The 4 Trick Questions In Every Job Interview
Why do they ask questions in a job interview?
On the surface, the answer seems simple: because the interviewer wants to know more about you, right? The company wants to know about your background, your experience, your thought processes—and the way you handle the pressure. But not all interview questions are designed for your success. Some questions are designed to disqualify the unqualified. And if you aren’t skilled in the art of conversation, you’re immediately at a disadvantage. Because in the job interview process, whoever tells the best story wins. Here’s how to make sure you see a trick question when it shows up – and what you can do to make sure you don’t give the wrong answer – when the stakes are high.
1-“So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
This question seems simple but actually this is where the trap is. The recruiter asks you this question to test you and not to learn more about you. This question should not be answered by your years of studies or by your musical preferences. Shocking isn’t it. If you already did it during an interview, it’s ok, but you are not going to do the same again.
Actually the real question is what you as a person can do for the company? You didn’t see this one coming right. So no talking about how you’re graduated school and your last work experience.
Make sure you can connect your history to the company expectations.
Be sure to connect your story to that of the person in front of you, the recruiter. But also to that of the company you have to put yourself forward. If you manage to do that, it is certain that you will not fall into the trap of the recruiter. And will distinguish yourself from other candidates easily. Do not stress in advance and try to answer this question as simply and clearly as possible.
2-“What Can You Tell Me About Your Former Boss?”
When you talk and especially about your former boss, the recruiter can find a lot of revving information about you and on what you will tolerate and won’t. And again a trap awaits you at the end of this question because describing her favorite boss is easy but usually, it also triggers the second question that she is “Tell me a little about your worst boss? Easy you want to say because incompetent bosses you’ve had. But the trap is that when you’re going to denigrate your former boss the recruiter will actually see your values in the job, what you expect from a boss but also what kind of employee you are. And in the end, the only one who gets dragged through the mud is you. The only solution here is to explain clearly how you want to serve your next boss.
3“What is your greatest weakness?” Looks like this trick question is trying to get you to admit your faults and flaws, right? But actually that’s how the trick works. There’s a question behind the question—and you have to see that question if you’re going to answer in a way that serves you best. The question behind “What’s your greatest weakness?” is really: how self-aware are you? Once I was working with a client on his elevator pitch (a short introduction to a person, product or idea). He started off with, “I’m nine shades of awesome. Which color do you want first?” Everything has a front and a back. Every person has strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t admit that you’re not nine shades of awesome, that might be your biggest weakness right there.
4“Our policy on X is Y. How do you feel about that?” The trap in this trick question is incomplete information. If they really want to trip you up, they’ll ask you what you would change about the policy. Uh oh. If you rush in to answer immediately, you will be reminded of who rushes in: fools. Fools rush in. Do you fully understand the policy and the potential impact? If you are presented with incomplete information, the trick is for you to remember to ask questions before you give your answers. Otherwise, you’ll answer a question that no one has asked—because you don’t know the full story! Get curious and do a little detective work; that way you won’t get tricked or trapped.
Remember, the job interview isn’t an interrogation. It’s a conversation. These trick questions aren’t designed to trip you up, but if you don’t look at the question behind the question you’ll stumble nonetheless. Concentrate on how your background can serve your next employer and don’t waste time trashing the personality differences between you and your bad boss. These kinds of questions give you a chance to demonstrate your work ethic, integrity, and personal style—phrased in terms of your next opportunity. Share that story in a way that’s authentic and compelling, and you’ve mastered every trick in the book.