No matter how well we prepare for job interviews, there’s always that one or two questions that in retrospect, we wish we had gone with a different answer. Although you may think that this only happens to you, the truth is, it happens to all of us. Some questions catch us so off guard that we are never certain what the best answer is.
Interviewers -believe it or not- are humans just as we are, and although our fate is in their hands there’s no reason to believe that they expect you to be superhuman. They don’t expect you to come up with the perfect answers for everything. Sure they expect you to be prepared for the interview and a bit excited at least, but you should never walk in an interview room thinking that there’s just one right answer for every question. In fact, there are some interview questions that hiring managers actually expect that you won’t be able to answer perfectly so take a deep breath and walk into that interview room ready to shine.
1. How Did You Go About Solving That Problem?
Hiring managers will want to know about your work experience, and they are definitely going to want to know how you fared in your past job. To let them know just how brilliant you are at your job make sure you tell them about any issues or problems that you managed to tackle in your last job.
You should be prepared, though, that discussing problems you solved at work will inevitably bring about the question of how you did that. The answer to that will likely be a bit complicated as nothing at work is ever simple and you are likely to lose your trail of thought as you take the hiring manager through the process. Don’t get too stressed out if you feel that you are not handling the question right because the employer is not really interested in how verbose you are when you are under pressure or how precise your memory is. They are only interested to see your skills and problem-solving abilities in action. Just try to recount the events as best as you can.
2. What’s the Biggest Mistake You’ve Ever Made?
I know that you will probably be very unwilling to fess up to a potential employer about any mistakes you’ve ever made; you’re there to impress them with your skills and talents after all. However, hiring managers are interested to see how open you are and how willing you are to take responsibility for your mistakes. They realize that we all make mistakes and they are interested to see whether you’re the type who’s going to be honest when they screw up at work.
I know that this question will probably make you feel a bit intimidated but you shouldn’t let it get the best of you. The hiring manager does not expect a perfectly rehearsed answer- they just expect you to honestly stagger through telling them about your biggest mistake at work.
3. What Do You Like to Do After Work?
I know that this is a question we usually answer having in mind skills and strengths that our hobbies bring out in work. However, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to what you think sounds good. The hiring manager is just asking so that they know you are a normal person with a life after work; they just want to get to know the real you a bit and there’s no reason to come up with hobbies that prove you are a great employee. Simply be honest and tell them what you really like to do in your spare time.
Job interviews are always stressful and the sooner you realize that it’s okay to be a normal human being during the interview, the better your chances to impress the hiring manager. Remember that the interview is the one chance you have to allow the hiring manager to meet the real you so don’t keep yourself under lock and key for fear they are not going to like you.