Tell me about yourself

Be prepared to talk about yourself within one or two minutes. Be logical. Start anywhere, such as your education or first professional position. The interviewer is trying to evaluate your communication skills and linear thinking. You may score a point or two by describing a major personal attribute.

9 out of 10 times, you will find this as the first question of an interview. Quite surprisingly, over 80% people aspiring for their first interview find this difficult. The basic idea behind this question is to make you feel comfortable. There is nothing tricky in this as the interviewer is giving you space to get your senses together. The most general answer to this question is :
“I am (Your name), currently pursuing MBA from (University Name) university.
(In case you are working ) I am currently working with EFG Limited as a Developer. I am currently drawing a CTC of Rs.10, 000 p.m. I have done my graduation from ….so on.”
Avoid such kind of answers as this can ruin your first impression. All these details are mentioned in your CV and there is no point on reciting same things again. Another important thing to take care off is Grammar. Avoid using sentences like “Myself Mr. ABC, so on.” The term Myself Mr. ABC here is grammatically incorrect. Be careful. Take this question as an opportunity to get up close & personal with the interviewer and create a healthy atmosphere for interaction be :
“I am a fun loving person, who believes in Live life as it comes. I am very fond of classical music and have acquired a professional degree in this also. Playing online chess is my favorite pastime. I believe Internet is the future of human civilization and would love to see myself as a successful Marketing Manager.”

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Know three to five of your key strengths – the ones most compatible with the job opening. Discuss with specific examples. Don’t include your management or interpersonal skills unless you can describe specific examples of good management, or how your relationship skills have been critical to your success.
A suggested response may sound like this:
“My main strength is my sense of commitment to tasks. When I am given something, I cannot rest until I complete it. Of course, one’s greatest strength can also be a weakness in that I tend to be a bit of a workaholic at times.”
1.    Learning agility and effective personal communication skills
Most researches show that the single best predictor for who will perform well and succeed in a new job is the one who possesses learning agility(a quick learner) and the one who can adjust himself/herself to changes and new situations, such as a new workplace.
2.    Self Motivated and Determined
To achieve success, one needs to be self motivated and determined to succeed. Without self motivation, it is quite possible that even the best of employees will languish in the company without achieving any success.
3.    Success Oriented and Natural Leader
All companies search for an individual who has the drive within himself or herself.
4.    Team Player
No man is an island. And in today’s world, like never before, a person requires a group of people with whom to succeed. Therefore, being a team player in today’s world is almost as important as any academic degree.
5.    Intelligence and Self Confidence
Being intelligent does not mean being the only person in the room who can drive a plane, but a person who has the simple logic and practical knowledge that goes with running a proper team.
1.    Getting Nervous around people
Today, with the advent of the new work culture where a person seldom meets another and where the only time people speak to each other is during coffee breaks, there are some people who have become introverts.  This causes some people to become nervous about giving presentations and speeches.
2.    Being a Debater
Some individuals are too passionate about work and require a reason for any change that is introduced in the company. Though this is good for the project and the product, it might rub some people the wrong way.
3.    Workaholic
4.    Sensitive person
2.    What do you want to do 5 years from now?
Be realistic! Pie-in-the-sky goals label you as immature. one or two management jumps in 3-5 years is a reasonable goal. If your track record indicates you’re in line for senior management in 10 years, then mention it.
Here, the interviewer wants to check your instincts. He wants to know whether you are a practical person or a day dreamer. This question is to check your planning skills. Avoid giving answers like “CEO of this organization or HOD of a department.” If you are an executive, Manager is the maximum you can attain in five years. (The designation maybe different according to your industry but the common thing is that you will be in Middle Level Management.) Some of you might be thinking of another answer i.e “I want to see myself as the best in my profile.” Be very clear on a fact that nobody can be the Best. You can only be first among equals. By giving such answers, you are reflecting that you have no vision. Rather you are happy to be the same after 5 years.
Therefore the following answer can be the most suitable one :
“I would imagine myself being in middle level management after 5 years from now. “
If you’ve had a rocky road, be introspective. A suggested answer could be:
“5 years is a long time, I would like to learn more about marketing and the hospitality industry and perhaps be in a position of responsibility in this field.”

