Job interviews can be intimidating even for the most experienced candidate. To make matters worse, many interviewers don’t know the right questions to ask so they include dumb questions that offer no insight into a candidate’s potential success in the position. When asking stupid interview questions, hiring managers can expect generic answers or lies from candidates desperate to impress. Read on for some common dumb interview questions and the best ways to answer them.
Dumb interview question: Why should we hire you?
Your resume, cover letter, and answers to other questions should be enough for an interviewer to figure out why you should or shouldn’t be hired. This question is vague and pointless. However, many lazy or inexperienced interviewers still use it so have an answer prepared. The best answer is to explain what you’ve accomplished in past positions or, if you’re inexperienced, specific skills and knowledge you’ll bring to the position. Don’t answer with adjectives like hard-working, reliable, and motivated. Just because the question is dumb doesn’t mean your answer has to be.
Dumb interview question: What is your greatest weakness?
Interviewers should know applicants won’t give a brutally honest answer to this question. Most will say something generic like perfectionism rather than admit to weaknesses that might negatively impact their job performance. A better question would be “what is a career-related skill or trait you’re working to improve?”, so pretend they asked that when you give an answer. Maybe you have trouble speaking up in groups, or lack familiarity with a key industry software. Make sure to emphasize that you’re working on improving and what progress you’ve made.
Dumb interview question: What are your hobbies?
Unless you’re applying for a position related to a specific hobby, this interview question is useless to the hiring manager. Candidates will either make something up to try and sound interesting or give a typical answer like reading or shopping. Either way, it offers no insight into how the individual will perform on the job. Don’t make something up because you may be caught in your lie if they ask more detailed questions. It’s probably just a question to make you feel less anxious and more friendly towards the interviewer so don’t feel pressure to come up with something unique. And if they’re basing hiring decisions on what you do in your spare time, it’s probably not the best place to work anyway.
Dumb interview question: What is your favorite book or movie?
As with the hobby question, this offers no insight into a candidate’s ability to perform the job and very little (if any) into his or her personality. Candidates will lie and mention some classic piece of literature or career-related book/move or say something they know is popular and safe. Answer with something you know (in case of further questions or discussion) but you don’t have to be completely honest, especially if your favorite movie or book is really lowbrow.
You’ll probably be thrown at least one curve ball during your job interview. It may be intentional or not, but answer as honestly as possible without jeopardizing your career prospects. And if questions get too personal or off the wall, you probably don’t want to work at that company anyway.