2021 survey: The top ten most popular job interview questions right now

most popular job interview questions

What are employers looking for in potential candidates, and what are the most popular job interview questions? A recent survey of over 500 recruiters about their favourite interview questions reveals some updated insights.

For the majority of participants, Tell me about yourself…? is their favourite way to kick off the conversation. Sixty percent of employers surveyed said that this is their go-to question, and usually the very first thing they ask a candidate.

Nearly as many, 57 percent, said that they always ask potential hires about a workplace conflict or setback they have encountered to see how they deal with difficult situations and solve problems. Employers often ask these kinds of open-ended behaviour-based questions in order to get candidates talking in more detail and telling stories about their past work situations, challenges, and accomplishments. This offers insights into the applicant’s work history, self-awareness, and communication style.

The top ten most popular job interview questions (in order)

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Tell me about an on-the-job challenge you have faced – and how you resolved it?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses? – Here’s how to answer it.
  • Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • How would your boss and coworkers describe you?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake.

According to this survey, a key takeaway is that your next job interview will most likely begin with the employer asking you some version of this: “So, tell me a little bit about yourself…” Here is how to answer it.

If you want to be ready for those behaviour questions that employers say they like to ask for greater insights into your work history and professionalism, consider preparing these four stories in advance of your next interview. These should cover the common situations that employers will be looking to hear about.

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