Though appearing simple and benign, some job interview questions and answers can determine your fate. Some jobs have basic criteria that any new hire must meet. If you answer incorrectly, you may find yourself axed from the potential hiring list. Other questions are used to assess whether potential flaws in your resume are enough to toss out your candidacy, or are just an acceptable bump in the road.
Here are a few examples of these potentially lethal interview questions and answers, accompanied with suggestions for how you can best address these questions. The first two questions can be used to assess whether you match the minimum criteria for the job. The second two, focused on your tenure at previous jobs, test whether or not your candidacy is fatally flawed.
Do you feel comfortable going wherever the company sends you?
This question might be about relocation, or it might be about business trips. You should clarify before you respond. By saying yes now, keep in mind that you reserve the option to say no to the job offer after they have given one to you. But if travel is a deal breaker from the beginning, you might as well say no and save everyone time.
Are you interested in this job?
Either the interviewer wants you to prove your sincerity, or he just doesn't know how to interview. Either way, your answer should be an enthusiastic yes with supporting evidence. Anything longer than a short pause could leave you searching for another job:
"I am very interested in this position. What I am most excited about is:
1. the job asks me to do _____, and I very much enjoy that kind of work.
2. the people here are like _____, and those are people I work well with.
3. the company values _____, and that's something I really care about.
Overall, I think that I am a great fit for this position"
Looking at your resume, it seems like you have changed jobs quite frequently in the past. How can we be sure that you will stay around here?
Articulate how you now have clearer career direction compared to the past and are now ready to commit to a longer-term career. Be sure not to play the game of blaming your past employer.
Looking at your resume, it seems like you have spent a long time with your past company. Will you be able to adapt?
You need to describe how your job evolved and you adapted. Have you held different positions? Worked for different bosses? Worked in different departments? Worked with different people on different projects? You've also likely worked with other companies on projects, be they clients, vendors and partners. You've seen and learned from watching them in action. Reference all of the ways you've needed to be flexible, and then close with the following: "Not only am I adaptable, I am also someone who has a track record of being loyal and supporting my organization."
Do you have any other potentially dangerous flaws in your resume?
Prepare answers to these questions ahead of time, and if you can, test-drive them with someone who can give you high-quality feedback.
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