Interview Tips: Most commonly asked questions.

interview tips for Freshers: Most commonly asked Questions
#1 Tell me about Yourself.
From the freshers standpoint, we just expect you to introduce your name, highest qualification, strengths, hobbies, significant achievements(academics/sports/etc.) and your career ambition, and your favorite quotation, if any that will help us understand what kind of an individual you are. Make sure you have a very confident & polite tone and focus on the recruiter’s eyes.

#2 What is your strength?
You can discuss any of the traits discussed on this blog. Make sure you use some stories, and quotes to create a strong impact on the interviewer.

#3 What is your weakness?
As a thumb rule, you should never discuss your weakness with anybody. You should probably tell them to find it themselves and let you know so that you may improve on the same, as you never thought about it to date. You may politely let them know that you can share some significant strengths about yourself if they wish to know. In case they still insist, you should try saying about some weakness which is actually a strength from their point of view. Ex- I am too focused on my work, and sometimes I tend to skip my lunch, not very often though as I am mostly good at my time management & planning.

#4 Can you tell me something about any recent movie you watched?
In this scenario, you are expected to describe any movie that has a moral, you just need to focus on the content of the movie and display a clear and confident tone. Do ensure you explain the objective that the director wanted to convey to the people through his movie. It’s purely to check your communication skills.

#5 What is a Good Customer Service?
Customer Service is patiently & actively listening to the customer’s problem so that you can identify and offer the best solution for his problem to create a positive feeling towards our service. Aim to offer a solution that he gives “wow” feedback and also recommends your service to his other peers and friends. Listening plays an important role as you listen you will get to know something new to learn, when you say something it’s just repeating something you already know.

#6 Why do we ask about analytical /logical/reasoning Questions?
Most organizations ask these kinds of questions if the Job Profile demands such a skill set. Ex if we are hiring for Collections Executive, Billing Executive, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Reconciliations, Taxation, etc as your work would revolve around basic calculations, however, most MNCs restrict to Ratios, Simple Interest, Percentages, Multiplications, Divisions, Time & Work, etc which are very basic, to test your mathematical skills. So ensure you are prepared before attempting such opportunities.

#7a) Imagine an electric train moving from “East” to “West”, in case if it emits smoke whats the direction in which the smoke will travel?
Any guesses? Any trials … The answer is “Well, I would love to answer this question if an electric train emits some smoke!!! Remember electric train runs on electricity and doesn’t emit any smoke.

#7b) Imagine you are participating in a running race and you overtake the second person in a race what’s your position now?
Most of them answer it as “first” because the subconscious state of mind generally registers first comes before second, however, this is incorrect because in a race if you overtake the second person you will take his place which means “second”.

#7c) Rita and Sita are born to the same parents, at the same time on the same date. They both look alike with no differences at all. They joined the same school and the Teacher asked them if they were twins. To this question, they replied that they were not twins. What could be the answer?

We are checking your out-of-box thinking capability here. The answer is they are not twins because they are triplets.

#8 How do you deal with angry customers?
This is a question where you need to explain to the recruiter that you would listen to the customer first to try to understand his problem area, if required you will probe him to get more information about the problem area and once you are clear about his problem, you would offer him the required help and assist him to come out of the situation. This talks about your helping attitude towards solving someone’s problem by attentive listening.

#9 How long will you work with us if we select you?
If selected, I will try my best to prove myself at work for the next 2 years, during these 2 years I will strive hard to prove myself as a valuable asset to our organization. Post 2 years if we are mutually satisfied with each other I will look forward to a long-term association. It’s good to be genuine to recruiters, we appreciate realistic answers rather than false commitments stating “lifelong”, etc which you are not sure of yourself.

