INTERVIEWS / DEC. 06, 2014
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5 Answers you Should Never Give During an Interview

Interview success pretty much depends on your answers. The way you answer interview questions determines whether you are a good fit for the position or not. While a lot has been written on how to answer interview questions, it’s also essential to get to know how to avoid answering important interview questions.

This article provides a list of answers to 5 common interview questions you should avoid during the interview:

#1: Why have you applied for this position?

Wrong approach: “I applied for this position because I need a job.”

Right approach: “I would like to help the company grow by offering my expertise and 10 years of experience in the industry.”

Although your answer will depend on why you are after this job, e.g. get work experience or develop skills, prefer not to answer what the job can do for you. Instead, demonstrate your knowledge in regards to the organisation and refer to what you can do for the company.

#2: What’s your weakness?

Wrong approach: “I don’t have any weaknesses” or “I can’t handle pressure.”

Right approach:  “I found that as a perfectionist I am always too hard on myself.”

Everyone has weaknesses. Make sure you refer to a weakness that is actually a hidden strength such as being a perfectionist. You might want to be extra careful when answering this kind of weakness question as you don’t want to refer to a trait that is key to the position you are applying for.

#3: What are your salary expectations?

Wrong approach: “I expect to get an annual salary of $40,000.”

Right approach: “What’s more important to me is the company and job itself. Money is lower on my list and I am sure we can reach some agreeable level.”  

It’s important to let the employer know that you are not directly interested in the salary, so prefer not to refer to a salary figure when asked about expected salary. Instead, ask the interviewer to tell you about the salary they offer for this position. If the interviewer insists, provide a salary range that is reasonable and not too broad.

#4: What’s your greatest achievement?

Wrong approach: “I stood first in my class at high school.”

Right approach: “My greatest achievement was turning a small company into a very wealthy corporation. My team managed to increase sales over 70% during the 2 years I was responsible for the division.”

Find an answer that relates to an example from your recent past and focus on the skills and qualities you needed to achieve it. This might be a problem you needed to overcome while at your previous job, any achievement, or any difficulties you faced while studying abroad.

#5: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Wrong approach: “I see myself married with 3 kids.”  

Right approach: “I am looking for a role with a company that I can grow with and continue to take new challenges for the next years and beyond. I would like to take more management responsibility and ultimately step up to a product leadership position.”

Most interviewers ask this question to learn what your long-term career plans are, how you define success and what’s most important for you in your career. Thus, it is important to provide an answer based on your career goals and professional development.

In order to ensure you are giving the right answers, practice some questions prior to the job interview. Now that you know what answers you should avoid, focus on providing good solid answers that will help you get your dream job!

Image Source: iStock

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