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Preparing to tackle the question answer drill

So you know your subject and are technically qualified for the job – all you have to do now is get through the interview. To face the interview with confidence, you must know what the interviewer is looking for. The basic points most interviewers look for are intelligence, motivation, personality, knowledge and experience.

  • The interviewer will seek to examine your analytical skills, self-confidence, poise, stability, persistence, maturity, quantitative skills, job interests and relevant experience, social perceptiveness, goals and objectives, energy, ability to communicate, organisational skills, and ambition.

  • You will also be evaluated on how you answer, how well you organise your thoughts, how relevant your answers are, the intellectual skills you have developed and the natural abilities you may possess to handle the job.

  • While your knowledge of the subject may be unmatched, remember that the interviewer is examining your temperament, your ability to work with other people, and the factors that motivate you. So you may find yourself faced with questions that seem quite unconnected to the job!

If this is your first job/ first interview, here are some of the main areas most interviewers will cover:

  1. What were the subjects you enjoyed most/ did well in?
  2. What made them easy or difficult?
  3. Extra-curricular activities?
  4. Early interests and ambitions?
  5. Leadership positions held?

Now for the veterans, here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions:

Previous work experience

  1. What is the reason for leaving your previous job?
  2. Can you mention some of your achievements in your previous job(s)?
  3. What skills did you bring to your previous job(s), and how have you improved them.
  4. What has been the progress you have made in your previous job? Were you satisfied with it?
  5. If you are leaving your present job because of `limited opportunity for advancement’, did you talk with your boss about possibilities for growth within the firm?
  6. What were the drawbacks of your previous job(s)?
  7. Suppose you are given a chance to relive your previous job, how differently will you tackle it?
  8. Tell us about your reporting relationship? Who were your subordinates and how many of them reported to your boss?
  9. Goals and ambitions

  10. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  11. What are your long-term career goals?
  12. How have you prepared yourself to meet these goals?
  13. Do you have any role models? If yes, what did you learn from them?
  14. In terms of salary, what are your expectations from this job?
  15. On the job you are seeking

  16. Why do you want to work in our organisation?
  17. What do you see in this assignment that was not available to you in your previous assignment?
  18. What is your opinion about late hours?
  19. How would you evaluate this organisation as a place to grow in?
  20. What do you feel about relocation/ travel?
  21. Self-assessment

  22. Do you have any hobbies, other interests?
  23. What are your strengths and weaknesses? List two in each category?
  24. What are the types of problems you had while working with colleagues and how did you overcome it ?
  25. How did you manage the working style of your boss in your previous job(s)?
  26. Can you tell us about successful activities initiated by you at your job?
  27. What frustrates you the most? How do you deal with these things?
  28. Give me situations where you are comfortable working under stress ?
  29. How do you plan to balance your professional and work life?
  30. How confident are you about reaching the career goals, which you have set for yourself?
  31. Do you prefer working with others or alone
  32. List out some factors that help you perform better at the job?
  33. How do you prioritise your work activities?
  34. Did you receive feedback from your superiors? If yes, would you like to share it with us ?
  35. Some general questions

  36. Tell me about yourself?
  37. Tell me about your family
  38. Do you want to ask me any questions?

Most of these questions can be anticipated and so preparing the right answers is a task by itself. On the final day ensure that your answers are spontaneous and do not sound prepared.

So why don’t you conduct a mock interview and rate yourself. First, set aside an hour of your time. Read out each question and answer them one by one. Rate your performance. Set stringent standards for yourself.

At the end of the drill, identify and improve upon your weak areas.

Good Luck!!!

Also Checkout
Facing the interview and winning
Dressing for an interview
Fighting interview anxiety
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