Most Asked Interview Questions and Best Answers

interview questions and answers

Have you ever appeared for an HR interview before? In case not, this would come handy as this blog covers some of the most frequently asked HR interview questions along with their respective answers.

The basic challenge faced during an interview for an entry-level job is to build confidence in the employer about your competence and capability in comparison to the other candidates who may have actual work experience.

The key to success in an interview is to concentrate on your preparation and demonstrate, in front of the interviewer, that you possess the qualifications required for that particular job. Reflect on possible answers that can be associated with the job you are applying for, while highlighting your skills and experience. Also, polish your interview skills so that you are prepared to create the best impression.

Below are the questions that corporates generally ask, to gauge if the new college graduate will do well in their company.

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Questions to assess candidate behavior, motivations and goals.

  1. How would you describe yourself?

    What They Want to Know: This is the ice breaker question that assists the interviewer to get to know you and to see how self-reflective you are about your strengths and capabilities.

    Candidate should highlight their strengths while answering this question. However, along with being positive, you should also be honest and straightforward.
  1. What motivates you?

    What They Want to Know: The Hiring manager generally asks this question to know the way you approach your goals, what are you passionate about and whether you would be a good fit for the company.

    Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you formulate a response to this answer.
    1. Reasons for choosing your profession or field?
    2. What motivated you to apply for the role when you read the job description?
    3. According to you, how does a great day at work look like
  1. What is it about this job that interests you?

    This question is asked to know how much research a candidate has done on the position and the company; it can also assist the interviewer to gauge how a candidate looks at the job opportunity fitting into his/her long-term career plan. Were they interested because of the opportunities for growth and learning? Were they drawn to the company’s mission and values?

    The candidate should keep in mind the following points, while answering this question:
    1. If sharing a fact about the company, one should know the source with correct and full knowledge.
    2. Sharing irrelevant information can have a negative impact.Try to link your competencies with the required ones; the response should be backed up by examples.
  1. What are you hoping to learn through this role?

    This question helps the hiring manager to understand whether the candidate has a fixed or growth mindset and if the candidate may need additional training or support.

    The candidate should respond in the following manner:
    1. Show how your skills match
    2. Show your enthusiasm for the role
    3. And demonstrate how you suit the organization culture.

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Questions to learn about a candidate’s skillset

  1. Can you tell me about your educational background and how is it associated with this role?

    This question is an excellent way to get the discussion going and allows the interviewer to get an overview of what the candidate learnt while earning their degree. 

    Candidates should concentrate and exemplify the details that discuss critical understandings correlated with the job description.
  1. Which of the class projects or assignments best prepared you for this role?

    With the help of this question, the interviewer gives an opportunity to the candidate to discuss specific classwork that aligns with the job’s responsibilities.

    Candidate should showcase their academic experiences that can mirror the work they will encounter. Emphasize more on knowledge about the hard skills or technical capabilities in the required areas.
  1. Is there any previous internships or professional experience which has prepared you for this role, and how?

    This question is quite applicable for entry-level candidates as they have limited industrial experience. It can assist the hiring manager to understand the candidate’s experience outside of academics and showcase certain skills or capabilities.

    Candidates should keep the following things in mind to answer this question:
    1. Should have full knowledge of work done during the internship.
    2. Should be honest and speak about actual work done by you and not the team as a whole.
    3. Never badmouth the company experience.

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  1. Throughout your college career, which course did you find to be the most challenging and which course was the easiest?

    By asking such questions, an interviewer can learn about any skill-oriented strengths or weaknesses of the candidate. Get to know areas of work where they may excel or struggle.

    Candidate should have full theoretical knowledge about the course which you find easiest. Be confident and well prepared to answer any question related to that course. They should be honest enough to share their challenges, “It’s fine to say that you don’t know” in an interview.

Interview Questions About Your Work Experience

Although, as a recent college student, you may not have much professional experience, but you are likely to have had at least a part-time job / internship or would have volunteered for a non-profit organization.

  1. Tell me about your work experience? How has it prepared you for a career?

    What They Want to Know: Hiring manager asks this question to know about the candidate’s behavioral aspect in dealing with situations like work ethic, time-management, teamwork competencies etc.

    The key to answering this question is to be concise. Candidates should concentrate on what they have done and why it will help the job role they are being interviewed for.
  1. What major problems have you encountered at work and how did you deal with them?

    What They Want to Know: The question is designed to gauge how you respond and resolve unexpected challenges.

    The candidate should describe the challenging situation, if faced in detail and how many people were involved in it. What actions were taken by you to resolve the issue.

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Questions About the Future

Companies generally prefer to retain talented employees, so interviewers are always keen on hiring candidates they believe will be stable and stay with the organization.

  1. What are you looking for in a job? What is important to you?

    What They Want to Know:  Response to this answer will let the hiring manager know whether a candidate shares the organization’s values and also if he/she will be dedicated to their success.

    While answering this question candidates should
    1. Learn as much as you can about the organization and its goals and needs.
    2. Emphasize how your goals match those of the company.
    3. Don’t claim to be something you‘re not (or to want something you don’t really want).
  1. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

    While this question may be a bit cliché, it assists to determine if the role you are applying for loosely aligns with your long-term goals.

    The candidate should respond in the following manner:
    1. Reflect on how your goals are relevant to the job description.
    2. Visualize the experiences you would like to have on your resume in five years.
    3. Consider your interests and how they might evolve.
  1. Would you still be interested in this job if you knew, at some point in the future, the work environment would change from an individual environment to a team-based approach?

    What They Want to Know: The Hiring manager asks this question to check the candidate’s flexibility in being able to work both independently and as part of a new team.

    The best way to respond to such questions is to try to be relatively neutral since at this stage of the process you do not know what it would be like to work for the company.

An interview cannot reveal everything about an entry-level candidate (that’s what makes reference calls and assessments particularly useful) but it can showcase a lot about a candidate’s communication skills and personality. With any or all of these questions added to your interview alongside industry or company-specific ones, one can get a better picture of a candidate’s potential and their fitment in the organization. 

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