Career Advice

Do's & Don'ts to Answer "How Did You Hear About This Role?"

min read
Vera Chan

Often when you land a job interview from your job search, you'll start preparing. This includes standard questions that are traditional. "How Did You Hear About This Position" is one such question you might get asked.

First off, we'll take a look at why this question gets asked, and how you can go about answering it. There are some things you should avoid mentioning and we've included that too.

Why Do Employers Ask "How Did You Hear About This Position?"

Among the common interview questions are "what do you know about our company" and "what do you know about this role. "How did you hear about this position" is also a go-to question that employers like to ask.

They do this because they are genuinely interested, but also to see that you have applied with a target. What does that mean? It means that you are specific with your job search. Did you apply to one hundred jobs and are waiting to hear back from any one of them? They want to know that you singled them out. Even if you did do the former, don't mention it. We cover this more below.

Do's To Answer "How Did You Hear About This Role?"

1. Job Board

You're actively looking and you came across the job listing on a careers website or LinkedIn etc.

2. Recommendation

You have a friend or acquaintance that works in the company or knows of the company. They recommended the job opening.

3. News Source

You read an article or press release that mentioned the company is expanding or hiring. You reached out to the company directly.

4. Recruiter

You approached or reached out to a recruiter who came across this role that you thought was a match. You would like to find out more.

5. Direct

You know of the company through being in the industry or personal interest. You would like to see if there are any active job openings and reach out directly.

Don'ts To Answer "How Did You Hear About This Position?"

1. Don't sound desperate

Steer clear from sounding like you just want any job. That doesn't mean you can't say yes to everything if you genuinely agree to their questions. But it does mean that you need to show you are keen on this role at this company for so-and-so reason. Do your research and come up with a list that you can share with them when they ask about your interest.

2. Don't be vague

Aside from waffling, you want to show that you have intent with your job search. Employees that have a purpose with their job search are more motivated in their role.

3. Don't lie

Don't get caught out. If you say you saw the job listing on a certain platform that they're not listed on, they'll know straight away. Even if they don't find out on the spot but find out later, it will shed a bad light on your candidacy.

The Bottom Line

Be honest, but not too honest. Think about your answers before responding. You want to tell the truth as much as possible, especially if you have nothing to hide. But you don't need to go into tiny detail about all the other jobs you have applied for that you came across along the way. Show that you know what you want and what you are looking for and that this role fits the bill. Show that you're curious and you want to learn more by asking the employer questions.

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