So you landed a job interview. Congratulations! And now, after reading this article, you’ll be more than prepared to tackle the interview and land a tasty new job.
Recruiters, HR managers, your new potential boss – generally follow a set of questions, in areas they need to cover to check if you’re a match with the team and the role. This is why we built this guide around several axes – so you can set your mind to the right vibe according to each section.
Many first interviews will tend to focus on the cultural questions around behavioural and personality, then get a little deeper into the technical and experience from then on.
We’ve been around the block when it comes to interviewing, we’ve met with all the employers on our site, and a few common areas seem to come up during the interview stages. We hope you find this useful!
Have you ever had to make a difficult decision at work?
Can you tell us about a time when you did not manage to meet your deadlines?
Can you name three great qualities from your former boss?
Can you name three negative qualities from your former boss?
What’s a challenge you were facing in your previous role?
What’s an achievement of your life you’re really proud of?
Can you describe what’s a great day at work like for you?
If you’re asked behavioural interview questions about conflictive situations in the past – focus on the resolution. Don’t criticize previous colleagues or workplaces. You can say you’re in dire need of a change of scene because you feel you’re growing in a different direction. You can mention good times, like when your boss was supportive and trusted you with a new project and you were able to tackle the challenge and deliver results.
Like Heather D. mentions in Quora, “… don’t tell them anything negative about your past job/company that would cause them to think that you would badmouth them in the future.”
Try to mention interests that are relevant to the company’s values and mission. Stick to the point, and always be honest.
A right balance between leisure time and work time is a very big deal. A good way to learn if you keep this balance is asking you about hobbies, passions and sports. Make sure you can enumerate a couple of activities. If you play a team sport – congrats. You have just scored major points.
We want to get to know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
What do you do in your spare time?
What was the last book you read?
What’s something you’re passionate about?
Who is someone you admire and why?
Do you play any sports?
Questions about the industry and your ambitions
In our conversations with Accordant, they stated: “Our industry is so dynamic, in such an early state of maturity and is so specialized that to excel the most important trait for us is a genuine thirst for knowledge, a true hunger to learn and an ability to think on one’s feet.” It’s incredibly important to stay up to date with the changes and evolution of your ever-growing industry. You will probably be asked how you do it.
Make sure you show ambition for the future and interest in the position. It’s very costly to incorporate a recruit, so the recruiters need to know you’re in for the long haul.
How do you stay up to date with the news of the industry?
Are you subscribed to any newsletters?
What’s your favourite part of working in this industry?
How did you learn about this job opening?
How do you currently up skill yourself?
Do you have any suggestion for our product/company?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Interest in the company
You need to do your homework. If you’re being interviewed for a company, you should know the story of the company, the name of the founders, the main purpose of their work.
Dig around the company’s mentions, find their mission and value and see how those values are linked to your life and your own personality.
Check recent funding, employee growth and new product iterations – after all, why go to an interview if these things don’t align with your beliefs. Here are a few Qs where it may come up.
I’m not sure how much you know about the company?
How did you do your research prior to this interview?
What project do you think would be interesting to launch during your first 90 days in the company?
What are your career expectations in this company?
How do we fit into your long term career plans?
Which part of our work excites you the most?
Your Resume and experience
Do not lie on your resumé. Just don’t. A lie always comes out to the light eventually. And it can get very embarrassing, it can also lose you a job offer.
With that said – stick to the point and make sure you only state relevant points of your education and your background. Use your summaries to outline results and specific technologies or areas you have expertise in. If you have gaps on your resume, provide an explanation for why.
If you were fired, a good way to explain would be to say “my boss felt that I had no further growth potential within my last job” – as CleanSanchez points out in this Reddit post. Not giving out too much information can work as an advantage for you, just don’t act oddly about it.
Can we talk about your educational background?
Can you tell us more about your background and how you’re fit for this role?
Were you let go from your previous job? Why?
Why is there an employment gap in your resume?
What can you do better for us than the other applicants?
When we talked to hipages, they gave us a clue of what they look for in terms of their applicant’s personalities: -“We want smart, passionate people who enjoy sharing their knowledge and are not arrogant in their interactions with others. We look for those who think differently and bring diverse perspectives.”
You’ll be asked many questions to try to assess your behaviour within a group, to see how you would get along with the rest of the team.
From the random – What animal do you identify the most with?
To the specific – How would you define your management style?
How do you handle pressure or stress at work?
How would your boss and colleagues describe you?
Would you say you’re a successful person?
Do you consider yourself a team-player?
What role do you take when working as a team in a project?
How do you deal conflicting priorities?
What are some common traits of your preferred work environment?
The Nearly-Made it Questions
You made it this far, but it’s not over – if you get asked these questions the chances are you are in the running. Be honest in your responses, be clear and concise – go into the interview with a clear idea of your current notice period, preferred location, salary and comp requirements. Don’t get caught on the back foot, you’ll only end up in an awkward situation late.
Oh and If you’re asked “when can you start?”, it’s probably a great sign.
When can you start working?
Are you willing to relocate?
Would you be able to travel for work?
Why are you interested in this position?
What are your salary expectations?
How does your current comp package work?
Are you interviewing anywhere else?
Do you have any reservations?
Do you have any questions for us?
Finally, be prepared for a take-home
If this is your first interview and everything is going well – then you might have homework tonight. Some companies choose to send the applicants a take-home test before or after the interview to evaluate the technical aspects of their performance.
Your skills to solve a problem, the reasoning behind your process and the time you put into each task will be considered. Make sure you take the time to complete it – as it may make or break for your application.
A good first impression lasts forever. At least, that’s what they say. So make sure you’re relaxed and confident before walking into the interview room. After reading this article, you’re prepared.Don’t forget to bring your honesty and your best smile.
You got this! Good luck.
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