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Common Interview Questions and How to Answer

Tulika Nair
If you are about to attend an interview, then it may be a good idea to be prepared for the most common questions that are asked at them. Here is a list of such questions and their suitable answers.
If you are preparing for an interview, then you would be aware that you are going to be the target for a barrage of questions. It is always in your best interest to be prepared with the answers of the most common questions that you can expect, so that you are not dumbfounded at any given point of time.

FAQs and their Answers

There are some questions that pop up at every interview that you go for, so much so that most people tend to repeat the same answer parrot like at every job interview. Remember that while answering questions at the interview, the one thing that will hold you in good stead is honesty. 
Any prospective employer who is used to interviewing people can look past the flattery and look through any bluff. Avoid lying or fluffing up your resume with what you think will improve your chances at getting the job.
Please tell us something about yourself.

Highlight your unique abilities and what makes you perfect for the job. The answer to this question will ascertain for the employees, whether or not you are fit for the job. Answer the question keeping in mind the company and the profile that they are looking out for.
Where do you see yourself five (or x) number of years from now?

Restrict your answers to strictly professional ambitions. Tell them how far ahead you see yourself in your career plans and what kind of work you would like to be doing.
Answer the question in such a way that it suits the model of the company you are applying to, so that they see you as a long term prospect for the organization.
Why do you think you are suitable for this particular job and why do you want to work for our organization?

Avoid flattery and exaggeration of the achievements of the company. Do your homework about the company and give specific examples of what you like about the company and why you think that your abilities make you perfect for the job.
Mentioning figures and statistics while doing so can create a good impression on the employer but at the same time over indulging in numbers can make it seem like you are trying to show off. Be honest about your abilities.
Why did you quit your previous job or why do you want to leave your present company?

Let the answer be true but play down the details. If you are still working and looking out for a new job you can say you are looking out for better opportunities.
Avoid badmouthing your company if your previous job was a painful experience for you. This just makes you look disloyal. This question is an insight for the employer into your previous work experience.
What are your other interests and hobbies?

Include those interests that could also showcase your qualities and abilities.
Anything ranging from classes that you have taken to interests in sports and curricular activities could have a positive impact on your interviewer provided you answer the question well. It should reflect that qualities you use in these activities could be of help at work as well.
What would you classify as your biggest strengths?

Please stick to those that are considered important in a professional environment. Mention qualities like being a team player, problem solver, someone who can come up with out-of-the-box solutions for stuff, etc.
What are your weaknesses and how do you try and overcome them?

The answer to this question lies in taking the middle path. Being completely honest may not be a great idea and at the same time, if you lie and say that you are without weakness you will be immediately disregarded as a potential candidate.
State flaws that cannot be completely categorized as a flaw but at the same time obsessing about the same can be considered a weakness. This will show that you are honest and know that there is a thin line between a strength and a weakness.
Are you a team player? How would your colleagues describe you?

Do not indulge in self-praise or answer this question in a self-deprecatory manner. Project a positive attitude and repeat a few things people have said about you earlier.
How much remuneration are you expecting?

Even if you know what salary to expect, answering first may be a wrong move. Be sure of researching thoroughly what someone with your experience should be paid.
Avoid answering the questions in specific. Instead give them a range of what your expected salary is. If you are sure about what figure you should get, then you should definitely go for it and put forward your demand.

Other Common Questions

  • What do you think has been your greatest achievement in your working career?
  • What were your responsibilities at the previous job?
  • What has the biggest challenge of your working career been?
  • What do you expect from a boss and how would you handle problems with a superior?
  • What have you been doing since you quit your last job?
  • Are you good at handling stress and pressure and do you work well under stress?
  • What are the things that motivate you to do better at work?
  • What are you passionate about in life?
  • What do people close to you point out as your faults?
  • If you are given an opportunity to relive your life, would you do that and why?
  • Do you think that success should be evaluated only on the basis of targets?
  • What is it about this job that makes you want to apply for the position?
  • Do you think with your credentials and experience, you are overqualified for this job?
  • Are you willing to travel or relocate?
  • If you are hired, how long would you expect to work for us?
  • If you had the financial security needed to retire right now, would you?
  • Have you ever been asked to resign from a position?
  • What kind of relations do you share with your colleagues at your previous company?
  • What do you think would be your dream job?
  • What would disappoint you about a job?
  • What would you label as your management style?
  • What have you learned from the mistakes you have made at previous jobs?
  • What would you look for in a person you are hiring for this position?
  • What would you describe as your work ethic?
  • Do you have any questions you would like to ask us?
Now you know what to expect from an interview. Just be prepared with your answers and armed with confidence and self-assurance, nothing will be able to stop you.