Sometimes, the most common interview questions are the most difficult to answer. Since we are too engrossed in preparing ourselves for the toughest ones posed by the interviewer, we tend to ignore the most commonly asked questions during an interview.
In another instance, we do know answers to the commonly asked questions but when the time comes to answer, we fumble and forget due to nervousness. As we know, preparedness is the key to cracking interviews but deciding on what to be prepared for, is more important than the preparation in itself.
You should avoid long winding answers to some common questions and abide by the rule of specifics. The curiosity of the recruiter is understandable to know your psyche, your mindset, attitude, interpreting body language, reactions and responses to situations during an entire interview experience. Here we present some easy ways to deal with the most commonly anticipated questions during an interview.
- As the interview begins, the most anticipated common question pops up, “Tell me about yourself.”
This question is generally an icebreaker to make you feel comfortable with yourself and to gauge your personality and attitude from the responses you present. This further helps the HR leader to understand if you are the perfect organizational fit.
With no second thoughts, we all do agree that we are quite aware about ourselves, however explaining ourselves in brief without long winding narratives to the interviewer can be quite tricky. Most of us tend to fumble immediately as we start to respond, since we are caught in the jumble of where to begin. Our mind is pacing fast with thoughts gauging the informative bits of our life, that we presume the interviewer would be curious to know.
It’s important to be prepared for this common question with a concise synopsis of the details of your professional and personal experiences that can bring in value to your job role, if selected by the organization. Focus on highlighting the positive aspects of your personality, the ability to overcome weaknesses, continuous learner mindset and develop a strong elevator pitch.
- What did you like or dislike about your previous job? Why are you looking for a job switch?
The second most common question posed in every interview. By now, you should have been prepared with answers. But guess what, we assume we are prepared with answers. However, when the final hour of response dawns upon us we fail on collating the responses on mind and using the appropriate communication approaches to present ourselves in the right light.
Sometimes, no matter how many times we practice answering this question, the moment of nervousness takes over us to overcrowd our mind with thoughts and assumptions. Hence, it is important to get enough rest before the day of the interview, stay calm and focused. As you respond to this question, stating your likes and dislikes about your current job role and why you seek a switch, your answers are gauged to know your psyche and how you best fit the new job role, if offered. Clarity of idea on your likes and dislikes in your job, can give the interviewer a clearer picture of what to expect of a candidate if selected.
Stay off complaints and negative remarks about your current employer, assuming honesty to these extents will be appreciated by the recruiter in another company. You need to understand the thin line of difference between honest answers and what makes for badmouthing, to ensure the lines don’t get blurred during explanations provided for job switch.
- What is the salary you expect? Why do you think we should hire you?
Questions that evaluate your current financial standing and gauge your future financial goals can be quite tricky to answer. It’s important to know the market remuneration standards, the job role demands and future career progression pathway in the long run. The best answer to a salary question will be to say, “You’re flexible, depending on the offer made to include benefits as well.”
If you’re seeking for a higher pay, and are now paid much lower than industry standards in the current job role than your value addition should be highlighted when you answer the question on why you should be hired. State on what you can bring to the table and how hiring you can make a difference. Do not miss out on this opportunity to sell yourself to the recruitment manager.
- Why do you want this job? What are your future career goals?
Concisely present reasons on why you need the job and how your experiences, skills and qualifications for the job role can add value, boost business profits and set the momentum for growth. Provide reasons on why you applied for the position with an organization, and how do you find your skills and key strengths to be the best match to meet the job role demands.
As you subtly hint about your future career goals, do make sure to align it with strategic growth vision of the company to secure yourself better chances of a job offer. Balance it out always, between what the organization seeks and what you can deliver to create a win-win situation for both.
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