Toughest Job Interview Question You have Ever Gotten?

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Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas

24 months ago

There are a lot of crazy questions? What is the toughest one for you?
Below are a list of some hard ones....

Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
Why do you want to join this company?
Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
Why have you been out of work for so long?
Why haven't you been promoted?
Why should we give you the job over the other candidates? (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)

Peggy McKee
Career Confidential

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas said: There are a lot of crazy questions? What is the toughest one for you?
Below are a list of some hard ones....

Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
Why do you want to join this company?
Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
Why have you been out of work for so long?
Why haven't you been promoted?
Why should we give you the job over the other candidates? (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)

Peggy McKee
Career Confidential

"If you were a flower, what kind of flower would you be and why?"

That is the one I still remember. It was also the first time I bought a lottery ticket.

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Investor Guy in San Francisco, California

24 months ago

Tell me about a time you had a problem with a coworker?
How do you define success?
Are you comfortable working with older women? (lol seriously I was asked this)
Your past salary is higher than we can offer, how do you feel about that?

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

24 months ago

For the record, I was never asked a tough question. There all the same. If you prepare then you will be fine.

Basically you lie. You tell them big, grandioso larger than life stories. Because sadly, they don't want the mundane truth. The big exciting answers to their questions will set you apart from the other job seekers.

Recruiters like Peggy have set the bar to high for good people to get good jobs. She probably is a nice person. But because of recruiters winning the lottery is probably easier than your chances of landing a job.

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SIGH in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

24 months ago

Q: Why are manholes round? (WTF)
A: Because contract worker at the foundry didn't realize that the triangle should be highest on the list of proper aesthetic taste. That's what happens when you hire someone for part-time work instead of bringing them on full-time to soak up the Weese-ian madness that design should be. (and the peanut gallery gives me a Not Bad face).

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Jay Geezy in Houston, Texas

24 months ago

Q: Do you want a beer? I'm having one.

A: Sure, I like this interview already.

I didn't get the job.

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Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas

23 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: For the record, I was never asked a tough question. There all the same. If you prepare then you will be fine.

Basically you lie. You tell them big, grandioso larger than life stories. Because sadly, they don't want the mundane truth. The big exciting answers to their questions will set you apart from the other job seekers.

Recruiters like Peggy have set the bar to high for good people to get good jobs. She probably is a nice person. But because of recruiters winning the lottery is probably easier than your chances of landing a job.

Joe:
That is not true. My jobs are very few and very specialized.
The market sets the bar.
Most folks just need to practice "selling" themselves in the interview.
Peggy
Career Confidential

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Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas

23 months ago

Jay Geezy in Houston, Texas said: Q: Do you want a beer ? I'm having one.

A: Sure, I like this interview already.

I didn't get the job.

I like that question, too!

But seriously, never drink alcohol on an interview (unless you are to be a wine maker or beer barista, right?).
Peggy McKee
Career Confidential

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Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas

23 months ago

SIGH in Chapel Hill, North Carolina said: Q: Why are manholes round? (WTF)
A: Because contract worker at the foundry didn't realize that the triangle should be highest on the list of proper aesthetic taste. That's what happens when you hire someone for part-time work instead of bringing them on full-time to soak up the Weese-ian madness that design should be. (and the peanut gallery gives me a Not Bad face).

I thought this was a microsoft or google question.
Peggy
Career Confidential

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

23 months ago

Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas said: Joe:
That is not true. My jobs are very few and very specialized.
The market sets the bar.
Most folks just need to practice "selling" themselves in the interview.
Peggy
Career Confidential

The bar HAS been set too high BY Recruiters. You have trained companies what is good for them, what is right for them. They follow your suggestions because you are the so called experts.

In a nutshell, to get new business Recruiters/Agencies have sold companies on the idea that if they are given the chance they will find the "perfect candidate." Sales 101.

Now companies expect nothing less. Only people who can walk on water need apply.

Sad thing is that it makes job seekers learn to lie more/cover their tracks.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Seconded.

BTW I liked your use of McCartney music last time you called out a spammer.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas said: Career Confidential
Is that anything like "High School Confidential"?

Not only was "High School Confidential" a 1958 movie, it was the name of a Jerry Lee Lewis record!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_School_Confidential_%28film%29

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

23 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Seconded.

BTW I liked your use of McCartney music last time you called out a spammer.

I must have been especially inspired and in a groove at that time. I'm not so inspired now. I just got home an hour ago after spending all night at the coal mine. Nearly face planted coming up the steps from the subway two at a time on the way home. I'm a danger to myself in the latter 90 minutes of work and on the way home.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

It was inspired.

Get some rest, my friend.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

23 months ago

I was asked if I was married and had any kids !!!

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Bluetea in Texas

23 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: I was asked if I was married and had any kids !!!

I was asked, "If you were a flower, what kind of flower would you be and why?"

That night, I dreamed I won the lottery.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Not illegal to ask that question, but it's certainly illegal to use the answers to practice employment discrimination.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

23 months ago

I'm always ask if I have any kids? Just feels stranged to be ask that.

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Bluetea in Texas

23 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Not illegal to ask that question, but it's certainly illegal to use the answers to practice employment discrimination.

And of course, you can easily prove this right?

