Are You Ready For The 5 Interview Questions Hiring Managers Always Ask?

Interview questions. Something we are often quizzed about and there is a reason why. Let’s explain more.

Good news! You contacted your local friendly specialist search agency. They had a great chat with you about your career path and options that would be a fit for you and the ball got rolling.

Consequently, you polished up your CV, your recruitment consultant got to work and then hey presto, the interviews started to roll in.

What next?

Well for some candidates this is where doubt starts to creep in and it’s usually down to one thing; the interview…. more specifically the interview questions that they might be asked.

The upside of the interview process

The great thing about interviews is that it gives you a fantastic opportunity to shine, provided of course you are well prepared for what specifically, you might be asked.

Drum roll! Here are the most common questions that local candidates are asked. The thing is over the years, we have placed literally hundreds of candidates with their dream employer.

As part of our review process we always quiz candidates on the main questions, they were asked. On top of this, we know what clients are looking for when it comes to recruiting and why the questions they ask are so key.

Depending on the role there will be more specific questions of course. However, you might be surprised how many candidates don’t even prepare for these.

Ready to find out and plan your answers? Here we go.

Tell me about yourself?

Recruithuman-Interviewskills preparation

I know on the surface this question seems simple? It’s the one that most interviews start with, as it is friendly, conversational and allows you to give (your potential new employer) background information about you.

Your answer should be well practised and related to the expertise and skill set needed for the role, rather than your favourite holiday destination. Its fine to talk about personal details, though make these a smaller part of the conversation.

In other words, focus on what type of person you are, what sort of skills and attributes you have and convey your enthusiasm for your working environment.

For instance; “Well, I have worked in HR for the last fifteen years. It was always something I wanted to do and I got my first opportunity as a HR assistant and was bitten by the whole HR bug! Over the last 12 years, I have moved into different roles until I became an HR manager in my current company”.

What are your greatest strengths?

Trumpet at the ready and get ready to blow:

You’ll know from the role specification what key strengths they are looking for. This is where your focus needs to be.

As a friend of mine once reminded me, as driven human beings we have a lot of strengths and skills which can add value, not all of which are needed in every role we take.

Fact: There is nothing worse in an interview situation than a candidate coming across as desperate by telling the interviewer absolutely everything they are capable of, whether it relevant to the role or not.

This is a key area where your recruitment consultant can help. Remember they know the hiring manager, the company culture and what is important to highlight to give you the greatest chance of securing the role in question.

What’s your main development area? 

Never the easiest question to answer when you really want to work for the manager or company in question.

The truth? Never answer that you don’t have any development needs; it’s unrealistic.

Your answer to this particular interview question, should ideally be a weakness that isn’t pivotal to your performance in the role in question. Instead cite an example that could be perceived as a positive, such as, “I tend to forge on with tasks and in honesty, I am not the best at delegation”.

Referring to your last performance review can work wonders, especially if you have a copy with you. The icing on the cake would then be sharing what you are currently doing to address the area in question.

Every good manager knows their team will have development needs. By showing this level of awareness about your own development will give you a huge tick in the eyes of your potential new boss.

Why did you leave your last job?


Whatever the reason, your answer should be upbeat and positive. You should never criticise a former employer or manager. I could tell you a few toe-curling stories related to this one!

Instead, focus on how you are keen for a new challenge and an opportunity to grow instead.

What do you know about our organisation?

It’s vital that you have carried out your research on the companies who are interviewing you. It not only shows that you are thorough but also that you have put the time into research, which demonstrates how important your career is to you and the company and role in question.

In 2017 there is no excuse for not being prepared. Hop onto Google or use this handy link provided by the CIO and start searching.

The information it’s good to know is:

  1. Company structure/organogram – you’ll find this information on the company website.
  2. Company growth plans
  3. Services and products – Don’t only research what you will be involved in. If the company in question has different areas of service delivery, inventory etc, demonstrating that you can see the bigger picture and how they interact will make you stand out as a candidate of choice.
  4. Key staff – Their website will help and so will LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Check out your interviewers, as having an idea on their backgrounds and possible motivations can only help your preparation.
  5. Key customers, competitors and market trends – The company website may list some of their major customers, but you may also find details of them (and competitors) by doing research on Google and the sector specific websites.





P.S. Are you ready to move organisations this year? Then call us on 01709 717212. Each month we open slots to represent, exclusively, a small selection of candidates; this could be you. To find out more call us now.

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Are You Ready For The 5 Interview Questions Hiring Managers Always Ask?