Most Common Interview Questions: 21 QnA to Know in 2024
The Interview is an essential part of selecting a candidate for the job. It is most effective for qualitative research. Interview questions are usually open-ended questions so that in-depth information can be collected.
What is an Interview?
An Interview is essentially a structured conversation where one participant asks questions, and the other provides answers. In common parlance, the word “Interview” refers to a one-on-one conversation between an interviewer and an interviewee.
Types of Interview:
An organization conducts different types of interviews. They are listed out below:
- Informational Interview
- Screening or Telephone Interview
- Individual Interview
- Small group or Committee Interview
- The second or On-site Interview
- Behavioral–Based Interview
- Task-Oriented or Testing Interview
- Stress Interview.
An informational Interview is also known as an informational meeting, coffee chat, etc. It is a conversation in which a person seeks insights on a career path, industry, gen2eral advice from someone who has experience in the area of Interest.
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In the Hiring process, the telephonic interview is conducted by employers in the initial stage. It is a type of data collection method where the interviewer communicates with the respondent on the telephone.
A personal or face-face interview employs a standard structured interview schedule. Most of the respondents are asked the same set of questions. It is a two-way conversation that involves the interviewer and the respondent.
Small-Group or Committee Interview:
Committee Interviews involve a panel or group of members of the company questioning the person to decide whether he/she is hired for the job. In general, the committee will not exceed 6 members.
The second or On-site Interview:
The interview that occurs at the company site is called an On-Site Interview. It might be conducted for several hours to a full day. It is a great chance for the person to get information about the corporate culture.
Behavioral Interview is where the interviewee is asked to provide examples from their past employment of specific situations and answer how they behaved in those particular circumstances.
The Task-Oriented or Testing Interview:
The Task-oriented interview is where you are asked to solve questions that might test your analytical, creative, problem-solving abilities. This method is mostly used by IT companies to find out the technical skills of the candidates.
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A Stress Interview is an interviewing style that the organization uses to gauge a candidate’s response to stress. This helps the hiring team to find out the emotional strength of the candidate. The interviewee will be able to find out how the candidate will respond to juggling between high-priority tasks, facing a difficult co-worker, dealing with challenging clients, etc.
To ace an interview the candidate should have the following Skills:
- Do your background research
- Be polite to everyone
- Body Language is very important
- Watch your real language
- Dress according to the Interview
- Be Attentive
- Speak Clearly
- Rehearse explaining your resume
- Stay Motivated
- Show Gratitude
These skills will help you during the interview process.
How to make Interview Time Productive?
One-on-One Interview lasts for nearly 45 minutes to 1 and half an hour. To make sure, you have created a positive impression in the allotted time, you can make up a plan and act accordingly:
Create an Interview Plan:
Before attending the interview, make a plan to ensure that the interview flows smoothly from beginning to end. Be punctual and arrive at the venue 10 minutes earlier. Keep all the interview materials (Resume, Cover Letter, Pen, Certificates, Notepad, etc.) ready and organized. If the interview is online, double-check the internet connections before the scheduled time.
Prepare answers to common questions:
Most hiring managers will have a standard set of questions in the hiring process. The candidates can prepare the answers for those questions, which will help in answering promptly without taking additional time.
Write down a list of questions:
Most of the recruiters will allow you to ask questions at the end of the interview. The candidate can research the organization and make a list of questions that he/she can ask them.
- What do you expect from team members in this position?
- Over time, will those expectations change?
- Typically, how will you spend the day in the company?
- What are the plans for the company and where do you see the company in the next 5 years?
- What are the next steps of the interview process?
Stay on the Topic:
The interviewer might be interesting based on their personality or according to their role in the company. You might want to ask more questions about the interviewer regarding their hobbies or position. Create a plan and that will help you remain in the allocated interview slot time.
Here are the 21 Most Common Interview Questions with Answers:
Tell about Yourself:
This is probably one of the most common interview questions. When answering this question, the goal should be to give a brief and concise walkthrough of your career story that will explain the information about your experience in the field “. You can start at the point where you began your work journey and end in the current position. Consider the important job requirements when you prepare for this answer. Keep it targeted and also concise.
You can provide evidence of your skills by making detailed information about your accomplishments that will set you apart from the other candidates. Research about the job and keep your answers focused on them.
