Feeling stuck during an interview is one of the most stressful parts of seeking a job. You’ve thought you are doing just fine but here comes another question and suddenly, there are crickets in your head. It is ok, it happens to the best of us.
Job interviews are not easy for any applicant. Yes, your resume can be easily mastered by the resume editing service on SkillHub, but communication with a recruiter is on you. But do not worry. It is completely possible to prepare even for the toughest questions to get that dream job. After all, 90% of them are quite common and predictable. It means that you can think of your answering strategy beforehand.
Here are the top recruiter questions you might freeze on and how to answer them.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
Although it is quite a popular question for all positions, it is still pretty hard to answer. No wonder that applicants do not like it. The main goal of an employer in this case is to know how self-aware you are. And do you work on your weaknesses?
Everyone has their flaws – it is human nature. So, saying something like “I do not have them” or “I’m a perfectionist/workaholic” is not a good idea. No one wants to hire individuals that are not self-aware and decide to dodge important questions.
Think of something that won’t jeopardize your performance in this position. Show how you’ve struggled with it in the past, how you’ve managed to deal with it, and how you got better.
Be honest about your experience. For example, you can say that you were not good at public speaking due to nervousness but you’ve gone through training and courses and now you feel more confident.
Why Do You Want to Change the Job?
This is another tricky one that can be formulated differently. The goal is to understand why you are changing the career path and how it corresponds with the company’s values and expectations. The employer wants to know that you are both suitable for each other and you won’t leave shortly.
Do not say something like it wasn’t the right fit, be more precise. Start by telling what you liked about the previous position. Then tell why it is not aligned with your professional vision anymore. Maybe you are ready for more responsibility and more challenging projects. Do not apologize for wanting career growth, just explain it clearly.
Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
It is hard to find a question that is more hated by job seekers. But when you apply for a job, you need to be ready for it. Answering about the future is especially challenging in today’s ever-changing job market.
The main reason why recruiters ask that is to figure out whether the company is suitable to fulfill your expectations. And if you are suitable for the position and duties. Do not say something like “working for this company” – it will be taken as dishonest, which is not a good look.
Try to avoid employment specifics and talk in more general terms. For example, talk about what you want to achieve in the industry, like working in or managing a high-performing team. You may also say that you dream of bringing your business strategy to real-life production. Saying a couple of words about personal goals, like buying a house, is also fine.
Why Should We Hire You?
The underlying question is what you can bring to the company and what motivates you. It is time to show what makes you a valuable asset. It is also a perfect time for your selling pitch. Focus on the specific skills and qualifications that make you suitable for the work. Mention any specific tool, software, or service you are trained in, which is relevant for the job.
Go a bit beyond the resume information. A good strategy is to combine it with the research on the company you apply to. Show how your skills, training, or experience can help with the company’s challenges.
What Would You Do (Behavioral Questions)
This is a set of inquiries that can be formulated like “tell me about the time you’ve resolved a conflict” or “give me an example of”. The goal is to see how one behaves in a particular situation (usually, under pressure or in a conflict).
This kind of question is incredibly important. So, it is essential to take them seriously. Of course, they might be uncomfortable to answer, but do not ditch them with vague and abstract answers. Be specific and show an example from the past.
The best idea is to use STAR format – situation, task, approach, and results:
- tell a story following this approach;
- set a context – situation, describe the task you had to do;
- describe your approach to resolve it;
- use action verbs to show you are an active participant;
- highlight the results (increasing sales, getting promotion, etc.).
If You Were an Animal, What Would You Be?/ What Would You Take to a Desert Island WIth You?
The odd questions are asked when the recruiter wants to get you out of the comfort zone. But it is still possible to prepare for them. The best strategy is to take them seriously and not to joke around.
Do not go for a cute answer. Choose something that will relate to the career field. For example, you might compare yourself to a German shepherd because you are disciplined, eager to learn, and work well with hierarchy. Or you can say that you are a lot like a lion – patient and strategic.
Do You Have Questions for Me/About the Company?
It usually comes at the end, and it is a good way to illustrate your interest in the company and position. Start with yes and proceed with important questions on your part. They can be in lines of:
- What a typical working day for this position looks like?
- Could you tell me about work culture here?
- What is your favorite part of working for the company?
- What goals can I reach in this position in a year if I perform excellently?
You can also ask anything about dress code, vacation policies, position specifics, etc.
A successful job interview is a lot about preparation. Do not learn the prompts by heart, but rather draft a strategy and choose the best stories or data to tell. Be honest and open, but also mindful of your body language.