Top Interview Questions and Answers: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing For a Job Interview

An interview is a process that gives the recruiter an idea about someone as a person and their decision-making as well as technical skills. The recruiter would also want to put a candidate through a  series of situational scenarios to get an idea about their work-related skills. 

If a candidate has reached the job interview stage of recruitment, that means that they have already surpassed a majority of the recruitment process successfully. According to a study, only 15 to 17% of the actual applicants reach the interview stage in a recruitment process. But instead of celebrating, it is obvious the candidate will feel nervous and apprehensive about the interview. Interviews, especially for something that we are looking forward to, can really be scary. To help candidates with that, here is the ultimate guide.

If one looks closely at the purpose of an interview, one would understand how to prepare for it. Understanding the motive behind it would give the candidate an idea in terms of what kind of questions can be expected out of it.

An interview is a process that gives professional recruiters like BetterPlace an idea about someone as a person and their decision-making as well as technical skills. The recruiter would also want to put a candidate through a series of situation questions to get an idea about their work-related skills.

Read on to understand job interview questions and tips to prepare for those.

  1. Questions related to the candidate

At the beginning of an interview, “Can you tell us about yourself?” is the question that an interviewer would most probably begin with. In the initial part of the interview, the interviewers are interested in knowing the candidate as a person before getting to the technical part of the interview. So they would ask candidates questions about themselves and how their journey till now has been.

The common interview questions in this part would sound like this:

  • Tell me something about yourself?
  • Tell me about your journey till now
  • Tell me what has brought you to this stage?
  • Tell me about your previous experiences? etc.

As mentioned earlier, these questions help the interviewers get an idea of a candidate’s background and journey so far.

One can prepare the answers for these questions beforehand knowing these are the questions that will be asked in the interview. Candidates can prepare points for these answers and can revise multiple times before the interview so that they do not fumble in front of the interview panel.

The following tips should be kept in mind while preparing answers to questions like these.

  • Candidates should talk about their prominent influences that affect their ideology. It might be any person or their own thoughts. This gives the interview panel an idea about how they perceive the world as a person.
  • Candidates should try and encapsulate their journey, in brief, covering the important milestones instead of talking about every step in detail. Interviews only last for so long hence, each minute needs to be used wisely.
  • Candidates should stick to professional details as much as possible and not refrain from sharing any particular incidents that may have changed their outlook and motivated them to take up a particular field.
  1. Technical skills based questions

Any manual to job interview questions and answers would blindly ask candidates to go through some theory before an interview. The technical skills related questions are based on education and specification. These questions try to gauge conceptual strength and basic knowledge of the subject that would be required to work well on the job.

The following tips can be used to prepare for these questions.

  • Brushing up on basics and understanding the application part of it.
  • A candidate may have graduated a few years ago. So, they should try and upgrade their knowledge based on recent research.
  • Formulate opinions about the feasibility of various theories in today’s day and age and what can be alternatives to them.
  • If candidates have found out about any interdisciplinary research that complements existing theories in their respective field, they need to make a mention of that.
  1. Simulation-based questions

Simulation-based questions focus on understanding candidates for their soft skills and other essential personality qualities that permit them to perform well on the job. This is an important part of job interview questions that define their ability to use the technical skills mentioned above appropriately and work in teams.

One can keep the following points in mind while preparing for the same.

  • Take some time to think and reflect on the situation given. Formulate points and then begin to answer.
  • Explain the thought processes behind the answers.
  • One may not have all aspects of the situation figured out but one can definitely mention it as a consideration.
  • Ask for more clarity about the situation if need be.
  1. Future-oriented questions

Future-oriented questions are geared towards understanding how candidates would want to develop their career. Through these questions, the company is trying to understand if there is an overlap between a candidate’s goals and the company’s goals.

The common interview questions in this part would sound like this:

  • Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
  • What are your goals for the next 5 years and how do you plan on achieving them?
  • How do you want to develop your career?
  • How do you think your skills would help the company grow? etc.

Here are a few tips to prepare for these kinds of questions:

  • Think about a long term plan and divide it into short term goals.
  • Make a list of certifications, courses, short term training that are in the pipeline.
  • Think about the company’s values and how they can be merged with individual values.

General guidelines and tips for interview

Apart from these tips about questions to ask in an interview, candidates need to know a few more things about the overall presentation in an interview.

  • Dress well for the interview but it does not have to be over the top. One should wear comfortable clothes
  • Reach well in time. Plan the travel accordingly.
  • Carry all the necessary documents along and their photocopies.
  • In case one does not know the answer to any of the questions, it needs to be stated politely.
  • Do not hesitate to ask the interview panel questions, if there are any.

An interview is a test of how well a person presents themself. So, candidates need to work on their presentation skills and building confidence. These soft skills will take them places.

Alternatively, are you a hiring manager or the owner of your company? Do you have vacancies that need to get filled? If you are looking for the right team for your hiring needs, please contact us at BetterPlace.

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