What not to do:
Hiring managers list out the mistakes when answering this question:
- Do not recite the resume
- Do not discuss the personal problems
- Do not ramble on without focus to answer due to lack of preparation for the answer
- Do not use meaningless clichés.
Tips to follow:
- Research your company and the interviewers
- Dress appropriately for the Interview
- Keep eye contact and avoid distractions
- Be comfortable and confident
- Be aware of the body language
- Have a plan
- Rehearse your Introduction
What are your strengths?
During the hiring process, the interviewer will ask you to describe your strength. You will need to craft your answer with a high degree of self-awareness and professionalism.
Instead of weaving a story, you can craft a compelling way to deliver your answer while highlighting what you can bring to the position. Also, you have to be specific. Include a range of skills, like Knowledge-based skills, transferable skills, and personal traits to demonstrate your versatility.
List of Strengths:
- Continuous Learning
- Taking Initiative
What is your weakness?
Throughout the interview process, you will be asked tough questions. You have to be humble about explaining your weakness. When thinking about your weakness, you should essentially choose attributes that you are working towards changing the weakness into strength. If you are not able to find out your weakness, you can ask your friends or co-workers to help you discover and improve on it.
List of Weakness:
- Extremely Introverted
- Extremely Extroverted
- Creative Writing
- To detail-oriented
- Too sensitive
Once you find out your weakness, you will be able to set up success in your job.
4. What makes you choose our Organization?
You can speak about the reputation of the company and how the news about the CEO of the company inspired you.
5.Where do you see yourself in 5 years or 10 years?
This question can be both vague and realistic. You can consider the following steps and relate the answer:
- Do the research. Show the interviewer that you are prepared by researching the company.
- Imagine your future
- Relate your answer to the job
- Be ambitious, yet realistic
- Be clear with your ideas
- End your answer with a question.
6. What is the reason to leave the current company?
You can give the most effective and acceptable reasons for leaving your current job. You can say them, you desire for a career change, desire to gain a new skill, grow a current skill.
7. Why was there a gap in your employment?
If there is a gap in your employment-related to travel or health, you can mention them to the hiring manager. The gap in employment happens and the hiring manager will realize this. If you have made it to the interview, they have should have liked something about your qualities or qualification.
What can you offer that someone else will not?
Highlight your unique experience and abilities. Talk about your experience, identify the key traits and you can inform that you will fit in the job, be a great strength to the organization.
What are the 3 things that you would like to improve on?
You can select any 3 topics that you really want to improve upon like
- Time Management
- Team Work
- Inter-Personal Skills
- Accepting Feedback
- Customer Service
- Flexibility, etc.
Are you willing to relocate?
You can either willingly accept the offer or subtly reject them. If you are willing, you can mention “ For the right opportunity, am definitely willing to relocate”. For instance, if you are not willing to relocate, you can mention “ I am currently not willing to relocate because of the particular reason, however, I will consider this offer in the future”.
Are you willing to travel?
If they are asking you an open-ended question about travel, you can answer in terms of percentage. You can mention it like “50% of the time, I can travel”. You can also mention that you can travel nationally or internationally, etc.
Mention an accomplishment you are proud of?
The interviewer would want to know about your accomplishments. This is the time, the Interviewer wants you to show off, so don’t be shy. Make a list of accomplishments and mention it to the interviewer. For example:
- Organizing a successful charity event
- Mentoring a co-worker
- Achieving a sales target
- Presenting a presentation at work
- Completing a marathon
- Receiving Awards
- Worked on special projects, etc.
You can also use the STAR (Situation, Task, Approach, and Result) method.
In the first part of the answer, you can explain the current situation you and your teammates are facing. This will provide a brief context of your accomplishments.
In this step, you can explain your role within the situation. The tasks you were assigned, the role you played in the situation, the skills you offered for the project.
In this part, you can explain “How you found the problem and solved it”. You can make this concise.
In this part, you can inform about the positive outcome of the work. You can provide concrete information with the numbers.
Give me an example of a mistake you made?
In the interview, when you are asked about a mistake you made, you can
- Explain the mistake you made, however, don’t dwell on the mistake
- Quickly change the topic
- Explain to them what you learned from the mistake
- You can explain the steps you took to solve the problem which arose out of the mistake.
What is your dream job?
The dream job could be mentioned as a mix of your current values and abilities you would like to develop. You can use the following steps to answer your dream job:
Mention the skills you want to use:
You can mention the current skills and how you can relate them to your job. The Interviewer would not expect you to know all the skills for the dream job.
