According to Ross Clennett, trainer to the recruitment industry, a good interviewer should not ask you job interview questions about your strengths and weaknesses. Instead they should ask more pointed job interview questions where you, on the other side of the table, need to provide evidence.
Here’s his list of ineffective job interview questions and suggested alternatives. He calls his job interview questions effective. We call them tricky. Consider yourself warned
Ineffective job interview question: What are your major strengths?
Tricky job interview question: In your last performance review, what aspects of your work did your reviewer mention as being particularly good or strong?
Or: What accomplishment or aspects of your current/most recent work are you most proud of? Why are you proud of it and describe to me how you accomplished it?
Ineffective job interview question: What are your major weaknesses?
Tricky job interview question: In your last performance review, what aspects of your work did your reviewer mention as needing to improve the most to take your work performance to the next level, and tell me what you have done with respect to that feedback?
Tricky job interview question: How did you feel about that feedback?
Tricky job interview question: How did you respond when you received that feedback?
Ineffective job interview question: What will you do if your child gets sick during work time? (Also avoid: Do you have young children?)
Tricky job interview question: Because of the intense customer-focused and high response nature of this job (or substitute any other valid job-related criteria), it is extremely difficult for the client to be flexible with starting and finishing times between the core hours of 9am and 5pm. Does that present any difficulties for you with respect to any other commitments you have?
Ineffective job interview question: Where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
Tricky job interview question: What skills do you want to gain or improve in the next 12 months and what steps have you taken recently to achieve this?
If you haven’t properly prepared for your interview, reflected on your strengths and weaknesses, plus how you can support anything that you claim, these questions can trip you up.
Read Ross’s full article here.
For more help preparing for tricky interview questions, read this from one of Australia’s top job interview coaches
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