15 questions recruiters love to ask

While we are all scrambling for that coveted work remote position it’s important to keep in mind the 15 things recruiters usually ask during an interview when looking to fill new roles at their company. I crowdsourced resources from top recruitment sites and found at least fifteen or more things they’re bound to ask you, the interviewee, exactly why hiring you is in their best interest.

Take a look at what recruiters who were interviewed by Forbes had to say about vetting potential candidates in the next Zoom interview. Pull up a chair and get a pen and paper if you’re actively seeking work in these growing work remote industries.

1. When you get a new job or take on a new project, how do you go about doing your new job or tackling an important project successfully?

“I believe that every person has a very specific methodology behind the way they work. I want to know what that is because in doing so I get to hear what I call the 6 P’s of “A” Player passion, which is critical to understanding how the candidate will gel with the culture of the team, and whether their behavior will align with the hiring manager.”

What are the six P’s exactly? According to Matt Doucette at Monster recruiting they are:

  • Purpose – Why they do what they do
  • Plan – How they do what they do
  • Process – What they do to do what they
  • Persistence – What happens when what they do fails
  • Persuasive communication – How they get others involved in helping what they do become successful
  • Pride – How they celebrate what they do

2. Have a passion project. Why?

“Having a side project is a great indicator that the candidate loves to code and is passionate about writing software he or she is proud of. Furthermore, the code for a side project is often hosted on a public repository which I can browse to get another data point on the quality of code the candidate has written.” – Brian Pugh, Vice President of Engineering for Lucid Software

3. What are your weaknesses?

Glassdoor, a popular recruitment site lays down the importance of baring your blind spots.

“It offers a chance to learn how someone deals with self-realization, self-actualization, and potentially how they overcome obstacles or adversity. The purpose of asking this question is to ensure that the candidate possesses self-awareness. But perhaps as importantly, much like the biggest weakness question, the key thing here is learning what the takeaway was to help avoid recurrence.” – Kathryn Lorenzen, Senior Recruiter and Career Coach, LandaJob Marketing & Creative Talent

There is tremendous value in an employee who owns up to past mistakes, learns from them and eventually puts forth another better product in that past mistake’s wake.

4. Describe your “dream job”

“Along with creating connections and allowing the candidate to be creative, this question also reveals bits and pieces about an individual’s long-term goals.” – Talent Acquisition Manager at ONTRAPORT, Sara Hetyonk

5. Describe a former boss’s day-to-day management style.

This question searches for a few things about the candidate. Are they easy to work with and what is their conflict resolution style as well as a level of maturity.

6. How did you solidify your current position?

This unveils a candidate’s career trajectory as well as motivators in their personal and career-driven goals in life! Will you add value to our company and do you see yourself at a higher position within our company in five years?

7. Give us more details about an interesting or difficult project you’ve tackled in your career in recent years

“They’re the expert on what they’ve worked on, I’m not. There’s no wrong answer. So that relaxes them and is a great way to start an interview and make them feel comfortable. When they explain what they’ve been working on, I’m able to ask for more details about specific things as they are answering. So, I don’t let them just give high-level general answers, I dig deeper on various topics they mention. That helps me understand exactly how deep their knowledge goes in the things they’ve been working on.” – Tim Julien, Vice President of Engineering at Bonobos

8. Describe a co-workers style at your current job

This provides recruiters a peek into your interpersonal skills. Are you a team player? Using the right verbiage to explain what your co-worker brings to the table could benefit you in clenching that next position.

9. What would be your ideal position at this company and why?

This question gets to the heart of the candidate’s best technical and transferable skill sets to see if this open position is truly the right fit for their demonstrated strengths.

“In my numerous years of conducting interviews, there have been many times when a candidate will describe their best-fit position, to find, it does not align with the position they are interviewing for,” – Shelly Goldman, Executive Recruiter and Founder, Goldman Group Advantage

10. Tell me your biggest success story related to your field

This question puts the interviewee at ease and allows them to open up and really highlight the skill sets they are ready and willing to bring to the table!

11. What is a development area you’ve had to overcome?

This shows recruiters how well you handle adversity and how quickly you’re willing to adapt to the ever-changing goalposts in the digital age.

12. What traits would former co-workers use to describe you?

This may seem like an obvious vetting technique but it’s a little more covert than your standard use “three words to describe yourself” line of questioning.

“People are more honest about this because they never know if that person might be called upon for a reference. As a result, they are usually more thoughtful and accurate in their response than if they had been asked to describe themselves,” according to an article written by Michelle Mavi who happens to be a seasoned professional coaching job seekers on interview skills and job search strategies for fifteen years.

13. How has the job search been going for you?

This question gives them an idea of the value of your particular skill set in the job market. If you’re getting a lot of other interviews you must have something other candidates lack putting you at the top of their list for folks to hire compared to other applicants receiving less attention.

14. Why did you leave your last position?

Potential employers want to know the habits and career trajectory of new hires. They want to know if you have staying power and potential for growth and upward mobility in their company.

15. Do you have any questions for me?

Ah, yes the final question before the close of any promising interview don’t miss your chance to shine here! Goldman, an Executive Recruiter we heard from earlier, drives home the importance of preparing for this question,

“More substantive answers signal a higher level of preparation and initiative. Moreover, the candidate having jotted down a few questions to ask signals interest beyond an individual role and to their overall relationship within and among the enterprise.”

Good luck in nailing that next interview.