Be afraid…very afraid…of some of the interview answers that recruiters hear day in and day out.
The team at Clarity is here to warn you of spooky answers to never give in an interview and tips to nail it:
What did you least enjoy about your most recent role?
Spooky answer: “I hated my last position, my boss was a jerk, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there!”
Tips: I’m sure many of you actually did hate your last job, but it’s not classy to speak poorly of an former employer and also instills fear in the recruiter that you would do the same to them in the future. No employer wants their company to have a bad name. If you hated your last job, here are smarter ways to answer the question:
- “There wasn’t a desirable growth opportunity for me there”
- “While I appreciate all that I have learned there, I’m ready for my next challenge”
Why did you apply for this job at our company?
Spooky answer: “I’m applying like crazy and need a job so I figured I would apply”
Tips: No recruiter or hiring manager wants to hear that! They want to hear genuine passion for their company. Companies want people who stand behind what they do and what they stand for, they don’t want to be made to feel like just another number or application in a search. To avoid this frightful response, only apply for jobs you are genuinely interested in. Once you get the interview, research the company, your interviewer, recent news, case studies, and anything you can get your hands on. A great comprehensive resource for company research is Crunchbase. It’s also great to check out employee reviews on Glassdoor to start up a conversation on company culture. If you are applying like crazy, but excited about the opportunity at hand, here are a few ideas on how to answer this question:
- “I love that you stand for ABC and I’m looking to bring my skill set in XYZ to your company to further help spread your mission and initiatives” (*response dependent on role/candidate)
- “This role is a great fit for what I’ve always been interested in throughout my career. It offers ABC and I can offer XYZ.”
What is a weakness of yours?
Spooky answer: “I can’t think of any” or “I’m a perfectionist”
Tips: No one is perfect and if you think you are, that’s your imperfection right there! While we hate this question since the point of an interview is to get to know someone to decide if they are a fit. Who wants to incriminate themselves in a conversation where they are supposed to be showcasing their best work? It’s a crime! At the same time, the interview process is only effective if you are genuine, you don’t need to share every detail, but be honest with your interviewer and yourself, if you don’t get the job, then it probably wasn’t meant to be anyways. Answer this question in a way where it shows you are self aware, but also working on solutions to improve, or maybe present how your strengths and weaknesses connect where it balances itself out. Some examples of good responses are as follows:
- “My greatest strength is my ability to think on my feet. I am very flexible in my approach to my sales, and am able to work with many different kinds of customers at once. My weakness is that sometimes I don’t plan things out as well as I should, and end up reacting to things as they come up.”
- “I suffer a bit from the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” mentality, and have sometimes found it hard to delegate or let others help me on projects. But of course, doing everything yourself is often overwhelming and frustrating. I’ve learned that dividing up tasks, setting up check-in times, and working as a team can result in great outcomes (and less late nights).”
What questions do you have for me?
Spooky answer: “I don’t have any” or “You answered them all”
Tips: This is the most ghastly answer ever and could cost you the job! If you are truly interested, you will have questions. Think about it! If you were offered the job and accepted, you are making a huge life change. Especially if you are currently in a good job. If you are going to leave a good thing, you should know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you will need answered in order to make your decision. This is a two way street, both parties have to want each other. We recommend having some questions prepared prior to the interview to make sure you don’t miss anything and also demonstrate you have done your research. There should also be questions that come up for you while in the interview that you should ask to show you are listening and interested. Aim to ask open ended questions versus yes/no questions to get the interviewer talking and get more info. While every interview will warrant tailored questions, here are some general questions you should get answers to, grouped in categories:
- Role expectations:
- “What are you looking for in this person who takes this role?”
- “What is the typical day to day like?”
- “What are the challenges in this role?”
- “What are your goals for this role and your team and how does it fit within the goals of the company?”
- Company culture:
- “What is the company culture like here?”
- “What drew you to come work at this company?”
- “What’s the best part of working at this company?”
- Next steps
- “What are the next steps in this process?”
We hope we didn’t scare you too much with these haunting responses to interview questions! If you are searching for a new job and interested in getting the personalized attention you deserve from a Clarity recruiter, apply to work with us on your search: http://cleartechrecruiting.com/submit-your-resume/. Happy job hunting and Happy Halloween from the Clarity team!