Here are some of the most frequent questions asked by recruiters and why do they ask them:
Why did you apply for this particular position?
This can help candidates relax a bit. It is open-ended, and the recruiter can learn more about them (as with behavioral questions). The recruiter can see if they have done their homework by researching the company.
Why are you the best choice for this role? What separates you from other candidates?
These questions tell the recruiter how prepared candidates are and if they know their own strengths and how they apply to the position they’re interviewing for.
Basically they should have a short summary of why the recruiter should hire them.
The recruiter likes hearing skills especially related to the job descriptions and related examples from their past work experience.
For a managerial role: Have you experienced a policy change, department structure change or other significant change that was not very popular with the people it affected? If so, what was it and how did you remain flexible and productive through it?
Or, for a subordinate role: Have you experienced a policy change, department structure change or other significant change that you weren’t expecting? If so, what was it and how did you remain flexible and productive through it?
The recruiter asks candidates these questions because there is always change within every organization. To know how someone has reacted and stayed focused through change is a good indicator of future performance.
What was the best job you’ve had and why?
The answer to this question can tell the recruiter a lot about the type of culture that the candidates respond well to as well as how they’re motivated to work.
How do you like to be managed?
The answer to this question provides insight into the level of responsibility that candidates are comfortable with and will ultimately allow the recruiter to determine if the management style matches with their expectations.
What did you like most about [a job on their resume]? What did you like least about this job?
It is very telling about candidates’ motivation, personality and potential cultural fit. If the job they least liked has similar qualities as the job the recruiter is hiring for, then they’re probably not going to be a good fit, and they won’t stick around for long.
Tell me about one of your most successful partnerships with a peer or client. What made it great?
Who an individual interacts with at work varies considerably over the course of their role. From bouncing ideas off colleagues to pitching in on projects, I like to get an idea of how this person contributes to ever-changing business needs.
Allowing candidates to talk through some of these examples can give me great insight into how they manage – or don’t manage – relationships and their day-to-day duties.
What type of projects do you enjoy working on?
This often gives the recruiter a deeper insight into candidates’ motivation for their work. Based on their answers, the recruiter can gauge where their interests may align within the scope of the position. This could be in terms of how they meet the immediate needs of the role as well as how their strengths and interests can enhance it in the long term.
What are your minimum salary requirements?
Very few applicants indicate their salary requirements on the front end for fear that they’ll over price themselves and the employer will rule them out. But, if possible, the recruiter tries to at least get them to give a salary range. This way if they’re way over the budget the process will end.
Can you tell me about your greatest success and your greatest failure?
The success portion of the question provides insight into the candidates’ achievements and aspirations. It demonstrates what sacrifices, strategies and methods they’ve used to obtain their goals.
The failure portion allows to see what the candidates learned from their experiences. Understanding how good and bad experiences shaped or improved candidates helps the recruiter understand their thought process and how goal-oriented they may be. It demonstrates how they recovered from those failures.