CareerPhil Employment Opinions

Two stupid questions they still ask at interviews ?

Two Daft questions

Interviews are a two-way discussion. The interviewer and interviewee talk to gauge whether the company and the employee would be a good fit together.

However, interviewers have lost the plot.

Interviews have turned into some kind of a game that an interviewee has to navigate and complete challenges to level up in the career. Generally, I let that pass.

Interviewers are provided with some sort of blank paper with some words on it and led to believe that someone uttering rather smart words in any sort of correct order will be a good fit to do the job. I cannot blame the interviewers for that. They read from a script the same way that a call-center worker reads from a script to sell some crappy product.

But these two daft questions still baffle me.

Q1) What is your weakness?

Q2) Give us one reason why we shouldn’t hire you?

These aren’t the only dumb questions asked at interviews. You can find more example of dumb questions here, here, and here.

How to answer “what is your weakness” at an interview?

The answer almost always is a fake answer.

Boost your ego and try to outsmart the interviewer type garble that the internet generally throws up. Ahem… even Career Geek tells you in a previous article how to answer what is your weakness.

As the article explains;

The truth is the interviewer is trying to flummox you with this trick question; of course they don’t really want to hear your flaws. They’ll work them out for themselves after a few weeks of employment.

Also, who the heck uses the word “flummox” in daily grammar? 

There is nothing of value in that question. It is a daft question that has continued to be asked without anyone thinking why do we ask that question in the first place.

Also, who the heck uses the word 'flummox' in daily grammar? Click To Tweet

It’s a daft question – I hope never to be in a position where I have to ask to utter those daft words when interviewing.

How to answer “Give us one reason why we shouldn’t hire you?”

Huh?

WTF is that even meant to show the interviewer to make a reasonable attempt at deciding whether to hire you or not?

It’s a daft question.

OK, there are sites out there which tell you how to answer that question, like one stack exchange user explains:

how to answer why shouldn't i hire you

Seriously, though, how can you truly answer that question.

You don’t know about the job scope and won’t find out whether you will be good at it or not until you start in the role. It doesn’t matter if the role is that of a fitter/technician or CEO. It’s not unusual for CEOs to realise a company isn’t a good fit and quit 8-12 months into the role. But they don’t mention that before the interview.

Clearly, by now, you’ve figured out I am not a fan of such questions.

I am sure, there is an HR person or a manager who’s asked such questions typing away why these are great questions – but I am yet to see that.

No quantifiable benefit of asking these daft questions

In my opinion, these questions are pointless. There is no empirical evidence to show (and trust me I looked, sad life, I know) those who answer these questions honestly turn out to be better employees.

I know my weakness. Everyone knows their weaknesses.

But we are working on it. Everyone wants to get rid of weaknesses. No one is going to become a doctor if their weakness is seeing blood. And that is a true weakness.

To say, my weakness is being impatience, is being egoistic douche-bag about things.

Interviews are not meant to be some sort of black art. It’s meant to be an honest conversation between interviewer and interviewee to find out more about each other and see if they can work together.

By asking such daft questions and getting 'falsely smart' answers, the very integrity of the interview is lost.Click To Tweet

By asking such questions, your company is encouraging that.

I know you have thoughts on this, do let me know in the comment section. You gotta say, what you gotta say.

1 Comment

  • There are no longer any reasons to ask these two questions in a job interview. Any interviewer who asks these questions is locked in a mindset from last century and probably shouldn’t be interviewing candidates. there are many, many ways to find out what you need to know about a candidate without being so negative.
    These questions serve only to put a candidate on the back foot; to unsettle them, and to trip them. Now you could argue that’s the reason an interviewer does this, but then interviewers should remember that a job interview is a two-way street. The candidate is interviewing the company too.
    Such deliberate attempts to derail a candidate and to make the interview an uncomfortable experience serve only to demonstrate that this is the kind of behaviour a candidate can expect should they become an employee.