Commonly asked HR Questions Tell me about your self ? • What you should not tell … – Family background – Your weakness – Unrealistic goals and objectives not relevant to the company – Don’t bring up something new on which you cannot answer many questions Tell me about your self ? • What you can tell … – Your values towards time, money, career, ethics etc. – Your strengths – Your team player abilities – Your goals and objectives that suit the company – Something special about you that the interviewer should know Why should I hire you ? • You can tell them about why you think your skills and personality suit the company • You can talk about your exposure to the industry, achievements (projects, workshops, papers) • Your capabilities in this field • How your career growth plan is useful to the company’s growth What do you know about our company ? • Never go to an interview without knowing what the company is doing … • Before you go to the interview you should find out – What type of company is it ? – Who is the CEO and other major players – What is the company’s mission statement – Who are its clients – What is the annual turnover and profits in last quarter. – Welfare schemes of the company for the employees and for the society – Their offices, existing as well as proposed – Their growth plan – Who are their competitors Tell me about your short term goals: • Tell them about where you see yourself 5 years from now. • Show them that you have respect for time, money, values and also some concrete plans for your future • Long term plans imply where you see yourself 20-30 years from now • Have realistic goals or else be prepared to be grilled • Until now, you have been a dependent on parents, now that you will be free, what do you plan to do with your time and money ? How would you rate yourself ? • Always do your ground work before going for an interview – Know what the company is looking for – What is the job you will be doing – What is expected from you – Can you deliver what is expected out of you – What preparation have you done to qualify in the company’s selection process – How you are a better candidate than others – What extra’ can you bring into the company Why do you want to work for us ? • Don’t go for an interview without preparation • You can talk about – Referred by friends & seniors working for the company – Growth plans of the company – Size of the company – Achievements of the company – Market share of the company – Welfare plans of the company – Different verticals in the company – Policies of the company – Scope for professional and individual growth in the company – How it meets your short and long term career growth Do you know anyone who works for us ? • Know the policy of the company when it comes to recruiting relatives. • Some companies do not hire people if they are related to one or more of the Directors • Other companies need this information to get a reference • You do not lose any thing by saying no • You can mention about friends/seniors in the company instead of relatives Are you a team player ? • Give examples • Talk about participation in team activities • Talk about your experience in organizing extra-curricular activities • Talk about your team project work and your contribution to the project What will you do if you do not like a co-worker ? • This is a trap… be careful. • What you can say … – Tell them how you handled people whom you did not like in your class, college, school, neighborhood… – Try to dodge the question if you can – Don’t be very specific – Don’t show them that you are living in a nutshell – Don’t show them that you are very narrow minded – Don’t tell them that you never came across colleagues whom you did not like – If they insist, succumb but don’t say anything rubbish Remember there are always people whom you don’t like and there are people who don’t like you. What will you do if you do not like your Manager ? • No matter how professionally a company is run, Manager Subordinate problems and inter-department problems are common at work place • Do not be stubborn in not answering this question • Consider a hypothetical situation and come up with some answers (be creative) Tell me about a teacher that you did not like : • Be careful • Today : Teacher – Tomorrow : Boss • Don’t tell tem you did not like a teacher • If you do, they will grill you more on why you did not like the teacher • It is very easy for the panel to prove that you were wrong about not liking a teacher • If you can talk nastily about a teacher today, tomorrow you will talk more nastily about a boss. Tell me about a classmate that you do not like : • Think for a moment…Why will a HR Manager be interested in your problems with a classmate? • Your answer will give them clues about your personality • So be careful in your wording • Don’t be adamant and deny having any problems with your classmates • Give them an answer and give them a good answer • Show them how you react to problem situations • Show them that you’re a problem solver not a problem maker If I hire you, how long do you think you will work for us ? • ‘Till death do us part’ remember you are not entering into a marriage • Give a realistic picture • You may leave the company if you are not satisfied with the job • You may be asked to leave if they are not satisfied with your work • You may leave the company if the company is no longer competent in the industry What are your long term goals ? • Where do you see yourself 20-30 years from now • It is not about doing something for yourself • It is about doing something for your parents, spouse, children and society at large • Think about it carefully and show some creativity Tell me about your strengths: • Don’t give text book answers • Don’t sound like you have practiced the answer • Come with some creative answers • Be prepared to be grilled • Know that there is no correct answer and no wrong answer, it is the explanation that you give that matters. • Give examples • Leave scope for sense of humor • Have room for criticism Tell me about your weakness : • DON’T. Don’t make their job easy. If you do not have a good answer in mind, just shut up. • My cooking needs a lot of improvement • My sense of humor needs a good exercise • I could use a few lessons in dancing • I should be able to read faster • Watching ‘Tom and Jerry’ • Reading Archie's • My music sense is not in sync Try to divert their attention Tell me something about yourself that is not there in the resume : • If there is not much to ask you from your resume, they will ask you to tell them more • Stick to extracurricular activities / strengths • Dress designing, interior-decoration, painting, books, road trips, food, cooking, visiting places, music, dance, movies, favorite novel-movie-star, role model… whatever you feel like, just keep the interview going until they find something worth asking • Don’t talk about subject…remember this is a HR interview Tell me about your dream job : • Tell them clearly what you expect out of your job • Visualize your self ten years from now: – Where you will be working – What you will be working – Who you will be working with • Remember what you plan to give is more important than what you expect a company to give