Modern interview questions you should be prepared to answer

October 20, 2017

You’re probably familiar with the classic, typical job interview questions:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Why should we hire you?

And you’re most likely have prepared great, well-crafted answers for them.

Via Wenabit

Modern recruiters and hiring managers constantly come up with new questions to get to know candidates better. They usually try to avoid cliche, overused questions because they know most candidates have already prepared a carefully-crafted answer to them, which doesn’t really represent who the candidates are. Instead, they have came up with different questions that most career-centers and online resources have not prepared job-seekers to answer.

So, what are they? And how should I answer them? Here are 3 common ones:

Why are you looking to move from your current role?

What recruiters REALLY want to know:
What will it take for other companies to convince you to quit your current job? I.e. if you were to be given a job, how easy would it be for other companies to recruit you away. Would it be an intrinsic motivation? Or would it be an external factor? Also, do you switch jobs easily?

How you should answer this question:

  • I would like to work with … and your company uses …
  • I’ve always been very interested in working with the … field
  • I would love to work with a company that operates at this scale
  • The growth of your company excites me and I’d love to be a part of it
  • The company is very innovative in the … space and I’m very interested in it

How you should NOT answer this question:

  • I’m not really looking, just want to see what’s out there
  • My boss/team was …
  • I’m not feeling satisfied/fulfilled at my current role
  • The company is going through changes
  • I’m bored with …

What kind of team culture are you looking for?

What recruiters REALLY want to know:
This is a very tricky question. They are trying to understand what kind of worker you are. Are you a relaxed kind? Are you the passionate kind? Are you the serious kind? Are you autonomous? Do you like process?

How you should answer this question:

  • I’m looking for a team that is collaborative, where everyone has each other’s back
  • I work best with people who are also very passionate about what they do
  • There’s some competitiveness in the team so everyone keeps advancing and growing, but it’s healthy competition and not a zero-sum game

How you should NOT answer this question:

  • I’m looking for a relaxed team (make you sound like a lazy person)
  • I’m looking for a team I can hang out with (make you sound like a slacker)

How would your current manager/teammates describe you?

What recruiters want to know:
What kind of impressions you’d like to set on others about yourself.

How you should answer this question:

  • I’m a very opinionated person.
  • I love <insert favorite food>
  • I’m the person who usually contribute the most in meetings
  • I’m often the most critical of others’ ideas

Be very specific and add personal characteristics that make you a complete human being (not just a worker).

How you should NOT answer this question:

  • I’m hard working
  • I’m honest
  • I’m a team player
  • I’m punctual
  • I’m passionate

Why not? Because these are very generic, vague, and too-frequently used by other candidates.

Happy interviewing!

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Author
Ryan Harijanto

Head of Engineering. Former Sr. Engineer @Netflix , @HotelTonight , @Shutterstock. Previously a Senior Systems Engineer at Netflix, currently technology advisor and board member for emerging companies. Diverse technological knowledge and understanding of various industries.

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