The top 5 questions in your interviewer's head

Interviews are not easy and it’s normal to be nervous when you’re in one, especially when you’re eager to get the role. The trick to maintaining your composure is to know what questions will be running through your interviewer’s head and prepare them beforehand. You’ll then be able to answer their unspoken questions before they even ask them, and come across as a confident and well-prepared candidate.

 

 

Question 1: Can you bring anything new to my team?

The interviewer will typically use a competencies plan or skills matrix to help them keep track of whether the candidates have the required skills. He or she will use the interview to find out more about your skills and experience, and determine if your background is a good fit.

 

How to reassure the interviewer:

Show that you have the right skills and qualities stated in the requirements. If you were not asked about your skills, find a way to bring it up. You can start with “Can I share more about a project that I’ve worked on?”. It is useful to bring your portfolio or examples of your work to the interview. The interviewer needs convincing and visual aids can help you achieve that.

 

 

Question 2: Are you really keen on the role?

The last thing the interviewer wants is for you to leave a few months after starting. He or she will not want to hire someone who will be unhappy in their job, hence your interest level is something that he or she will assess.

 

How to reassure the interviewer:

The hiring manager will typically start off with simple questions such as “Can you tell me more about yourself?” and “Why are you interested in this position?” Do not take these questions lightly. Use your answers to these questions to demonstrate your understanding of the job scope. As you demonstrate your knowledge of the role, explain how your background is a good match. You might also want to add how this role is aligned to your career aspirations, plans and interests. This shows that you are enthusiastic about the job and likely to stay in the job.

 

 

Question 3: Is the candidate telling the truth?

Experienced interviewers are often able to use their gut instincts to detect if a candidate is telling the truth. Through a candidate’s body language, they may be able to “feel” that something is not quite right.

 

How to reassure the interviewer:

Be honest in an interview. Do not lie about an achievement or skill. It is fine to admit if you are not able to answer a question. However, if the question is linked to an important job requirement, not being able to answer the question may jeopardise your chance of an offer. That said, if you are currently working to improve on this shortcoming, let the interviewer know as this demonstrates your attitude towards learning and self-improvement.

 

 

Question 4: Do you have other interviews lined up?

Interviewers know that good candidates are in demand and you are likely to have other interviews lined up if you are an active candidate. The interviewer may ask this question to get a sense of your career interests and how quickly he or she would need to respond to you. 

 

How to reassure the interviewer:

If you do get this questions, there is no need to hide the other opportunities that you are pursuing from the interviewer. In fact, if he is keen on extending an offer to you, he may speed up the process as you may be off the market soon. If you do not have interviews lined up with other companies, it is fine too, the interviewer will not think any less of you. A word of caution here - it is not wise to lie about an offer to expedite a decision or get a higher compensation. The hiring manager may respond that you should pursue that opportunity instead.

 

 


Question 5: How well will this candidate get along with the other team members?

This is important because there is high chance that you will be working in a team. The hiring manager certainly does not want you to disrupt, upset or ruin relationships between colleagues. Good interpersonal or communication skills will be favoured, and interviewers who come across as rude, difficult or arrogant will most certainly be avoided.

 

How to reassure the interviewer:

Stay positive. Be polite to everyone you meet at the company. Take an interest in the interviewer or people in the company, e.g. you may ask the interviewer how long he/she has been working at the company and what he enjoys about working there. You may also ask about the background of the colleagues you may be working with and the culture of the existing team.

 

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