Are you a fresher ready to dive into the job pool? Then you are about to embark on uncharted territory — the job interview. This rite of passage completes your transformation from college student to working adult. Here, you will face seasoned professionals whose footsteps you hope to follow one day. It is okay to be anxious or worried. It is better to be prepared. As a newcomer, you may lack the experience but not the intelligence. If you are qualified, confident and self-assured, you can ace your interview and score your first job. To help you on your journey, we have the ten most common interview questions and answers for freshers.
What to expect when you’re expecting a job?
All that stands between you and your career goals is the Q&A round. The HR executive will grill you with tough questions to understand whether you suit the company profile. They will evaluate your credentials, ask about your education and assess your presentation and body language. They may even throw a technical question or two. However, they are not looking for complex answers as much as your ability to handle the pressure. The recruiter will also be interested in you. What kind of a person are you? What are your career goals? So here are the ten basic interview questions and answers for freshers often asked by recruiters.
10 common interview questions and Answers for Freshers
Tell us about yourself.
Such simple four little words. But they can make toughened professionals break into a sweat. How to answer this loaded question? Do you offer your entire life story in 10 minutes? Do you repeat the points listed in the resume? Do they want to know about your personal life? Should you talk about the past or future? It can be unnerving when put on the spot with such a broad, open-ended question.
The answer should reflect who you are. How best would you describe yourself? What qualities and skills make you perfect for this job? Offer them an insight into why you picked your chosen field. Throughout your answer, choose interesting anecdotes that make your story relatable yet unique. Keep it short and simple, but make it personal. This is a common interview question for freshers, so make sure you are adequately prepared.
I come from a family of lawyers, but I never had any intention of following suit! I have always been captivated by numbers and statistics. As a kid, I would ask my friends and family their favourite movies and music and then convert that data into bar graphs in a special notebook. I still have that book! After my graduation, where I was one of the top-scoring students, I decided to pursue my passion for data. I promptly signed up for a data analytics course. I was fascinated by how data professionals create stories and insights from crunching numbers. It is such a challenging career that is perfect for me.
What makes you a good fit for this industry?
This is a very basic interview question and answer for freshers. You may be interested in finance or you could have an MBA in marketing. That is super. But your qualifications alone don’t make you the right person for the job. Your personality, soft skills and natural leadership qualities are equally important. Do you fit the company culture? Are you adept at multitasking? Do you thrive under pressure?
This is what the recruiter wants to know. You must reveal how you can adapt to the demands of the role. Do you bring something more than just words on a resumé?
I have an innate affinity with numbers. When my 5th standard maths teacher taught percentages, statistics and graphs, it was love at first calculation for me. My uncle is an investment banker, and he has been mentoring me since college. I worked part-time in his office and I knew this was my career path. I’ve completed my CFA and I have the skills, aptitude and qualities to be a proficient equity analyst. I have learnt about risk management, I’m good with analytical thinking, and I’m very good at managing my time under pressure.
What are your key strengths and weaknesses?
Out of all the common interview questions and answers for freshers, this one probably tops the list in most companies. So brace yourself.
It may feel like a trap. Are the recruiters trying to catch your inabilities? No, they want to know how self-aware you are. Do you have confidence in your skills? Are you able to pinpoint the areas you need to work on? Are you a realistic and logical person?
Here is the best way to tackle this question. Back up your strengths with evidence, but don’t overdo it. You don’t need to give an hour-long speech about your virtues and values. Chances are, the recruiter will mentally clock out after the first five minutes. Keep it short and sharp. Don’t forget to connect your strengths to the company you are applying for. How can it help them?
Next, state your weaknesses, but mention how you plan to overcome them. You need to show you are constantly working on self-improvement.
This is a tough question. There are no right or wrong answers. However, you will be judged on how effectively you tackle this query.
My greatest strength is my ability to communicate effectively. On several occasions in college, I was the official compere or official representative because of my oration skills.
My strengths are my patience, reliability and endurance. I can see the big picture and focus on the final outcome. I was on the organising committee for our college festival and I was able to overcome specific obstacles by breaking up the big problems into smaller, fixable issues.
I am not very good at public speaking. I’m working on managing my nerves and actively taking steps to improve my speech and body language.
I’m not a big risk-taker. I tend to stress a lot about failing. With more experience, I can build the confidence to be bolder and less intimidated.
Why do you want to join this company?
You have applied to hundreds of companies, and this is one of the few that called you for an interview. Well, don’t tell them that! Before you head out for the meeting, study the company to understand its vision and mission. Also, join their various social media handles so you are aware of the latest developments. If you don’t know anything about the company, you won’t be able to handle common interview questions and answers for freshers. Research and preparation are everything when you are trying to impress the recruiter. Blow them away with your knowledge about the corporation and align your career goals with their future objectives. If you do this successfully, you are likely to receive an offer letter.
I have been following your Instagram page for a while, and I love how your company uses innovative digital marketing strategies to push the envelope! It is very similar to my own creative style, and I see myself as a good fit. I have similar ideas I would love to explore if given a chance.
Talk about a time you faced a major challenge.
As a newcomer, you may not have any work experience. But you do have life experience. You can dig up an anecdote from your college life, extracurricular activities or sporting events.
