Commonly asked questions in Job Interview

What are the commonly asked questions in job interview? While preparing for a job interview, it is important that you are prepared to respond to the questions typically asked by the interviewer. Some questions are so common that they are asked in every interview. The hiring team expects you to be able to answer these questions smoothly and without hesitation.

commonly asked questions in job interview

One doesn’t need to memorize the answers but one should be aware of the questions and be prepared to answer effectively.  It is recommended to not have mugged up answers to these questions as that will take away the normality of answers. Being comfortable around these questions is highly recommended. It will just add points and make your responses stronger if you are prepared in advance.

Here is the list of commonly asked questions in a job interview and the best way to answer them.

1. Tell us something about yourself

The interviewer has already gone through your resume so he/she already knows about your study and work history, so make sure you focus on the things that have not been highlighted in the resume. Focus on your personal abilities and achievements.

The main aim of asking this question is to understand the candidate as a person and to see if the candidate will be outstanding in the job. Give a summary about yourself and avoid rambling. Talk about your personality and your ambitions.

2. What do you think is your biggest weakness?

When this question is asked in the interview, never say you don’t have any weaknesses because that is obviously not true. This reply creates an impression that you’re not self aware. If you’re able to identify your weaknesses, that itself is your strength.

The answer for this question is the thing that you’re trying to work on. Focus should be laid on the things you’re trying to improve. Point out a weakness and accompany it with how you have worked to improve that flaw and what are you doing to resolve that issue. Interviewers need to get an impression that you have the ability to work on your flaws.

3. What are your strengths?

The worst thing to do here is saying what you think the interviewer wants to here because doing that won’t keep you natural. Made up things never have a great result. Tell them what your true strengths are, things you’re good at and enjoy that. The answer should be relevant and specific to that position. Giving concrete examples is very important here, because anyone can claim to be good at anything.  

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

People want to hire someone who they think is determined and ambitious. This question will give a candidate a chance to talk about his/her goals and ambitions. It is perfectly fine to talk about reaching a much higher position than you’re being offered right now.

Do not forget that the hiring team wants an ambitious response but a realistic one. So you got to think realistically before you prepare your answer to this question.

5. Why should we hire you?

One cannot compare themselves with other candidates present for the interview, so analyze yourself and prepare answer for this question. Describe your passion for the job, the desire to be here and the level of commitment you can offer. Point out to your qualifications for the job, your soft skill set. This question gives you a chance to convince the hiring team.

6. What do you know about the company?

It is very important that you read about the company thoroughly prior to the interview. The hiring team doesn’t want you to know each and every detail about the company but just the basic knowledge about company. It is important that you know what the company does, achievements of the company and mission of the company.

7. Why do you want this job?

Any company would like hire a person who passionate about the work the company does. Again, you need to explain your passion and aim to work for the company. You need to explain how this position and this company is a great fit for you.

8. What do you expect from this job?

This is a chance for you let them know about your plans after you start working for this company. Explain the interviewers how you expect your growth in the company and how your growth can benefit the company.

9. What is your biggest achievement?

Having a track record of academic achievements or achievements in previous job adds up to the bonus points. If the achievement is related to your position you are interviewing for then it is even a better point. Talk about how you managed to help someone at work or succeeded in some leadership task.

10. Why did you quit/ do you want to quit your current job?

If this is not your first job interview, then this one question is definitely coming your way. It is highly recommended that you don’t be negative while answering this question. Do not bad mouth your company or your boss, you won’t gain anything from that. Show your eagerness towards getting this particular job and new opportunity. You can make an impression that this particular position is a better fit for you as compared to your previous job.

11. Why did you take a gap year?

If one has been unemployed for a while then you should be prepared to answer this question. You need to be direct and to the point about what you were up to during this time. Tell them some positive things you did during this period like blogging, volunteering etc. You can also talk about some travel things you did to explore your inner self.  

12. What kind of work environment do you prefer to work in?

Ideally your answer should be something similar to the work environment of the current position you are applying for. If you like working alone and you are applying for a job where you need to work as a team or manage a team then telling the interviewer that won’t help you. Be specific in your answer.

13. Are you a team player?

Being a team player is your ability, so be ready with examples which will demonstrate your skills. The examples need not to be professional. It can be something where you mend the gaps between two people or connected two bridges.

Answering appropriately for this question is important for those who aspire to be team leaders or manage a team.

14. How do you handle stress and pressure?

Stress and pressure are two very common things one experiences at work. It is important for the hiring team to evaluate, if you can handle pressure and stress. The best answer will be to talk about how you have dealt with such situations in the past. Explain your stress reduction tactics and things you do to relax yourself.

15. Can you describe how other people would describe you?

Staying honest is very important here. Tell them about things people have told you about yourself. Be positive while giving your answer. If somewhere someone has said something negative about you then explain why they thought that and how you are working to improve that. Being a little diplomatic here is never wrong.

16. What can we expect from you in your first three months?

You can cross question them on this by asking them what they expect from you and what are their plans for you. You can then tell them that you will work hard for the company and always do the best you can do for the company. You will work on improving your skills and learn more about the company.

17. What do you like to do outside of work?

Tell them about the extra-curricular activities you like to do outside of work. But the hiring team, with this question is evaluating you and wants to see if you will fit into the work culture or not. Mention activities which show some kind of growth or learning.

18. What are your salary expectations?

Always mention a higher amount than what you expect. By doing this you might get what you want. Do not make the range too high that the hiring team rejects your application then and there thinking your expectations are too high for them to achieve.

19. Are you open to travel or move to another city for work?

It is important for a company to know if you have any problem to move or travel, especially if the position demands so. Be honest about your answer because lying here won’t help you even if you get the job. To please them you might say that you are OK with travelling but actually your family responsibilities or restrictions doesn’t allow you for that, it might create a negative impression.

20. What are your marriage or family plans?

It is important for the company to know about your future plans so that they can know for how long you plan to stay with them.

21. Any questions for us?

Don’t miss this opportunity. This is your chance to ask them your doubts about the company or the position. Ask them about the roles and responsibilities of the position you are interviewing for. Ask about the mission and accomplishments of the company.  

For tips on cracking campus placement interviews, click here.