Outrageous Interview Questions

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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Once you land a job interview, you may feel the hard work is done. You might even allow your enthusiasm to melt your inhibitions during the meeting. Don’t let your excitement rob you of a chance for the job you’ve been waiting for. Arm yourself with these key interview strategies that include practicing restraint as well as excellent preparation.


Don’t ask about salary.

  • This question shifts the focus to what you want for yourself as opposed to the value you will provide to the company.

Don’t ask about the timeframe for hiring decisions.

  • Every candidate wants to know the answer to this question but asking it can make you seem desperate or anxious for results. Most companies look for candidates able to separate personal from professional demands.

Don’t ask what the company does.

  • Conducting research on corporate initiatives is easily accomplished online. Do your homework to impress hiring managers.

Don’t ask about typical promotion policies.

  • Rushing ahead to promotions may make the interviewer question your judgment and understanding of appropriate business interactions.

Don’t ask about on-the-job training for basic skills.

  • Emphasize the skills you bring, not the deficits about which you are concerned.

Don’t speak ill of former employers.

  • Talking about how much you hated your former workplace or employer is a top interview “don’t!”

Don’t forget basic manners.

  • Offer a handshake to “seal the deal” when you leave. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your pleasure in meeting him or her.


Do debrief after the interview.

  • Take a few minutes to review on your own what went well and what could be improved. If appropriate, include additional clarification about your skills in a follow-up thank-you note.

Do express interest in the company’s initiatives.

  • Show off what you’ve researched about this company prior to the interview by linking your skills and work history to corporate projects.

Do speak positively about prior workplaces.

  • It can be tempting to bring up negative attributes about employers or co-workers, but this is not the time to identify that as your reason for leaving. Focus on more positive reasons for leaving, which might include a need to reach your full potential or to seek out new opportunities for growth.

Do use every phone or email contact as if it were part of the interview.

  • Essentially every contact is part of the screening process. Practice what you want to say so you are prepared for the unexpected call. For some people, it helps to stand while talking to convey a greater presence or sense of personal power.

Do prepare for the interview.

  • Compile a number of job history anecdotes that exemplify your strengths and help you respond readily to interview questions.

Do end the interview on a positive note.

  • Say something like, “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today. My talents and experience represent an asset to your organization and I would be a committed member of your team.”

Solid preparation for the interview will help you avoid asking ridiculous questions. Feeling too comfortable in an interview almost never produces good results. Practice how you want to perform in the job interview just as you would for an important sports event and you will find yourself in the winner’s circle!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Doostang News May 24: How Much are YOU Worth? Tips for Answering the Salary Question


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When an interviewer asks you what your desired salary is, it can leave you a bit stumped.  You don’t want to appear greedy and scare them off, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short.  Perhaps you’re not even sure how much you can expect to be compensated for the position you are applying for.  So where do you go from here?

One approach is to reply to the interviewer that you understand that the going rate for the position in the industry is somewhere around “x”.  Or say that you are aware that the company pays between “y” and “z” for similar positions, and that you figured a salary for your job would fall somewhere between these numbers.  This one requires some research, and ensures that you avoid sounding overly ambitious or like a complete pushover.

You can also inform the interviewer that you are making “x” amount of money currently, and that you are looking to improve upon that number.  However, remember to add that you are focused on the position more than on the money, and that you are happy to consider another offer.  This approach will put a little pressure on the hiring manager, but will also demonstrate that you are flexible and consider the job your first priority.

If you aren’t sure what sort of number you should throw out there, it’s okay to lob the ball back in the interviewer’s court in a pleasant way.  Ask him or her what the company typically pays for similar positions, and then use this as a starting point to further discuss the matter, in terms of your current salary and your current needs.  Don’t get too embroiled in negotiations yet, though –  the time for that will be when you actually secure the job.

The trick with the salary question is to say as little as you can until the final stage of interviews, or until you’re pretty certain that you’ve snagged the job.  If the company is really interested in you, the interaction surrounding this matter won’t feel as awkward, and you’ll have much more leverage in discussing it.  The real strategy is to keep the emphasis as much on the job as you can, and then eventually come to a figure that both parties are happy with.

To a prosperous future,

The Doostang Team