Online interviews can be challenging. That’s because they are often your first opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with your potential employer or recruiter, and there’s a lot to cover in a limited amount of time.
One of the best ways to prepare for your online recruiter interview is to practice answering the most commonly asked interview questions. After all, you don’t want to stumble over your words during the interview.
While there’s no need to memorize every possible question, you will do well to familiarise with topics likely to come up. These include:
- How to come off as confident but not arrogant
- How to effectively sell your skills and qualifications
- How to navigate the salary conversation
To that end, here are eight of the most common online recruiter interview questions and answers.
Question 1: Tell Me a Little About Yourself
While this is technically a statement, it may also be presented in question form: “How would you describe yourself?”
The sentiment whether presented as a statement or question remains the same.
It’s typically one of the first questions asked, and thus, will likely set the stage for your online interview. This is because the question is broad and open-ended, allowing the recruiter to understand how you view yourself, your background, personality, values, and priorities.
Be concise and focus your answer to the job opportunity.
Your answer should be a mix of 80 percent professional and 20 percent personal information, with a focus on what you bring to the role and the company.
Mention your skills, education, work experience, and extracurriculars that relate to the line of work for which you’re applying.
Since this information may already appear on your resume, consider this a highlight reel. How? Summarize the key professional points you wish to share, including goals and key accomplishments, then add some color by including one or two personal facts.
Question 2: What Do You Know About Our Company?
Recruiters ask this question to determine if you did your homework before the interview. If you cannot answer this question, you come off as ill-prepared and not interested in the job.
Statistics reveal 47 percent of interviewers will not offer a job to a candidate if they have little knowledge of their company.
But we don’t mean you memorize every detail about the company.
Visit your potential employer’s website and social media pages sometime before your interview and get to know them.
Learn as much as you can, and relay information relating to the following topics in your answer:
- The products/services offered at the company
- The potential competitorsThe company’s mission and values
Expert Tip: If any information was not clear during your research, now’s a great time to ask clarifying questions.
Question 3: Why Are You Interested in This Job?
This question helps a recruiter gauge your interest in the role and understand what motivated you to apply. It’s also one of the ways a recruiter can find out why you left or are considering leaving your current employer.
Do not badmouth any of your employers or colleagues when answering this question, even if you’re unhappy at work.
Instead, explain what caught your eye about the job posting. You can also mention how you see yourself fitting into their corporate culture or list the positive things you’ve heard about working there.
Sample answer: “I believe the company’s vision and growth-oriented mindset align with my values. This gets me excited about the job and what the future holds, which is why I’d love to be part of the team…”
Question 4: What Makes You the Right Person for This Position?
This question invites you to put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and answer the biggest question: “Why should we hire you?”
At this stage of the interview, you will likely have touched on some of the things you can bring to the role. But this question demands an all-out pitch. Sell yourself.
Before you answer, take a quick moment to consider:
- What sets you apart from the other applicants
- How you’ve excelled at similar roles in the past
- How your education and experience have prepared you for the position
- Lessons you’ve learned from past employment
Create a detailed pitch discussing what qualifies you for the position and what sets you apart from the competition. Emphasize what makes you unique to bolster confidence in the recruiter’s decision to hire you.
…focus on telling us about your achievements…this is a great way to make you stand out and it gives us a deeper insight into your capabilities and talents.Sara, Recruiter in Germany
Expert Tip: Make sure to study the job description before the interview so you tie in the “Must Have” or “Required” skills as part of your answer.
Question 5: What Are Your Current Responsibilities?
Recruiters ask this because they want to better understand your current role and how that might compare to the job you’re applying for.
As you answer this question, they visualize the job description must-haves and perform a side-by-side comparison of your current responsibilities.
Note: Unlike the “tell me about yourself” question, which offers a bird’s-eye view of your professional history, this question aims to delve deeper into your current role.
In your answer, give the recruiter an idea of the tasks you’re comfortable with and the areas where you’re likely to perform best.
Question 6: What Are Your Biggest Strengths?
Recruiters ask this question for three main reasons.
- To determine what you consider to be your greatest assets.
- To establish how confident you are in your abilities.
- To determine whether you claim undue credit.
When answering this question, you want to come across as capable and confident, but not arrogant.
Don’t exaggerate your skillset or boast about past success. Instead, focus on your unique qualifications, preferably transferable skills such as intimate knowledge of useful software or a skill such as SEO.
This is also an ideal opportunity to use someone else’s words to sell yourself. For example, mention a compliment paid to you by your current or previous boss about your work.
Question 7: What’s Your Current Salary?
Recruiters might ask about your current level of compensation as a reference point for your future salary expectations.
Nevertheless, discussing salaries is one of the more delicate parts of an interview. Often, candidates feel tempted to dodge the question or lie to the recruiter. Little did they know, this is counterproductive.
Avoid misleading the recruiter because it will make promoting you to a hiring manager harder. Remember, recruiters speak to hundreds of candidates every week. They can tell if a candidate exaggerates their current rate of compensation.
Inaccurate information about your salary only wastes valuable time.
Note: Asking about current or past salary has been outlawed in some locations.
Expert Tip: Avoid inflating or hiding your current salary. You’ll establish a more productive relationship with your recruiter by being forthcoming. If you believe you’re under-compensated, you can reference industry salary benchmarks or data to back you up.
Question 8: What’s Your Salary Expectation?
This is the next question after discussing your current rate of compensation. Understandably, you don’t want to overshoot or undershoot your expectations.
Many candidates tend to dodge the question and revert to the controversial negotiating technique of never being the one first to put out an offer.
However, most experts suggest being forthcoming is the best course of action.
If you fit within the salary range our client has available, and you are otherwise a good fit for the position, we will present you as a candidate.Laura Davis, President of Ignite HR
Be clear about the level of compensation you hope to achieve to ensure you’re matched with roles that meet your requirements.
Secure Your Next Online Job
So there you have it. These are some of the most common online recruiter interview questions.
Practice answering these questions to boost your confidence and improve your chances of landing that job.
Here are a few more tips to help you along the way:
Tip 1 – Always be honest: Although 81 percent of applicants lie during their interviews, it’s never a good idea to start an employment relationship based on a lie.
Tip 2 – Relax: It’s completely normal to be nervous before and during your interview. But don’t let your nerves get in the way of securing your new job.
Tip 3 – Don’t be a robot: Practice answering questions beforehand, but don’t let your answers sound scripted and robotic during your interview.
For more advice and tips on securing your next online job, visit Small Revolution.
Small Revolution is an online platform, library, and community designed to help you develop the skills to secure a long-term career in a rapidly growing industry.
We offer everything from how-to guides to eCommerce training on how to kickstart your online career, switch careers, or simply build on your existing skills.
Whatever you’re looking for, Small Revolution puts you a step closer to finding a satisfying career online.
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