Whoever Said “There Are No Stupid Questions” Was Wrong
You would not be alone if you ever walked out of an interview for a tech job and thought, “If only hiring managers would stop asking awful questions, I wouldn’t mind the job search process so much!”
Bad, head-scratching or frivolous questions can be the most painful part of an interview for IT job candidates. Even individuals who prepare backwards and forwards can find themselves thrown off balance and confused by a hiring manager’s question that seems to come from well beyond left field.
Of course, candidates don’t get to write their questions. Nor are they in a position to challenge the value or usefulness of an inquiry when it comes out of the hiring manager’s mouth. Tech job candidates can try to overcome questions they wish tech hiring managers would stop asking by coming up with an answer that proves both responsive, thoughtful, and helpful to your goal of getting an offer.
One lousy question doesn’t make for a bad interview and should not give you a negative impression of a company overall. But you can let yourself feel quietly and imperceptibly annoyed and belittled by such questions.
Whether you have yet to be on the receiving end of stupid questions or not, here are five questions that tech candidates wish hiring managers would stop asking:
The Main Question Tech Candidates Which Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking: What’s Your Biggest Weakness?
Being forced to come up with and explain your biggest weakness may be the granddaddy of all dreaded interview questions. You spend all this time accentuating the positive about yourself, your experience, and your skills, and then the interviewer asks you to describe the most negative thing about yourself.
Don’t try to be too cute by saying something like, “my biggest weakness is that I work too hard and care too much.” The questioner is looking for self-awareness and your ability to recognize areas where you could improve. Find some aspect of your skillset that you know you need to be better at but emphasize any efforts you are taking or have taken to address such issues. That shows a commitment to continuous improvement, a quality that tech hiring managers will see as a strength and not a weakness.
Why Should We Hire You?
Isn’t that why we’re here? Isn’t it your job, hiring manager, to figure that out based on everything in my resume, my substantive interview responses, and the glowing comments by my references?
The above thoughts may all be true, but if the interviewer asks you straight-up why you are the person for the job, you need to give them an answer that doesn’t involve, “I need the money.”
Answer this dumb question by connecting your experience and approach to both the job requirements as well as the company’s values and philosophy (which you learned about in your extensive interview prep). Discuss how your goals and the company’s intersect, and align your answer so that it provides a reaffirmation of all of the substantive reasons you offered that make you the best candidate.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
This can be a frustrating question no matter where you are in your life and career. But in a world that looks unfathomably different than it did just a few short months ago, trying to picture five years from now proves even more difficult. Focus on your desired career arc, the progress and expansion you wish to see in your experience and responsibilities, and the goals you have for yourself as well as the company you work for.
Riddle Me This
Unless you’re Batman, your ability to solve riddles is not necessarily relevant to your ability to perform your technical responsibilities. But many hiring managers like asking riddles to get a sense of how a candidate’s “mind works” or their “problem-solving” abilities.
Do your best to respond, but understanding the motivation behind the question, focus on your actual creative and proactive problem-solving experiences, and how they apply to the current position.
What Three Words Best Describe You?
Annoyed, perplexed, and bemused may be the three words that come to mind after you hear this question. Human beings are complex, multi-faceted, and unique. Trying to distill any individual above the age of two in three words is an endeavor that will inevitably leave lots of valuable information and qualities by the wayside. If you must provide a three-word answer, make that answer relevant to the position and as insightful as it can be under the circumstances.
One Question We DON’T Wish Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking Us: Can You Get Us The Best Tech Talent?
GTN Technical Staffing has earned a reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the right talent to the right companies. We are, without question, an invaluable resource for IT professionals seeking their next opportunity.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with a tech recruiter today to learn more about how we can help your company find the best tech talent out there.