How to answer cliché interview questions authentically?

You walk into the interview room with confidence and a smile, shake the interviewer’s hand and follow all the rules in the book and then comes one of the most cliched questions like, “Why our company?”, “What are your strengths?”. You have lost most of your confidence right there. 

The biggest problem with cliched questions is the fact that they are cliched. Everyone knows about them, everyone knows the standard answers and no matter how true they are, if your answer is a standard one, it will come across as fake. 

So the biggest question here is, what do you do? What to expect and what to answer? Well, do not worry. We have you covered! 

We bring to you the 7 most cliched questions and ways to answer them. 

1. Tell me about yourself? 

This is the most asked question in almost every interview! You have to understand that the interviewer is not asking this to you to know about you, they probably already do. They want to test various things such as your opinion about yourself, your way of communicating and the reason you choose the answer that you do! 

The best way to answer this question is to prepare yourself beforehand. Choose a strong starting point. Do not tell something that is already present in your resume and make sure you answer it with confidence and do not sound robotic! 

2. Why do you want to be a part of this company? 

In this question, the interviewer is testing the homework you have done about the company. DO NOT try to flatter the interviewer. It is a bad idea and you will come across as fake! No one wants that. Be real and tell them why you want to be a part of the company. Is it because of the work environment? Is it because of the pay scale? Is it because employees are better-taken care of? Is it because you want to explore the work culture of this company? Whatever your answer is! Make sure you convey it as it is! 

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

This again is a very cliched and common question asked by the recruiter! This question is usually being asked to test if you have a long term vision to be a part of the company. Usually, companies look for candidates who would stay for a longer period of time because a high employee turnover ratio impacts negatively on the company’s profile. When you answer this question, make sure you convey the fact that you see yourself at a higher and valued position in the company. 

4. What is your biggest weakness? 

This question is usually relied upon by the interviewer to see what you think your weakness is. Your answer doesn’t have to be out of the box or creative. Again, try and be as crude and honest as possible. However, you might want to avoid “trust issues” or “anger issues”, mainly because weaknesses like these are expected to be under control in a corporate environment! 

5. Why should we hire you?

When you are asked this question, tell them what you bring to the table. All your strengths, your biggest achievement, your skillset and your edge as a corporate professional. This answer will require you to do a thorough self-analysis beforehand. 

6. Why are you leaving your company? 

Here’s the thing, when you leave a company, it is assumed that you are not leaving on good terms. If you are not a fresher, you will be asked this question! Do not, and we mean it in the best way possible, DO NOT trash your previous company. It is highly frowned upon and is not at all professional in nature! Tell them your issue with the company in a polite way and you can tell them that you are looking to widen your skillset. You may even talk nicely about your previous employer and tell them how much you learned in your previous employment! 

7. Do you have any questions for me? 

The final question that may be asked is this! The employer is very keen to answer whatever question you put forward so make sure your question is not just for the sake of asking a question. A question like, “Am I getting the job?” is best avoided. Ask a question that adds value to your job profile and a question that is insightful. You may ask about the pay package, your colleagues, the work culture. Anything you genuinely do not already know the answer of! 

There you have it! 7 cliche interview questions and ways to answer them authentically!

Happy interviewing!

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