I do love going to job interviews! I don’t consider them an exam, but rather improvisation or creative impromptu.
You never know for sure what they will ask you. Some questions are so dazzling, that they become a subject of jokes and memories for a long time after the interview itself.
Just check these most ridiculous questions you may hear at a job interview, and think about how to answer them:
1) Do you know all machine languages?
“Sure! And I speak all languages of the world, sing opera, and save mankind at nights”.
Every programmer understands that it’s impossible to know all languages. But a recruiter doesn’t know it. Often it happens, that your first interview is conducted by HR-managers, not your potential future employee. Certainly, big chances are that recruiters don’t know all nuances of your profession.
- How to answer: If you are still sure you want to work for this company, then your task is to pass the first filter in order to meet with a manager who will understand your specialty better. So, do not tell HR managers how wrong they are, and don’t accuse them of incompetence. It is better to list the languages (skills, abilities) you know because the recruiter will give all this info to a person who will understand what you can.
2) Tell us about your drawbacks:
“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I am always responsible and initiative. I am Iron Man, and I don’t have any drawbacks at all. Oh, wait.. I have one. I lie a lot.”
Certainly, this tricky question doesn’t presume an answer about how bad you are. But it would be also inappropriate to answer something like this: “I would tell you about them with pleasure, but I don’t have any drawbacks actually”. This is a question to check your self-irony, adequacy, and quick response. After all, both you and a recruiter understand that there are no ideal people among us.
- How to answer: You can play the same game with a recruiter, answering something like this: “When I dive into work, I forget about everything” or “I am so passionate about my work, that I spend a little time with my family”. Or you can tell about some harmless flaws that will be completely unrelated to your future work. Just try to deal with your emotions, and do not let this interview get awkward.
3) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“The owner of multi-million dollar business, living in his own villa somewhere on islands.”
No, this joke wouldn’t be a perfect answer to such a question. It is usually given in order to find out how ambitious you are in your job search, and how adequate your requirements are as well. So, if you apply for a position of courier in a large company, there is no need to say that you plan to become its director in 5 years.
- How to answer: Be modest with your ambitions, telling how you would like to develop yourself in this company. It is not necessary to admit: “I plan to gain experience here, and leave you in 2 years for work at a normal company.” You better let them know that you want to be trained to improve your skills and become a true professional in your field to reach some position in their company. But if you talk to your future manager, you should not name his position as your desired one. Maybe he would prefer not to hire a potential competitor.
4) Why do you want to work at our company?
“Because you are the first one who responded to my resume!”
This question solves two problems at once. The first one is to find out whether a candidate knows something about the company, or he just goes to all interviews in a row. The second one is to check if he is interested in working for this company, or if he sees it just as a starting point. So, it is necessary to learn more about the company before the interview and demonstrate your interest during it.
- How to answer: It is not necessary to put money on the top: usually, managers do not like employees whose main motivation is money. Praise the company, tell them you want to work with them because they are the leader in the market, or they are known for their revolutionary approach to business. In addition, tell about your creative ambitions that you can realize at this job in particular.
5) How much do you want to earn?
“Believe me, you do not want to know the answer to that question!”
Such a response constantly spins in my head when I hear this question. Because “how much I want to earn” and “how much I’m ready to work for” are two completely different things. Moreover, most companies have a certain rate for each position, and your answer will not affect your future salary. So, why do they ask this question then? There can be several reasons. First, an employer can really doubt whether he can afford to keep such a specialist. Second, this question will help them determine the adequacy of your queries.
- How to answer: First of all, identify several sums for yourself: a minimum you are ready to work for, a maximum you can expect, the average wage in this specialty, and the level of salaries in this company. The amount you call should be between the minimum and maximum value, and it must be close to the average salaries in the market. But if you really want to work there, verify that the important thing for you is not money but creative growth, and therefore you are ready to discuss other possible options.
Author: Lesley J. Vos is a blog writer. She also works as an essay proofreader and a private educator of French language from time to time.