Smart Answers To Stupid Interview Questions

woman talking to her interviewers

People looking for jobs often feel scared and anxious about their upcoming interviews. How can they not when there are plenty of horrible stories circling around the internet? Each applicant’s experience differs from another. But the common denominator they share in common is that they all go through the same mind boggling interview questions. Interesting stories of people who were asked very unusual questions are rampant these days. It seems that the interviewers are trying to play around and abuse the opportunity. They know that they are in the position to accept or deny the candidate. For some reason, it makes them feel powerful. As a result, they feel confident in putting pressure and increasing the anxiousness of their pitiful victims. This may sound condescending as I am an HR personnel myself. However, I am not like most who love to abuse their position. It’s actually funny how these people think they could say and do whatever they want. Candidates already feel nervous immediately without the addition of overbearing interviewers. I am not in any way trying to hate on my fellow HR associates. This is just my way of expressing how shallow interview questions have become. Let’s talk about Smart Answers to Stupid Job Interview Questions and have a laugh together.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS?
It’s obvious that the candidate prepared so hard for the job interview. He will not be willing to answer this question truthfully. If he did, the interviewer will surely think he’s not the guy that they’re looking for. How can one possibly answer this question without feeling self-conscious? In a world where everything is supposed to be perfect, it’s definitely not okay to share your personal weaknesses to a person you just met. What if in reality, your true weakness is being under the supervision of a terrifying boss? Sharing that information with the interviewer will certainly not increase your chances of getting hired. It’s definitely one of the most stupid questions asked during interviews.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
Most people have no idea about how they see their future. Some of them might believe in the idea that it’s important to live in the present. There are also those who are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Uncertainty is very common these days since there are hundreds of careers to choose from. When candidates are forced to answer this question, they usually invent an answer. No one comes to a job interview wanting to mess up. They all want to impress the interviewer and get the job. Typically, they will say that they see themselves climbing up the corporate ladder. Others will say getting promoted to the highest position in the company. But the truth is, they have practiced this answer days before the interview. Most of them are aware that this question will be asked so they have already researched the best answers.

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?
Time and time again, this question never fails to scare off candidates. It’s such a complicated question. There is no exact answer as to why a person is the right candidate for the job. First of all, the applicant doesn’t have much knowledge about how the company operates. Yes, he might have done some research but it would still be significantly different from the responsibilities of the position he’s applying for. Everybody knows what interviewers wants to hear when asked this question. Being reliable, always coming to work on time, a team player, and multi tasking abilities are all so common. Yet, these are the answers interviewers would like to hear. Candidates become stuck in the position to come up with a unique answer. As a result, they end up answering bizarre things like being popular on social media or being active in church. Indeed, this question is one of the most difficult to answer but it’s still stupid.

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT THIS JOB?
For fresh graduates, they are usually desperate to get the job. After graduation, they feel the pressure of getting hired immediately. It will prove their parents wrong when they said that they will never be successful. Although others do it because they want to make their parents proud. Fresh graduates mostly have no job experience at all. So the truthful answer to this question is that they need money. They need a source of income to pay for rent, electricity bills, and hanging out with their friends. However, that’s not what they would respond to this question. Their creativity will come into play once again. Stories about wanting to help out in their family, gaining experience and broadening their horizons are usual tales told. People who already have previous work experiences have gone through this question so many times before. They know exactly what to answer. Some have even memorized it by heart. Only people who don’t have any internet access will fail to answer this question. This is because all of the most frequently asked questions can be accessed online and people are starting to realize how pathetic they are.

WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR PREVIOUS EMPLOYER?
This is probably the most stupid question asked in job interviews. People have various different reasons which ranges from hating their boss to hating the company itself. Who in the world will openly share to their potential employer their bad experiences in their previous company? No one is willing to discuss about how terrible their manager has treated them. The salary may always be delayed which caused them to go in debt. The company might not care about their employees at all and only think of them as money making robots. The salary could be so low that it’s not even worth the effort of coming to work everyday. So many factors could affect why a candidate decided to leave their previous job. If only they could answer this question truthfully, the interview will be so much more interesting. Usually, applicants respond to this by saying that they are looking for more challenging positions. Some may even go as far as “I’ve always wanted to work for your company since I know it’s the best in the industry.” Depending on how creative you can get, this question is the most fun to answer.