#10 How would you define Growth?
It’s a positive feeling. It could be in terms of knowledge, constant learning, or work enlargement. Real growth is when you start checking and correcting yourself. Strength & growth come only through continuous effort and struggle……Napoleon Hill

#11 Why did you leave your last company?
Remember recruiters have your complete information in your resume and they would certainly want to understand the reason for your Job Change & your stability at your previous organization. Never ever say anything bad about your previous company. Acceptable reasons would be for better roles & responsibilities, looking for better prospects, in search of challenging responsibility, in case of any additional skill set you acquired and this job demands that as a requirement you may say to utilize my learning skills in a better way, could be for better learning, etc.

#12 Why do you think I should hire you?
You should ensure to speak something about the skills we discussed in PD(web page), which of the traits best describes your personality, and represent that trait with true spirit. Try to understand the Job Description(JD) & once you have this first-hand information try talking about some specific skill set that the recruiter is looking for which is readily available in the JD. Ensure you don’t talk about the trait you actually don’t possess. This can backfire on you.

#13 Tell me something about your most significant achievement in your life to date.
You should talk about some challenging situations in life and how did you face it. This should ideally describe your capability like completing huge tasks on time by stretching at work when your project deadlines arrived close by, maybe talking about how you handle situations under huge pressure, etc.

#14 What do you understand by Job Satisfaction?

Anything that you love doing and it should allow you to enter into one of the most creative periods of your life. Not everyone gets an opportunity to do what they love doing. You got to find what you love. Remember,” Your work is going to fill a large portion of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

#15 Where do you like to see yourself in the next 5 Years?

You should be talking about doing something productive and creating some value for the system. Ensure you give genuine timelines, or as per company policy, if you are aware of it. I would give my best and try competing with myself. Every day I try to improve my performance from the previous day to the present, basis on my hard work I will be happy wherever I am because I know, above all the sky is the limit. This is the best way to deal with this question.

 

Interview Tips for Experienced Professionals: Most commonly asked Questions
#1 What do you know about Team Management?

Here you should be talking about how you strategically link your KRA’s to your team KRA’s and how you ensure they succeed in delivering their KRA’s. You may wish to discuss your ways to keep them motivated, counsel them, and engage them. etc. You should be talking about various L&D sessions you conduct for your team and helping them grow because your growth is directly linked to their contribution at work.

#2 What do you know about Stakeholder Management?

Here you should be explaining about how you identify your key stakeholders, their requirements, how you plan and communicate about the execution of your plan with key stakeholders, your review process, and how periodically you do it and take corrective measures if necessary in discussion with key stakeholders. You are expected to talk about some internal politics which you successfully avoided by winning the support of key stakeholders.

#3 What do you know about Strategic Management?

It starts with a strategic planning process followed by a built-in review, improvement, and learning activities. To derive the best results it has to be aligned with the organization’s Vision, Mission & Key Metrics, it further requires the identification of breakthrough objectives, setting & deployment of annual objectives with a top-down & bottom-up communication approach, with a review mechanism & problem-solving approach. The final step should be to reflect & learn from the entire process and document the same.

#4 What do you know about Leadership?

There might be many Leadership Theories, and you are expected to choose your favorite Leadership style you prefer most often. Here the recruiter wishes to meet the Leader within you and tries to check if you have the courage, patience, never give up attitude, innovation & creativity, tenacity not to submit yourself under pressure, ownership, and problem-solving skills, that he expects from the role he wants to offer you. Always remember that a Leader should be a Visionary, Educator, Innovator, Motivator, Communicator & Facilitator.

#5 List down a few of your best retention strategies.

If the role demands people management, this is a sure-shot question you may expect. He wants to understand how you retain your top performers. Maybe you should talk about some examples where you attempt to inspire your team, engage them, show them a larger picture of the company’s vision and their key role to accomplish the same, care for them let them know they are important to you, rewarded counseled or motivated them, etc.

#6 How would you drive a performance culture within your team?

Here you should be talking about how you measure your team’s performance and rank them accordingly, share regular developmental feedback, provide opportunities for cross-training, and create backups to ensure your team has a healthy work-life balance. You may also talk about any incentives you reward your team or recognize them with not necessarily monetary it could also be non-monetary benefits that do all the magic.

#7 What would you do to ensure your team is actively engaged?

