Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 7 Most Annoying Interview Questions

By James Ball | Jan 20, 2017 | Friday Funnies

The 7 Most Annoying Interview QuestionsThere are some interview questions that seem to crop up time and time again…

The “essentials” one might say.

But what do candidates actually really think about them?

Well, this week I’ve compiled a list of the seven most annoying interview questions, according to candidates.

(Don’t shoot the messenger!)

1. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I think candidates probably find this one annoying because most of us don’t even know what we want for lunch, let alone a five year plan.

Forced to say something along the lines of…

“Hopefully, I will be working in a management/ senior position with your company, as a direct result of my hard work and the brilliant results I achieved during that time.”

…when really we’re probably thinking:

  • Travelling the world would be nice.
  • Hopefully, I’ll have paid off all my debts by then.
  • I have absolutely NO idea.

What do you think?

2. “Why do you want to work here?”

Let’s be honest, this one is just asking for a pile of bullsh*t.

What pretty much ALL candidates will say:

“I think I’d fit in really well, I’m really passionate about {your company mission} and you also seem like a really friendly bunch!”

What most are (probably) thinking:

  • I kind of need a job to survive.
  • You’re paying more money.
  • It’s a job. I want a new job.
  • I have absolutely NO idea.

Emphasis on “most.”

3. “What’s your greatest weakness?”

I know for a fact that this one p*sses off candidates.

Probably because it feels far too much like a trap; shall I be honest, or lie, can I turn a con into a pro or is that just cheesy?

So usually it’ll go a bit like this…

“I just work too hard. I know I should say no, but I really struggle to.”

“I used to be terrible at A, so I did some extra training and now I’m awesome at A.”

But in all honesty, the really answer is much more likely to be something like…

  • I’m always late.
  • I just can’t turn down cake.
  • I hate Excel.
  • *Scotch

*A candidate genuinely said this to me. At the time I thought it was absurd, but now I think about it, maybe not… it’s honest at least.

4. “If you were a superhero, which would you be & why?”

Sorry what? Is there even a “right” answer?

Because I’m pretty sure this has no relevance to anything.

You can also swap “superhero” for fruit, animal or basically anything you dream up

What you probably should answer:

  • I don’t see the relevance of the question.
  • Batman, because he worked really hard to become the superhero he is, so he respects his super-ness more.
  • I am a superhero (ok, maybe not).

What you really want to answer:

“Batman because he’s obviously the most badass superhero that ever lived!”

I’m not sure that would go down very well though. Who knows?

5. “What salary do you want?”

This one obviously does need to be asked at some point, but it’s incredibly awkward in an interview situation – especially when the salary stated is “negotiable.”

“What if I go too high or don’t get the amount I deserve? “

You’ll don’t know, so you just answer; sometimes you wing it and go high and sometimes you bottle it and go low.

What you’re really thinking:

  • As much as you’re willing to give me.

If only we could be honest, ey?

6. “How many golf balls fit into Wimbledon?”

Or any such inane interview brainteaser.

Immediate thoughts: why do you hate me?

In my experience (and from what I’ve been told by clients and candidates) it’s very rare that someone fares well with these kinds of questions.

Most of us just panic, for obvious reasons.

7. “Are you a team player?”

So, how would this go down?

Interviewer: “Are you a team player?”

Interviewee: “No.”

Interviewer: “Oh.”

There is, quite clearly, a right answer.

Recognise these?

Perhaps you’ve asked, been asked or heard other people complain about them?

I wonder why they’re so annoying!

I think ultimately it comes down to level of bullsh*t they require. To answer any of the above, you do kind of need to be able to “talk the talk” using fluffy, fake and over-the-top answers. It’s all a bit cringe-worthy!

Recruiter Pro Tip

So what can we learn from these candidate complaints?

Probably, that we shouldn’t ask silly questions, unless we want to hear silly answers! Our ebook will help you with that: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting the Perfect Interview

And if you want to smash your next interview, prepare some fluffy answers! This blog post will help you with that: The 10 Most Common Interview Questions and How You Should Be Answering Them

Hope you enjoyed this Friday Funny.

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Enjoy and Happy Friday.

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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