A job interview is the result of an effective resume. However, landing a job is typically the result of a successful interview. Brad Fredericks from ResumeDoctor.com explains, “Many job seekers hit a brick wall when it comes to offering meaningful responses during the interview. You must be careful not to put your foot in your mouth when answering open-ended questions. ‘Tell me about yourself,’ is not the queue to begin your life story.“
Recently, ResumeDoctor.com surveyed over 2,000 recruiters and hiring managers worldwide in order to find out what questions are most frequently asked during job interviews. Participants came from a variety of industries including information technology, marketing and sales, finance, and healthcare.
The top 15 interview questions, in descending order, are:
- Describe your ideal job and/or boss.
- Why are you looking for a job? Why are leaving your current position?
- What unique experience or qualifications separate you from other candidates?
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe some of your most important career accomplishments.
- What are your short-term/long-term goals?
- Describe a time when you were faced with a challenging situation and how you handled it.
- What are your salary requirements?
- Why are you interested in this position? Our company?
- What would your former boss/colleagues say about you?
- What are the best and worst aspects of your previous job?
- What do you know about our company?
- What motivates you? How do you motivate others?
- Are you willing to relocate?
Recruiters and hiring managers frequently stated that questions are often designed to probe subjective aspects of a job candidate, ranging from work ethic to preferred management styles, rather than confirming factual issues such as work history.
Tiffany Kelchlin, an Account Executive from Blue Dolphin Software, Inc. in Florida, says, “It is very difficult to explore attitude and personality in a candidate, yet these are important factors in many positions. These types of questions usually lead the candidate to open up a bit and talk about other attributes they have in addition to their ‘hard skills.’” Kelchlin adds, “The interview process can be dangerous territory and it is important to watch your step in discussing questions concerning personality and demeanor. Open-ended and hypothetical questions have a tendency to draw out a candidate and be extremely revealing.”
Tim Miller, a senior recruiting specialist HR Dimensions in Indiana, illustrates that a vague question like, “‘what motivates you with regard to your job/career,’ can often really show a candidate’s true colors. Some pitfalls that candidates make are responses such as money or any other type of response demonstrating that they really do not feel passionate about the position.”