During my job search process, I felt I was asked a ridiculous number of annoying interview questions. I confess I was more prepared for the standard, or ‘cookie cutter’ types of questions, so I was definitely thrown for a loop on a couple of occasions. I thought it would be entertaining to blog about some of these irritating and crazy interview questions. So now you can be on the look out and properly prepared!
Tell me your biggest weakness.
Honestly, I don’t know how to answer this other than in a typical, vague way. My go-to was always discussing my lack of organization. It usually takes me a minute to find a file on my computer or the post-it note that I wrote my next ‘great idea’ on. I think this question is the top of my ‘annoying’ list because no one wants to look so ‘weak’ as to end up on the company’s ‘Do Not Hire’ list.
Why do you want to work here?
My bills need to be paid, to get out of my parent’s basement. I need to advance my career. Many people, at least nowadays, are job searching to put food on the table, not to follow their childhood dreams. So, I think many hiring managers can assume that you don’t want to work there for the free coffee and casual Fridays, you want to work there so you can find a stable income. However, I would recommend answering not-so truthfully and instead discuss the company’s amazing benefits and environment.
How have you handled a conflict between yourself and a co-worker in the past?
A friend of mine loves to ask this question to job candidates but I really don’t understand why. Once again, this is a cookie-cutter question. You will either get a very normal response or a very bizarre one – like he did. One of his candidates revealed: “I punched my co-worker in the face”. End of interview.
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years?
This one is awful! When I lived in Iowa, all I wanted was to move out of state, so that’s where I saw myself in 5, 10 or 15 years. I wouldn’t have looked like a very appealing employee had I revealed my desire to get out of Dodge.
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Why won’t I hire you?
Luckily, I was prepared for this because prior to my interview my Dad and I had discussed some of my ‘maybe’ flaws. “My self-confidence might be lacking,” I answered proudly about my so-called flaw. The interviewer rejected that reason stating I was confident and required me to list another one. I decided on “lack of experience in the industry”. This question is highly annoying because it makes the candidate think they aren’t getting hired, but also leaves a bad taste in their mouth. I did get the aforementioned job, but I still think about that sour interview experience.
Asking questions that are already on your resume
“Do you have an MBA?” “Yes, sir. It’s written on there”. Not only is this annoying, but I feel like it’s a slap in the face to your time and intelligence. Why did you take all this time to create this masterpiece of a resume, if hiring managers won’t even bother to read it?
On the flip side, if I am asked if I have an MBA when it is obviously NOT listed on my resume, I want to respond with: “Yes, I have an MBA and a Ph.D. but those are my secret degrees and I don’t want anyone to know about them”. A degree or other qualification is a huge accomplishment so I am going to show it off wherever I can, especially on a resume!
We asked our Facebook Fans, ‘What is the weirdest interview question you’ve ever been asked?’ and this is what you said:
“If we were both racing and you were quickly approaching me with the finish 300 yards away, would you try to pass me?”
In an interview, if I was asked this question, my answer would be “YES!”. During a race, everyone is trying to win, including me, regardless if my opponent is my boss and we are neck and neck. As Ricky Bobby would say, “If you’re not first, you’re last”.
“Have you ever pretended you were invisible and walked around like nobody else can see you?”
Huh?! This one is hilarious. How could you answer this question seriously? I guess I would answer: “No, but every year on my Christmas List to Santa I ask for an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter’s”.