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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is your ideal Job and other Terrible Questions that Interviewers Ask

I am letting this blog continue its descent into exploring the job interview process. That's probably better than a descent into animal husbandry, colonoscopies, Molly Ivins quotes, and other places this blog has descended to.

I have learned that there are some interview questions that are intended to be traps. They yield little to no useful information and are really intended to trap applicants into revealing information that will eliminate them. The question of "What is your ideal job?" almost trapped me in a recent interview. Therefore, I started using it on people that my department interviewed to see how others responded. Here are the results.

My ideal job is one where I can considered a subject matter expert and coworkers look to me for my expertise. Sounds like a good harmless answer to a bad question. However, the job was for a project manager who would work on such a range of projects that they would never become an expert in any area. In fact, the job called for someone who was comfortable not being a subject matter expert.

I want to be a in a position that uses my skills and provides opportunities to grow. That became my favorite answer to this question. It reveals nothing to trap someone but answers the question. It even adds just a hint of "Ask a stupid question and get a stupid answer," to get the interviewer to back off future bad questions.

I want to continue to work and grow in Field XYZ that I am interviewing for. That was my answer. My biggest problem was my delivery where I made it appear that I had just come to this revelation during the interview. Otherwise, it's not a bad answer.

For both readers, what's your favorite terrible interview questions and how do you respond? My other favorite was How do you like to be praised? My answer was with with a parade complete with clowns and a marching band.
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