It is an established fact that certain questions almost necessarily crop up very often in any interview. Though these questions slightly differ from job to job and accordingly the answers also differ as per specific job requirements, some typical questions and their possible answers are as follows:
Tell me something about yourself.
This is certainly a general question. You need not give a detailed account of your career history that is already before the interviewer mentioned in your application/ bio-data. You are not required to repeat them. Here you should tell the interviewer about your special qualities, traits, ambition, aspiration, special achievements, motivation etc.
Describe your home background.
This question usually crops up when moderately young persons and new school/college-leavers apply for jobs. They have little or no work record before them. By the question the interviewers try to find out the candidate’s stability, his enthusiastic attitude for hard work and the family environment for the same. The candidate therefore must try and pick out only those aspects of his background which make him particularly suitable for the job he has applied for.
What did you do in your last job?
By this question the interviewers try to find out how far the experience and skills gained and used in your last job match up to those which are needed in the present one. Also, how successful the candidate had been in the last job. In such a situation the candidate’s reply should try to mention his particular skills and whether he had been trained to use any particular equipment. If the last job and the job applied for both require an ability to get on well with people, the candidate must point this out. If the new job is better than the last job, the candidate must point out how it is a logical progress from the last job.
Why are you interested to work with this organisation?
Here the interviewer is trying to find out whether you have an enthusiastic and positive approach to his organisation. If you have done some good background work on the organisation, you will be in a good position to say what you really like about it, why you think it has a good reputation and why the job suits you nicely.
Did you do this sort of work before?
The candidate must mention his relevant work experience. He should make it a point to emphasise how quick he has been to learn new skills. In case he has no work experience that is relevant, he should mention that. But he should add that his such-and-such personal qualities would suit him for the job.
What were the reasons for your leaving the last job?
The interviewer is interested to know whether the candidate left his last job for any reasons which could pose similar problems if he worked with the new organisation. Some of the reasons for the answer may be that the candidate is interested to work nearer home OR insufficient salary OR end of contract employment OR he is interested in a career change OR he is looking for more responsibility. But never should the candidate run down criticise his past employer even if that is true.
What are your shortcomings/weaknesses?
If you are asked such a question never say that you do not have any weaknesses. That will be unmistakably untrue. You should reply along the following lines: I do not think I have any weaknesses which would affect my ability to do my job OR my weaknesses, if any, will not come in my professional work.
Tell me how you would change things if you are given this job.
Here the employer is looking for initiative, drive, and indications that the candidate has given some thought to what the job will involve. The candidate should therefore make it clear that he does not expect to come in and immediately start changing things merely for the sake of change. He should clearly and frankly explain to the employer that he would certainly need time in order to make a thorough assessment of the existing situation and, if need be, will suggest a change. He should say that he would first be wholly familiar with the various aspects of the organisation before suggesting changes.
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