You can be smarter than your interviewer if you practice the most common interview questions and pay more attention to tricky interview questions that can throw you off balance.
During a job interview, employers sometimes ask tricky questions to trip you up, not out of maliciousness, but to get an accurate sense of your candidacy.
Interviewers know that you’ve probably practiced all of the most common interview questions, so they try to stump you with trickier ones to get a better idea of your background, your communication skills, and how you’ll perform should they offer you the job.
That’s we have put together 5 unavoidable trap questions you’ll definitely be asked in your next job interview, and best answers to build on.
1. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
This is another job interview question that employers ask. One of the best answers to give will be:
‘I see myself at the other side of the table, attaining greater height in this organization’
‘From my research, I noticed this organization have no branches in places like X and Y states, I hope to be one of the top executives in those states’ in the next 5 years.
Your response shouldn’t show self-centeredness. Some people have replied with things about how they wish to travel out of the country, having a perfect vacation, building houses and other dreams that don’t add value to the organization they intend to work in.
2. What is your dream job? Tell me about it
Most people are inclined to respond with one of two options. They either say the job that they are applying for, or they mention a job that is unrealistic or totally unrelated to the job description to which they are applying.
The important thing to do when asked this job interview question is to put the emphasis on the type of work environment you are looking for rather than any specific job.
Avoid saying that the job you are applying for is your dream job. The interviewer will know you are not being truthful.
Avoid saying something that might give the impression that you will one day leave your job for another.
You might say something around:
I have always been a people person. I like to make people happy and find valid solutions to concerns and problems. My dream job would be in a workplace where I’ll have the opportunity to use my problem-solving skills (or other relevant skills) to the organization’s advantage
3. Tell be about a problem you had with your boss
This is a trap interview question. Interviewers want to know if you’ll speak ill of your boss. You have to be careful when answering questions about your previous boss.
True, your boss might have been awful but you don’t need to say so. What if the employer knows your former boss personally? It is always smart to be considerate and diplomatic when answering this interview question.
Instead, discuss the strengths of your previous boss.
You might respond with:
No, I’m a hard worker and my managers always seem to appreciate the job I’m doing. I’ve always got along well with every manager I’ve had.
I must say that when I first started out in my previous job, my manager and I had a different expectation for the workflow for each day. But once I talked to him about it, we realized our goals were very compatible and we were able to work successfully.
Note: Tailor your response to fit your personal circumstances.
4. Do you have any outstanding debts?
Ah! This is actually a trick question, one that your interviewer should NOT be asking you
Why Would You Be Asked This Job Interview Question?
When an employer is considering candidates for a new job, they want to make sure that they are hiring the most responsible, professional and hard-working person. Handling money and debt properly is a very good indication of how responsible people are, so employers will often avoid hiring people with bad debt.
Make sure to consider it carefully. If you have no debt, you have no reason not to answer. If you have debt, however, that’s when things get a bit tricky.
Take responsibility for your debt, but show that you’re handling it like a responsible adult.
There are few ways you can answer the question:
- “When I was still an undergraduate, I was unprepared to handle financial responsibility and thus ended up in debt. I have been working to repair my debt, and will be out from under debt in XX number of months/years”
- “I got in debt X-number of months ago, but have worked to keep up with paying my debts over time. It will take X months to clear my debts but I don’t think my past should affect the decision to hire me.”
5. If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?
By asking this interview question, recruiters try to know your behavior and what kind of person you really are.
Knowing what you plan to do when you are retired, gives them an idea about who you are or what you set out to accomplish. For example if you’re applying for a creative job then say you’ll write a book on topics related to your job.
If you say something like ‘I wouldn’t retire, I’d work here’, the answer is just plain silly. Any experienced interviewer can spot dishonesty a mile away. Instead, you might say that you would do some volunteer work in a relevant industry.
The Perfect way to go about this is to prepare a well-thought out and honest answer. The answer should be sensible rather than fantastical and deluded. It should be related to the job you’re applying for.
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