10 Tricky Interview Questions for the Job Seeker

Who knew prospective employers could have so many tricky interview questions up their sleeves? Author and Forbes columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy says that, in an effort to protect themselves and make a good hire, employers use interview questions designed to learn more about the real you. While your mutual goal is to find a good match, their questions may catch you off guard, and you may want to prepare yourself.

Here’s one example of a tricky question they may pose:

How did you prepare for this interview? The intention of this question is to decipher how much you really care about the job or if you’re simply going through the motions or winging it. Kennedy says the best way to answer is by saying, “I very much want this job, and of course researched it starting with the company website.” Beyond explaining how you’ve done your homework, show it. Reveal your knowledge of the industry, company or department by asking informed questions and commenting on recent developments.

Here are three others you should be prepared for, in one form or another:

Why have you been out of work so long, and how many others were laid off? The interviewer is trying to figure out if you’ve got a major flaw that your previous employer already discovered. The truth is, employers usually fight to retain people who are great employees. So the interviewer wants to determine if you were dumped because you were a B player. Your best response is not an emotional one but an indirect one. Say, “I’m not sure why. I gave more than was asked of me and was an excellent employee.”

If employed, how do you manage time for interviews?

What the interviewer is really trying to uncover is whether you’re lying to or cheating your employer by interviewing during work hours. After all, if you’re lying to your current boss, why wouldn’t you treat your new one just as dishonestly? Your best answer (and hopefully it’s true) is to say, “I’m using personal time, and I’m only interviewing for positions that are the right match. So hopefully you can schedule any follow-ups for outside of normal working hours.”

What bugs you about coworkers or bosses?

This invitation to bash your former bosses or coworkers is a trap! What the hiring manager is really wondering is whether you’ll have trouble working with others or drag down company morale. Rather than dwell on past problems, it’s best to present yourself as optimistic and action-oriented, says Kennedy. Demonstrate a positive outlook and self-control by complimenting your previous bosses and commending past coworkers. Being upbeat will show your emotional IQ and make you a more appealing candidate.

Also, be aware that many employers these days utilize behavioral interview questions. These often begin with, “Tell me about a time when…” The premise of behavioral interview questions is that a person’s past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. So if an employer can learn how you handled a certain situation in the past, they’ll have a good idea of how you’d behave if they were to hire you. To learn what kinds of behavioral interview questions you might be asked, click here.

When job searching, do be prepared to be asked tricky interview questions. But also understand that your future employer is trying to determine whether you’ll be a good fit for their organization. If you’re not, you don’t want the job either!

For all 10 questions, read the full article here.

Amtec actively serves customers all over the United States who seek top professionals with well-rounded skills. If we don’t have the most current version of your resume, please click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions.

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