Interviews are like anything else in life, they take practice to perfect. The job market is highly competitive so you should always maintain a high standard of professionalism. This is guaranteed to impress your potential employer, as it will show focus and maturity.
What is Professionalism?
Presentation, Punctuality and Preparation.
Presentation is not just the clothes you wear, but your general presentation during the interview. Dress for success, formal attire is the best option. Look the part and you will be more likely to get it. Body language such as eye contact and how you greet your interviewer are important. Shaking hands is a sign of confidence and respect so is making regular eye contact. Always be polite not just during the interview but to any one you may have contact with in the office or work environment.
Being on time is essential to a successful interview. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, map out a route if you are unsure in any way. Being early gives you time to relax and prepare for your interview. If you are going to be late or unable to attend for any unforeseeable reason call ahead and let them know. This will show them that you are serious and that you take your commitments seriously.
Get to know the company you are hoping to work for. A little background information can go a long way. You should research the company well before applying to it. You must be prepared to discuss the industry, the company’s relative size within that industry and show that you know who the major players and competitors are.
Frequently Asked Questions
All interview questions are designed to find out your ability to fit-in and contribute to the specific workgroup. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions to help you prepare for your interview:
Tell us about yourself?
Tell them in detail how your experience would relate to the position you are being interviewed for. Be as detailed as possible about your family background, educational background and previous job experience.
Why are you interested in this position?
Tell your employer why you chose to apply for this position. Explain why you are a perfect match for the position and how you will do full justice to the same. Use relevant examples from your family background, educational background and previous job experience.
What do you know about this company?
You should research the company well before applying to it. You must be prepared to discuss the industry, the company’s relative size within that industry and show that you know who the major players and competitors are
What salary are you drawing?
The question is not difficult to answer – just be honest and give the figure. In all probability, your next employer may base your salary on this amount. However, the problem arises when you feel you are being underpaid in your current organization. You may feel tempted to lie, but do not give in, as checks can be easily made and you may be disqualified. In case you are getting additional perks, incentives or commissions, do not forget to mention them, as they are important while negotiating salary.
How to Answer the Four Most Common Interview Questions
1. “Tell Me a Little About Yourself”
Sometimes the most general question can be the hardest. How can you sum up your entire life story in just a couple of minutes?
The goal is not to summarize your resume — the interviewer already has a copy of that. Rather, tell how you came to be interested in this particular company and job, and weave examples of past accomplishments throughout to demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate.
“Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”
Did you resign? Get laid off? Get fired? Storm out of the office in a huff, never to return? Chances are, you’ll have to explain it in an interview.
The most important point to remember when answering this question: STAY POSITIVE.
The biggest sign of a troublemaker is when someone trashes his or her former boss or company during an interview. It doesn’t matter if your boss was a jerk or if you hated your coworkers — an interview is not the place to vent past frustrations.
Rather, the best way to answer this question is to stay positive and talk about your desire for growth opportunities. This will paint you as a proactive employee who enjoys responsibility and challenges.
Here are some quick pointers for answering this question, depending on your circumstances:
IF YOU WERE FIRED:
Be honest, but quick about explaining it. Don’t get into the political details; rather, explain what you learned from the experience and how it makes you an even stronger employee today. It’s not a good idea to lie about your termination. When the interviewer calls your references, he or she will most likely find out you were fired anyway. So be honest, and explain what you learned.
IF YOU WERE LAID OFF:This is not nearly as taboo as it was even five years ago, so don’t apologize or act defeated. If a company goes bankrupt or had massive layoffs, simply explain, “Because of the economy, the company decided to eliminate six departments, including mine.”
IF YOU QUIT:Again, be honest and stay positive. State that the work being offered wasn’t challenging enough, that you are seeking higher levels of responsibility or simply that you are ready to make the next step on your career ladder — and that the job for which you are interviewing is the ideal next step.
The secret is to stay positive and discuss your desire for growth. Hiring managers love applicants who actively seek responsibility.
2. “What’s Your Biggest Weakness?”
What are you supposed to do — tell them why they SHOULDN’T hire you?
The “weakness” question is popular with interviewers not because they want to torture you, but because they’re interested in hearing how you tackle challenges.
