Here are 10 of the trickiest tricky questions you might be asked at a job interview, with ideas on how to handle them:
1. “Tell me about yourself.”
- DO: Talk about the ways that what you know and what you can do are perfectly suited to this job.
- DON’T: Tell the interviewer your life story.
2. “Tell me something bad you’ve heard about our company.”
- DO: You wouldn’t apply for a job at a company you disapproved of, would you? So you should be able to honestly answer that you haven’t heard anything negative about this place.
- DON’T: Repeat gossip you might have heard.
3. “Why should I hire you?”
- DO: Impress your interviewer with how much you know about the company’s requirements and then describe how you are the best person to meet those requirements.
- DON’T: Get tripped up by a lack of prior research.
4. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
- DO: Talk about how your specific abilities, training, and experience will enable you to smoothly integrate with this company.
- DON’T: Say that you have no idea.
5. “How would you react if I told you your interview so far was terrible?”
- DO: Recognize that this is a test to see if you get flustered. Say, mildly, that you would ask for reasons why.
- DON’T: Freak out. Remember, the interviewer said “if.”
6. “What’s the last book you read?”
- DO: Mention a book that reflects well on you. Choose something by a reputable author that your interviewer has probably heard of.
- DON’T: Name a book you haven’t actually read.
7. “Can you work under pressure?”
- DO: Say that of course you can, and then relate a brief story about a time you did.
- DON’T: Just say, "Yes I can." Provide a specific example.
8. “Who’s your hero?”
- DO: Name a person who has inspired you and then describe specifically how this inspiration relates to your work.
- DON’T: Get caught off-guard by what should really be a softball question. Come prepared with a good answer.
9. “Have you ever considered starting your own business?”
- DO: Talk about how you are happiest and do your best work in a company that is amazingly similar to the one you’re applying at.
- DON’T: Go on and on about how you’d love to be your own boss one day.
10. “If you won the lottery, would you still work?”
- DO: Be honest and say you’d be thrilled to win the lottery; then add that even if you did you’d still seek out satisfying work, because work is what makes people happy.
- DON’T: Say that you’d never work again (too honest) or that you’d just work for free (too BS-y).
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