Top 10 Interview Tips From Headhunters

While every job interview will have its own peculiarities, most hiring professionals, managers, and other decision-makers rely on the same tried and true interview techniques and questions.  This means that there’s little left to surprise those experienced in making job connections between interviewers and interviewees.  With this in mind, we’ve quizzed some of the top recruiters for their best tips and tricks when it comes to nailing that all important job interview and have compiled this handy list of the top ten things to keep in mind.

  1. Tell me about how you got into this industry

Chances are that during the course of your interview you’ll be asked the how’s and why’s of your chosen job field.  This questions can help weed out those who are interested in serious, long-term growth.  Focus on the specific character traits that your chosen field engages to showcase an understanding and commitment to the field of your choice.

  1.  What are difficulties or conflicts you’ve had in prior jobs?

Every company or employer will have their own set of political or cultural quirks. Whether entity-wide or within the given team, the new potential employee needs to be a good fit for both their experience and abilities and their soft skills.  While you should always approach these types of questions with honesty, try to focus on the positive aspects of how you worked through issues to showcase the fact that you’re a team player and adaptable.

  1. Tell us about your hobbies.

Sure, that killer ability you have to nail every beer pong shot may have impressed the guys and gals in college, but your potential employer is probably looking for something a little more applicable to your new job position than your weekend outings or knack at finding deals at the local garage sale.  Active hobbies such as team sports show initiative and demonstrate an ability to work well with others, both attractive traits in a potential employee.

  1. What are your greatest career successes?

This is a softball question that is the savvy job-seekers chance to really shine.  Be sure to pick a project, roll out or complex scenario that showcases problem-solving and your knowledge and skill set in your given field.  Real world examples of how you would perform help prospective employers visualize just how you would fit in their company’s employment puzzle.

  1. What are your strengths in the workplace?

Another example of an opportunity to talk yourself up is when the interviewer inevitably asks about your strengths, generally.  While you may be tempted to stick to generic qualities and skills, specific examples of your strengths will go much further towards landing you that choice job position.  

  1. What about your prior mistakes?

While this may appear to be a tough topic when encountered on the fly in an interview room, with a little bit of preparation this can definitely be “cup half full” type of scenario.  Come up with scenarios from which you earned a valuable lesson and be sure to follow up with how you applied those lessons in your future work efforts to demonstrate growth.

  1. How would you handle a disagreement with a superior?

Another potential difficult question that has a large opportunity for candidates with the right approach involves discussing your disagreements with supervisors or management.  Stress the fact that you’re a team player and enjoy helping come up with novel approaches and efficiencies while stressing the need for professionalism.  Interviewers will appreciate the honest approach and the acknowledgment that businesses can learn from employees at all levels.

  1. What are your job weaknesses?

Just as its inevitable you’ll be asked about your strengths, queries regarding your corresponding weaknesses are a favorite interview question.  Choosing areas where your faults could be pitched as positives with a little moderation is a great tactic.  Perhaps you’re overly ambitious, have a hard time letting problems go or can be inappropriately tenacious.  Spell out your faults, along with ways in which you compensate and actively work towards addressing these issues to thoroughly impress your interviewer.

  1.  Why are you interested in leaving your current position?

This is typically the question on every interviewer’s mind when speaking with candidates in existing, steady employment.  This can be especially tricky if a candidate has only been in a position for a short time.  Successful job seekers are careful not to speak ill of their current employer and, instead, should focus on upward career movement or excitement over the perceived opportunities of the new company or position.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself?

Few questions present quite the same open-ended, ambiguous and exasperating way to start an interview than the “tell me something about yourself” prompt.  For the unwary, this can be a stumbling start to your career-making session.  For the prepared, however, your responses to this guaranteed question can peak your potential employer’s interest and seal the deal towards landing the position of your dreams.  

Focus here on the job listing and supply a series of facts, background stories, and experiences that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.  The trick is to not only engage on a professional level but also to attract the interest in you personally.  Pay attention to the hiring manager or interviewer’s reactions and personality and craft your responses based on their own for maximum results and creating an appearance of confidence and competence.

With each of these pieces of advice, it’s important to note that preparation is the critical element in any interview.  Review likely questions, the job description and do your research in order to set yourself up for job-seeking success.  

Article Updated from the Original on October 10, 2017