Great interview tips from a headhunter on ten of the most common interview questions:

  1. Why don’t you tell me about yourself?: This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how confident you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.  The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.  Stories are powerful and are what people remember most.
  2. How long have you been with your current (or former) employer?
  3. What is your greatest weakness?: An impressive and confident response shows that the candidate has prepared for the question, has done serious self-reflection, and can admit responsibility and accept constructive criticism. Sincerely give an honest answer (but not a long one), be confident in the fact that this weakness does not make you any less of a great candidate, and show that you are working on this weakness and tell the recruiter how.
  4. Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a superior.
  5. Describe a situation where you were part of a failed project: If you can’t discuss a failure or mistake, the recruiter might conclude that you don’t possess the depth of experience necessary to do the job. The recruiter is not looking for perfection. He or she is trying better to understand your level of responsibility, your decision-making process, and your ability to recover from a mistake, as well as what you learned from the experience and if you can take responsibility for your mistakes.  Respond that you’d like to think that you have learned something valuable from every mistake you have made. Then have a brief story ready with a specific illustration.
  6. What are your strengths?: Describe two or three skills you have that are relevant to the job. Avoid clichés or generalities; offer specific evidence. Describe new ways these skills could be put to use in the position you are being considered for.
  7. How do you explain your job success?: Be candid without sounding arrogant. Mention observations other people have made about your work strengths or talents.
  8. What do you do when you are not working?
  9. Why did you leave your last position?
  10. Why do you want to work in this industry?
Chris
cskidd1983@gmail.com
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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