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Important interview questions

1. Tell me about yourself. (Used to assess your personality, suitability, preparation. Prepare a list of what you do, job-related skills, a summary of work experience if any linking it to the job at hand) 2. Why should we hire you? 3. What is your long range objective? 4. How has your education prepared you for your career? 5. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss/professor? How was it resolved? 6. What is your greatest strengths/weakness? (Give specific examples of strengths with reference to previous positions or SIP /talk about what you are doing to overcome the weakness) 7. If your teachers/friends/colleagues were asked to describe you what would they say? 8. What qualities do you feel a successful manger should have? 9. Why do you want to work for this company? (Demonstrate knowledge of the company and re-emphasize suitability for the position) 10. If you are hired, what will be your contribution to our team? /what abilities will you bring to this position? (Sing your praises. concentrate on skills you have that is necessary for the position. Ex: I have strong analytical skills, am a good team player and very keen to be involved in the new markets you are developing in the Asian region)

11. Where do you want to be in 5 years time? /Describe your career aspirations. (Assessment of your ambition and career planning. Show that your long term goals are suitable for the position offered and you are committed to them). 12. Why MBA? Why Finance/marketing? 13. What is your philosophy toward wok? 14. Do you think you will be an asset to this organization? How? 15. Why do you think you will do well here? 16. What are you looking for in a job? 17. You do not have any work experience. Why should we hire you? /how do you propose to compensate for this? 18. What do you think it takes to be successful in this career/job? 19. How do you determine/define success? Give me an example of one of your successful accomplishments. 20. What is your most significant achievement so far? /is there an achievement you are particularly proud of? Why is it significant? (STAR approach) 21. Do you think you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career? Why? 22. Briefly walk me through your academic /professional history. I am particularly interested in why you have chosen finance/marketing. 23. How do you set goals? What goals are you particularly proud of accomplishing? 24. How do you handle stressful situations? 25. Why do you want this position?

Questions 2, 10, 14,15,17,21 needs to be answered with reference to your strengths and competitive differential. 26. Would you rather work with information or with people? 27. How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of the team? 28. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? 29. What goals do you have in your career? (Give response that is specific to the job) 30. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project? 31. Why do you think you are the best person for this job? 32. What do you accomplishment? think is your greatest work related

Behavioral questions
These can be identified by introductory phrases like tell me about a time when, Describe a situation where you., Give me an example of

Tell me about a timeyou adjusted to someones style to complete a project (adaptability)/solved a difficult problem (analytical skills)/dealt with conflict (communication)/solved a problem in a unique manner (creativity)/difficult decision you had to make (decision making skills)/set a goal and achieved it (goal setting)/motivated others (leadership)/you had to work as part of a team to achieve result (team work). While answering behavioral questions use the STAR approach S-situation-use specific details to describe a situation

T-task-What dilemma or problem did you face? What needed to be done/ achieved? A-action-discuss what you did and who were involved R-result-tell the outcome of the action 1. How do you establish a working relationship with new people? (Talk about team skills) 2. Why do you want to work for us?/what are your short& long term goals?(interviewer trying to find out whether you are keen to work here, willing to learn, ambitious and keen to succeed.) 3.Why do you think you are the best person for the job/why should we hire you/why do you think you will be an asset to us/what are your strengths and weaknesses, five words that describe you, what skills and qualities will you bring to this post? (trying to see the fit between applicant and job) 4. Is there anything you would like to add? (Asked at the end of the interview. An opportunity to bring specific skills and qualities to the attention of the interviewer. Make sure you state your major selling points again. Tell again why you are the best person for the job. If you are unhappy about the way you answered any particular question, address that too. 5. What motivates you to do your best on the job? (Challenge, achievement, recognition. Choose the motivation that fits you best).

Behavioral interview techniques


Analyse information collected from company research/talking to seniors working there and make a guess about the skills most desired by the employer. List the relevant skills. Think about which skills you possess and think of examples from your life where those skills were displayed. Use these examples while

answering instead of theoretical statements. Use the STAR formula. Make sure answers are detailed and specific. Avoid rambling. Employer wants to know what you have done in the past, not what you think you will do in future. Give short descriptions of each situation but be ready to give more details is asked. If in doubt ask, would you like more details on that? Would you like more examples? Etc. Take responsibility for communicating your strengths. Do not rely on the interviewer to pull it out of you.

Company Research
Size of the organization, no/ of employees, how long they have been operating, is it an umbrella group, services/products/aims, major competitors operating in the same field, job description, skills needed. This will help in the following kind of questions. What do you think it takes to be successful in this career? Why do you want to work in this company/industry? What do you know about our company?

What the interviewer is looking for


Want to know whether you have the necessary knowledge, skills and willingness to contribute and fit into the organizations culture. Also want to know whether your career goals are in line with the opportunities available within the organization. Need to provide proof that you are the right person with the right skills and attitude for the job. Some points to ponder are:

Are you a self-starter? Can you be depended upon in critical situations and to follow work through to completion? Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with? Can you work under pressure? Why do you want to work for them? Can you manage time effectively? Can you handle constructive criticism? Are you objective in evaluating yourself? When talking about strengths, employers want to know why it is strength and where it has been demonstrated. Foe weakness, they want to know what steps have been taken to improve. Situational questions are used to determine problem-solving skills, interpersonal relationships, management styles and basic common sense. You are a team leader. One of your team members consistently arrive late for work. What would you do? You are working on a deadline for your manager but your director asks you to drop everything and deal with a customer complaint. What would you do? A co-worker tells you in confidence that he thinks another colleague is stealing from the company? What would you do?

Off-the wall questions


Asked to see how well you can think on your feet, your creativity, and sense of humor. Dont get rattled if asked an oddball

question. Smile, take a deep breath and compose your answer. It is okay to take a minute to think rather than blurting out whatever comes to your mind. You dont have to be witty. Just be honest. There is no wrong answer, remember. If you could be any animal in the jungle what would you be? Sample response: I would be a gorilla because I want to be the king f the jungle and also because I would be able to climb the trees and get a birds eye view of what is happening in the forest. If you could be any character in fiction/a superhero/could have dinner with anyone fro history/if you were a car who or what would you be?