Are you ready for your next job interview?
To sustain a successful interview, good preparation to effectively answer the interviewer’s questions is essential.
In this article you will find the most frequently asked questions about a job interview, you will understand what their goal is and how to structure your answers to make a good impression in front of the recruiter.
Since the following questions are the most common, the recruiter expects you to be ready to answer confidently and without hesitation.
You don’t have to memorize the answers, but you do have to do a good exercise to be sure of yourself and what you will say when the recruiter “questions” you. It is not only the information you give during the interview that counts, but also how you communicate it.
The more time you spend understanding what the interviewer wants to know with their questions and structuring your answers, the more confident you will be in answering.
A confident candidate shows that they are prepared and have what it takes to fill the position offered.
Frequently asked questions and a guide to answer them
Tell me about yourself
While this is considered by many to be a simple question and requires no preparation, the reality is that it is an important question. The first piece of advice to follow to answer correctly is to not tell your complete professional or personal story.
Instead, try to create a concise presentation of yourself that lets the recruiter understand why you might be the right candidate for that position. Talk about your current job and how you came to fill that position and include the most relevant experiences in your career.
Finally, specify why you decided to apply and why you want that role.
How did you find this position?
Another question that seems harmless to many. This question is actually the perfect one to show your motivation and create a match with what the company is looking for.
The recruiter is interested in understanding what led you to discover that position and why it impressed you.
For example, if you learned about the position offered thanks to a friend or a business contact, name that person, and explain why you were happy with the idea of applying.
If you read about the company in an article, talk about what you read and how you knew the place was for you.
Even if you found the job on a simple classifieds site, share with the recruiter what you liked about the role.
Why do you want this job?
Companies want to hire candidates with a great passion for the work they do. Therefore, for this question, you will need to prepare a persuasive and convincing answer.
First of all, identify a couple of factors that make the position appealing to you such as relationships with people, teamwork, or taking on important responsibilities.
After that, you will have to talk about what attracts you to the company: why you are interested in working in that context, what opportunity that company represents for you, why you admire their work, etc.
Mention any information that communicates to the recruiter your enthusiasm for the chance to work there. This will also show that you have done the right research to make sure the position is right for you and the recruiter will be impressed.
Why should we take it?
This question is one of the most intimidating and most asked during a job interview.
However, it is an opportunity for you to best sell your qualities and skills.
The recruiter wants to make sure you meet all the requirements to play that role. Your answer must therefore be direct and must include everything you think you can offer the company.
Three essential things should not be missing from your answer:
- you are not only able to do the job well but that you can bring great results to the company;
- the fact that you will be able to fit perfectly into the team and that you share the corporate culture;
- you have something special and unique that sets you apart from other candidates
What are its strengths?
This question lets you talk about what makes you special and a great match for the position.
When thinking about how to answer, think about quality, not quantity. Don’t make the mistake of making a list of multiple adjectives.
Instead, pick one or a couple (depending on the question) of specific qualities that are important to the role and support your statements by giving examples of how you have used them in the workplace.
The tales and stories of the episodes you have experienced are much more convincing than statements that are not reflected in reality. The recruiter might ask you this question even towards the end of the interview and if you haven’t had the opportunity to talk about your best assets, this is the right time to do it.
What do you think are your weaknesses?
With this question, your interlocutor, in addition to trying to identify the alarm bells, wants to know your level of sincerity and self-awareness.
So answers like “I struggle to meet deadlines” or “I don’t have any weaknesses” aren’t the best to give the recruiter.
Try to find the right balance by mentioning something that isn’t actually one of your strongest points but that you’re working on. For example, you can say that you are not the best at public speaking, and add that you recently offered to conduct company meetings to practice and become more confident.
Another way to answer this question is to talk about a weakness that is actually a double-edged sword, such as being too precise: it can be an asset in some cases and a flaw in others.
What was your greatest professional achievement?
