It is natural to feel nervous about your first ever job interview. As a fresher, it may seem like a lot of pressure. Here are 20 questions and their sample answers that will assist you in holding your cool in the interviews.
1. (Let’s start with the most popular yet most vague question) Tell us something about yourself.
Purpose: This question is used as an icebreaker. The main purpose, besides making you feel comfortable, is to get a quick summary of your background.
Quick Tip: Prepare an elevator speech, avoid telling your life story.
Sample Answer: I’m an ICSE student with internship experience in the field of event management and an undying drive to work in this field. I approach this field with people management and organization skills which I intend to combine with other soft skills.
2. Why do you think we should hire you?
Purpose: To know what can you bring to the table for the company?
Quick Tip: Focus on emphasizing your skills and qualities. This is the opportunity to sell them.
Sample Answer: As a skilled salesperson, I aim to stay away from failure in order to meet my quotas and break existing sales records for I enjoy working with people to help them match with perfect products that I know will be appreciated by them.
3. Our work comes with a lot of stress and pressure. Do you think you can cope up with that? If yes, How?
Purpose: To check your capability to handle stress and your honesty about it.
Quick Tip: Don’t claim that you never feel stressed or pressured. Give past examples.
Sample Answer: I am able to recognize whenever I begin feeling stressed. In such instances, I take a few minutes breather to calm my mind down. To avoid frequenting of such instances, I practice meditation every morning for half an hour. That helps me to stay calm in situations that others may find extremely stressful.
4. Tell us what you know about our company?
Purpose: To bifurcate the prepared candidate from the desperate ones.
Quick Tip: Do your homework. Before the interview, take some time to go through the company’s website and get to know it better.
Sample Answer: The Coca Cola company started with just one drink made in a small pharmacy to now owning over 200 brands. You believe in racial equality and in creating a world without waste. With Pepsico and DrPepper being your major competitors, you hold the largest amount of most loyal customers in the market.
5. In the next five years, where do you see yourself standing?
Purpose: Purely to know the candidate’s maturity level and their career plans for themselves.
Quick TIp: (It might sound a little complicated) Be honest, but tell them what they want to hear!
Sample Answer: Frankly speaking, I’m really excited to work for this company. In the next five years, I see myself being someone who is acknowledged for his proficiency in the field of content writing, and I guess this company can provide me with the opportunity to do so. Besides that, I would like to see myself taking on bigger responsibilities in the team.
6. What are your hobbies?
Purpose: This question is usually intended to know the candidate as an individual.
Quick Tip: Be honest, but not too transparent. Don’t say what you can’t do.
P.S. Partying is NOT a hobby
Sample Answer: I like listening to audiobooks on online platforms. It allows me to expand my vocabulary, my focus span, and my knowledge all at the same time. I can complete my chores while listening to it. It is more of a peace of mind.
7. According to you, what are your greatest skills/ strengths?
Purpose: To know the candidate’s compatibility with the job.
Quick Tip: Don’t be humble. Sell your qualities.
Sample Answer: If I am being honest, my greatest strength would be my ability to learn quickly. When exposed to a new environment, I observe other people’s ways to do things in order to adapt to it and assist the team instead of being a burden on them. I’m also open to trying out new ways of completing tasks in order to enhance the efficiency of the team. Moreover, I am familiar with all the technology, especially in my field. For example, I can operate the latest human resource management solution and can work my way with people with empathy and understanding.
8. What would you consider your weaknesses to be?
Purpose: To observe how you rate yourself.
Quick Tip: Speak about how you worked on it and overcame it.
Sample Answer: I am an introvert, which I considered was my weakness because I felt shy about reaching out to people. Although the best part of being an introvert is that we are great listeners, and that has helped me a lot, given my profession is counseling. I’m able to focus on your employees’ issues, find the right questions to ask to get more information, and resolve their grievances.
9. What is the job of dreams?
Purpose: To know whether the position suits you and whether you are willing to continue the work despite better offers.
Quick Tip: Although your dream job may be completely different from the job you are applying for, it is better not to mention it. Somehow relate it to the position you are applying for.
Sample Answer: I have been intrigued by the dynamic world of apps and the efforts put into them. Ideally, I would like to work full time as a web developer, at a place that provides me with the means to release my own apps on Playstore.
10. Give us an example of a hypothetical circumstance at work that can be called difficult and tell us how you will overcome it?
Purpose: To know a candidate’s instinct in an unexpected circumstance.
Quick Tip: Stay calm, don’t lose your composure, and think of an actually difficult situation that you might have faced.
