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11 tricky non-technical questions that await you at an interview with a recruiter

Published in the Random EN group
We bring to your attention an adaptation of the article What awaits you at the interview or 10 tricky questions of the recruiter . In it we will talk about common questions that sometimes confuse beginners (and not only beginners) applicants. Please note: this is not a technical interview, but the very first conversation with an HR specialist.
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During the interview, you plan to talk about education, work experience, responsibilities and career growth, but instead you are asked to draw a little man, tell a joke, solve a logic problem, and at the end of the interview they want to know how many fishing rods will fit in the truck. Your indignation is well founded. You have been subjected to psychological testing. Tricky questions fall into two main groups. The first is questions that provoke stress. This category includes supposed information about your previous successes, family composition, where your parents worked, etc. These questions help to catch the interlocutor and identify inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Of course, the employer, represented by the recruiter, is quite capable of carefully reading your application form and learning almost everything from there. However, seeing your reaction is more important to him than the data about you. In this case, you must be as honest as possible without unnecessary emotions.
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Another group of questions is aimed at identifying your erudition, sense of humor, eloquence and logic, ability to quickly respond and present yourself. Unlike the first category, these questions do not put you in a stressful state and have practical meaning. A recruiter’s imagination is sometimes limitless, so it is difficult to specifically identify the topics of questions in the second group. Unexpected moments and sharp transitions from the official part of the interview to funny provocations. When under stress, you unwittingly give out much more information than you originally wanted. Let's find out how to answer the most popular questions of the first category.

1. Tell us about yourself

This simple question often stumps candidates. It is great for helping you understand your priorities in life. First of all, the employer wants to know about your education and work experience. Your personal history should be kept to a minimum. However, you should be prepared to talk briefly, without going into too much detail, about your personal life.

2. What do you do in your free time? Do you have a hobby?

This question is a logical continuation of the previous one. It helps the recruiter draw your psychological portrait and identify your suitability for the intended position. For example, a company needs an active person with strong leadership qualities and a willingness to travel. And the candidate says that he loves floriculture, home comfort and does not tolerate moving well. The person may be a very good specialist, but he will not be suitable. The employer wants to see an active, versatile employee.
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When the interview conversation turns to hobbies, you need to emphasize those qualities that are valuable for the proposed position. Analysts can boast about their success in solving crossword puzzles, managers can emphasize their leadership qualities expressed in sports achievements, designers can boast about their creative activities. Also, questions about hobbies help assess the intellectual level of applicants, degree of health and physical fitness (if the hobby is related to sports). Remember, if your hobby is reading books, then you need to mention not only the latest bestsellers, but also professional literature.

3. Why did you leave your previous job?

The employer wants to know what happened in your previous job and what you expect from your new job. The main rule: you should never say bad things about your former boss or colleagues. Your new manager does not know how everything really happened, but may consider you a problematic and conflict-ridden employee. You can refer to routine, inconvenient schedule, change of management. But your main arguments should be that you want to become part of a stable team, have the opportunity for career growth, work on interesting and useful projects, etc.
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4. What are your weaknesses?

The answer to this question will show the employer how mature you are. Only such a person can talk about his strengths and weaknesses calmly and with self-irony. But it is important to know when to stop and not go too far. There is no need to make jokes about how lazy I am. It’s better to say: “Sometimes I can get so carried away that I lose track of time.” The shortcomings that you attribute to yourself should ultimately turn out to be useful and positive for your future work: pedantry and meticulousness are good for accountants, excessive sociability for advertising agents. You can answer neutrally: “I have shortcomings, but they do not affect my work.” Avoid long, overly explicit, detailed stories.
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Another way to phrase this question could be: “What failures have you had in your life?” The recruiter is not as interested in the fact of mistakes as in your personal attitude to the ups and downs and your ability to quickly recover and move on.

5. Tell us about your achievements

It is important for the recruiter to understand the level of your self-esteem. Here you can talk about a successfully implemented project, advanced training, and corporate awards received. The main thing is not to overdo it. But you shouldn’t go to the other extreme - underestimating your own capabilities and abilities. A job interview is not the time to be overly modest. Therefore, if you are asked if you know German, and you decide to show modesty, then, most likely, HR will mark itself as “not fluent in the language” and give preference to a more confident candidate. Therefore, answer clearly and convincingly.
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6. Are you committed to long-term cooperation with our company?

This question allows the recruiter to understand your goals and how honest you are. Of course, you can avoid a direct answer by saying that first you need to work in the company to understand whether the team likes to solve interesting problems that you will pose (if you are going to a leadership position, for example). “If everything goes well, then our cooperation with you will be long and mutually beneficial” is the ideal answer.

7. What is your desired salary level?

The employer is interested in whether the company can “buy” you. Feel free to voice an amount that will be 10-15% more than what you received in your previous position. The minimum cannot be less than your previous salary (or any additional benefits must be offered). If you are getting a job for the first time, then study the labor market for similar offers in order to understand how much you can qualify for.
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8. Are you ready to work with large amounts of information?

If you are asked this question, then most likely the company often works overtime. In this case, you can clarify how often you have to work extra hours and how it is paid. For the same purpose, you will be asked about your marital status, whether you have children and what their age is. From the answers you will be able to understand how stable and able-bodied an employee you are, and how often you will need sick leave, time off, vacation, etc.

9. What would you hate to encounter in your new job?

“What are the most unpleasant moments in your work?” This question is aimed at testing your personal qualities. Based on generally accepted values, the answer should be: lies, unprofessionalism, scandals, gossip.
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10. Why are you interested in this position?

It is important for the employer to understand what exactly attracted you to the proposed position in order to determine your priorities. Emphasize that you would like to work for a large, thriving company, and you have enough knowledge to be useful to it.

11. Are you ready to take the test?

Often, when considering candidates for IT positions, HR conducts only an initial interview. If your experience, skills, and personal qualities match the company’s needs, then you should be prepared to be asked to complete a test task. The assessment of the test is not carried out by the recruiter, but by a technical specialist of your profile, because HR is not competent to understand how technically correctly you completed it. If you successfully complete the task, you may be invited to a second interview, where either the head of the IT department or a person authorized by him will be present. Be prepared for this.
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Have you already gone to interviews? Share in the comments the tricky questions that recruiters asked you

What to do before the interview?

During the interview, the recruiter’s main task is to form a psychological portrait of the candidate, assess his moral qualities, ambitions, career requirements, and identify the degree of interest in the proposed position. A recruiter may not always have reliable information about a potential employee, so you need to be prepared to provide references from previous jobs. You must answer all questions without exception.
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Of course, you can't predict every question because every interview is unique. However, you must be prepared. You can browse specialized forums to get an idea of ​​what you can expect. You can find testimonials from those who have already been interviewed in the exact location you are going to. And, good advice, you should know about the company you are going to the meeting with. Your behavior during the interview is very important. Be calm, confident, express yourself clearly, ask questions. Believe in yourself, you are the best candidate who understands that the interview is an integral part of the employment process. Do not go to extremes - you should not be too modest, but you should not show excessive frankness, you should be positive and friendly in any situation. Perhaps your interlocutor will become your future colleague. And even if not, rest assured that you will find your dream job. You will succeed! Good luck with your interview!