Describe a job in general:
When you are speaking about your dream job, do not speak about the Job title. Talk about the responsibilities of the job. You can talk about your researches, which you are doing for the dream job.
Discuss your values:
You can discuss your values that will help your Interviewer access your motivational values. You can maintain a positive attitude.
Make your answer ready for the job you are Interviewing for :
Your answer should be related to your values and also it should be relevant to the position, you are applying for. Make sure to read the job description before preparing for the answer. If the job requirement is to work in a team, you can mention that you can enjoy working with others. If you are applying for leadership positions, then you can mention your supervisory responsibilities
How did you hear about this position?
You can mention the source in brief and to the point. You can mention:
- State the source- When you answer this question, the interviewer will be satisfied by how much research you did, before applying for the job.
- Mention the eye-catcher- You can tell the Interviewer, where you found about the job.
- Talk about your qualifications
- Sound clear and confident
- Mention them, who told you about the job.
What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days on the job?
You can inform the interviewer that you are willing to learn and these points might help you answer the question:
- Talk about “why”
- Ask co-workers “what they expect from you”
- Understand the aspects of your manager
- Get to know more information and ask lots of questions
- Learn a lot about the organization.
- Manage your responsibilities
- Keep a track of your progress
- Prove that you are reliable
Discuss your resume
If you are not fully informed about the job and the position you are applying for “discussing your resume” could be a tricky question.
Know your position:
Before applying for the job, know all the information about your position. Lean thoroughly about the organization.
Analyze your story:
You can explain where you started the job search, where you are up to now, and what position you are applying for now.
Analyze your skills:
You can talk about the skills you acquired in your previous jobs. If you are a newcomer, you can emphasize the skill sets you learned.
Prove “You are the apt person for the job”
Highlight all the points that prove, you are best for this job. Also, make sure to prove your skill sets. You should maintain calm throughout the interview.
Discuss your educational background
In this question, you can mention your formal and informal background education.
Tips to give information about your educational background:
- Give the information that is relevant and also recent.
- Highlight the educational background that relates to the job clearly.
- Make sure not to repeat the resume.
- Also, inform the interviewers about the certificates and extracurricular activities.
- Talk in the common language
This again is one of the most common interview questions. Most of the interviewers might ask you this question. You will have to be honest and make yourself look confident with the answer.
Tips to describe you:
Flexible and Resourceful:
Most of the projects have a deadline. There will be a lot of pressure to finish the project on time. To be able to work in a sophisticated environment, you have to be flexible and resourceful. So, mentioning this trait will make an impression on you to the interviewers.
You can use self-descriptive words to answer this. Also, make sure to keep it short. For example- Creative, Hard-working, Passionate about work, etc.
Many employers want you to fit in with the work culture and do the job effectively. When you are a cooperative person, the work could be done easily and also effectively.
Highlight your Knowledge:
The job position might need experienced candidates. Once you highlight your knowledge and experience, it would be easy for the employer to hire you for that particular position. However, keep the explanation short and clear.
Technology and the world change their trends tremendously. When you are a proactive learner, it would be easy for you to cope with the new working trends. So, the employer would be benefitted.
Emphasize the Expertise with numbers:
Most of the companies prefer result-oriented persons. Because that will help both the employee and the organization grow hand in hand. So, research about the organization and prove your expertise with numbers, and define them.
How have you handled a difficult situation?
Denying change in life will make your life miserable. So, adapting to change is the best way to handle a difficult situation. The tips to answer this question are:
- Before getting to work, exercise your frustrations
- Get a different perspective from an outsider.
- Stop complaining about the problem and start taking action.
- Why are you looking for a job change?
The interviewer wants the best employee. They wanted to make sure that, you prefer job change for better performance and work experience. Also, they do not want a person to leave the job because of bad performance, poor relationships; hate your boss, etc.
Why should we hire you?
You can mention the exceptional skills that would make you stand out in the crowd. It will be a great asset to the organization. Analyze the position of the job offered and introduce yourself as a problem solver. So, mention with a positive attitude, that you would like more challenges and career growth.
These are some of the most common interview questions. There are many more questions like, would you work holidays/weekends? How will you deal with an angry customer? What are your salary requirements? Who are our competitors? What was your biggest failure? What motivates you? What your availability? Who is your mentor?
And finally, Good luck with the interview.