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Tell me something about yourself?

This is the most common and very first question usually asked in any interview. When you
answer this question you usually have to tell about the following:
# Educational Qualifications: When you talk about educational qualifications, don't talk about
percentages unless they are very good. If you have made any achievements like topping
college academics or secured a gold medal make sure you tell about it.
# Family Background: Donot spend too much of time here. Let the interviewer know your
father's and mother's profession and how many siblings you have.
# Hobbies/Interests: This is very important section and be prepared for follow up questions. If
you say my hobby is reading books. Interviewer might ask a followup question like, what type of
books you usually read. If you say I read fiction books. The interviewer might ask you, Who is
your favourite author.
So be very careful when you are making up hobbies. It is better if your hobbies add value for the
type of job you are doing. For example if you are going for a software engineer interview, you
can say browsing internet as one of the hobby. If a software engineer has good browsing skills
he might find solutions online quickly and solve the problem at hand in less time. When you say
browing as one of your hobby, be prepared for the follow up interview questions like, What do
you usually browse on the internet? What is your favourite website? Who is your favourite
technical article writer?
# Strengths: Tell interviewer about your strengths with example. Examples of strengths are
listed below. Make sure you back up each strength with an example from your past experience.
* Hard Working in nature.
* Dedication.
* Commitment.
* Good Team player.
* Communication Skills
* Problem solving skills
* Taking Initiatives
* Beging Pro-active
* Design Skills
# Weakness: When ever you say you have a weakness, make sure you also have a plan and
working on it to over come your weakness.

* Too invloved : Some times when there is a technical issue or a problem I tend to work
continuously until I fix it without having a break. But what I have noticed and am trying to
practice is that taking a break away from the problem and thinking outside the square or taking
suggestions will assist you in identifying the root cause of the problem sooner.
* Over confident : Very rarely I become over confident, especially when a simple task is given, I
get to solving the issue without spending much time planning. So I am working on applying the
80/20 principle of planning and implementation. Spend 80% of my effort and time in planning
and 20% on implementation.

Beware, about 80% of all interviews begin with this innocent question. Many candidates,
unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving
into ancient work history or personal matters.
Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the position. Remember that the key
to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for.
In other words you must sell what the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy
in job hunting.
So, before you answer this or any question its imperative that you try to uncover your
interviewers greatest need, want, problem or goal.
To do so, make you take these two steps:
* Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this persons wants and needs
(not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
* As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what the position
entails. You might say: I have a number of accomplishments Id like to tell you about, but I want
to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do, that,
could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I
(heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even
more. Surprisingly, its usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is
most looking for.
You might ask simply, And in addition to that? or, Is there anything else you see as
essential to success in this position?:
This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer questions,
but only if you uncover the employers wants and needs will your answers make the most
sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, the process will feel
more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates youre competing
After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear

striking parallels to tasks youve succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with specific
examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which are geared to
present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just

Why should we hire you?

This is another common question asked in your interview. This question deals with your ability to
market yourself with the experience and skills you have. The interviewer is asking this question
to find out how can your skills and experience be a value add for the job you are being
interviewed for.
Answers that would get the interviewer's attention:
* I have three years of experience in this technology and my skills enables me to develop better
products in less time
* I have what it takes to fill the requirements of this job - solve customer problems using my
excellent customer service skills.
* I have the experience and expertise in the area of customer support that is required in this
This is a time to let the interviewer know what YOU can do for them and why they should listen
to what you have to offer. The more detail you give the stronger your answer will be. This is not
a time to talk about what you want. It is a time to summarize your accomplishments and relate
what makes you unique and therefore a viable fit for this position.
Look at the job description. Find out requirements of the job? Make a list of these requirements.
List your skills and think of two or three key qualities you have to offer that match each
requirement that the employer is seeking.
Other ways of asking the same question:
* What can you bring to this position?
* What can you bring to the table if selected?
* Why do you think you are qualified for this job?

What are your greatest strengths?

This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You dont want to come across as
egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.

