LEADERSHIP 2/27/2015 @ 1:02下午 23,581 views
Smart Answers To Ten Stupid Interview Questions
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If you have been job-hunting lately, you’ve probably heard many or most of these ten ridiculous job interview questions. They are silly and pointless for reasons I’ll describe in a moment, but you still have to answer them!
Here are non-traditional answers to ten common job-interview questions. Your answers will make the job-interviewer think, something he or she may not have done a lot of lately.
When HR folks, hiring managers and recruiters stop and think, their brains turn on. They have to get off the standard interview script. That’s good for them – and for you! You will make an impression. Sadly, that is one thing most job-seekers forget to do. They sit in the chair like a good little Sheepie Job Seeker and they make no impression at all. A day later the interviewer may well have forgotten the interview entirely!
Shake up your next job interview with your own version of one of our non-traditional answers to the silly interview questions below.
Stupid Interview Question One: What’s your greatest weakness?
Why is this a stupid question? It’s insulting, for starters. Why would anyone assume you have weaknesses – and if you do have some things you’re working on, why would they be a stranger’s business? The interviewer is not going to tell you his or her deepest darkest concerns and shortcomings.
You’re an interviewer. You’re not my therapist or my minister!
How to Answer: You can have a little fun and say “Chocolate!” or you can say “I used to stress and worry about my weaknesses, but over time I realized that I should focus on my strengths, like technical writing and instructional design.”
Stupid Interview Question Two: Why should we hire you?
Why is this a stupid question? You will not meet the other candidates. You couldn’t possibly say why the company should hire you — that’s their problem to solve. Like many traditional and brainless interview questions, this question is like a command you’d give a dog: Sit. Stay. Beg.
This question commands you to praise yourself: “I’m smart, I’m hard-working, and my house is really clean!”
Don’t do it!
How to Answer: “That’s a great question! You have the advantage there, because you’ll meet or already have met the other candidates and of course I won’t meet them. All I can say is that this conversation should take us a long way toward determining whether we’re meant to work together or not. I am sure that if you and I are supposed to accomplish great things together, we’ll both know it!”
Stupid Interview Question Three: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Why is this a stupid question?
Where you see yourself in five years is not only none of the interviewer’s business, unless he or she is making you an offer for a five-year employment contract, but it also tells you very little that would help you make a hiring decision.
Five years is an unrealistic planning horizon these days. This might have been a good interview question in 1955, but these days, life and business change way too fast for most of us to have clear plans that far out. Does the company know where it will be in five years?
How to Answer: “If I’m still alive I will be working hard at one or several of the things I’m passionate about — maybe software design, or music, or a combination of the two!”
Stupid Interview Question Four: What’s your greatest accomplishment?
Why is this a stupid question? Are we supposed to have one major accomplishment now? I sure can’t think of one. This is another question with the subtext “Convince me to hire you.” I wish job interviewers spent more time convincing job-seekers that the company deserves their talents!
How to Answer: “Surviving and thriving in this tumultuous working world strikes me as my biggest professional accomplishment so far. As a person, I’m proudest of raising my family and setting my kids on the road to healthy and happy adulthood.”
Stupid Interview Question Five: If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
Why is this a stupid question? It’s asinine, because we are not children. Interviewers sometimes say “It’s a fun question!” (along with its variants “What kind of soup would you be?” or “What kind of tree would you be?”) but that is wildly inappropriate, because you’re not on a play date. You’re on a job interview. Somebody’s livelihood and ability to feed their family rests on this meeting, so let’s maintain some decorum.
How to Answer: Whatever you feel at the moment. Some people would excuse themselves from the interview at this juncture, but if you have a high tolerance for inanity go ahead and dive in!
Stupid Interview Question Six: What’s the lowest salary you would accept?
Why is this a stupid question? Anybody with three functioning brain cells can see that this question is a way to get the applicant to lowball himself or herself so the employer doesn’t have to bother. This is just like asking a house-seller “What’s the lowest amount you would take for your house?” The seller is going to say “Make me an offer and you’ll find out.”
How to Answer: “Are you extending a job offer? If so I’d be happy to negotiate.”
Stupid Interview Question Seven: What was your salary at your last job?
Why is this a stupid question? Your past salary has zip-all to do with what this job is worth and what you’re worth in this job.
How to Answer: “I’m focusing on jobs in the $50K range in this job search. Is that in your range too?”
Stupid Interview Question Eight: What would your old boss say about you?
Why is this a stupid question? Your old boss may have been senile or incompetent or addicted to painkillers. Why is your old boss a trusted authority? People who ask this interview question fear that they don’t have the faculties to evaluate you even as you sit in front of them answering their (relevant) questions.
How to Answer: “I’ve had a lot of bosses, and I had different relationships with each of them. My last boss would say that I was her most reliable support tech and knew the product cold. My boss before that would tell you that I was the go-to person for sales issues. Like snowflakes, managers are unique — that’s why I’m looking forward to meeting Sarah, the manager for this position opening, so she and I can see how we resonate together.”
Stupid Interview Question Nine: What makes you a top performer?
Why is this a stupid question? Hey — you called me in for the interview! Now you’re asking me to praise myself? There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all Top Performer. Performance, whatever that means, is completely tied to the specific job you’re performing.
I might be a Top Performer for you if you’re producing a show in which there’s a perfect character for me. If you’re putting on “Cats” which is all dancing and my least favorite Broadway show ever apart from “Footloose,” I would be the worst performer imaginable and I’d be fired in three seconds. Let’s stop asking people what makes them Top Performers, and talk like adults about the problem you’re trying to solve.
How to Answer: “That’s a very situational question in my view. If we can dig into the specifics of what this job requires I can share some stories with you that illustrate how I solved similar problems and dealt with similar situations before.”
Stupid Interview Question Ten: What will you add to our team?
Why is this a stupid question? Like all of our Ten Stupid Questions, this question is thoughtless. There’s nothing behind it. The interviewer is just reading questions from a script, mindlessly. How could anyone know what they’ll add to your team when they don’t know what skills and personality types your team already includes?
How to Answer: “What would you say is missing from your team right now? I can share with you my background in the areas you feel you need to strengthen.”
Stay in your body on a job interview, and don’t devolve into a Sheepie Job Seeker. If they don’t get you, they don’t deserve you!
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