difficult interview questions

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Stace126:  Those are very outdated interview questions. I haven’t been asked (or asked) either of those in years. You need to focus on positives, even if the question asks for a negative. As for asking them about salary and benefits, quite simply you don’t. You just said you’d be thrilled to work for them so wait for an offer or for them to bring it up.

If you really want the job, you’ll schedule your personal stuff around work rather than the other way around. I don’t recommend asking for favors and time off right away, let alone before you even get an offer. The market is competitive and if you’re going to be someone who always needs to be accommodated or have time off, they will choose someone else. 

I say all this having hired and fired many people.  

Post # 4
Member
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@Stace126:  Hi! First of all, congrats on your interview! 

I work as a career advisor at a university, and if I were workig with a student asking these questions, I would want to know more about the industry, organization, and you. But knowing what I know, here is my advice:

#1: “What’s your weakest trait?”
I feel like my honest answer would be patience, but that’s obviously not such a great thing to say at an interview lol. I’m actually more impatient with myself than anything else, but  ….. how the HECK are you supposed to answer this question and not incriminate yourself???

If they ask you about your weakest trait, you really do need to discuss a trait. What I would suggest is to discuss something that is a weakness and you are working on improving. Tell them about the weakness, but balance that with solid action and results of improving on that trait. DON’T tell them you work too hard, or any BS like that. 

The real cookie would be if you could avoid any personal characteristic, but instead dicusss something knowledge based. An employer can’t fix you, but they can teach you. If you are not a patient person, I can’t fix that. You don’t know how to run this program, no biggy. Again, they want to see that you are able to overcome and how you overcome challenges. 

#2: “on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your work?”

Here you could frame this not as being about your work ethic/effort, but about the quality of your work. “I honestly believe that anyone who rates their work as a 10 all the time is either lying or is not very self aware. I think that I average around an 8- meaning that some of my ideas are really great and others are learning opportunities. For example…”

I had a really hard time trying to think of an example for you, since I don’t know you or your industry, and any example that I would give, you might not actually know what I am talking about. When you give examples, use the CAR method. Context – Action – Result

You could also answer how you would do in THIS job, if you are switching industries. Just avoid the phrase “hard working” and give context/examples to what you mean.

And how do you ask THEM about benefits, time off, overtime, pay, things like that?

Don’t ask about it, that is how you do it. Wait for them to bring it up. Now, I say that with the assumption that you have read EVERYTHING on their HR website. If nothing is online about that, check glassdoor.com. Now, you don’t take a job until you know these things, but these topics should be brought up ONLY after you have an offer. You should do research to what salary range that job would be in so as to be prepared to negotiate. 

 Wow, that got long. I hope that helps. 

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