How to handle 2 killer questions at the job interview?

Regardless of age and professional experience, during every recruitment process we meet several applicants who haven’t got the faintest idea what the company deals with and what the vacancy involves.  Among many other questions that candidates have to face during the interview, there are two, seemingly harmless ones, that I consider to be  killer questions for many : “What do you know about GOYELLO?” and “Why do you want to work for us?”.

1. What do you know about us?

As an IT company which recruits mostly software developers I was really surprised to find out that some candidates don’t even bother to visit our website to get information about who we actually are. They usually give the following lame explanations: “Sorry but I didn’t get the chance to visit the website as I’ve been short of time recently” or “Oh, yeah it’s orange or something, isn’t it? Yeah, that rings the bell..” or “It’s summer time and I have been out and about a lot recently..no time”. Or they come up with a pile of false information (being probably a mixture of all websites they visited that day) which actually shows that they never read. Do your investigative homework before the interview I strongly advise all the applicants to prepare before the interview and search the Internet for relevant information about the company they are applying to. Visit the company website and find out when it was established, how many people they employ and what projects they work on. Show the interviewers that you did research. It’s your chance to impress them with your attitude and interest you have in their products and services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as it shows that you are curious and genuinely interested. The power of Social Networks You can also find out a lot about the company culture through their blogs and community portals they belong to. It’s easy to find people who work for the company at different social networking sites, you can always use these contacts and sniff around by asking questions about the work environment. Social networks were covered in more datail in my previous blog post: “How Web 2.0 influences recruitment”  It’s a great chance to astonish interviewers with the information that is not widely available and you need to dig deep to obtain it. On the other hand, be careful not to spread gossip during the interview!

2. Why do you want to work for us?

These days most companies put mission statements, their values and describe their company culture on their corporate websites. Make use of it! Analyze the information they provided and check how it corresponds with your values and work culture that you like. Be honest and don’t tell them clichés that sound fake and unnatural e.g. “I have dreamt about working here ever since I was a child”. Focus more on the values you share, opportunities for personal growth that they provide and challenges that are relevant to your desired career path. Don’t focus on your needs only, show your added value Candidates, while explaining why they want to work for us,  usually focus too much on how the company fits THEIR needs and how WE can stimulate their professional growth, e.g. “I want to work here because it will give boost to my career and here I can learn new things”. We do not hire you to learn but to use your knowledge! And, besides, the interviewer might start wondering, “When you finally learn all these new things, which is the matter of a few months, will you leave us then?”

A good impression increases yoour chances

Summing it up, to make a good impression, do your homework before the interview and show your commitment because it reveals your overall attitude to work. And be aware that this preparation is not only to show off  before the interviewers. A new job is an important career decision! You need to be sure that you really want to get the job you are applying for. Therefore, you can also benefit from good preparation and research as this is essential to have a clear picture of what you may expect from the company. Besides it will help you face these 2 killer questions. Share with what your responses you gave to these two tricky questions and what impression they made on the interviewers?
5 replies
  1. Aga Gibowska
    Aga Gibowska says:

    Thanks for the comment Tomek. If it’s a start-up, then you may be asked about what you know about the industry and the line of business the copmpany is in as well as its competitors on the market. I guess, in this case general knowledge of the specific market is verified by recruiters.

  2. Aga Gibowska
    Aga Gibowska says:

    Thanks for the comment Tomek. If it’s a start-up, then you may be asked about what you know about the industry and the line of business the copmpany is in as well as its competitors on the market. I guess, in this case general knowledge of the specific market is verified by recruiters.

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