Receiving that ‘Congratulations…’ email after weeks of applications, interviews and stress can be a huge rush. You spring out of bed buzzing with energy, get to the office an hour…
At Tiger, we speak to jobseekers about their interview experiences on a daily basis. We’ve already covered the weirdest, most out-of-the-box style interview questions, but what about those that throw you for a loop? In celebration of Halloween, we’ve put together a list of the questions which often spook jobseekers. Whether you’re going for a receptionist job in London, or a senior management role, these questions may get the better of anybody!
What are your greatest strengths or weaknesses?
Possibly the most common question on our list, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to answer! You may get stuck because you don’t want to sound arrogant when pointing out your strengths, but you also don’t want to highlight any flaws! The interviewer wants you to answer honestly, but knowing the skills required for the role is important here. Chose one of these as a strength to highlight, and back it up with an example.
If you’re asked about your greatest weakness, don’t mention any of the required skills of the job! Choose something that won’t directly impact the role you’re interviewing for, and follow this up with the steps you’re taking to improve.
What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?
This question can be scary if the role you’re interviewing for isn’t particularly creative! In this sentence, ‘creative’ could be substituted for ‘logical’, ‘sensible’, or any other word which doesn’t relate directly to the role. While this may put you on the spot, try and keep the answer relevant to the workplace. This may be as simple as the last time you solved a problem by thinking about it in a creative way. If necessary, ask for a minute to think about what you want to say!
What’s a common misconception about you?
This can be a tricky question as you want to give the interviewer the impression you’re open and honest! However, interviewers ask this because they want to know that what they see in the interview is what they’ll see in the office! You should emphasise a misconception which wouldn’t affect you in a workplace environment. For example, you’re organised and like to plan your workday, however outside of work you love to be spontaneous.
If I called up your boss and asked them about you, what would they say?
Depending on the work situation you’re leaving, this may be a daunting question! Don’t panic – the interviewer wants to learn two things: how you assess yourself, and how you talk about your superiors. In short, don’t focus on your negative performance and don’t speak badly about your manager! Instead, use this question to reflect on a new skill you’ve recently acquired so you can talk about how your manager could say you’re open to learning and improving.
Tell me about a time you failed.
Employers want to know that their future employees can hold themselves accountable if they’re responsible for a mistake and want to learn from them. Tell a clear story of a time you made a small mistake, and finish by explaining what you’ve learnt from the experience. Don’t focus on an example which will make you look careless or one where you were responsible for a major disaster.
If you’re looking for more interview tips and tricks to land your dream role, Tiger publishes regular insights to help!