5 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
After you enter that interview room, you are asked a number of questions which helps decide whether you are fit for the company that you are applying for and ultimately, your answers to those questions determine whether or not you get the position that you have been striving for. The best thing that you can do is to be ready beforehand. There are a number of questions that are quite common in job interviews and for those common questions, you can lay the groundwork so that you can give the best answers to them.
Questions can be of two types: open ended and close ended. Close ended questions are easy enough to answer as they are factual questions. The open ended questions are your chance to impress the interviewer(s) by answering with a well-prepared and realistic story to make them known of your skills and qualities.
These are 5 common job interview questions which are open ended and you should be prepared to answer well.
1. Tell me about yourself
You should use this opportunity to say one of the stories from your life. Use the one that you have already prepared, which follows the STAR method. The STAR method is used to structure your response by using Situation, Task, Activity and Result to set the context for your story, describe what you were supposed to get done, what you actually did, and how the situation played out. You can use this question to smoothly tell a story that involves your strengths and how you have performed well in situations in the past.
2. Why this company?
This is your cue to show off all the amazing research you have done about the company. You can mention about its reputation and how you would love to learn and contribute to the company. You should know about the history of the company and also what projects the company is currently working on and how you could contribute to that. You should show interest in the company and in becoming a part of it. You can also mention about the big goals that you have for both the company and for yourself.
3. What are your weaknesses?
This is where you can point out a weakness which is either irrelevant to this job, or a weakness which you worked upon and turned into your strength. An example of a weakness which is irrelevant to the job could be: weakness – I’m not good with writing long documents; job applied for – applied to be an accountant. You will be able to show yourself in a more positive light if you are able to mention a weakness which you were able to overcome. An example would be: weakness – I used to be bad with computers; but I took up a computer course while in college and now I am good enough to pursue a career in designing as a result. This shows how you are able to turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
4. What is your plan after 5/10 years?
When you are asked this kind of question, you can mention two positions higher than what you are currently applying for if the time span is for 5 years and mention a position which is four positions higher than what you are currently applying for if the time span is for 10 years.
The interviewer is trying to assess how loyal you would be to the company, and how ambitious you are. They are looking to see how well thought out your career plan is and whether it is vague or detailed. Though the future is uncertain you should have a plan or a target which you want to achieve in the given timeframe.
5. What is your expected salary?
To be able to answer this question well, you need to research and understand the industry standard from where you would get an expected salary range for your position. While you know both the lower and higher end of the salary range, you should be confident about your skill set and ask for a salary in the high end of the range you have researched.
If you answer the question by saying “Oh! I’ll be happy with whatever you give me.” That is not a good enough answer and it shows the interviewer that you are not confident in your skills and abilities. You need to show your confidence and also that you are open to negotiation. One way of saying this could be “I am looking at getting Rs 30,000 per month, however, I’d love to sit and talk to you more regarding this if we need to.”
Being prepared for these kinds of open ended questions will go a long way in helping you be more comfortable and confident during interviews, thereby increasing your chances of getting the job.
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