Brought to you by… Interview with a Vampire 🧛♂️ (We’re not only terrifyingly great at job searching advice, we know how to use a good pun too!)
Here are some tips on what we know are some of the most unnerving interview questions.
What is your biggest weakness?
A killer of a question! But don’t be too scared of this one. If you can identify what you lack in, AND be open to improve then you should smash this question without a doubt. Admitting you need training or practice in an area shows you are open and flexible.
You can also mention you’d be willing to take a course or training sessions offered if the job ever required this. But remember – make sure your chosen weakness is not an essential requirement of the role you are applying for!
Weaknesses could be chosen from these categories:
- Hard skills – job specific skills
- Soft skills – personality and self organisation
- Interpersonal skills – relating to others in work, communicating
- Work ethic – how you work, motivation
Whatever you do, don’t say “I have no weaknesses” – have something at the ready. This will really help with interview nerves too, since you know you are organised if this question pops up!
What salary do you think you deserve? …
This one can make job seekers squirm with dread! If you handle it the right way, this can set you apart from other candidates and show professionalism.
You could offer a broad answer and say you would expect a salary commensurate with your skills and experience. Refer to the job description to give context to your answer – this will really get you noticed.
If there’s a salary scale, be precise and give a figure, along with your reasoning eg current salary.
If you are open to negotiate, say you are flexible but state within what range. You don’t want a trick or treat situation!
Why should I hire you? …
This is where you should be laser focussed in your answer. It can be easy to list your main strengths, and be generic about being motivated and a team player – but get down to the bare bones in your answer!
- What exactly can you offer the job relating to the job description and/or person spec
- Prepare an answer from the job description and suggest how you could improve or excel in this area. The interviewers are much more likely to take note of this.
- Candidates can forget about the culture of an organisation and how they would fit in. If the company aligns with your values, personality, way of working then tell them this. (But probably best avoid saying things like free parking! Do they develop staff? Have a team culture? Champion their team wins on social media?
- If you are feeling super-confident, you could ask if there are any areas that need improvement in the role, then relate to how you have helped in that situation before. We know – spine chillingly good!
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What didn’t you like about your last job? …
Another terrifying question! The key to this question is to keep it professional, be honest and relate it to why you have applied for a new role.
Be prepared for this question, by thinking over your current role and focus on the negative points about the work, management and team, or career goals and your progression.
Relate your information to the job description and explain how this will benefit you and the company in terms of what you can bring to the role and workplace.
If you are having an interview for a major change eg from one industry to another, include the reasons why in terms of your personality, skills, goals and so on.
You might like to relay a horror story or two in gory detail, but it’s best to keep any “skeletons in the closet” so to speak!
Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
If only we had a crystal ball! This question takes our number one gruesome spot in our countdown. But we know some hocus pocus to help smash this question out of the graveyard…
Tailor it to the job description and/or person spec for the job you are interviewing for. A generic answer like “as a manager” could come across as unplanned and doesn’t give the interviewers much to go on.
Before your interview/s do a brain-storm and write down your goals and plans. (Even better get in touch with us for hair-raisingly good support in securing a job!)
Think about how these goals relate to the job and show the interviewers you would be there for the long term – not just drifting along until something better appears.
Talk about the skills and experiences you wish to gain – and the impacts you want to make on your journey.
Demon answers: “Not here” “Doing your job” or the ghostly… “I don’t know” … 👻
What are your least favourite interview questions?