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These Are Recruiters' Favorite Interview Questions to Ask

Posted by Amy Elisa Jackson

Last Updated September 7, 2017
|6 min read

Don't get me wrong, yes, you're a special candidate who deserves unique consideration for a job. However, the truth is that recruiters and hiring managers have favorite questions they love to ask candidates. There are a handful of questions that are in their arsenals and come out every time they are on the phone with a candidate like yourself. Don't take it personally. Instead, get prepared.

We spoke to a group of recruiters and talent acquisition pros who dished on the questions they love to ask all candidates. Take note of what these staffers at Glassdoor's 2017 Best Places to Interview will ask in your next one-on-one.

“Our organization is ever-evolving, so our most successful employees are those who can adapt to change and anticipate trends. With that, my favorite question to ask is, tell me about a time when you were a champion for change or a change agent?” –Stephanie W., HR Projects and Operations Manager at Baylor Scott & White

See Open Jobs at Baylor Scott & White

“What is the one thing that you want me to remember about you?” —Recruiters at Academy Sports + Outdoors

See Open Jobs at Academy Sports + Outdoors

“Tell us about projects you’re proud of in a way that gets beyond the short little verbs on your résumé. How did you work through the project? What was the outcome for your team? Your process? The organization?” —Recruiters at Gap Inc.

See Open Jobs at Gap Inc.

“‘If you were hired here, what would keep you engaged in this role and at this company?’” —Laura Sullivan, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Slalom

See Open Jobs at Slalom

"What defines success [in] this role? How [do you] determine success after 30, 60, 90 days?” —Ashley Cowley, Sr Recruiting Partner & Team Lead at Cerner Corporation  

See Open Jobs at Cerner

“What sets you apart from other candidates – what is it that only you can bring to our team?” —James Molledahl, Director of Environmental / Housekeeping Services at SSM Health

See Open Jobs at SSM Health

“To get at the heart of a candidate, the question I love to ask: “Can you paint me a picture (or, another variation: “if you were king/queen for a day”) of the role you’d leave your current position for?” It gives us the insight into how the candidates aim to grow their careers and where they see themselves. For instance, are they moving to leadership roles? Shifting into hands-on technical roles?  Are they being exposed to newer technologies? The broad question means I gain a deeper level of understanding on where candidates want to be in their next roles.” —Scott Barish, Digital Solutions Recruiting Lead at Booz Allen Hamilton

See Open Jobs at Booz Allen Hamilton

“For people manager roles: ‘Tell me about the people you’ve managed, and where are they now? How have their careers developed, and what impact have you had on their career development?’ Why we ask this: We’re looking for leaders who can develop talent as well as lead. We want to hire leaders who have created other leaders, even if that leads to employees outgrowing their positions.” —Craig Myers, Director of Talent Acquisition, Cadence Design Systems

See Open Jobs at Cadence Design Systems

“This may surprise you but one of my favorite questions to ask is simply, ‘What do you like about your job?’. If you want to get someone talking, talk about something they LIKE!! People inherently find it easy to talk about what they enjoy and this gives me a great insight in to what motivates them in their chosen profession. That question is followed up with ‘What do you dislike about your job” and I would reiterate that again that these answers give me a much greater understanding of the candidate.’” —Heather Evans, Sr Recruiting Partner at Cerner Corporation  

See Open Jobs at Cerner

“At the beginning of my interviews, I ask my candidates what they know about our organization. This question tells me if the jobseeker is prepared for the phone interview and it demonstrates their level of interest in our organization. The best answers include information obtained from personal research such as a corporate website, media coverage, and even takeaways from coworkers within the company. These are all easily obtained with a little effort but it’s a great way to wow your recruiter.” —Colleen Flynn, Recruiter at CDW

See Open Jobs at CDW

“My favorite question to ask: ‘Why did you select health care as a profession?’” —Jenny Bothun, Registered Nurse at SSM Health

See Open Jobs at SSM Health

“We are looking for Associates that possess strong problem-solving skills: can you give me an example of a time when you had to solve a complex problem and were given little or no information to start? This question allows a candidate to showcase learning agility when it comes to working on a new area.  At Cerner, we challenge our Associates to think creatively and be empowered to push boundaries.” Jessica Lamb, Manager & Lead Campus Recruiter at Cerner Corporation

See Open Jobs at Cerner

“For new grads with limited work experience: ‘What 3 adjectives describe you best, and why?’ Why we ask this: There is no right answer to this question. We just want to see how new grads think on their feet and outside their comfort zone.” —Craig Myers, Director of Talent Acquisition, Cadence Design Systems

See Open Jobs at Cadence Design Systems

“If you were hired for this role, what factor(s) would cause you to consider leaving? What is the biggest misperception people have about you?” —Recruiters at Academy Sports + Outdoors

See Open Jobs at Academy Sports + Outdoors

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