Sometimes it feels like it would be almost a miracle just to find a job. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared if you get a chance to sit down with interviewers. There will obviously be a lot of other candidates for the job. But if you know about some of the trick questions commonly asked in job interviews, and their hidden meanings, you’ll have a much better shot. Let’s look at them now.
Why did you leave your last job?
This question can be a huge dilemma. It could be that your last job wasn’t a healthy environment. It could also be that you were forced out because of a mistake you made. Think calmly about what you’re going to say (it’s a good idea to work it out beforehand). Be sincere, but always brief.
Never speak badly about your old coworkers, and definitely don’t talk badly about your old bosses during job interviews. Be clear about your reasons, but don’t open up the wound. Be respectful towards other people (even if they weren’t with you). If you do that, it will give you a noble, responsible image and add earn you some extra points.
Why have you been out of work for so long?
This is one of the most annoying trick questions people might ask you at job interviews. A lot of people go long periods of their life unemployed because of bad luck or personal issues. So why should you have to share intimate details about your personal life?
There’s not always a clear answer to give. Your interviewer might just want to know if you’re ambitious, or if you’re proactive enough. You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, of course. But it might be enough just to say simple things like “for family reasons,” or “I was sick.”
Do you like working in a team?
The answer to this question should always be “yes.” It doesn’t matter what you actually think. You have to give off the impression of a person who knows how to work as a group. Leadership, team spirit, and friendliness are very important values for most employers.
On the other hand, you also want to show that you can work on your own, if you have to. It’s just as important to know how to be part of a team as it is to be independent. We all have our uniqueness. If you use it right, it can really help you.
“Work and morals are the fundamental foundations of a stable system of freedom.”
–[Translation] Francisco de Miranda–
What are your strengths?
Be careful with this one. You should be honest, but don’t get out of hand. No one likes a big-headed, arrogant person. Try to seem humble and be clear that you’re a committed worker with a constant desire to improve.
They might also ask you about your weaknesses. You should be honest here, too; just don’t throw yourself under the bus. Always remember that they want to hire you. One of the most highly appreciated qualities in the working world is knowing when to be quiet and when to speak.
How much do you think you should make at this job?
The salary expectations questions is one of the scariest ones you might get at job interviews. Some people throw out gigantic numbers and end up realizing they just set their own salary. But then there are also other people who don’t have such good luck.
Even if your interviewer seems nice, don’t play around when it comes to this. Suggest a decent, fair number, without flying too high into the clouds. They’ll appreciate it and keep it in mind when they’re comparing you to all the other hopefuls.
Trick questions are a nightmare for job seekers. The best thing you can do is keep calm and peaceful. There’s no need to get nervous. Of course, that’s why we’ll always recommend that you have your answers ready beforehand.
Be honest, clear, and brief when you answer these questions, and never let any arrogance out. There’s virtue in being concise, and it can help keep you from sharing some embarrassing part of your life you’re not too proud of. If you follow our advice, there’s absolutely no doubt you’ll get your dream job!