1. Why do you want the job?
– “I’ve read a lot about your company and I really think my skill-set could help out around here.”
This sounds very robotic and it doesn’t show any personality. Recruiters can know when you are being genuine and when you are trying to please them with a cliché. Be honest and focus on your skills, your goals and what the position/company has to offer you. Be specific.
2. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with someone at work and how you resolved it.
– “I usually get along very well with everyone.”
It’s not true and it shows the recruiter that you probably don’t focus on your past experiences in order to improve. It’s true that there are some people that really get along with MOST people, but we all have experiences with people that are way too different from us. It doesn’t have to be a conflict but try to have a situation in mind to answer this question.
3. What do you think is your greatest weakness?
– “I’m an overachiever, and work long hours that leave me little time for anything else but serving the organization.”
Sometimes what we think the companies want to hear is exactly what keep us from getting that job. Don’t play this game, play safe. Prepare these answers before the interview and think of something that you can provide examples on how you are trying to improve your weaknesses.
4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
– “Going to the pub and sleeping”
Some companies ask this question to get to know more about the candidate. It’s not usually something that is going to take a big role in the decision but it’s more of an opportunity to create a human and genuine connection between the recruiter/company and the candidate. Take advantage of this question and smile, be funnier and show your social skills. Because here they are trying to get to know how you get along socially and break the ice.
5. What do you expect to enjoy most about this role?
– “Lunchtimes” – “Salary” – “Discounts” – “Holidays”
Show that you did your research and state the key aspects of the specific role that you are most excited about.
6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
– “I see myself doing your job”
Of course some companies will like this kind of answer but most will not. This kind of confidence works better in start-up companies. You can also use this same idea but use different words where you are not threatening the interviewer in any way. Be smart and be specific.