Self-confidence is a very welcome trait among potential employees. However, in the face of a job interview, even the greatest daredevils and most seasoned professionals may feel the lack of it.
Preparing for an interview is tedious, but preparation is key. But what if you’re doing it from the wrong angle? There are numerous guides on answering interview questions but not so much on which questions are most likely to be asked.
Having pre-prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions will provide you with a solid ground under your feet that’ll improve your performance. And knowing which questions recruiters favor can increase your chances of landing a job in 2021.
Interested? Zety, a market leading career advice site, surveyed over 500 HR professionals and more than 1000 American workers to study interview questions more closely. And here are some of their findings:
- According to a full 60% of hiring professionals, the most commonly used interview question was, rather unsurprisingly, “Tell me about yourself.” It was closely followed behind by “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced at work and how did you deal with it?”
- More than 50% of interviewers would expect job candidates to ask about examples of projects they’d be working on or the skills and experience they’re looking for in an ideal candidate.
- Almost 70% of them would ask about the skills and experience or a typical workday course.
Preparation is Key
Job interviews are all about making a good impression.
Likely, the recruiter has already seen your resume and cover letter. Your skills are already known, and since you’ve managed to get an interview invitation – they are sufficient. Provided you present them well.
However, a job interview is not a presentation or a monologue where everything proceeds according to a pre-set plan. After all, the other side holds all the cards, and it is your task to meet the recruiters’ expectations with desirable answers.
And while some of them seem apparent and predictable, others may not appear so obvious.
Predict and Provide
A recruitment interview is a game in which skillful anticipation of the recruiter’s movements leads to a win in the form of a job proposal. Instead of pawns or cards, questions are the weapon, and having knowledge of them is the ace up your sleeve.
So what can you expect based on the shared features of the most popular questions?
The vast majority of questions on that list are open-ended and situational. This means recruiters like questions where you can demonstrate your experience, skills, and creativity.
There’s no doubt you can expect these types of questions during the interview. And when they do come out—focus on detail and examples. Don’t be afraid to elaborate and explain, even if the question is more closed. And most of all, don’t be scared to talk about yourself and sell your strengths as a candidate.
But as said before—an interview isn’t a monologue. It would help if you asked some questions yourself.
Used by almost 70% of American workers, a question about skills and experience may be too obvious. Though, keeping in mind that most candidates don’t ask two out of the top five questions most favored by recruiters, it can still prove to be an invaluable advantage over competitors.
Remember, however, that there are certain boundaries when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
So is originality an advantage in this case? Asking about someone’s earnings or conflicts may not be the best idea, and there are better ways to express your individuality. Sometimes it’s best to stick to safe solutions and reliable questions.
However, solid preparation is undoubtedly an advantage—knowledge of the question types you can surely expect and asking those that the recruiter will warmly receive is your secret weapon with which you’ll land a job in 2021.
About the author
Weronika Cekala is a digital writer with expertise in communication, language localization, and journalism. At MyPerfectResume, she creates data-based content that promotes innovative solutions for job-seekers. You can find her on LinkedIn.