What Do Recruiters Hear When You Answer These Three Questions?

John Krautzel
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When it comes to job interviews, you're bound to hear the same questions a few times. While you may think you have the perfect response prepared for that hard-hitting interview question, your answer may actually turn off the recruiter. Find out what the hiring manager is really thinking when you answer these three common questions.

1. Can You Describe a Previous Conflict You Had at Work?

When the hiring manager asks you to talk about a conflict you experienced in a former workplace, he actually wants to decipher how you handled the conflict. If your answer is similar to "I'm a good team player, so I've never faced conflict at work," the recruiter can see right through your response.

Potential employers understand that workplace conflict is inevitable, and they are not expecting to hire a perfect employee. Hiring managers want to know you're able to adapt when things don't go as planned. While you can mention you excel in the teamwork department, you should qualify your answer by citing an instance when conflict did occur. Explain how you worked through the situation with your team.

2. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

You're likely to hear this question at many interviews. If your answer is similar to "I'm a workaholic" or "I'm a perfectionist," consider coming up with a new go-to response. Hiring managers know that no candidate is without flaws, so providing a cliché response makes you seem like you're not self-aware.

Rather than claiming to be perfect, provide a weakness and explain how you're working to improve upon it. Choose a weakness that doesn't apply directly to the job for which you're applying; for example, it's a bad idea to say you're bad with numbers if you're applying for an accounting position.

3. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Most hiring managers ask this or a similar question to determine why you're applying for a position with their organization. If your answer is that you're hoping to make more money, desperately seeking full-time employment or dying to get away from your current boss, rethink the response.

Any potential employer wants to know what value you can bring to the organization, not what it can do for you. Call upon your unique skills and work experience to demonstrate why you're the ideal candidate for the position. Do some research on the company before your interview to discover an issue its currently facing. Describe to the hiring manager how you can help the company solve the problem.

While job interviews are intimidating, preparation is key. Rather than crafting a cliché response to common interview questions, think about how the recruiter perceives your answers and come up with a response that highlights your unique personality and valuable skill set.

Photo courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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