Every student waits forever before sitting in an interview. On the judgment day – the chance of their lifetime with the kingmaker on the other side of the table (or screen). Sleepless nights, endless tales, impressive flashbacks, and achieved milestones – this journey finally gets a chance to be shared. If one thinks of it, every interview follows unique paths – but the foundation is the same. The following common interview questions and answers essentially form the foundation, in one form or another:


Tell me about yourself

More commonly known as TMSY, this question is the biggest and guaranteed opportunity every interview can pose. It can give a head-start or a big thud for one’s interview. The way a student deals with the question must be tactful and indicative of the student’s strengths and quirk. Every attendee is expected to be super-prepared for this question and has to come up with innovative ways to introduce yourself.. For example, a student mentions that he/she is interested in numbers, then the introduction must essentially include quantitative metrics. Similarly, if Shyam says he is considered a comic person, his introduction must show a glimpse into his character.

Another main aspect of TMSY is to know where to stop and what not to disclose. The thumb rule is to wrap the answer in 75 seconds and have a longer version of 150 seconds. The best USPs must be communicated in the first n seconds, as air time is limited and you never know when they will stop you.


What are your goals?

The answer to this common interview question must be derived from your history and in sync with the interviewing platform. Suppose Pavani is applying for a chef’s job, she will have to display herself as a foodie or an amateur cook and that she gains satisfaction out of cooking niche recipes or serving happy customers. Her history must have included a moment of inspiration or an iconic chef that gives her the chills. 

Goals may be short term and/or long term (preferably both) but must be realistic. Long term goals can be nebulous like where do you see yourself in 5 years, but the more concrete they are articulated, the more impressive and happening an interview turns out.


Why do you want this job?

The answer to this question must be so structured, the candidate should know what to look for in the job and well-built that the job must seem tailor-fit for the candidate. The candidate’s past achievements, aspirations, emotional turn-ons, failures, strengths, and any other possible attribute from the CV must be directed towards the job fitment. For example, Moumita is a Computer Science Engineer applying for a role in Media Marketing. Her answers must be well presented such that even the BigData coaching she took in her sophomore year must seem integral to her aspiration to become a Marketeer. Similarly, volunteering and participation in related events/seminars act as accelerators.


“Why should WE hire YOU?”

The most common interview questions and answers are why should we hire you. The answer to this question is analogous or practically the same as “What are your strengths”? The only addition is the aspiration and why you would prove to be a worthy asset who comes with a vested interest in the job/company, and that your commitment to the company is undoubtedly serious. While answering individual strengths, a candidate must be pragmatic, grounded, and yet quantitatively backup strengths with stories, figures, and achievements. For example, one of Nagu’s strengths is negotiation. His answer must include the fact that his negotiation/oratory skills helped in saving or sourcing in sponsors or including their NGO in the rankings of three best NGOs out of 75, or some similar incident that is tangible, measurable, and grand.


Whatever the type of interview or the situation was thrown into, general advice to students is to not complicate answers, stay honest so that they do not give in to stress, and to appear with a mesmerizing story with strong rooted evidence and motives.



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Sachin Chauhan

Authored by
Sachin Chauhan