The most important thing to remember is that after you name your weakness, you MUST discuss what you have done to overcome it.
Pick a weakness that is real but understandable or relatively harmless. Whatever weakness you pick, be sure that it is work-related (“I have a tendency to overfeed my dog” is NOT an appropriate weakness) and that you present the strategies for how you overcame it.
3. “Do You Have Any Questions for Me?”
Yes, you do.
You should always try to ask a thoughtful question or two at the end of an interview. It shows that you’ve been listening and that you’ve done your research on the company.
What should you ask?
Does this job usually lead to other positions at the company? What kind of positions?
What do you like best about this company? Why?
DO NOT ask about salary, vacation days, benefits or anything else that would make it look like you’re more interested in the compensation package than the company. Also, don’t ask too many questions; just a couple will be fine.
And the most important question of all: Don’t forget to ask for the job!
I’m very interested in this job. It’s exactly the kind of job that I’m looking for. What is the next step in the interview process?
Interview questions for .NET
What is a static class?
What is static member?
What is static function?
What is static constructor?
How can we inherit a static variable?
How can we inherit a static member?
Can we use a static function with a non-static variable?
How can we access static variable?
Why main function is static?
How will you load dynamic assembly? How will create assemblies at run time?
What is Reflection?
If I have more than one version of one assemblies, then how will I use old version (how/where to specify version number?) in my application?
How do you create threading in.NET? What is the namespace for that?
What do you mean by Serialize and MarshalByRef?
What is the difference between Array and LinkedList?
What is Asynchronous call and how it can be implemented using delegates?
How to create events for a control? What are custom events? How to create it?
If you want to write your own dot net language, what steps you will you take care?
Describe the difference between inline and code behind – which is best in a loosely coupled solution?
How dot net compiled code will become platform independent?
Without modifying source code if we compile again, will it be generated MSIL again?
How do you handle this COM components developed in other programming languages in.NET?
How CCW (Com Callable Wrapper) and RCW (Runtime Callable Wrappers) works?
What are the new thee features of COM+ services, which are not there in COM (MTS)?
What are the differences between COM architecture and.NET architecture?
Can we copy a COM dll to GAC folder?
What is Shared and Repeatable Inheritance?
Can you explain what inheritance is and an example of when you might use it?
How can you write a class to restrict that only one object of this class can be created (Singleton class)?
What are virtual destructures?
What is close method? How its different from Finalize and Dispose?
What is Boxing and UnBoxing?
What is check/uncheck?
What is the use of base keyword? Tell me a practical example for base keyword’s usage?
What are the different.NET tools which you used in projects?
What will do to avoid prior case?
What happens when you try to update data in a dataset in.NET while the record is already deleted in SQL Server as backend?
What is concurrency? How will you avoid concurrency when dealing with dataset?
One user deleted one row after that another user through his dataset was trying to update same row. What will happen? How will you avoid this problem?
How do you merge two datasets into the third dataset in a simple manner?
If you are executing these statements in commandObject. “Select * from Table1; Select * from Table2″ How you will deal result set?
How do you sort a dataset.
If a dataset contains 100 rows, how to fetch rows between 5 and 15 only?
What is the use of Parameter object?
How to generateXML from a dataset and vice versa?
How do you implement locking concept for dataset?
How will you do Redo and Undo in TextBox control?
How to implement DataGrid in.NET? How would you make a combo-box appear in one column of a DataGrid? What are the ways to show data grid inside a data grid for a master details type of tables? If we write any code for DataGrid methods. what is the access specifier used for that methods in the code behind file and why?
How can we create Tree control in asp.NET?
Write a program in C# to find the angle between the hours and minutes in a clock?
Write a program to create a user control with name and surname as data members and login as method and also the code to call it.
How can you read 3rd line from a text file?
Explain the code behind wors and contrast that using the inline style.
Explain different types of HTML, Web and server controls.
What are the differences between user control and server control?
How server form post-back works?
How would ASP and ASP.NET apps run at the same time on the same server?
What are good ADO.NET object to replace to ADO Recordset object.
Explain the differences between Server-side code and Client-side code.
What type of code(server or client) is found in a Code-Behind class?
Should validation (did the user enter a real date) occur server-side or client-side? Why?
