Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tough Interview Questions

Having recently gone through a few job interviews, and still feeling slightly traumatized, I have come to realize that the interview themselves are ok, the anticipation and sand-bagging is the worse. Going through book after book on interview techniques or reading through material sent to you by a recruitment agency, you will always find the same questions…

- Tell me about yourself
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What can you do for us that someone else can't? / Why should we hire YOU?
- Why are you leaving your present job?
- How would you evaluate your present organization / boss?
- If I spoke with your previous boss / your best friend / your colleague, what would he or she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you resolve conflict?
- What are your strong / weak points?
- Some stuff about team management etc…
Or even sometimes, you are told you can expect something like this:

Those questions are the worse and I find are usually asked by the HR person, not the hiring manager. The hiring manager wants to know that you’re clever enough for the job, enthusiastic and not afraid to get your hands dirty, not trying to psycho-analyse you by asking you what your favourite book was. Cause of course in interview situations, your real favourite book is not your favourite book…

Anyway, I guess my point is that most people in fact do NOT ask you those kinds of questions. And it’s probably due to the fact that it has become very rehearsed and therefore fake. The applicant prepares those questions in advance and since he or she knows what to say and is regurgitating rather than giving an honest answer, what’s the point? Your real weakness is that you can’t help it, you can’t get up in the morning? Well, that’s not going to get you the job, is it? Now, your weakness is that you love getting involved and love a challenge, which some people might consider barging in but you like a job well done, you’re a perfectionist. That’s it… your weakness is that you’re a perfectionist. Only during interviews does this make any sense...

The key, I guess, is to have those answers ready just in case HR (wo)man is there but I have decided to no longer fret about those questions, relax, drink plenty of water and not forget to go to the bathroom before the interview and all will be fine!

PS: If you wanna check out Hans Bjordahl's newly launched website where is is showing some of his cartoons, please visit Beware: geek humour!! LOL

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