Would you ever sleep with a colleague

The 12 nastiest application questions

Job interview: the 12 nastiest questions and the best answers

The worst interview questions that recruiters have come up with. And how to answer them correctly.

1. How do you feel about being criticized?

2. What is your biggest mistake - and what did you learn from it?

3. When was the last time you disregarded a rule or rule and why?

4. What added value would your attitude bring to our company?

5. Which three positive character traits are you missing?

6. Which books have influenced your career the most?

7. How do I get through to you as an interviewer?

8. What role does money play for you?

9. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

10. Do you have a quirk?

11. You seem too inexperienced for this job, don't you think?

12. What did you do between… and…? (Gap in resume)

 

HR managers are specifically trained for job interviews. You will learn to ask questions in order to get to know the applicant and to determine how well he / she corresponds to the requirement profile and fits the company.

The personnel officers also learn techniques to lure applicants out of their reserves, to irritate them with so-called stress and tricky questions - even to provoke them. We give you examples of the most sensitive questions and valuable recommendations for answering them.


Concrete tips for preparation


When answering all questions, the following applies: keep calm, take a short breath and think about your preparation. The more unpleasant or even very delicate questions of the interviewer are not primarily about putting your answer on the scales in terms of content. Rather, the HR manager wants to determine your ability to stress and, so to speak, test your "pain threshold". For this reason, it is beneficial to be a little prepared so that you do not feel caught off guard by the questions. It helps to think about what exactly the question is aiming at and what exactly the recruiter is trying to achieve with it.

 


1. How do you feel about being criticized?


A wrong answer would be: "I don't mind at all". They wouldn't be taken from you anyway.

Depending on the point of criticism, it gets down to business, the criticized usually feels attacked. When answering this question, do not even address the private sphere, but assume that it relates to the professional environment.
 
Explain that constructive criticism can only be useful if "it is also a little uncomfortable at times". With this you convey that you want to react "like a person" but that you want to accept the criticism positively.

↑ to the top

 

2. What is your biggest mistake - and what did you learn from it?


Attention! Here they want to lead you on the black ice. First of all, you should make it clear to yourself that too much honesty might not be productive. Nevertheless, the same applies here: Lies are taboo.

Think in advance what you could cite as a "mistake". However, your interviewer will not be satisfied with "anecdotes" such as a bad purchase or a failed vacation planning. The HR manager expects an answer here that tells him whether you are capable of self-assessment and self-criticism and how you will react to this question. Also, do not name any incident that could be repeated so that the "mistake" could make you again.

What you definitely shouldn't do: Blame others for the mistake made, that doesn't go down well, even if your boss or your colleague bears partial responsibility for this mistake. It is important to show that you stand by your mistakes and take responsibility.
 
Conclude your answer to this question with the positive outlook that you have learned from the matter described (explain if possible!).

↑ to the top

 

3. When was the last time you disregarded a rule or rule and why?


Here, too, the HR manager doesn't want to know whether you ran across the street three days ago when it was red. At best, you could bring this up with a smart smile to buy some time.

The interviewer wants to find out whether you frequently break company rules, that is, whether you disregard regulations without hesitation, or whether you have acted against the rule in a certain situation, but nevertheless decided carefully, precisely because this one situation is so has required. So the point is to determine if you are able to weigh up.

When answering, however, caution is advised: You are not allowed either as a loner ("I basically do what I want") or as a troublemaker ("my previous boss has repeatedly said that I should stick to the rules") nor as an apostle of the blind obedience ("where are you thinking, I always obey the rules") appear. The art is to find a healthy mediocrity here.

↑ to the top
 


4. What added value would your attitude bring to our company?

 

A popular question from HR managers that shouldn't worry you. You can prepare for this in a targeted manner by carefully analyzing the profile of the position in advance and identifying the plus points on your competency account that go with it. Also list characteristics such as your reliability and / or your high level of motivation and best underscore them with concrete examples.

Mention that you can identify well with the company philosophy and that you are very excited about the job. You are also welcome to address the emotional level. For example: "I am convinced that I would feel very comfortable in this company".

↑ to the top

 

5. Which three positive character traits are you missing?


This question shouldn't make your forehead sweat, because you can easily prepare for it. In advance, reflect on what you could say here and underline that, in your opinion, it is about characteristics that are insufficiently developed in you and therefore expandable.

For example: You may be too conscientious and check things out several times before submitting a work product. However, let it be seen that this is due to your striving to do a good job - and not a lack of professional competence, but you still see potential to trust a little more in your work.

Mentioning a characteristic that the HR manager may have already noted down in the interview can also be helpful. Example: You may have difficulties selling yourself really well, as your competence profile and your previous professional successes actually require.

↑ to the top

 

6. Which books have influenced your career the most?


The modification of the sentence "tell me what you read and I will tell you who you are" - an exciting question!

The answer would be very bad: "I can't think of anything, I have no time to read" or "I only read comics".

If you really don't read books or only rarely read them, you could switch to the Internet and rely on news platforms. Otherwise, caution is advised with regard to political and other sensitive topics or controversial names of the writing guild. And of course it doesn't make sense to name the current number 1 on the bestseller list if you haven't read the work. The shot could go backwards.