What does the “EnableViewState” property do? Why would I want it on or off?
What is the difference between Server.Transfer and response.Redirect? Why?
Can you give an example of when it would be appropriate to use a web service as opposed to a non-serviced.NET component?
Let’s say I have an existing application written using VB6 and this application utilizes Windows 2000 COM+ transaction services. How would you approach migrating this application to.NET?
If I am developing an application that must accommodate multiple security levels though secure login and my ASP.NET web application is spanned across three web-servers (using round-robin load balancing). What would be the best approach to maintain login-in state for the users?
What are ASP.NET web forms? How is this technology different than what is available though ASP(1.0-3.0)?
How does VB.NET achieve polymorphism?
How does C# achieve polymorphism?
Can you explain what is Inheritance and an example in VB.NET and C# of when you might use it?
Describe difference between inline and code-behind?
What is loosely coupled solution in.NET?
What is diffgram?
Where would you use an iHTTPModule and what are the limitations of any approach you might take in
What are the Advantages and DisAdvantages of viewstate?
Describe session handling in a webform, how does it work and what are the limitations?
How would you get ASP.NET running in Apache web servers? Explain it’s limitations.
What is MSIL and why should my developers need an appreciation of it if at all?
Which methods do you invoke on the DataAdapter control to load your generated dataset with data?
Can you edit data in Repeater control? How?
Which template must you provide, in order to display data in a Repeater control?
How can you provide an alternating color scheme in a Repeater control?
What property must you set, and what method must you call in your code, in order to bind the data from some data source to the repeater control?
What base class do all web forms inherit from?
What method do you use to explicitly kill a user’s session? How?
How do you turn off cookies for one page in your site? Give an example
Which two properties are on every validation control?
What tags do you need to add within the asp:datagrid tags to bind columns manually? Give an example.
How do you create a permanent cookie?
What tag do you use to add a hyperlink column to the dataGrid?
What is the standard you use to wrap up a call to a Web Service?
Which method do you use to redirect the user to another page without performing a round trip to the client? How?
What is the transport protocol you use to call a Web Service SOAP?
What does WSDL stand for?
What property do you have to set to tell the grid which page to go to when using the Pager object?
Where on the Internet would you look for Web Services?
What tags do you need to add within the asp:datagrid tags to bind columns manually? How?
Which property on a Combo Box do you set with a column name, prior to setting the DataSource, to display data in the combo box?
How is a property designated as read-only?
Which control would you use if you needed to make sure the values in two different controls matched?
Microsoft ASP.NET interview questions
What is an interface and what is an abstract class? Please, expand by examples of using both. Explain why.
What is serialization, how it works in .NET?
What should one do to make class serializable?
What exactly is being serialized when you perform serialization?
Tell me about 6h4 methods you have used to perform serialization.
Did you work with XML and XSL Transformations?
What methods and what for did you use to work with XML?
What is the purpose of reserved word “using” in C#?
How does output caching work in ASP.NET?
What is connection pooling and how do you make your application use it?
What are different methods of session maintenance in ASP.NET?
What is Viewstate?
Can any object be stored in a Viewstate?
What should you do to store an object in a Viewstate?
Explain how Viewstate is being formed and how it’s stored on client.
Explain control life cycle, mind event order.
What do you know about ADO.NET’s objects and methods?
Explain DataSet.AcceptChanges and DataAdapter.Update methods.
Assume you want to update a record in the database using ADO.NET. What necessary steps you should perform to accomplish this?
How to retrieve the value of last identity has been updated in a database (SQL Server)?
How to Answer the Toughest Interview Questions
The ‘Future’ Question
Otherwise known as the “big picture” question, the future question goes something like this: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The best tactic: Talk about your values.
Don’t get too detailed about your specific career plan. Instead, discuss things that are important to you professionally and how you plan to achieve them. If growth is a goal, mention that. You can also talk about challenge, another value that employers prize in their employees.
The ‘Salary’ Question
Most people will tell you that whoever answers this question first loses. But that’s not necessarily true.
When an interviewer asks your salary requirement, try first to gently deflect the question by inquiring about the salary for the position.
If the interviewer presses you for a number, give a range. To decide on a range, think about the salary you want, your salary at your most recent position and the industry-standard salary for the job.
