Some questions that employers ask in the job interview may appear pretty straight forward. However, answering these job interview questions, sometimes called “trick questions” can reveal more than the job seeker really wants to share. These three tricky job interview questions are used by employers all the time. See possible translations behind them and answers that work.
Interview Question #1 – Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Translation for this trick interview question – How long do you plan to stay with our company?
This interview question, This job interview question, designed to see what your intentions are, sounds simple enough. Many job seekers immediately respond to this trick question by speaking to aspirations having nothing to do with the company for which they are interviewing. Companies are waiting to see if the job seeker is serious about the opportunity or if the job seeker is looking to fill a gap or find a stepping stone. Job seekers who say things like, “I plan to be in Law school in five years,” or “I want to own my own business,” don’t score points with the interviewer. To answer this type of trick interview question speak to growth with the company, learning and additional responsibilities. It might sound cliché, but companies want to know job applicants have plans that include them. It is a good place to show off company research about new markets, new products or a division where you aspire to work.
Interview Question #2 – What kind of work environment is best for you?
Translations for this trick interview question – Will you fit in here? Did you do any research?
This job interview question is really asked to get a sense of your organizational fit and whether any company or industry research was done to know the type of employee the organization seeks. Answers will show a match between what the job seeker considers a productive environment and what is typical for that company or industry. For example, if an applicant is interviewing at Zappos, the large online shoe retailer and responds to this interview question by saying they need quiet, calm work place to be productive, they might not be a good fit for the Zappos work culture. If the job seeker had Googled “What’s it like to work at Zappos” they would know what the Zappos workplace is like. Research the company or the industry, to know their work environment before the job interview.
3. How do you handle criticism at work? Give us a specific example?
Translations for this trick interview question – Has your work been criticized? What quality work should we expect? Are you a team player?
This trick job interview question is a minefield. Employers watch body language to see how applicants even react to the word “criticism”. To answer, it is best to not speak about being personally criticized or work product being criticized. It is more appropriate to speak about ideas that may have been shared which improved from input. If a job applicant starts to discuss how someone criticized their work, the interviewer could wonder about work quality. It is much better to speak about ideas or concepts being refined or getting feedback from team members to improve outcomes.
3 Steps to do Company Research