A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine described “The 25 Trickiest Questions Apple Will Ask in a Job Interview.” And we would have to agree: These might be some of the worst interview questions we’d ever fear to face. How many children are born every day? Um…a lot? May I Google that?
But hey, a global supply manager candidate might know how to answer that! Which just goes to show you that the worst interview questions aren’t necessarily the oddest, but rather the ones that you’re not prepared to answer.
Interviewing isn’t something that most of us do a lot, if we’re lucky. (Unless you work in HR.) So how do you become good at answering questions about your best day of the past four years, your most humbling experience or what brings you down?
You research. Run a search on “worst interview questions.” You’ll find all kinds of eyebrow-raising queries posed by interviewers. Spend some time thinking through how you might answer each. Go ahead and jot down potential responses—this will help you solidify your thoughts.
You answer honestly. One of the first rules of interviewing (and of life): Never, ever lie. Find a way to respond with honesty, even if the interviewer asks about the very worst thing you’ve ever done in your life. There’s always a way to find a silver lining and a positive result. If you’ve looked and looked and all the linings only look gray, give us a ring. We’re very good at working with silver.
You learn to pause. When we’re nervous, we tend to act in haste. It’s natural to want to instantly fill that quiet space after an interviewer asks a question with a whiz-bang answer. But if you’re facing one of the worst interview questions ever, give yourself a few silent moments to ponder and compose a solid answer. Jabbering about the first thing that comes to mind is much less effective than taking a moment and then providing a relevant reply. In fact, your potential employer may appreciate a person who thinks before acting.
You practice. Practice makes perfect! At Merrfeld, we specialize in helping job seekers answer the worst interview questions. Not only can we help you identify the tough queries that you might face, but we also can help you with strategies to successfully create that pause that allows you to consider a response.
Perhaps most importantly, we can offer you real-tlme experience with the ebb and flow of an interview. We’ll run through those tricky questions with you until you’re comfortable with the process. And we’ll give you guidance on your answers. How do you address a question about the skills you think you’re lacking or why you’ve been out of the workforce? Online experts might provide some generic responses, but at Merrfeld, we can help you craft replies that speak to your specific situation—answers that sound like you. A confident, prepared you.
The worst interview questions can be fairly bloodcurdling. But even if you’ve never thought about what kind of cereal you would be and why, with some forethought and practice, you can respond honestly and with ease.
Photo by mapichai, freedigitalphotos.net