When Interviewers Call your Bluff and How to Answer
When you are getting ready for an interview for a new job, you want to be able to show the best version of you. You prepare by researching the company and rehearsing the ‘perfect’ answers to questions. However some of those answers may set you up for failure.
The interviewer can usually tell when a candidate is telling them what they think they want to hear, rather than telling them something that’s truthful and genuine. Thats why some interviews ask strange questions, to force you to come up with an answer on the spot. So they can see that you are really like and if you will be a good fit or not.
Here are some phrases that stick out:
“I’m a perfectionist” ( and other non answers)
When someone asks what your greatest weakness is, they don’t want to hear about how your are a ‘perfectionist’ or that you are “ too dedicated to work”. People will see straight through these answers and it tells them that you lack self-awareness of your weaknesses. You can use this questions as an opportunity to say how you have taken time to overcome or improve a skills that didn’t come naturally to you. Pick an example that wouldn’t be considered essential for the job you want.
“I get along with everyone”
Employers like to ask questions about behaviour to see how you would resolve a conflict or handle a confrontation. The idea is to have you draw on your past experiences to demonstrate you have the necessary skills, like conflict management, to do the job well. You can’t fudge your way around this question by saying you get on with everyone, the employer won’t buy it or worse think you intentionally avoid confrontation. You can use STAR to help answer the question. Talk about the situation, then the task, what actions you took and the end result.
“Ive Always Dreamed of Landing a Job like this”
When you are asked why you are interested in this position, they don’t want to hear this was the only interview I could get or that this was your dream role you always wanted. Focus on finding aspects of the opportunity that genuinely appeals to you and what you could do, like learn a new skill, gain experience in the industry or the company culture fits with your values.
“It was all me”
There are two qualities that employers hate, arrogance and dishonesty. While it can be tempting to say you have over achieved or take all the credit for a team project, it usually backfires. If you can’t provide in-depth details about the projects you are taking the credit for, when an employer asks about it, they will soon see that it is a lie. Talk about the role you actually played in the group and how you contributed to the end result and what you learnt along the way.