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Know all about interviews

Candidates often wonder how to prepare for interviews. The usual worries are two-fold: Should I brush up my general knowledge? Should I familiarise myself with various aspects of this industry? Yes, you do need to be aware about your surroundings and this includes some familiarity with current affairs although you can come out with flying colours even if you do not know the capital of Ghana!

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 16:20 IST

Candidates often wonder how to prepare for interviews. The usual worries are two-fold: Should I brush up my general knowledge? Should I familiarise myself with various aspects of this industry? Yes, you do need to be aware about your surroundings and this includes some familiarity with current affairs although you can come out with flying colours even if you do not know the capital of Ghana!

At the same time, you also need to know details about the industry you want to join. Industry-specific questions are common. In addition, there are certain questions you may encounter during the interview, in one form or another. These relate to questions about yourself, what you have been doing and what you want to do in future.

It is a good idea to sit for mock interviews with your friends or colleagues. Although there are no fixed questions or set formats, you can do practice interviews using the following sets of questions. Remember practice makes man perfect.
Here are some general questions you can answer during your mock sessions:

1 What are your strengths and weaknesses?

2 Suppose you could choose any job, what would it be and why?

3 What does success mean to you and how do you measure it?

4 What motivates you?

5 Have you done anything in the last one year to improve yourself? If yes, what?

6 What has been your greatest achievement? And your biggest disappointment?

7 Say something about your best and worst bosses.

8 What qualities do you value most in those who report directly to you?

9 How do you handle stress?

10 Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

In addition to these general questions, your new employers can ask certain questions about your previous organisation. Some of these questions can include the following:
1 When did you leave your last job and why? Or, why do you want to leave your current job?

2 What do you like and dislike most about your current job?

3     Do you work independently in your current job or are you part of a team?

4 Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?

5 What are some of the problems you encountered in your earlier jobs and how did you solve them?

To understand your future ambitions and the reasons for seeking a job change, your new employers can ask questions like:
1 Why do you want to work in this organisation?

2 What kind of experience do you think this job will provide that your earlier jobs did not provide?

3 How do you feel about working late in the evenings? And working during the weekends?

4 What do you see as your future here?

5 Are you considering any other offers at this point?

6 How does this job compare with those?

7 How can you contribute to our organisation?

8 How do you feel about relocating?
Most employers ask questions about expected salary. Such questions can include:

1 What is your current salary? (You should be truthful about this)

2 Is there a minimum salary you will accept? If so, what?

3 What salary range do expect?

Take time to think about your answers to these questions. There is no correct answer as such. What you need to do is to answer these questions calmly. Even during the real interview, you should think before answering the questions. You need to pause before answering as it will help you put together all the points, substantiating your response.

Though you should not gloss over your weaknesses, you need to focus on your success and your achievements. As mentioned, there are no correct answers but you need to convince the interviewer that you are the correct person for the job.