While it is impossible to know exactly what you will be asked during a job interview, there are a number of generic questions that most companies will ask you.
In this section, we will present you with some questions that are commonly asked during the job interview process, and we will give you some good sample responses that you would want to use. It is not necessary for you to use the exact answers that are found in this article. However, it is important for you to understand the principles behind them.
Please select a question category.
filter_dramaDon’t you think, you are overqualified for this position?
You might feel that I possess more degrees than you require for this position. But, I believe that I grow everyday when I talk to my staff, customers and superiors. So, basically the learning process continues through out the life – I don’t think I am over qualified.
filter_dramaTell me about yourself?
Identify some of your main attributes and memorise them. Describe your qualifications, career history and range of skills, emphasising those skills relevant to the job on offer.
filter_dramaAre you happy with your career-to-date?
This HR interview question is really about your self-esteem, confidence and career aspirations. The answer must be ‘yes’, followed by a brief explanation as to what it is about your career so far that’s made you happy. If you have hit a career plateau, or you feel you are moving too slowly, then you must qualify your answer.
filter_dramaWhy do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position?
The answer to this question lies in the preparation you did before the interview. It is extremely important that you research the requirements of the position well and match them with your skills. For e.g. if the position requires an Asp.net developer with good knowledge of health care domain, tell the interviewer about your technical skills and your domain knowledge. Fresh graduates can talk about their technical skills, ability to learn and grasp things quickly.
filter_dramaWhat have your achievements been to date?
Select an achievement that is work-related and fairly recent. Identify the skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit it had to the company. For example, ‘my greatest achievement has been to design and implement a new sales ledger system, bringing it in ahead of time and improving our debtors’ position significantly, saving the company £50,000 a month in interest’.
filter_dramaWhat is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
The purpose of this HR interview question is to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem-solving. To show yourself in a positive light, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be quickly explained in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was. Always end on a positive note.
filter_dramaWhat do you like about your present job?
This is a straightforward HR interview question. All you have to do is make sure that your ‘likes’ correspond to the skills required for the job on offer. Be enthusiastic; describe your job as interesting and diverse but do not overdo it – after all, you are looking to leave.
filter_dramaWhat do you dislike about your present job?
Be cautious with this answer to this HR interview question. Do not be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses that will leave you open to further problems. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company, such as its size or slow decision-making processes, etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride as part of the job.
was quite enthusiastic while joining my last job. Towards the end, the number of challenges and opportunity to grow further started diminishing. A challenge loving and growth oriented person like me doesn’t enjoy this.
filter_dramaWhy do you want to leave your current employer?
In response to this HR interview question state how you are looking for a new challenge, more responsibility, experience and a change of environment. Do not be negative in your reasons for leaving. It is rarely appropriate to cite salary as your primary motivator.
You may want to leave your present job for any reason but make sure that you do not talk bad about your manager, company or job. It reflects your complaining attitude. Provide a sincere reason for e.g. “I think, I have grown up with my last employer as much as I could. I want to grow further and I believe that is possible with a new employer.”
filter_dramaI see, there’s some gap in your work history. Why?
Yes, I was feeling exhausted after years of non-stop work. So, I decided to take a break and spend some time with my family on a rejuvenating vacation. I am happy to have returned fully recharged.
filter_dramaYou have stayed in your current job for quite a long time, why?
There are many people who do not change their jobs for years and when they go out looking for a new employer, this is one of the most important questions they are asked. Some people might look upon staying with the same employer for long as “lack of ambition”. A good answer to this question can be something like, “Yes, you are right. I stayed with my last employer for almost 5 years but I was continuously growing in the company, doing new things, handling bigger challenges. So, I was quite happy working with them for these many years.” You can then talk about how you grew with your last employer.
filter_dramaAssuming that you are selected, what will be your strategy for next 60 days?
If I am selected for this position, I’ll use my initial 60 days in understanding my role carefully in terms of the contribution to the business and increasing the overall profitability. I’ll sit with my line manager and other juniors to understand what has already been done and what its impact has been. From there on, I’ll formulate my strategy to growth in close conjunction with managers and see that it is properly implemented.
filter_dramaHow would you improve upon our product/ company?
