Wrong answers to job interview questions

job interview

Job interview questions are difficult to answer. It is possible to get distracted and lose your train of thought or appear overly confident or insincere. Making a good impression on an employer is the most difficult thing to do.


Candidates who are excited or inexperienced, but also those who are experienced, can have mistakes creep into answers to questions during a job interview.


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Answers to job interview questions: why do I want this job?

Of course, most employees want a job for the pay. Employers don’t want to hear that candidates want the job because of the perks they’re offering. They are attracted to candidates who are intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated.


I’m looking for a job that I can work from home so I can take care of the kids.”


Recently, workers are looking for jobs that will allow them to work from home and employers are offering more and more flexible ways of working. However, it is not a good idea to list it as the main answer to job interview questions.


The employer will conclude that a candidate who is motivated by being able to spend as much time as possible at home will not be interested in deeper integration into the company and will be less loyal.


I’m looking for a job that pays well.”


This is certainly the main reason why most workers look for jobs but it is very inappropriate as an answer. The salary amounts are still a taboo topic, so the question arises as to what the candidate knows about salaries in the company and the industry.


Another problem is that the employer will hesitate to hire a person who only cares about the amount of salary because such a person could quickly move to another employer or ask for a raise.


When answering the question of why one wants to work in a certain company, it is best to focus the story on one of the company’s qualities, such as work culture, brand, or products.


I am fascinated by the impact of your company on society and want to be a part of your story.”


Answers to job interview questions: why am I no longer at my old job?

When studying a candidate’s work career, the employer is usually interested in why the candidate stopped working for the previous employer. An example resume usually does not contain information about why someone stopped working in a particular work organization, but this information is very important to employers. Namely, they want to know if there were any problems with the candidate or with the former workplace.


No one wants to hire a potentially problematic person. That’s why a candidate needs to avoid giving answers to job interview questions that suggest they caused the problems themselves.


The management of the company did not know what they were doing.


It is not uncommon for many companies to make wrong decisions. They can be smaller or larger, and they can certainly worry workers. No one wants to work in a precarious workplace. However, it is better to keep this information to yourself for several reasons.


No one can know whether the former employee was sufficiently informed about running the company. Most of the workers are not even qualified to be in management positions, so it is unlikely that they would know how to run their former company any better.


But perhaps the biggest reason why one should not comment on the management of a former company is that employers do not like workers who gossip about their former employers. Most of them will assume that such workers will be disloyal to their organization and gossip about their company.


My boss interfered excessively with my work.”


Micromanagement has been a business trend for a long time. Many workers are faced with an increasing number of meetings, mandatory consultations, regular reports, and writing emails to superiors. It is not unusual for such a way of working to repel employees. However, it is problematic to tell this to a potential employer.


The employer does not know the situation at the previous workplace and can conclude that the problem was in the worker who does not like constructive criticism or communication with other people. That is why it is necessary to avoid this answer, even if it is the reason why the old workplace was abandoned.


I didn’t fit into the organizational culture.”


Fitting into the organizational culture has become very important in well-paid occupations. In the countries of North America and Western Europe, it is a completely acceptable reason for an employee to leave the company because he was not a good culture fit. However, in countries like Croatia, this is still not a good explanation. Most companies do not function like a family but expect professional behavior.


If a candidate says during a job interview that they did not fit into the organizational culture, the employer may conclude that they may have been unreliable, argumentative, or rigid. Work organizations should not be kindergartens for adults, but environments where people cooperate professionally despite their differences.


The question arises, how to answer the question of why the old workplace was abandoned? The best answers should be worded constructively, and highlight qualities in the candidate that will impress employers.


I was doing well at work, but there were not enough challenges.


This is an example of a good answer. In addition to the candidate showing that they were happy with their job, they pointed out their healthy ambition. Employers love candidates who will say they like to face challenges because such employees will be motivated by overcoming problems, not avoiding them.


However, one should be careful when using this answer because it is not always suitable for every profession. Someone looking for a job in administration can hardly say that they are looking for challenges because it is a job that requires consistency, reliability, and routine.


My job didn’t meet my career goals, so I’m looking for a job that better matches them.”


Employers like employees who know what they are looking for. They will certainly feel flattered if the candidate can make a case for why their company matches their career goals.


But because of this, you should be careful when using this answer and not use it as a universal answer for every employer. If the candidate believes that a particular company is better for their career, then they must be prepared to argue during the job interview why they think so.


That’s why job seekers are always advised to do their research on the employer. In a situation where the candidate successfully explains why the potential position fits perfectly with their career plans, it is almost certain that they will be shortlisted.


Answers to job interview questions: where do you see yourself in five years?

This is probably one of the most hated questions in a job interview. No candidate is sure how to answer this question.


If they answer that they see themselves in the same workplace, the candidate may appear unmotivated and unambitious. If, on the other hand, they say that they see themselves in a higher position, the employer may be concerned that they will try to push out other workers to get promoted.


The answer to this question is critical in cases where the candidate applies for jobs for which they are potentially overqualified. An example of a resume in which the candidate has several years of management experience and the vacancy is for an entry-level position will confuse the employer. If they hire such a candidate, won’t they soon move to another job?


The key to answering this question is to convince the employer that the candidate wants to stay with the company for a long time, grow with it, and share its business successes and failures.


I hope to get a postgraduate degree.”


This answer is not necessarily good or bad. Depending on what the candidate means by postgraduate degree, this answer can let the employer know that they want to improve themselves for further work in the company.


However, if it is a company that does not need highly qualified workers, the candidate can make it known that they do not see themselves working for it long-term.


I can’t find a job in my profession, so I’m also interested in this position.”


This is a disastrously bad answer, even though it is often the real reason for many job applications. It will tell the employer that the candidate will leave as soon as the right opportunity presents itself.


Not only should this answer be avoided, but one should also prepare for such a direct question. If a candidate is applying to work in a store, and has a university education, during the job interview they will almost certainly be asked why they did not get a job in their profession.


It is very difficult to answer the question of where the candidate sees themselves in five years. It is necessary to emphasize that the candidate wants to remain in the company, but also to indicate that they want to expand their career within it.


I hope to work in this position for the next few years, and after that I am interested in the opportunities that will open up for me in the company.”


Unfortunately, it is best to hope that the employer will not be interested in what kind of opportunities the candidate specifically expects.



When answering questions at a job interview, you should keep in mind that the employer is interested in whether it is worth investing time and money in the candidate. As already stated, they want intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated employees.


That’s why you should avoid criticizing the previous employer, talking openly about the financial aspects of the job or working hours, or admitting that you applied for the job because you couldn’t find a job you are actually interested in.


Answers that emphasize that the candidate wants more challenges or work assignments that better match his career goals should be used.


That is why the most important advice is to research the employer and prepare in advance for possible questions.


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