Advertising
Advertising

8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews

8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews

Knowing how to deal with tough interview questions properly can put you miles above other candidates. Your body language, voice and content of your answers are all factors that play into you getting hired.

This article will detail some tough and misleading questions that generally confuse potential employees and will help you get an insider view on what employers are looking for in your responses.

Remember in order to ensure your success you need to take the time to properly prepare your responses, practice them and always stay hungry for new information. This article will point you to the right direction for you to be successful in job interviews.

Tell me about yourself.

This is a very misleading question if you don’t approach it properly. Interviewers are looking for a lot more than just some information on what you do in your spare time. When you are asked this question it is important that you align your skills with what the interviewer is looking for. Don’t be afraid to play to their strengths and interests – in fact this is what they are looking for.

Start off by detailing your most recent and strongest accomplishments. Talk about the last position (or a position) that you held and what you made such a great fit for it. Discuss the skills and attributes that helped you and show how these skills will help you in the position that you are applying for. No interviewer really wants to hear about your personal life, instead only focus on the parts about your personality that make you a great employee.

Advertising

What can you do for us that someone else can’t?

Here employers are obviously looking for specific things that set you apart from the rest of the candidates. You have every right (and perhaps an obligation) to brag and emphasize your positive attributes.

Focus on your ability to get things done, give concrete examples when you faced deadlines and how you were able to meet them. Draw specific accomplishments from your resume and explain how you were able to achieve them. To wrap up this question talk about how your skills, attributes and record of getting things done makes you the perfect candidate to help advance the team.

What didn’t you like about your last job?

Trick question. While you are being asked what you didn’t like about your last position it is imperative that you do not focus on the negative. The interviewer is looking for signs that you might grow bored easily with the position and checking the strength of your commitment..

When answering this question be sure to preface your answer with a few things that you did enjoy about your previous position. For what you disliked keep it short and to point. Something along the lines of “looking for more responsibility” or “looking to expand my skill set” are answers that show your desire for growth. Make sure any answer you select shows off a positive skill of yours.

Are you a team player?

Everybody says yes to this question so it is important that you set yourself apart using concrete examples. Employers are looking for you to expand on your answer, a true team player will have a plethora of stories that show off skills related to teamwork.

Advertising

Center your answers around skills such as being empathetic, solving problems and sharing knowledge. Give concrete examples of a time you’ve had to resolve a conflict or a time you got people to work together.

If you were to win a million dollars what would you do?

When you get asked this question the employer is looking for where your priorities are and the type of person you are outside of work. Focus your answer on staying productive and maintaining your hard working qualities despite the fact you have money.

It is fine for you to say you would take a vacation for a little bit but employers don’t want to know the exact model of the car you would buy or how big your house would be. Stay away from material answers, focus on activities such as volunteering, passion projects and overall still being an active and productive person.

What is the main thing that gets you out of bed each morning?

This is a question to see what type of person you are by finding out what motivates you. Obviously answers like “I was hungry” or “I need money” are not what employers are looking for. Share with them an ambition of yours that you are working towards and how it inspires you to keep moving every morning.

Your ambition should be related to a skill needed for a job and once you have mentioned it you can mention other important parts of your life such as your family and friends. Show that you need little external motivation to perform your best each day.

Advertising

What are your weaknesses?

When answering this question be sure to stay away from typical answers. Answers like “I am too organized’ or “I am a perfectionist” are tired and cliched.

Instead focus your answers around improving specific skills of yours. The skills you choose should be related to the position your applying and should show your own desire for personal growth and growth in the work place.

Whatever weakness you choose slowly transform it into a strength with your explanation. Mention one or two things that you are doing to improve this weakness and show how the position you’re applying for will give you an adequate chance at improving on this.

Why do you want to work for us?

When you are asked this question employers are looking for you to show off what you know about them. Prior to any interview you should do research on the company, when you are asked this question you should play to the company’s needs.

Your answer should detail how your research has shown that this is a company that you would like to work for. List some reasons why you personally would like the position and how some of your skills align with what would be required of you. Emphasize that you chose them because you look to grow as an employee and that their environment seems like a place where you would have endless opportunities to improve your skills.

Advertising

Ending the interview

Practice these eight questions to get in the proper state of mind for your interview. Keep in mind interviewers may ask questions that seem normal and easy but there is always a hidden motive behind it.

Most importantly keep your ears open while being asked questions and take your time before responding. Do not think you are obligated to respond to every question instantly, giving thoughtful answers ensures that you are giving your best possible answers to the interviewer. Always stay learning to best prepare yourself for success!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/george-papaconstantinou/7120970251/ via farm8.staticflickr.com

More by this author

How to Create Killer Questions for Your Interview 8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews 4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

Trending in Work

1 5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You) 2 15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful 3 17 Best Careers Worth Going Back to School for at 40 4 Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor 5 Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Smart Ways to Be More Productive

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

    Advertising

    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

        Advertising

        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

        Advertising

        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

        Advertising

        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

        More About Leadership

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Read Next