How do I prepare for an interview?

Working for start-ups isn’t easy unless you are passionate about your role, contribution and wearing multiple hats. Having played various roles in start-ups and switching companies for more challenges to increase my learning curve, I have faced many interviews.

Given that switching companies is not easy to unlearn and learn new process and projects, I have come across a list of questions I have been asked during my interviews so far. I am sharing my personalised list. Hope it helps you readers :)

Cultural fit questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. How are you different?
  3. Are you a team player?
  4. What is your strength?
  5. How did you find us?
  6. Why should we hire you?
  7. How do you handle criticism?
  8. Describe your management style.
  9. What made you apply to this job?
  10. What was your role in the company?
  11. What irritates you about co-workers?
  12. What is the role you are looking for?
  13. Reason behind leaving your last job
  14. What excites you about our company?
  15. How soon can you join after an offer?
  16. Do you consider yourself successful?
  17. Why do you want to work at a start-up?
  18. Why are you looking for a change of job?
  19. Tell me your ability to work under pressure.
  20. What type of company are you looking for?
  21. Define what it means to be a hard worker?
  22. Do you have any questions for the panel?
  23. What are the expectations from the new job?
  24. What is challenging in your current role/process?
  25. What are some areas that you would like to develop?
  26. What are your expectation from us or working with us?
  27. What are the different domains you have worked so far?
  28. Two things where we could improve in our organization
  29. Why have you been unemployed for some time?
  30. What type of environment do you prefer to work in? Laid back & easy going or face paced?
  31. What are the 3 more important things a company should offer its employees?
  32. What motivates you and how do you stay motivated?
  33. How do you describe your personal work ethic?
  34. How do you handle interruptions, breaks in routine or last minute changes?
  35. What did you enjoy about your previous job? What did you dislike?
  36. Please describe a work experience that you found stressful. How did you deal with the situation?
  37. In previous work experience, were you able to discover ways to improve or increase your productivity? Explain
  38. How long would you expect to work with us if we hired you?
  39. What is your weakness? How do you plan to overcome it?
  40. What position do you prefer on a team working on a crucial project?
  41. What would your last supervisor say made you most valuable to them?
  42. How did you get along with your co-workers/peers? What would your co-workers say about you?
  43. Are you looking for full-time work (joining us) or collaborating with us as a consultant?
  44. Tell me one mistake you have done so far and what’s your learning from it?
  45. Please let me know when it would be a good time to contact you?

Monetary value questions

  1. What is your salary expectation?
  2. What are your salary requirements?
  3. Why should we pay you so much?

Role-change questions

  1. Why did you change your role from being a developer to a project manager?
  2. What is the difference between Project Management and Product Management?
  3. How do you differentiate the change in responsibilities in Project Management & Product Management?
  4. What skills are needed/qualities to be a Product Manager?

Scenario-based questions

  1. Consider a Product XYZ. You are given a list of 10 features. How would you prioritise them for an MVP? What factors will you consider the list against?
  2. Describe a scenario where you have headed a team apart from professional experiences and what are the challenges you have faced?
  3. In 150 characters or fewer, tell us what makes you unique. Try to be creative and say something that will catch our eye!
  4. If the requirements keep changing in development phase (no design phase) which process would you choose? Note that the team is not aware of any process.
  5. What actions do you take so that requirements don’t change again and again so that you don’t miss deadlines or screw up the estimates?
  6. Choose two favourite apps on your phone and explain the features — Eg: SpiltWise and Pocket. What would you improve in both the apps you chose?
  7. Consider these apps: i) Gmail and Whatsapp ii) LinkedIn and Google Trips iii) Any two Services apps like supermarket checkout d) Any two physical products (such as wearables) — Which is more successful?
  8. What are your product reviews regarding the new entry apps towards UPI Payments — WhatsApp, Truecaller, Hike, Google Tez.
  9. Your team suggests code optimisation to be done has the earliest. But, the clients want features to be considered for the sprint. How will you convince the client regarding polishing the code?
  10. You have a demo to be given on a Friday morning at 11:00 AM which is tested by the QA team. But you realise an error popped up 10 minutes before the demo. How will you carry forward the demo without postponing it?
  11. You have 7 Daily standups everyday. But you missed checking Jira/Trello board for a project and you had to rush for a stand-up unprepared. How will you manage?

Future plans

  1. What are your career short term and long goals?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
  3. What’s your goal for the next 2–3 years personally and professionally?

PM role

  1. What do you like/dislike about agile methodology? Elaborate
  2. How would you prepare for a retrospective where the teammates are in 3 different time-zones?
  3. What are the new things you learnt in Retrospective. Anything interesting to share?
  4. What are your major projects and what has been your contribution in each of them?
  5. As a manager, how to you resolve conflicts between Development team and QA team. Eg: Sharing devices, clarity of tasks, Trello updates, delivery or priorities etc.
  6. How big was the team that you were working with?
  7. Tell me a few challenges that you have faced in your projects
  8. On what terms do you consider a success of a Product?
  9. How would you explain machine learning to a 5-years-old?
  10. How would you go about re-designing Twitter?
  11. How would you design a Google search type-ahead?

P.S. Share your interesting answers :)

I write about Dance, Fitness, Relationships, Product reviews and the self. My goal is to write something that will inspire or touch the heart and soul ❤