Spark Hire interviews can be surprisingly stressful – you’re alone, awkwardly talking to a screen and you don’t get any feedback on your answers. It’s a very strange experience.
Fortunately, Spark Hire uses questions that follow a pattern. Most of the questions you’ll be asked are behavioral questions, and I wrote a blog post about them here.
Question 1: Tell me about yourself
This is a classic warm-up question, designed to break the ice.
However, the person viewing your video also actually wants to hear about you in your own words!
The best way to answer this is to not read off your CV! Many people make that mistake, and if you don’t, you are already ahead of quite a few applicants.
Make sure your answer is an executive summary of yourself and your career. It doesn’t have to go into details of each job or assignment you had or move in chronological order.
As long as the interviewer can place your overall career, aspirations, and style quickly, you will have accomplished your goal for this question.
Question 2: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced?
This is the first question of many where we need to challenge the face value of the question.
What’s actually being asked here is “how well do you prioritize?”.
Tough challenges usually involve large, complex, interconnected problems that need to be broken down and solved one at a time – in a particular order!
Do you now see how the question is actually about prioritization? So when answering, talk about precisely that. Explain what tough problem you faced, break it down into its main parts, and walk through how you solved the first few steps!
Question 3: Tell me about a time you had to deliver disappointing news
This is another question where we need to take a second look at the question.
The actual question here is “are you proactive?”.
Think about it – what happens when you tell your boss that something bad happened? Assuming you have or had a good boss, their reply is usually “well, how do we fix it?” or even “great, have you fixed it already?”.
That is the answer that your interviewer is looking for.
So when answering this question make sure to explain how you delivered the bad news but also explain how you were one step ahead and already thought up of a plan to turn things around.
Question 4: Tell me about a time you faced conflict in a team
This question asks about your people skills. Essentially, how good are you at empathizing with people, identifying potential problems, and bringing them to a resolution.
A classic mistake here where answering this question jumps to something like “I just fired that person”.
While that may be true and necessary, jumping straight to that conclusion won’t get you far with your Spark Hire. Explain the process that you went through until you reached that point.
Question 5: Tell me about a time you had to explain something complex
This question tests your ability to summarize a complex issue into a simple but powerful message.
If you start answering this question and run out of time because you are still explaining a complex issue using complex language and imagery extensively – guess what! You are doing it wrong!
Start the answer with the absolute toplines of the problem and how you were able to break the message down to make it easily digestible by your audience.
Question 6: Tell us something that is not on your CV
Applicants should be really happy when this question comes up since there are so many ways that this can be answered that benefit the applicant if they know what they are doing.
The point of this question is twofold. First, give the candidate the opportunity to talk about something where they feel they have a particularly interesting strength but where none of the preceding questions seemed appropriate.
The second point is to tease out something about the applicant that makes them unique. There are only so many applications you can go through before they all become a blur, so letting applicants add a little personal color to their Spark Hire helps to make them more memorable and therefore more likely to be hired.
Question 7: Why do you want this job?
Many people chafe at this question due to its perceived cynicism. While I won’t get into the merits of the question, I will tell you where to direct your energy!
If you can’t think on the spot of a good reason to want this job, think of things about the job, career, or company that appeal to you and would make you “a happy camper”.
This could be customer interaction, fast-paced days, the possibility of travel for work, etc.
Conclusion and parting tips
These seemingly simple questions have many layers, and now you know how to peel them back!
Spark Hire interviews can be intimidating and stressful, especially when your dream job rides on acing it. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to practice for your Spark Hire on a tool like Voomer. You can browse our question database with company-specific questions and practice for them in an environment that is extremely similar to Spark Hire’s. You can also get AI-powered feedback on your answers to help you land that dream job!