Job interviewers are looking for something.
But what? And how do you answer those intentionally tricky questions? Here are ways to navigate the minefield of the interview room.
– Show initiative. Interviewers want job applicants to be likable, to stand out, to ask questions. At the end of an interview, ask for the job. Then, follow up based on something that was discussed. The more closely you listened during the interview, the easier it is to think of ways to follow up in a natural and unforced way.
– Read between the lines. “We’ll get back to you” is just one of the things interviewers tell job candidates that can turn out to be lies. Other doozies include “We’ll keep your resume on file” or “We were really impressed with you”.
– Be prepared. Tough questions such as “Why should I hire you?” are par for the course at a serious job interview. Another toughie: “What did you not like about your last employer?” The interviewer has asked you to say something negative about your ex-employer.
You need to turn this around and make it sound like the negative is a positive. Start with, “Actually, there are a lot of good things to say about my ex-employer, however if I need to highlight one area…”
Another possible stumper is: “Have you worked with someone who didn’t like your work?” Avoid making any negative or condescending comments about your past supervisors, because employers will tend to side with past managers and may perceive you as a troublemaker or malcontent.
Give an honest answer while extending yourself the benefit of the doubt, then say something positive about past supervisors, and suggest references.