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Recruiter Tips: How to Answer Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Helpful interview questions answered by a recruiter:  

“Tell me about yourself” 

This is probably the most commonly asked first question by an interviewer and the most common incorrectly answered question in an interview. Interviewers ask this question so that they can measure how your attitude matches their company culture. Most of the time folks make the mistake of saying they are good at something. Instead, make sure to back it up with specific evidence, e.g. “I am always working towards learning more about the profession I work in. For example, I enrolled in a training course for XYZ.”

“What’s your greatest weakness?” 

Most people are tempted to say something like, “I’m a perfectionist.” I wouldn’t. They have probably heard that by now. Being honest about yourself is more likely to resonate with the interviewer. While being a perfectionist may be a truthful answer you can say it like “I have difficulty letting go of projects if I feel I haven’t done my best.” That highlights the issue, while maintaining an honest answer. Make sure that you talk about the steps you have taken to address the issues you mentioned. Everyone appreciates real people, how they handle situations firsthand, and how they have grown since.

“What’s your greatest strength?” 

Do. Not. Hesitate. Before. Answering. The reason for an interview in the first place is to sell yourself to the person interviewing you. If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, you will look unprepared. Make a list of a few before your interview starts and be sure to back it up with specific examples of how it helped in your past role.

“Why should we hire you?” 

Be confident in this answer and again, be sure to back it up with specific examples. A great way to frame this is to show your ability to grow, and mature in a role. For example, “I’m a quick learner. I may not have all the skills you require now, but I’m confident in my ability to adapt and learn. [Insert example here].” And so on.

“Why did you leave your last job?”

You must tread lightly with this one. Answering something like “I didn’t get along with my coworkers” will plant the idea in your potential employer’s head that you may not get along with the existing staff. Be honest, and if there were issues with your coworkers or managers, then make sure you explain the ways you tried to overcome the issues before deciding to leave.

“Why do you want to work for us?”

This question is where people slip a lot. When an employer asks you this question, it’s because they want to see that you have done your research on the company, culture, and team that works there. You should know if it’s a company that is growing fast, what their new trends are, etc. A great idea is to scope out their website and write down talking points.

“Describe how you have overcome a difficult work situation?”

This is the question that people seem to be least prepared for, so always make sure you prepare an answer for yourself. Make sure it’s relevant to the role you’re applying for. Things like learning a new skill, managing a distraught client, or perhaps adapting to a stressful week all may be good places to start.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Before your interview starts, you should have already written down a handful of questions to ask the interviewer. This goes back to doing research on the company beforehand, you can ask relevant questions concerning their culture, benefits, and team members. However, make sure you write down several questions as it is likely most will be answered during the rest of the interview. Don’t ask questions that can be answered online by a google search, go deeper than that. Try to be more insightful and ask questions that will help paint a picture of the company and their culture.

~ Alyssa Toth, Delivery Manager

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