After five hours on an interview panel today, it got me thinking about all the uninspiring responses to interview questions that I have heard from applicants over the years. Today, we had a couple of doozies which compelled me to bullet point a few of the better ones that I remember over the years.
- My alarm didn’t go off this morning because the power went out and at 9:30 a.m. when I finally woke up….
- Is this job clerical?
- No, I don’t know how to do XX but this job is on a team so surely someone else on the team knows how.
- Do you have any questions about the position? No.
- What would you do if XX happened on a project? That has never happened to me so I wouldn’t know how I would react.
- I am a people person and I get along with everyone.
- I have a terminally ill mother to take care of, a sick son, and I only moved here because of Katrina.
- I am always looking for my next opportunity.
- My husband is always working and I am bored so I am looking for something to give me purpose.
- I think outside the box all the time.
- I don’t know (to a core competency for the position).
- Saying absolutely nothing… just crickets.
- Was that preassignment intentional vague?
Interviews are highly stressful for most people so collect your wits, practice with a trusted colleague, and think before you speak. If you do mispeak, just admit it to the panel and make a course correction quickly. Don’t leave them laughing as most interviews are not auditions for a comedy show.