Nothing in common “I’m the right candidate” like a list of the results achieved in previous jobs. So don’t be modest when answering this question.
Once again, to structure the best answer to give to the recruiter, describe in detail the situation you experienced, the problem or task you faced, and then the result you achieved, and how.
Be very specific when you talk about your experience. In this way, the recruiter will be able to have a clear idea of your skills and will be convinced that you can make a good contribution to the company.
Have you ever disagreed with a decision that was made in the workplace?
With this question, the recruiter wants to know if you can handle conflicts and the most uncomfortable situations with your colleagues or bosses.
The ideal anecdote to tell is the one that describes how you dealt with a disagreement professionally and what you learned from this experience.
Pay particular attention to how you start and end your story, you need to speak positively about the situation you experienced without blaming it. A suggestion is to open your answer with a positive affirmation, something that makes it clear that disagreeing is normal but the important thing is to respect each other.
Then you can continue by briefly explaining the circumstances in which you found yourself, how you handled it, and what lessons you learned from it.
What do you like least about your current job?
This is a trick question, so be careful. The last thing you want to say to the recruiter is that what you don’t like about your job has to do with the company, your boss, or your colleagues.
Never speak ill of your current (or previous) career environment during a job interview.
You also need to avoid saying that you don’t like certain aspects of the job that you will surely find in this new job if you get hired.
The recruiter is looking for a positive and motivated candidate for the company, he must be sure that you like the job, that you will know how to adapt and that you will be able to relate well to others.
One of the best ways to handle this question is to focus on the opportunity that this role will give you and which instead cannot give you your current position.
What kind of work environment do you prefer?
Ideally, your response should indicate that you like contexts similar to that of the company you are applying for.
After conducting in-depth research on the company, you should be clear if the working environment that characterizes the company is dynamic, structured, and conventional, creative, goal-oriented for employees, etc.
The recruiter asks you this question to find out if you will be able to adapt to the company’s working style.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Sometimes the recruiter decides to ask you questions about your hobbies and interests outside of work, to get to know your personality even better. He wants to know what you’re passionate about and how you spend your time when you’re not working.
To answer this question, be honest and professional: if, for example, you want to talk about another business you follow in your spare time, don’t give the recruiter the impression that it’s actually the job you’d like to do.
What motivates you?
Many candidates panic when they have to answer a question of this type, which aims to investigate your motivation for the job.
However, there is no reason to worry. Consider that the recruiter wants to make sure that not only you are prepared but that you are also motivated to play the role successfully, that you have the passion and are ready to face the challenges of the company.
Think about what most stimulated and encouraged you to do a good job in the past and relate it to what you read in the job posting that caught your interest. Choose something relevant to the role and company you are interviewing for.
If you’re honest, the recruiter will sense your enthusiasm and motivation.
What is your ideal job?
While it may seem like a trivial question to you, the truth is that many applicants fall into the trap of this question by fantasizing about their dream job.
The recruiter wants to make sure the position aligns with your career goals. For this, you will need to talk about your ambitions and aspirations and how this role can help you achieve them.
What should I know that isn’t on your resume?
If the recruiter is interested in learning more than what you wrote on your resume, that’s certainly a good sign.
It means that the recruiter has read your resume, found you interesting for the position, and wants to know if there is something else that characterizes you.
Since the question is not focused but broad, to better manage it, talk about a positive trait about you: tell a story or details that reveal something more about you and your experience, your mission, or the professional goal that make you the right candidate for that role and the company.
Do you have any questions for me?
You probably already know that the interview isn’t just a chance for the recruiter and company to get to know you better, but it’s also an opportunity for you to figure out if that job is really what you’re looking for.
Asking questions isn’t just a way to learn more about the position and clear your doubts, it’s also a good way to show interest in the role.
What do you want to know about the location that you don’t know? What about the company? To the team? To your managers? The interviewer will talk to you about many of these things during the interview, so prepare several questions, so you don’t get unprepared.