Key questions for interviewees

02.29.2012


Key questions for interviewees
Job seekers should be prepared for a wide variety of questions during the interview.

Candidates readying themselves for job interviews should be prepared to answer a range of questions, including inquiries that interviewers may be asking now based on the current status of the economy.

There is a consensus that hiring managers only have three real questions for applicants, according to Forbes. Interviewers want to know if candidates are capable of doing the job, if they will enjoy the position, and if they will fit into the corporate culture.

While the information that these hiring managers look to uncover seems simple, they may have various additional questions for the long-term unemployed, or people who have been looking for work for more than 27 weeks, Forbes reports. These candidates will have a tougher path when navigating the potential questions that can be asked by a hiring manager.

"On the other side of the desk, hiring managers spend countless long hours interviewing candidate after candidate," Joyce Lain Kennedy, a nationally syndicated careers columnist and author of "Job Interviews For Dummies," told the news source. "A tricky question may be used as a time management tool to quickly eliminate a less qualified candidate."

This staffing expert told the media outlet that an unexpected question could trigger a genuine reply that reveals hidden problems. The biggest question that a hiring manager will throw out at people who have been unemployed long-term is why have they been jobless for this period of time, and who else was laid off at the same time.

The hiring manager might follow this question by asking why the applicant was laid off, in an attempt to decipher whether the person's former employer used the excuse of budget problems or the recession to get rid of the person, according to the news source. The interviewer wants to know if the applicant was let go for problems that were discovered while that person was employed.

Kennedy advises that candidates respond by saying that they don't know why they were laid off, but that they were productive past the amount they were paid, the media outlet reports. She advises that applicants answer in this manner instead of giving a more direct response that could potentially be taken in the wrong way.

The staffing expert identified another question that could potentially be asked of candidates who are currently employed, which is how a person with a job can find time to interview for other positions, according to the news source. She states that hiring managers are looking to find out "whether you are lying to and short-changing your current employer while looking for other work." She suggests applicants use the question as an opportunity to demonstrate interest in the position by stating that they are doing the job interview in their personal time and that the opportunity is a great fit. She also recommends that if the hiring manager wants to hold additional interviews, that the candidate reiterate that his search is confidential and that the subsequent discussions should happen outside of normal business hours.

One question that a hiring manager may ask candidates is what bothers them about their coworkers and bosses, the media outlet reports. Job seekers should quickly forget actions by their fellow employees and superiors that irked them. Applicants should respond to questions such as these by pausing and then saying they can't recall anything. They should then go on to praise their former managers for being reasonable and commend co-workers for their strengths. 

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