Job interviews are tricky and stressful situations. However there are some questions that all hiring managers ask! Check out this list to help you out!
All job interviews are unique, and they are all conducted in a different way. So preparing for a job interview can be tough. I mean, there are so many different things you need to prepare for - you need to make sure your wardrobe is spot on, have your portfolio ready, research the company, be aware of what you are expecting to earn and how you can contribute to the organisation.
But, what if I told you there are some common questions all hiring managers ask, especially during the first part of the interview? That’s good news, right? You can be more prepared and increase your chances of being offered the job of your dreams.
So, what are employers looking for? With the job market being more competitive than ever, employers don't just care about technical skills or years of experience (yes, these are important). Companies are increasingly interested in soft skills.
Employers are willing to spend time during the interview process finding out if the candidate will be a good cultural fit and put a lot of emphasis on intangible qualities.
Here are the questions all hiring managers tend to ask during the interview process:
#1 Why Are You Looking for a New Job?
As “stupid” and straightforward as this question may be, you must have an answer ready before you start the interview. Just imagine messing up a question as basic as this one; you don’t want that, right? There are several different reasons a candidate might for a new job and all you need to do is give a brief and honest answer to ace this question.
Here are some good examples answers:
- My old company is restructuring, and while I had the opportunity to take another internal job, I decided it would be best to look elsewhere.
- I want to move in a new direction professionally (make sure to state what this new direction is)
- My personal and professional objectives did not match my previous organisation’s objectives. Therefore, I want to find a job in a company with similar interests and objectives to myself (clearly explain them)
#2 What Kind of Job Are You Interested In?
One of the major things usually hurting a candidate’s job prospects are not having clear work objectives. Make sure to show them that you know exactly what you want from a new career by avoiding general answers like “ I want a cool job” or “a job that will allow me to grow as a professional”. Be prepared to tell them some positions that you are particularly interested in such as internet marketing, sales or advertising and graphic design and how you can help a company grow by being in these positions. Show them how your skills and knowledge fit within the company’s needs - this is where your research will shine.
An example of a great answer:
- Since I am a people person, and have experience in the area of sales I am confident I would be a great match for any possible openings in your sales department or marketing offices.
#3 Tell Me About Yourself
The most stereotypical and common question in all interviews, so you have no excuse for being unprepared. Make sure you have a dialogue ready specific to your interests; both off the job and at work, what motivates you as a person and as a professional, etc. Keep in mind that this question is often asked to start an engaging and relaxing conversation with the candidate at the beginning of the interview so make sure to keep it brief and interesting to allow the rest of the interviewing process to continue.
#4 What Are Your Greatest Career Achievements?
Try to name at least two or three examples. But, be careful not to blame anyone (the management) for any past failures. Your achievements should be used to show what you want out of your career so make sure to mention specific accomplishments that you are particularly proud of such as any employee recognition awards or rewards in your old workplaces.
#5 Where Do You See Yourself 2 Years From Now?
Your answers should reflect your confidence and willingness to reach a high professional level of work that will be rewarded by success. Make sure to list realistic expectations of yourself and talk about your plans and where you want to be within the organisation (keep them as positive and as realistic as possible). You need to find the right balance of not sounding overly confident or fearful.
#6 What Were Your Job Responsibilities in Your Last Position?
You can talk about your previous work experience here, by emphasising your skills and knowledge. Try to be as specific, accurate and honest as possible even if the duties you used to perform in your last position are not the same you are expected to do in the job you are interviewing for.
Especially if you volunteered for specific projects, had an office job, or worked as part of a committee this is your chance to give that information to the hiring managers.
#7 When You Start a New Job, How Do You Create and Maintain Good Working Relationships With Your New Colleagues and Supervisors?
This question will distinguish whether you are a good candidate worth hiring or just a regular candidate. It would be beneficial for you to show that good relationships in the office boost productivity. So if you can mention examples showing how you have networked with new staff members in previous jobs, this is the time.
#8 What Drives You in Your Professional and Personal Life?
Hiring managers ask this questions to get a better insight into what motivates you as a professional and an individual. They are trying to assess your cultural fit within their business and whether what drives you fits with their company. The interviewer wants to see your goals and aspirations and ultimately get a better grasp of your personality and what you’d be bringing into the organisation as a whole.
#9 Can You Tell Me About a Stressful Scenario at Work, and How You Handled It?
This is a trick question that can get you bonus points if you use it wisely. Answering the question shows your ability to think on your feet as well as showing your ability to speak in a tactful and professional way. However, be careful not to mention a situation that was stressful due to your own error because this will be an indication of whether they should give you responsibilities and whether you will be able to handle them.
#10 If You Were an Animal, What Would You Be and Why?
This last question may sound ridiculous to you, but it is actually one of the hiring manager’s favourites because it allows them to not only assess how quickly you can think on your feet, but it also requires you to show your creative skills in a short amount of time. So keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers, as long as you show those two problem-solving skills. Don’t be afraid to be unique; you can use this question to let your personality and professionalism shine.
Can you think of any other questions hiring managers always ask during the interview? Share them below...