10 Interview Tips that Will Leave them Wanting More

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Snagging the job of your dreams can be a tough ordeal with plenty of hoops for you to go through. Thus, preparation is key to succeed in the initial step you need to take before you find a potential employer. Here are practical interview tips that will give you an edge above other applicants whom you are competing against in the job market.

1. Back yourself up with sufficient knowledge about the company

First off, you should do your homework before showing up for an interview. This means, you need to learn more about the company where you are thinking of finding employment. A simply online research should help you in obtaining solid pieces of information about the company. Find out about its background, services, clientele, competition and possible challenges it may encounter in the future. By being aware of these details, you will know what to answer in case you are asked to share your understanding about the company’s history and background during the interview.

2. Always remember that first impressions last – so try to look as professional as possible

Before people hear you talk, they already have some opinions of you based on the way you dress. If you are going on an interview, it is important to prepare your outfit and overall appearance, which should match the culture and nature of the company. Be sure your clothes are clean, professional-looking and pressed, and never over-accessorize. Polish your shoes, style your hair neatly, and keep your pearly whites looking clean and fresh. Look sharp and confident by maintaining a good posture whether you are standing, sitting or walking.

3. Bring required documents

Prepare all the documents required for the interview such as your resume, letter of application and a list of your references. You may want to bring extra copies of these documents, just in case there are a few other people present during the interview. Organize these requirements in a folder or envelope, so you do not have to deal with loose sheets of paper flying around the room. It is also a smart move to contact the HR Department for additional information on documents to bring or to double-check on the papers you have compiled in your file.

4. Be on time

Time is of the essence, so don’t keep people waiting during the interview. The idea is to show up about 15 minutes earlier, which should give ample time for you to condition yourself and get settled. What’s more, arriving early will allow you to observe and have a feel of the entire workplace. Showing up late makes you appear unprofessional – and this is the last thing that you want your potential employer to think of you.

5. Put your best foot forward all the time

Whether you are talking to the receptionist, the parking attendant, cafeteria vendor or the hiring manager, you should present yourself as a polite, courteous and decent person. Even if no one is looking, it is essential to be consistent in your professional behavior. Keep in mind that your disposition can make or break your chances of landing a job, so don’t blow it by being arrogant to any employee. After all, you may end up working with these people in the future, if you ace the interview, that is.

6. Express eagerness and enthusiasm

Make the interviewer feel your enthusiasm by speaking with a clear voice, giving a firm and genuine handshake and making eye contact as you speak. These are basic gestures that you should apply during the interview to win the approval of the hiring manager. Moreover, be sure to show your confidence through your voice and body language. Even if you are feeling nervous and anxious, do your best to conceal these and focus more on the present moment.

7. Listen carefully

Some people assume that an interview is more about talking instead of listening. However, this is a major pitfall that you don’t want to get into during an important interview. In fact, candidates tend to misunderstand the question and give a far-off answer because they fail to listen carefully. To make things worse, not reading between the lines is a terrible blunder since in most cases, things that are not said are as essential as those stated in the question.

8. Keep it simple and concise

The worst thing you can do is to beat around the bush or go in circles when a simple question requires a straightforward answer. If you think the question seems vague, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer to clarify some points. This way, you could give accurate answers instead of pretending you understood what was asked. Remember – it could be just a trick question, and the interviewer may only be trying to test if you were attentive enough to realize that.

9. Learn more by asking questions

To most candidates’ surprise, interviewers appreciate it when they are asked relevant questions about the company and the job being offered. This is a clear evidence of your interest in the career you are aiming for, considering you are looking to obtain further information about it. You may begin your question by sharing what you know so far about the company, then present some questions for an in-depth understanding on the ins and outs of the job.

