Job interviews are hard work, not to mention completely exhausting and kind of scary. I used to feel so knackered after an interview; all the nerves, the anticipation; the pressure….It truly is too much sometimes. So it only makes sense that by being prepared to answer any kind of question, this will somehow cut down on some of the nerves right? Wrong! Every single job interview I have attended in my whole life as a professional person pretty much had the same sort of questions: “Tell us about a situation when…”, “How would you handle….”, “What are your strengths?” etc. Most questions are based on showcasing your previous experience and to see how you would fit in the company. Having been to a fair share of interviews, I learned that confidence is really important and it can definitely mask the fear away. But even if fear disappears, for some reason, in every single interview I find myself reaching a point where all of a sudden I fell, amused, confused or speechless. You know the odd question the interviewee randomly throws in to apparently “see how your personality works and what character you have”. Confused already? So are we….
- If you were stuck on a desert island, what three essential things would you bring with you? I remember the first time I was asked this question: I just laughed out loud. I laugh a lot in general, but this was so funny. I saw absolutely no connection to the job, to my personality or my skills. They say it tests the person’s problem solving skills; for me, it simply made me think about organizing an island party; a really good one. My reply was: water, a good group of friends and lots of good food to have a feast. I got the job.
- What is your weakness? This question is so cheesy, beyond pointless really. As if anybody will ever actually reveal their weakness. I used to think perhaps this tests the person’s loyalty and honesty levels, so I sometimes felt stuck between actually revealing a weakness or just sugar coating one of my strengths as a weakness. Honesty is not always the best policy, and most employers are looking for a strength. I used various ones, but asking people around me, I realized that they had the same examples “I work too hard”, “I am too much of a perfectionist”, “I am sometimes a little too focused” blah blah. I wonder what they would do if somebody said “I struggle with punctuality”, “ I have no dress sense”…. Do you think they would get the job?
- If you could pick one book character to represent you, who would it be and why? Your success to this question depends on two different things: 1. If you actually read books and 2. what type of books you read. Thinking of the last book I read, Les Mis, I hardly would want to be Fantine; or Cosette for that matter. I would rather be Belle from the Beauty and The beast, and live in that beautiful castle, with a stunning library and lots of shoes…. I suppose this question would reveal personality characteristics as well as who we see as role models, idolise or simply what kind of life we appreciate. I don’t think Belle would be a winner, but one of my friends had this question in an interview and he answered Willy Wonka because he is very passionate about what he did. Impressive, take note! PS: He did get that job.
- Can you deal with offensive humour? I was asked this question only once. I suppose the pressures of wanting to get the job can overtake everything and you will say yes. Be careful what you agree to. If you think you are not easily offended, then by all means, go ahead. But if you are, you may end up in a very uncomfortable work situation, eventually not being able to put up with it anymore, and end up leaving.
- Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? I would have no clue what to answer here. I can kind of figure out what it refers to, but which one do I want to be for this particular interview?! Just make it sound good.
- What is it like? I mean, I don’t even know how to explain this one. Just NO.
- If you were a cake, what would be the ingredients that make the cake and why? Again, what does cake have to do with this IT position I am going for? Anywho, I guess this gives them an insight to who you are. I can think of such an original answer: “Sugar because I am sweet”, “Flour because I stick to what I say I will do” Ok maybe it’s not very original, but I am sure that most people will choose the same ingredients. I mean, how many different ways of making cakes can you think of?!
- If you could have a superpower what would it be and why? What does this have to do with the price of fish? I would probably say to fly, but how this question would help them choose, I have no idea…
- If you only had 6 months to live, what would you do with your time? Hmmmm definitely not be in this interview.
- If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare and why? Nothing, because you will not be invited to my house for dinner! If you do get this question however, go for a sassy dish. Shows you have good taste and like to make a good impression.
- What do you think about when you are alone in your car? Do you really want to know?
The list could go on; however I wanted to pick the most common ones. I know that it can be really hard when you are put on the spot, in an interview you really want to do well in. Remember that confidence is everything, sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it.