Talent Professionals Reveal the Important Interview Questions They Ask

By Executive coaching News
How to answer important interview questions from hiring managers

Review these questions; Show interviewers who you are and showcase your use of soft skills

Why do we recommend that candidates review important interview questions before they speak with the hiring manager? Because the job interview is arguably the most critical step in the hiring process. Both the candidate and interviewer have a short period to provide — and collect — as much information as possible, which influences the final hiring decision. 

Are you a good fit for the organization? Do you currently have the skills and experience to excel in the position? The interview reveals the answers to these questions. Most importantly, the following list of important interview questions focuses on both personality and technical abilities and blends the two factors. 

What do Hiring Managers Look For?

Most interviewers, especially those working for technology companies, look for a mix of technical qualifications and interpersonal skills. Today’s IT roles require that the right candidate have more than a strong technical background; they must also possess soft skills, e.g., work ethic, effective communication, problem-solving, flexibility, etc.  

Hiring managers look for candidates with the soft skills that complement the team environment; however, LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report revealed that 57% of talent professionals can’t confidently assess such skills. The challenge for interviewers is to accurately identify which behavioral questions correspond with the skills labeled as “must have” by the organization. 

When hiring for IT positions, talent professionals can only glean so much from a well-crafted resume and cookie-cutter technical assessment questions. Strategically asking situational and behavioral questions (agreed upon by the entire hiring team) prepares interviewers to spot a top candidate. 

The goal is to focus on the individual’s interaction with the team throughout the entire interview process (which often includes multiple rounds) and compare the findings against the stated requirements. Are they consistent, thorough, and organized? Do they show initiative and communicate effectively? If so, and technical skills meet the requirements, you have yourself a strong lead for the position. 

Why is it beneficial for talent professionals and job seekers to review important interview questions well before the interview? The process confirms whether or not the correct factors are addressed and measured, i.e., job and organizational fit. As a candidate, you will demonstrate past performance and confidently predict future success with more preparation. 

Feedback from our in-house talent team revealed how often candidates need guidance but don’t ask for help. The takeaway? Individuals who requested recommendations and prepared for each interview received more positive feedback than those who did not. 

So, how do you stand out and make a good impression among hiring managers? Review our list of important interview questions and think about your answers, refine them, and craft them to showcase past performance and future success.

Important interview questions to review before your next interview

1. How do you feel about mentoring and training team members?

2. How do you handle change in the workplace while taking into account different perspectives and cultures?

Questions one and two reveal if you are a team player with an open mind and have good interpersonal skills and diplomacy. They also highlight people who want to work in dynamic, fast-paced environments and that are passionate about the industry.

3. What is your understanding of the role?

This question, if answered well, shows that you thoroughly reviewed the job details and are engaged in the opportunity. 

4. What is your relevant background for this role?

(Upon asking this question, the interview professional is looking to see if you have your elevator speech ready and if it’s communicated well. Be succinct and articulate with your answers.

5. How do you improve upon a weakness? 

This question challenges you to get personal and talk about the areas where you can improve; you are human, so show your awareness. Don’t be afraid to reveal your personality and character.

6. Tell me a time when you made a mistake or had to deal with a conflict at work. How did you handle it? Did the problem get resolved? 

Use this question to showcase your soft skills, i.e., problem-solving, especially with peers or managers, and how you navigate difficult situations. Every workplace environment is different, so it’s helpful to communicate how you would resolve conflict at work. Hint: interview professionals look for collaborative and diplomatic candidates. 

7. When do you do your best thinking, or When do your creative ideas usually flow?

It’s good to show vulnerability and display your authenticity. Think about your ideal team, work environment, and conditions. Then share why you perform under these circumstances. Most importantly, focus on your personality because that’s what the hiring manager wants to see. And be creative! 

These are just a sample of the important interview questions that hiring managers enjoy asking candidates. But you can expect the interviewer to ask similar behavioral questions during your interview process. For example, here are a five questions that a project manager can expect.

Preparation boosts confidence in high-pressure situations like face-to-face interaction with a decision maker — don’t you want to have your best performance? Before your next interview, draft an answer to each of these questions and refine them to succinctly showcase why you are the best choice. 

Now, over to you: Which important interview questions do you enjoy answering?

(Main image by Charles D.)

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