Friday, August 8, 2008


Candidates struggle to provide suitable responses for a few commonly asked questions during interview. Adequate research and proper preparation will help overcome the initial hiccups and making it a success during any interview process. Let us take a look at the few below mentioned commonly asked questions so as to come out with flying colors from interview.

Tell me about yourself

This is the first and foremost question asked during the interview and it is posed to break the ice. The intention is to keep the candidate cool and also extract maximum from this open ended question. The common mistakes the candidate usually commit at this time is by narrating the family information or by boosting or boasting about himself or herself. In fact what is expected by the employer is the traits and attributes which are essential for the employment. The candidate should be in a position to reply for this question from three dimensions such as skills, academic and personal. Every employer expects skills set, mindset and tools set and when the applicant displays and demonstrates the same the probability of getting employment is brighter.

What are your greatest strengths?

Do not generalize by saying that I am dedicated and disciplined. In stead of which be specific and objective and give valid explanations so that the employer gets satisfied with your responses. And it avoids you getting probed further since you have already explained in detail. For instance, say where you have worked in teams without any conflict and succeeded in completing the project work or given task. It indicates your team spirit with valid justification.

What are your weaknesses?

Here is the trap where applicant makes mistakes. Try to project and present the weakness in such a way that it indirectly helps the employer to select you. Say, for instance, that you are a perfectionist and at times it causes problem for your colleagues. Or you may also say that you are impatient to achieve your targets, which is an indication that you are highly task oriented and highly aggressive. This kind of answer is suitable especially when you go for any marketing job. And also try to avoid interpersonal weaknesses with co-workers and supervisors as it puts you in a weak position. Everybody knows that we all have weaknesses. A few people wrongly put it by saying that ‘I do not have any weaknesses’ and to be candid that itself is a weakness. Remember, not to have any weakness is also a weakness.

Tell us about how you have resolved a conflict

Everyone faces conflict at one way or the other way. But the ability to tackle the same requires maturity, thoughtfulness and spontaneity. At the corporate world there would be conflicts regularly and there has to be proper fire fighting and trouble shooting. At the time of interview honestly reply how you encountered conflict and how you handled it with tact. Any conflict can be handled by SHARE approach. SHARE is the acronym for Situation, Hindrance, Actions, Result and Evaluation. Whenever confronted with conflict, observe the situation by empathizing, find out the obstacles involved and what action is needed to resolve the same. Consequently, look at the result of your actions and evaluate the same for proper feedback.

Why do you want to work for us?

Having done the research about the company you decide to join then explain the same with justification for willing to join the organization. Create a very good impression by highlighting the reasons. Every employer looks to hear greatness about the company as the way every individual loves to listen his greatness from others’ mouth. Match your career goals with the organization’s culture and philosophy. Talk about the skills that can be used in the job position. Demonstrate your passion while giving this reply.

What do you know about our company?

Having done research about the company start explaining since when the company was established, number of employees working, the area of business, the major products or services, major competitors, the recent growth and changes and if it is in the news in the recent past for good reasons highlight the same. Your answer shows your research towards the company and the eagerness to join.

What are your salary expectations?

If this question is posed at the beginning of the interview itself, politely tell the employer by saying that we would discuss the same later and proceed for the routine interview. If the employer likes your abilities then he does not mind paying you more.

Do extensive research about the salary and what the other companies of the same sector paying. Get the figures from online salary surveys and also from the people in the field. Don’t quote and be tactful to get the salary figure comes first from the employer. If the employer does not reveal then open your cards. Don’t quote more or less but quote just reasonable as you have already done survey in this regard.


There is no fixed and appropriate answer for all the questions. But what is required is to display and demonstrate the qualities the employer is looking for. You need to customize your answers as per the context and as per the vision and mission of the employer. Ultimately what the employer wants is more important than what you have. Nobody would like to have a round peg in neither a square hole nor a square peg in a round hole. Every employer just wants round peg in a round hole and a square peg in a square hole. Therefore, next time when you go for any interview go fully prepared with the above basic questions and come out successfully with employment offer.



camilyn said...


You've nice blog. A lot of people these days don't know whether they are acquiring appropriate wage for their profession. To be clear one can check on the web salary comparison websites to know what other corporations offer for the same position. For instance to compare wage of an analyst one can just type analyst salary in a salary comparison website like Whatsalary.com

Nicola said...


I read this post two times.

I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

Source: IT interview questions

Best regards