Survey results: Worst interview questions

Responses to the current survey on ‘Worst interview questions’ shows that interview questions can be poorly worded and even a bit dodgy! Some can leave you wondering of what value any answer might be to the selection process.

Here’s a sample from the responses:

  • Did your work computer system come naturally to you or did someone have to teach you?
  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Are you a big picture person?
  • What motivates you to get going?
  • Are you on any medication?
  • What characteristics make up a productive team?
  • What you believe to be key elements in establishing and maintaining good verbal communication?

Some tips on handling these questions.

Tell me about yourself

Go to any interview with a short opening statement that summarises key details about yourself, including your current job, recent past jobs, qualifications, relevant strengths.

Keep it short – 2-3 minutes.

Make it relevant to the job.

Are you a big picture person?

If the job needs such a person then yes you are and you can mention examples to demonstrate this, such as contributing ideas, seeing the wider implications of someone else’s ideas, seeing how what your unit does links to the whole organisation.

If you’re not sure whether you are a big picture person, ask yourself whether you prefer to do detailed work, knowing all the steps, or prefer to work at a conceptual level, exploring ideas without being too concerned about how to make it happen.

What motivates you to get going?

Possible answers are:

  • Helping others such as by serving customers.
  • Using your strengths.
  • Making a difference.
  • Working with others to achieve goals.
  • Working on new developments.
  • Being able to learn new skills or knowledge.
What characteristics make up a productive team?

Many books have been written on teams so there is plenty of material on this.

Pre-conditions for an effective team include having a joint commitment, a shared understanding of purpose, clear roles and responsibilities.

What you believe to be key elements in establishing and maintaining good verbal communication?

What makes for good communication depends on the context and your relationship with other people involved.

At a generic level, good verbal communication depends on establishing rapport with the person, listening, seeking understanding, being flexible to cater for the needs of the other person and their style.

Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist® specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.