You can’t get a job unless you get a job interview first, so job-seekers are naturally focused on getting as many job interviews as they can. You have to spend a lot of time and brain cells preparing for a job interview.
You have to get your interviewing clothes ready and research the employer so you’re ready to answer questions they’re likely to ask you — and also so that you can prepare your own questions to ask the interviewer.
All of this activity is time-and-energy-consuming, which is why it’s so disappointing to get to the interview and immediately get hit with the standard, ‘stupid’ interview questions that people have been asking job-seekers for decades.
Hey, what’s wrong with a question like “With all the talented candidates, why should we hire you?” I mean, an interview is a chance to show off your best assets, right? Shouldn’t every job-seeker expect to be asked why they would be a better fit for the job than the other candidates?
Here’s why “Why should we hire you?” is a terrible interview question. For starters, it doesn’t help a manager make a better hiring decision.
If you want to make a good hiring decision, you don’t ask a job candidate to praise himself or herself. Instead, you’ll ask each candidate how they would approach the assignment.
That’s how you’ll see the job-seeker’s brain working. That’s what a manager needs to do — to see the job applicant’s thought process in action. Job applicants need to see a manager’s brain working, too!
“Why should we hire you?” is a stupid and insulting question. It commands a job applicant to grovel and beg for the job. It also makes no sense. The job applicant has no idea who else you’re planning to interview or have already interviewed.
He or she can’t possibly say “Well, I have the best experience among all your candidates” or “I’m more well-versed in digital marketing than the other people you’re considering.”
The question “Why should we hire you?” is a pathetic attempt to get each job applicant to tap-dance and tell you why he or she deserves the job, without the benefit of knowing anything about the other applicants, and not knowing all that much about the job, either. That’s why I hate this question and teach interviewers not to ask it.
The same is true of “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “What’s your five-year plan?” All of these questions make the interview a conversation about the job-seeker’s personal qualities, but that is not what a job interview is about.
If an organization cares about talent, then they know that they have to sell job-seekers just as hard as job-seekers have to sell them. Put another way, in a healthy company neither side does any selling — everybody treats the job interview as a matching exercise.
It’s just a conversation at which two people get to decide whether they have enough intersection of their interests to keep talking. Nobody has to beg. Nobody has to say “I’m smart! I’m a hard worker!” and nobody would dream of asking anybody else to do so.
Still, way too many employers are years behind the curve. They don’t know how to interview people with a human voice. They’ve never heard that it’s possible (not to mention easy, fun and effective) to interview candidates without talking down to them.
They ask pointless and insulting interview questions like “If you were a soup, what kind of soup would you be?” because they don’t know any better. These tacky and insulting interview questions are still around — so as a job applicant, you need to be ready to answer them!
Here are our suggested answers for the pointless and insulting interview questions you’re likely to run into on an upcoming job interview:
Why Should We Hire You?
Great question! Can I share with you what I understand you’re looking for, and see if i fit in? (Yes.) Great! From what I understand, your company is expanding its international business and you need someone to be the liaison with your EMEA and Far East offices. You need someone to… (and so on). What did I miss? Then go ahead and tell them the skills you have in your arsenal that will help them achieve these lists.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
Here’s my view of the next five years, as I sit here today: I’m especially interested in learning how to build e-commerce websites, as I mentioned, and I want to get much better at digital marketing, which I’ve just begun exploring. If I’m doing those two things and making an impact on my employer’s business in five years I’ll be very happy. What about you?
What’s Your Greatest Weakness?
When I was younger I used to obsess about my weaknesses! I thought that the best use of my time would be to get better at things that I don’t do well and don’t enjoy.
Over time I realized that was the wrong way to invest my time and energy. Now I focus on getting better at things I love to do and am already proficient at, especially writing, editing and content management etc.
If You Were A Soup, What Kind Would You Be?
Something healthy and tasty! How about you?
Have been asked any pointless interview questions during one of your job search adventures? Lets know what these questions were below in the comment section.
Source: Liz Ryan – linkedin.com