Be careful with books that are written on the assembly line by self-appointed management gurus or "lifeguards", for example. You don't know what the interviewer thinks about it.

↑ to the top

 

7. How do I get through to you as an interviewer?


This particularly tricky question is a real trap. In no case start to praise the interviewer about the green clover or to confirm to him that you "actually felt very comfortable ...". Even if the HR manager makes the most sincere impression and asks you for constructive criticism: keep your hands off it.

It is more effective to go to the meta level and to say with a nice smile: "That sounds almost like a trick question. Can we go back to the task description? I have one more point ...".

↑ to the top

 

8. What role does money play for you?


From "money is totally unimportant to me" to "it doesn't matter much to me" everything is wrong. If this were actually your honest answer, you would have to put up with the counter-question, why you want to work at all or have applied, and possibly accept a starvation wage.

Rather, you should confidently explain that good performance should also be duly rewarded. After all, the company also wants to make a profit, the same applies to you: You want to maintain your standard of living, feed your family, finance a roof over your head, etc. But please: Your tone should not sound provocative, but rather friendly and calm.

↑ to the top

 

9. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?


If you proposed to your boyfriend or girlfriend at midnight on the roof of a skyscraper in Hong Kong, kidnapped your terminally ill boyfriend from the hospital overnight and gave him an unforgettable evening, bought your sister a wickedly expensive handbag as a consolation after her divorce have - then you can talk about it.

You should be more reluctant to tell stories of crazy professional decisions that you made in your last company, for example, especially if your endeavor went wrong.
The background to the question is to find out how creative you are and whether you can also go unconventional ways.

↑ to the top

 

10. Do you have a quirk?


First of all, the question arises what your interlocutor understands by this, because there are enough synonymous words for this. In this respect, you could first gain time and ask him what he means by that.

A quirk is a peculiarity, peculiarity, peculiarity, fixed idea, fluff, strange habit ... So be careful when answering.

Nocturnal sleepwalking, penetrating ears rubbing or "pulling up your nose" in stressful situations, curling hair when you are bored, excessive hand washing and similar "quirks" should be kept to yourself (and exercised as quickly as possible).

But there are certainly small peculiarities that can be very pleasant, for example that you always have your lucky charm with you or that you usually buy a lottery ticket on Friday the 13th.

↑ to the top

 

11. You seem too inexperienced for this job, don't you think?


Now it is important to convince the interviewer that he is wrong, because precisely because you may have little experience (do not repeat the word "inexperienced" he used), you are able to bring a breath of fresh air into the task and to face the challenges in an unconventional way.

Be self-confident (as always with measure and goal) and mention the plus points on your competence account.

↑ to the top

12. What did you do between… and…?


The recruiter will speak to you directly about a gap in your résumé: stay calm and friendly. If that bothered him, he wouldn't have invited you for a chat.

Filling the absenteeism in your own résumé with small cheats or lies is not a good solution, because sooner or later the hoax will be exposed. You should also keep quiet about the "Null Bock" version. It is more expedient to explain the missing time periods positively.

Examples: Avoid the word "unemployed", rather say "looking for a job". If the time without employment was longer, it is certainly useful to explain that you used the time to deepen your knowledge of foreign languages ​​or computers, for example.

A longer stay abroad is also rated positively because it brings additional experience for life. The indication of parental or care periods in the family circle is now booked as a plus point. And finally, nowadays "times of reorientation" are no longer viewed with suspicion, but rather as a valuable experience.

 

General tips 


In some cases a pinch of humor is by no means out of place, at least you can gain some time with one or the other question.

Example:

Question: "What are your weaknesses?"

Answer: "Weaknesses? How much time do I have?"

However, you should not exaggerate with this and when using humor you should always smile in a friendly but not provocative manner and quickly go back to answering the question with seriousness.

Pure provocation

Questions that fall into the "pure provocation" category should first be confidently questioned: "Do you mean this question seriously?".
If the recruiter answers "yes", ask yourself if you really want to work for a company that has such hiring practices.

Examples:

  • Do you really think you can score points with your outfit?
  • Don't you think that shedding a few pounds would be healthier?
  • What did you think of this hairstyle?
  • Why are you late? (and you are on time)

You don't have to answer these and similar questions. You don't have to put up with insulting comments that are more reminiscent of dubious casting shows.

 

Preparation is the be-all and end-all

In stressful situations it is even more difficult to react to the unexpected. All the better if you prepare. Can you use more tips for your job interview? Sign up for Monster for free. As a member, you will receive exciting content and valuable tips on the subject of job searches, applications and interviews via email - so that you are well informed and prepared for your next steps. You can also set up a job agent at any time so that the right jobs land directly in your e-mail inbox. And the best thing against nervousness is still: practice, practice, practice!

 

 


Giselle Chaumien-Wetterauer

worked as a department head in industry for almost three decades, including in language services and communication, before she started her own business. Today she advises companies on communication issues, works as a freelance author and specialist translator, and supports young people in setting up their own businesses.

www.gcw-communications.com