October 2, 2020

How To Answer Annoying Interview Questions

Why are you asking me this question?

This year I’ve interviewed at a few companies, and I’ve asked myself this question a few times. Some of the most common interview questions are pretty annoying! Maybe it’s because I’ve been hiring people for over a decade, but sometimes when I sit on the other side of the interview, I can’t help but think, what are they trying to learn about me with this question?

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to work remotely and started applying to remote talent acquisition roles. During a final interview, a VP of Talent asked me: What’s your Harry Potter house? And let me tell you,

  1. I can’t stand Harry Potter. I’ve tried watching, reading- it’s just not my thing…
  2. What on earth does that have to do with the job I was applying for?

So my answer was, I’m really not a Harry Potter fan, is there something specific about my working style the answer to that question would have revealed for you? I’m happy to answer.

Call me naive, but I thought the point of an interview was to get to know about a person’s skills, motivations, and working style. Random “cool” questions about TV Shows and movies, or super annoying questions that you really can’t answer truthfully; don’t help you figure out if someone is a fit for the role. I’m talking about questions like: Where do you see yourself in 5 years, what’s your biggest weakness, why shouldn’t we hire you, etc.

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As a job seeker, there’s not much that you can do to change how companies chose to conduct interviews. What I have found works is understanding the motivation behind the question. When I understand what they’re trying to ask, I’m able to give them an answer that showcases my skills, motivations, and working style. And yes, I 100% agree that it’s not fair that as job seekers, we have to do this work for companies, but it has helped me have enjoyable interviews, and it has led to job offers, which is what I’m really after when I interview at a company.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing a series of videos covering the WHY behind some of the most annoying interview questions and tips on how to answer them. You can subscribe to my newsletter so that you’re notified when I release the videos. My subscribers get the videos first, and they’ll also get the full guide with tips on how to answer some of the most common interview questions.

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The first annoying interview question I’ll cover is: Where Do you See Yourself in 5 Years. This is one that I absolutely hate. Let’s face it, I have no clue what I’ll be doing in 5 years, and even if I did, who’s to say that it’s actually going to happen? 2020 should’ve taught us that lesson. Anytime I’m asked that question or any of its variations, I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes. However, over the years, I’ve come up with a way to answer it that has always worked for me, and I’ll be sharing it next week.


➡️ If you’re getting interviews but are struggling to get offers, I can help. During a 60-min Interview Prep Coaching Session, we’ll cover my go-to framework for answering common interview questions. After one session with me, you’ll know how to sell your value in a way that dramatically increases your chances of getting hired. Click here to learn more about my Interview Prep Service.

? Is there any specific interview question that you struggle with that you’d like my help answering? I’ve recently launched a new FREE service called JobSearchHotline.com, where you can send me your questions, and I’ll reply to them within 48 hours. Go ahead, click here to Ask Me Anything!


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