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Bluetea in Texas

23 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: I'm always ask if I have any kids? Just feels stranged to be ask that.

Say, "Not any that I would admit to". tee hee!

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: And of course, you can easily prove this right?
Nope - not easily, anyway. Employers know it and thereby get away with it.

I could go on a rant about the vast underclass in this country that is a direct result of age discrimination in employment and the need for government services this underclass will require that could rival the Fiscal Cliff. I could rant about how productivity would improve if the government simply enforced laws already on the books that bar age discrimination and all other forms of discrimination. But why bother? Besides, I think I just went on both rants.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

23 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Nope - not easily, anyway. Employers know it and thereby get away with it.

I could go on a rant about the vast underclass in this country that is a direct result of age discrimination in employment and the need for government services this underclass will require that could rival the Fiscal Cliff. I could rant about how productivity would improve if the government simply enforced laws already on the books that bar age discrimination and all other forms of discrimination. But why bother? Besides, I think I just went on both rants.

Ironically, allot of out politicians are in their 60s' and 70's.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Really, Joe.

The rest of my point being that by putting said underclass back to work and paying taxes deficits would shrink, averting future Fiscal Cliffs, Social Security and Medicare reserves would inflate, and companies would be adding value by employing a quality workforce.

Sure, the overall workforce would be older and would up premiums for company-paid healthcare, but Obamacare incentives and subsidies would help cushion the blow. But why bother ranting? Though it all seems so obvious.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

"Where do you want to be in 5 years?" I don't know what they're trying to find out.

One place I always struggle is when I get questioned about why I've "only used Java in school." and why I haven't done a lot of object-oriented programming. You're not supposed to make negative comments about your former employer, but the plain truth is the reason that they stuck to obsolete technologies was because there were people who had power but not a lot of intelligence who fought to limit us to the skills that they were good at. They were afraid they would lose some of their power if we had switched to skills that other people knew far better than they did.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: "Where do you want to be in 5 years?" I don't know what they're trying to find out.
I was asked that stupid question during a telephone interview for a bank teller job. The phone interview caught me off guard; it was a young gal asking me if I had time for it.

I had lost my job six months before and I was trying to find my bearings. So I told the young-sounding interviewer that my short term goal was to become reemployed. After I was reemployed I would reassess my goals.

A few days later the bank sent me an e-mail. It had decided not to fill the position.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: I was asked that stupid question during a telephone interview for a bank teller job. The phone interview caught me off guard; it was a young gal asking me if I had time for it.

I had lost my job six months before and I was trying to find my bearings. So I told the young-sounding interviewer that my short term goal was to become reemployed. After I was reemployed I would reassess my goals.

A few days later the bank sent me an e-mail. It had decided not to fill the position.

The problem that I have the question is that they may be trying to find out if you have thought about the position and have specific goals. Or they may be trying to find out if you have ambitions for trying to climb the ladder. Or they may be trying to find out if you are actually interested in the position that you applied for or if you're just trying to get your foot in the door. This makes for a 2 out of 3 chance that you're going to give the wrong answer.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

23 months ago

I had one lady call me after an interview and say I didn't get the job cause the boss choose someone else but she asked if I wanted to go out for drinks...

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas said: Most folks just need to practice "selling" themselves in the interview.
Peggy
Career Confidential

Or, better yet, selling themselves on their resume. I'm not convinced that interviews are the most important part of the process. I think that interviews are mainly to allow hiring managers to re-assure themselves that they correctly ranked the candidates. If someone is the clear front-runner going into the interviews, I don't think that is likely to change unless they bomb the interview.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

23 months ago

Peggy McKee in Pilot Point, Texas said: Joe:
That is not true. My jobs are very few and very specialized.
The market sets the bar.
Peggy
Career Confidential

I tend to agree. I think that employers over-estimate the sophistication of their work (or their own abilities) and therefore inflate the requirements for the positions that they need to fill.

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ToBoeingOrNotToBoeing in Seattle, Washington

23 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: Or, better yet, selling themselves on their resume. I'm not convinced that interviews are the most important part of the process. I think that interviews are mainly to allow hiring managers to re-assure themselves that they correctly ranked the candidates. If someone is the clear front-runner going into the interviews, I don't think that is likely to change unless they bomb the interview.

Agreed 100%. Every once in awhile an employer will delve further into experience/skills/qualifications. But most of them do that behavioral questions cos' they want to know what it's gonna be like to be stuck with you once you get it.

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ToBoeingOrNotToBoeing in Seattle, Washington

23 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: I had one lady call me after an interview and say I didn't get the job cause the boss choose someone else but she asked if I wanted to go out for drinks...

That does sort of feel good, doesn't it? I mean, it tells me you're probably an easy person to get along with, which is the sort of person I want to work with, that's for sure.

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ToBoeingOrNotToBoeing in Seattle, Washington

23 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Nope - not easily, anyway. Employers know it and thereby get away with it.

I could go on a rant about the vast underclass in this country that is a direct result of age discrimination in employment and the need for government services this underclass will require that could rival the Fiscal Cliff. I could rant about how productivity would improve if the government simply enforced laws already on the books that bar age discrimination and all other forms of discrimination. But why bother? Besides, I think I just went on both rants.

hehehe - that's funny. But you are dead on right. I hate the age discrimination thing.

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