Hireology Blog - Insights for better hiring & HR


Interview Preparation: How to answer your candidate's questions

Posted by Erin Borgerson on August 29, 2013

When a candidate asks questions at the end of an interview, it's usually a good sign that they are genuinely interested in the position. But when we stumble across our answers and make something up on the spot, it tends to be a poor reflection on ourselves and the company. Of course this is understandable - would you want to work for someone who can't think of what makes their company unique or why they love their job? No? Didn't think so.

interview questionsThat's why it's important to think about your answers to potential candidate questions before the interview. We're not saying to spend an hour writing down your answers, but thinking about the questions a candidate may ask is a key part of interview preparation. This way, if (and when) they ask "What is your favorite part about working for Company X," you'll have a concrete answer. 

The thing is though, some questions are trickier than others. You want to be honest, but you also want to sell the candidate on the position and company. So what are you supposed to do when a candidate asks, "What don't you like about working for Company X?" Do you lie and say nothing? Or do you give the candidate an honest answer and say, "The office politics tend to get in the way and affect how we go about completing projects"?

Unfortunately, there's not one right way to answer such questions. But that's exactly why you should take some time before the interview to think of answers to possible questions. You'll be more likely to answer honestly, but in a refined manner. So rather than saying the first thing that comes to mind then fumbling to say what you really meant, your answer would be clear and concise. 

If you don't know where to start, the following questions are commonly asked by job seekers. So think about your answers to these, and you'll be well on your way to answering any of your candidate's questions:

"What is the company culture like?"

"How long have you been seeking to fill this position?"

"How does the company support and promote personal and professional growth?"

"What is Company X's plan for the next five years, and how does this department and role fit into that?"

Try using an interview scorecard to help simplify your hiring process. 

interview scorecard, interview score sheet, scoring interviews, interviewing, interview help

Interviewing Help, How to Hire

Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.