5 (More) Annoying Interview Questions and How to Answer ThemAdmin
Our candidates have shared quite a few of their least favorite interview questions with us over the course of more than 4 decades in business. We published a previous article about this topic and realized that there were still several more questions that we should include. Here are 5 more common interview questions that job seekers have a tough time answering well.
Have you ever been fired from a job?
If you have been terminated, it is likely that you have some very strong feelings about it. This question is an attempt by your interviewer to see if you are able to talk about the situation in a diplomatic and professional manner. Your interviewer is looking for an idea of how you respond to adversity. Your response should demonstrate a level of professionalism and maturity. Give a brief description of the reason you were let go, and talk about how the experience enhanced your professional development, and your pledge to not repeat your mistakes. The biggest mistakes candidates make when it comes to overcoming a termination are (1) leaving it off of a resume in an attempt to bury it, and (2) not being honest about the conditions of the termination. If an employer notices a gap in your resume, they will want you to explain it. Not providing a truthful reason for your termination can ruin your chances of securing a position if the employer decides to conduct a reference check and discovers that you were dishonest. A recent Bradley Staffing Group blog on this topic cautions our candidates to be honest with the recruiter or hiring manager about the circumstances of a termination so that they can avoid putting you in a similar situation.
Why did you leave your last job/Why do you want to leave your current job?
By asking this question, your interviewer is trying to discover what you want from an organization, and what your career goals are. There are many reasons for leaving a job; wanting a higher salary, better work-life balance, a shorter commute. These are relatively easy to explain and don’t require too much elaboration. In the event that you had other issues with the job, such as a difference of opinion with a co-worker or supervisor, you’ll need to finesse your answer a bit. This is another area where emotions can run high, but you want to avoid taking a pessimistic approach. A negative attitude reflects poorly on you. Instead of getting personal, talk more about the direction of your former employer as a whole, and how you were not able to utilize all of your skills with that organization. Give an example of why the position you’re seeking is a better fit. An article on The Balance.com cautions candidates to avoid speaking negatively about coworkers or managers, especially in more tight-knit industries. Your prospective employer could be acquainted with your previous employer and you could risk offending them. The same article also provides a comprehensive list of example answers to this question for you to build upon.
Why do you want to work here?
If you read blog posts and how-to articles prior to an interview, you’re likely to be forewarned to prepare a great response to this question. The key to providing a terrific response is making sure that you truly are a good match for the job. Be sure you have considered how your skills are suited to those provided in the job description. Prepare a concrete example of each to support your answer. The interviewer wants to know that you have a genuine interest, and have done your research to make sure that you will bring something to the table. A Monster.com article suggests reading up on the company’s latest news, press releases and new programs to see how some of your pertinent skills can be valuable for the company going forward. This demonstrates your excitement about the organization and its accomplishments. It shows that you have thought about a future with the company and how you can best help develop the business if given the opportunity.
Describe a difficult situation at work and how you handled it.
This behavioral interview question is used to gauge your ability to recognize, evaluate and solve a problem. Your response gives your prospective employer a glimpse of how you will approach complex situations and take action to make improvements. It also gives them perspective into what kind of situations take you out of your comfort zone. Make sure your answer includes a real-life situation where you were able to detect a problem, and what the outcome was. You want to show them that you are competent by giving them a concrete example of when you used your skills to resolve an issue or meet a goal. You can also give accolades to coworkers or team members if they helped you achieve the resolution. This demonstrates humility, and that you are willing to share the accolades for a job well done.
What are you better at than anyone else in the world?
Employers ask this question to gather evidence that you take pride in your work, and are passionate about it. There is a lot of opportunity to impress an interviewer with your answer, but you have to be structured in your response. While you may be tempted to tell them that you are the league bowling champion for the 3rd year in a row, but focus on your professional strengths. Avoid bragging, but point out a skill that you have used repeatedly that has made you an asset to other organizations in the past. For example, maybe you live for creating spreadsheets, and you can make order out of chaos in minutes. Maybe you have a really great memory and are able to rattle off product numbers and specifications as easily as you can your phone number. Obviously it’s helpful if your areas of expertise can have a positive impact on the organization with which you are seeking employment. An interviewer will be looking for an alignment of skills and experience. But you shouldn’t embellish or oversell your abilities because if you get the job, you’ll inevitably have to show evidence of those skills.
These classic interview questions are utilized across every industry because the types of responses they elicit from candidates are so revealing. A candidate’s responses are a good indicator of who they are as individuals and what they will be like as employees. With just a few of these kind of questions, an employer can gain insight into your problem solving skills, judgement, coping skills, adaptability, reliability and integrity. You should prepare and rehearse your responses to these and other questions before an interview to showcase your best attributes and qualifications for the job. High stress levels can cause you to ramble and lose focus of what you are trying to demonstrate with your response. Practice well-crafted responses to the most commonly asked questions so that you are not caught off-guard. It may seem like the interviewer is trying to trick you or trap you with these questions, when in reality their motivation is to get to know who you are and what kind of employee you will be. Understanding that motivation is the key to providing a response that will help you win the job of your dreams.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/