The biggest fear most people have when it comes to job hunting is being put in the spotlight by bizarre interview questions like these (which are real):
âDescribe the color yellow to a blind person. ” – Spirit Airlines
“If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?” ” – Bose
“Who would win in a Spiderman vs. Batman fight?” ” – Stanford University
Staggered questions are almost impossible to prepare, and they fall short of the interviewer’s goal: to test original thinking and the ability to work under pressure. This is the bad news.
The good news is that businesses are moving away from it. Recent research shows that these questions do little more than build interviewer confidence. Even companies known for their bizarre questions are abandoning them. In the words of Laszlo Bock, former director of human resources at Google:
âIf you’ve heard that Google likes to ask candidates puzzle questions like why manhole covers are round, your information is out of date. There is no evidence that they suggest how people behave at work.
A Glassdoor study tens of thousands of interviews found the 50 questions you will be asked the most during your next interview:
1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your weaknesses?
3. Why are you interested in working for us?
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
5. Why do you want to leave your current business?
6. What can you give us that someone else can’t?
7. Why was there a gap in your job between these two dates?
8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve?
9. Are you ready to relocate?
10. Are you ready to travel?
11. Tell me about an achievement that you are most proud of.
12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
13. What is your dream job?
14. How did you hear about this post?
15. What would you do in the first 30/60/90 days of work?
16. Discuss your CV.
17. Discuss your educational background.
18. Describe yourself.
19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
20. Why should we hire you?
21. Why are you looking for a new job?
22. Would you work on holidays / weekends?
23. How would you react to an angry or angry customer?
24. What are your salary requirements?
25. Give a moment when you went beyond the requirements of a project.
26. Who are our competitors?
27. What was your biggest failure?
28. What motivates you?
29. What is your availability?
30. Who is your mentor?
31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
32. How do you deal with the pressure?
33. What is the name of our CEO?
34. What are your career goals?
35. What wakes you up in the morning?
36. What would your direct reports say about you?
37. What were the strengths / weaknesses of your bosses?
38. If I called your boss now and asked him what area you could improve on, what would he say?
39. Are you a leader or a follower?
40. What was the last book that you read for fun?
41. What are the pet peeves of your co-workers?
42. What are your hobbies?
43. What is your favorite website?
44. What makes you uncomfortable?
45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
46. ââHow would you fire someone?
47. What do you like most and least about working in this industry?
48. Would you work more than 40 hours per week?
49. What questions did I not ask you?
50. What questions do you have for me?
While these questions may be less exciting to prepare than âSpiderman vs. Batman,â they are what you need to be prepared for.
Most respondents are only prepared for about 10 questions, so this list alone can give you a head start. Study the list carefully and prepare answers, but not robotically, so that you can talk comfortably, flexibly, and confidently about each of these topics.
If you want to make a good impression and stand out from the crowd, preparing for these 50 questions isn’t enough. Follow the 9 strategies below and incorporate the knowledge they convey into your answers. Then you will really succeed in your interview.
1. Identify your “hook”
Most recruiters interview many people. So much so that they usually have to go back to their grades to remember candidates, with the exception of candidates with a strong hook. Sometimes these hooks are the way people dress or their personality, but the best crochet is a strong work story. When you can wow an interviewer with a memorable story that shows how strong a candidate you are, you climb to the top of the list.
2. Know the essence of the job you are applying for
Get to know the job you are applying for intimately. Don’t just read the job description, study it and imagine yourself doing all the tasks that are asked of you. When you are interviewing, framing your answers in a way that reveals your important job knowledge gives you a huge advantage.
3.â¦ and know what is right for you
Know exactly what makes you a perfect fit for the job and talk about it during the interview. What makes you special? You may be an idea machine or a statistics fanatic. Either way, know it and be prepared to incorporate it into your answers.
For example, when an interviewer asks, âWhat are your strengths? Â»Avoid clichÃ©s and go straight to the qualities that are unique to your job. You will clearly show that you are the ideal person.
4. Know the company
No matter how ready you are to talk about yourself, not knowing the basics of the company you’re interviewing for translates to a lack of preparation and interest. You can’t show a recruiter how you’ll fit into the business until you know the business.
Before your interview, dive deep into the company’s website to build a solid mental foundation. Make sure you know the basics; how the company makes money, the top management and what the company aims to accomplish in the near future (strategic goals). Go online and read recent news articles about the company. Also check out their Twitter and Facebook pages.
5. Prepare a list of follow-up questions
Prepare a list of follow-up interview questions and describe the key points you will cover if you ask these questions. For example, if you say your greatest strength is time management, you should be prepared for the interviewer to ask you something like “What does this strength look like in action?” This preparation will sharpen your answers, avoid awkward silences and uncertainty, and boost your confidence before the interview.
6. Practice, practice, practice
You, and anyone interviewed for the job, already know many of the questions that will be asked of you. The difference is in the preparation. Preparing answers that are unique and specific to your position will give you a competitive advantage over everyone. You don’t need to memorize the answers, but to know some benchmarks about yourself that you can apply to different questions.
Make sure to âsimulate the interviewâ yourself. Video your answers until you are able to speak comfortably and flexibly, instead of regurgitating the answers by rote, on the topics you have prepared. Filming yourself might seem awkward when you do it, but it will pay off during your interview.
If you can’t relax during your interview, nothing you do to prepare yourself will matter. Being yourself is essential to the selection process, and interviewers will feel it if you are too nervous. Showing fear or anxiety seems weak compared to a relaxed smile and genuine confidence. Many studies show that smiling not only increases your happiness and confidence, it also makes people you interact with feel more comfortable. This is mainly due to mirror neurons in the brain which naturally mimic the expressions and emotions of others.
Achieving this requires emotional intelligence (EQ), a skill that employers increasingly look to applicants. And that’s not surprising, because 90% of the top performers at work have a high EQ. Working on your EQ can also help you earn more money, as people with high EQ earn an average of $ 29,000 more per year.
8. Stay positive
It may seem obvious that maintaining positivity is essential in an interview, but it can be very difficult to do when discussing certain topics.
It’s hard to be positive when describing difficult bosses or coworkers from your past, or explaining why you were fired from your previous job, but that’s exactly what employers want to see in you. Show them that you can maintain a positive attitude in a difficult environment, and they will see the resilient and flexible person they are looking for.
9. Be honest
Good interviewers have a way of understanding who you are. They may have an innate sense of reading people, or they may just be very good at asking the right questions. Either way, it is essential that you approach your interview with honesty.
If you interview dishonestly, you won’t get the job when the interviewer sees you, or you’ll end up in a job that isn’t for you. Don’t focus on what you think the interviewer wants to hear. Instead, focus on an honest and passionate description of what you have to offer.
Put it all together
Let’s face it, maintenance is always difficult. It’s hard to show who you really are and what you’re capable of in a quick chat. These strategies will help you eliminate nervousness and anything unexpected that could derail an otherwise excellent interview.
Are there any questions I missed? What’s the best way to stand out in an interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I am learning as much from you as I am from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am pleased to announce that I have reissued one of my absolute favorite books. The Handler of the Seagullis a fun, light-hearted fable that teaches the three virtues of superior leadership. Best of all, the book is free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.