As a potential candidate for a certain company, being called to an interview is already a huge step forward. This means you did good when you built your CV, your cover letter was convincing, your recommendations solid and whatever experience and talents your future employer “sensed” from your documents, they were pretty compelling, enough for the company to make the call and bring you in for questioning.
There is no recruitment website, no HR magazine and no head – hunter out there to not emphasize the importance of being prepared for the interview. You can find dozens of resources telling you everything you need to know about the way you should look, the attitude you should “wear”, the answers you should have ready, the interview mistakes to avoid and the questions you should ask your future boss. If you do your homework right, you should be ready, focused and win the game.
But we are going to talk today about some tricky interview questions you should see coming, as many HR specialists and many managers are also learning new things, just like you. And since we said earlier that the classic “where do you see yourself in 5 years from now” is no longer the right question to ask, let’s see what other smart and game changing tricky interview questions you should expect from smart employers.
What is your purpose in life?
This is not one of Google’s famous tricky interview questions, but it is tricky and here is why: it digs to the roots of who you are and what you want as a human and as a professional. The employer asking this question doesn’t want another zombie in a cubicle who comes to work to receive some money. And you are asked this one because you don’t expect it. So think about your purposes and your career plan, not in terms of the ideal job, but in terms of the main goals and motivations that drive you.
Solve this problem for me, please
This is not basically a trick interview question, but a short task you should be able to solve on the spot. Many recruiters and companies test for skills, not taking into account your past experience, but your potential. So you should expect to be experimented on: you may be asked to solve a decision making problem, very much similar to your future job’s requirements, an administrative or logistic situation, whatever are the tasks implied by the position you applied for. It also tests your reaction to stressful conditions and very short deadlines.
One of the most tricky interview questions ever: what are the things that drive you crazy at the workplace?
You don’t see this coming, even if it is a “weaknesses analyzer” questions, because you perhaps are used to the more common “what are your weakest points” or “what are your biggest fears related to this job”. But according to Mike Michalowicz, from Provendus Group, this one also aims to make you talk about your flaws. Of course, this question doesn’t have a right answer, or maybe has a politically correct one. But by trying to find out what drives you crazy at the work place means that your employers is truly concerned about his organizational environment and your abilities to handle conflicts, team work, different personalities, routines you may not be comfortable with, judgments you may pass onto your colleagues or the firm’s policies, and so on. Ponder carefully on the question and on the answer too, because it can be a deal breaker for most managers.
Which are the biggest morons you’ve had to deal with so far?
Laugh all you want, but this one is dead serious and goes even further that describing the ideal working environment that doesn’t drive you crazy. This one digs to the roots of your prejudice towards people, your rigid morals, your deep buried stereotypes; you view on team members, managers and co-workers. Of course, this is not about being right or wrong and managers know this, but it is one of those tricky interview questions that go beyond the classic interview drill you may be used to by now.
In a HR world where employee engagement and personnel turnover are the main issues to address and solve, it is plausible that the interviews will take also a different path and mean more than a manager listening candidates telling in more words what is already written in their CV’s. There are, of course, many other tricky interview questions you should see coming and get ready for and the wisest step is to get as much information possible about the company’s interviewing policies, other employees’ testimonials and opinions and recruiters’ advice when they say you should really be ready for an interview.