. It's true that I was fired twice, but I managed to bounce back both times, trusting in God, and land jobs that gave me more responsibility, paid me more money, and were at better firms.

The morale here is very high. I've been exposed to the "seamy underbelly" of this business, but I'm still passionate about working in it.

Q: If you were running a company that produces X and the market was tanking for that product, what would you do?

A: I would search for new markets for the product while I spurred the engineers to change the product to make it more marketable to its original core audience.

Q: You majored in philosophy. How did that prepare you for this career?

A: Philosophy didn't prepare me for a career in architecture at all. But it did force me to become philosophical about my prospects. After two years of trying to figure out what to do with my life, I visited Chicago one weekend, and was absolutely spell bound by the gorgeous architecture all around me. 

I came home, applied to architecture schools all over the country, and was accepted by one of the best. 

Q: What do you view as your risks and disadvantages with the position we are interviewing you for?

A: I think that the home office located halfway across the globe, there is a very small risk that one might not have the chance to interact with the key decision makers as often as might be ideal. On the other hand, teleconferencing, email, faxing, and having a 24/7 work ethic will go a long way towards bridging the gap. 

Q: Are you telling me that, now that you're forty-something, you would be willing to start at an entry-level position just to get your foot in the door here?

A: Sometimes you need to take a step backward to move your career forward. Starting in an entry-level role would allow me to learn your business from the ground up.

The career that I've been in is so different than yours that I would love the opportunity to start over again in your field. The salary cut will be well worth it. 

Q: From your resume, I notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?

A: Yes, I did very well at my internship, and I had originally assumed that I would come on staff once I graduated from college. However, BB&L drastically cut back the number of new hires they were planning. As life would have it, they will not be hiring any of the interns they had last summer. 

I love working at BB&L, and I brought some references with me today to show you that my job performance there was stellar. Still, in some ways, I consider this new turn of events to be a lucky break for me, believe it or not.

Q: We love women at this company, but our clients are Chinese and so we were thinking of hiring a man for this particular job.

A: Why is that, exactly? It seems to me that I am probably more qualified to handle this position than anyone, man or woman.

My father's career as a diplomat took our family around the world seven times, and I even spent my junior year abroad in the Far East. I would need far less training than an American man who grew up here and has never worked outside our borders. 

Q: Can you describe your dream job?

A. This is my dream job and that's why I approached you about it in the first place. I am excited about the prospect of helping your promotion agency upgrade and fine tune your loyalty programs.

Q: Our clients feel more comfortable with ethnic writers. So, while I would love to recommend you for the position, I'm worried that our client will feel uneasy about us hiring you.

A. I sincerely believe that being a great writer requires one major skill beyond being able to string sentences together, and that quality is empathy. I think that, rather than looking at my skin color, your company needs to consider whether or not I can empathize with our target market, and the answer is certainly yes. 

Q: Why did you take so much time off from work, and why do you wish to get a job now?

A: When I first had the twins, my husband was working 24/7, and I really needed to be there to raise the kids.

Fortunately, I kept my hand in the business during those years by consulting for several of my ex-clients. 

Q: How many skis are rented each year?

A: There are 250 million people in the U.S. Let's suppose that the number of skis is 15 percent of that, or 37,500,000. Of those, let's figure that 21,175,000 of them own skis, leaving the number who rent at 9,325,000. Then let's add the number of tourists who ski, say, one million. So the grand total of renters would be 10,325,000.

Now let's assume that the renters who live here take three trips a year, so three times 9,325,000 is 27,975,000 and add that with 1,000,000 is 28,975,000. 

Q: What would you do if you really wanted to hire a woman under you, and you knew the perfect candidate, but your boss really wanted to hire a man for the job?

A: I'd recommend that we perform an on-site "test," by hiring both candidates on a freelance basis for two weeks each.

Q: What if you worked with someone who managed to 'take credit' for all your great ideas. How would you handle it?

A: I would try to credit her publicly with the ideas that were hers. Sometimes, by being generous with credit, it spurs the other person to "return the favor."

If that doesn't solve it, I'd try to work out an arrangement where we each agreed to present the ideas that were our own to our bosses. If that doesn't work, I would openly discuss the situation with her.

I believe that my job is to make my brothers and sisters shine. If I were being rewarded for my ideas with raises and promotions, I would be happy, if not, I would be content.

Q: How many hours a week do you usually work, and why?

A: I work pretty long hours most of the time. And when needed, do some extra time. I try to find ways to "add value" to each assignment, both my own and the firm's. When our clients read our reports, I want them to understand that we wish them good. 

Q: Does a company need B players? Or is it better off only having A players on staff, and why.

A: I believe that a company needs both so-called A and B players. When you're pitching new business, you want the A players on the front line. But behind the A players, you need the B players who can hammer out the details of the projects and stick with them on a day-to-day basis. Having too many A players on the team may lead to clashes and a disorganized, anarchical way of doing business. 

Q: Are you better at 'managing up' or 'managing down'?

A: If you aren't good at "managing up," you rarely get the opportunity to "manage down." Fortunately, I've always been quite good at self-management. I've never had a deadline that I didn't meet.

Q: This ad agency is a TV shop. But I see from your resume that you have far more experience handling print. You're weak on TV compared to other candidates. Why should I hire you for the job and not someone else who has the credentials that we're really looking for?

A: One thing I learned from these ad agencies is that print and TV are only mediums. The real thing that we offer clients is our ideas. And a strong, solid award-winning idea will work just as beautifully in TV as in print. 

So while I may have fewer TV spots on my reel as other candidates, perhaps my ideas are stronger than theirs. Hire me for my ideas, and when you do, I promise you that they will translate seamlessly into TV.

Q: Would you rather get permission from your boss before undertaking a brand-new project, or be given enough rope to "hang yourself" (figuratively speaking)?

A: During my first week on the job, I would ask my boss how she would prefer me to handle projects. If she indicated that she wanted a take-charge person under her, I would take the “ropes”, so to speak. If she told me she wanted me to run ideas by her first, I would comply. I think the real challenge is being able to adapt to your work environment, and I'm flexible. 

Q: Let's discuss a time when you missed a significant deadline on a work assignment.

A: I would absolutely love to, but honestly, it's never happened.

Q: Did you ever make a mistake that cost your company money?

A: No, really honestly, I'm delighted to report that I never made a mistake that cost my company money. 

Q: Is it more important to be lucky or skillful?

A: I think that it's more important to be “lucky” and in God’s favor, although being very skilled can help to create more opportunities. Certainly, [at my former job, my boss'] confidence in me inspired the decision makers at our firm to trust that I could do the job. But clearly, I also happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

Q: When do you think you'll peak in your career?

A: I come from a long line of God fearing, healthy, hardy, mentally active types, and so I confess that I never even think about "peaking" in my career. That having been said, I do think it's important to have some self-knowledge, and to recognize when one is past one's prime.

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