What they really ask you in the job interview

One of the most effective ways for an employer to select potential employees is a preliminary interview. We can talk a lot about how to dress, how to go to the interview, how to choose the time for the interview and how to write a successful CV. But for everyone who wants to make such a meeting with an employer successful, it is worth knowing what the person conducting the interview wants to hear from you.

So, you’ve been invited to an interview. There are three main questions that the recruiter needs to get answers to in order to understand whether you are suitable for the job:

Can the candidate do the job?
Will the candidate do the job?
Will he or she fit into the company’s corporate culture?
Usually, they ask questions with a subtext to learn as much as possible about you and make the right decision. Your task is to answer all questions honestly and in detail. In this article, we will list 10 questions that you may be asked during an interview and tell you what hidden information they contain. Think carefully about your answer, as the approach to answering a question can tell you more than what you actually say.

What did you miss in your previous job and what are you looking for in your new one?

This question is aimed at understanding the reason for leaving your previous job. If you were made redundant, the recruiter will simply understand what you lacked in your previous position. Let’s say you answer: «I didn’t have enough access to my manager, and this made it difficult to resolve some issues.» The interviewer might then ask the following question: «Can you give me a specific example of a time when you had to make a decision on your own because you didn’t have the opportunity to consult with your manager?» Your answer to this question will help the recruiter determine your potential decision-making area and understand how often you will need to confer with management to make decisions.

What qualities of your previous manager did you admire and what irritated you?

You have entered very dangerous territory. You must strike the perfect balance of positive and negative feedback in your answer. The recruiter will understand how tactful you are when answering tricky questions, and will also determine whether the leadership style you like matches the one they have in place. If you name a character trait as your «favourite» that does not match the company’s culture or that the recruiter does not like, you will most likely not be hired for the position.

How do you tell an employee who has worked for the company for 25 years that their position is being cut?

This question is more than realistic, given the current state of the labour market. Companies are trying to reduce the number of jobs to stay afloat. Naturally, if you are applying for a leadership role, you will have to deal with such situations. The hirer will want to know how you will tell the person about this to upset them as little as possible, whether you will thank them for the years they have given to the company.

What kind of rewards would you like to receive for a job well done?

This seemingly very simple question helps the interviewer understand what motivates you: money, extra free time or official recognition of your merits. If you are interviewing for a managerial position, you can modify this question: how will you encourage your employees? The recruiter wants to know if you will treat your subordinates the same way you would like to be treated.

Чи можете ви навести приклад ситуації, коли у вас з вашим керівником були непорозуміння, і як ви їх залагодили?

The interviewer will try to understand whether you take responsibility for conflicts or try to blame it on your manager. The recruiter wants to know how you will build relationships with employees and what causes conflicts.

When a person says «I am a whole person», what does this mean to you?

The next question might be: «How will you demonstrate integrity in your work?» Integrity is a broad concept. Most people think that they have integrity, but can you explain what it actually is using a specific example of a work situation? The interviewer will determine whether you understand the terms you are using.

Please tell us about your experience of working with the older and younger generations. Please name three qualities that you value in both.

In the beginning, you will probably work with young people, so the employer wants to know if you can work well with them. If you are applying for a management position, the interviewer will be interested in how you will use the talents and skills of people of all ages to achieve your goals.

Do you think there is age discrimination in the labour market? If so, why?

Some job seekers say that they cannot get a job because of their age or because they are asking for too much money. More likely, they are trying to get a job for which they are overqualified. They have a lot of skills and experience, too much for the position they are applying for, and, accordingly, they want to be paid the right amount. However, it is easier for an employer to find someone with less qualifications and pay them the appropriate salary. Therefore, if you still want to get the job, do not use such explanations.

Based on our conversation, can you convince me that you are the most competent pern we could hire for this position?

The interviewer wants to know if you have a good idea of the work you will be doing and if you understand what is expected of you. This is your chance to sell yourself at a premium.

Looking back at your previous work in other companies, can you describe in detail the corporate culture that was closest to you and why?

The interviewer wants to understand what type of corporate culture is closest to you. This is one of the most important criteria for recruiting an employee. It is important for you as well. Therefore, before going for an interview, it is advisable to find out about the company’s culture. It may not be the right fit for you.

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