Snarky Answers to 6 Common Interview QuestionsSep 18, 2023
Everyone knows some job interview questions just beg for a snarky answer. Wouldn't you love to once, just once, really say what's on your mind? Enjoy these forays into the dark side, followed by suggestions for insightful answers if you actually want to land a job offer.
Q: "What is your greatest weakness?"
Snarky Answer: "Bourbon!"
There are many tempting answers to this asinine question: alcohol, sleeping late, slacking off at work, chocolate… take your pick.
"While sometimes I can take on a lot, I do my best to be conscious of deadlines so I can set appropriate priorities."
I usually coach people to provide a real weakness and then discuss how they deal with it. Employers want to see some self-reflection; however, they also want to know that you can manage that weakness professionally. With that in mind, avoid any weakness that would be a fatal flaw that would immediately disqualify you for the position.
Q: "What motivates you?"
Snarky Answer: "Spite."
Wouldn't you just love to say, "I'm here for the money and the benefits?" But, of course, that's not how the interview game is played. The only exception would be a sales role where being competitive and controlling your earning potential should be your top motivation.
"As a project manager, I love completing a project while overcoming challenges and staying within the given budget and timeframe. It's a real sense of accomplishment to know that I was an integral part of a project that took over a year to complete."
Companies want to know that you care about the work and their particular mission. To make the right impression, align your motivation with the heart of the job.
Q: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
Snarky Answer: "Retired on a beach after winning the lottery, so I don't have to answer questions like this."
This is an ancient, dusty, and often stupid question. Even though we know people change jobs after 2-4 years and even change their entire career up to 3 times in their lifetime, employers are still asking this stupid question.
"I see myself working for this company, working up the ladder, and adding to my skills to continue making a positive contribution."
Unfortunately, the only appropriate answer is to take the brown-nosing route and play up to staying with the company for a long time. Any other response makes them question your desire to work for this company.
Q: "Tell me about something you learned in the last six months."
Snarky Answer: "How to look for a job."
Ironically, even though this probably is the top thing you learned, employers don't care. They want to see something that relates to your career.
"Recently, I started a self-study course to prepare for earning my Salesforce certification. It's been exciting to learn how much can be done with this comprehensive CRM."
Employers want to know that you are in touch with your industry's latest trends, technology, and practices. Consider taking online courses through Udemy.com or another learning platform to stay on top of technical skills without breaking the bank.
Q: "Why did you leave your last job?"
Snarky Answer: "Because it frickin' sucked."
Maybe the boss was a screaming psycho who threw things. Perhaps you were fired. Maybe your co-workers constantly threw you under the bus. Or maybe the pay was just plain terrible, with no chance for advancement. Whatever the case, DON'T say anything negative about a past employer if possible. If you jump on the negativity train, it only makes you look petty and bitter.
"Unfortunately, I was part of a lay-off that affected many people in the company."
"Unfortunately, there was not a lot of room for advancement at the company. I want to find a job where I can continue to grow professionally."
If your last job really did suck, do some personal journaling to reconcile your feelings before you ever step into an interview. THEN, you can come up with an answer that is still honest without being negative.
Q: "Why do you want to work for us?"
Snarky Answer: "Because I need the money - duh."
While this sounds similar to the "five-year" question, it is actually a test. Your true motivation may, in fact, be the money and benefits, but that does not relate to this specific employer.
"I am impressed by XYZ's commitment to excellence. I noticed that your customers consistently leave raving reviews for your services. Plus, I support your mission to improve patient outcomes by developing innovative oncology pharmaceuticals."
You must show that you researched this company and say something specific that draws you to the job. Even in sales, pure money motivation is not enough. Tie in with their mission, products, services, or reputation to make a positive impression.
Are you getting too snarky in your interviews?
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