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Our earlier feature, 'Smashing answers to common interview questions', got us a phenomenal response. Several readers highlighted the questions they often struggle with. Based on your feedback, here are answers to more interview questions, along with tips from senior HR managers and industry professionals.
The aim of this question is to test your foresightedness and also gauge if you plan for the future. Stick to professional goals and aspirations while answering. The interviewer does not want to hear about a dream vacation you plan to take, or the industry you would like to be in. Talk about company related objectives. This is an opportunity for you to show that you want to succeed in the company and are keen on creating a career path there.
Sample answer: As your company has a strong performance-based culture, in five years I see myself playing a key role of Brand Manager, working on your marketing initiatives.
Being specific and highlighting your strengths versus the competition is the key here. Stay away from generalities like 'I am the best' or 'I am very hard working and dedicated', etc. Talk in quantifiable terms that will make you stand out and pinpoint the qualities you have that are valuable to the company. Give real examples that show them you are best-suited for the job.
Sample answer: In the past, I have implemented projects on attrition management, helping bring down employee turnover rates by 4 per cent. I believe this experience and knowledge will add value as employee retention is amongst your company's top priorities.
This is often used as a stress question to check your spontaneity. The idea is to see if you have a back up plan and how you handle rejection. You need to be assertive and confident while answering this question. You can say you will be disappointed, adding that you will continue to move ahead in your career with the same enthusiasm and vigour.
Sample answer: I will be disappointed if that happens, but will work on specific feedback and try again when the opportunity presents itself.
Question: Why do you want to make a career in ... (Sales, IT, HR, etc)?
The interviewer wants to learn what you know about the chosen career. Knowledge about the domain and the job shows the interviewer you are interested and demonstrates initiative on your part.
Sample answer: I have always been a people's person and counselling is a skill that comes naturally to me. Armed with a Master's degree in HR, I believe a job as an HR executive will give me an opportunity to put my natural skill sets and education to practice.
As we said earlier, it's all about the answers.
-- The writer is a corporate training consultant based in New Delhi.
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