September 5, 2018
6 Tricky interview questions the most job seekers fall for
Most job interview questions are easy to answer, it’s usually about what you’ve written on your resume and these questions are meant to evaluate if you are the best fit for that job position. But there will always be that question which catches you off guard even though you’ve answered the very same question many times before, questions that would always make you think twice if you answered it correctly or ‘Why am I being asked this question? Are they trying to trick me by confusing me with that question?’
Well, yes, they are trying to catch you in a fib, but they mean no harm, the interviewer just wants to check how well prepared you are for the job interview.
Here’s a list of some of the usual questions you should look out for and suggestions on the best ways to answer them. Don’t get caught by these tricky questions on your next job interview.
Why are you looking for a new job? Or Why did you leave your old job?
Whether you’ve left your old job or still employed. Your bound to encounter this question during your interview. The question may seem innocent and harmless, however, a lot of job seekers have fell victim to this question and lost the opportunity to land the job.
Interviewers use this question to trigger you to bad mouth your current or former employer. Always remember to never bad mouth an employer, even though you left many years ago. Doing this always puts you in a negative light, and subliminally suggest that you are not a team player or you have a bad work attitude.
It’s okay to answer the question with ‘There’s no room for progress in your career with them’ or ‘I’m looking for something more inline with my career path’ but never air out personal problems and steer away from the negative rants or comments.
Do you have a pending application with another company?
A seemingly innocent question that can be answered by a simple yes or no. And would definitely be followed up by ‘Which company did you apply for?’ if you answered Yes.
Job seekers often get confused whether to keep their mouth shut or answer the question with full honesty and mention the name of the companies that they applied or interviewed with.
Employers actually use this question to try to see how invested you are in their company and where else you have you might have applied. If you did send a job application or had a job interview with other companies, then it is your choice to be honest with them or not, just make sure do a follow up with your answer.
If you choose to answer ‘No’, don’t stop there. You could tell the interviewer ‘I’ve spent a lot of time researching other companies during my job search and your company stood out the most and I feel that I would progress the most working with you’.
But if you choose to answer ‘Yes’, do not give the specifics, like company name. Think about it this way, it’s like being on a date with someone you like and they suddenly ask you, “If you can go on a date someone else, who would it be?” Would you answer with a specific person’s name? Same with employers, let them hear that they are your top priority company to join.
Why do you want to work here?
This is another way of an employer checking what you know about their company. They use this question even though they have already asked you about what you know about their company. This is to see if you have done your research and how badly you want this job over another offer.
Now don’t just answer by telling them you like the free coffee, free parking, medical benefits and other benefits you won’t see with other companies. Make sure to put meaning to your answer by being prepared and doing your research. Be enthusiastic talk about how you feel engaged with their company’s mission, vision and core values; and how they align with your own goals. Go into the details how you can contribute to the success of the company with the position you are applying for.
What’s your dream job?
Yet again another seemingly innocent question. Some would think that it’s just an ice breaker to get a relaxed mood during the interview session or just plain curiosity. Job seekers often talk about a job that would entail doing minimal effort but earning money like a CEO. After all, who doesn’t dream big right?
Reality check, employers actually use this question to see how invested you’ll be in the job role you are applying for, or are just applying with them just to fill the void and keep earning income while you hunt for something better.
Bottom line is, employers ask you this question because they want to see if you have a clear career path in mind and how you would use the current job role to attain that career goal.
What’s your biggest weakness?
If an employer asks you this question, they’re not trying to figure out your weaknesses, it’s about finding out whether you are aware of them or not, and if you intending to make changes or improve yourself.
The best way to answer this is to be honest, nobody is perfect, even Superman has his own weaknesses. It’s okay to mention parts of your skill set that needs a little work, but use this to highlight other strengths and your determination to improve yourself.
For example, you could say: ‘I always value the quality of my work and make sure everything is perfect down to the last detail, but sometimes I tend to obsess on the small details that won’t matter in the long run, so I’m constantly improving myself by reading about time management and productivity strategies to balance out my work quality and efficiency.
Why Should We Hire You?
If the employer asks you ‘Why should we hire you?’ they really mean it, no tricks here. Basically, they want to know what makes you the best fit for the job position they’re hiring for.
Remember that employers hire to solve a problem, whether it’s to improve work efficiency, boost sales, or to fill in the gap that a previous employee has left which impaired the company operations. The goal here is to show the employer you are the best solution to the problem.
Now if you’ve done your research about the company and job vacancy, it’s going to be easy to answer this question. A good example is to base you answer on the job description they have posted. You could say something like this: ‘Based on the research I’ve done; your company is looking for an employee who has (mention the top qualification/skills for the job). I believe my experience aligns well with that and makes me a great fit for the job.”
These are just a few of the tricky interview questions commonly asked in job interviews. Remember that some of our examples are just guides on how best to answer them.