10 PERFECT ANSWERS TO QUESTION THAT COMPANIES EXPECT FROM APPLICANTS
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Preparing for an interview is integral to creating a positive first impression. There are many common questions that an employer can ask, and your answer can help determine whether they offer you a job. Learning how to prepare thorough, thoughtful answers to some of these questions can help you perform confidently in your interview. In this article, we explore 10 perfect interview answers to common questions an employer might ask you.
10 Perfect interview answers to common questions
While there is no particular way to respond to interview questions, using the following nearly perfect interview answers as a reference can help you craft one of your own:
1. Why do you want to work at our company?
Employers ask this question because it gives them insight into your intentions. Your answer can indicate your level of interest in the company and what you are looking for in your next role. To provide a quality answer to this question, you can mention unique aspects of the company that interests you.
Example: “I want to work at your company because I love the service you provide to customers. Your customers speak very highly of their experiences with this business. Employees have also written glowing recommendations about the positive environment at this company. I would love to contribute to that process and be a part of your work culture.”
2. What do you know about our company and what we do?
When an employer asks this question, it is usually because they want to see if you researched the company beforehand. Even knowing one or two facts about the company can help an employer see you have an interest in them. To answer this question, prepare by reviewing the company’s website and memorising their primary product or service and why it is important.
Example: “Your company provides business management digital interfaces and software applications to clients all around the world. It is one of the leading companies in the field. I also read an article recently which said you are expanding your business in South East Asia and are looking to hire people for various roles across this region.”
3. Give us three reasons you are an ideal candidate
This is a self-reflective question, and it can help employers assess your personality traits, like confidence, self-assurance and capability. The perfect answer to this type of question is one that is honest and demonstrates a personal sense of accountability.
Example: “I am organised, diligent in my work and always complete my projects on time. I am confident about my ability to complete a project by the deadline or earlier. Last year, my company recognised my dedication to my job and rewarded me with a promotion.”
4. What are your salary expectations for this position?
A salary-based question is common, as it helps employers better understand your motivations for applying to this role. Sometimes, they might use your response to give a lower or higher estimate. The perfect answer sets a minimum salary limit that is reasonable but remains open for the employer to give their own feedback.
Example: “My salary requirements are flexible although I am looking forward to a compensation package that is in line with my experience level and skills. Currently, I earn ₹50,000 per month and would like to ask for a 20% increase from that. I am open to other suggestions and negotiations once we have discussed the role thoroughly.”
5. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
Prospective employers understand mistakes happen, but this question is often to find out how you handle mistakes. The perfect answer can illustrate how you react to errors and what you do to correct them or learn from them. Genuinely admit your mistake and highlight how you rectified it.
Example: “There was a time when I was organising my company’s customer database, and I accidentally deleted some data. To fix the issue, I had to use one of our internal applications to help retrieve the data before we lost it completely. I had to work a few extra hours to handle the situation, but I felt it was important that I correct the error as soon as possible.”
6. Do you have experience working in this industry?
This is a common question employers ask to better understand your work history. If you have industry experience, it can help differentiate you from other candidates. The perfect answer describes the relevant experience that you have in the industry and the role.
Example: “Yes, I have experience working in this industry. I worked as a medical writer for three years before transitioning into a content writer. I worked in that role for another three years, writing content for different industries.”
7. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a colleague. How did you resolve it?
Conflicts between co-workers can occur in the workplace. Employers want to know how the candidate handles conflicts and uses interpersonal skills to resolve difficult situations in the workplace. As speaking about conflict situations from an erstwhile or current workplace to a potential employer may be uncomfortable, it is best to prepare an answer in advance so you can discuss the incident with confidence before the interview panel.
Example: “While working on a recent project, a team member and I were responsible for creating five presentations each by the end of a week. When I asked the colleague for an update after a couple of days, the fellow employee said they had fallen behind schedule and would not be able to deliver their presentations within the deadline. This was both unacceptable and unprofessional since we had already decided on our share of tasks.
To settle the conflict, I decided to speak to them to understand what challenges they were facing. I was sorry to hear the colleague’s mother was ill and her sickness had been a cause of concern for them. To help the colleague complete all tasks within the deadline, I shared some of their work to relieve them of pressure. I also urged the colleague to inform the team about similar problems in the future so that we can set timelines accordingly.”
8. How would your colleagues and seniors describe you?
The interviewer wants to know what people think of you. They want to learn about your work ethic and assess how you function with other members of a team. Be sincere and positive in your response. Sometimes, companies also perform background checks where recruiters verify your responses by speaking to your former manager or other seniors to know you better.
Example: “My manager and colleagues would describe me as hardworking and detail-oriented. I have worked hard to learn new skills on the job and received a promotion last year. My colleagues may also say I am passionate about my work and driven to complete tasks within time.”
9. Do you prefer working alone or with a team? Why?
Employers want to understand your personality type. This is a tricky question since there is no right or wrong answer here although strongly favouring only one of the two options may not impress recruiters. A good idea is to talk about your current role, mentioning whether you work alone or in a team, and conclude by saying that you are also looking to explore the other option.
Example: “For most projects, I have found that having team members working towards the same goal proves beneficial. I have been a team player since college when I played football. I am cooperative, outgoing and open-minded which helps me to work with a group easily. I have also handled two projects alone and executed them efficiently. While I consider myself a team player, I am also comfortable working on solo projects where I might not have the guidance or help of other team members.”
10. Have you ever faced a challenging situation at work? How did you resolve it?
Unexpected and challenging situations can overwhelm employees in the workplace. Employers want to ensure the candidate handles adversities calmly. Refer to your problem-solving skills and highlight your ability to innovate solutions when answering this question.
Example: “Last year, I had to take on a project from a colleague who had quit. During my first meeting with the client, they sounded furious with our company, telling me they were unhappy with our deliverables. I made notes of all the complaints. As I started politely addressing each issue, the client calmed down and gave me feedback about their expectations from the project.
By the end of the meeting, I provided them with a plan of action to resolve the outstanding issues. Over the next few weeks, our team worked on these points of action and updated the client at regular intervals. By the end of the month, we had solved all problems and could win back the client’s trust.”