How to not answer classic questions in job interviews

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Business Magazine Fast Company asked recruiters the worst answers to common interview questions. Next time you interview for a role, make sure you don’t repeat any of these answers.

How Not To Answer: "Tell Me About Yourself”

For the most part, this classic question is a signal for the candidate to give an elevator pitch. What it’s not, however, is permission to narrate your life story. As it’s a very broad and open question, candidates are prone to ramble, resuming their resume.

Statements like “I am trying to find out what I really want to do and your position caught my attention” or “I’m not a very punctual person, so if you are looking for someone who will be here exactly at 8:30 a.m. every day, I’m probably not the right person” are also not advisable.


How Not To Answer: “Why Do You Want This Position?”

Stupid answers to this question include candidates admitting that they’ve been unable to get a job so far and they were desperate, or saying that they didn’t know much about what the job description involved. Do not say stuff like: “After I graduated, I decided to backpack around Europe for a couple of months. I was into month five when my parents called me up and told me I needed to get a job, so that is why I decided to call you.”

How Not To Answer: “Why Do You Want To Work For This Company?”

Many candidates fail by admitting that they do not know much about the company. Candidates trying to avoid answering by saying something along the lines of “I don’t know, you tell me why I should work for this company” were also common offenders. Often candidates mention money, perks, and media prestige as their main motivation, and not much else.

How Not To Answer: “Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?”

“I haven’t really thought that far”, is one of the worst answers according to HR professionals. Saying you want to “run this company or one like it,” is not a really a bad answer to this question, but when a candidate says their ultimate goal is to run their own company, it raises eyebrows: Is the candidate going to leave after 2 or 3 years?

How Not To Answer: “What’s Your Biggest Weakness?”

Candidates announcing that they have anger and temper issues raise red flags, but hiring professionals are truly annoyed by answers such as “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard.”

How Not To Answer: “Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”

Hiring managers and recruiters believe that one of the biggest job interview sins is not having questions at the end of it. You should have at least two to three queries for the person you are interviewing with. The consensus among hiring managers is that lack of questions translates to a lack of interest and commitment.

Read more on Fastcompany


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