Here is what you probably shouldn’t say to these interview questions. What are your thoughts on them?
Q: What kind of job are you looking for?
A: Anything. I’m open to any job.
Why this is bad:
1. I don’t believe you.
2. It’s not true. You’ll do anything hmm? Scrub toilets maybe? Customer Service Rep in a call center? No? I didn’t think so. When that question is asked, give a truthful answer. It is irritating to have to twist arms to get a real answer out of you.
3. If you don’t actually have an answer to that question then you need to sit down and figure this out prior to an interview. You look unprepared, aimless, and desperate otherwise. Not really the best image you want to present in an interview.
Q: What is your salary range?
A: I’m open.
Why this is bad: I know people say that the first person to put a number on the table is the one that loses and in some cases that is true. When you’re talking with a recruiter though we have to know this piece of information. It can be a broad range but at least give a range. I was once told by a candidate that made $75k in his last job that he was open to taking a job that paid $25k. At least that is what he told me until I dug deeper and found out that no, he really wouldn’t be able to take that big of a pay cut. Shocker.
**Disclaimer: I don’t often ask these questions for a variety of reasons but many hiring managers ask them every time so it’s worth discussing**
Q: What is your biggest weakness?
A1: I don’t have one.
A2: I’m a perfectionist.
A3: I take on too much.
Why this is bad: I think A1 is quite obvious on why that is the wrong answer so moving on… A2 – bad because that’s not really a weakness is it? Attention to detail, doing things right, blah blah blah. Yeah, you and everyone else is a perfectionist cupcake. I literally (not figuratively) roll my eyes when I hear that answer in an interview. Same goes for A3.
The interviewer is looking for an honest answer here. So give them one. Ask yourself what they are looking for in an answer. What we want to hear: describe a real weakness and how you either improved or what you are currently doing to overcome it.
Q: When was the last time you were mad at someone?
A: My manager at my last job was terrible at XYZ and I always made me so angry and frustrated.
Why this is bad: Do I really have to tell you why this is bad? Ok, it’s bad because you just blamed your anger issues on your manager. And who are you telling this to? Your possible future manager.
Again, you have to ask yourself why they are asking you this question – what are they looking for in an answer? They want to see that you don’t just bring problems to the table with no solutions. They are looking for a strategic thinker – someone who can calmly and rationally find the solution to a problem and not someone who just walks away from a situation or just blows up.
Think about the last time you went to a meeting and for a solid hour everyone just complained and pointed out problem after problem… with no solution. No one wants to hire more of those people.
What questions have you encountered in an interview that threw you? What answers have you given to these questions?