The good news is: you’ve cleared the first hurdle of applying for a job and have been invited for an interview. As soon as the first hurdle is overcome and the invitation for an interview is received, the excitement rises and the targeted preparations for the most successful interview can begin.
Job interviews are a big challenge on the way to your dream job. In a personal interview you have to be convincing. But interview questions are dreaded.
"What does the recruiter want to know from me?" every job applicant nervously asks himself before an interview. Because the classic job interview is a question-and-answer game. The recruiter asks and you, the applicant, answer. He wants to find out if you are suitable for the job and if you also fit into the company. But the applicant could also ask questions to find out whether the job and corporate culture suit him or her. The interviewer wants to know as much as possible about your personality, character, motivation, strengths and weaknesses. Job interviews like this tend to be relatively similar, and certain questions come up over and over again as well. But how can an applicant prepare for the most common interview questions and score points by asking smart questions back, and what are the no-go questions that an applicant should rather avoid? We’ve collected five tricky questions for you:
5 Typical interview questions
1) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A question that causes headaches for many applicants. But if you know what’s behind this question, it’s also easier to answer it. The recruiter wants to know more about your personal career plan and find out if you plan to stay with the company for the long term. So what are your goals? Match the company? Do you want to make a long term commitment? It’s best to make clear statements about your goals, but they also align with what the employer is looking for. Express especially that you are flexible and also open to interesting and responsible activities. Show that you want to develop your skills with this employer.
2) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
It is not always asked directly about strengths, sometimes it is said "What are you particularly good at??", "Which tasks at your current job do you particularly enjoy?", or "How does your boss see you?". Take special care to remain authentic. Answer the strengths confidently, but not too exuberantly. It’s best to match your personal strengths with the requirements of the job in advance and give specific examples. Popular with recruiters are, for example, problem-solving skills and the ability to learn.
However, it is usually difficult when it comes to weaknesses. But these are human and the question is rather how you deal with them. Name a personal weakness, but also signal your willingness to learn and to eliminate this weakness. This shows the ability to reflect as well as the willingness to learn.
3) Have you ever been faced with a task that you couldn’t solve immediately?? How did you respond? How did you handle a difficult situation? How do you deal with problems?
Here the personnel officer tests how you deal with problems and stress and how you behave in hopeless situations. Think of an example and explain how you analyzed and identified the problem. How did you solve the problem anyway? Have you sought help or have you looked for similar problems and applied their solutions to the new situation??
4) Have you ever experienced teamwork not going as planned? How did you behave?
Teamwork is an important social skill in modern companies. But there are tensions in almost every team. Show that you can solve problems openly and constructively together with other team members. A good answer would be, for example: "We addressed the problems openly in a team meeting. During the interview it turned out that some colleagues were overworked. As a result, we redistributed the tasks and were able to reduce the workload of our colleagues together."
5) Why should we hire you?
This is a question that recruiters particularly like to use to put you under pressure, i.e. to test your behavior under stress. Keep calm and summarize your strengths again briefly and concisely. Convince with a short self-presentation your professional experience, your successes and special achievements. Above all, show how the company can benefit from your skills. For this you should always keep the requirements from the job advertisement in mind. Again, connect your strengths to the qualifications required in the job description.
30 other frequently asked interview questions
Why did you apply to us?
What do you know about our company?
Describe your previous tasks!
What sets you apart from other applicants?
How do you deal with stress?
How to respond to criticism?
How do you deal with criticism?
Why did you resign?
Why do you want to change?
Why do you want to leave your current employer?
Why are you looking for a new job?
What do you want to earn?
What are three things you could improve according to your former boss?
Are you willing to travel?
What is your dream job?
Tell me about a mistake you made.
Are you willing to move?
Are you willing to work on holidays/weekends?
Who are our competitors?
What would your team members/chief say about you?
What are your hobbies?
What knowledge do you bring to the job??
Would you work more than 40 hours a week??
How do you explain this gap in your resume?
What is your salary expectation?
How would you describe your work style?
What are your goals for this job?
If you were an animal, what would it be?
What distinguishes you from other applicants?
What skills do you have that others do not?
Clever questions of your own in the job interview: Exceed the basic requirements
Who besides the basic requirements such as punctuality, an appropriate outfit, good manners, motivation, interest and open-mindedness, an applicant can score points in the interview by asking his or her own questions.
Good questions in the interview are the salt in the soup and they show that the applicant or candidate has prepared well. It shows that there is interest in the company and by asking well-prepared questions, candidates leave a competent impression on recruiters.
Do you have any questions? – What smart questions to ask in the interview? 24 Examples of questions to ask employers
Job offers often provide starting points for useful questions. Another starting point is to make it as clear as possible to yourself in advance how I would actually like to work. This concerns, among other things, the management principles of the superiors, the equipment of the workplace, the working atmosphere among colleagues, the area of responsibility and the scope of tasks, etc. These are wonderful to derive your own interview questions from. Below are some examples of possible questions to ask during the interview:
Why is this position advertised?
How would you describe their corporate culture?
How would you describe the management style of your direct supervisor??
What challenges does your company currently face?
Where will I be employed?
Remains still time to look at the workplace once?
To whom will I report? And possibly: Who reports to me?
How long did my predecessor remain in this position?
What do you like most about working here?
What are the three most important expectations for someone in this position?
What are the most important skills someone must have to be successful within the company?
What typical mistakes can I avoid that others in this position made at the beginning?
How has the job description for this position evolved in recent years?
What training opportunities do you offer new employees?
Has anyone on the team been promoted in the last few years? If so, why was this person promoted?
Do you still have doubts about my suitability for this position, which we should talk about?
How does the application process continue?
What is the usual induction process??
What can I expect in the first 90 days?
Is there a rough timetable for the hiring decision?
What happens after the interview?
If there is a second interview, who would sit across from me??
Why do you work for the company?
How is the working time recorded at your company?
What to avoid during a job interview? 11 bad own questions in the job interview
The applicant should pay attention to his outward appearance from the beginning to the end in a company. To the receptionist, to the employees who come by, and also on the way home. Phrases on the phone about the interview such as "Yes, it was quite good. But the one was somehow totally funny." Should be saved until you are out of earshot. Other questions you’re better off not asking in an interview are listed here:
Inappropriate questions and taboo topics
How many employees does the company have?
Does the company also have branches abroad?
What exactly does your company do?
Do I have good chances for promotion?
Is my future boss nice?
What do you pay?
Do I get soon a salary increase?
How many vacation days do I have?
Can I come in earlier and finish work earlier??
Is it allowed to use Facebook while working?
How do you handle sick leave?
In general, questions about working hours, vacation or private use of the Internet are not very appropriate. The above questions make the applicant or candidate look naive and clueless. You should also avoid asking questions that have already been answered during the interview. It is therefore advisable to write down some questions and take notes during the interview, checking off which questions have already been answered.
Not every question fits every applicant, so pick the ones that do and stay true to yourself. It is better not to lay it on too thick, but to always tell the truth. Fantastic knowledge in certain areas can be tested sooner or later and at the latest then you have to catch up with it, although you will most likely not have time for it then. This could become very unpleasant. But after reading this article, that won’t happen to you.
I wish you success in your next interview!
Do you know any other tricky questions? What have you ever been asked? Feel free to use the comments section to share these questions with us.