“Tell me about yourself.” While this isn’t exactly a question, this is almost always the first set of words you are bound to hear in any interview and answering this the wrong way could really hurt your chances of getting a job. No matter how many interview tips you read, it all boils down to how you practice for this particular question.
Always prepare well for this. Do not mug up your answer and then blurt it out like you used to do in school. Make a list of points that you want to tell. And most recruiters are not interested in how much you got or in your school and 12th or where you did your schooling from. So be smart. If you are a fresher, talk about your interests, experiences related to the role you have applied for, give examples, show that you are knowledgeable, then about your hobbies that can make you look cool (do not lie though). If the interviewer is still calm and expecting you keep talking, talk about how you got to know of the opportunity and why you did not hesitate to apply for it followed smart questions.
Make sure you know your resume in and out and whatever is written in your resume, expect questions on it. Always have examples ready if you have written that you are a team player, if you have written people skills is your strength. And more importantly it is important to have a winning resume. Spend time and effort on making your resume, get expert help if required because the first step in getting that job is your resume, right?
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” It’s easy to talk about your strengths; you’re detail oriented, hard working, a team player, etc.–but these are the answers every candidate is bound to give. A smarter approach would be back up your answer with examples.
For example: "I am a very patient guy. Once my team found a really bad bug on the final day of the project and the developers had already left. The priority was to fix the bug and release the product to the clients so I went out of my way contact the developers, explain them the situation and negotiate with them to have the bug fixed immediately instead of fighting over whose fault it was (ofcourse, the blame game was for another day) and by the end of it, we delivered the project on time with all the issues fixed."
If you have observed, the candidate has spoken about his leadership, knowing priorities, commitment to deliver on time, negotiation skills, management and people skills while he started saying one of his strengths was patience.
Talking about weaknesses can be tricky. Never talk about a real weakness unless it’s something you’ve defeated. “Many hiring managers are hip to the overused responses, such as, ‘Well, my biggest weakness is that I work too hard so I need try to take it easy once in a while.’ The best answer is to discuss a weakness that you’ve turned around, such as, you used to come in late to work a lot but after your supervisor explained why it was necessary for you to come in on time, you were never late again.” Or you were a very shy person initially an introvert and had issues talking to large groups of people but you have overcome it.
“Where do you want to be five years from now?” “What employers are really asking is, ‘Is this job even close to your presumed career path? Are you just applying to this job because you need something? Are your long-term career plans similar to what we see for this role? How realistic are your expectations for your career? Have you even thought about your career long-term? Are you going to quit after a year or two?’
Show them that you’ve done some self-assessment and career planning. Let them know that you hope to develop professionally and take on additional responsibilities at that particular company. “Don’t say something ridiculous like, ‘I don’t know,’ or “I want yourjob,” she says.
An expert says no one can possibly know where they’ll be in their career five years from now but hiring managers want to get a sense of your commitment to the job, the company, and the industry. “In fact, I would even mention that it’s hard for you to know what job title you may hold five years from now but ideally, you’d like to have moved up the ladder at this company based on your performance. You’re hopeful to be in some management position and your goal is to help the company any way you can.”
“Please give me an example of a time when you had a problem with a supervisor/co-worker and how you approached the problem.” the hardest thing about work isn’t the work, it’s the people at work, Most employees have a problem with a supervisor or co-worker at some point in their career. How they handle that problem says a lot about their people skills. If you can explain to the interviewer that you were able to overcome a people problem at work, this will definitely help your chances of getting the job, he says.
Giving answers to such questions can be hard and it is always good to be prepared. Practice your interview with your friend or a family member you are comfortable with. Set up mock interviews with an expert in the industry if possible for best results. If you are applying for a role of a PM in the IT industry, set up a mock interview with a PM in the IT industry. Give the mock interview, get feedback, discuss about your performance, work on your shortcomings and be prepared for the D-Day.
“What are your salary requirements?” “What employers are really asking is, ‘Do you have realistic expectations when it comes to salary? Are we on the same page or are you going to want way more than we can give? Are you flexible on this point or is your expectation set in stone?’”
Try to avoid answering this question in the first interview because you may shortchange yourself by doing so, tell the hiring manager that if you are seriously being considered, you could give them a salary range–but if possible, let them make the first offer. Study websites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com to get an idea of what the position should pay. “Don’t necessarily accept their first offer,” he adds. “There may be room to negotiate.”
When it is time to give a number, be sure to take your experience and education levels into consideration, your geographic region, since salary varies by location. Speak in ranges when giving figures, and mention that you are flexible in this area and that you’re open to benefits, as well. “Be brief and to the point, and be comfortable with the silence that may come after.”
“Why are you leaving your current job?” Hiring managers want to know your motivation for wanting to leave your current job. Are you an opportunist just looking for more money or are you looking for a job that you hope will turn into a career? If you’re leaving because you don’t like your boss, don’t talk negatively about your boss–just say you have different work philosophies. If the work was boring to you, just mention that you’re looking for a more challenging position. “Discuss the positives that came out of your most recent job and focus on why you think this new position is ideal for you and why you’ll be a great fit for their company.”
“Why should I hire you?” A hiring manager may not ask you this question directly but every question you answer in the interview should contribute to helping them understand why you’re the best person for the job. “Stay focused on why your background makes you an ideal candidate and tell them how you are going to contribute to that department and that company, let the interviewer know that one of your goals is to make their job easier by taking on as much responsibility as possible and that you will be excited about this job starting on day one.”
Good luck for that interview and it always pays to be prepared. After all, isn't the job you are looking for a gateway to the life you are dreaming of, your ambitions, your families expectations? Get expert help for your interview prep. Set up mock interviews with industry experts who are actual working professionals with experience of more than 1000 interviews.