The bottom line: The salary question is one of the most important, so you should prepare for it in advance and plan what to say.
The ‘Why’ Question
There’s a fine line between boastful and confident. And you need to learn it.
When an interviewer asks you why they should hire you, you’re going to speak confidently and honestly about your abilities. But you should avoid sounding overly boastful.
Aim for earnest and prepare by practicing. That’s right: Stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge your abilities and accomplishments to your reflection. Tell yourself: I have a very strong work ethic. I have integrity. I have excellent industry contacts. I aggressively pursue my goals.
It’s sometimes hard to praise yourself, but after a few sessions you’ll sound sincere.
The Seemingly Silly Question
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? What if you were a car? Or an animal?
These type of questions can bring your interview to a screeching halt.
First, don’t panic. Pause and take a deep breath. Then remind yourself that there’s no “right” answer to these questions. The job isn’t hinging on whether you choose to be a spruce versus an oak.
Interviewers usually ask these questions to see how you react under pressure and how well you handle the unexpected. It’s not so important what type of tree (or car, or animal) you choose as that you explain your choice in a way that makes you look favorable.
So, be a spruce — because you want to reach new heights in your career. Or be an oak — because you plan to put down roots at the company. Either way, you’ll get it right.
How to Deal With Interview Stress
To many job seekers, “stress” is synonymous with “job interview.”
Job seekers stress over landing an interview. Then they stress over preparing for it. And then they stress over what to wear, what to say, if the interviewer will like them and more.
But the worst stress of all often occurs during the interview. This is the stress that can cause you to blow it. It can make you freeze, panic, chatter aimlessly, lose your train of thought or perspire profusely.
Timing is everything: Don’t cause yourself undue stress before a big interview.
Arrive about 10 minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin.
If you arrive too early, you’ll sit and wait and worry. And if you arrive too late, you may find yourself racing in the door, your heart already pounding from a last-minute dash.
A ten-minute, pre-interview break will give you an opportunity to catch your breath and acclimate to your surroundings. It’s enough time, but not too much time.
You can make your dream a reality. Use your imagination to stay calm during a job interview.
Visualization is a relaxation technique in which you create a mental image of a stressful or challenging situation. Then you imagine yourself succeeding in the situation. By doing so, you’re mentally preparing to handle the event in real life.
You can practice visualization in the days, hours or even minutes before an interview. Simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. Picture yourself greeting the interviewer confidently and answering tough questions with ease.
Practice succeeding in your imagination, and soon you’ll be doing it in reality.
A relaxed job candidate is a confident job candidate.
Show the interviewer that you’re calm, composed and in command during an interview. He’s likely to assume that you’ll be rock-solid on the job too.
Use these tips to stay relaxed during an interview:
Breathing deeply and slowly (and quietly, of course).
Sit up straight and don’t cross your legs or arms.
Speak slowly and pause for breath often.
Keeps your hands and jaw relaxed; no clenching.
Smile — it really is contagious!
Pause, Don’t Panic
In every interview, there comes a moment that doesn’t go according to plan. There’s an awkward silence. You stumble over your words. You flub a tough question.
Don’t panic. Now’s the time to put your relaxation skills into overdrive.
It’s much easier to control fear and panic as it starts to build than to calm yourself down once they’ve begun to spiral out of control.
When you feel yourself starting to panic and lose focus, pause. Tell yourself silently that you can do this. Take a deep breath. Refocus. And then resume interviewing.
A quick ten-second pause can be all you need to regain your composure and get back in control. And the interviewer likely won’t even notice.
Phone Interviews: Tips to Get Called Back
Some people think phone interviews are easier than in-person ones. Often, those people are wrong.
In person, it’s easy to tell if an interviewer is tuning you out if you notice them staring off into space or sending messages on their BlackBerry. On the phone, you (and the interviewer) are missing out on important visual cues. You can’t read the interviewer’s body language.
So, how can a job seeker really dial into an interviewer’s demeanor to tell if she’s bored, distracted or under whelmed?
Find a Happy Place
In the absence of sight, hearing becomes sharper. And interviewers can easily hear distraction over the phone.