Since I’d be coming from an altogether new environment, I am bound to possess a new perspective towards everything here including the company, product, customers, environment, strategy etc. This will enable me to constructively question things which anyone else here might not do. This will help in improving the things and making the product & company better. Having worked closely with product development team I understand how the research for product development is carried out and how is customer requirement analysed; I’d be able to provide a value addition there too.
filter_dramaWhy have you applied for this particular job?
Through this HR interview question the employer is looking for evidence that the job suits you, fits in with your general aptitudes, coincides with your long-term goals and involves doing things you enjoy. Make sure you have a good understanding of the role and the organisation and describe the attributes of the organisation that interest you most.
filter_dramaHow long can you commit to work with us?
I like new challenges and a chance to grow. As long I keeping getting these, I don’t think I’ll need to switch over. I’d like to believe that this relationship lasts for many years. However, I haven’t set a time limit as such.
filter_dramaWhat is your expected salary?
I believe that an ideal remuneration for any position recognizes the ability, rewards the performance and provides the employee an opportunity to indulge in his hobbies and passions. I am sure that this company also takes care of these.
filter_dramaWould you like to ask us anything?
I would like to know about the career growth I can expect being with this company. I am quite an ambitious person and this information will be helpful.
filter_dramaHave you ever fired anyone? How would you go about firing a person, if required?
The basic purpose of asking this question is to check your EQ and see if you have the guts to make tough decisions. If you have fired anyone in the past, discuss your experience and approach. If you have never done so in the past, discuss the approach you would take to make and implement such a decision. Keep the focus of your answer on the fact that you would try to do your best to ensure that your team performs to its best but if a particular member is not able to perform even after you taking all the steps to help him, you would make the tough decision to ensure that the project doesn’t suffer.
filter_dramaIf you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for in a potential candidate?
Closely understand the qualities and skills a person holding the position would need and match them with the qualities you have. If you believe that you are missing a big quality required for the position under discussion, say that, “I understand that this is an important quality required in the person holding this position but given a chance, I will inculcate it in me.” Back it up with a confident body language.
filter_dramaWhat are your strengths?
This is one HR interview question that you know you are going to get so there is no excuse for being unprepared. Concentrate on discussing your main strengths. List three or four proficiencies e.g. your ability to learn quickly, determination to succeed, positive attitude, your ability to relate to people and achieve a common goal. You may be asked to give examples of the above so be prepared..
filter_dramaWhat is your greatest weakness?
Do not say you have none in response to this HR interview question- this will lead to further problems. You have two options – use a professed weakness such as a lack of experience (not ability) on your part in an area that is not vital for the job. The second option is to describe a personal or professional weakness that could also be considered to be strength and the steps you have taken to combat it. An example would be: “I know my team think I’m too demanding at times – I tend to drive them pretty hard but I’m getting much better at using the carrot and not the stick”.
filter_dramaHave you ever had a problem with your peer? Can you give us an example?
Yes, it happened once. I was quite friendly with a colleague of mine from the other department. While talking to him during the lunch hour, I casually told him about the new marketing strategy that the marketing team was thinking about. He mentioned it to his boss and that caused a lot of confusion between the two departments. This taught me a lesson that you must not discuss any departmental strategies with anyone from other department unless you have been authorised by your boss.
filter_dramaHave there been instances, when your decision was challenged by your colleague or manager?
Yes, there have been many such instances. I like people who challenge my decisions rather than following me blindly. This keeps me ensured that I am surrounded by thinking brains rather than just a set of dumb followers. When someone challenges your decisions, you are bound to rethink over it and the chances of reaching the best option are brighter.
filter_dramaWhat do you do to improve your knowledge?
The field of IT is very revolutionary. It is extremely important to keep yourself abreast with the new technological developments and this needs you to take some time out of your work schedule so that you can keep sharpening your saw. To answer this question, you can tell the recruiter about the forums which you keep visiting, blogs which you keep reading. It will be an advantage if you are a member of some local user group.
filter_dramaCan you perform under pressure?
Most of the times, the job of software development is that of working under pressure. Sometimes, it will be the pressure of delivering on time while it can be that of a bug that has sprung all of a sudden in your code. So, expect pressure in everything you do. It is important to maintain your performance and develop strategies to deliver under pressure. You can then go ahead an talk about your way of dealing with pressure and performing under it.