Interviews can be difficult, to say the least. Oftentimes, there are high stakes for everyone involved. The interviewer wants to find a great employee that will make an immediate impact and stick around for the long haul. The interviewee is looking for a company that will be a great culture fit and ultimately help them reach their career goals. Needless to say, both parties want the interview to go well and the success of any interview lies in the questions that are asked.
At Johnson Search Group, we spend thousands of hours each year getting to know a company’s process and prepping candidates for interviews with the ultimate goal of finding the best fit possible. So we asked our recruiters to share their expertise by providing some of their favorite questions in hopes that it would help you nail your next interview.
Tell me about yourself.
Question nominated by Tracy Isakson
This allows you to give your highly practiced ‘elevator speech’ about yourself. They don’t want to know about your personal life, they want to know what you have been doing for work and why you are looking to make a change. This is where you get to shine a light on your strengths. I like this because it helps them see you as an “A” candidate at the beginning of the interview and it helps them keep you at this level throughout. I think if you have a strong elevator speech here, you can help the manager overlook areas that might be a concern to them down the road.
If I called your last boss and asked them to tell me about you, what would they say?
Question nominated by Kimberley Fulcher
I think this gives you an opportunity to pretty much say whatever you want and hopefully craft it in such a way that will show how and why you are the best candidate for the role you are wanting. Plus, it gives the interviewer a good summary of how others see you.
Why are you looking for a new opportunity?
Question nominated by Jana Green
This is the perfect time to showcase your positive attitude. Stick with answers that show you are looking to grow in your career or that you are looking for a more challenging environment. “Bad mouthing” your current or previous employer is NEVER okay in this situation (even if you left or are leaving on bad terms). With the right answer and positive response, your interviewer will surely be impressed with your professionalism!
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Question nominated by Dana Belstler
I was asked this question once in an interview, and my answer was my smart phone. I explained that it was an extension of me and my life was connected to it in so many ways. The interviewer immediately grinned and explained that he identified with me in that regard. A question like this allows for varying responses and gives a glimpse into the personality of the interviewee.
Where else have you interviewed?
Question nominated by Tracey Smith
This question allows the interviewer to assess the level of candor and interest in this particular position, as opposed to just getting a job. It will also indicate how they handle being “put on the spot.” Stressful situations occur in every workplace, and if you can determine early how they respond and if they get easily rattled, it’s better to find out before they start working for you.
What do you think you bring to this position that you didn’t read in the job description OR what impact will you make in the first 3 months?
Questions nominated by Jim Paterson
I like these questions because they give the interviewee a chance to humble-brag about things that might not otherwise come up!
What is the one thing that makes you different than other candidates?
Question nominated by Mike Muglia
I like this question because it allows one to sell themselves on why the employer should choose them as well as what the interviewer can expect from them, that is superior to other candidates. It gives an idea of what is important to the individual being interviewed from the perspective of the individual’s values as well as display a personal sense of worth if answered concisely and with confidence.
Do you have any questions?
Question nominated by Ricky Boualapha
Most candidates will say no, but this is a great opportunity for them to find out more about the company and the position they are interviewing for!
Some of our favorite questions come from the candidate at the end of the interview. Asking questions like these will certainly help set you apart from the pack.
How long have you been at this company?
Question nominated by Doug Rose
I love this question because it gives the interviewer a chance to sell the interviewee on the company and the opportunity.
What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
Question nominated by Rachel Young
I like this question because it forces the interviewer to think about the job description’s accuracy and expand on what they want in a new hire. This allows the candidate to highlight their talents (skills and experiences) and relate them to the position.