You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewers greatest wants and needs
before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You
should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each strength, an example chosen
from your most recent and most impressive achievements.
You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your
achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken
awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you uncover your interviewers greatest wants and needs, you can choose those
achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their
employees are:
1. A proven track record as an achieverespecially if your achievements match up with the
employers greatest wants and needs.
2. Intelligencemanagement savvy.
3. Honestyintegritya decent human being.
4. Good fit with corporate culturesomeone to feel comfortable witha team player who
meshes well with interviewers team.
5. Likeabilitypositive attitudesense of humor.
6. Good communication skills.
7. Dedicationwillingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8. Definiteness of purposeclear goals.
9. Enthusiasmhigh level of motivation.
10. Confidenthealthya leader.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
Beware this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of
a weakness or fault will earn you an A for honesty, but an F for the interview.
Disguise a strength as a weakness.
Example: I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and
everyone is not always on the same wavelength.

Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but its so widely used, it is transparent
to any experienced interviewer.
(and another reason its so important to get a thorough description of your interviewers needs
before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can think of nothing that would
stand in the way of your performing in this position with excellence. Then, quickly review you
strongest qualifications.
Example: Nobodys perfect, but based on what youve told me about this position, I believe I d
make an outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do
they have the qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation to do it well? Everything in my
background shows I have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence in
whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that I see nothing that would cause you even a
small concern about my ability or my strong desire to perform this job with excellence.
Alternate strategy (if you dont yet know enough about the position to talk about such a perfect
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making sure that
what you like most matches up with the most important qualification for success in the position,
and what you like least is not essential.
Example: Lets say youre applying for a teaching position. If given a choice, I like to spend as
much time as possible in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back
at the office. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of filing paperwork properly, and I do
it conscientiously. But what I really love to do is sell (if your interviewer were a sales manager,
this should be music to his ears.)
Why are you looking for a change?
Don't talk bad about your current organisation, Manager or your co-staff.
What ever may be the reason why you left your present job, don't speak badly about your
previous employer. The interviewer may think, you will you will talk bad about his company next
time you're looking for another job.
Reasons why you might have left your job:
* They didn't pay you enough.
* Odd shift timings.
* You did not like the management.
* This new job offer pays much more than what you are getting now.
* You are fired for poor performance or bad code of conduct.
Answers that could get interviewer the attention:

* My organisation is very small and I have already spent 3 years and as there is no scope for
growth with my current employer and I'm ready to move on to a new challenge.
* I'm looking for a bigger challenge and to grow my career and I couldn't job hunt part time while
working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time.
* I'm relocating to this area due to family circumstances and left my previous position in order to
make the move.
* I am interested in a new challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and
experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.
* I was looking for a position like this which is an excellent match for my skills and experience
and I am not able to fully utilize them in my present job as there is very limited scope for
Other ways of asking the same question:
* Why are you leaving your job?
* Why did you leave your job?
* What made you leave your current job?
What do you like/dislike most about your current or last position?
What do you like/dislike most about your current or last position? The interviewer is trying to find
the compatibility between you and the open position you are being interviewed for.
So do not say anything like:
* You dislike overtime.
* You dislike management.
* You dislike your immediate manager or co-workers.
* You dislike deadlines.
It is safe to say:
* You like challenges.
* Opportunity to grow into design, architecture, performance tuning etc
* Opportunity to learn and/or mentor junior developers
* You dislike frustrating situations like identifying a memory leak problem or a complex
transactional or a concurrency issue. You want to get on top of it as soon as possible.

How do you handle pressure?

Another common interview question, asked to find out how well you can handle on-the-job
So do not say anything like:
* I dislike stress and cannot perform well under pressure. All organisations work with deadlines
and at times there will be a crucial need to work under pressure. This is the reason why most

interviewer's ask this question.

It is safe to say:
* First, I understand why there is a need to complete the given task at hand with in so less time
and react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't
become stressful.
* I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging
* Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when, has
helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.
* If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level, I discuss options for better
handling difficult situations with them.
What are your career goals? or Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
When you answer this question make sure you give realistic answers. For example a person
with 1 year of experience cannot say I would see myself as a Project Manager in the next 3
Every organisation has a career path and we have to spend the required time at each level,
learn the stuff what it takes to get it to the next level and move on. Hence set your expectations
* Next 2-3 years to become a senior developer.
* Next 3-5 years to become a team lead.
Also, let the interviewer know that in terms of my future career path, you are confident that if you
do your work with excellence, opportunities will come your way and you will be able to achieve
your career goals.

