What recruiters really want to hear?
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What recruiters really want to hear?

on 27 November 2020

​Every candidate would want to walk into a job interview prepared and able to nail every question to leave a good impression and land the dream job. Most interviewees would focus their answers around showing how professional, skilled and informed they are. But what do recruiters really want to hear during an interview?

Show you can do the job

Questions like Tell me about yourself in reality should translate into Why should I hire you?”. Therefore, rather than replying with vague generalities on your background and hobbies, recruiters would want to hear about your work experience and qualifications that fit in with the requirements of the job being applied for.

Have a positive attitude

Most people find questions like What is your greatest weakness? to be quite tricky. How can you reveal your weakness without losing points with the recruiter? Questions like these are asked to give the opportunity to candidates to show that they are upbeat and have a proactive spirit. Therefore, by honestly recounting past mistakes you will have the opportunity to demonstrate how you deal with certain issues and recount essential lessons that you learnt along the way.

A rule of thumb is to never say anything negative about your present or past employers. When asked about past work experience give a brief positive response and politely change the subject.

Research the company

Showing that you did some research on the company you’re applying to is an excellent way to demonstrate dedication, interest and ability to work independently. Moreover, it will enable you to answer questions like “Why do you want to work for us?”.  Memorising a few facts and figures like the nature of the products or services and recent contributions to the industry made by the company is ideal.

When interviewers gives you the opportunity to ask questions you should not fall in the trap of asking information on the company that is easily obtained from their website.

Your position in the chain of command

If a manager is going to bring you on board, then it’s crucial for them to understand where they can place you within their team. Whether you are overseeing large projects or doing minor tasks, you need to make your position clear. Be sure to describe who you report to, whether you manage anyone and which people are dependent on you.

Who you interact with

Human interaction plays a vital role in the running in any organisation. Employers will need to be satisfied that you are comfortable in dealing with people. Most jobs will require you to interact with a wide range of individuals, so your CV needs to demonstrate this.

Evidence that you can build strong working relationships and use them to create beneficial outcomes for your employers is a huge pull factor when coming to a choosing candidates.


Technology is used in every line of work; from computer based tools like programming languages and accountancy software, through to hardware such as machinery and even vehicles. Most roles require some working knowledge of one or more tools, so employers will be keen to understand your ability to use their core systems and hardware.

Whether you are an expert coder or a mechanic, it’s essential to specify the tools you are able to use and how you apply them within your roles.

Work Produced

The work that you produce will vary greatly depending on the industry you are in. It could be anything from statistical reports to website pages. Whatever tangible work you produce in your roles include it in your CV and remember to show how valuable it is to your customers and/or internal staff members.

What your employer actually does

This may seem obvious, but surprisingly few candidates include a sufficient explanation of their employers. Before you delve into the specifics of your roles, it’s important that the recruiter understands who you used to work for.

The objective of your roles

The most important aspect that that recruiters will want to know about your previous job is what you were hired to do. Every role should start off with a clear objective statement so the readers can comprehend the bigger picture of your duties.


Recruiters will look for numbers in your CV as a means of quantifying your value to an employer. Figures can provide strong evidence of the return on investment that an employer can expect after hiring you. By including some of the facts in your own CV role descriptions, you will prove your worth to recruiters and greatly increase your chances of landing job interviews.

For any guidance about your career and to discuss new job opportunities please do not hesitate to contact our team at VacancyCentre on [email protected].

This article was first communicated by The Undercover Recruiter.

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