Once you’ve scheduled a phone interview, locate a calm, quiet place where you can focus. Make sure you’re not near a computer, TV or anything that will draw your attention away from the interview. Tell anyone who has access to the space that you are not to be disturbed unless catastrophes strikes.
Next, have a pen and paper handy to take notes during your interview. You should also have a copy of your resume so that when the interviewer refers to your experience, you can both literally be on the same page.
Finally, consider your attire, particularly if you’re interviewing from your home. It’s your prerogative to wear sweats, but may we suggest something closer to business attire? You’ll feel more professional — and, thus, you’ll sound more professional.
As soon as you answer the phone, you’re on!
You want to start your phone interview off right. And, because the interviewer can’t see you, she’s listening even more carefully.
Make a conscious effort to sound upbeat and enthusiastic.
Smile. Interviewers can hear you smile — and smiling can put you in a better state of mind. (Don’t believe it? Try smiling when you’re in a bad mood.)
If you feel your confidence wane, stand up. Standing can make your voice sound more powerful.
And always remember to breathe. It will help you stay calm and sound more relaxed.
Sounds of Silence
A phone interview isn’t just about speaking. It’s about listening.
To listen carefully, try closing your eyes when the interviewer is speaking so you can focus on what is being said.
This technique can also help you read the interviewer’s mood. Is he interested and enthusiastic, or bored and distracted? Is the interview conversational? Are questions and answers flowing easily?
Listen hard after your responses. Did your response prompt additional questions or make the interviewer hesitate?
If the interviewer seems distracted, use one of the powerful questions you were saving for the “Do you have any questions?”
section of the interview. A well-chosen question can re-engage him and put the interview back on track.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to prepare for a phone interview: Practice.
Have a friend play the role of interviewer on the phone.
Provide her with some practice questions to ask. Give her a copy of your resume and have her come up with her own questions too.
Test different techniques while you’re talking to her. Close your eyes while listening, stand while talking, smile while speaking. With her feedback, decide what works best.
You should also consider taping the conversation and listening to yourself afterward. You may be very surprised by what you hear. Finally, ask yourself, “Would I hire this person?
If the answer isn’t a resounding “yes,” get back on the phone and get better prepared.
What Not to Say in an Interview
An interview can be incredibly stressful: You often have only a few minutes to show an interviewer how capable, confident and intelligent you are
And remember: The interviewer isn’t just evaluating WHAT you say, but also HOW you say it. She’s asking herself: Are you well-spoken? Do you sound polished and professional? Are your answers clear and concise?
If you’ve spent all of your time working on the content of your answers, you now need to focus on the delivery.
Read on for some interview “talking tips.”
Skip the ‘Filler’
When an interviewer asks a question, you may feel like you should fill the silence right away. Or, after you start speaking, perhaps you realize you’re not sure what you want to say and need to stall.
That’s when most people use “like,” “ya know” and “ummm.”
These words are common in many people’s vocabularies. They’re simply verbal filler that we’ve become accustomed to using. But they’re not very professional.
Taking time to think about a question, rather than rushing to answer, can help eliminate the need to use filler.
Like any habit, this one will take time to break. So start practicing before you have an actual interview.
Don’t Jargon Your Way Out of a Job
You say: “Our value proposition is to create synergy while leveraging our respective ROIs.”
The interviewer thinks: “Huh?”
You don’t need to use jargon to sound knowledgeable in an interview. First, don’t assume the interviewer is familiar with the jargon.
Also, as many interviewers will tell you, people often use a lot of fancy jargon when they want to disguise the fact that they aren’t completely confident in what they’re saying.
So speak simply and coherently and your intelligence should speak for itself.
Why Slang Is ‘Way Bad’
Here’s the 411 on slang in interviews.
Never use slang in an interview. You should speak to an interviewer just as you would to a business colleague or even a boss. That means you must sound polished and professional.
Also, the interviewer (who may not be as cool as you are) may have no idea what you’re saying when you use slang.
Last, never, EVER, use profanity in an interview. There’s simply no place for it.
Don’t Answer Before You’ve Been Asked
You want to make a good impression on an interviewer. You want to seem knowledgeable, confident and engaged. So when the interviewer starts to ask you a question, you jump on it, right?
First, it’s rude to interrupt.
Second, you may incorrectly assume that you know what the interviewer was going to ask and answer the wrong question.