10. Express your interest through a follow-up

Although the hiring manager said he or she would call you after a few days regarding the status of your application, you may also make your own follow-up. This can be done by sending an email to inquire about the outcome of the interview, as well as to express your genuine interest in the job. Use this opportunity to let the company know more about the valuable skills and assets that you can offer them, but state these in a professional way.

Final Word

Interviews can be a nerve-racking experience for some people, particularly for newbies who are yet to get their very first job after college. Well, if you keep your act together, do all the right things to prepare for it and follow these tips, there’s no doubt that you’ll pass your interview – and in flying colors!

One Interview Question You Are Not Prepared For!

Job Interview Question

Preparing for, and going through an interview can be a nerve wracking process. Not only do you have to polish up on your knowledge about the company you are hoping to join, put together the perfect outfit and update your resume, you will also be required to learn answers to common interviewing questions. In addition to having the answers to these types of questions, you can expect individual interviewers to throw in some unexpected ones that while they seem vague and unrelated to the organization you want to work for, are designed to reveal a particular character trait that the employer is looking for. Your reaction to these types of questions should be swift and most importantly, honest.

With the abundance of information on how to interview well available on the internet, many people simply copy and paste textbook answers that an interviewer is able to spot from a mile away. If you want to stand out from the crowd, simply use the information provided online to guide your answers and come up with a response that is uniquely yours. Open ended questions are becoming increasingly popular with employers, and it helps to prepare yourself adequately beforehand in order to deliver the kind of answer the interviewer is looking for and hopefully, improve your chances of getting the job.

One question that is appearing more and more on many interviewers’ lists is “Tell me something about you that I would not be able to tell just by looking at your resume”. The question has several variations including “Tell me what makes you unique?” or “Tell me something no one else knows about you”. Learning to answer this question well will help to put you ahead of the pack and convince the employer that you are the right candidate for the job.

What the Interviewer Wants to Know

In addition to finding out whether you are the right fit for a particular position, the question about what makes you unique is meant to reveal certain things about you including:

  • How well organized your thoughts are
  • Your ability to think on your feet
  • Your values or what you want the interviewer to think your values are
  • Your level of discretion.
  • How well you can apply the answer to the current job position and show why you are the right candidate for the job.

So How to Answer this Important Interview Question

Since this is not a question about your qualifications, experience and other details that are available on your resume, you will have to come up with an answer that shows your individual qualities and how they relate to the position you are applying for. The following points will help you come up with the best answers to this question:

1. Emphasize Your Strengths

Before you walk into the interview room, make sure you have thought about your core strengths and have come up with detailed descriptions of them to present to the interviewer. You will want to show how your particular abilities will benefit the organization you want to work for as well as how they make you suitable for the position you are interviewing for. For instance, if communication skills are your strong point, you can show your employer how you will use this ability to improve their visibility to customers and improve their perception of the organization’s products or services.

2. Provide Anecdotal Evidence

One of the best ways to provide proof of your ability to do the job is through the use of anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence makes use of stories and facts about previous projects you have taken part in in your previous jobs to showcase your skills and abilities. For instance, if you were once tasked with opening a new branch and breaking even within a year, you can show how you led and motivated your team to bring in the revenue required to meet the targets that had been set for your particular unit. The skills that would come through by telling this particular story include leadership, goal setting and motivation.

3. Use the STAR Method

The American Intercontinental University recommends using the STAR method to demonstrate your skills and abilities to your employer.(1) STAR is simply an ACRONYM for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Here’s how you can use it:

Situation: Describe a situation where you had to perform a certain task and include details about what type of job it was, who you worked with, what was required of you, when you were required to complete the project etc.

Task: Provide detailed information about the project, including exactly what you were required to achieve, resources you had to mobilize and any challenges and obstacles you had to overcome to meet your targets.

Action: Talk about the steps you took to complete the task and ensure to mention any skills and abilities you used to reach your goals.

