Back in 2017, I published my first list of Snarky Answers to Interview Questions https://personaltouchcareerservices.com/?p=8605. Since then, employers continue to ask asinine questions that just scream for your best sarcastic answer. While it’s probably not a good idea to let your first thought to these dumb questions fly, you can gain some perverse satisfaction from what you wish you could say… and the smart answer that you probably should use.
Q: “What do you dread the most about your work?”
Snarky Answer: “Every single day that I have to walk through the door.”
Yep, I know you are dying to tell about the horrible company culture, the screaming control freak boss, and the apathetic co-workers. To tell the truth, you might absolutely hate everything about your job. However, no matter how bad it is, you don’t want to cast a negative vibe in the interview itself. One tactic is to take a part of your job that is not going to be repeated in your next job.
Real Answer: “I would not say that I dread any aspect of my job, however, I would say that filing is my least favorite part. That’s why I am very interested in this sales position, which will give me more interaction with the customers.”
Q: “What kind of animal would you be and why?”
Snarky Answer: “A bear so I can maul you and stop these stupid questions.”
On the surface, this question looks like a throw-away. In fact, you can use humor in your answer, but probably not outright aggressive. The whole concept with this weird question is NOT the animal you pick, but your reason WHY. It is designed to give insight into your personality.
Real Answer: “I would like to be an eagle, because they can soar high to see the big picture but still pay attention to the details on the ground. Then they swoop in and grab that opportunity.”
Q: “What is the worst decision you have ever made?”
Snarky Answer: “I am torn between marrying my ex-wife and accepting my last job.”
There is a rising trend of asking applicants questions that intrinsically have a negative outcome or result. Since this is a job interview and not a date, you want to stick to something from your professional life. What is most important about this question and other negative results is what you learned from it or how you corrected the situation.
Real Answer: “Once I quoted a client a price that was well below our standard rate. I had to get the manager involved to renegotiate the contract, so we did not lose too much money while keeping the customer. After that, I never walked into another client meeting without fully understanding our pricing structure.”
Q: “You are stranded on a desert island and can only take three items with you. What would they be?”
Snarky answer: “A case of beer, a swimsuit model, and my company’s training manual for toilet paper.”
Problem-solving questions are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you need to elevate to smart-talk level. However, a smart answer shouldn’t be overlooked…
Real Answer: “A boat, a satellite phone, and a solar cell phone charger.”
Q: “How would you rate me as an interviewer?”
Snarky Answer: “is there an option lower than zero?”
Another growing trend are the in-the-moment feedback questions. Originally thought to surprise the candidate into giving an honest answer, they are thin veils and easily lead to answers that just butter up the interviewer. To make a solid match for their company culture, employers want to know how you will react to these types of questions: is it an honest assessment or will you turn into the suck-up? Even with the positive spin, pick out specifics about their techniques to give a more meaningful commentary.
Real Answer: “I like the fact that you have been giving me some challenging behavioral questions to think about, while giving me the facts about the company.”
Q: “What would your former manager say about you?”
Snarky Answer: “Legally, she can’t say anything.”
Technically, that snarky answer is true – but boy, does it sound bad! That implies that there may have been some legal reasons for your termination that can’t be discussed. Instead, try to point out positive traits or accomplishments, while remaining humble. If you can tie it back to specific feedback, such as your last review, it carries more weight.
Real Answer: “My boss seemed pretty happy with my performance. In my last review, she made special note that she really liked the way I interacted with both our team and the customers.”
Q: “Why should we hire you over other applicants?”
Snarky Answer: “I am such as top performer, you would be a fool to not hire me.”
Okay, confidence is great, but nobody wants a braggard. This question does require a strong sales pitch, so be sure to mention your strengths and accomplishments that relate to the job. Even better, tie it back to key points you discussed in the interview already.
Real Answer: “I believe I’m a great match for your company. As you mentioned, you are very customer-focused, and I am driven to deliver top-notch customer service. In my past job, I did receive two awards for customer service. Additionally, I understand the collaborative nature of your team, and have successfully worked in similar environments. Finally, I believe in the value of your services, and would enjoy selling this useful service to other businesses.
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