Most Interview Questions are the Same Question. Here’s Why.


shaking hands before a job interviewWant to be in on a little secret that most hiring managers, HR professionals and recruiters don’t want you to know? Most interview questions asked are simply a variation of another question and you can prepare for it.

A lot of common interview questions such as… 

  • What is your greatest strength? 
  • What is your greatest accomplishment? 
  • Why is this job a good fit for you?
  • Why should we hire you?

…are actually the same question. No matter what variation, the interviewer is trying to get at “Help me understand you. Give me reasons to hire you. Put the pieces together for me.” The good news is all of these are softballs because they want reasons to like you and hire you. The bad news is that these questions have high stakes – they are make or break questions. They are often asked first during an interview and make up their first impression of you.

The interview answers and stories have to be behavioral, powerful and engaging. Here’s why:

Behavioral – This needs to be a recent, real life example of your actions. Think the STAR Method.

Powerful –  They need to come away knowing how much value you created in your example and know that they NEED you to replicate these results in their business!

Engaging – Great stories create excellent conversation and follow up questions. Interviewing always goes both ways.

When being asked interview questions like these or about your work history, don’t be afraid to say things like: 

“Do you want me to start with my most recent position or at the beginning of my career?” Sometimes interviewers prefer to hear of your recent performance, especially if you are more senior in your career.

“Did I answer the question to give you the information you were looking for?” Interviewers will appreciate your thoughtfulness in seeing questions as an opportunity for them to get a close look at your skills and experience and not a time for you to go on and on about your experiences and skills

“Would you like another example?” So that you do not speak for longer than they would like and have sufficient information.

Keep It Short

Prior to an important interview, prepare an elevator pitch or a couple short statements on your candidacy that are behavioral, powerful and engaging as described above. Keep it succinct and learn how to define yourself concisely. Talking endlessly about irrelevant information can be a fatal error in a job interview. Use each minute to it’s best advantage to sell your candidacy.


PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years. 

A  4-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.     

To learn more about how one 2-minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now, contact PACE’s Candidate Services team at 425-637-3301 or via email.

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