Science Careers Blog

June 23, 2008

Tough Interview Questions?

Last week Career Hub, a group blog on job hunting and career development, posted its periodic list of tough interview questions that blogger and career counselor Billie Sucher heard from her clients.  While the list can help interviewees prepare for a potentially difficult session, they also reveal a little about some employers.

Some of the questions may have been tough for the interviewees, but depending on the type of job, they seem legitimate and interviewees should be prepared for them:
- What can we expect from you as an employee and what do you expect from us an an employer?
- Please tell us how you're an asset or a liability to an organization and defend your answer.
- If we bring you on board, how will you earn your keep?
- In general, would your colleagues describe you as a giver or a taker, and share some examples?

Some questions show employers have creative ways of finding out more about their employee prospects:
- If you were a member of this Selection Committee, what is the single-most important question that we should be asking you that we haven't?
- Will you lead or will you follow and which do you think is more important in today's volatile climate?

On the other hand, some questions seem designed to elicit a response of "huh?" ...
- As a manager, do you implode or explode when things don't go your way and what happens after that?
- Do you inspire, or do you despair, in the face of change and adversity, and tell us something about that.

And one question has only one answer: none of your business ...
- Tell us something about you that only your mother would know.

Have you had any tough interview questions you would like to share?  To get the discussion started, here are some interview questions our editors have heard about first-hand or encountered themselves ...
- How much do you expect to earn here?
- Do you plan to have children?
- If we offer you this job, will your husband be willing to relocate? 
Do you have any other handicaps you didn't tell us about?


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