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    Facing Job Interview Questions: 5 Professionals Share Experiences, Tips For Freshers

    By Aruri Manasa, Rahul Shrivastava
    26 Apr'22  11 min read
    Facing Job Interview Questions: 5 Professionals Share Experiences, Tips For Freshers
    Synopsis

     Is this your first time appearing for a job interview? Is the thought of facing HR interview questions giving you the jitters? Young professionals from across sectors spoke to Careers360 about their own experience and shared top tips on facing interview questions for freshers. Find out what sort of job interview questions to expect, how to answer, and what can be challenging.

    Facing Job Interview Questions: 5 Professionals Share Experiences, Tips For Freshers
    Synopsis

     Is this your first time appearing for a job interview? Is the thought of facing HR interview questions giving you the jitters? Young professionals from across sectors spoke to Careers360 about their own experience and shared top tips on facing interview questions for freshers. Find out what sort of job interview questions to expect, how to answer, and what can be challenging.

    One candidate meditated for five minutes before appearing for an online interview to help her stay calm; another was so nervous he shivered constantly and forgot answers he knew; a third forgot to shave; and a fourth was asked to tell a joke.

    Five professionals – some on their first jobs, others more experienced – from across sectors shared their own interview experiences with Careers360, including what they were asked, what they wore, how the pay was negotiated, challenges with online interviews, and what to do when you don’t know the answer to a question.

    Confidence and the ability to communicate clearly are the two major skills required. Sometimes, even candidates who can boast a great academic record can find interviews challenging unless they can communicate effectively and are not too nervous. There are other critical factors as well, such as maintaining eye contact with the interviewer, posture and attire.

    Practically every hiring process now involves an interview. While typically held offline, even this critical part of the recruit process moved online during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, five professionals recount their experience of interviews and sharing advice so you don’t make the same mistakes they did.

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    Madhavi Jain | Research Associate

    My interview took place at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak. Two of my most precious academic years were spent in virtual classrooms. Yes, I belong to the so-called ‘Covid batch’. Back then, most of the companies and organisations hired employees through online interviews. We were fortunate because our interviewers could not witness our nervousness or stress,. they couldn’t watch us trembling or sweating. I started looking out for jobs in my final semester. This interview took place in 2021.

    Initially, I was bothered about the hiring process being done online but then thinking about the advantages, I felt ecstatic. I applied for the post of research associate in an organisation. It had two qualifying rounds – a written test and an interview. I qualified in the written test and appeared for the interview. Even though it was an online interview, I felt a bit uneasy, so I did a five-minute meditation right before joining the interview panel. In order to keep myself calm, I reassured myself and tried to imagine I was interacting with a group of new friends, so that I felt less worried and could communicate with ease without losing my confidence.

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    ``Introduce yourself’ and “explain your life journey till now” were the two questions I was asked. I talked about my roller-coaster life journey, including my education, family, life goals and many more aspects. The panel asked many questions pertaining to the decisions I have taken in life and I answered with the utmost honesty. The interview lasted for about 45 minutes. Since it was an online interview I felt there won't be much emphasis on a dress code and so, I wore a usual kurti. Altogether it was a good experience.

    Top Tips:

    • Clarity of communication is obviously a key requisite
    • Be as confident and honest as possible.
    • Make sure your device is working fine with a good internet connection and set the audio and video features ready prior to the interview.
    • You should not panic. In case you are nervous, just imagine that you are interacting with a family member or a friend.

    Akash Verma | Account Assistant

    I completed my BCom (Hons) from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, last year. I am 22 years old and I am sharing my first and only interview experience. My interview was with a real estate company located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. I was very nervous before entering the interview room as it was the first time in my life that I was going to appear for an interview. I tried to gain confidence and entered the room. I was offered a seat by the interviewer. I greeted him and sat down. He asked me to “tell him something about myself” and I started with my name, father’s name, the college I was studying in, my domicile etc. He stopped me in between and said “I already know all these, these are written in your CV. Tell me something other than these things”. I was very nervous and had nothing to say. He told me not to get nervous and take time to think and answer. I was shivering a lot. He switched to questions based on accounting, my subject. I answered a few and despite knowing the answers to a few of the other questions, I wasn’t able to answer them, which might have been because of the lack of confidence and hesitation. I assume that he had understood that I was very nervous. Therefore, in order to make me regain my composure, he started asking me irrelevant questions like who is my favourite actor, which places I have visited in Delhi, what I like to eat etc.

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    After a while, I gained some confidence and the interview continued on the expected path. He asked me a few questions from Economics, Statistics, Mathematics and Business Studies. At last, he asked me to solve an accounting question related to allotment of shares and debentures. Although I solved it, I wasn’t very confident about the answer because I had the habit of using a calculator while solving questions. He looked at the answer paper and said, “Thank you Mr. Akash, it was nice meeting you”. I stood up and said, “Same here”. He smiled at me and asked me to leave. After coming out of the room, I realised that I shouldn’t have said “same here”, it was informal and that’s why he must have smiled. The next day, I was told that I have been selected for the job and I joined the company in September last year.

    Top Tips:

    • When asked to say something about yourself, don’t tell your name, academic qualifications, place of birth etc., as these are already mentioned in your CV. You can tell the interviewer about your achievements, strengths, expertise, area of interest, experience.
    • Never lose confidence even if you have given wrong answers. Sound confident while answering.