How did you handle your most challenging experience in your previous job?
Think of a stressfull thing that happened at your last job. Then write a short description of what it
was and what you did. Did you work to resolve the problem? Did you remove yourself from the
problem and let other handle it? Stuff like that. Just a short explaination of what happened.
This is more related to problem solving., first, think of a problem you had in you work and what
is the action/ solution you have taken to resolve. It is always better to explain the point in logical
order with a good example.
When answering a question like this, you should always try and remember two things:
* use an example.
* use the word 'teamwork'.

Employers want to know how you handle stress, how you worked through that problem, and if
you're a team player.
If you are a fresher with no work experience or does not have any challenging experience, talk
to your seniors or people who has experience. They may give you some examples.
How will your qualification help you in doing this job?
If your qualification is suitable to the job you've applied for, explain how your qualification helps
you. In case your qualification doesn't match with the job profile, be honest and speak about
your interest in doing the job and skills you wish to acquire by doing it.
What do you know about our organization?
This question is bound to be asked, so be prepared. Go to the interview after you are done with
your homework. Check out the company's website for all details regarding its production, sales
and profits.
Why do you wish to join our organization?
Talk about the company's worth and prestige and also talk about its healthy work ambience
which you desire to be a part of. Talk about the learning experience the company provides.
Relate it to your long term career goals.
What is your expected salary/CTC?
If you are a fresher, tell them that you are okay with whatever pay is assigned to a fresher. If you
have prior work experience, tell them you'd like to have a pay your experience commands. Don't
quote a figure. Instead, ask them to quote a range.
How have your strengths helped you in getting your work done?
Start by mentioning your strengths. If you are a fresher, describe an instance from your college
or university where you've accomplished a certain task, courtesy your strengths. In case you
have worked previously, try to mention an event from this period where you have exhibited your
Where do you see yourself two years from now?
Say something like: "I see myself in a responsible position as a senior member of a team which
works for the growth of the organization." Whatever you say, make sure you emphasize on
teamwork and growth of the organization.

Below are the Interview Questions, which were asked in HR Round. No one will GET
second chance to impress. Very very Impressive Questions and Answers. Question 1:
Question 1: You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when
suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. An old friend who once saved your life. The
perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one
passenger in your car?
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.
* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect
chance to ! pay him back.
* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.
Guess what was his answer?
He simply answered:
"I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay
behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."
Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never
forget to "Think Outside of the Box."
Questions To Ask The HR
1.What kinds of assignments might I expect the first six months on the job?
2. How often are performance reviews given?
3. Please describe the duties of the job for me.
4.What products (or services) are in the development stage now?
5.Do you have plans for expansion?
6.What are your growth projections for next year?
7. Have you cut your staff in the last three years?
8.Are salary adjustments geared to the cost of living or job performance?
9. Does your company encourage further education?
10.How do you feel about creativity and individuality?
11.Do you offer flextime?
12.What is the usual promotional time frame?

13.Does your company offer either single or dual career-track programs?

14.What do you like best about your job/company?
15.Once the probation period is completed, how much authority will I have over decisions?
16.Has there been much turnover in this job area?
17.Do you fill positions from the outside or promote from within first?
18.Is your company environmentally conscious? In what ways?
19.In what ways is a career with your company better than one with your competitors?
20.Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?
21.What is the largest single problem facing your staff (department) now?
22.May I talk with the last person who held this position?
23.What qualities are you looking for in the candidate who fills this position?
24.What skills are especially important for someone in this position?
25.What characteristics do the achievers in this company seem to share?
26.Who was the last person that filled this position, what made them successful at it, where are
they today, and how may I contact them?
27.Is there a lot of team/project work?
28.Will I have the opportunity to work on special projects?
29.Where does this position fit into the organizational structure?
30.How much travel, if any, is involved in this position?
31.What is the next course of action? When should I expect to hear from you or should I contact
Dont you think you are overqualified for this job?
Here the interviewer may be worried that you will leave the job once you find something that
matches your qualification level. This may sound like an objection, but it doesnt mean that the
employer has no interest in you. The employer is trying to gauge how you see the situationwhether you can see advantages to both sides. You obviously have to also show how you stand
benefited- otherwise it will appear that this job is only a stop-gap arrangement for you till you
find something better.
How would you honestly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your
previous/current company/boss/team?
This question is nothing but a trap. The interviewer is the least interested in the
company/boss/team. They are simply checking how you deal with a situation like this. You might
be really tempted to unburden your soul- but dont. Do not stonewall from the question, but
emphasize the good points.
Your competitor presses you to reveal some confidential information about your current
or previous employer.

