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35 Common Interview Questions and Smart Answers

Interviews are that crucial part, which turns out to be a maker or breaker of one’s career. No matter what you are or how good your academic experience and background are, interviews are always nerve wrecking. But they are not an impossible thing to crack. If you have a proper sense and way of approach, you can easily crack an interview. There is one thing that you need to keep in mind, the best way to ace your interview is by taking preparation beforehand.

Top 35 common interview questions and their potential answers

Before you start reading further, there is one thing that needs to be clear – All the answers are based on ‘concepts & ideas’ those are tested and statistically proven to work. So you have the absolute liberty to change these answers and make them as per your choice and relevance. After all, it will be you sitting in front of the panel, so keep your mind straight, open to ideas and have a good approach towards it.

Let the interview begin!

[Note: The first part is dedicatedly structured for fresher, as they don’t have any experience, so they need a more vivid idea regarding this interview process.]

First Round Interview

Once you get selected in-group discussion, the next step is to prepare for your preliminary round interview. Here are top ten questions that interviewers frequently ask.

1. “Tell me something about you.”

This is the most asked question ever. So start speaking about yourself but not blabber or repeat your resume bluntly. What they want to know are the interesting traits of your personality.

This is the first question that will give you the opportunity to make an impression on the hiring person, so use this time wisely. Mention them about your extra-curricular activities you were involved with in your academic life.

Sample Answer: “If I have to describe myself, then it’s better to start with the some of the good qualities I possess, like…

**Point to note: Do not fake any attitude or make up any story. They are experienced enough to understand if you are lying.

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2. “How was your school experience? If you get a chance then will you change of your decisions?”

Now this is an absolute trick question. Not ‘how was your school experience’ part; that you can brief them on it. Also, mention about your activities in school without bragging about anything.

Coming to the second part of the question, do you want to change the course of your action? It can go in two directions: Sample Answers:

If ‘Yes’: Make sure you can rationalize and validate your answer. Otherwise, you might come out to be a fickle-minded person who cannot take a spontaneous decision in time of need.

“There were some abrupt and immamture decisions I took, like once I went for this terrible hair dye..”

If ‘No’: You should justify your deeds but not sound like an absolute over-confident person.

“I never got a chance to be wacky, my father was in the army… I hope you can understand now..”

The basic point is, all your answers should have a neutral base and proper reason behind it.

3. “How did you hear about this position?”

Give them the reference from where you got them. Along with that, you should also mention why you chose to apply in this particular organization.

Sample Answer: “This job was referred to me by XYZ.com (Give the source from where you got it) and this excited me a lot. The reason is that, I always wanted work for your company.”

4. “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”

Here you have to focus on the achievable objectives and how you will serve yourself to reach them.

Sample Answer: “Within five years I will try to be the very best of my offered position. I will make sure that others can rely on me and I can be enough to set an example of being motivational and inspiring to others.”

Now coming to people who have some job experience, there are certain questions that they can usually face. This doesn’t mean that these types of related questions will not be asked to a newcomer. So it is best to keep all the odds in consideration.

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5. “Why did you leave your last job?”

Be honest with the reason. You need to put your priority or desirable working condition on the table. So it is best if you come up with the actual reason.
Sample Answer: “I left my last job as I felt they were underappreciating my capabilities and the amount of effort I was putting. I have no problem to do extra work at times of need, but that doesn’t mean I will be doing others’ works too! If that is the case, I think I should get half of their salary also.”

*Note: Do not go onto criticizing your previous employer too much. That would create a negative impression.

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6. “Do you think you are successful?”

This is a purely psychological question where they need assurance about your self-confidence. Be very diplomatic so that you don’t come out to be too strong and sound like an over-confident soul.

Sample Answer: You can say something like, “I think I have the potential to be successful as failure doesn’t seem to be very lucrative for me. Moreover, I don’t find quitters to be very attractive.”

7. “What do you know about this organization?”

This is a very common question, so always make it a point that you have done extensive research on the company’s background.

