Nearly everyone going on an interview will think about how to answer the most common interview questions, like “Why do you want to work here?” and “What’s your greatest weakness?”
That’s why many hiring managers are branching out, looking for more uncommon questions to help them evaluate how you respond under pressure.
President and founder of The Right Staff, Ted Chalupsky joined us to discuss some tough job interview questions and how to prepare answers that help you maintain your composure while communicating your values and strengths.
1. Is this position similar to any other jobs you’re applying for?
The interviewer may be seeking a better understanding of your career path and goals – or they may be trying to ferret out information about where else you’re applying.
The answer: Don’t list every other application you’ve put in or which employers received them. Instead, focus on how this job is in your preferred field or is the natural next step on your career path, and give a specific example of how your skills make you a great fit for the job.
2. If you could work for any company, where would you work?
The obvious answer is “Here, of course!” But that can also feel like toadying up to the hiring manager – especially if you give it with the wrong delivery. What should a hardworking interview candidate do?
Respond: Don’t just say “Here!” Instead, focus on how your research of various companies led you to the conclusion that this company offers the opportunities, values and work environment that match your skills and goals.
3. Are you the type who checks email during your vacation?
This question can feel like a Catch-22. Say “yes,” and you may sound like a workaholic who is likely to burn out; say “no” and you may sound like a slacker who doesn’t care about the team.
Instead: Note how it’s important to you to handle truly important tasks, but you also understand that personal well-being and setting boundaries are essential for you to do outstanding work over the long term.