How to Handle Tricky Questions During an Interview

Good Recruitment Managers can gain a lot of information about the candidates they are interviewing by asking only a few well-chosen questions. In order to uncover areas that may reflect inconsistencies, HR Managers can sometimes ask questions that while they may seem simple, usually say a lot more about the individual’s character than they first appear to.

Below are 3 typical questions that may trick you during an interview:

“Tell me a little bit about yourself?”

This question can seem like an invitation for you to go into depth about your personal life, so be careful here.  Most candidates will start with “well I’m married, with 3 children, and at the weekend we like to…” without turning this seemingly personal question back to professional strengths.

Recruiters like to ask this to gage a candidate’s level of confidence and how well they portray themselves by the information that is communicated. If your opening answer to this question is subpar, or you speak too much about your hobbies without mentioning work, you can create the wrong first impression.

“What is your definition of success?”

Your response to this question lets recruiters observe your priorities in life. Are you a money motivated individual, or do you like to be challenged? Since “success” is a highly subjective topic you have to be careful when answering, even a perfectly sensible reply can be misinterpreted. Make sure to prepare for this question by talking about what your previous company or team did together, instead of taking an individualistic approach.

“Have you ever disagreed with a previous company policy? How did you resolve this?”

Recruiters ask this question to gain an insight into your decision-making ability, whether you are easy going, however most importantly, your ability to speak up after identifying an area that requires improvement.

To state “no, I have never disagreed with a company policy” is hard to believe even from the most willing employee.  This also sends the message that you are an individual that will accept anything that you are instructed to do without thinking through all possible outcomes. Companies need employees to follow the rules; however they also want leaders who can review potentially outdated policies and have the bravery to propose changes for the better, and to maintain a competitive and productive working environment.