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Master the Interview: Common Interview Topics

February 09, 2018

On the job hunt? Dreading the interview? We’re here to help you master it. Read up on commonly asked interview questions.

In the interview hot seat? It’s natural to feel a bit uncomfortable. Preparing answers to some common questions ahead of time will help you go into the interview with greater confidence.

Interview topics: What do recruiters want to know?

Here are ten routinely covered interview topics, and how a recruiter or hiring manager might pose them:

  1. Leadership- “Describe your leadership style and the types of organizations you have managed. Tell me about a time you had a difficult person on your team and how you handled it.”
  2. Problem Solving- “Tell me about a recent problem at work and how you mediated it.”
  3. Change- “Think about changes you experienced in prior roles. How did you drive change? What types of interesting developments occurred? What did you learn in the process?”
  4. Decision making- “Tell me about a difficult decision and how you came to it.”
  5. Criticism- “Tell me about a time when you were criticized. What did the issue involve, who made the criticism, and how did you handle it?”
  6. Communication skills- “Tell me how you leverage your communication skills, both written and oral.”
  7. Time management- “Think about a recent project you were assigned. How did you go about managing your time and organizing the project?”
  8. Teamwork- “Tell me about a recent team you worked on. What were the dynamics and what was your specific role?”
  9. Persuasion- “Have you ever had to persuade someone to do something they were initially reluctant about? How did you approach the situation? What was the outcome?”
  10. Pressure- “Tell me about a time when you were under enormous pressure. What was the source of the pressure and how did you handle it?”

Other questions you could be asked…

  • What interests you in our company and this specific opportunity?
  • What are your short-term career objectives? Longer-term?
  • What new goals have you established recently?
  • Why would you consider leaving your current position?
  • What interests you most about this position and why? Any concerns?

What types of responses are companies looking for?

The typical rule of thumb is that you need to listen very closely to the interviewer’s questions as they will give you insight into what the employer views as important. Give specific examples of situations you encountered in the past. Describe the context/background of the challenge, the process developed to resolve the issue, and the outcome you were able to achieve. Be sure to quantify your accomplishments. Whenever possible, draw a comparison between your past experiences and the prospective employer’s needs.

Stay tuned for our next blog on non-verbal signals you should be sending during the interview and other body language tips.

Questions? Contact the KLR Executive Search Group, LLC for more guidance.

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