Job interview questions: what recruiters ask (2023)

Preparing for a job interview also involves making assumptions about the questions they might ask. Here are some ideas

Being prepared on the questions they might ask in a job interview can determine whether or not you are chosen.

The job interview is a fundamental step in the hiring process. During the meeting betweenrecruiterand candidate, in the presence but also in thevideo interview mode, the correspondence of the person with the position offered is evaluated, both in terms of skills and abilities.

Furthermore, we also try to understand how much the candidate's personality marries with thecorporate culture, as well as whether or not his career aspirations are aligned with the professional growth offer and policies adopted by the organization.

Thus avoiding the possible onset of feelings of dissatisfaction and the consequentturnover risk.

So it is clear how important it ismake a good impression at a job interviewevaluating in advance the questions they will be able to ask and in what form.

This will allow you to be as comfortable as possible and to answer questions more consciously.

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Know the company you are applying for well

The first step concerns the in-depth knowledge of the company for which you are applying.

In this way it is possible to know the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, but above all it is necessary to find out how the company understands the usefulness of the candidate.

It is the best way to show that you are interested in the role at hand.

What questions are asked in a job interview

Before exploring the types of questions you usually answer during a job interview, it is worth taking a moment to look at the two possible forms of questions: open questions and closed questions, as well as the differences between them.

Tell me about your past work experience”, “When did you quit your last job?”. Here is a typical example of open question and closed question.

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The substantial difference between the two forms is quite evident.

The first, the open question, pushes the candidate to provide a broader answer by telling their experience, expressing opinions and showing their analytical skills.

The second, the closed question, is limited to obtaining a single targeted piece of information.

In general, therefore, open-ended questions aim to bring out a broader vision of work experience, personality, hard skills andsoft skill, even oflevel of motivation.

Closed-ended questions, on the other hand, are used to obtain specific information and help the interviewer control the direction of the interview.

In some cases, closed questions are turned into open ones - it's a simple onetrickto deepen the knowledge of the candidate: “Have you developed skills ofproblem solving?” it becomes like this”Tell me when you encountered an unexpected event and how you solved it”.

Types of questions people ask in job interviews

Preparing in advance for a possible range of questions they could ask in a job interview allows you to think carefully about which personal and professional characteristics you want to highlight. There are different types of questions, here is a rundown of them:

Job interview: skills questions

This type of question in the selection interview aims to get to know the candidate's technical skills on the basis of his studies and previous work experience. Some examples are:

  • Tell me about your last work experience and what your duties were
  • What has been your most significant work experience?
  • What was the most complex project you worked on?
  • How many people did the team consist of?
  • What role did you fill?

Job interview: behavioral questions

This type of question is intended toknow the candidate's past behaviorsto anticipate future ones.

This category includes, for example, questions about how a specific circumstance was handled in the past.

Some examples are:

  • Tell me about the moment in which you found yourself having to motivate your team to complete the project on time, despite the unforeseen events. What did you do? What levers did you use?
  • Have you ever found yourself at odds with your manager? And if so, how did you relate on that occasion?
  • Tell me how you reacted when you found yourself working from home overnight. Were you able to maintain relationships with your colleagues? How?

Job interview: situational questions

These questions lead the candidate into hypothetical scenarios and he is expected to respond on the basis of his own experiences, behaviours, knowledge and skills.

They are used to reveal his thinking and how he would react in particular situations.

Some examples:

  • A colleague tries to make you appear in front of the team unsuitable for the role your boss has just entrusted you with, how do you behave?
  • It's Christmas Eve, as you're about to turn off your PC, you receive an email from the clientnt, how are you doing?
  • You are chosen to present the proposal to the client, how do you prepare?

Career development questions

These types of questions not only reveal the level of ambition and whether the company is able to meet its expectations, but also how willing you are to get involved within the organization to achieve your goals. Some examples:

  • What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How important is it for you to be constantly updated? What do you do and how much time do you dedicate to this activity?

Frequently asked questions about the candidate's personality

There is another group of questions that are asked in a job interview: they are the questions on personality that aim to bring out the intrinsic distinctive features and to understand if the character is suited to the role for which you are applying, if it blends with the team, if it is aligned with the corporate culture.

These questions do not have a right or wrong answer, even if some answers may be more appropriate than others, which is why they are often the most insidious for the interviewee.

Often these are situational or behavioral questions designed to learn more about how specific situations are dealt with.

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Top 10 Personality Questions

  • How would you describe your personality?
  • What makes you different from other professionals in your field?
  • Why should we choose you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What would you be able to bring to the group?
  • How would your ex-colleagues describe you?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?
  • Do challenges scare you or excite you?
  • Tell us how you reacted to a stressful situation
  • What aspect of your character would you change?

Job interview: motivational questions

Motivational questions are also given during the job interview. Usually aopen answerinvite you to explore the topics further.

These questions are helpful for recruiters to understandwhat excites the candidateand what drives his successful pursuit. In addition, of course, to the money factor which, however, is not always the only or main motivation. Especially after the pandemic has brought out new priorities among workers.

