Everyone is nervous in interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you’ll do much better. The important thing to note is that performing well at interviews is a learned process. Please remember that, it’s also difficult for the interviewer as well.
As you can not read your interviewer’s mind to know what exactly he will be asking during the job interview, its always better to prepare yourself with a list of possible common job interview questions and answers.
Here are 5 most common job interview questions that you should prepare for before attending your job interview:
Tell me about yourself?
Don’t start out with; “I was born and raised in, your family details, your goal in life or interest outside your work . . .” The interviewing authority is trying to find out exactly what you have been doing professionally so he or she can assess your ability to do this job. They don’t care where you were born or raised. You should introduce some of your most important employment-related skills, education relevant to the requirement and accomplishment.
Best Possible Answers:
- I have 10 years of experience as a finance manager, specializing in accounting, auditing, taxation, corporate finance and sap fico. I earned a professional degree or CA/MBA/CMA/B.COM from the ICAI/MBA Institute name / ICWAI / university. In the present job I worked on accounts payable and treasury department where my responsibility was to handle the end to end business process by managing 10 people reporting to me.
- In 2003, I graduated from “your university name”. After being in XYZ Company for 2 years as an accounts manager I joined ABC Company and presently working as a Finance controller. During this time I also earned a masters degree in business administration from the University of XICO University. Last year, my company achieved the best corporate governance award and I am extremely proud of my teams accomplishment. I committed to bring the same level of dedication and expertise and service to your company.
- As you can see from my resume, I have 10 years of experience as a finance manager from two companies, the most recent of which has been for an engineering company. In my current job, I look after the entire accounts payable and accounts receivable department which includes monitoring the invoicing mechanism and getting the collection from debtors in time and the same time meeting all the deadlines of legal compliances. A team of five peoples are working with me and I as a manager make sure that the organizational objective obtained by talking into consideration of there own career goals. I have got the good managerial skills that you are looking for your present position.
What is your greatest weakness?
Mark a list of the non-essential skills that aren’t critical for the job and the skills you have improved on, and turning a negative into a positive. Remember to choose those things which will turn out to be positive skills for the job.
Analyze the key skills and strengths required for the position and then come up with a list which is not essential for success to that job. For example if you are applying for accounting, auditing or finance job, you might say that you are weakness is that you can not market a product or you are lacking sales skills.
Skills You Have Improved
Make a list of the skills on which you have done improvement during your past employment this will show the interviewer that you can make improvements, when necessary. If you use this strategy be sure not to mention anything that you improved upon that is related to the present vacancy for which you are interviewing.
Here are the list of weakness which can be turn out to be a strength;
- workaholic => willing to work extra hours, which will turn out that you work hard
- tries to be friends with everyone => this will show that you have a good interpersonal skills and you are a team player
- competitiveness => this will indicate that you set goals, strive to excel and you try to overcome obstacles
I am a bit of workaholic. I don’t mind of working an extra hour or taking some work home. Sometimes, I take on tasks personally that could easily be delegated to someone else. Although I’ve never missed a deadline, it is still an effort for me to meet the deadlines as meeting deadlines is essential in the business.
What is your greatest strength?
When you are asked this type of questions about your strengths, it’s time to discuss attributes that will qualify you for your dream job. For this you should do an early research on the position required keywords. Possible answer for this type of question is;
My strengths are my customer service skills, ability to resolve difficult situations, negotiation, ability to work in teams, training, managerial skills and my time management skills are excellent and I’m organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
What motivates you?
Ideally, you should be able to tell the interviewer that you are most motivated when you are helping your employer to achieve their goals. Consider, in advance of interviewing, what actually does motivate you and come up with some specific examples to share during the interview.
Best possible Answer;
- I am a very active person and self motivator who enjoy working with difficulties. I always look for new and innovative ideas to bring to a project and successfully completing and moving on to the next challenge.
- I like to work out options, weigh up the pros and cons, and then sort out the problem. Nothing inspires me more than being given a stretching sales target and being motivated to achieve it. I’m extremely ambitious and if you say I have to sell a certain amount I’ll work non-stop to achieve it. Just last year, I exceeded my target by nearly ten per cent.
What are your salary expectations?
Before you start talking about your salary expectation you should have a proper market study that the industry in paying for a similar position and then do a back calculation by adding or subtracting the additional skills you have or don’t have. You should always avoid this type of question in the first interview. If its asked In the first interview then the best possible answer for this would be;
Best possible answer;
Well, I am looking for a position that will give me the career opportunity to work on new challenges, so salary is only a part of what I am looking for.
There can be a situation where after giving the above answer the interviewer might insist you to answer it again for the second time. In that type of situation you need to give them a rough idea but without saying the exact amount of salary you are looking at. The best possible answer in this kind of situation would be;
Best possible answer:
I am looking for a salary that is available best in the industry. By looking at my present skills, experience and present salary I am getting, I would be looking for something around Rs. 20, 00, 000 to 24, 00, 000 per year. But as I said before salary is only one of the criteria I am looking at. I am more concerned on my job profile.
Please remember the range that you mention in your answer should be the industry average. If you are asking for a plus on the industry average then it should not be more than 10 to 12 percent of the industry average.
Why should we hire you? / How would the company benefit by hiring you?
The interviewer wants to get your opinion or wants to validate his/her opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position.
The better way to respond this type of question is to give concrete examples of your skills and accomplishments that make you the best candidate for the job.
A day before your interview you should take few moments to compare the job description/job requirements with your abilities. Then put some of your accomplishment which meets the criteria of the present job requirement.
If you are a recent graduate or a fresher then please remember that you do have experience or skills that are valued by the employer. Many of the skills that you acquired during your education are also required for the company and its very valuable at the workplace. For example: if you are a captain of a cricket team then you have the leadership skills and if you worked on a group project then you have a team player skills.
Under my leadership, not only the employee satisfaction increased but also the attrition ratio of the department has come down drastically in comparison to last years. We published the annual report way before time in comparison to last time and in a more transparent way. We also kept the internal conflict with in our manageable limit.
Where Do You See Yourself Five Years from Now?
You have to think about the interviewer’s objective behind the question, which is to find out your goals and see how they mesh with the departments goals.
Best possible answer:
- By looking at the present changes happening around, I imagine the world will be a quite a different place in five years from now, so it’s hard for me to know exactly what job I want. I would like to keep doing interesting and challenging work by which my hard work will be recognized and I will be promoted to the next level. And I would like to keep learning and growing.
- I am interested in making a long-term commitment to my next position. Judging by your job profile and requirement and what you’ve told me about this position, it’s exactly what I was looking for and what I am qualified to do. In terms of my career plan, I’m confident that if I do will in my work then new opportunities will be opened up for me. It’s always been in that way in my career, and I’m confident I’ll have similar opportunities from you.