8. “Are you planning to apply for other jobs? Or what do you think about backup plans?”

Here you go again with a psychological question. They do this to trick you into an awkward position, simple! So keep your nerves calm and reply.

Sample Answer: What you can say is, “Yes, I have applied in two more companies for a similar position. Sir, even in an ice-cream parlor, you walk in with a backup flavor in case they don’t have your favorite.”

9. “What are your weaknesses? How are you planning to work on them?”

One thing you need to keep in mind while answering questions of this sort, do not try to present your positive aspect as a weakness like, “I am too friendly and helpful.” Rather be witty.

Sample Answer: “I have not one but two major weaknesses. First I eat a lot of chocolate and second I am a bit unorganized. For chocolate addiction, I am thinking of joining a gym, and for that later one, now I have downloaded an organizer app. This is helping me a lot.” [What is Your Greatest Strength and Weakness?]

10. “Describe a typical work week as per you.”

At this time you need to show your management skills and how you will apply them in the upcoming days.

Sample Answer:I will make sure to assess the daily work of my co-workers. Along with that, I would like to discuss the work on the first day of the week, and by the middle of the week, the projects should be running smoothly. I will make sure that major portion of work is over on Thursdays so that on Fridays the work is checked properly with complete concentration. Also, they can leave early for the weekend.

Final round interview

If your approach is correct, then you will land up in the final or HR round interview. Here, HR will not judge you based on your academics or experience (though there will be a consideration!), you have to handle them tactfully.

11. “Are you a team player?”

A company cannot run with one single person. So it is important to know whether you can work and coordinate with other people properly or not.

Sample Answer: Be very positive while answering this question because like “I believe this is one of the most imperative skills needed to let the company run and function smoothly. As I know the importance of teamwork, so I respect others’ point of views as well as stay open to suggestions and advice.”

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12. “How will you help a weak member of your team?”

This is when they check your perception towards others and how you can actually get the benefit for the company from everyone? So it’s best to come up with a logical solution for such situations.

Sample Answer: “I cannot judge a person or shouldn’t judge a person based on few bad days, rather seeing the record and approaching the problem seems more viable. I would explain the job and help them to get accustomed to the working environment so that they get the chance to show their skill. Moreover, if the person is working in a highly reputed company like this, it is very unlikely to find someone ‘weak.' So I will keep a positive approach and get the best out of this person.”

13. “Are you single/in a relationship/ married?”

What does a company have to do with this? Must you be wondering the same? The reason behind this question is to know whether your family is in the same city or not. If yes then no problem; if no then you might have a lack of concentration now and then.

Sample Answer: So if they are not here, the best thing to tell them will be that “As soon as I land up with a secure job, my partner will come over.”

14. “How long are you expecting your work time if you are hired?”

You should be quite assertive about the point that doing extra work once in a while will not be a problem.

Sample Answer: “I won’t mind staying back and finishing my job. If one cannot respect work, then …” finish with your own idea.

15. “Why this company?”

You need to convince your interviewers, why you want to be in this company. Here, you should talk about the reputation and how much you desire to be here.

Sample Answer: “It was my dream to join this company because not only will I get a chance to prove myself, at the same time, I will get to learn a lot. After it is good experience that will get counted.” [Why Do You Want to Work Here?]

16. “What is your take on the current marketing scenario?”

Answer with knowledge. Do not come up with stupid, vague answers. In case you don’t know, admit that, but make sure you don’t fake wrong information.
Sample Answer: “If you are asking based on this company the… (continue if you know)”

17. “If you have to change any two policies of our company, what will be those?”

Be diplomatic. Do not hurt any sentiment. If you are trapped in a question like this, you should know the best possible answer.

Sample Answer: “If you hire me, then only I will get to know about all the policies. But keeping my desire to be here I don’t think I would like to change any of these. I am good at adjusting.

18. “What do you think are the basic things to do to impress our clients?”

