Interviewers are rarely soft on potential candidates, especially if there are inconsistencies in the submitted application or they find someone particularly suited for the job placement. The most important aspect of answering questions during a job interview is not to stall out and simply answer with honesty, no matter how that might sound to the interviewer.
Some of the trickiest and most confusing questions usually come when you least expect them, and by the time the interview is over, you will be left dazed and confused as to what just happened. Luckily, it’s easy to narrow these questions down to a selected few that keeps repeating no matter who is interviewing you.
“Are you considering other job opportunities?”
Some interviewers like to ask candidates if they are considering any other job opportunities, often asking the candidates to name specific companies and positions. This is a very tricky situation to find yourself in if you are indeed waiting for an interview with a couple of more companies.
If you tell the interviewer that you are considering them, they might read this as a sign of your insecurity and unwillingness to dedicate yourself to their company. If however you tell them that this is the only opportunity you are considering at this time, it may tell them that you are lazy or unwilling to put the time into finding decent work. This is why this question is very tricky to answer most of the time and the answer is always determined by the interviewer’s attitude towards you.
“Do you check e-mail during vacation?”
Employers in large companies will rarely let you go on a vacation without checking your e-mail constantly. The fact of the matter is that employments like these do require constant involvement into everyday company activities, no matter where you are. Interviewers will likely ask you whether or not you check your e-mail during vacation periods because there are emergencies that pop up here and there and someone needs to take care of them.
Answering with a “No” is a very bad idea, no matter what position you are applying for. Answering with a “Yes” will require you to be good on your word and actually check the e-mail no matter if it’s a weekend or you are somewhere on the other side of the world with your family.
“What motivates and demotivates you?”
This question is tricky because it represents a one-two punch that takes you by surprise. What it means is that the interviewer will seemingly ask you about your personal and professional motivation, only to get to the point at hand. They will be far more interested in what demotivates you and may potentially hinder your productivity.
If you used a writing service for your application, you may remember writing about your motivation in your initial submission. However, being honest about what demotivates you and takes your energy away is very important. It’s often better to be rejected and look for work elsewhere than to become part of a company that will drain you on a daily basis.
“Do you learn from your mistakes?”
While the most important thing is not to stall out when you are asked a question, it goes double for this one. Learning from our mistakes is human nature, and people who fail to learn from them are most likely going to underperform. Interviewers like to ask this question nonchalantly as if it’s not important, but the truth is far from it.
If you answer with a “Yes” and give a bit of context as to why you do learn from mistakes you make, the interviewer will most likely be satisfied. However, if you stall out even for a few moments, they might register it as a sign of not learning from mistakes or trying to hide a mistake of your own. Be sure of yourself and answer truthfully, no matter what thoughts may be going trough your head.
“Why are you currently unemployed?”
Being asked about your current unemployment status might feel like a gut-punch for many people. It’s important to be professional and objective during the interview, no matter how uncomfortable you might feel about certain questions. However, some people find it very tricky to answer this question because not every candidate that walks through the door is a nice person with a family to feed.
Some people have been fired due to their insubordination while others quit because they couldn’t stand their colleagues. Find the middle ground and be honest as much as possible. If you really do have people at home that needs to be taken care of, explain your situation to the employer. They will add that to the list of your benefits since it would mean that you are willing to embrace your new job to its fullest.
“Describe your dream job.”
A trap that most people fall into is the one where they describe their dream jobs. What happens is that the interviewer starts gauging how realistic you are about your future employment and compares those traits to the ones they have in their company.
Be as realistic and grounded as possible, with an emphasis on professionalism and teamwork. Don’t “dream” of an office bar or a vegan restaurant just because it would suit your needs – think about the practicality of working a stable job. You are also welcome to describe ideal coworkers if the interviewer decides they want to hear what you have to say.
Interview questions are designed to be tricky because it’s the only way to flush out truthful answers. Many candidates go into job interviews prepared for standardized questions they saw online or heard about from a friend. Once the interviewer manages to destabilize your confidence, the real interview will begin. Be honest about your employment intentions and the right interviewer will react positively to it.