This looks like a no-win situation- traps both ways. You tell them all, and they judge you as
untrustworthy. You refuse to reveal the information they are seeking, the interviewer might be
displeased with you. They might think that you are stubborn or suspicious.
I find that you have changed jobs many times so far. Why is it so?
The concerns behind this question are quite obvious. The interviewer is worried that you may
leave the job too soon, the way you have done with others. This might also indicate that you are
a well qualified but problematic person who cant get along with other people.
How many hours a day/a week do you work?
Avoid being too specific on this answer. If you give a low figure, the company will view it as
inadequate. If you commit to too many hours, you will feel guilty for not being able to keep up.
May I contact your present employer for a reference ?
Express your concern that youd like to keep your job search private, but that in time, it will be
perfectly okay.
Example: My present employer is not aware of my job search and, for obvious reasons; Id
prefer to keep it that way. Id be most appreciative if we kept our discussion confidential right
now. Of course, when we both agree the time is right, then by all means you should contact
them. Im very proud of my record there. Give me an example of your creativity (analytical skill
managing ability, etc.) Remember from Question 2 that you should commit to memory a list of
your greatest and most recent achievements, ever ready on the tip of your tongue.
If you have such a list, its easy to present any of your achievements in light of the quality the
interviewer is asking about. For example, the smashing success you orchestrated at last years
trade show could be used as an example of creativity, or analytical ability, or your ability to
How do you feel about working nights and weekends ?
First, if youre a confirmed workaholic, this question is a softball lob. Whack it out of the park on
the first swing by saying this kind of schedule is just your style. Add that your family understands
it. Indeed, theyre happy for you, as they know you get your greatest satisfaction from your
If however, you prefer a more balanced lifestyle, answer this question with another:
Whats the norm for your best people here?
If the hours still sound unrealistic for you, ask, Do you have any top people who perform
exceptionally for you, but who also have families and like to get home in time to see them at
night? Chances are this company does, and this associates you with this other top-performers-

who-leave-not-later-than-six group.
Depending on the answer, be honest about how you would fit into the picture. If all those extra
hours make you uncomfortable, say so, but phrase your response positively.
Example: I love my work and do it exceptionally well. I think the results speak for themselves,
especially in (mention your two or three qualifications of greater interest to the employer.
Remember, this is what he wants most, not a workaholic with weak credentials). Not only would
I bring these qualities, but Ive built my whole career on working not just hard, but smart. I think
youll find me one of the most productive people here.
I do have a family who likes to see me after work and on weekends. They add balance and
richness to my life, which in turn helps me be happy and productive at work. If I could handle
some of the extra work at home in the evenings or on weekends, that would be ideal. Youd be
getting a person of exceptional productivity who meets your needs with strong credentials. And
Id be able to handle some of the heavy workload at home where I can be under the same roof
as my family. Everybody would win.
What are your goals?
Many executives in a position to hire you are strong believers in goal-setting. (Its one of the
reason theyve achieved so much). They like to hire in kind.
If youre vague about your career and personal goals, it could be a big turnoff to may people you
will encounter in your job search.
Be ready to discuss your goals for each major area of your life: career, personal development
and learning, family, physical (health), community service and (if your interviewer is clearly a
religious person) you could briefly and generally allude to your spiritual goals (showing you are
a well-rounded individual with your values in the right order).
Be prepared to describe each goal in terms of specific milestones you wish to accomplish along
the way, time periods youre allotting for accomplishment, why the goal is important to you, and
the specific steps youre taking to bring it about. But do this concisely, as you never want to talk
more than two minutes straight before letting your interviewer back into the conversation.