A job interview is definitely not an easy thing to face, especially because you get only one shot at it. Unlike preparing your resume or CV, where you have the liberty to edit as many times as possible, a job interview is demands you to be your best self in front of the interview panel.
The interview panel expects you to be aware of the most common interview questions and be well prepared beforehand. This proves that you are serious about your work. Also, your answers to these questions can make or break your chances of getting that dream job.
Here is a list of 12 of the toughest interview questions and how you can prepare for the same.
1. What Are Your Strengths?
To answer this question with ease and confidence, make a list of some of the unique qualities that you possess and back each one of them with an example situation where your unique qualities helped you stand out from the crowd. This showcases your strength to the interviewer and also makes a point that you have a habit of analysing your work and hence are aware of what situations might bring out the best in you.
Also, remember that you are applying for a specific job position, which itself demands you to have a certain skill set. Try to pitch in atleast two to three strengths that are in synch with the demands of the position you are aiming for.
2. What Are Your Weaknesses?
Introspection is one of the greatest assets that an employee can possess. Introspecting and analysing your decisions, work progress and work ethics go a long way in building your professional life. Hence, when the interviewer asks about your weakness, do not hesitate in stating the same.
It is crucial that you talk about how you have always tried to overcome your weakness with a planned course of action. You can probably talk about two situations- one where you made a mistake and another where you made a conscious effort to not make the same mistake again. This shows a positive growth in your learning curve.
3. What Are The Three Things That Your Former Manager Would Like You To Improve On?
Here, talk about your interactions with your manager and how he/she has always given you constructive criticism. Also mention how well you have received them and taken actions accordingly. While talking about the three things that your manager has asked you to improve upon, do not talk about extremely bad qualities, but instead take the middle path. Some examples that you can use are learning to say no, learning to multitask better, being realistic about the outcomes of any project etc.
Talk about how you have made conscious efforts to work on the things that your manager has spoken about and mention about your progress as well.
4. Are You Willing To Relocate?
This question just tests your level of passion and dedication for the amount of work you do. The best way to deal with this question would be to take the middle ground. Neither decline nor accept to relocate. Accept that you might face difficulties if you have to relocate, but if the company would benefit with your relocation, then you can tell that you are ready to relocate for a few months.
This shows that you put the company’s interests first, which will take you a long way in your professional life in that particular company.
5. What is Your Dream Job?
Always remember that your description of your dream job must be in alignment with the description of the job position that you are applying. There must be no contradictions. You can talk about the kind of collaborative work environment that you like, which pushes you to push your boundaries! Or, the kind of travel opportunities that come along with this job and how it has always been a top priority to you that you explore different cultures and places.
Pro Tip: Talk about your passions here and how this new job will help you realise your dreams!
6. Tell Me About An Accomplishment That You Are Most Proud Of?
Now, this question, if answered in the right way, can get you some brownie points. This is a great opportunity to not just talk about your biggest accomplishment, but also to make a point that you are well versed with a skill that the job position you are applying demands from potential employees. Hence, choose a few examples that will not only highlight your achievements but also talk about how you have already excelled in something that the interviewers are looking for.
7. Why Should We Hire You?
First off, you should be aware of the qualities that the job position you are applying to demands from you. Does it demand excellent technical skills? Or, does it demand you to possess communication and networking skills? Or, does it need leadership qualities to handle the job perfectly?
Once you recognise the core skill set that the job position needs, you can start off your answer by telling how you do possess that skill set and can give examples from the past as to how you excelled in projects by showcasing above par skills. Also, talk about soft skills like negotiation skills, your disciplined nature and never say die attitude etc. These skills are relevant to any job position that you apply. By following this approach, you are directly telling the interviewer what you can bring to the table if you are hired.
8. How Would You Deal With An Angry/Irritated Customer?
They say that customers are the kings and indeed, it is true. One cannot afford to lose patience with any customer. Handling such sensitive situations is a skill on its own and the interviewer is testing just that through this question.
Talk about how you wouldn’t lose your calm and composure when you are faced with an angry customer. Walk through the situation step by step as to how you would first check if you are the right person who can solve the problem of the customer. If not, talk about how you would divert the call to the concerned employee. Mention that you would keep that particular customer’s requests as top priority and solve their problem as soon as possible.
9. What Was Your Biggest Failure?
Always answer this in the form of a “story”. Describe the situation at hand. Elaborate on the way you thought you could handle the situation and how you failed. Don’t just end your answer here. Continue the “story” by describing your learnings from the failure and how you implemented them in the future, when you were encountered with a similar situation.
Not repeating your mistakes and the ability to learn from circumstances where you faltered is a great asset that an employee can possess. Hence, try to emphasis more on the learnings from your failure and not on the failure itself.
10. Who Is Your Mentor?
This question can be crucial as the interviewer wants to know if you have been able to make strong bonds with not only your colleagues but also seniors who are capable of being influential in your professional life. Hence, choose to talk about a person who has been able to make an impact in your life and with whom you have spent quite a large amount of time.
You can start off the answer by talking about the professional relationship you share with your mentor. Speak about a few instances where he/she gave you valuable insights which gave you a better perspective of a situation. Talk about situations where you were maybe stuck in a problem or were indecisive about a circumstance and how his/her suggestions helped you. You also could talk about non-technical skills that you imbibed from your mentor like perseverance, never give up attitude, discipline etc.
11. What Are Your Career Goals?
This is one of the most common interview questions ever, and yet is one of the toughest questions to answer as it talks about the future. The best way to approach this question is to start out by mentioning your long-term goal first. The next step here would be to break down the long-term goal into many short-term goals.
The trick here is to talk about how you have already started your journey on achieving these short-term goals, effectively taking you closer to your long-term goal. Also, mention as to how the job you are applying to has the scope to push your professional boundaries and how it is in alignment with your career goals. With this approach, you will surely impress your panel of interviewers!
12. What Makes You Uncomfortable?
It is human to feel uncomfortable in some situation or the other. Hence, make a list of things that would really make you feel uncomfortable in your workplace. It could be missing deadlines, taking work casually, and mismanagement of resources at hand etc. Remember to back up your point with personal experiences.
For example, you could narrate a past experience of how you were faced with a situation that made you uncomfortable and how you handled the situation effectively. The interviewer is more interested in knowing how well you managed an uncomfortable situation as you are bound to face them in the workplace.
Also, if you have performed at par with your capabilities irrespective of an uncomfortable situation, then that’s a cherry on the cake.
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Do you want to know as to how to answer more job interview questions? Visit https://www.mim-essay.com/48-common-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them/ to read an in depth analysis about 48 interview questions. Not only do you get to know the tricks to answer each of those questions, but you also get to read the importance of each question. There is also a sample answer along with each question!
With this guide, you will surely ace your job interview! Leave a comment as to how your job interview went ahead. Best of Luck
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online startup for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company. He is very passionate about writing and marketing.