“I can do this. I can do this” – this is what I usually tell myself whenever I have a job interview. After the challenges brought about by the job search and the application process, the interview is the part where you either make it or break it. A job interview can either be one of the most amazing or most daunting experiences a person can go through. No matter how prepared and well versed you are, there might be times your interviewer will ask questions that you might find awkward.
The interview portion is the part of the hiring process that will determine whether you fit the job the you are applying for or not, how committed you are and what you can bring to the table. In order for an interviewer to determine these things, he or she might ask probing questions. In some cases, these questions can get a little awkward. I’m sure we all have been through something like this before. Whenever I go through a job interview and I get asked questions I might find a bit tricky, I make sure that I have my poker face on. I am the one being interviewed here and I do not have full control of the scenario. And even if I am not particularly comfortable with the line of questioning, I have to make sure I am still being responsive. I make sure that I don’t show my discomfort whenever a question like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is asked.
One of the most awkward questions I have ever encountered is “Why did you leave your last job?”. This is one uncomfortable question that interviewers seem to love. To deal with this kind of question, Michael Poh (n.d.) writes, “There are various legitimate reasons for leaving a job. Yet, when it comes to interview, try to answer positively rather than complain about what made you unhappy.” (Why did you leave your last job?”, para. 1). If this question was thrown at me during the interview, I would totally echo Poh’s thoughts. No matter how unpleasant your experiences were from your last job and how unhappy it made you, complaining to a potential new employer is a major blunder!
If you ever find yourself in an interview and some uneasy questions are being brought up, think of it as being put to the test. This is how I normally view it. I think of it as a challenge that I should not back down from. I must admit that in a stressful situation such as this, I can get quite ansty. I will feel a little uncomfortable and this might affect the way I respond to the questions. Now the trick is to not let the anxiousness get in the way of your performance. If you are a particularly anxious person and find yourself in this tight spot, just always remember to be yourself. By being yourself, you come across as relaxed, authentic and confident (Kermode, 2014). If you can get through this, I’m pretty sure your chances of acing the interview will increase.
Being asked awkward questions during interviews is really nothing new or strange at all. I always come prepared for the interview – physically, mentally and psychologically. And I try to anticipate the questions that will be asked – even tricky ones. I think that it’s better to be overprepared than being underprepared. It’s important to research the subjects you should avoid. And make sure you do not overshare (Gordon, 2013). At the end of the day, no matter how uncomfortable the questions made me, as long as I know I tried my hardest and I answered in the best possible way, I will feel like I aced the interview. Is it with flying colors? Well only the interviewer knows!
Poh, M. (n.d.). 10 Most Asked Interview Questions: How to Tackle Them. Retrieved from http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/top-10-interview-questions/
Kermode, R. (2014, May 27). Cheeky tips: 10 weird ways to beat interview nerves. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/10-quirky-tips-beating-interview-nerves-job
Gordon, W. (2013, January 12). Top 10 Tips for Acing Your Next Job Interview. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/5975338/top-10-tips-for-acing-your-next-job-interview
Cruz, G. (2010, May 03). Top 10 Environmental Disasters. Retrieved from http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1986457_1986501_1986446,00.html
Slaper, T. F., Ph.D., & Hall, T. J. (n.d.). The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work? Retrieved from http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2011/spring/article2.html