Tell us about yourself.
• This recruiter snare is about as wide open as it gets. The
question is one notch above “TALK". You should answer this
question with information that is at the very least tangential
to the company and its product and service. Remember ,the
interviewer is gathering evaluatory information. The fact that
you have two sisters who are Siamese twins is certainly
interesting but not slightest bit relevant. On the other hand ,if
you ‘ve been supporting your family or you have hobbies
related to the field , jabber on.
• The job search process is unfair. Those who achieve the best
interview ratings get the best offers, often beating those better
qualified. It happens all the time.
• If you believe that your wit, intelligence, good looks and
diploma are the ticket, you are doomed to fail. Your
competition will always be better in those categories. Job
search is not a game. It is the most important project you will
What do you think you will be doing in 10 Years ?
• “ It’s difficult for any of us to know where we will
be in 10 years, but I do have plans, First of all, I
want to learn your business from the ground up.
Long term, I hope to be in a position of greater
responsibility that is mutually beneficial to the
company and to myself. ”
Where do you want to be 5 years from now ?
• Have an answer that is consistent with
company’s goal. Make long term goals part of
the answer but to focus on the short term. For
instance: “ I am 20 and I love what I am doing.
Ultimately I’d like to be a CEO, but I realize I’ve
got other things to learn first. The next logical
step is to be a division manager. Here’s why I
think I’ll be ready for that in five years …”
• FIRST YEAR – I will act in the phase of trainee
understand the company needs thoroughly
which will help me in the future years.
• SECOND YEAR – I would continue to prove my
• THIRD & FOURTH YEARS – Consistency to
prove my efforts through innovation approach to
step up the ladder in this organization.
• FIFTH YEAR – To sustain a formidable position
in the organization & exhibit leadership qualities
as to what the company is looking forward from
• The above are the milestones to be reached.
What are your strengths ?
• Limit yourself to three concrete examples of
strengths, again showing benefits to the
• A good explanation reflects on past
accomplishments: “I’ve always done a better job
of finding ways to cut costs than of drumming up
What are your weaknesses ?
• Most of the candidates try to highlight vague
weaknesses that can be viewed as assets. For
e.g. they say “ I’m impatient,” hoping the
interviewer will see them as a hard-charger.
• Instead, be honest, but emphasize the actions
you’ve taken to deal with a weakness.
• “Sometimes I would push back deadlines to turn
in higher- quality work. However, I’ve learned to
delegate more, and I’ve only slipped once in the
• I am impatient and I like to get things done &
done quickly and get disillusioned when policies
& red tape slow projects.
• My weakness was getting frustrated when
“leadership” fails to make decision or lead.
What about a time you failed ?
• The best answer has this theme: “I fell off my
horse. I learned what I did wrong. I got back up
and rode it better “
Is it possible to recover from an honest faux
• Yes, it is possible.
• When Fred Benson applied for a fellowship, he took a
late night flight to make it to his interview on time.
Walking bleary-eyed into the room, he was blinded by
the sun glinting off a glass table and could make out only
the silhouettes of the panelists. Extending his hand to
the chairman, he knocked a pitcher of water into the
man’s lap. In that instant he gave up all hope of getting
the position. “I feel that I have nowhere to go but up from
here, so I’m going to be very relaxed in this interview,”
he told the panel. He was – and got the job.
• Now he helps interview finalists for the fellowships.
Will you get along with your potential boss ?
• “ I concentrate on the job and the results, and
I’m flexible enough to work with almost anyone”
• If the question is more explicit, such as “
describe the worst boss you worked for,” couch
your answer as a disagreement over a business
issue or as a difference in styles – not as a
What’s your criterion for choosing a job ?
• I wanted a job that would expand my horizons
and offer opportunities for learning and growth.
This job fitted the bill – I’ll get to meet people
and the firm is the right size for me.
• The answer should reflect flexibility, tolerance
and an ability to take risks.
How do you deal with conflicts ?
• “ I avoid them and haven’t had a major one till
date. When I do, I’ll look at two approaches –
resolve it on my own or seek my team leader’s
advice. I believe in keeping communication lines
open and if I feel there’s a fight brewing. I’ll try to
sort it out over the table. If that doesn’t help and
it’s affecting my work, I’ll ask my boss to
• You can add a quip. “ I believe dissent is the
voice of progress”
How much salary you want?
• I do not believe in wasting any time so I would answer
their question directly – I do not see the point in beating
around the bush , my time is too valuable. I would simply
tell them what I believe I am worth and the reasons for it.
• I would be hesitant to talk about money before I have
had the opportunity to put forward all my strengths &
achievements. Response “ I would like to know more
about the position & its specific challenges before I talk
about specific amounts.”
• It’s important not to put your potential employer so I
would offside so I would say something to the effect that
whatever they’re offering would be fine. Besides, I think
most companies are reasonable in terms of their
remuneration policies. Also, I would be horrified if I
priced myself out of the job. I would not want to come
across as being overly aggressive or demanding.
The employer, fully aware of the over-supply situation,
makes you an offer that you are less than happy with.
• I would counter the employer’s offer by asking for what I
believe I’m worth. If they want to pay peanuts they
should advertise for monkeys.
• My strategy would be to steer a middle course. I would
emphasize my experience & how I could add value to
the organization. I would certainly negotiate for more
money but I would not go over-board.
• The strategy would be to accept the offer and bide my
time until the labour market turned around at which time
I’d commence negotiations for more money.