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Common Questions Recruiters Ask

Updated: Feb 12

When you're on the job hunt in the United Kingdom, preparation is key to acing your interviews. Recruiters play a crucial role in the hiring process, and they often use a set of common questions to evaluate candidates. To help you excel in your interviews, we've put together a comprehensive guide to the typical questions recruiters ask in the UK and tips on how to answer them.

Common questions recruiters ask

1. "Tell Me About Yourself."

Recruiters often start with this open-ended question to get a sense of your background and your ability to articulate your career journey. To answer effectively:

  • Provide a brief overview of your professional background, including your current or most recent role.

  • Highlight relevant experience and skills that make you a suitable candidate for the position you're interviewing for.

  • Conclude with a sentence that expresses your enthusiasm for the role and the company.

2. "What Motivates You to Apply for This Position?"

Recruiters want to know why you're interested in the job and whether your motivations align with the company's values and goals. Your response should convey your genuine interest:

  • Mention specific aspects of the company, such as its mission, culture, or industry reputation, that attracted you.

  • Highlight how your skills and career aspirations align with the role you're applying for.

  • Emphasize what you can bring to the organization in terms of value and contribution.

3. "What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?"

Recruiters ask this question to assess your self-awareness and your ability to reflect on your skills and areas for improvement. For a well-rounded response:

  • List a few of your key strengths that are relevant to the job.

  • When discussing weaknesses, focus on areas where you've made improvements or are actively working on self-development.

  • Be honest and avoid cliché responses like "I'm a perfectionist."

4. "Tell Me About a Challenging Situation You've Faced at Work."

Recruiters ask this behavioral question to gauge your problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your response:

  • Describe the Situation or context in which the challenge arose.

  • Explain the Task you needed to accomplish.

  • Detail the Action you took to overcome the challenge.

  • Share the Result or the outcome of your actions, emphasizing any positive impact.

5. "How Do You Handle Stress or Pressure?"

Recruiters want to assess your ability to remain composed and effective in demanding situations. In your response:

  • Explain a situation where you faced stress or pressure at work.

  • Describe the strategies or coping mechanisms you employed to manage the situation effectively.

  • Emphasize your ability to stay focused, prioritize tasks, and maintain a positive attitude.

6. "Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?"

Recruiters ask this question to understand your career progression and your reasons for leaving previous positions. When responding:

  • Focus on positive reasons, such as seeking growth, new challenges, or a better work-life balance.

  • Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or colleagues.

  • If the reason for leaving is related to a layoff or restructuring, be honest and explain the circumstances.

7. "What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals?"

Recruiters inquire about your long-term goals to determine if they align with the company's vision and if you have a commitment to your career. To respond effectively:

  • Express a clear vision for your future career path, indicating how it relates to the role you're interviewing for.

  • Highlight how the company's opportunities and growth potential can help you achieve your goals.

  • Avoid being overly specific or unrealistic in your aspirations.

8. "Describe a Time When You Worked in a Team."

Recruiters ask about teamwork to evaluate your interpersonal skills, communication, and collaboration abilities. Use the STAR method to structure your response:

  • Set the Situation by explaining the project or task that required teamwork.

  • Detail the Task and your role in the team.

  • Describe the Action you took to contribute to the team's success.

  • Conclude with the Result, emphasizing the positive outcomes achieved through teamwork.

9. "What Do You Know About Our Company?"

Recruiters ask this question to assess your level of preparation and your genuine interest in the company. To answer effectively:

  • Research the company's mission, values, products, services, recent news, and industry reputation.

  • Mention specific details that demonstrate your knowledge and connection to the company's culture and goals.

  • Avoid generic statements and show that you've done your homework.

10. "Do You Have Any Questions for Us?"

This question gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the position and company while gaining valuable insights. Be prepared with thoughtful questions:

  • Inquire about the company's goals and plans for the future.

  • Ask about the team's structure, work culture, and expectations.

  • Seek clarity on the next steps in the hiring process.

Top Tips for Answering Common Recruiter Questions:

  1. Prepare in Advance: Anticipate common questions and rehearse your responses to ensure you convey your key points effectively.

  2. Be Specific: Use concrete examples and real-life situations to support your answers.

  3. Stay Positive: Keep a positive attitude and avoid criticizing previous employers or colleagues.

  4. Align with the Job: Tailor your responses to match the specific requirements of the job you're interviewing for.

  5. Listen Actively: Pay attention to the recruiter's questions and provide concise, relevant answers.

  6. Practice with a Mock Interview: Consider practicing with a friend or a career coach to refine your interview skills.

Common Questions To Ask Recruiters


Recruiters in the UK use these common questions to evaluate your qualifications, experience, and suitability for the job. By preparing well-structured, thoughtful responses, you can leave a strong impression and increase your chances of securing your desired position. Remember, effective communication and demonstrating a genuine interest in the company are key to successful interviews in the UK job market.


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