Approach your interview with a serious demeanor by silencing your inner sarcastic demon
Humor is an excellent way to lighten the mood of a room and diffuse tension, and sometimes job interviewers interject humorous questions into an interview to create a lighter atmosphere and help relax job seekers. A candidate who isn't on-edge often can answer questions more thoroughly and thoughtfully, and therein could lie the reasoning behind who is hired and who isn't.
While it is sometimes easier to write a stunning cover letter and sparkling resume, acing an in-person interview can be an entirely different process. Job interviewers and hiring managers ask many standard questions during the interview process, and sometimes they might throw in a curve ball in order to relax job seekers and to gauge how tightly wound a candidate is. If an interviewer throws you a fat pitch, don't shy away from the plate. Hit it back over the fence. Other times during the entry level interview, managers ask questions that seem quite foolish, prompting interviewees to inwardly grown.
"Really, you want to know what kind of Star Wars character I would be?"
Following are responses to five interview questions and the sometimes less-than thoughtful responses that a candidate might want to say.
Keep your true thoughts to yourself
- One of the oldest and most straightforward interview questions is: "Why are you interested in this position?" What job seekers should say is something like: "Because it's a great fit for my skill set, and offers the chance for me to advance my career. What you would like to say is: "Because I need the money, stupid! My employment benefits were just cut off!"
- Describe to me your ideal job - another simple, straightforward question. Your mental response: "Well, it would pay a heck of a lot more than this one, and also give me six weeks of vacation."
- Why did you leave your previous position? The truth might be: "I couldn't stand my old boss; I was dating a co-worker and we broke up; I was fired for stealing."
- Do you have any questions about this job? Inward answers include: "How many hot guys/girls work here? Why is the starting salary so low? Do you have a problem with me coming in late every day?"
- What motivates you? What you'd like to say: "I have high credit card debt, a fat mortgage, two new cars and three kids at home."
Other truths to avoid
Careerbuilder and CNN published a list of real-world responses to some pretty simple interview questions. Here's what NOT to say:
- Question: Why did you leave your last position?. Response: I had a problem with authority.
- Question: Why should we hire you? Answer: I would be a great asset to the events team because I party all the time.
- Do you have any questions about this position? How big are the bonuses when you make sales associate? I hear it's some serious cash. Or: When you do background checks, do arrests for public drunkenness appear?
- Why do you want to work for this company? My old boss didn't like me, so one day I just left and never returned.
- What are your weaknesses? I get angry easily and I went to jail for domestic violence. Or: I'm not a really big learner. I'd much rather work at a place where the job is really stagnant.
Avoid cynical or humorous responses during an interview because you never know how your interviewee will interpret them. Answer questions appropriately and with enough information that the interviewee can learn something about you.