January 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #61: Incorrect Interview Questions & Answers

Tip of the Week

Amid the interview jitters, applicants say many things they wish they could take back. Some comments make a bad impression on the interviewer. Here are some ways not to answer questions.

Why do you want to move to [job location]? When asked why you want to move to Philadelphia for the job while you currently live in Detroit, do not say because you're a huge Flyer fan. Even though this may be true, interviewers want to hear you will relocate because you find their opportunity challenging and a great career move.What are your weaknesses? When asked what your weaknesses are, do not answer by mentioning one that cannot be turned around into a benefit for you. For instance, stating you have a quick temper and fly off the handle easily cannot be turned around to your benefit. Stating you need more patience with people who do not live up to their potential is turned around to your benefit. Think of weaknesses in this light and you will benefit. Always think of the positive side to any weakness you may have.Why do you want the position? When asked why you would want the position, do not answer because it pays well. That may be true, but employers will look at this answer as meaning you are just in it for the paycheck. They want to know that you will benefit the company, not just yourself.Why are you looking for a new job? Whenever you are asked about former employers, never ever talk negatively about them. This reflects negatively on you. Every position and former employer has some positive to talk about. Your former employer may have been a jerk, but you learned a lot about your field while employed there.
As far as questions go, never ask about the salary on the first interview unless your interviewer brings it up. Do not ask if there is a lot of overtime. Ask what the average work week consists of. By stating it that way, your interviewer can describe the hours in a roundabout way.  Learning what to say and not to say during your interview will prove to your benefit.

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