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Interview Questions

Frequently Asked Interview QuestionsFrequently Asked Interview Questions You’ve probably read all the job search books and reviewed your answers for the standard questions you expect to be asked on an interview. But, what about those questions from left field? The ones you didn’t expect. These can be the most difficult because they will demonstrate how well you think on your feet. They may also be so charming or disarming that you may fall prey to the interviewer’s trap and reveal aspects of yourself or your personality that you weren’t prepared to come clean about. By rehearsing interview questions, you will become more familiar with your own qualifications and will be well prepared to demonstrate how you can benefit an employer. Here some of the Quirky Interview Questions and How to Weasel Out of Them are listed:

1. Tell me about yourself 
Make a short, organized statement of your education and professional achievements and professional goals. Then, briefly describe your qualifications for the job and the contributions you could make to the organization.

2. What are you reading lately?;
It is best to think always in terms of how the question relates to the job at hand. Better than proposing novels you are reading would be law related journals and books that are hot in your field. While you might just find an interviewer who understands your taste in literature, the question really suggests that the interviewer wants to know how up-to-date you are in the field.

3.What are your best skills
If you have sufficiently researched your organization, you should be able to imagine what skills the company values. List them, then give examples where you have demonstrated these skills.

4. Why do you want to work here? or What about our company interests you? It is very important to answer these questions clearly and with enthusiasm. Show the interviewer your interest in the company. Share what you learned about the job, the company and the industry through your own research. Talk about how your professional skills will benefit the company. Unless your work is in sales, your answer should never be simply money. The interviewer will wonder if your really care about the job.
5. What is your major weakness?
This is a very common question. If you say you have no weaknesses, you come off looking arrogant. If you use humor here, you may appear too flippant. This is a difficult question and the interviewer wants to see how you handle it. Use a weakness that can otherwise be seen as a strength. Never fall into the trap of seeing the interviewer as mother/father/confessor and offering up something that is important to the job! A good example could be: “I have difficulty working with people who don’t pull their weight. I have high standards for my work and I expect others to have high standards too. I’m learning to speak up and request that others contribute more completely long before I start getting angry about a situation that is unequal.” On the other hand, you might say: I often worry too much over my work. Sometimes I work late to make sure the job is done well. Also supply a solution or a way in which you are dealing with your weakness.
6. Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
The ideal answer is one of flexibility. However, be honest. Give examples describing how you have worked in both situations.

7.What are your career goals? or What are your future plans?
The interviewer wants to know if your plans and the company�s goals are compatible. Let him know that you are ambitious enough to plan ahead. Talk about your desire to learn and improve your performance, and be as specific as possible about meeting the goals you have set for yourself.
8.Why did you leave your last job?
The interviewer may want to know if you had any problems on your last job. If you did not have any problems, simply give a reason, such as: relocated away from job; company went off business; laid off; no possibility of advancement; wanted a job
better suited to your skills.
If you did have problems, be honest. Show that you can accept responsibility and learn from your mistakes. You should explain any problems you had (or still have) with an employer, but don�t describe that employer in negative terms. Demonstrate that it was a learning experience that will not affect your future work.

9 Do you date a lot? [Question asked by a female personnel officer in a US defense company]

This question offers its own challenge. This question looks different because one female is asking another, you still need to answer the question in a way that satisfies the concern. A good response would be, “If you are concerned that my personal life could take precedence over my work life, I want to assure you that I am dedicated to my work. By the same token, I strive to maintain a balanced life and find numerous ways to spend my leisure time fruitfully.” This answers the question without invading your privacy.

10. Why are you here today? [Asked by an interviewer at an investment bank, when he entered his office]

‘Why are you here today� offers you the opportunity to explain your enthusiasm for the job. It is not such a quirky question if you don’t take it at face value. It is important when interviewing to lighten up a bit and not analyze the worthiness of each question you are asked. Look for ways to respond that will improve the rapport between you and the interviewer and demonstrate your strengths in being the candidate for the job. “I am here to discuss with you my candidacy for the position of ________. Would you like to hear an overview of my background?” (It is also conceivable that the person was interviewing that day for more than one position.)

11. Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
Sounds like you handled the answer well, but you need to be aware of the context in which you are responding. If you are interviewing for a large Fortune 500 firm, you’d be fine. But if you are interviewing for a small, entrepreneurial organization, you might come off as if you are too good for the company. There is no best answer- only the one that is most appropriate for the job in question and the situation in which it occurs.

12. What are your hobbies? and Do you play any sports?
The interviewer may be looking for evidence of your job skills outside of your professional experience. For example, hobbies such as chess or bridge demonstrate analytical skills. Reading, music, and painting are creative hobbies. Individual sports show determination and stamina, while group sport activities may indicate you are comfortable working as part of a team.
Also, the interviewer might simply be curious as to whether you have a life outside of work. Employees who have creative or athletic outlets for their stress are often healthier, happier and more productive.

13. What have I forgotten to ask?
Use this as a chance to summarize your good characteristics and attributes and how they may be used to benefit the organization. Convince the interviewer that you understand the job requirements and that you can succeed.

14. Where would you like to be Five years from now 
Your instincts are right! Always think of the question behind the question. What do they really want to know? “Five years from now I see myself continuing to work hard and doing the best possible job I can.” This answer tells the interviewer that you are a hard worker and that you have high standards. You might also offer a caveat that you intend to continue learning, growing and adding value in your field.

15.Salary related questions:
How much are you looking for?
Answer with a question, i.e., What is the salary range for similar jobs in your company?; If they don’t answer, then give a range of what you understand you are worth in the marketplace.

What do you know about our company?

Do your homework before the interview! Spend some time online or at the library researching the company. Find out as much as you can, including products, size, income, reputation, image, management talent, people, skills, history and philosophy. Project an informed interest; let the interviewer tell you about the company.

How much do you expect, if we offer this position to you?

Be careful; the market value of the job may be the key answer, e.g., “My understanding is that a job like the one you’re describing may be in the range of Rs.______. 
What kind of salary are you worth?

Have a specific figure in mind … don’t be hesitant.

16.Qualification related questions:
What can you do for us that someone else can�t do?
What qualifications do you have that relate to the position?
What new skills or capabilities have you developed recently?
Give me an example from a previous job where you have shown initiative.
What have been your greatest accomplishments recently?
What is important to you in a job?
What motivates you in your work?
What have you been doing since your last job?
What qualities do you find important with a co-worker?
17.Career goals related questions:
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?

Nothing … I am happy today, so I don’t want to change my past.

What career options do you have at the moment?

“I see three areas of interest…” Relate those to the position and industry.

How would you describe the essence of success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

Think carefully about your answer and relate it to your career accomplishments.

Other questions:

How will you judge yourself successful? How will you achieve success?
What type of position are you interested in?
How will this job fit in your career plan?
What do you expect from this job?
Do you have a location preference?
Can you travel?
What hours can you work?
When could you start?

18. Experience related questions:

What have you learned from your past jobs?
What were your biggest responsibilities?
What specific skills acquired or used in previous jobs relate to this position?
How do your previous experience relate to this position?
What did you like most/least about your last job?
Whom may we contact for references?

19. Education related questions:

How do you think your education has prepared you for this position?
What were your favorite activities at school?
Why did you choose your major?
Do you plan to continue your educations?
Explain about your project work done at college.

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