As someone who has all the jobs, I can say with confidence that interviews are the most painful part of the whole application process. Like, physically painful. Flogging is standard practice and, in rare cases, handcuffs are sometimes used. And blindfolds. And whips. But, Chris, you’re probably saying, I’m not applying to be Christian Grey’s ass double in ‘Fifty Shades.’ I hear you, buddy, but we have to start somewhere, don’t we?
Truthfully, no one really prepares you for interviewing. Oh sure, the CDO will send out a million emails in one week about events starting five minutes after an email has been sent, and I guess those might help if you’re into that sort of thing. But people, right? Real ones. It’s all so terrifying. Plus, I’ve always imagined the CDO to be like LinkedIn. We all know it exists, and we have a basic understanding of what it’s supposed to do, but no one actually uses it. Maybe that’s our fault, but for my purposes I’m going to say that the world, society and your parents have failed you. And as a result: you can’t interview for shit. But fear not, because below I’ve provided you with some helpful ways to tackle your interviewer’s toughest questions. (Please, for all that is holy, do not actually tackle your interviewer. Save that for the first company outing.)
Why are you interested in the position?
OK, personal much? This interviewer is relentless and clearly doesn’t know where their business ends and yours begins. Don’t answer this question. It’s clearly a trick, and you don’t need that in your life. Try asking them why they applied for their position and why they decided to stay with the company. Let them know that you’re not going to sit back and just accept your “role” in the interview process. Exert your dominance. Start yelling. Clap a little. Maybe both at the same time? You aren’t applying for the position, because you are the position. The position is you.
How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?
This person’s asking for a fight. The obvious answer is that you don’t have any weaknesses, but we both know they aren’t going to buy that. Even Achilles had his imperfections, I guess. In this case, allow your actions to do all the talking. Bench press their desk. Do a handstand on their shoulders. Maybe do a quadruple pirouette, hover in passé and then land in a lunge—you know, if you’re into that. Literally don’t stop doing an accelerated gymnastics/breakdancing routine until they hire you on the spot.
What can you bring to the company?
Didn’t know this was a potluck, but let’s just play along for a second. A job is obviously a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ situation, and they want you on board from before you even get a chance to sign a contract. You’ve gotta be much faster than them, so show up to your interview with your cooking speciality: a baked Alaska, a piping hot lasagna and scalloped potatoes. Can’t cook? Then be that person who shows up to family outings with napkins and spoons. But don’t be upset if you lose out on the job due to your lack of experience in the kitchen. An employer’s gotta eat, just as you do.
I see you mentioned _______ in your cover letter. Could you talk about that experience?
Since when was your cover letter in the public domain? These people really do their digging, and they’re so shameless about it! You know their dirty tricks, though, so this question won’t catch you off guard. Instead, tell them you know nothing about this alleged “cover letter” you drafted. You want them to know you aren’t about to open your flappy maw to just anyone. Because, let’s be real for a second, they want to make sure they can trust you. All questions are part of that test. It weeds out the blabbermouths from the steel traps. So shut up and wait for the dollar bills to rain down on you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
You’re probably thinking right now, “Uh, that’s not a question, dude.” Maybe on the surface it’s not. Look closer. No, closer. I want you so close you can taste the ink with your eyeballs. See it? Expressed as a statement, it’s questioning your tenacity. You’re not going anywhere. You’re going to sit in the room until they make you CEO. Works every time.