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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Can you ace your job interview?

Can you ace your job interview?

By Sunder Ramachandran
Last updated on: May 26, 2006 14:45 IST
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Now that you have sailed through the five most frequently asked icebreaker questions in a job interview, you can be sure you have made a great first impression on the interview panel.

The next step is to consolidate your position and clinch the deal.

This quiz should help you decide how prepared you are for what is the final round in most interviews.

This quiz is best viewed in Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape above version 6.0.

1. Why do you want to leave the current organisation?
I don't see any growth prospects in my current company.
I am looking for a higher salary package and an employee-friendly management.
I believe my learning in my current organisation has slowed down. The position you are offering gives me an opportunity to expand my skill sets and allows me to take on increased levels of responsibility.

2. What are your salary expectations?
I am expecting a 25 per cent hike on my current Cost To Company/ current salary.
I am expecting a package of (put the figure you expect here) per annum along with other benefits such as medical insurance, travel allowance, education reimbursement, etc.
I am okay with whatever you offer. I am more interested in the role than the salary.

Wrong! Try again.
Wrong!
The correct answer is: I am expecting a package of (put the figure you expect here) per annum along with other benefits such as medical insurance, travel allowance, education reimbursement, etc..
Let go of the guilt and ask for what you deserve. Remember the cliché: You get what you ask for. Find out the industry average for the position you are applying for and work out your minimum and maximum package. You should know exactly what you want in order to negotiate well. Finally, never sound desperate and given in. Be ready to walk out if the job offer does not work for you financially.
Right!
Let go of the guilt and ask for what you deserve. Remember the cliché: You get what you ask for. Find out the industry average for the position you are applying for and work out your minimum and maximum package. You should know exactly what you want in order to negotiate well. Finally, never sound desperate and given in. Be ready to walk out if the job offer does not work for you financially.

3. Where do you see yourself in about five years from now?
I would be doing your job in five years from now.
Having spent five years in the organisation, I see myself playing a critical role in the (mention the department you are working for) as part of the middle management in a consulting role.
I can't say, because I don't plan so far down the line.

Wrong! Try again.
Wrong!
Having spent five years in the organisation, I see myself playing a critical role in the (mention the department you are working for) as part of the middle management in a consulting role..
Have a long term plan and talk about it. It shows you have a forward-looking approach and that you plan for future. These are key business skills. Stay away from ambiguity and be as specific as possible. You will come across as focused and foresighted.
Right!
Have a long term plan and talk about it. It shows you have a forward-looking approach and that you plan for future. These are key business skills. Stay away from ambiguity and be as specific as possible. You will come across as focused and foresighted.

4. Can you tell us about any failures you may have experienced in your present job?
I was challenged with the task of working with a large team and had to be in the middle of many internal team conflicts. Although challenging, it taught me the importance of team work and managing conflicts.
I had a track record of 100% success so I can't really think of any.
I failed to meet my sales targets three months in a row and was on the verge of being fired.

Wrong! Try again.

Wrong!
The correct answer is: I was challenged with the task of working with a large team and had to be in the middle of many internal team conflicts. Although challenging, it taught me the importance of team work and managing conflicts..
Something is wrong if you have never failed. Either you were doing tasks that were way too easy or you did not take any risks at all. Prospective employers want to know the truth. Tell them about a failure and how you turned it around. Present the failure as a key learning opportunity. Being honest will help you score above the rest.
Right!
Something is wrong if you have never failed. Either you were doing tasks that were way too easy or you did not take any risks at all. Prospective employers want to know the truth. Tell them about a failure and how you turned it around. Present the failure as a key learning opportunity. Being honest will help you score above the rest.

5. Are you willing to sign a bond with us?
No way, thanks.
I would like to know more before I consider it. For instance, I'd like to know the training opportunities offered, how long does it take to get into a management position, what are the monthly/ quarterly targets, etc?
Sure thing, I am never going to leave the company.

Wrong! Try again..
Wrong!
The correct answer is: I would like to know more before I consider it. For instance, I'd like to know the training opportunities offered, how long it takes to get into a management position, what are the monthly/ quarterly targets, etc?
Bonds are legal employment contracts that tie you to a company for an agreed period of time, say six months to one year, sometimes more. Before you commit to a company for any time period, get your facts cleared about training and growth opportunities. If you are comfortable with what you have learnt, you can consider saying 'yes'. Remember, however, that you may have to pay the company a fixed amount if you choose to break the bond and leave before the stipulated time frame.
Right!
Bonds are legal employment contracts that tie you to a company for an agreed period of time, say six months to one year, sometimes more. Before you commit to a company for any time period, get your facts cleared about training and growth opportunities. If you are comfortable with what you have learnt, you can consider saying 'yes'. Remember, however, that you may have to pay the company a fixed amount if you choose to break the bond and leave before the stipulated time frame.
Tell us what you think of this Quiz
Compiled by Sunder Ramachandran

Sunder Ramachandran works for a leading BPO in Delhi.

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