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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Recruitment Tips: Standard Questions

During every interview you’ll be asked at least several standard questions. Some of them aren’t very easy to answer even if they look so. But, hey, you can figure them out, right? Why don’t you think about possible answers earlier?

A list of standard question, among others, includes:

• Why do you want to change the job?

• Which things you don’t like about your current job?

• Why have you chosen our company?

• What do you want to do in the job?

• What do you want to do in a perspective of few years?

• What are your strong sides? Optionally can be with connection to job you’re applying for.

• What are your weak sides? Optionally can be with connection to job you’re applying for.

• Why do you think you’re right person for that job?

• How much do you want to earn? You’d be surprised how many people don’t know that…

in: recruitment

2 comments… add one

  • David January 28, 2010, 9:29 pm

    The question I really hate is ‘what are your weaknesses’. One day I’m going to get to an interview just to give some flip answers (which is all the question deserves), like “I have trouble with lip-synch”, I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, and, oh, ‘stupid questions really tip me off’.

    The questions really should be about the capabilities that are advertised as those for the position.

    But, if you are really asked about weaknesses, immediately reframe it to ‘a few things I’m working on right now to develop myself are…’

    The other thing is you might often be asked if you’ve got any final questions or comments. As a recruiter I usually ask this and am always under-impressed by fluffy answers such as ‘when will you give a decision’, or ‘no, I think I’ve covered everything’. This is the gift question where you can really shine.

    I like it when people 1. have a summary of their offering: capabilities and experience and how that will suit the job requirements, and 2. a couple of strong questions: like ‘what are the challenges you see in the job right now?’, ‘where are the pressure points on the team I’d be working with?’

  • Pawel Brodzinski January 29, 2010, 1:57 am

    I usually ask about weaknesses. I don’t ask it to learn about candidate’s weak sides – you really have to work with someone for some time to be able to name them. I ask the question to learn:

    – How well someone is prepared to the interview as this is sure-shot question, you should expect you’ll hear it.

    – How much of a liar a candidate is. There are a few options to deal with the question and lying with so called safe answer is probably the worst, yet the most popular, one.

    – How long I have to wait to hear the first totally honest answer for the question. Actually as far as this answer wouldn’t disqualify a candidate completely (e.g. I steal, like to insult everyone around and always start a blame game whenever I screw something) it would be a plus on my list.

    And after all it is such a positive thing to meet some people who don’t have weaknesses at all. It always makes my day better when I talk with one.

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