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Interview Questions Revealed

Stephanie Cleveland | June 18, 2018

There’s a bit of anxiety that sweeps over us after leaving an interview. You know the moment, when all your answers are on a playback loop, making you wonder if you blew it or nailed it. One question remains … just what was the recruiter or hiring manager thinking?

Even more, did you ask them the right questions? There is a lot of interview advice out there and while it’s impossible to know exactly what is going through every interviewer’s mind, we’re confident the below questions are a few they don’t want to hear.

“Do I have the job?”

What you think they hear: “I’m confident I’m the best candidate for the job and want you to know it.”

What they actually hear: “I’m a little arrogant and have a tendency to be overbearing or pushy. I’m putting you on the spot because I’m truly curious if I have the position.”

An alternative: “What type of candidate do you know you want?” or “What are some qualities of your most successful hires/current employees?”

There is a line between confident and pushy and this question is over the line.

“How much will I be making?”

What you think they hear: “I want to show you how serious I am about making your company, my company. I am considering the ways I can use my talents for your team.”

What they actually hear: “I’m here to get a job because I have bills to pay. It would be nice if I liked the work, but at this point, I really need to make a living.”

An alternative: “Are there opportunities for professional growth and career development within the organization?”

Save the salary conversation for after the offer is extended and not a moment before. It’s acceptable to make negotiations at that point, but even then it should be more about how skills translate and if you can grow within the company. Instead, route interview questions to be more focused on the ability to participate in continued learning or if there is a chance for advancement.

“I’m sorry I’m late, I _____.”

What you think they hear: To be honest, we have no clue what you are thinking. Maybe if traffic is the excuse and you hope they will share in on the frustration of rush hour; or maybe, if the excuse is that you got lost, you hope they will remember what it was like the first time they entered the building.

What they actually hear: “I cannot plan ahead, prioritize my schedule or use my resources to ensure I have all the necessary information to make it to work every day. I have a bad habit of losing track of time and can’t do early mornings.”

An alternative: Don’t be late. If you are going to be late, call as soon as possible and explain that you are happy to reschedule for a time that works for them. Make sure everything is suited to their convenience and don’t be late again.

The average interview lasts 40 minutes, but 33 percent of leaders admitted they knew if they were going to hire the candidate within the first 90 seconds. That means first impressions are everything, being late will be noted and you will be lucky to get a second chance to interview, let alone receive the position.

Interviewing is tough and while it’s great to break a few rules every now and then, some questions simply leave a bad taste in a recruiter’s mouth. If you asked any of these questions in the past, don’t sweat it. Next time, walk into the interview confidently, with your best smile and a few well-planned questions.

Looking for a new career? Learn more at Paycom Careers.