Next week I have an interview
And there’s so much material to go through
What questions they’ll ask, I do not know.
I am the best one for the job, I need to show
I am nervous, biting my thumb nail.
I feel jittery and my confidence is frail.
What if there was one single source
That could point me towards the right course
Whatever be my specialisation
It would give me the correct foundation
Simple Answers I would be knowing
And now c’mon let’s get going
In this article we will cover
a) 10 most important interview questions (on screen) we researched and shortlisted the 10 most commonly asked challenging, interview questions.
b) Simple English sentences to answer these questions
c) STAR technique (to help you answer any situation based question very easily)
d) Bonus Tip
This will be your Ultimate Interview Cheat Sheet on ChetChat to crack any interview.
Q1. Why do you want to join us? / Why this company?
1. I would like to work for your company for three main reasons –
a. You have some very exciting future plans which I read about on your website (talk briefly about their future plans)
b. You are an industry leader / you have a strong reputation in industry
c. My skills, qualities and experience would be a great fit with your organisation
People get very impressed when you give three reasons and list them out as 1,2,3.
It shows that you are organised and logical.
Q2. What do you know about our company?
2. Your company is very well known for customer service and you also won an International Business award and you have a leading market share in this field. I believe that it’s an attractive place to work for people like me who are looking for challenge and growth.
Tip – do some research before going and they will know that you are a serious candidate.
Notice the two parts of this statement – the first part is about the company, their market shares, awards etc. and the second part is why you find the company attractive. Even though this was not asked, we must always make this connection for the interviewer.
Q3. Why are you interested in this job / role?
3. Your company is a leading company in the area of content creation . This is an area that I am very passionate about. I have worked in a similar role in XXX company OR I have done XXX projects in college and I look forward to an opportunity to increase my knowledge through experience and to contribute to the company’s goals in this area.
Notice once again, the two parts to the answer – first you have told them why you are interested in the role and second, you have also told them why you are a good fit for that role.
Q4. Why are you changing your job?/ Why are you leaving your current company?
4. Although I love my current job, and I have worked with my current company for _ 5 ___ years, I feel I’m now ready for more challenging assignments and I believe that this position will help me broaden my horizons and expand my knowledge.
At this point never say anything negative about the company you are working for. There is also a risk of being viewed as someone who changes jobs frequently, so answer this question with seriousness and not like – oh! It’s been 3 years so it’s time to move on.
Q5. What are your strengths or USPs or plus points?
This is a difficult question to answer, because we want to highlight our strengths without sounding like we’re boasting. Some example answers are :-
a) My biggest strength is that I’m very efficient at working under pressure example
b) No matter the crisis or stress, I can take on multiple tasks and work under pressure example
c) My strongest trait is attention to detail and thorough planning example
d) I believe that every minute you spend planning with enough attention to detail, saves 5 minutes trouble shooting at the end. Here again give an example to support this.
Always give an example of a situation where you demonstrated this strength and talk about the positive outcome it had.
Tip – Read the job description before going in – and try to match those required qualities – it could be customer service or team management or any other area.
Q6. What are your weaknesses?
It is a good idea to give one or two weaknesses instead of saying – I have no weakness. But make sure you also mention what you have done or have been doing to overcome your weakness(es).
a) I am not very good at presenting to people. I am working towards improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters which I find very helpful.
b) My weakness is my inability to say No to people. Sometimes I volunteer, take on too many tasks and get overloaded. So I am trying to reduce my responsibilities by saying no to whatever I can avoid.
Tip – Read the job description before going in – and make sure your weakness is not a key quality that they are looking for. Example, they are looking for someone with great communication skills and you say that is your weakness. So, we need to
be careful while selecting our weakness
Q7. Can you handle difficult situations? Tell us about a case where you handled a pressure / conflict / change / any other difficult situation?
First, Identify a situation where you were under extreme pressure. Then use the STAR technique to answer this question.
S: Situation – Set the scene and context
I was the Marketing head of the College and the advertising revenues of our college newspaper were dropping. This created pressure / challenge since the college festival was coming up and we required the funds.
T: Task – Describe what your challenge or responsibility was.
My goal was to generate new ideas, materials and incentives that would result in at least a 15% increase in advertisers from the year before.
A: Action – List all the actions you took to address the challenge .
I designed a new promotional package and where I compared the benefits of advertising on our magazine vs. other ad media in the area. I also set-up a special training session for the social media and digital marketing teams of the college to discuss the target market and distribution strategy
R: Result –
We signed contracts with 15 advertisers for daily ads and five for special supplements and increased our ad revenue by 20 percent over the previous year.
The STAR technique is very useful not only for a problem/challenge / difficult situation type question but also for describing your greatest achievement, a situation where you displayed leadership skills or any other situation type behavioural question.
Q8. Where do you see yourself 5 years from today / future goals / medium or long term goals?
In this question we should be careful not to say something like I would like to be in your position. Instead talk about the skills you would like to gain and the value you would want to deliver
a) In five years, I’d like to be in a management position / an industry expert with the ability to train and mentor students and entry-level data analysts _________.
b) I would like to gain specialized knowledge in the areas of supply chain and logistics ___and to be in a position to create a positive impact both on the company and the global community.
Q9. What is your dream job?
a) For freshers – Since I am just starting out and don’t have any experience yet, I would want to gain some experience and then decide which would be my dream job. This way I would know from experience.
b) For the experienced – My dream job would be to work as a __________ . I would be able to apply my learnings as well as learn new skills while creating a positive impact on the company.
Example I might say that – my dream job would be to help students learn in an engaging manner and create millions of lifelong learners.
Q10. What motivates you? / What are you passionate about?
a) What motivates me is [making customers happy / creating campaigns from scratch, from strategy to execution / tackling different problems and coming up with meaningful solutions to them. I believe that I’d be able to do that in this job
since it provides a great platform for _______________
Notice the two parts of this statement – the first part is about what motivates you and the second part is why this job will motivate you.
In every question, remember to make the connection for the interviewer as to why you are suitable for the job.
Attitude – always enter the interview room with an attitude of a winner. Smile, be cheerful and relaxed. Remind yourself that you’re very happy with your achievements and you are proud of yourself. If you are already in a job, remind yourself that it is a great job already and basically walk in feeling like you’re a star.
If you feel like a winner, you already are one!