1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
The interviewer wants to know how you would communicate about a topic that only you can describe well. Here, the goal is to show them what is not already mentioned in your resume. It is a good opportunity to tell them about your skills with a personalised answer without cramming too much information.
Example: “Starting from my schooling to post-graduation, I have taken part in several community service events, such as volunteering to teach mathematics to the underprivileged. My participation and success in state and zonal level chess championships taught me lateral thinking and prepared me for challenging assignments. Thanks to my experiences, I have a broader perspective of life and profound respect for hard work.”
2. What are your hobbies?
The focus of an HR interview is to understand the kind of person you are and whether you can be a correct fit for the job. The interviewer may try to assess your personality traits with a seemingly unrelated question about your favourite pastimes. While your hobbies and interests may be out of the realm of the job, they can still apply to the job.
Example: “My degree in English literature has also widened my range of vision into classics written in world languages. When I am not reading, I am learning Spanish through an app. During my teen years, I won many accolades for creative writing and elocution, and I continue that habit to date by partaking in open mics for poetry reading.”
3. Why should we hire you or how are you the right candidate for this job?
This may be among the most challenging interview questions for freshers and the most significant chance to project your strengths in a positive light. Refrain from comparisons with other candidates vying for the job and be confident about what you can bring to the position.
Example: “I possess the required qualifications for the position, and my academic performance speaks for itself. In addition to the final year project that I finished at Clear Manufacturing Company, I was a part of the team that interned at the same facility the previous semester. This period helped me understand various aspects of the production cycle, workplace safety and factory functions. During my summer break, I enrolled in CNC programming and machine designing software courses, which allow me to multi-task if needed.”
4. Why do you want to work here and what do you know about this company?
The person interviewing you wants to know whether you are keen on joining the organisation, or if this opportunity is a learning curve for you. You can expect this question no matter which field you choose, so you can start by doing some research about the company’s history, objectives and verticals.
Example: “Although established a couple of years ago, your company is among the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the country. As a loyal customer of the company myself, I have been following your success stories on social media and mainstream news. Your eco-friendly practices and CSR drives have been quite inspiring to youth. Also, the corporate leadership and executive training programs hosted at your campus can go a long way in accelerating my career.”
5. What inspires you to come in for work every day?
Interviewers want to be assured that you will be happy and content with the role. A growing pay package may motivate you, but explaining that what drives you is not an external factor. Determine what you are looking for in a job, and explain that. Since this would be your first job, you can rely on a good story from your internships or volunteer experiences.
Example: “In my internship with Better Firm, I assisted several executives coming from mixed cultures. Working in a team and brainstorming a confluence of ideas to arrive at the optimal solution made my day. As an avid learner, I take pride in doing tasks of all sizes. Whether it was ordering tea-time snacks for breaks between presentations or scheduling client meetings, I was proactive in my approach. I get a boost of energy simply by knowing that I have given any assignment the best shot and have not let anything slip through the cracks.”
6. What kind of salary do you expect?
Freshers may be looking at entry-level jobs, and in the absence of experience, you may not be able to put a number on your remuneration. By researching the salary ranges of various positions, you can get an idea of your compensation. Rather than giving a fixed answer, leave room for negotiation later. One way to do this is to say that you will accept the latest industry standards.
Example: “Since I am just beginning my career, I cannot give you a particular figure as my take-home salary, but I am eager to join a great brand like yours where I can get plenty of opportunities to sharpen my skills and further my career. At this point, I would say yes to the market package for beginners. Can you tell me what someone with the same experience level and job responsibilities receives at your company?”
7. How long do you plan to remain with us and where do you see yourself in five years?
Employers invest a lot in training and onboarding new employees into their roles and respective teams. If they hire you, they want to be sure that you will stay for the long term. If it is a short gig, refrain from misrepresenting your motives—express your enthusiasm for being considered for the position in such an esteemed company and express your willingness to continue in a good work environment.
Example: “For a fresher like me, the initial years make for a solid foundation over which I can build my career, and I can ask for no better organisation than yours. I would like to serve the company for as long as I can have an enriching career. From what I have heard, mentors take recruits under their wing in a tailored approach. In the next couple of years, I plan to polish my skills and deliver my full potential to every project I am assigned.”
8. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Talking about your strengths is relatively easy and preferable when you are starting a new job. But you can turn your weaknesses into masked strengths and share anecdotes about how you have overcome such negative traits.
Example: “I am an excellent negotiator and can deliver convincing arguments to let people understand, if not accept, my view. My sports background allows me to stay calm in stressful situations and motivate my teammates in times of need. Coming to my weaknesses, while I consider myself a highly assertive person, I can sometimes come off as too blunt. While communicating during my internship, I had started reserving my criticism or questions to emails, instead of posing them directly in a group. This habit has ensured that I frame my sentences diplomatically and build strong professional bonds.”
9. Do you have any questions?
When all the interview questions for freshers are over, the HR staff would like to know if you need information about the company’s role. Before you thank the interviewer and walk out, this is the right time to shoot some of your own questions. Prepare these before going in, and frame them as open-ended questions that need wording other than “yes” or “no.” Conclude your meeting by saying that you are eager to hear about their decision soon.
Example: “Yes, I do, thanks. Can you say something about your journey and experiences in this company? How long will I have to wait to receive my first formal employee evaluation? If hired, what would my everyday responsibilities entail for this position? Is the management open to employee suggestions and feedback? Can you suggest any additional qualifications I can earn to start a career in this field? What measures did you take to successfully eliminate the obstacles or challenges facing the firm?”