Basic themes of preparation
Now there are several website, offering HR interview questions and answers (we come to that in the next article here). While you go through them, you will understand, there is no exact or accurate answer for these HR questions. The answer varies with respect to company, candidate and what you want to put up in front of the interviewer.
Nevertheless there are few basic principles based on which a fresher should prepare for any HR interview. So before you dive into the questions and answers, let’s go through some of the underlying categories, based on which a fresher should prepare for an HR interview round.
It’s assumed, a person is most comfortable with oneself & so is talking about oneself. So show that in your answer.
- Answer confidently & comfortably. Do not hurry and talk fast.
- Prepare this answer well in advance.
- Answer should contain facts about yourself, like where you studied, where you grew up, what course you completed, from which college etc.
- Give importance to recent information rather than play school details.
- Include your achievements academic and/or non-academic, which will showcase your strengths.
- You can also include information like your hobbies, and other interests like you play chess or you were your college chairman. These win very important brownie points.
- What HR is expecting is to know more about you and that’s why it’s not so important to include your parent’s occupation or where your sibling work.
- Do not stretch it beyond couple of minutes. Keep statements to-the-points and include only those that are important to you.
Note: Of course most of these information are there in the resume, but remember, the objective is to make you comfortable as well.
Understanding who you are
This first question is the most important tool for you in any interview. Not only you get to talk about yourself, but can also dictate the lines in which the interviewer will ask their next questions.
- Trick here is to hold up your strength (be careful not to boast) in a noticeable way. A simple technique would be to put it in last sentence.
- Example: If you are very good at chess. Remember to make it the concluding sentence “... and apart from studies, I like to play chess & I’ve won numerous inter state championships and tournaments”. It’s a basic human tendency to remember the last word of a conversation - The “chess champion” STAYS throughout the interview.
- The points you make here are going to complement the statements you make in later part of the interview. Use this question to lay path for later questions.
- Example: Telling that you were your college chairman, is like giving a heads up example, of your strength as Leadership quality.
- Another trick is to end the conversation with open sentences and make interviewer curious. This can be done if you hold a significant achievement in any field.
- Example: “I like travelling... and have done many expeditions till now, including Himalayas” or “I am interested in archery, and have represented the country in Junior Olympics”. There are very good chance, the HR will ask you details about the same.
Here are the some common questions that you might come across from “Know yourself” category
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strength & weakness
- Give an example of your strength
- What are your goals in life
- What are your hobbies or outside interests
Know the company
Knowing the company you are interviewing for is as important as knowing yourself. For, that will determine how you want to present yourself. It’s said, “Some facts are best used, when kept untold”. So while you have 100 facts about yourself, its representation depends on how well you know the company. E.g.: A travel portal company is interviewing you. While you hate travelling yourself, you love the tourism industry & knows a lot about country’s demography. So your answers should involve, your knowledge about tourism and keep aside the fact that you personally hate travelling a lot.
Here are few things you can look up or inquire about the company, before you attend and HR interview.
- Read about company as much you can. This should include, the company’s area of expertise, various industries it serves, recent developments & news, its working culture etc.
- If possible, talk to someone who knows about the company and its culture.
- Learn about the location & areas of postings. This will help you choose your location preference. The finer details are hard to come by, but if known, will help you answer few tricky questions.
- Try to learn about the fresher pay, various incentives and other perks it provides.
Here are the some common questions that you might come across from “Know the company” category
- Why do you want to work for my company
- Are you willing to relocate or travel
- What motivates you in a job
- How can you contribute to this company
- What are your ambitions in next 5 years?
- What is your dream company