Third, you won’t have time to think about your answer before you start speaking, which can lead to lots of mid-sentence “ummms” to stall for time.
When an interviewer asks a question, it’s tempting to answer quickly, especially if you’re nervous. Don’t. Instead, wait for her to finish speaking, then take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Then answer the question.
You’ll appear calm, confident and polite. And, after taking a moment to think, you’ll probably give a much better answer too.
You Are What You Wear: Interview Attire Tips
First impressions matter.
As you sit in front of an interviewer, she’s assessing every part of you. And what she sees can be almost as important as what you say.
Your interview attire should be appropriate to your industry. But, whether your job is corporate and conservative or casual and creative, you should look professional and put together.
You can use your clothing to express your personality, but your attire should be subtle. In other words, your skills and experience should stand out in an interview — not your outfit.
Investigate the Dress Code
A business suit is appropriate attire for most job interviews.
If you’re not certain whether you should wear a suit, ask the recruiter about the company’s dress code.
But, remember, an interview isn’t just another day on the job. You need to dress to impress more than ever.
If the company attire is business casual, or even simply casual, you still should consider wearing a suit to the interview. You should also think about what other candidates might wear. You don’t want to be remembered for being the only candidate who didn’t dress up for the interview.
A good rule of thumb: If in doubt, wear a suit. It’s generally better to be dressed too formally than too casually.
Take the guesswork out of interview attire with some general fashion dos. These tips will help you make a good impression at your interview — regardless of your industry.
Suits in conservative colors, such as black and navy, are a safe choice for both men and women. Wear them with a white or solid-colored shirt for a tasteful, professional look.
If you want to use your attire to express your individuality, do so in a small, subtle way. Women can wear a piece of tasteful jewelry, and men can sport an elegant tie.
It’s All in the Details
Do you want to show an interviewer that you’re detail-oriented? Use your interview attire to send the message.
Women should pay attention to their nail polish, makeup and purse. Keep your nails at a conservative length and avoid brightly colored polish. If you wear makeup, keep it subtle, and skip the perfume. Carry a simple handbag, and match it with your shoes or clothing.
Men should be sure that their nails are neat and clean. Match your shoes and socks with your suit, and be certain that your shoes are freshly shined. If you carry a briefcase or bag, it should be clean and well-kept.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look professional. Choose your attire carefully and pay attention to small details, and you’ll make a good first impression.
Closing an Interview: Tips to Seal the Deal
Your job interview has been going great, and it’s coming to a close.
The final few minutes are crucial. You don’t want to blow it by saying the wrong thing on your way out the door.
To leave a good impression with the interviewer, your final words and gestures should be enthusiastic and confident.
It’s All in the Delivery
Are you unsure how to close a job interview? Take your cue from the interviewer.
During the interview, pay attention not only to what the interviewer says but also to how she says it. Notice her body language, tone of voice and level of formality. And then tailor your closing remarks accordingly.
But, no matter how the interview behaves, always be confident. Look her in the eye when speaking. Thank her by name and firmly shake her hand when saying goodbye.
Accentuate the Positive
Use the final few minutes of your job interview to emphasize the skills that make you right for the job. This will ensure that your strengths will be one of the last things that the interviewer hears — helping her to remember them.
Rehearse your closing so that you are not fumbling over your words. You’ll want to sound smooth and natural, not boastful. Start by saying how impressed you are with the company and the people you’ve met. Then transition into why you’d be a good fit for the position.
You should end your job interview on an enthusiastic, but not aggressive, note.
Reiterate your interest in the job, but try not to sound anxious or desperate. Instead, express how exciting and challenging you think the role would be — and what a good fit you’d be for it.
Finally, ask the interviewer if there’s anything else you can do to show your strengths as a candidate. For example, you can offer to send samples of your work if appropriate.
The Next Step
Don’t leave a job interview without knowing the next step in the hiring process.
For example, will the company be calling candidates back for another round of interviews? Are they planning to check references? When do they anticipate that a hiring decision will be made?
You may also want to ask the recruiter how he would prefer you to follow up with him. Can you call him on the phone, or would he rather that you email him?
Not only will this information help reduce post-interview anxiety, it also shows the interviewer that you’re thorough and conscientious.