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5 annoying job interview questions and why they are asked

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5 annoying job interview questions and why they are asked

In light of the discussion of work-life balance and personal worth, among other related concepts, in my most recent articles for this blog, it seemed prudent to continue the work-related discussion. Job interviews are kind of a surreal setting when you think about it, especially after you consider our discussion of self-worth.

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There is a lot of work involved in preparing for an interview – something that may not pay off in the end. Assuming resume screening is done correctly, every applicant “should” be hired; then it comes down to who is “best” at the interview. Although what defines “best” is often ambiguous, one thing is certain: when the committee asks you questions—no matter how silly they may seem—your answers should be clear, concise, and what they want to hear.

There is a lot of advice online on how to answer interview questions, but perhaps understanding is more helpful why these questions are asked. If your rationale is clear, then a successful response is more likely. So here’s a list of five frequently asked interview questions (often described as “annoying”) and the rationale behind why they’re asked.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

News— no one really wants to know about you, the person — only what’s relevant. Well, why don’t you just ask, “Can you go through your resume for us?” Some judges ask it the second way, but what often happens is that the person will literally go through their entire resume and, given that the jury can read, it often results in a waste of time.

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“Tell us a little about yourself” subtly allows the panel to see if you are clear in your thinking and answers. If you’re able to take a very broad concept and narrow it down, tight and tight, making sure you address how what’s being enjoyed is both relevant and important to the position, then you’ve answered the question. It might help to illustrate some of this with personal experiences – hence the “about yourself” aspect of the question (which gives you the opportunity to potentially make your answer more memorable/flattering/likable) – but only if it helps you make the point you are No one wants to hear about your weekend decoupage endeavors.

2. Why do you want to work here/in this position?

“Because the electricity doesn’t pay” is the answer that everyone in the room is thinking, but it is clearly inappropriate. If money is your priority (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that—that’s the point of “work”), then it’s safe to assume that if another position came up elsewhere three months after you were hired, you’d likely jump ship. Considering the time and resources spent on the hiring process, along with whatever training and “handover” processes are required to get you up and running, if you’re just a quick turnover, why would they hire you?

This question is designed to learn about your motivation. Quite often all you will know about a position you are interviewing for is the job specification. Your answer to this question lets the committee know how much you prepared for the interview, what you understand about the position, and how you see yourself applying your skills and experience. A “wrong” answer will show the group that you’re not a prepared person, you may not really understand the role, you’re not particularly suited to the role, and/or you may not last long before quitting.

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3. Tell us about a weakness of yours.

You can’t be too honest because some weaknesses are simply not likely to be “fixable” (eg. I have a hard time getting along with others). On the other hand, a common – though equally bad way to answer the question – is to try to disguise a strength as a weakness (eg. I’m a perfectionist, so I refuse to submit work until it’s absolutely perfect—an answer I’ve heard several times that actually suggests the person has time management issues and may also be indecisive—two weaknesses that are difficult to overcome).

The purpose of this question is to see if you are in touch with reality. Obviously, no one is perfect, but do you apply that logic to yourself? If you find it difficult to identify a weakness, it means that you are not assessing yourself enough, and self-assessment is an important part of monitoring and improving performance. Whatever weakness you identify, be sure to address it since you found out about it, worked on it, and how you work on it. The panel wants to see that you are a realist who values ​​self-improvement.

4. Tell us about a workplace problem you faced in the past and how you overcame it.

Often this question is phrased in a way that involves a conflict with a colleague. Don’t talk about personality clashes or anything that could potentially make you look like the villain or cause of the problems in your own story. The panel simply wants to hear about how you solve problems and your process for doing so. He also wants to hear about your communication and collaboration skills. Adding “conflict” to the equation raises the difficulty level of the question because it forces you to give an example of how you communicate under duress. Remember, it’s not about problems or conflict per se; rather, it is about decisions, communication and collaboration.

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Of note, another common way to gauge how you handle conflict is to have an interviewing panelist challenge your resume or ask questions in a blunt manner. Of course, the person could just be rude or ignorant. However, this tactic (which I don’t like) is often used to assess how the interviewee reacts to conflict or difficult situations/people in real time. Simply, if the interviewer is rude, don’t take it personally, don’t get defensive or push yourself. Be patient and be clear.

5. Do you have any questions for us?

Sometimes this question is used as a courtesy to the interviewee; sometimes it is mandatory for the organization to provide an opportunity for questions. regardless, always ask a question. This is usually the last question asked and, in accordance with recency effect, is the taste you’ll leave in the interviewers mouth, so be strategic with your question. Sometimes this question doubles in purpose and accounts to some extent for another common question – “What do you know about this organization?”..which could risk ending up as – What you dont know? Just avoid this route and don’t ask a question you should already know the answer to. Likewise, if you can easily find the answer after a quick search online, don’t ask.

One strategy that I find particularly helpful is to make it clear that: you have done your homework on the organization; you know the job specifications and think you’d be a good fit for the position – and therefore ask if there’s anything you could elaborate on or clarify. This answer clearly shows that you are confident in your knowledge of the organization (without risking asking a bad question) and further hints at your value of clarity.

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