With the World Economic Forum recently reporting that The Great Resignation is probably far from over, many are reconsidering their employment options and seeking out new avenues to pursue. This has led to a steady 22% rise in searches for interview questions over the last twelve months (source: new original research).
Pairing new data with expert insight* here is a list of the most googled interview questions alongside suggestions on how to answer them. They’ve also collated some new questions that they predict will become increasingly common as a result of the pandemic.
|Question||Average monthly no. of searches 2021-2022|
|Tell me about yourself||301,000|
|Why should we hire you?||201,000|
|What are your strengths and weaknesses?||74,000|
|Where do you see yourself in five years?||60,500|
|Why do you want this job?||33,100|
#1: Tell me about yourself
This question can be overwhelming because it’s difficult to know where to start and how much depth to go into. Try to give an overview of where you’re at in your life and career currently but emphasise the qualitative over the factual. Talk about your career interests and passions, what motivates you, what you care about.
#2: Why should we hire you?
There are probably two reliable ways to handle this question. If you know you have the skill set to fit the role, speak confidently to that. Show that you understand the position and that you have a clear sense of how you would apply yourself to it. If you’re applying for a position that would be entirely new to you or you don’t have the exact skills or experience they’re asking for, answer this question by talking about your willingness to learn and grow. Express that it’s a role you want to take on.
#3: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Don’t overthink this one or try to be too clever with it. Honesty is likely to be the best approach here. With your strengths, claim them with confidence but not arrogance. And with your weaknesses, acknowledge them without being totally self-deprecating. Framing your weaknesses in terms of “things I’m working on” might be a good way to strike that balance.
#4: Where do you see yourself in five years?
While it’s important to be able to project a possible trajectory when you’re asked this question, try not to be too clinical, unless that feels right in the conversation. Don’t answer this in precise terms of salary or position, but more holistically. You might talk about aspiring to a more senior position with more responsibility, or you might include something about your ideal work-life balance or being comfortable enough to support your family.
#5: Why do you want this job?
Like answering “why should we hire you?”, this is a chance to highlight how you’d approach the work with confidence or how you’d be excited to take on the new challenges the role presents for you. Best of all, if you feel like this particular opportunity resonates with you, share that with your interviewer and explain why. Think about what drew you to applying and how you feel about the prospect of working there on the basis of the interview experience.
CEO and Chairman James Lloyd-Townshend suggests that “although interview prep is an essential part of the process, it’s essential to be authentic. Try to respond genuinely in the moment. Aim for real connection and lean on your prep when you need to.”
Below are two further interview questions that experts at Frank Recruitment Group believe will become increasingly common as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did you adapt to hybrid or remote working?
Your interviewer is probably looking for you to illustrate your capacity for adapting to change. By all means, discuss your experience of any flux you’ve navigated, but this question is a definite opportunity to detail any tangible practices and strategies you’ve developed over the past few years. These could be big or small, from cultivating the right environment in your home workspace to revising how you map out your day or week entirely.
How has the pandemic affected how you see your career?
There are definitely no right or wrong answers to this one as the impact of the pandemic has been wide-ranging and affected different sectors very differently. You might have experienced a kind of existential crisis, re-evaluating the spaces you choose to work in and looking to change careers entirely. You might have found yourself re-committing to your line of work with a firmer belief in its importance or meaningfulness. And of course, your experience could lie between these two poles. If you feel safe doing so in the conversation, share your reflections honestly with your interviewer. Equally, you don’t owe somebody your innermost truths at first meeting!
This data was collected using a keyword research tool, pulling and comparing Google search volume data for the last twelve months (July 2021 – July 2022). The data represents English-speaking Google users globally.
*Compiled by Frank Recruitment Group