Answering Common Interview Questions


Printing out “HIRED”, in a large font, on a small cardboard flashcard, and flashing at the interview panel after each question, is a great technique.

Whilst looking for a new position, and facing the prospect of having to woo another potential employer, I thought perhaps prudent to prepare myself for common interview questions.

Employers are looking for candidates that project an image of competency and trust. It is your job to convince them that you will do instead.

– What are the qualities of a good leader?
Good leaders are generally those that know they’re rubbish and deliberately stop themselves from having too much input.

– How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?
One of my favourite college experiences was dropping small plastic parachute men from the 4th floor tower block window. This in no way prepared me for this job. However, if the company would consider relocating to a higher floor, I may have some creative input.

– What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
I once got hit in the face with a tennis racket, whilst playing rounders. That’s rare.

– Tell me about yourself.
I want you to employ me. I also do not want to lie. Hence, I will not be telling you anything about myself.

– When were you most satisfied in your job?
I think the brief encounter I had in the upstairs stockroom with that surprisingly perky sales assistant qualifies.

– Have you ever had to deal with conflicting deadlines?
Conflicting deadlines are fortunately all too common. I say fortunately, because when you have conflicting deadlines it’s the perfect excuse to blame someone else and use all your remaining time for something you’re actually interested in. Perhaps Uno.

– Please give an example of a team experience you found disappointing.
England’s Euro 1996 campaign.

– Are you planning to continue your studies?
I own a book, if that counts.

– How long would you stay with our company?
Long enough to collect between £30 and £40 of company stationary, but not long enough that I can actually be held accountable for anything.

– Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
I concede that at first glance I may appear overqualified, however 90% of my qualifications are fictitious, and left in from the CV I used as a template.

– If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
I would probably pick someone fantastic on paper, but one that I know to have a serious flaw. That way I could reasonably defend the appointment if challenged, whilst knowing they they could never reach a level of performance to threaten my position.

– How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
I am used to it. I have rejection down to an art.

– When given an important assignment, how do you approach it?
I skirt around it, eventually someone junior will do and I can take all credit.

– What was the most complex assignment you have had?
When I was seven years old, my grandad gave me a Rubiks cube.

– Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years time, I will have probably have been caught breaching my parole conditions, and will be trading cigarettes in E wing.

– Tell me about your proudest achievement.
Once, I made a model of Ironbridge using only the boxes of chocolate fingers and a wire coat hangar.

– How did you react when faced with constant time pressure?
I do not react. Yes, I could ease pressure by skipping one of my afternoon naps. No, I’m not going to.

– Give me an example that best describes your organizational skills.
I once failed to have a piss up at a brewery. I think that covers it.

– What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
Possibly that I was too goal oriented, and perhaps overall overly competitive. Just an inconsiderate lover generally really.

– What would make you happy in a job?
Either a ridiculously vague but impressive sounding job title, or a storm trooper costumed secretary.

– What do you think, would you be willing to travel for work?
No I expect you to move the premises to suit me. Perhaps invest in a caravan and sell from the back of it.

– What is the difference between a good position and an excellent one?
I have forwarded this question to “Dear Deirdre”.

– What have you been doing since your last job?
Browsing eBay and chatting on Facebook, that was my last job, and since then it’s become a rewarding hobby.

You can thank me later.

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