8 Generic Questions Asked in Every Interview


Be it applying for your dream job or applying for volunteering, interviews are inevitable experiences that we all have to go through at least once in our lives.  

But then, why is it that everytime we think of giving interviews, a fear begins to overpower us, a certain uneasiness begins to overwhelm us? Why, even the most confident of us experience pangs of under-confidence while walking towards the interview room?

An interview is a formal conversation that inquisitively focuses upon having a one to one conversation with the applicants in order to know their personality and knowledge to boil down to a decision of selecting applicants who are most suitable for the respective job designation.  Getting selected for the job we have applied for gives us immense pleasure and happiness. However, no matter what, we all have to face an interview for getting selected for our dream job or dream position. But even before that, we all have to face that pre-interview nerve wracking experience which tries to lower down our confidence. This experience is caused by uncertainty of questions that haunt us before the interviews.
To save you all from this grave feeling, we have prepared a list of 8 Generic Questions that as asked in every interviews:



1- Tell us more about yourself

This question is eternal. Although it is applicable to all the interviews all around the world yet it is peculiar that no one really knows how to go about it. It is the simplest yet the most difficult question.

Primarily the interviewers would like to know about the kind of person you are. They are not interested to receive any kind of encyclopedia of your life. All they need to know is about your basic background information, hobbies and interests, your goals for the future. Be honest, crisp and humble. This will bestow a positive impression on the interviewer. 
Never ramble in front of the interviewer as this will give a mugged-up impression of your answer. Introductions must be said casually and confidently.




2- Why do you want to join this organization?

One Golden Rule before giving any interview-  Always research about the firm you have applied for.

This question is your chance to flaunt all about your researched knowledge about the organization. Talk about the awards and recognitions of the organisation and how honoured you will be to work for the same. Also talk about the goals of the organisation and say how much you believe in them and how much you are going to learn from them. 



3- Where do you see yourself in Five years?

This is your time where you can talk about the broader ambitions and goals you have in life. Do not hesitate or feel shy in talking about your ambitions for your future. 
However, even if you have not decided a specific goal yet, you can always mention that since you like to have a steady healthy progress is life, you are currently exploring various opportunities. You can also speak that in the next five years you see yourself in a secured organisation in line with your career interest.

Never say that you do not have any goal for the next five years. It will make you seem as if you’re not a competitive candidate rather you're more into leisure. 



4- What are your strengths and Weaknesses?

This may seem like the most cliche question but it is still the most important one. It speaks about how much you know about yourself which will speak a tonne about your self-awareness which is integral to employers. In questions like these, the trick is to manipulate words for your own benefit.

Instead of speaking a long list of adjectives, go for few which actually resonate with your personality. Also, always add why do you think this particular trait is your strength or weakness.

If you’re a curious person, say your strength is that you are an inquisitive personality who likes to learn more things, explore new opportunities and gain productive experiences. If you are a person who gets intimidated easily, you can always mention it as your weakness and say how confident and intellectual people intimidate you easily and how, then you strive to become like them or even better each day. Always try to give a hint of confidence in strengths and a hint of undergoing self-improvement in your weaknesses. Know that your strengths can be your weakness if you do not have good explanation and your weakness can be your strength if you have a good explanation.



5- Why should we hire you?

Employer seeks to know what distinguishes you from the rest of the applicants who have applied for the same job post. So, you must play along your strengths of the above question and add few personal experiences as well. Emphasize on your achievements of the past in relation to that quality and how you will mould it in the job if hired. This echoes not only your self-awareness but also establishes that one unique trait as a jewel to your personality.
You must always be prepared for such questions in advance. Remember, there are hundreds of others applicants as your competition and to beat them you need to establish yourself as a strong aware personality. 

For instance- You can write on how your inquisitive personality led you to write and present a paper on  Persistence of Gender Inequalities in India.



6- What motivates you?

Motivation is a highly subjective feeling. It varies from person to person. There is always something or someone that motivates everyone. We all have catalysts in our lives which push us to realise our fullest potential. They may be human beings, a book, pets or what not. All we need to do is to find that person or thing which takes us more closer to our ambition. When you realise who that person is or what that thing is, you’ll automatically know what you have to say.

However, remember that when you answer this question, do not just stop on naming that thing or person. Always explain why and how are you motivated to make your answer more appealing and genuine.



7- What are your salary expectation?

We all work for having that million dollar smile on our faces after seeing our bank balance credited. However, this can not be said directly in an interview as this will make the interviewer give a gold-digging impression of your personality. 
Always begin with the amount of productive work experience and skill development you are looking forward to. Following this say your reasonable expected salary range most humbly along with mentioning that it is negotiable.  




8- Is there anything that you'd like to ask me?

This is the question where you can clear all your queries, if any. However, even if you do not have any doubts, always be prepared with at least one question in advance that you’d like to ask your employer. You can ask explanation on the work that you’ll be doing or about their recent projects. This will leave an impression that you are actually interested in the employer’s company and that you actually know and value the depth of the position you have applied for. 

Remember, it is not about you, it is always about them. Try to avoid questions like salary package or incentives as they hint that your sole interest is for your own benefit and not the company’s. Hence, as a golden rule you must bare it in mind that you always talk about what you have to offer them and not the other way round since you are the one who has applied for the position.




These are the eight most generic questions asked in almost every interview. You must prepare them in advance to save yourself from all that pre-interview anxiety. Well-framed answers, projected with confidence can be a massive boon to your interview even if you fail to answer technical questions.

- Muskan Sumbaly

Source: https://mindgrad.com/free-reads/f/8-generic-questions-asked-in-every-interview


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8 Generic Questions Asked in Every Interview 8 Generic Questions Asked in Every Interview Reviewed by EMN on March 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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