Monday, June 2, 2014

Can You Answer These 4 Trick Interview Questions?

I found the following article on I found it to be very interesting. While I can't say that I've been tripped up in any interviews, this is could happen to anybody. The question would YOU handle it???

1. About the Company:
What Is the Worst Thing You’ve Heard About This Company?

This interview question is used to shock the applicant, testing their composure and ability to think on their feet. You shouldn’t say anything too negative, because this may offend the interviewer and they could question why you would be applying to the company if you’ve heard such negative reports about it.

In a similar manner to how you would answer questions about any of your own shortcomings, frame your reply in positive terms. This is a chance to show that you’ve done your research. Pick out a recent problem that has been in the news and advertise yourself and your qualities as part of the solution:

The most negative news I have heard regarding JPMorgan Chase was the charge of misleading investors during the housing crisis — selling low-quality mortgage-backed securities to investors who were unaware that the securities often contained faulty mortgage products. However, what followed wasn’t negative at all; in fact, it was good and encouraging to see how the problem was faced head-on, even with a record $13 billion settlement with U.S. authorities.

After acknowledging that serious misrepresentations were made to the public, now many investors seem to think the bank will emerge relatively unscathed from the fines, with the share price bumping up against a 10-year high. I think shareholders have responded positively to the resolution of some of the uncertainty around the company.

2. About You:
What Can You Do for Us That Someone Else Can’t Do?

This can be tricky, because you don’t know what other candidates have applied for the job. The key here is to really sell yourself and give an account of the attributes/experiences that make you stand out:

I can offer unbeatable enthusiasm, an excellent knowledge of criminal law as well as recent issues that have come up in the press, and I have great communication skills, demonstrated by my role as Communications Editor for the student newspaper. On top of this, what really sets me apart from other candidates is my strong ethical code and my desire to help others.

Throughout my time at college, I volunteered at local charities and also helped to set up a social enterprise society that now advises and helps struggling local businesses. My tireless devotion both to my work and to those around me tends to make me a more useful team player than my peers; it is this that can set me apart from the other candidates you have and will interview.

3. About Your Work:
Have You Already Done the Best You Are Capable Of?

This can be a double-edged sword and shows why one-word answers are a definite no!

If you say no, they might ask why you don’t think you’ve been doing your best work. Have you been lazy? Complacent? If so, why should they hire you? On the contrary, to say yes would be to admit your best work is behind. Why would a company hire someone who believes they have already peaked?

The trick is to say yes and no, while also saying neither. This sounds like a confused oxymoron, but it can make sense. You need to show confidence in regards to any past work, but believe that your best work is ahead of you. You need to be modest but confident and see the position you’re applying for — and the coworkers — as a positive way achieve more:

I would say that I always do the best work I can at any given time. In my past work, it’s true to say that I did the best I was capable of, running the business team of a social enterprise society during my final year of college while also working on group projects and my personal dissertation. It meant a few sleepless nights approaching deadline week, but it resulted in the society turning a profit for the first time in several years, as well as receiving top honors for my dissertation.

However, I believe that I can achieve even better work in the future, especially in this position. With the opportunity to learn from the other team members, as well as the on-the-job training I believe you provide, I expect to excel to new heights while working in these surroundings.

4. About the Interview:
How Would You React if I Told You Your Interview So Far Was Terrible?

This is a test to see how well the candidate can maintain their composure. The interviewer is looking for the candidate’s ability to think on their feet and whether they can respond articulately under pressure. In this situation, you should be diplomatic and notice that the interviewer used the word “if”:

I have to admit, I would be somewhat disappointed, especially as I believe that I’ve answered your questions rather well and have shown why I would excel in the position. However, I would take this as a challenge. I would try to establish in what ways I had failed to meet your expectations, before spending the remainder of the interview proving to you that I am indeed the perfect candidate.

I have every confidence that I suit the role perfectly and I believe that I can show you why, if you could tell me how I have let myself down so far.

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