Friday, April 6, 2012

Interview questions and sample answers

Here I have tried to place all tricky questions in one place, so that you can easily crack any interview* (*If you have already cracked technical round)

"How would you describe yourself?"

  • I'm a people person. I really enjoy meeting and working with a lot of different people.
  • I'm a perfectionist. I pay attention to all the details, and like to be sure that everything is just right.
  • I'm a creative thinker. I like to explore alternative solutions to problems and have an open mind about what will work best.
  • I'm efficient and highly organized. This enables me to be as productive as possible on the job.
  • I enjoy solving problems, troubleshooting issues, and coming up with solutions in a timely manner.

· Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to be very careful in communicating delicate information. What was the possible risk involved and how did you go about it?

· Interview Answer Guide: Job seeker should appear to understand the necessity of confidentiality, to have the ability to disclose delicate/sensitive information carefully, and with utmost sensitivity.

· Interview Question: Describe a time when you took extra effort to make sure the person with whom you were communicating with had really understood your point. How did you do this?

· Interview Answer Guide: The candidate's answer should show that they understand why clarification is an important part of communication.

· Interview Question: What steps do you take to establish a rapport with others?

· Interview Answer Guide: Job seeker should have the ability to see things from another person's perspective. How do they accomplish this? Does the candidate appear to be able to empathize with others?

· Interview Question: Give me an example when you had to present complex information in a simplified manner in order to explain it to someone.

· Interview Answer Guide: Job seeker should be able to explain how they break up complex information to help co-workers easily understand the information.

· Interview Question: Give me an example when you had to present complex information in a simplified manner in order to explain it to someone.

· Interview Answer Guide: Does the candidate appear to have good listening skills? Can they listen close enough to get the correct information?

· Interview Question: How do you explain a complex technical issue to someone who has less technical knowledge than you?

· Interview Answer Guide: Job seeker should be able to express his/her knowledge in a clear, simple manner; answer should show that they have the ability to explain technical matters to non-technical people.

· Interview Question: Give me an example of a time when you had to put your point across in a meeting to which most of the people were reluctant to hear.

· Interview Answer Guide: Job seeker should show the ability to convince others by making valid points; have a strong character; is not afraid to speak his/her mind to defend the interest of the company and/or his/her own interests.

Phone Interview Questions about Your Background

  • Name of company, job title and job description, dates of employment. -
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation? -
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • Why are you leaving your job? -
  • What are your salary expectations? -

Phone Interview Questions about the New Job and the Company

  • What interests you about this job? -
  • Why do you want this job? -
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
  • Are you overqualified for this job? -
  • What can you do for this company? -
  • What do you know about this company? -
  • Why do you want to work here? -
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position? -
  • What can you contribute to this company? -
  • Are you willing to travel? -
  • Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know? -

Phone Interview Questions about You

  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? -
  • What is your greatest weakness? -
  • What is your greatest strength? -
  • Describe a typical work week. -
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work? -
  • How do you handle stress and pressure? -
  • What motivates you? -
  • Tell me about yourself. -
  • Questions about your career goals. -
  • What type of work environment do you prefer? -
  • How do you evaluate success? -
  • Job interview questions about your abilities. -
  • More job interview questions about you. -

The last interview question you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Have an interview question or two of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job - you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

Make a List of Responses to Interview Questions: Take the time to compile a list of responses to both types of interview questions and to itemize your skills, values, and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize what you can do to benefit the company rather than just what you are interested in.

When you're asked what your greatest weakness is, try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.

Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.

Sample Answers

  • When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
  • Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.
  • I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
  • I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.
  • I would say that I can be too much of a perfectionist in my work. Sometimes, I spend more time than necessary on a task, or 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 know when to move on to the next task, and to be confident when assigning others work.
  • I've learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage at work. I am excellent at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know my work is correct.
  • I used to like to work on one project to its completion before starting on another, but I've learned to work on many projects at the same time, and I think it allows me to be more creative and effective in each one.

"What is your greatest strength?" is one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked. When you are asked questions about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. The best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.

Sample Answers

  • When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
  • I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.
  • My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
  • I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.

How Will Your Greatest Strength Help You Perform?
As a follow up to being asked about your greatest strengths, you may be asked about how your greatest strength helped your performance on the job. When you respond, relate your strengths to both the job description and your ability to perform at work. Here are sample answers.

There is no right or wrong answer to questions like "What are the most difficult decisions to make?" or "Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it." These are behavioral interview questions designed to discover how you handled certain situations. The logic behind these types of questions is that how you behaved in the past is a predictor of what you will do in the future.

Give concrete examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work. Then discuss what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive ("Even though it was difficult when Jane Doe quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.") and be specific. Itemize what you did and how you did it.

The best way to prepare for questions where you will need to recall events and actions is to refresh your memory and consider some special situations you have dealt with or projects you have worked on. You can use them to help frame responses. Prepare stories that illustrate times when you have successfully solved a difficult situation.

A typical interview question, asked to get a sense of how you handle on-the-job stress, is "How do you handle pressure?" Examples of good responses include:

  • Stress is very important to me. With stress, I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive.
  • I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful.
  • I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
  • From a personal perspective, I manage stress by visiting the gym every evening. It's a great stress reducer.
  • Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when, has helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.
  • If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level, I discuss options for better handling difficult situations with them.
  • I find that when I'm under the pressure of a deadline, I can do some of my most creative work.
  • I'm not a person who has a difficult time with stress. When I'm under pressure, I focus, and get the job done.
  • I find it exhilarating to be in a dynamic environment where the pressure is on.
  • I find a past pace to be invigorating, and thrive when the pressure is on.
  • I've done some of my best work under tight deadlines, where the atmosphere was very stressful.
  • I'm the kind of person who stays calm under pressure, and handles stress fairly easily.

It's a good idea to give examples of how you have handled stress to your interviewer. That way, they get a clear picture how well you can work in stressful situations.

The interview question "What Do People Most Often Criticize About You?" is asked to find out how sensitive to you are and how you accept criticism.

Best Answers

There's no on-going criticism. I'm open to personal and professional growth and welcome the opportunity to improve.

A typical interview question to discover how well you would work with other people is "Give some examples of teamwork."

Sample Answers

In my last position, I was part of a software implementation team. We all worked together to plan and manage the implementation schedule, to provide customer training, and ensure a smooth transition for our customers. Our team always completed our projects ahead of schedule with very positive reviews from our clients.

I was part of team responsible for evaluating and selecting a new vendor for our office equipment and supplies. The inter-departmental team reviewed options, compared pricing and service, chose a vendor, and implemented the transition to the new vendor.

A typical interview question, asked to get your opinion, or to validate the interviewer's opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position, is "Why should we hire you?"

The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position."Why do you want to work here?"

2 comments:

JeeKay said...

A good read. Helpful tips indeed

Anonymous said...

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Top 10 interview questions and answers

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