There are few things in life more stressful than going through the interview process for a job, especially if you’re in the position of being out of work. I’ve been on both sides of the table, and retain sharp memories of the awfulness of being on the other side.
I never minded answering the good questions, the ones that were appropriate to the job and provided a way for the interviewers to get a sense of my abilities. What always bothered me were the questions designed to ambush a person or, worse, the ones that were just plain stupid. You know the ones I mean – those stock questions that make you groan inside when you hear them. What possible value is gained from asking these questions?
I was reminded of this recently as we’ve been hiring. Luckily, my employer does not do this, instead using the interview to ask questions that actually focus on the skills needed for the position. Still, the experience brings back memories of interviews where I was asked questions that just made me want to leap across the table and throttle the interviewer. My fantasy during those interviews was that I’d won the lottery and was interviewing just for the hell of it, with a personal goal of seeing how poorly I could do.
In case anyone reading this has just won the lottery, and is inspired to do just that, here are a few of those awful questions and my suggestions for answers. Use this as a starting point and go wild. In fact, to anyone reading this, I’d love to see your suggestions for answers (or even more questions with your answers) added as comments.
Why should we hire you?
• I need money to support my addictions
• I’ll buy the first round after work
What’s your biggest weakness?
• It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but I guess it’s between hacking, theft or fits of uncontrolled violent rage
• An inability to answer stupid questions – like this one
Why do you want to leave your current job?
• They’re on to me
• I’ve stolen all the good office supplies
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
• Body lice, because I’m a people person
• A rabid dog; I think that would help me be successful in the corporate world
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
• Either in jail or in office
• If my plan works, on a beach in a country that doesn’t have reciprocity with the US