Dispelling Bad Job Interview Advice, Part 3

Dispelling Bad Job Interview Advice, Part 3

Here’s the third installment of a series on how to approach questions in a job interview. You can find part 1 and part 2 here.


Question: What irritates you about co-workers?

Advice given: “Tell the panel that you can get along with any kind of co-workers by adjusting with them all the times by dealing with things quite softly.”

Problem with that advice: While being overly candid about every pet peeve you have will significantly hurt you, so will coming across as a shrinking violet who never takes on challenging issues. Plus, the reality is that it is impossible to get along with 100% of the people you meet 100% of the time. If you try to make such a claim, no one is going to believe you and it could hurt your credibility as a candidate.

What you should say: Really, what this question is getting at is your abilities with conflict management. Disagreements are unavoidable, but they aren’t necessarily bad. When dealt with appropriately, they can be a gateway to growth. Backing away every time the conversations get hard doesn’t do anyone any favors. In an interview, talk about how you are open to having discussions that present all the different perspectives so that the best conclusions can be reached, and then provide a brief example.


Question: When do you feel successful in this job?

Advice given: “You may answer as ‘When I qualitatively and quantitatively meet the targets set and go beyond that level to reach next high position in the company.'”

Problem with that advice: The suggestion provided above lacks substance, which is a sure way to have interviewers label you as someone who tries to evade questions.

What you should say: Be ready to share with the panel a couple concrete examples of your successes that also: embody values important to the company, stress the qualities that are talked about in the job posting, and/or hit on pain points. For example, if you are a supervisor, think about a time when you team pulled together to complete a project under a tight deadline. This demonstrates your leadership skills, the focus you place on meeting customer needs, and the value you place on encouraging your employees to success. Lots of substance there!


Question: What are your expectations from this job/company?

Advice given: “Speak out as if you are hired by the company. Answer that you like a bit of freedom rather than being restricted to carry out small things too.”

Problem with that advice: In the interview phase, the company is more concerned about what you can do for them. Talking about what you expect the company can do for you and putting limitations on what you are willing to do will make you come across as a high-maintenance diva who isn’t interested in doing what it takes to help the company succeed.

What you should say: A good answer could be along the lines of “In this role, I would expect to fully contribute my knowledge and skills to help the department and company achieve their respective goals, as well as completely satisfy our customers.” While you are acknowledging that you want to get professional fulfillment from the position, the fact that all your efforts would be in service to the company will make this a response that is received well.

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