We’ve all been to interviews where the recruiter asks us a question that has been repeated in some variation at recruiting desks around the world. What is your biggest strength? Name a weakness? Some of these questions are so common, and candidates’ answers so prepared, that recruiters are on the look out for the “canned” response. “My biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist.” Yet, these questions continue to come up in interviews. If so many recruiters are asking these questions, what are the answers they’re really looking for? Here are some of the more common interview questions, and what they are really asking you.
Tell me about yourself? Probably the most frequently asked question of all time, this presents a way for the interviewer to start the conversation and establish a rapport. The interviewer is mainly interested in your academic or professional history, and is listening to how you present yourself. Focus on a few main points you want this person to know about yourself.
Tell me about a problem you encountered and how you solved it? The interviewer is interested in seeing how you apply the knowledge that you’ve gained towards a solution. If possible, use a problem that will relate to the position or company for which you are interviewing. Emphasize the solution rather than the problem.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Here is another question that candidates dread, and with typical responses that run the gambit from “sailing in my yacht around the world” to “I want your job”. The interviewer is trying to determine if you will be well suited to the position you’re applying for, and if your ambitions align with the company’s objectives. Focus on goals that are relevant to your profession or industry.
Why should we hire you? The interviewer is asking you if you want the job. They want to see if you’ve done your research about the company and if you’re enthusiastic about the position. Don’t try to compare or contrast with other candidates, but rather focus on your specific abilities and achievements that match the job requirements.
What is your biggest weakness? We can’t forget this one as it is still one of the most common questions asked at interviews on construction recruitment jobs website that makes an person to know all about the questions that were asked by the company during the time of interview. Too many sources suggest turning a weakness into a strength, but it has become so common that recruiters are disregarding these not so honest answers. What the interviewer is really trying to determine is if you have self-awareness with respect to your skills and the areas you may need to develop. They are looking for a real weakness and an honest answer. Focus on the steps you take to overcome your weakness or mention specific training opportunities you are exploring.
Although these questions may seem overused and ineffective, there is a reason why they’re so common. Focusing on what the interviewer is trying to learn about you through these questions will help you to provide winning answers. A good rule of thumb when answering any interview question is to always be relevant, be specific, be positive, and be honest. And give them the answer to the questions they’re really asking.