A Job Interview can be uncomfortable and scary enough without the interviewer throwing in tricky questions your way. However friendly the interviewer might be, every question that is thrown in your direction is to judge you and identify your strengths and weaknesses. The tricky questions are especially there to judge how good you are, and how you will react in tight situations.
If you are preparing for interviews or have already given a few, you know how intimidating it can be. So, here are a few tips to handle some tricky questions thrown in your way.
Questions about your weaknesses
An interviewer might ask about your weaknesses to get a measure of you. Now don’t say something like “working too much” is a weakness. Don’t state a weakness that might actually be a strength. Interviewers can see right through such answers and it will make you come across as untruthful or a sycophant.
Give an honest answer, but twist it to make it sound less of a weakness than it actually is. Don’t tell them what your specific flaws are, but tell them how you are trying to overcome your flaws and thus build on the answer.
Do you lie?
Don’t say you don’t. Everyone lies here and there, you know that and so does the interviewer. Saying you don’t lie will mark you as a liar right away. Get creative with your answer. The interviewer expects either a white lie or a blatant acceptance. Surprise them with a sprinkle of honesty twisted around the last time you told a lie and why. Make the lie sound in your favour.
Do you see yourself going after my job?
Now, this is the trickiest question of them all. You cannot say no, because the interviewer is looking for someone who is ambitious and who wants to move up the ladder. However, you can tell them you are looking to go after their job either. Instead, say something like that you do see yourself eyeing that job, but a few years down the line when the interviewer has already moved up to a better and higher position.
Show that you want to work with your boss to move to a higher position of greater responsibility.
Why did you quit your last job?
This question is more than what it appears on the surface. The interviewer is not only looking to see how you will handle the question but how honest and faithful you stay to the current company. Even if you quit your last job on a bad note, don’t talk about it. Don’t bad mouth your previous employers or company. That will reflect your character and the interviewer might not want someone like you.
Talk good about your last company, but paint in very subtly how the company you are interviewing for can help you be where you want to be few years down the line. Or how you see yourself growing more in this environment. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives while answering such job interview questions.
How many coins are there in this room?
- Asked in one of the Google interviews
How many coins are there in the room or what will an elephant say if it walks in right now? Such questions can be really mind whacking. There are no right or wrong answers to such questions. The interviewer wants to know how you will approach such questions, rather than the answer. Think aloud; ask questions to get a better and clearer picture of what the interviewer is asking. Ask for a pen and a paper if you want to and spell out the steps that might be undertaken to answer the question.
Remember, here the path is more important than the actual answer.