A job interview, especially if it is a fresher interview and more so if it is your first job interview, can be pretty scary. HR interviews are known to test the candidates through and through and as such, you should have some interview questions with answers prepared before you sit for the interview.
So, while you lose yourself under the pile of worries, we have compiled some common HR interview questions with answers to guide you on. While we do not claim that you will be asked all these or only these questions during your fresher interview, knowing them and perfecting them will do you a world of good.
But what are these interview questions with answers? Let’s find out…
Tell me about yourself
This is by far the most common HR interview question and one whose answer must be on your tongue. You are asked about yourself and you cannot fail at answering it. This question usually sets the mood and the tone of the interview, so you must prepare your answer accordingly.
When the interviewer asks you, “tell me about yourself”, they are not asking you to recite who you are or how much you scored in college. Any information that they can find in your job resume, is not really an information worth repeating at this point.
Yes, you need to talk about your professional self but in such a manner that it fits with the employer’s idea of what they want in an ideal candidate. Talk about things that interest you but ensure that they are in line with what the job requirement asks.
Talk about your strengths and achievements and indulge in specifics. However, and I repeat, don’t start narrating your resume or you will bore the employer.
What are your strengths and weaknesses
Talking about your strengths during a job interview is fine but addressing your weaknesses might seem like a daunting task. After all, it is almost like an unwritten rule that you should put your best self forward during an interview.
While no one is asking you to be anything less than your best, but playing your strengths as weaknesses might not really serve you here. Instead, pick up a real weakness and talk about it. Tell the interviewer how you are trying to overcome your weakness(s). Make it authentic and relevant.
Similarly, when it comes to talking about your strengths, you don’t need to brag and keep a check on how many strengths you are quoting. Make sure that the strengths you talk about are in sync with the job profile.
For more, check out “How to answer what are your strengths and weaknesses”
How you feel about working late or during the weekends?
Of the many interview questions and their answers, this one might seem like the trickiest, especially if you desperately want the job. However, agreeing to it when you are not okay with working round the clock and during the weekends won’t do you any good.
If you are cool with the timings, then you don’t need to think twice and say it works for you. But even if it doesn’t, avoid a flat out NO. Instead, frame your answer smartly.
Instead of telling the interviewer you are not okay with it, say why you are not okay with it. Give your reasons and talk about how you would like to work here and that you can contribute in so many ways to the company.
The company needs to see your value beyond your availability for night shifts or weekend shifts.
Still unsure of how to tackle this question? Tune to “How to answer interview questions regarding late night shifts”
Have you faced any challenging situation? How did you handle it?
When you are cornered by such a tricky interview question, you need to stay calm and composed and think back to a time when you actually had to make a tough decision. No one is expecting or asking you to talk about a situation that will be equivalent to India deciding on how to tackle the threat and friendship of China.
So, you can talk about the difficulty you faced when choosing a stream in school or college. That situation was a challenge in your little world and it is worth talking about. Or if you opted for an unconventional career path (anything different from engineering or doctoring), then you can tell the interviewer how you convinced your family to let you go ahead with it.
However, avoid giving unnecessarily long descriptions. Your answer should be short, precise and get the message across to the interviewer that you are a problem solver.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Sit back, think!
What is your broader career goal? Do you intend to stick to this field? Think along these lines as you gear to answer this HR interview question. No one is expecting you to know exactly what you will be doing in five years. However, having an idea will tell the interviewer you have thought along these lines.
Talk about how you want to grow in your current position. The hiring manager is obviously looking for someone who will be more stable. You need to sell yourself as a bankable candidate. Focus on learning, achievements, growth.
However, if your plan is to opt for a completely different path altogether, you should keep it to yourself and focus on the now.
Why should I hire you?
This interview question is a perfect opportunity for you to tell the interviewer how you are better and more suitable for the job than any other candidate.
Considering that there is always a dearth of good jobs, there will be a lot of people applying for the same job as you. And of those, there will be many with similar qualifications and educational background. As such, you need to tell the interviewer how you stand out.
Talk about your professional persona. Build on how your achievements and personal traits stand in perfect sync to what the job profile asks for. Improvise according to the company’s requirement but don’t indulge in wild lies.
Stay true and faithful and always read the job description and company’s requirements thoroughly to formulate the best answer.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Talking about your hobbies and interests is a great way to open the paths of communication in a job interview. While you can go out and be completely honest about your hobbies, even if they don’t resound with the job profile, there are certain hobbies you should keep to yourself.
If your hobbies include partying or drinking, then you should look for other hobbies to talk about. However, if you enjoy a good game of football or compete over video games then you can talk about it. But be ready to answer questions asked regarding your hobbies.
If you say you love photography but can’t talk about cameras or any photographer that inspires you, then it may come across as a poor choice or lie. So, prepare well and broaden the spectrum of your hobby.
Do you lie?
Very direct and very scary!
This is one of the trickiest yet the simplest of all the interview questions with answers that we have talked about so far. How?
Well, for one, you are only human and the interviewer knows that. If you say you don’t lie, then that will be the biggest lie and make you come across as someone who cannot be entirely trusted. So, unless and until you are intending on pulling off something very cheeky, it will be best to stick to the truth.
Talk about an instance when you lied and make sure it is not about a major lie but an innocent, white lie.
How much salary are you expecting?
If your focus is solely on acing the HR interview, then this is a topic you might not have dwelled on. However, it is important to have a fair idea of what salary to expect before you sit for the interview.
You can check out sites like Glassdoor to get some idea of the average salary in the industry. You can ask your friends and seniors on what to expect and then come up with your own number.
If you know your worth and think you deserve something, you should stick to it and not settle down for less. This includes sticking to how much salary you get.
This by no means says that you should be completely staunch and refuse to budge. However, having a salary range and sticking to it is a great idea. It will also tell the interviewer that you know your own value.
However, don’t come off as rude or mean. Present your point nicely and make them see how you are the right fit for the job and deserve the salary you are asking for.
Do you have any questions for me?
Don’t tell the interviewer that you don’t have any question for them and end the interview on that note. Asking questions is an integral part of a job interview and one that can make or break your hold on the position.
Asking questions during a job interview tells the interviewer that you are well prepared and have a keen interest in the job. If your questions are insightful, it shows the interviewer that you have done your homework properly.
So, when the interviewer asks you “do you have any questions for me”, hop on the opportunity. If you don’t know what to ask the interviewer, then read our blog “10 questions you should ask the interviewer during a job interview.”
When it comes to interview questions and answers, you can never be prepared enough. However, the best thing that you can do is to make a note of the most common interview questions and work on them. The answer to these questions should be on your fingertips.
Another important tip to remember when you sit for any job interview is to ensure that you look and act confident. Having a great body language can really turn things in your favour.
Work on all aspects of an interview, from non-verbal cues to common interview questions with answers – make sure you have a firm command on everything.