Tricky Questions at Job Interviews
Job Seeking November 28, 2019
During an interview, we as recruiters generally do not ask tricky questions, although candidates often seem to think the opposite. That is precisely why we would like to clarify what an intention lays behind certain questions that candidates are most often hesitant about how to answer and ask if there is an accurate answer.
What are your salary expectations for this position? There are no accurate and inaccurate answers to this question, but it is asked with an intention to determine whether candidate’s expectations and employer’s budgets fit. This is often important to determine at the very beginning of the process because if an employer does not have a budget high enough to meet the candidate’s expectations, there will be no joint co-operation in the end. In such a case, we spent both employer’s and candidate’s time, discontent occurs on both sides, and maybe that time could have been better invested in some other position that better coincides with wishes and capabilities of both sides.
Being an HR agency, we are often obliged not to communicate exact amounts of salaries to candidates, and in order to come to successful placement of a candidate, we strive to determine expectations of each candidate. We can comment on whether an expectation fits into or exceeds the budget for position so that a candidate is about to gain an overview of the situation. If expectations are too high for an employer’s budget, it is important for us to determine whether a candidate is flexible and if there is a space for negotiations to ultimately employ a candidate on mutual satisfaction.
An amount that you specify as an expected salary will sometimes not be the same as an amount that was eventually offered to you. The height of wages can be fixed and the same for all employees in this position, so your expectations do not really affect the final offer, but there may be a salary range for certain positions, and the exact offer is created according to an individual: given the knowledge, experience, and skills in every concrete case.
Before an interview, be sure to get informed about the approximate salary of people in similar positions and consider the salary that you would really be satisfied with in the future. It is always good to come prepared with predetermined and realistic expectations so as not to have an unpleasant surprise during an interview.
Are you actively looking for a job and are you already involved in other selections processes? This question is also not a tricky one, but a technical one set to determine the selection process itself. A recruiter will consider this information of great importance so that they can adjust the speed of the selection process. Namely, if at the moment of an interview you already have a business offer from another company, it would not be fair to you, or to other employer, to wait for feedback for a longer period. Therefore, we strive to finish this process as quickly as possible, and of course, with the intention of being the first to give you a job offer. It is also important that we know what jobs you apply to, in order to get a picture of your wishes for the future and your career plans.
What is your biggest flaw? This question can be asked in several different ways, in terms of what you do not like about yourself or where you see the space for personal progress. We all have highs and lows, and it is important that before the job interviews, you think about your advantages, but also your weak sides, and to reflect about what traits are really needed for a particular position. Before the interview, read and analyse the job description, identify the skills necessary to perform the specified duties. Turn your flaw into your own asset and show a desire for progress through the idea of how to improve in this field. This question is certainly not set to eliminate you, but rather to give you an opportunity to present yourself in the right light, and show that you are realistic and conscious of yourself, so that it would be good to avoid cliché answers such as “I am a perfectionist, I am too devoted to work” or “I do not have any flaws,” because they sound untruthful and inconclusive. Be honest when you talk about your flaws, because that is something which will be sensed from a recruiter’s side.
Recruiters have a task to find the best person for a specific position. If they misestimate your ability and motivation for a job, there is a possibility that you can get a job that you will not be satisfied with and you will have a desire to change it very quickly. Although a candidate’s motive to be chosen for the position they applied for is always very strong, the best situation for all involved parties (candidates, recruiters, and employers) is that behind our motivation for a job is a good analysis of ourselves and the job that we are applying for. Therefore, prepare yourself for an interview as well as you can and present yourself honestly in the best possible way.