Nasty questions in job interview and job interview: 5 tips for optimal preparation


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Text comes from: Die 157 wichtigsten Arbeitgeberfragen im Vorstellungsgespräch: Was Unternehmen wissen wollen, wo Stolpersteine lauern, wie Bewerber punkten (2018) by Ute Blindert, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Many applicants go to great lengths with “highly polished” application documents. But that alone does not bring them to their goal: it is much more about convincing in the second round, the job interview or interview, and dealing with sometimes nasty questions. 5 tips.

Nasty questions in job interview and job interview: 5 tips for optimal preparation Nasty questions in job interview and job interview: 5 Tips for optimal preparation


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Ute Blindert Ute BlindertUte Blindert is a writer, speaker and presenter.

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Questioning Interviews - Often neglected by job applicants

Actually, one should think that there is enough literature on the subject interview and not really fundamentally changes. Mostly the focus is on the application documents, clothing etc.

The job interview is often neglected and underestimated by the applicants. Unfortunately, this view is not aware of many applicants or they often get a wrong picture of the processes behind a selection process.

Preparing for the job interview: 5 tips on nasty questions

However, applicants must know which employer questions they expect in the job interview. There are simply certain standards in the processes and also the questions that you should know about, so that you will not be completely surprised.

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Therefore, it does not hurt to invest a little more brainwave and thinking in the preparation of the interview and thus have more information available - even if you can not use all in conversation.

1. Curious questions ...

The personnel managers are creative. It was pretty funny when I asked unusual questions in my community and among the participants in my events. “You enter an empty room with rows of chairs. Where are you going? ” Or: “The choice is“ Employee of the Year ”. How would you promote yourself in a speech? ” If you are confident and quick-witted, you will of course have good cards - it is only a question of whether this is relevant for the job.

While the answers to these questions can still have a certain validity, this looks quite different with other questions: A seminar participant said that he was asked as a PostDoc at the age of 35 years after his math graduation note, which did not meet the expectations of the interlocutor. The candidate was then so perplexed that he no longer found a successful conversation and did not get the job.

In the end, of course, this question is completely arbitrary and hardly meaningful,

2. Standard questions: Are there any?

Many job interviews are similar in terms of questions. Of course there are deviations and also shorter or longer variants, for example at a job fair or at an assessment center. It helps to not only prepare for questions, but in general an idea of ​​the selection process in Company to develop.

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For this reason, a good preparation and research of the company, the industry and, best of all, the involved partners is essential. If you have a good idea of ​​what the exact requirements are, you can also deal with surprising questions better.

3. Stay self-assured

Therefore, it is also important to look at one's own attitude and approach to such a conversation.

Applicants should approach these conversations more self-consciously. Because the knowledge of one's own ability and willingness makes it possible to confidently transport one's self to the outside why one fits in with a particular job.

The same applies of course to companies. Again, you should be clear about what skills someone really has to bring along to take on a specific task. It will certainly help here if companies are increasingly recruited via their own network - and the whole systematically tackled.

4. Forbidden questions

On the one hand there are of course questions that are forbidden. For example, no private questions may be asked in the interview. So no questions about family planning, etc. An employer can have no factually legitimate interest in it, as the lawyer Nina Diercks executes on these issues.

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Questions about pregnancy, religion, illnesses, sexual orientation etc. are not of interest, unless there are justified exceptions. For example, a catholic day care center may very well ask about religious affiliation.

5. Meaningless questions

On the other hand, there are a whole series of questions that should save the recruiter, because they bring no knowledge gain: so the classic after the strengths and weaknesses.

This question is now so well known that every applicant can prepare for it - and usually does. It is advisable to work with examples and go through specific situations with the candidate and make statements based on defined response schemes.


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  1. Jana

    Hey great, now I know what I can and must prepare for.

    • Simone Janson

      That's great and hear!

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