According to onestudio dell’IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV)conducted on over 14,000 people worldwide, in fact, 28% of the employees interviewed said they wanted to change jobs in the short term and the main reasons for this choice can be found in the need for a program orwork flexibility, more benefits and support for your well-being.

So here are five classic questions with which the motivation of candidates is tested:

  • Would you prefer a high salary in an unfavorable work environment or a lower salary for an ideal work environment?
  • What drives you to improve your performance?
  • How much and what are you willing to invest to achieve your professional goals?
  • What is the job you liked the least and which one the most and why?
  • What kind of work environment do you perform at your best in?

How the candidate is evaluated at the job interview

The final choice of the candidate is not always the right one, on the contrary. As also reported byHarvard Business Review only 19% of new hires can be defined as perfectly successful.

The costs to be faced when you find yourself in front of a resource that is unsuitable for some reason are really high.

From the costs of publishing the ad to the time dedicated to training, from the interruption of projects to the loss of customers, from the weakening of the Employer Branding up to any costs related to litigation.

Here becausethere are some precautions that recruiters adopt(which is better to know!) to better evaluate the candidate correctly in an hour of interview.

In addition to testing what is generally reported on the CV, i.e. level of education, level of experience and skills, there are, for example, some aspects that more than others could makering the alarm bellwhether or not the candidate adheres to the position offered:

  • Ability to adapt to corporate culture:is one of these elements, if the candidate's personality and values ​​align with those of the organization there are greater possibilities of integration into the work environment.
  • Reference check:it is a practice that belongs more to the Anglo-Saxon world, however even in Italy it happens that confirmation is sought on the candidate's qualifications or on those aspects that may have been hidden during the interview.
  • Body language:It's one of the things recruiters pay attention to. Often non-verbal cues—the handshake, posture, eye contact or lack thereof, the tapping of the pen—can reveal more than many words about personality.
  • Social media: it is a very widespread practice because it allows you to have the most complete image possible of the person.


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Job interview questions: what recruiters ask? ›

Being called by a recruiter

Recruiters will ask what you sort of opportunity you're looking for, your previous experience, your salary range and whether you're currently employed or not. Don't be afraid of selling your competencies and going into detail about your experience.

How do I pass a recruiting interview? ›

  1. Tell the truth. ...
  2. Listen carefully to the interviewer. ...
  3. Never slight a teacher, friend, employer, or your university. ...
  4. Watch your grammar. ...
  5. Be prepared for personal questions. ...
  6. Wait for the interviewer to mention salary and benefits. ...
  7. Don't expect a job offer at the first interview. ...
  8. Close on a positive, enthusiastic note.

What do recruiters ask when they call you? ›

Being called by a recruiter

Recruiters will ask what you sort of opportunity you're looking for, your previous experience, your salary range and whether you're currently employed or not. Don't be afraid of selling your competencies and going into detail about your experience.

What do recruiters look at first? ›

Recruiters are only interested in your background and skills as they relate to the position you're applying for. So, in your current job hunt, consider how you want to show yourself to companies, and highlight the most relevant abilities you bring in two to three phrases.

What does an interview with a recruiter look like? ›

Primary interviews with a recruiter may simply be a 30-minute phone or video call. Additional interviews depend on the company, but your recruiter should guide you and keep you updated throughout the process.

How do you nail a recruiter interview? ›

Interview tactics for meeting with a recruiter
  1. Arrive on time. ...
  2. Dress professionally. ...
  3. Bring a copy of your resume to show you're engaged and prepared.
  4. Be ready to talk about yourself, your experience, and everything you have to offer. ...
  5. Show enthusiasm. ...
  6. Have thoughtful questions ready. ...
  7. Send a thank you note.

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

How do you ace a recruiter screening interview? ›

  1. Be confident and bring the energy!
  2. Be conscious of time.
  3. Don't over-complicate your answers.
  4. Use valuable resources during the interview.
  5. Get comfortable talking about your previous work experiences.
  6. Close out the screening interview by asking intelligent questions.
  7. Follow-up quickly and appropriately.
Mar 16, 2023

How do you ace a recruiter call? ›

4 Ways to Rock the Intro Call With a Recruiter
  1. Demonstrate Quickly That You Cover the Basics. ...
  2. Show That You're Truly Interested (Assuming You Are) ...
  3. Exude an Air of “Strong Culture Fit” ...
  4. Understand the Recruiter's Role and Stake in This Process.

What do recruiters look for in a phone interview? ›

Many companies use a phone screen with a recruiter as the initial step in the hiring process. This is a critically important part of your job search. The recruiter will ask you about your background, skills and experience to see if it's well-aligned with the open position.

What not to say on a recruiter call? ›

7 Things to Never Say to a Recruiter When Looking for a Job
  • How much is your commission? ...
  • I'm just casually looking. ...
  • I'll take anything. ...
  • My previous job was terrible. ...
  • I work to live, not live to work. ...
  • My old manager and I didn't get along. ...
  • It's on my resume. ...
  • Recruiters navigate the job search process for you.


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