    Alok Ranjan | Marketing Manager

    I am 32 years old and sharing my third interview experience. Prior to joining as a marketing manager in one of the leading automobile companies in India, I worked in two multinational corporations (MNC) in the same domain for more than six years. I had this interview last year. It was a combination of both online and offline modes. The first mode was online wherein the interview was conducted via Google Meet. In this round, I spoke to two people, my reporting manager and one of his seniors. Apart from basic questions – “Introduce yourself to us”, “What I have learnt from my previous organisations”, “Why I am switching the job”, “Where I see myself in five years”, “What social media platforms I am familiar with”, “How my skill sets have grown over the years” – they asked a lot of questions from sales and marketing.

    They were interested in knowing how my previous orgnisations were working and about my roles there. During the interview, quite a few times, I had to ask them to repeat the questions because my internet speed was very slow and I could barely hear them. They didn’t mind repeating the questions; they were very cordial.

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    A few of the technical questions they asked that I remember were: “What are the important things to keep in mind while making marketing plans for a new product?”; “Do you go with the going marketing trend”; “How familiar are you with our prospective customers”; and “How do you deal with dealers post-launch”. I confidently answered these and they seemed satisfied with my answers. They asked cross questions as well. This interview round got over within 20-25 minutes and I was told to come to the head office for the second round.

    The second round, an offline interview, was scheduled after two days. I went there in formal attire but I was not clean shaven. The interview panel had three members - my reporting manager, my manager’s manager and the HR manager. The questions were quite similar to the ones asked in the first round. The few new ones were: “What do you know about our company?”; “What is our market share?”; “Why do you think our competitors have taken over in recent times?” etc. At last came the HR interview questions. The HR manager asked questions about my previous CTC, breakup of the CTC, deductions, mediclaim policy etc. in my previous organisation. I answered them all. Then she asked about my salary expectations and we had an in-depth discussion. It was a kind of negotiation and finally she seemed okay with what I demanded although, she tried hard to make me agree to a lower salary range.

    While we spoke, the other two members were carefully listening to our conversation. Finally, my manager's manager told me that I seemed good to them and that I was well-prepared, but I should have shaved my beard – this was said with a small smile. I replied: “Thank you sir and I will adhere to what you have said.” The interview got over with the common sentence, “We will let you know”. I stood up, shook hands with them and left the interview room. After eight days, I got a call from the HR department that I was selected and they were mailing me the offer letter.

    Top Tips:

    • When appearing for an online interview, make sure you have a good internet speed.
    • Be well-dressed and if you are male, clean-shaven.
    • If you think you justify your expected salary then stick to it and give genuine reasons for it. The HR personnel will always try to lower your salary which is an important part of their job.

    Deepak Reddy | Data Engineer

    Two months ago, I had an interview for the role of data engineer in a reputed MNC in Hyderabad. I had experience of two years in an almost similar field in another MNC. Despite getting a good salary package, I always dreamt of working in this particular company. I was informed about the vacancy through LinkedIn and other sources.

    After I sent my CV, the recruiter contacted me and explained the necessary details of the job description. I confirmed that I will appear for the recruitment process. It had three rounds. One written test and two interviews, one with the technical team and the other with HR. I thoroughly revised all the basics pertaining to my subject of expertise and qualified in the written test. Based on my convenience, they scheduled the second and third rounds of the interview. These were panel interviews and there were three panel members. It started with common questions like, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you want to join this job” and many more generic, common interview questions. I answered all of them.

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    Later, they asked about the reason for quitting the previous job. I replied that I had wanted to broaden my horizon and was looking for a great challenging opportunity. After this, they asked a few questions related to the topic, “Data science and why it is becoming a booming domain these days”. I answered the questions well except two for which I said, “I do not know and I am looking forward to learning about it”. It went quite well as I had prepared well. Lastly, it was the HR round. Questions were mostly related to salary negotiation, and they informed me about company policies, holidays, leave, and more.

    Top Tips:

    • Excel in your subject of expertise
    • When you don't know the answer, never say ‘No’ directly, instead tell them you are unaware of it and look forward to knowing or learning about it.

    Ravi Prakash Singh | SC and ST Welfare Officer

    I have been selected as a Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe welfare officer in the SC and ST Welfare Department, Government of Bihar. I qualified the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) exam last year.

    Before going for the interview, I was well prepared and had practised a lot through mock interview sessions. I turned up for the interview wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and a purple tie. The moment I entered the interview room, one of the interview panel members complimented me on my attire. The interview panel had five members. The interview started with the very common question: “Tell us something about yourself”.

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    After this, a lot of questions were asked from my academic background, my family background, my optional subject, the speciality of my birth place and many more. I was bombarded with questions on Bihar, its rivers, its districts, border states, data related to the GDP, literacy, growth rate, current status of SC and ST people in Bihar, etc. I answered almost all the questions quite comfortably, but in response to a few of the questions that I didn’t know, I just replied, “Sorry sir, I don’t know about this or I am not sure about this”.

    One of the members asked me to tell a joke and I told one. All the members started laughing which was a sign that things were going well. Some of the last questions were, the common ones: “Why do you want to join this job”, “Why should we select you”, “How can you help the society grow better”, etc. My interview lasted around 40 minutes. Overall, my interview was good and I was very satisfied with my performance.

    Top Tips:

    • Never do guesswork if you don’t know the answer to a question
    • Be confident while you speak and maintain proper eye contact with the interviewer
    • Never speak more than required
    • Maintain a smiling face throughout while talking to the interviewer
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