Preparing for a job interview means knowing how to handle the complex questions about your jobs, your boss, and your past plans. Impressing a recruiter not only means having great career stories to tell, but also thinking two steps ahead of the kinds of questions hiring managers like to ask.
So here’s a behind-the-scenes look: We spoke with recruiters and HR experts about the interview questions they ask when they want to know how a candidate really thought. Take notes, job seekers!
1. “If I went to see one of your former managers, what would he prefer about working with you, and what does he think is difficult to work with you? “
Daniel Space is a human resources consultant with business partners in strategic staffing. For manager level positions and above, he likes to ask this question to see if the candidate’s leadership style is aligned with that of the company.
“It shows me, one, their ability to self-reflect, to self-analyze, to take responsibility for growth,” he said, “as well as to find common ground to be confident in who you are or to be too boastful. I find this really allows the candidate to open up about what a potentially difficult trait they have or something they have discovered to be a flaw in development he wanted to work on. ”
When answering this question, take responsibility for your shortcomings in your performance and what you are working on about yourself. Space said that every now and then he saw candidates blaming a company and a boss for their development challenges, which raised his suspicions.
“It just shows this very one-sided approach of ‘I was perfect and no one else was wrong’,” he said.
2. “Tell me about a time you failed.”
Tejal Wagadia, senior talent acquisition specialist at MST Solutions, said wondering about a time when someone made a mistake, failed or had a conflict with a colleague is his go-to question for getting advice. revealing answer.
“We all have failures, we all have conflicts, we all make mistakes,” she said, noting that what she is looking for in the answer is whether a candidate is honest and whether he has learned from the situation.
Don’t pretend to be perfect. Wagadia said not remembering the last time you made a mistake is a red flag for her.
“It tells me they don’t know they made a mistake they’re oblivious or can’t introspect or they know and intentionally lie to make themselves look good. Which tells me they might. potentially lying in the future about something else, ”she said.
To show self-awareness, Wagadia recommends choosing a work-related story about a career mistake through which you can show that you have learned from the experience and have progressed from it.
“It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it,” she said.
3. “Tell me about a project you’re most proud of. “
Gabrielle Woody, a college recruiter for financial software company Intuit, said her favorite question was asking people to share their proudest project or achievement.
” That’s a very good question. Candidates get very nervous, but if they’re talking about something they really like, they’re more comfortable. They have already done the project. It’s not a guess, ”Woody said. “It just allows us to assess a lot of their impact… and it relates to a lot of the key skills and competencies. “
Woody said this question can lead to follow-ups such as how they accomplished the project under constraints, what metrics they used, and how they measured success or failure.
Woody recommends preparing a story around two to three projects that you are proud of that relate to the position you are applying for.
She said a great response is coming “If it is clear to me that they are passionate about what they do and that the project involves skills that they would use in their future role ”, whereas a wrong answer is“ just very vague, or you can say that they’re just sharing what their team have done and maybe they haven’t contributed much to it.
Here’s how to craft an answer to these types of questions:
If you don’t know how to answer an interview question that asks for a story, Woody recommended the STAR Method. She said this checklist helps you stay on track and be very clear on where the situation is today and what your individual deliverables were.
With STAR, you tell an interview story with these four parts:
1. Situation: What job was it? When was it? You set the scene and describe the context in which you performed a job or faced a project at work.
2. Task: Remember to point out the specific responsibilities you had in the situation.
3. Action: Share the actions you have taken and show how your contribution has had an impact.
4. Results: You explain why your actions are important to the team or the company. This can be said with data or detailing the steps you have taken to improve yourself.
“I literally wrote STAR while candidates answer interview questions, and it helps me probe more if they are missing any of those areas,” said Woody.