Result: Show the interviewer the results you achieved, including any figures and statistics in support of your report.

4. Share Something Personal

Make sure to share some relevant personal information that will show how suitable you are for the information. For instance if you are an avid marathoner, use this to demonstrate your discipline as well as goal setting capabilities. However, ensure to share only personal information that is accepted as positive and leave out controversial subjects like your political affiliation or religious beliefs.

5. Talk about Why you Want the Job

Show the employer why you are interested in working for their organization. Whether it is your passion for numbers, desire to be part of a team or interest in creating a new revolutionary product, as long as your goals are in line with the company’s goals, you are more likely to be picked for the position if you can convince the interviewer that you are dying to join their organization.

Open ended questions such as the one mentioned above are not meant to trip you up and confuse you, but are a way for the interviewer to find out more about you and whether you are the right candidate for the job. By taking time to prepare beforehand, employing a few simple strategies and ensuring to keep your answers genuine and honest, you can vastly improve your chances of passing the interview and hopefully landing the position you are applying for.

10 Things You Must Not Do In An Interview

interview-dontdosThe 21st century has changed the way job searches are done as well as the job market overall. In an era of massive layoffs, retrenchments, mergers and acquisitions as well as fluctuating economic conditions, many people are finding themselves having to interview for new positions on a regular basis. Gone are the days when workers could expect to work for one employer for decades and retire with a large enough pension to ensure that they lived comfortably well into their old age. In an era of increasing technological change and the transfer of jobs overseas, workers must consistently look for opportunities in different fields or change employers for better pay or working conditions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American worker stayed in a job for 4.6 years in 2012 and will have worked in at least 10 jobs before age 40. In view of these facts, it is important for workers to improve both their job hunting and interviewing techniques in order to ensure that they stand out from a pool of similarly or even better qualified candidates and get the position they have applied for. If you have landed a much sought after interview with a potential employer, conducting thorough research on the best interviewing methods will vastly improve your chances of getting the job. Whether you are a new graduate just entering the job market or a seasoned worker looking for a new position, below are 10 things you should avoid doing if you want to ace your next interview and get the job you have applied for:

1. Don’t Show up late

This is the among the worst things you can do when you have been invited for an interview because it demonstrates to your prospective employer that you are not organized enough to schedule important tasks and allocate enough time to get them done. It may even show a lack of respect for the person you are trying to impress and will definitely greatly reduce your chances of getting the job. As a rule of thumb, try and arrive at the venue at least 15 to 20 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.

2. Don’t rely on your resume or application to get you the job

Your resume and application are great for helping you get a foot in the door and land an interview. They provide a brief summary of your experience and qualifications to help the employer pick you out from a wide pool of candidates. However, what ultimately convinces the employer to hire you is the way you present yourself during the interview. In addition to ensuring you are properly dressed, your speech, body language and passion for the type of work you are interviewing for will all affect how the interviewer views you and influence them to make a decision in your favor.

3. Don’t act desperate

Even if you have been out of work for a long time, do not let the interviewer see that you are willing to take anything or are desperate for employment. Acting this way often has the effect of either putting off the potential employer, or making them offer you the job with very unfavorable terms such as poor pay or long working hours. No matter how much you may want the job, try and maintain a cool demeanor and show the employer that you expect your alliance, should it come about, to be a mutually beneficial one.

4. Don’t be unprepared

Do not walk into the interview room without having conducted sufficient research about the company you are interviewing with. Take time to find out about the type of the work they do, the type of products and services they have on offer as well as the organizational vision, mission and goals. Find out who the key personalities are as well as any other important information that is likely to come up in the interview questions.

5. Don’t provide false information

Avoid giving false details about your education, experience and the places you have worked. With increasing advances in technology, it is very easy for employers to conduct a background check as well as pull up information about you from previous employers and other people who have dealt with you.

6. Don’t badmouth previous employers

Even if you hated your previous job and place of employment, or had a less than ideal relationship with your former boss, do not make any negative comments about these. Doing so will only demonstrate that you are likely to speak ill of the prospective employer and thus make them less likely to consider hiring you.