You need a scenario that ticks all the following boxes:
- Showcases your life skills
- Highlights how well you work under pressure
- Connects to your job profile in this company
- Honestly outlines your abilities
Don’t exaggerate. Don’t showboat. Keep it professional.
If answered well, this basic interview question and answer for freshers can close the deal for you.
One of my biggest challenges was moving to Mumbai for my post-graduate studies. It was a steep learning curve as I had to learn to be independent, navigate this bustling metro and fend for myself. I was able to find a suitable PG accommodation, become a pro at train commuting and budget my expenses. Despite so many adjustments, I still aced my program with flying colours. I am a quick learner and a fast adaptor, which helped me overcome my challenges.
How do you deal with conflict?
This is a no-brainer. The recruiters need to ensure they are not hiring unprofessional candidates. Conflict is a part and parcel of corporate life. It’s how you handle it that sets you apart from other candidates.
You can simply state your own qualities or narrate an actual incident where you were able to resolve a disagreement. Either way, a personal touch is needed to prove you are up to the task. The key takeaway is that you are a team player with minimal ego issues. This is a standard behavioural interview question and answer for freshers, and it helps the company know more about you.
When I was working on an important college project, a teammate and I didn’t see eye to eye. We had different working styles, so we were unable to reach a common ground. This was causing conflict with the other team members, so we decided on a compromise. We divided the work according to our strengths and trusted that the other person would deliver. Things flowed smoothly after that, and we received glowing feedback from our professor.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
More specifically, do you see yourself in this company? HR managers hate employee turnovers. They want reliable candidates who see a future in the organisation. Someone willing to grow with the firm. Your answer should reflect a bigger picture of your career goals, wherever you plan to pursue them. Recruiters want employees who are in it for the long haul. That’s why this is a very common interview question and answer for freshers.
I hope to work in an office where my long-term goals align with the company. I see myself gaining valuable experience and skills that further advance my prospects within the firm. I also see myself in charge of a team, handling independent projects.
How well do you work under pressure?
Some candidates thrive under pressure. And some do not. If you fall in the second category, that’s fine. It’s how you prepare for pressured roles that prove your worth. Do you have a structured plan? Are you aware of your shortcoming and know how to work around them? Are you organised and efficient? This is what recruiters look for with this basic interview question and answer for freshers.
I am a naturally organised person. I make daily, weekly and monthly plans to ensure all objectives are met. In times of stressful deadlines or unforeseen obstacles, I tend to get a bit ruffled, but I rely on my problem-solving abilities and communication skills to ensure all targets are met.
What is your understanding of ‘insert industry term‘?
This is a technical interview question and answer for freshers. This is where your knowledge, training and education come in. The recruiter may throw a simple concept or an advanced term at you to ensure you know your industry well. Don’t overcomplicate. Don’t narrate the entire page of your textbook. Give a jargon-free, simple yet cohesive answer. Pretend as if the recruiter is not familiar with the terminology and then offer an easy explanation. This will show your technical proficiency as well as effective communication skills.
(Let’s say the recruiter asks what data analytics software you are familiar with.)
I am fluent in Python, R and Tableau. I have a data analytics certification that extensively prepared me to work with these software systems. I am also proficient in Microsoft Excel, and my speciality is SQL database management.
Why should we hire you?
This is the part where you should try to sell yourself. Tap into your persuasive communication skills and showcase yourself as a worthy candidate. Talk about:
- Your skills, education and technical background
- Your soft skills, such as time management, analytical thinking, leadership skills, etc.
- Your career goals and objectives
- Your abilities to fit into this particular company’s culture
This may be the last of all the interview questions and answers for freshers, so try to end on a big, positive note.
I’m a fast learner and a highly enthusiastic team player. I’m very eager to work in a company where I can hone my skills and showcase my talents. I have been following your firm’s growth for a while. I’m very impressed with how you have achieved your targets in the last three years. I am highly passionate about my career and hope to be a significant part of this company’s future.
IMS Proschool’s courses and recruitment training facilities
The job market is a tough space for newcomers. You need support to break into the top companies. As one of India’s finest coaching institutes, Proschool understands what companies look for when they hire freshers. The faculty consists of industry experts who train students to fill in the gaps in the job market. They offer valuable advice, hands-on learning techniques and real-world case studies to ensure students master their craft. That’s not all.
Proschool also offers a recruitment portal that connects all certified students to recruiting companies. There is also a professional team in place that grooms students for interviews. At the end of the day, Proschool ensures all students are specialists in their fields, despite their lack of work experience.
Here are some of the other features:
- Offers top professional courses such as CFA, ACCA, CIMA, CFP, digital marketing, data analytics, financial modelling, IFRS and options trading.
- All faculty members are certified professionals with industry experience.
- You can enrol at any of the coaching centres across India or opt for an online course.
- Additional resources include mock exams, practice papers, study prep books and recruitment training.
- You also receive certifications from the NSE and NSDC.
So there you go. Above are some of the common interview questions and answers for freshers. As you can see, there is a science to planning for interview questions.
Never go to a meeting without preparing for them. Ensure you know all the important facts about the company and the industry. Also, practice some of the answers in front of the mirror to correct your speech and body language. If you come across as a dedicated professional willing to learn and grow, you are a shoo-in for the position. So good luck!