One person’s “easy” interview questions might be another person’s “challenging” ones, depending on their level of preparation and background. Some candidates may possess a strong or at least a a general knowledge of a certain industry, and others may not be particularly familiar with the particulars of a specific employer but may still possess the general skills and attributes required to succeed in that line of work. It’s the purpose of the interview to not only evaluate a person’s technical knowledge but also learn something about their personality, including their interpersonal skills and suitability for the company culture. The average interviewer doesn’t necessarily need to throw out obscure questions intended to deliberately stump someone, and equally doesn’t want to lob easy softballs either. The ideal questions should be challenging enough to make a candidate think about an answer and reveal something interesting and relevant, such as problem-solving skills, familiarity with a subject or their general attitude and work ethic.
These could include:
- What are your faults? While it may not be wise to be fully honest – saying “I have a problem being on time, I get mad at the drop of a hat and I fall asleep at my desk” could instantly raise some red flags. Instead, candidates can consider sharing how they’re working on improving certain areas – “It’s hard for me to speak in public but I’ve recently been taking some speech classes.”
- “Why do you think you should be selected?” This is an opportunity to show self-confidence in one’s abilities, and stand out from the other candidates. It’s also a chance to show knowledge of the company: a strong message can be “You and your company need me here now because….”
- “What haven’t you liked about a past job/past supervisor?” Prospective employers may not want to hear a list of gripes, which may come across as petty or negative. What really could provide bonus points is to describe how a bad situation was turned around – “I didn’t like my old boss at first but we got along better after…” Or, share things that you know the current employer may offer – “we didn’t have very good computers but I like the support here.”
- “What would you change about our company?” A ‘magic wand’ question shows that a candidate has done their research to the point that they have some ideas about ways the company can improve. An outsider’s perspective can be welcome to a forward-thinking company.
- “Do you have any questions?” It’s easy to answer “no, not really” at the end of an interview, but the correct answer is “Yes.” It’s a final push to wow an interviewer with how knowledgeable a candidate is. Questions can be asked about the company, the particular position, or even the interviewer himself or herself, such as why they enjoy working for that employer.
Conclusion: Beyond infrequent ‘curve ball’ personality questions like a favorite book, movie, magazine or web site, job-seekers should put effort into learning all they can about a particular employer and industry, and then demonstrate this knowledge in their interviews. A program like CCI Training Center is a good starting place for current knowledge about different career options. The school’s curriculum provides useful foundations in different topics, which can come in handy in future interview settings.
Sources http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fehk45gkhm/why-should-i-hire-you/ http://www.careercast.com/career-news/10-toughest-interview-questions-%E2%80%93-and-how-answer-them http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewquestionsanswers/a/toughquest.htm https://collegegrad.com/jobsearch/mastering-the-interview/ten-tough-interview-questions-and-ten-great-answers