Sample Answer: “Every client who is investing in a company, have certain expectations. It is us who are supposed to turn those expectations into reality. So the work should be error-free, delivered on time and is done the best possible. Client satisfaction will be my basic priority.”

19. “What motivates you?”

Talk about your role model and also why that person inspires or motivates you. Support yourself with a real life incident.

Sample Answer: “The person whom I look upto most is my mother, her management skills are so apt that I have actually a lot to learn from her…..”

20. “Will you be able to fire people?”

Remember, if you are good at teamwork, you will not be pro firing people. So maintain parity with your previous answers to avoid these tricks.

Sample Answer: But if it is related to company reputation then say, “I will not think twice before taking this decision of firing people.”

21. “On what grounds can you disagree with the fact- Boss is always right?”

Sample Answer: “A personality who can manage so many people at the same time. His level of dedication is enough to justify that he will not take any abrupt decision.” This will be enough to justify your statement.

22. “What salary you are expecting?”

Talk numbers clearly. Of course, you cannot expect to take back millions every month. But that doesn’t mean you will start with a very low amount. Also be open to negotiation.

Sample Answer: “I expect around…”

[Remember if you are a fresher, they might negotiate way too much, so check the market pay scale in your field and then decide on the final salary amount]

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23. “If you were an animal, which one will it be?”

This reflects your thinking and personality traits. So think twice before answering. You might have to justify what makes you think that you can be that animal.
Sample Answer: “I think I will be a dog. At least that’s what my wife tells me.”

24. “What was the first thought you had in your mind when you entered the office?”

Be positive and say something witty. Don’t talk about how nervous you were to crack the final round interview. In the final round, a bit of humor will not be disapproved.

Sample Answer: “The coffee here is excellent as I remember from my first round. So right after I enter, I went to have a good cup of coffee. If I get a job here, probably this is the thing that I will be doing right after I enter the office.”

25. “Do you have anything to ask us?”

Clear your doubts there and then. Yes! This makes them realize that you are interested and eager to work here. Just make sure you ask relevant questions. Also, you can ask about after interview follow ups.

Sample Answer: “Thank you for giving me this opportunity. It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to a positive answer. Sorry I had been a bit too excited. Thank you.”

End your interview positively, say thank you before leaving.

There is one more thing that you need to keep in mind if you are a fresher. There are high chances that you will have a group discussion before getting through the first round. So prep up for that too! [Do You Have Any Questions?] [20 Excellent Questions You Can Ask During an Interview!]

Group Discussion (GD)

Usually, companies hiring freshers will get much more applicants. This is why there are analytical, and aptitude rounds which need to be cleared and your actual course of the interview starts with the group discussion. A panel member will be present who will provide you with a set of topics on which a group of interviewee has to speak.

Some important topics are:

26. “The present market scenario and regulation of cash can be improved in what ways?”
27. “To ace in your position, should you opt for smart work or hard work?”
28. “How many roles do grades play in shaping your professional career?”
29. “Is media advertisement a biased product of capitalism?”
30. “What do you think is encouraging and initiating state-sponsored terrorism?”
31. “Is fashion and lifestyle an integral part to survive?”
32. “What do you think can improve the condition of environment?”
33. “The culture of sports is now hyped with a player’s personal life. Is it correct?”
34. “If you are to be the CEO, 10 things that you will change and why?”
35. “Commercialization of health care is a way to height economy.”

These are some of the ongoing topics that can be discussed as per the socio-political and economic aspect. You can have your views and opinion on them that will help to create a distinct idea to establish your viewpoint. Now the point it, how will you make a mark in GD?

Quick tips you need to follow in GD:

Summarize your entire point of view at the end. Example, “At this moment I conclude, to ace in the position offered to me by the company, I need to put my hard work in a smart manner so that in short period, I can provide a better profit margin. As we all know time is money. Thank you.”

Be patient and just make sure that you know what you are speaking and how logical it sounds.

With all these information and pre-preparation, you can now start applying soon. Preparing from beforehand will help in boosting your confidence as well. So be ready and go for your interview!