3.    Why are you leaving your current job?

This is a very critical question. Don’t bad mouth your previous employer or co-workers or sound too opportunistic. It’s fine to mention major problems, a buy-out or a shutdown. You may want to state that after long personal consideration, your chance to make a contribution is very low or extensive company-wide changes. Answer truthfully but not in a way that is self-damaging. You do not have to make others look bad in order to look good.
Suggested answers may be something like these:
“I enjoyed my job but I felt that the company was not able to give me the long term growth I need as their business is not doing that well, which is why I applied for this job”
“I believe I can do more and I felt that opportunities in my previous company were limited, which is why I applied for this job.”

4.    What can you offer our company? OR Why do you want to join our company?

Sometimes interviewees make the mistake of saying that they want to learn. This offers no value to the prospective employer! Others say that they want to join a particular company because of their interest in a particular field. This does not answer the question as you could join any one of their competitors. Instead say why you have selected their company. For example, you may answer as follows:
“Your company enjoys a high profile and is a market leader, as such I feel that I can make useful contributions toward your company’s growth. By nature, I am a goal-oriented person, as such I feel that I can add to your company’s sales performance.”

5.    One of our biggest problems is… What has been your experience with this? How would you deal with it?

Think on your feet. Ask questions to get more details and break the problem into subsections. It is highly likely that you will have had some experience dealing with the subsections. Answer these and summarize the total. If you can’t answer directly, state how you would go about solving the problem. Be specific and show your organizational and analytical skills. Demonstrate your problem solving and logic skills.

6.    How has your technical ability been important in accomplishing results?
A potential employee needs a strong level of technical competence. Most strong managers and executives have good technical backgrounds. Describe specific examples of your technical abilities, and how you resolved a technical issue.
7.    How would you handle a situation with tight deadlines, low employee morale and inadequate resources?
Your interviewer is looking for strong management skills in managing human resources and creatively sourcing resources. You need to be creative and innovative in describing your toughest management task, even if it doesn’t meet all the criteria. Most situations don’t. Organizational and interpersonal skills, handling pressure and an honest and good response to this question are indicative of effective management skills.
8.    Are you satisfied with your career to date? What would you change if you could?
Be honest. The interviewer wants to know if you’ll be happy. Are you willing to make some sacrifices to get your career on the right track? Your degree of motivation is an important selection factor.

9.    If not selected today, what will be your future course of action?
This is the second check point for your practical instincts. Here the interviewer is analyzing your approach toward failures. The most popular answer to this question is – “If I am not selected today, I will try in some other organization.”  This is an answer which can ruin the positives you have attained/will be attaining in the interview. You need not tell your worth at any point during an interview. It’s the job of the interviewer to decide how efficient you are. Avoid leaving the impression of an opportunist.
The most apt answer to this interview question can be :
“I believe in Learning from my mistakes. Likewise, if  I am not selected today, I will kindly request you to tell me my shortcomings so that I can go back, work on those and sit again in front of you (obviously if rules allow) to turn my failure into success.”

10.    Ask me 2 questions of your choice.
This is the second level of your professionalism test. Many of you may consider this as the simplest of all questions in an interview. But to your surprise, this is the most important tool for an interviewer to verify your candidature so far. He wants to know whether your answers are a result of “overnight preparation” or you actually own that sense of professionalism. That’s why you should be cautious to ask questions. Avoid asking things like “How is the incentive structure”, “What is the employee strength?What will be my reporting hierarchy?”, “Can you elaborate your business model?”And one most general one “When will I get the response for my interview?” All these questions are miles away from the mind of a professional aspirant. Even talking about the business model is no less than stupidity. Whenever you come for an interview, you are expected to have already gone through the company website and other stuff.
The most preferred answer could be :
“There is not much I would like to ask but if you could give me a brief idea on future expansion plans it would be great.”
11.    Why this company?
This is the last level of your professional test. Till now, the interviewer is almost done with you. He just wants to confirm his evaluation. I assume that nobody of you would say stuff like “As the call came from your HR department regarding an opening, so I am here.”
The most obvious answer to this is :
“I think working in an esteemed organization like yours will definitely help me to evolve as a complete professional. I believe that I can make the best use of my existing capabilities in a constructive working environment like herein.”

12.    Why should I select you?
Now he is just inquiring if something has gone unnoticed. Thus, a little word here and there from your side and you will create a trap for yourself. Just reassess what you have said and assert only those facts. Generally people say “You should select me because I am a hard worker and will do my best to achieve organizational goals. I will prove to be an asset to the organization.” Simply avoid such replies. You have already told your worth with your answers. Don’t elaborate yourself.
The most preferred answer is: “Since you have now evaluated me on all your benchmarks, I believe you would know better if I should be selected for the profile or not. As from my side, my job is my passion and that’s a one word summary of my candidature.”

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