Top 5 Common Interview Questions Candidates Fail to Respond to Properly

  • Blog
  • Blog
  • Top 5 Common Interview Questions Candidates Fail to Respond to Properly

Top 5 Common Interview Questions Candidates Fail to Respond to Properly

interview questions

One of the simplest methods to increase positive outcomes of a job interview is to prepare properly. If job interviews tend to make you nervous, it is always a good idea to prepare in advance so nothing can surprise you.

Typical preparation for a job interview should include researching the company and the job position, as well as preparing answers to potential questions the interviewer might ask you.

There is often a set of common questions that interviewers tend to ask candidates. And, even though these questions might seem very easy to answer, candidates tend to provide answers that are not quite satisfactory.

Keep reading to find out what are the most common interview questions candidates fail to respond to properly!


1. “Do you have any questions for us?”

Candidates often overlook one important part of the preparation for the interview – what they are going to ask the interviewer. This can be a “make or break” part of the interview, and things can turn both in favor or against the candidate (depending on how they respond to this inquiry).

“No” is not an acceptable answer to this question, if you want to leave a good impression and showcase your interest in the company. Also, this is a great opportunity to find out everything you want to know about the company and uncover any potential red flags.

One powerful question that you can ask your potential employer is:

Is there anything that concerns you about my ability to succeed in this role?

Also, some other questions you can ask during your interview are:

  • “Can you share what makes you proud to work at this company and one thing you’d change?”
  • “What are the biggest challenges I’ll face in the first 90 days, and how will success be measured?”
  • “What was the deciding factor in the decision to interview me today and why do you think I’ll be a good fit?”
  • “Is there anything about my background that makes you hesitant to move me forward in the interview process?”
  • “What do employees comment on most about the culture here?”
  • “What does a successful first year look like on this team?”


2. “Could you tell us something about yourself?”

This doesn’t seem like a complicated interview question, right? Yet, the majority of candidates tend to fail to respond to this question properly.

Why? Well, mostly because they focus on talking about their career, their former roles, what they did, when they did it, and what they did next.

A recruiter has already seen your resume and is acquainted with your work history. They probably checked out your LinkedIn profile as well, and your presence on other social media. So, instead of going on about your previous duties, you should try to get the company excited about you as a person.

Instead of just listing your previous experiences and accomplishments, back that up with compelling stories that go beyond your CV. Make sure to research the company (and even the interviewer) upfront. You can use this knowledge to create a connection and position yourself and your skills against what you know they are looking for.

Last but not least, don’t forget to be yourself! Present yourself the way you are; don’t pretend to be someone you’re not just because you think the interviewer might like that type of personality. The whole point of an interview is to get beyond what’s written in your resume, so the company could get to know the real you – how you think, how you perform, and how you will fit into the organization.


3. “What do you know about the company?”

It goes without saying that you should research the company before going on a job interview. If you are asked this interview question, and you don’t know anything about the company, it’s quite likely that they will perceive you as someone who is not interested in the company and the job position.

What candidates often do wrong is that they try to remember too many facts about the company. Then, they end up saying some things that are not true, which is almost as bad as saying that you don’t know anything about the company.

A good thing to do would be to equip yourself with a few facts that will show the interviewer your genuine interest in the job. It’s better to know two basic yet important facts about the company than to say ten facts and get five of them wrong.

What should you know about the company? Focus on the products/services, the company’s achievements, and what the company does in general. You can find all of this info on a company’s LinkedIn page or its official website.


4. “Why do you want this job?”

Candidates often freeze when they get this interview question. This happens mostly because they are afraid that they’ll say the wrong thing or because they don’t prepare for this question in advance.

When you’re asked this “Why do you want to work here?” or “Why are you interested in this position?”, you want to deliver a prepared answer in a way that sounds polished but natural. Use this opportunity to list the reasons why this role fits you and what is the reason why you would like to be a part of the company.

Craft the perfect response that will impress recruiters on three fronts: your deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the company, your skills, and your general competency with the position.

Sample answers:

  • “I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my…”
  • “I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because…”
  • “I believe I have the type of knowledge to succeed in this role and at the company because…”
  • “I’m excited about this job opportunity, as it would allow me to…”


5. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

There are so many ways to give a wrong answer to this interview question.

Answers such as the ones below are definitely something you should not say:

  • “I see myself doing your job in five years.”
  • “I have no idea.”
  • “Well, I play the lottery, you know, hopefully, I won’t be working. Get lucky, woo!”
  • “I just want to do things differently, you know, really shake things up. Like, I want to be able to write my novel or have this artisanal company.”

This question is an excellent method for an interviewer to conclude whether you’re ambitious or not, what are your expectations for your career, and do you have the ability to plan ahead.

An interviewer doesn’t want to hear that you have no goals, that you have unrealistic expectations, or that you’re trying to take his job. Instead, a good approach is to talk about some goals that you have over the next few years and how that job is a step in the right direction to accomplish those goals.

How Can Popcorn Recruiters Help You?

Did you know that we help all our candidates prepare for their interviews?

As a recruitment agency, our goal is not only to meet the needs and demands of our clients. We also look out for our candidates and make sure they find their ideal employer.

Once you apply to one of our open positions or you join our talent network, we become your representatives – something like your personal agents.

First, we’ll have a chat to get to know you better – your needs, skills, interests, and requirements. Then, we match you with a company we know you’ll fit in with perfectly!

Before you have an interview with your potential employer, we’ll be more than willing to have a prep call with you to make sure you ace the interview!

Sounds good? Drop your CV and we’ll get in touch!