Interview Questions & Answers

1. Interview Questions

During an interview, the questioning can come from both directions. The interviewers might ask you about your prior job experiences while you might have many questions about the job opening or the company structure.

Example of interview questions that you might be asked:

a. On your work history:

When you are asked questions related to your current or previous jobs, it is important to be positive and specific about what you did in your previous role. Most importantly, be honest and don’t exaggerate.

Question 1: What were your responsibilities?

Answer: The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and try to relate to those listed in the job description for the new position that you are interviewing for. Focus most on your responsibilities that are directly related to the new job’s requirements. This way, the interviewer will find that you have the relevant experience to do the job.

Question 2: What major problems or challenges did you face? How did you handle them?

Answer: It is always good to include specific examples on how you handled a particular difficult situation, discuss how you researched the issue and contributed to finding a solution. An example of a good response is: “When our software development project got delayed, I coordinated the team which managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems successfully, within a very short period of time.”

b. About you:

Usually such questions are considered tough during an interview. They are often vague and will tend to lead to a vague response.

Question 1: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Answer: The recommended way to answer this question will be to talk about your education and some of your recent work experiences. Be careful not to talk about things that are too personal or out of context.

Question 2: What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Answer: It is easy to tell the interviewer about your strength, the best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.

As for the weakness, always try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, I would say that I am a perfectionist and would want to triple check my work before submitting. This will take more time than usual to complete my work. Although I have never missed any deadline, it is still an effort for me to know when to move to the next task. I’ve learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage at work. I am excellent at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know my work is correct.

c. About the new job and the company

Question 1: What do you know about our company?

Answer: This is a typical interview question they will ask so as to find out how much company research you have conducted. Based on your answer to this question, interviewer will be able to find out how keen you are in joining this company. It is important to find out more information about your prospective employer, start by doing an online search about the company profile and read forums that discuss about it.

Question 2: What interests you about this job?

Answer: Tell the interviewer what is the particular job function that caught your attention and describe the qualifications listed in the job posting, then connect them to your skills and experience. That way, the prospective employer will see that you know about the job you are interviewing for and that you have the attitude and aptitude to do the job.

Asking Questions during an interview:

During the close of the interview, it is your turn to ask questions! Remember that you can also ask questions so as to assess whether the job is a good fit for you! It can also show the interviewer that you interested in the job.

Examples of good questions you can ask:

  1. Can I find out a little about the team members that I will be working with?
  2. Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
  3. Would you like a list of references?
  4. When can I expect to hear from you?
  5. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

It is important to avoid asking inappropriate questions such as the number of days of sick leave you are entitled to and the company’s policy on coming to work late etc.

2. Answering interview questions

Job interviews are always stressful so you should stay positive and be prepared. Besides studying the possible interview questions and suggested answers above, there are some ways you can present yourself in the best possible light:

(i) Give clear and concise answers

  1. Before responding, think through the answers.
  2. Talk about the facts and avoid talking about characters that you’ve encountered in the past
  3. If you are unsure whether you are answering to the point, you should check with the interviewers.
  4. Finally, practice on the possible questions with a friend and go for the interview prepared and confidently.

(ii) Using examples to support your answers

If you are able to answer the tough questions not only with a positive response but with examples to support it, it will leave a good impression to the interviewer effectively. For example, when the interview question is “Are you a team player?”, besides giving a simple “yes”, you should be able to describe a scenario where you are part of a team in your previous job, what you did as a team player and the outcome of the team work.

(iii) Remain in control during interviews

To remain in control during interviews, it means that you are to be able to avoid falling in certain traps of a tricky question. For example, many jobs will require you to work independently and with others, so interviewers might ask you whether you like working in a team or independently. In such situation, you should give a diplomatic answer by telling them your success in working in both ways, rather than taking sides.

From the courtesy of THE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF TODAY’S CAREER PTE LTD. – 2011.