10 Interview Questions Employment Recruiters Usually Ask Job Candidates
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10 Interview Questions Employment Recruiters Usually Ask Job Candidates

This article invites the readers to take a look at interview questions commonly asked by company recruiters. It further suggests responses that job candidates should give for each question. Keep in mind that interview questions are a part of the interview process and candidates should come prepared to answer each question satisfactory as to please the interviewer. Interviewers ask questions that will help them make the best hiring decision. Bottom line…the interviewee’s responses are crucial for a winning interview.

Are you ready for your interview?  Keep in mind that there are certain questions you will be asked by the interviewer at some point during the interview process.  Of course, every company has questions prepared to pose to its candidates.  However, there are some questions that most recruiters are likely to ask no matter the industry or job you are interviewing for.  Interviewers ask questions that will help them make the best hiring decision.  So based upon your responses to the questions, it will help the recruiter determine if you are the best candidate for the job you are applying for and the right fit for the organization also.  Some candidates do very well on required assessment and pre-employment testing and present an outstanding resume as well---yet fail to give responses to questions that demonstrate they are the best candidates for the job.

How will you respond to your questions? Preparation and strategy is key to a successful interview. As you prepare to compose or modify your resume and cover letter, you should also review predictable questions you will face during your interview and rehearse favorable responses. This will help alleviate frustration and nervousness you are bound to cope with during your interview.  Remember that the questions are part of the interview process, whether you’re prepared or not. Don’t be caught off guard!  Your responses are crucial for a winning interview. Here are questions normally asked during an interview, and suggestions as to how you might respond. Now the questions may not necessarily be worded exactly like the ones below, but will closely resemble them.

1). Tell me about yourself?

Most recruiters start off with this question. You want to reply by highlighting your core credentials. Be prepared to give a brief summation of your career background, your education, and what your short term and long term goals are. Be careful not to discuss too long because this is only one of several questions. You should also appear relaxed and confident during your interview. See my article on interviewing with confidence here: http://resumes-interviewing.knoji.com/the-art-and-skill-of-interviewing-with-confidence/

2). Tell me about a past dilemma that you encountered at work and how you handled it?

The interviewer is basically testing your problem-solving skills and how well you work under pressure. If you can demonstrate that you were successful in resolving a problem before, then perhaps you would be able to take on challenges that inevitably occur with the job you are interviewing for.

3). Why should we hire you for this job?

Basically, what the interviewer wants to know is what sets you apart from the other candidates. You can respond by giving examples of how you saved your prior or current company x amount of dollars or whatever the case is and could do the same for this particular company. Convince the interviewer that you would be an asset for the company. You should also mention how you plan to help the company achieve its goals and objectives. This would definitely make you stand out from the other applicants.

4). How would your previous manger describe your work ethics and achievements?

Well of course…nobody’s perfect.  But you can mention that you received high marks on your performance appraisals, or nominated for employee award, or promoted to manager, etc.  The idea is to reflect on impressive things as they relate to your previous job and your character.  These type answers reveal that you bring positive attributes and a flourishing work-history to the company.

5). What are your strengths?

The interviewer wants you to talk about the positive aspects of your life.  What are you best at?  Actually, you should align your strengths as they relate to the job you are interviewing for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a supervisory position, you should mention that your strength lies in your ability to supervise people. Another strength might be great people skills, and another could be excellent time-management skills and so on…  So study the job description beforehand.

6). What are your weaknesses?

Although you want to be honest, be very careful as to how you respond to this question. Without giving the impression that you are a complete failure at something, mention situations where had been unsuccessful but have since learned from your mistakes.  This way you’re admitting that you do have weaknesses but also realize that there is room for improvement.  Also, you don’t want to communicate that you’re the wrong person for the job either. For example, if you say that your weakness is that you easily break under pressure, and the job requires that you should be able to work well under pressure…you get the idea.  Again, closely examine the job ad before your interview. However, you should not say that you don’t have weaknesses in that clearly you will come across as a liar.

7). Why did you leave your previous job or why are you leaving your job?

Usually, individuals leave a job for a better opportunity and this is what you should convey to the recruiter.  It shows that you have ambition and want to move upward in your career.  You should never state reasons such as; I didn’t or don’t like my boss, or they don’t pay me enough, or I couldn’t get along with my co-workers…

8). Where do you see yourself five years from now?

You don’t want to give the impression that you are unstable when responding to this question.  But instead, you should emphasize stability. You might want to mention how you would like to work for the company and hope to advance upward as you help the company attain success.  What’s the sense in hiring someone who only wants to remain a year with the company at the maximum? Employers are not interested in hiring job-hoppers.

9). What type of salary are you looking for?

This can be a tricky question, so be very careful as to how you respond, as well. With so many individuals willing to take pay cuts due to the economy, you could actually overprice yourself.  You should investigate the fair market value for the position beforehand. You don’t want to undersell yourself either, nor should you go over the market range for the job.  You could also ask the recruiter for the salary range for the position before you articulate a salary. In some instances you might be able to negotiate the salary you desire.

10). Do you have any questions that you’d like to ask me about the job or the company?

This is usually the last question recruiters ask. You will need to do your homework to answer this question suitably.  You should research the company beforehand to learn as much as you can about it and the job itself.  Find something beneficial about the company and the job duties that you’d like the recruiter to explain.  Bottom line, you should never respond, “no”, to an opened ended question such as this. Responding with appropriate answers reveals to the recruiter that you are really interested in working for company and deemed very impressive as well.  To get an idea of the questions job candidates should ask the employer see my article here: http://resumes-interviewing.knoji.com/interviewee-tips-questions-that-job-candidates-should-ask-potential-employers/

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Comments (15)

Wow, this is what I call a very useful article.

Your expertise is greatly appreciated on this valuable topic.Thank you.

Great tips for those seaking a job, always be prepared ahead of time by knowing the most common questions, which are covered well here.

On the money with topic questions

Thanks Donata... always looking forward to read your articles. 

Very helpful for anyone preparing for an interview.  Most candidates don't realize that the majority of questions asked are the same.

I love this! Very useful. Shared to many people...

This article will really help people preparing for job interviews!

Tremendous work Donata.  Very well written by you as always.

Another excellent post. Extremely well detailed and informative article. You are giving us all the clues, my friend! Hats off, Donata!

Excellent info!

The question, "tell me about yourself" stumps me every time - I never know what to say! This questions are really good practice. Excellent article

Very helpful tips as usual.

Lot of work put into crafting this article. Well done!

Excellent, re-visiting! Also, tweeted. : )

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