What are the top 10 interview questions that you are likely to face in an interview?
Before moving any further please note that an interviewer possesses the liberty to ask you questions on a myriad of different topics. However the questions listed here are some of the most commonly asked questions in interviews.
These questions are arranged in no particular order of preference. Following each question are some ideas on the intent of the question from the interviewer's perspective. The pattern is designed to help you formulate your own answers rather depend on direct answers that might not translate very well to your field of work.
- Please describe yourself.
This is by far the most popular question among interviewers. Every interview I have attended on either side of the table starts with this ice-breaking question. When you are asked this question the employer expects to hear a brief summary of your qualities and how they would match up with the requirements of the job for which you have applied.
Take a piece of paper and a pen; write down some of your good qualities in the context of your job, Frame the words into a short paragraph conveying the essence of yourself as a person. Memorize that statement and deliver it in a calm and composed manner when you are asked to introduce yourself.
- What do you know about us? Why do you want to work with us?
Both the questions above are asked interchangeably. The intent of the questions is same in both the cases and that is to gauge your preparedness for the interview. The interviewer, with this question, tries to gauge the extent to which you have researched the organization and their area of work. A secondary result is that your answer to this question could also give the prospective employer an idea of how you would approach an unknown issue or situation.
- Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now?
This is one of the common questions to feature in any top 10 interview questions list. The answer to this question lets the employer ascertain your plans regarding sticking around in the company. Sometimes attrition is a major problem and companies look for people who are willing to put more years into the organization.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This seems to be a straight forward question, doesn't it? Well it is! Telling the prospective employer about your strengths is as straight as it could get. But be cautioned, when talking about weaknesses. The simplest way out of this is to highlight a weakness of yours that can be projected as a benefit to the organization. This is a real twister in this collection of top 10 interview questions.
- Can you share any of your achievements so far?
This is your opportunity to flaunt your achievements. Make sure the achievements you mention are in line with the job requirements. The most recent achievements leave a distinct impression on the interviewer's mind.
- What do you like and dislike about your present company?
This question may seem very simple but the answer controls the gateway to your overall thought process. Be tactful in answering the question, especially the not liking aspect of it. Turn the potential negative into a positive and mention that you were looking for a position that challenges you more.
- Why do you wish to leave the present employer?
A very close neighbor to the previous question, this one aims at digging out the reason for you leaving the present organization and then possibly trace your character under difficult circumstances. The answer to this question is so important, I could not ignore it in a list of top 10 interview questions. The first thing to remember is to never speak ill of your current employer. The second thing to remember is to never speak ill of any employer.
- Have you ever been criticized? Please give one specific example.
The answer can never be "No". Everybody is criticized at some point in life, the workplace being notoriously famous for such incidences. Remember this question is not intended to gauge why you were criticized, rather what you did as a result of that criticism. Whether you were a good sport and were able to convert that criticism to your advantage is important. If you speak ill of the incident and let it make a dent in your interpersonal rapport with colleagues, then that’s a red flag. So think about this answer before hand and prepare yourself well.
- So you prefer working alone? Why?
You have to be gutsy to answer "Yes" to that one. There is a reason that this question features in my list of top ten interview questions. The question’s intent is to gauge your ability to work and perform in a team. Organizations are never reliant on single individual performances. Even though you are very skilled and efficient, when it comes to working in a company, it's your ability to work in groups and contribute towards successful completion of the objective that counts.
- If hired what contributions will you make towards the organization?
This question is what I call a differentiator. There may be multiple applicants for the job. The intent of this question is to gather information about all that you can contribute towards the organization in terms of your responsibilities and initiatives. This answer needs to be aligned with the job profile and the overall philosophy of the organization.
I hope you found these top 10 interview questions interesting. Please note that the thoughts I have shared on each and every question can guide you to the perfect answers.
If you are finished reading about the Top 10 Interview Questions, you might want to also read an article about the Hiring Manager