you, at least for the sake of the interview How can you prove to me that you are better than the others ? • This is the same question ‘why should I hire you’ just put differently • Show them that you understand what is expected out of you on the job • On a 0 to 10 scale, how do you rate your programming skills • Tell them about your preparation, suitability of your attitude, your IQ, your analytical ability, your understanding of the software development life cycle • Don’t literally compare your self with your classmates • That is not what they are expecting out of you What are your expectations from the company ? • Do not get personal here • Tell them you expect the company to continue to be number one in the market • Take care of welfare of the employees • Tell them you expect the company to spend a small portion of its profits for the welfare of the country and the society Can you work under pressure ? • Yes • Give examples of short deadlines • Give examples of you working in teams to complete the tasks under tight deadlines • Give practical examples • You can give examples of personal/ or professional problems that you solved under high pressure • Pressure can be mental, financial, physical • Show them you do not collapse under pressure DEVADAS is a classic example of collapse in a pressure situation Would you consider yourself to be a workaholic ? • You do not get any extra leverage for being workaholic unless you give a very good example • I would rather go for somebody who has a balance between work, family and friends • Workaholics have a short life compared to a more harmonious person • Play your cards safe What motivates you to perform your best on the job ? • “Two good looking secretaries” • Don’t talk about money being a motivator • If you can deliver something better than what is expected out of you on the job, that itself is a big motivation Will you be able work in shifts ? • Although this is purely personal, my advise : • Yes I can work in shifts • Yes I am willing to travel abroad • Yes I am willing to relocate What have you done in the last year to prepare for this job ? • Talk about training by Career Launcher • Talk about Campus Connect by Infosys • Talk about software you have learnt • Talk about research you have done • Talk about consulting your seniors and friends • Talk about net surfing Is there something you did not like in the selection process ? • Answers to this question are taken very seriously by the Panel • You may talk about the selection process being very good instead of being bad • Generally all big companies hire consultants to decide the pattern of the exam and the question papers • If you have an answer for this question, discuss it with your TPO How do you cope with disappointments in life ? • Disappointments are part of life • It is how you deal them it that makes you stronger • Give examples • Show them how you gathered courage and strength after facing a disappointment • If you have a good example, discuss it with your TPO What do you do to motivate yourself ? • Boredom at workplace and in personal life is very common • You should not let boredom overtake you and ruin your life • You can talk about: – Taking a vacation and visiting new places – Reading a book – Listening to some good music – Watching some movies – Spending time with your family – Go on a blind date – Spending a day out with friends – Take a walk on the beach – Read Bhagvadh Gita or religious scriptures If you get a better company, will you leave us ? • This is a trap… be careful. They are checking your presence of mind… • Prepare well for this question… • Don’t give an adamant ‘No I will never leave your company’ answer • Use your word power • A little sense of humor will help • The panel can always fall prey for a little flattery Are you willing to sign a bond for 2-3 years with us ? • Do not be alarmed when the company asks you to sign a bond for 2 or 3 years. • While preparing for the interview you should have known the policy of the company • It is quite natural for a company investing money on your training and placement to expect you to stick with them for at least 2 or 3 years • So, hidden or open, all companies require you (fresher) to sign a bond or handover your certificates/passport What about our company would force you to leave us ? • This question is like an ‘exit interview’ even before you get the job • Even though they are asking you about why you would leave the company, stick to why would like to continue in the company • Prepare well, be realistic,mk when answering • Tell them you researched a lot to know about the company and worked very hard to get into the company • Act like leaving a company as a last option Tell me about your role in the project : • Notice : This is slightly different from ‘tell me about your project’ • Tell them about the team size and briefly about other team members, who is good at what • Tell them about the work assigned to each team member • Tell them about your role and how you achieved it • Tell them about how you helped the other team members in achieving their tasks • Always keep team spirit in mind • Always give importance to the whole team not self • If possible, tell them how you led the whole team Why IT and why not Core ? • Invention of wheel • Invention of paper • Invention of radio • Invention of telephone • Invention of television • Invention of computer • Invention of WWW They have all improved core engineering skills, they did not defeat them Are you planning to take GRE, why ? why not ? • This is a trap… When a HR manager is recruiting people, he would like to be confident all those recruited will join the company. Any ambiguity in the candidates behavior will cost him numbers • If you talk about taking GRE he/she will lose confidence in you and may reject you • At least during the interview be careful not to be affirmative about taking GRE/TOEFL Do you consider joining MBA ? • This is not a trap… just a tricky question… • Your answer to this question gives them clues on weather you have career growth plan in mind or if you are ‘gone with the wind type’ • Consider your short term goals, long term goals and see where does an MBA Degree fit in. • Weigh your options carefully, make a connection, and give an appropriate answer. Tell me about your hobbies : • Know the difference between a hobby and a pastime • Hobbies call for a lot of sacrifices (in terms of time, money and relationships) • Pastime is something you do when you are not busy and you have free time • If you do mention Hobbies, be prepared to be grilled What if you do not get selected here ? • Don’t be overconfident or boisterous, otherwise this question is inevitable. • If you do not give a good answer, the result will be equally inevitable • In the first five minutes, you will be able to gauge which direction your interview is going • Tell them how much you have prepared for this interview • Tell them how much you have waited for this opportunity • Tell them how much you will be disappointed if you did not get this job • Don’t tell them “may be a better job is waiting for me’ • Show some commitment, character and respect Do you have any questions for me ? • Is this the end of the interview ?