Tuesday, May 21, 2024

interviewer requested what my finest buddy would say my worst behavior is — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

I’m a latest school graduate and final week I had my first job interview that wasn’t for a retail or meals service place. I discovered among the interviewer’s questions odd and I needed to get the opinion of somebody extra skilled. If it issues, I’m a younger girl trying to enter a pink collar area.

After preliminary pleasantries, the interviewer opened with, “Who’s your finest buddy?”

I used to be shocked as a result of I wasn’t anticipating one thing that private. I are typically a fairly non-public individual and I don’t like sharing my private life with my coworkers. It took me a second to even consider tips on how to reply the query. I lastly informed him my roommate.

He then requested, “How would she describe you?” Once more, I struggled as a result of my persona at residence is just not what I deliver to work. My roommate sees me at my finest and worst, however a extra “actual” model than the skilled individual I deliver to work. I attempted to supply him some optimistic traits that I feel she’d agree I’ve.

He then requested, “What would she inform me is your worst behavior?”

With out considering, I blurted out, “Leaving my dishes within the sink too lengthy,” as a result of I used to be getting more and more uncomfortable with the road of questioning. At this level he introduced within the supervisor who can be my direct supervisor and the questions took on a extra skilled tone.

I favored the supervisor I’d be working with, and the primary interviewer appeared fairly happy with my solutions (he laughed about my dish reply and stated his spouse would say the identical of him) however the questions had been simply so odd.

Are these typical inquiries to count on? How would you reply to somebody asking you about your folks and what they’d say about you?

No, these aren’t typical interview questions. Furthermore, they’re dangerous questions and the mark of an interviewer who doesn’t know tips on how to interview.

If I squint, I can form of see how “how would your finest buddy describe you?” could possibly be an try to simply get a greater sense of who you might be (one thing that’s not completely off-limits for a job interview, though this explicit query continues to be a nasty one), however “what would your finest buddy say is your worst behavior?” is only a ridiculous factor to ask. The overwhelming majority of individuals’s solutions wouldn’t be related to work — it’s wildly irrelevant in case your finest buddy thinks it is best to eat out much less or provoke plans extra or be much less choosy about guys or any of the opposite potential solutions right here. Plus, it’s going to make folks uncomfortable, simply because it did you.

Clearly it’s an try and get you speaking about your weaknesses, however why the hell didn’t he make it related to work by asking, “What would your supervisor say your worst behavior is?” Or higher, “What sort of suggestions have managers given you up to now, each issues they noticed as strengths and areas they inspired you to develop in?” (I’ve realized a ton of attention-grabbing stuff by asking candidates that!)

Anyway, whereas these aren’t typical interview questions, it’s not unusual to come across an interviewer who doesn’t know tips on how to interview effectively and makes use of questions that appear off-base or simply throw you. You may’t put together for these as a result of there are so many prospects for bizarre, off-base issues a nasty interviewer might land on.

What you can have are basic methods. For instance, if somebody asks you a non-work-related query that you simply’d fairly not reply, you possibly can (a) make up a solution that highlights one thing you wish to reinforce in your candidacy, with out sounding clearly disingenuous or excessive, (b) give a light-hearted response that highlights that the query isn’t suited to the context, like your reply about leaving dishes within the sink, (c) explicitly redirect it to one thing related to work (“I’m undecided my finest buddy would say something related to work, however I’ll let you know what a detailed colleague would say…”), or (d) in notably egregious conditions, calmly say, “I wasn’t anticipating that query. Why do you ask?” That final one is particularly suited to interviewers who’re treading on problematic authorized territory — like asking when you have youngsters or what church you go to.

You too can count on you may be requested one thing about your life outdoors of labor — whether or not it’s pursuits, hobbies, studying tastes, or who is aware of what — and have a few matters ready that you simply’re comfy speaking about and which you’ll adapt for various questions.

It additionally helps to get actually clear in your head in regards to the energy dynamics in interviews — particularly, that you simply’re there to evaluate them simply as a lot as they’re assessing you, and also you don’t hand over all your individual energy when you sit down within the interview chair. I’m not saying that’s what occurred to you — there’s nothing to point that — but it surely’s actually widespread for candidates, particularly early-career candidates, to really feel like they’re simply there to be judged and the interviewer holds all the ability. Getting clear in your head that interviews are two-way streets and also you get to resolve whether or not you are focused on working with them can generally make bizarre interview questions simpler to deal with .

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