One of the toughest situations faced by MBA students is when they are giving an interview for a job. It is very important to prepare for these interviews thoroughly so that the student is confident and can easily land his dream job. This article aims to helps the student prepare for interviews by listing some of the most common questions asked along with probable answers that the students can give. Experts often recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what the student might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in their responses, and what it takes to show that the candidate is really the right man or woman for the job.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. The candidate should give a pitch that is concise and compelling and that shows exactly why he is the right fit for the job. He should begin with the two or three precise accomplishments or experiences that he wants the interviewer to know most about then conclude by talking about how that past experience has helped him for this particular role.
What do you know about the company?
Any contender can comprehend and repeat the company’s “About” page. Hence, when interviewers ask this, they aren’t essentially trying to determine whether the candidate can identify with the job but rather they want to know whether the candidate cares about it. The candidate should preferably start with one line that shows that he understands the company’s goals, using a couple key words and phrases from the website, but then he should go on to make it personal.
Why do you want this job?
Companies want to hire people who are ardent about the job, so the candidate should have a grand answer about why he wants that position. It is significant to make out a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for him and then he should share as to why he loves the company.
Why should we hire you?
This interview question is the best setup for the candidate to sell himself and his skills to the hiring manager. He should craft an answer that covers three things: that he can not only do the work but can also deliver great results; that he will really fit in with the team and culture; and that he would be a better hire than any of the other candidates.
What are your greatest professional strengths?
When answering this question, one should be accurate, he should share his true strengths, not those you think the interviewer wants to hear; he should be relevant and choose those strengths that are most targeted to this particular position; and he should be specific. Then, he should follow up with an example of how he has demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
With this question interviewer is really trying to gauge the candidate’s self-awareness and honesty. It is important to strike a balance by thinking of something that he is struggling with but that he is working to improve.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
Nothing says “hire me” more than a track record of getting astonishing results in past jobs. A great way of doing so is by using the S-T-A-R method: the candidate should set up the position and the task that he was essential to complete to provide the interviewer with background context but he should remember to spend the bulk of his time describing what he actually did and what he achieved.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
If asked this question, it is important to be honest and specific about future goals. A hiring manager wants to know the candidate has realistic expectations for his career, if he has ambition and whether the position aligns with the candidate’s goals and growth. The candidate’s best bet is to think realistically about where this position could take him and answer along those lines.
Why are you leaving your current job?
When asked this question it is important to keep things positive and frame things in a way that shows that the candidate is eager to take on new opportunities and that the role he is interviewing for is a better fit for him rather than his current or last position.
What’s your management style?
The best managers are strong but flexible, and that’s exactly what the candidate should show off in his answer. He should share a couple of your best managerial moments, like when he grew his team from five to 15 or coached an underperforming employee to become the company’s top salesperson.
What’s a time you exercised leadership?
Depending on what’s more important for the role, the candidate will want to choose an example that showcases his project management skills or one that shows his ability to confidently and effectively rally a team. It is important to show how he was a leader in this situation and how it represents his overall leadership experience and potential.
What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?
Not everyone agrees with the boss every time, but by asking this interview question, hiring managers want to know that the candidate can do so in a fruitful, proficient way. It is essential to have a discussion about the situation where the candidate’s actions made a positive distinction on the result of the circumstances, whether it was a work-related outcome or a more efficient and helpful working relationship.
How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
First of all, it is imperative to be honest. The candidate should try to pull out strengths and traits that he has not discussed in other aspects of the interview, such as his strong work ethic or his willingness to pitch in on other projects when needed.
Can you explain why you changed career paths?
The candidate should explain to the hiring manager why he has made his career decisions. More importantly, he should give a few examples of how his past experience is transferrable to the new role.
How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
It is vital to select an answer that shows that he can meet a taxing state of affairs in a prolific, constructive manner and that he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing his goals. A great move towards this is to talk about his go-to stress-reduction strategy like making the world’s greatest to-do list or stopping to take 10 deep breaths, and then sharing an example of a stressful situation that has been navigated with ease.
What are your salary requirements?
The number one rule of answering this question is by doing research on what one should be paid by using sites like Payscale and Glassdoor. It is likely come up with a range, and it is recommended that the candidate should state the highest number in that range that applies based on his experience, education, and skills. Then, he should make sure that the hiring manager knows that he is flexible. The candidate should be communicating that he knows his skills are valuable, but that he also wants the job and is willing to negotiate.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Interviewers often ask private questions in an interview to see if candidates will fit in with the environment in the office and to give them the chance to open up and display their uniqueness. In other words, if someone asks about one’s pastime outside of work, it’s totally okay to open up and share what really interests him. However, it is important to keep it semi-professional.
What do you think we could do better or differently?
This is a common one often asked at startups. Hiring managers want to know that the candidate not only has some background on the company, but that he is also able to think critically about it and come to the table with new ideas. Hence, the candidate should come up with new ideas like what new features he would love to see; how could the company increase conversions; how could customer service be improved among others. The candidate should share his opinions, and more importantly, demonstrate how his interests and skill would provide themselves to the job.
Do you have any questions for us?
The candidate should know that an interview is not just a chance for a hiring manager to probe him but that is also his chance to see whether the job is the correct fit for him or not. He should use this question to about whatever he wants to know about the position, The Company, the department, the team, the work culture and others. He should have a few less-common questions ready to go. It is especially recommended to ask questions targeted to the interviewer like what is his favorite part about working in the company or about the company’s growth like whether the interviewer can you tell him about their new products or their future plans for growth.