While it is natural to focus on questions that a potential employer might ask you, meaningful interviews start well before you even enter the conversation. A recruiter will choose the best way to ask these questions to help delve into your mindset, energy level, achievements history, and more. It is their job to connect the dots as to how you will help solve the company’s problems, which will hopefully result in a positive outcome for the company and yourself.
What brings you to this new opportunity?
This question would be asked after the recruiter enables you to warm up. The recruiter will let you talk openly first and then the question will be introduced. When the interviewer shares the position overview, it breaks the early interview tension and promotes an open-sharing interview style from the beginning. Try not to go on bad-mouthing the company you are trying to get away from to form this new opportunity. The best answers are the ones that focus on your career growth and passion, and not ones that mention you just need work.
Tell me about your relevant prior experience.
Sometimes the interviewer uses tactics to thoroughly cover and probe further into each position you held. Walking chronologically through the experience history out of order can best draw out any exaggerations; lying is often planned, rehearsed and remembered in sequential order. The truth can be more easily explained since it is remembered just as it happened. The point of this exploration of relevant prior experiences helps the recruiter assess a pattern that would indicate a continuation of your growth. Past performance is a good indicator of future performance. It is also important to ask for explanations for any gaps in work history, or work changes which do not demonstrate a steady progression of growth.
Choose three adjectives that best describe your work ethic.
This straightforward question gives insight into a candidate’s self-perception. In order to best answer questions about your work ethic, you must first have a thorough understanding of how you, personally, relate to your job. You should think of specific instances of how your work ethic has benefitted you in your career, such as working as a team or working with a difficult client. Choose characteristics of your attitude, feelings and beliefs about work to give an answer that is true to you, and that presents your work philosophy in the best light.
What is your greatest weakness?
No one wants to openly discuss their deficits, especially with someone they are hoping to get hired by. The interviewer is trying to indirectly ask if you are constantly working to improve yourself. Use this prompt as an opportunity to show you’re aware of your behaviors. No one expects perfection, and we all have weaknesses. If you frame yours as an experience you are learning from, you’ll stand out as a thoughtful candidate.
Why should we hire you?
This interview question is forward (not to mention intimidating!), but you’re in luck if the question is asked to you. There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but you can deliver great results; that you’ll really fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates applying. You want to get across that he or she will get an enthusiastic employee who has the right skill set for the position. You should add to the excitement of getting to do something meaningful while also building your skills and working toward the next step of your career. The key here is to not forget talking about yourself. Too many people make the mistake of only listing the benefits for the employer. Going into what’s in it for you will give insight into why you’ll stay driven (a trait that all interviewers are looking for!
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