5 Tricks Interviewers Will Try to Pull on You 

5 Tricks the Interviewer Will Try to Pull on You – a Catapult Leaders Podcast hosted by Darryl L. Mobley. (Season 2, Episode 11) [Click the video arrow above to see/hear the podcast.]

Interviewing is like dating. Both parties are getting to know each other and deciding if they want to ultimately jump the broom.

No one wants to end up divorced, so both parties want to make sure they are asking the right questions and probing deeply. In this process, the interviewers sometimes ask tough questions designed to catch you off guard and see inside your soul.

Here are 5 tricks interviewers will try to pull on you. Don’t be fooled!

  1. Coax you into revealing a real weakness. A common interview question you are likely to be asked is what your strengths and weaknesses are. It is wise to reveal a weakness that many would actually see as a strength. Because this has become a common practice, many interviewers will probe this question and try to cajole the candidate into revealing multiple weaknesses by saying things like, “Are you sure that’s your only weakness?” Don’t fall for this trick.
  2. Make you think that they are your friend. Interviewers have one job to do. Uncover your fatal flaw so that they can dodge the costly bullet of hiring an employee that will eventually quit or need to be fired. As such, most interviewers are super nice to the candidate. I’m sure they are genuinely nice people, but they primarily do this in the hopes that over the course of the interview, you will let down your guard and say something that you shouldn’t. Remember, the interviewer is not your buddy.
  3. Ask you to tell them about yourself. You’re probably thinking, “’Tell me about yourself?’. That has got to be the most common interview question. How is an interviewer asking me this a trick?” The trick is in how you perceive and answer the question. If you think, “Gee. It’s so nice that they want to know more about me”, and start telling your life story, you’re unlikely to get the job. If you understand that this question is really asking, “What can you do for the company?”, then you will have a great interview.
  4. Share an embarrassing experience to get you to reveal one. Again, the interviewer’s job is to expose you as a fraud…if you really are one. In this world where no one seems to have any shame and is comfortable revealing the most intimate details of their life to perfect strangers, the interviewer may mention having shared something inappropriate on social media or via text or email to see if you reveal a similar transgression. Keep your personal life personal.
  5. See if their company is your top choice. Your interviewer may ask you where else you are interviewing. This question seems straightforward, but it’s not. If you say you aren’t interviewing any place else, it makes you seem either dishonest or dumb – who interviews with just one company when you may not get the job? The best way to answer this question is to reveal that you are speaking with other companies but that the company you are currently interviewing with is your top choice. Then, share with them the reasons that they are your number one choice.

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