You are expected to talk about how you develop a sense of mutual commitment within your team members towards their personal and professional selves. May be offering them a learning atmosphere that they strive for, celebrating their success, and birthdays, recognizing their efforts with handwritten greeting cards, and appreciation emails, sharing developmental feedback, constantly holding counseling & review sessions, offering them non-monetary benefits like paid holidays, work from home options, etc. Active Engagement is all about capturing the minds and hearts of your team members so that they tend to offer you above and beyond their actual performance which ensures your business gets super duper results.

#8 Can you recollect any disciplinary Issues you had come across within your team, how did you deal with it?

Here you can discuss any development feedback or impact statement you shared with your team member and then reviewed his performance on a regular basis to avoid such disciplinary issues from repetition. Eg- “When I receive the report after our agreed upon deadline, it affects my ability in meeting my own deadlines and impacts negatively our teams’ performance.” You may give some examples of how you share such feedback with the team explaining the impact statement and also set periodic reviews to correct his behavior.

#9 What are the criteria for performance measurement within your team?

You may discuss the KRAs you design for your team members and how well or closely you link them to certain strategies. You should also discuss both measurable KRAs and behavioral KRAs that help to rank your team member’s performance and the care you take to ensure there is a fair ranking system followed. You should also be talking about periodic reviews you conduct and developmental feedback being shared for them to work on a regular basis. You should also discuss how or what kind of support you offer to low performers within your team post reviewing their performance at various intervals.

#10 What’s your opinion of Change Management, how do you drive it within your team?

To implement any new changes within the team it is important to gain the trust of the team members, align them with the vision of the organization, encourage them to solve problems instead of avoiding them, encourage them to participate enthusiastically, take ownership & accountability, make them feel responsible for the implementation of the plan, replace authority with personal knowledge & skill sharing, prepare them to align themselves to the new changes and breaking any stereotypes if any, create an environment of interpersonal trust so that team members willingly accept the change.

#11 How would you deal with failure in your life?

I believe that Failures are stepping stones to Success. Many quit when they fail & in most cases when they are just 1 step away from being successful. I say to myself, Not to worry, and think about great leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Nelson Mandela who all developed a great tenacity not to submit under pressure every time they failed they bounced back, every time they fell down they got up. You may describe any learning you learned from your failure.” A smooth sea never makes a skillful Mariner “. Similarly always remember, “Kites fly against the wind, not with the wind.”

#12 How would you deal with Conflict within your team?

It’s important to listen to both parties one on one, when you listen they tend to speak out, ensure you win their trust and take an unbiased decision and express your opinion by setting an inviting climate by building rapport with them during your conversation. You may quote an example where you acted as a catalyst and ensured the above process was followed without disturbing the overall objective of “esprit de corps”(a feeling of pride and mutual loyalty shared by the members of a group) post-conflict resolution.

#13 How would you prioritize your work on a daily basis?

Every day you think ” If today is going to be the last day of my life, what do I want to do and what am I supposed to do today?” Almost everything (ie pride, fear of embarrassment or failure, etc,) falls away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important which is of high priority that needs your complete attention. Remembering that you are going to die today is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

#14 What has been your greatest learning to date?

You may discuss a series of learning you may have undergone from self-management to team/people management. You may explain to them that you believe that innovation & creativity distinguishes a leader from a follower, and hence you invest your time in constant learning. You may also say your greatest learning is “It’s OK if you don’t win, but NOT OK if you Quit/give up from doing something.”

#15 What’s your understanding of Attrition Management?

You may discuss how connected you stay with your team members and keep studying their pulse regularly to detect any sensors that you receive about their reasons for dissatisfaction/ disengagement. It is important to proactively avoid attrition of top performers within your team rather than manage attrition once they express their opinion. Once an employee decides to resign, you can’t do much about it other than letting him go away as he is switched off and doesn’t care anymore. When it comes to low performers, you need to consider that as positive or healthy attrition and try to create backups by looking at available better resources to top up your talent pool.

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