Sample Answer: I would share an incident wherein the absence of the manager, I had to face a dissatisfied customer. The customer was unsatisfied with the order and wanted a refund. He had paid the bill by card, and it was not possible to open the cash box without the permission of the manager. I had to calm them down, so I offered them a free doughnut, explained the situation, and asked them to wait until the manager arrived. They were satisfied by how their voice was heard and eventually calmed down.
11. What are your thoughts about our competitors?
Purpose: To know the candidate’s awareness about the field they are about to enter.
Quick Tip: Do your homework beforehand. Ignore gathered facts, go for analyzed reports.
Sample Answer: The closest competitors of your company are Burger King and KFC. With no availability of burgers in KFC, the major market that you take from them is of the crowd willing to eat burgers. Burger King, on the other hand, has just entered the Indian market, which doesn’t give it enough time to have promising supply chains. Moreover, the lack of awareness regarding the existence of Burger King in the Indian market gives Mcdonald’s an upper hand in the market.
12. What is your notion of success?
Purpose: To get an idea about the candidate’s work ethics, goals, and dedication.
Quick Tip: Speak about what you anticipate to achieve if they hire you for this position.
Sample Answer: I think personally for me, I would know that I am successful when everyday, I wake up, expectant about going to work, try and cure people’s diseases and return home each night, feeling content that I made a difference in people’s lives.
13. So explain to us, why do you want this job?
Purpose: To know why you think you are a perfect match for the organization.
Quick Tip: Explain how your qualifications fit the job requirements. The better the fix, the higher are the chances to get hired.
Fact: More than 80% of the recruiters reject a candidate due to his lack of knowledge about the job requirements.
Sample Answer: I have always seen my elder sister work at your cafe. Seeing her work with coffee machines so flawlessly is what inspired me to go ahead and become a barista. Now that I am a certified barista, and I have a chance to work at the place where I grew up seeing my sister work, I would not hold back from giving it my all.
14. What do you think about working in a team?
Purpose: Their intention is to know whether you will be a positive influence on the team, or will you weigh it down.
Quick Tip: Give examples from your college events about how well you blend with the team.
Sample Answer: The best part about working in steam is how everyone can contribute their own ideas – which may not seem like a big deal, but at the time of crisis, this can be a lifesaver. I remember in my college, while we were managing the annual talent hunt, two members in my team, who were appointed to bring in sponsors for the event, were struggling to do so because of their introverted nature. When I saw them struggling, I suggested they make a PowerPoint presentation, where the focus is on the slides while they speak. This idea worked, and they brought in the highest amount of sponsors that year.
15. What are your expectations about the working environment?
Purpose: To know if the interviewee is compatible with the working environment.
Quick Tip: Explain your flexibility to adapt to different work environments.
Sample Answer: During my internship, I have experienced working in numerous different work settings. As far as calibrating was concerned, I did not face any issues. My only concern is that the group I work with should be as passionate about their work as I am.
16. What salary are you anticipating from us?
Purpose: Whether the candidate fits their budget.
Quick Tip: Do your research. Know the market rate of your position.
Sample Answer: I have done my research about the same. The annual package for the role I am applying for with my level of experience is anywhere between ₹2,16,000 to ₹2,40,000. I think an amount between ₹2,25,000 to ₹2,40,000 would be a fair starting package for me.
17. Are you willing to work on weekends?
Purpose: To determine your flexibility to handle work pressure on the days off.
QuickTip: Politely frame an answer that speaks your mind.
Sample Answer: Yes, In case of an emergency, I would be more than willing to help the organization.
No, I would prefer balancing my work-life. However, I am comfortable with it once in a while.
18. Would you consider relocating for work?
Purpose: Yet another question to determine the candidate’s flexibility and enthusiasm.
Quick Tip: Make your willingness known kindly. Don’t hit them with a straightforward ‘No’.
Sample Answer: Yes, I would be open to relocating because I think this job will provide me a lot of opportunities.
I would love to use my skills to provide my services to this organization. However, due to certain unavoidable circumstances, I would be unable to relocate right now. I may, however, consider it in the near future.
19. (This question doesn’t always mean that you are selected. CALM DOWN!) When can you join the organization?
Purpose: To know how eager the candidate is to join.
Quick Tip: Avoid coming out to be too desperate. Hold it in!
Sample Answer: As much as I am willing to start now, it really depends on when do you require me to start. May I know when do you expect the candidate to join this position?
20. Are there any questions you want to ask us?
Purpose: To observe your interest in the organization.
Quick Tip: Be ready with a list of sane questions.
Sample Answer: What are the organization’s expectations from the person filling this role?
What is the working environment in your organization?
Is this a new position? May I know why the previous person left?
In The End
The only advice is don’t pretend to be someone you are not, and show your actual self. Don’t be ambiguous in your interviews. The more clarity, the better your impression is.
All the best for your next interview. I hope you crack it.