A job interview is an exciting opportunity to highlight your professional skills and earn that long-awaited position. However, many candidates wrongly treat interviews like interrogations. In candidates’ defense, it’s not easy to sit in front of hiring managers knowing that they’re scanning you, searching for flaws. Besides that, there are dozens of awkward questions to deal with and react to properly. Below, we discuss some of these uncomfortable interview questions that all job candidates should be prepared to answer.
1. Tell me about yourself.
A majority of recruiters begin interviews with this question. Although it might seem easy, it’s actually not that simple to answer such a vague and generic inquiry. Therefore, you should prepare a brief paragraph that focuses on your professional capabilities. HR advisors at the dissertation help service made a list of a few introductory topics to focus on: a) Tell your name and academic background, b) Quickly go through employment history, c) State your skills and achievements, and d) Explain why you applied.
2. Why are you looking for a new job?
Over-explaining why you‘re leaving your job is one of the most common job interview mistakes. This is one of the most awkward questions because you need to answer without trash talking about your current employer while still making your job look positive in the eyes of the recruiters.
There is a smooth way out of the trap. For instance, you can say that your current position doesn’t allow you to learn and progress as much as you want. Or you could say that the company doesn’t invest in the lifelong learning of its employees as much as you would like. Note that this is an opportunity not only to provide a good reason for leaving but also to highlight the importance to you of self-improvement and progress.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Here’s the question you really need to pay attention to. Everybody has weaknesses, so you can’t just say: I don’t have any. The best thing to do is to think of something that doesn’t directly influence your performance or something that can be changed or eliminated easily.
For instance, you could say: I am not comfortable with speaking in front of large groups. An answer like this is perfect because it doesn’t mean you can’t speak in front of large groups—just that you don’t feel comfortable doing it. And this weakness can be easily worked on and improved. Ideally, you’d also talk about what you have done and continue to do to work on this weakness.
4. How long do you plan to stay here?
It typically takes eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity, so it’s reasonable to expect this kind of question at the interview. Of course, you don’t want to answer something like: I’m not sure, it depends on the situation here, etc. You must be confident and show a positive attitude, expressing hopes that you will stick around for a long time.
5. Could you explain employment history gaps?
If you have a work history gap, rest assured recruiters will ask you about that. In this sort of situation, you need to stay focused and find a positive viewpoint. There are many ways to do it, and here are a couple of solutions (if these are in fact true; don’t make something up here): a) I took a break to go abroad and perfect the (Spanish, French…) second language, and b) I took a pause because I wanted to complete a few more professional courses (then name them).
6. Random questions to test your personality.
A lot of HR managers ask applicants silly questions such as: If you were an animal, song, fruit, what would you be? This is just a test question to see what happens next, but you should be ready to tell them something interesting nevertheless. Say something that reveals your personality and energy. For example, you can answer “monkey.” Why? Because monkeys are clever and quick learners.
7. Why should we hire you over other candidates?
The final uncomfortable question is supposed to wrap-up the conversation, so you should prepare a few brief statements to make a convincing finish. Stay confident and repeat your strengths, suggesting that your skills and achievements deserve to be tested in this company.
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