7. Don’t forget to switch off your cell phone

Interview etiquette demands that you switch off phones and any other devices that are likely to interrupt your session with a prospective employer. Not only is a shrill ringtone an extremely unpleasant sound in the quiet of the interview room, but it may also disturb your concentration and affect your performance during the interview. You should make sure to completely switch off your phone, and not even put it on vibrate, as soon as you enter the building.

8. Don’t talk money

The interview provides an opportunity for an employer to learn more about you and discover whether you will be a good fit for their particular organization. It is therefore not the time for you to ask about how much you will earn, what the retirement benefits will be, yearly increments or other financial details. If the employer asks you how much you would like to earn, provide a figure based on current market rates that you have researched.

9. Don’t give vague answers

Whenever an interviewer asks you a question, make sure you supply them with detailed answers instead of monosyllabic answers. For instance, if you are interviewing for a sales position and have been asked whether you met your sales targets in your previous job, answer in the affirmative and provide figures showing exactly how much in terms of dollars you sold as well as the percentage of the target that you met.

10. Don’t forget to thank the interviewer

Before the interview begins, remember to thank the interviewer for giving you the opportunity to meet up with them and find out whether you can work well together. In addition, remember to do the same thing on your way out. Doing this will leave a positive impression on your interviewer and make it more likely to be invited for a second round of interviews or even land you the job.

Top 5 Job Search Checklist

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Before faxing off your resume to hundreds of numbers found in the local telephone listings, how about stepping into the 21st century and knowing what the recruiter wants? Many job applicants do not know that the person employing them might not even be the owner of the company. The very first person they’ll cross paths with will most likely be the recruiter. Apart from knocking on doors, the biggest tool used in recruitment nowadays, is the internet. hundreds of job sites exist across the globe and for a candidate to make it through the different levels of the recruitment process, there are a few steps to follow.

Have a Professional Resume Drawn Up

It is important that your resume depicts all the necessary details to the recruiter, ensuring all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Many recruiters have to sift through copious amounts of resumes before finding a candidate they want to set up for an interview. Often, the candidate will not even receive an interview request if errors are noted on the resume. Hard to read resumes are also often not shortlisted. It is, therefore, imperative that a professional resume is drawn up to ensure you get to interview stage.

The Resume is Not Enough

Many companies who have a low recruitment rate, request a cover letter.This is the opportunity for the applicant to add their own special flavor to the resume, by showcasing their accomplishments and highlighting personal aspects about themselves. Recruiters have acknowledged not giving the cover letter particular attention to the cover letters, however, the owners or divisional managers who partake in the interview, do.

Don’t Neglect Social Media

This is a two-pronged fork. Many candidates who make it to the shortlist but don’t make it to the interview, have an undesirable social profile on social media. If your profile photo is offensive or you are used to profanities on your page, that job interview for the treasurer of the non-profit organization may not pull through. The other prong is of course using social media to land your dream job. Social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have seen many professionals find their ideal jobs. Building up solid networks is, therefore, crucial.

Target Industries that Complement Your Skills

Many people don’t realize that their particular skills are easily adaptable in other industries, for instance, someone who used to be a branch administrator in a bank, may easily adapt as a debtor or creditor clerk for a manufacturing industry. By adding all your skills and achievements, it strengthens the application. Be sure to also list volunteering, as this appeals to most business owners.

Dress for the Job you Want

Once you’ve made it to the interview stage, it is simply not enough to have a decent outfit and then show up with dusty shoes or an unpressed shirt. Recruiters all agree that a jean is not suitable for an interview, unless you’re going to Google or Yahoo. Shorts and open shoes are both ruled out as inappropriate. For the ladies, be sure to be well groomed. Wearing too much makeup and jewellery may count against you. Modesty is also a good option. Men need to pay attention to their cologne, too much will end up overwhelming the interviewer. Clean hands and fingernails are a must.