There are certain questions everyone hopes to avoid during an interview. No matter how many interviews you’ve had, you never quite get comfortable responding to those tough, sometimes awkward, questions.
Constantly advising our candidates on how to properly respond, we turned the tables on our skilled team here at JOHNLEONARD. We asked Senior Staffing Consultant, Jennifer Kuchy and Manager, Rob Harvie of the Direct Hire Division, six of the most difficult interview questions to answer. Take a look at what these specialists say are the ideal responses to the most challenging questions.
Q: What have you been doing since you’ve been out of work?
A: No matter the reason for being out of work, you must account for your time. Simply saying you took time off will not be received very well. Whether you spent time volunteering, caring for a family member, or working part time you have to highlight and explain any constructive activities you’ve been involved in.
Q: Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had?
A: Be careful here, this could be a trap! If an interviewer asks this question, they’re most likely doing it to see if you would speak negatively about a former employer. If you have had a bad experience with a previous boss, turn it into a positive one. Responses such as, “they had high expectation of me” or “they challenged me to do better” are better options for this question.
Q: How would your previous boss describe you?
A: An appropriate answer should focus on the specific job you are interviewing for. This isn’t an opportunity to list all of your outstanding qualities. Instead, emphasize your positive traits that relate to what the interviewer is looking for in an employee. Utilize the requirements in the job description to help you answer this one thoroughly.
Q: Explain to me the gap in-between your jobs?
A: As a job seeker, the best way to answer this question is to not mention anything about actively interviewing. The most common excuse for this question is due to the long job search process but, that’s not the answer the interviewer is looking for.
The best way to handle it is by explaining how selective you are in terms of the process. Telling the interviewer that you have been waiting for the right job for you is better than saying, “it’s taken you a while to land a job”.
Q: What salary do you think you deserve?
A: You’ll hear this question in each and every one of your interviews. The best way to handle it is by not limiting yourself. You don’t want to say a number too low and miss out on what they’re willing to offer. You also don’t want to say a number too high and then select the candidate with the lower expectation. Simply reply, “I deserve a competitive offer based on my previous experience and what I’m able to bring to the table”.
Q: Why have you had so many jobs?
A: Hiring managers do become skittish of job hoppers. Keep your response to this question short and reasonable. Take this opportunity to explain what attracted you to the next opportunity. For example, if your previous boss moved companies and wanted to bring you along.
The worst answer you could give would be involving money. Telling an interviewer that you left one job because another offered you more is an immediate red flag for them. If you did that to one company, you could do it to them.
As much as we all hope we don’t get asked these dreadful questions, it’s highly likely that you will. This just validates how important it is to review and study these answers provided to you by staffing experts, Jennifer and Rob!
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