What Recruiters Really Think Of These Cliche Interview Answers

By Ashley Paskill on March 18, 2020

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and intimidating for those who are being interviewed. One key tip is for them to be prepared, and part of this preparation includes knowing how to best answer some of the most common interview questions. Many advice articles may even give out cliché answers that candidates can use to help them out.

Recruiters and employers have to sit through dozens of interviews before finding their ideal candidate. This often leads to hearing candidate after candidate rattle off the same old cliché answers, especially if you ask common interview questions. These answers provoke a wide variety of thoughts from recruiters and interviewers. Below are some common questions and what recruiters really think of the cliché answers to them

“Why did you leave your last job?”

This is a common question. While it may seem like a perfect time to rattle off all the negative things about their previous workplace, they should avoid doing so. Not only does it reflect poorly on the candidate, but it tells the interviewer that he/she would be willing to badmouth the company you are interviewing for. Likewise, if they left a position that is similar to the one they are looking to fill or is a step-down and they are leaving because they could not keep up with the work, you may want to take this into consideration.

“Do you have any questions?”

This question typically occurs at the end of the interview. It gives the candidate a chance to ask any questions they have about the job, the company, or your role within the company. A common response is that the candidate does not have any questions. While this may seem good because they did research or paid attention while going over the role, this can show that they are not prepared. They should do research, but they have the option to ask how their role would fit in with the company’s goals and mission. They should also be curious about what a typical day looks like in the role. Not asking these things shows a lack of preparation or a lack of interest in the position.

“Why would you be a good fit for this position?”

Many candidates may be tempted to say something about how they like working with people. However, this answer is cliché. It does not actually say anything about how their skills with the position. It is good that they like working with people, but the answer requires a bit more about how the candidate’s experience and skills can help them. They may also bring up soft skills such as communication, but ultimately, there should be specific examples of how they will handle aspects of the job.

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“What do you know about the company/position?”

This is usually one of the first questions asked during an interview. Any candidate who has prepared for the interview properly will be able to tell the interviewer about the company and position. If someone says that they do not know anything, they have not properly prepared. This makes the candidate look like they are not really interested in the job. Candidates, at the bare minimum, should check out the company’s social media or the front page of the website. Obviously, candidates who are interested will go above and beyond to know all they can. The goal is not to be an expert, but to show interest to be able to ask relevant questions about the position and the company as a whole.

“Why do you want this job?”

The purpose of the question is to reveal the true intentions of the candidate. If they reply something along thing lines of just wanting to work, it implies that they are willing to take a job they may not even like. This cliché is a major turnoff because the candidate may continue looking for a job, even if you offer them a position or they are not truly interested in the mission of the company. An employee needs to feel passionate about their job, even if it is not their ideal position, so they can help the company advance.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Many candidates may be tempted to say that they plan on being in this role in the company when responding to this question. At first glance, this answer sounds like they want to be loyal to the company. However, this makes it seem like the candidate has no ambition. Even if they want to be with the company in five years, they should show some willingness to move up within the company. This shows that they have done research about what is possible for their future in the company.

Interview candidates do not always see the issues behind their cliché answers, but recruiters and managers see these answers a lot so they have thoughts behind what the answers mean.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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