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The 5 worst questions (and answers) when applying for a job, according to research

Are you going into 2021 with the idea of ​​finding a new job and therefore trying an application? So at the end of this old year: take advantage of this …

It’s your worst nightmare during a job interview: the interviewer drops a question to which you don’t know the answer. This is exactly why you are so nervous beforehand. Fortunately (as is often the case) good preparation is half the battle. Think about interview questions in advance that you can expect and how you can answer them.

According to research, these are the 5 worst interview questions you can get and how to answer them. That way, you won’t be bummed out during the job interview.

The worst questions when applying for a job

Resume.io polled several thousand people to find out the worst job interview questions you can get.

1. How many filling stations are there in the Netherlands?

At first glance, a very strange question for a job interview. If you do not apply to Shell, the interviewer will not need to know the exact number. This is not about giving the correct answer. The person on the other side of the table wants to know how you think. Can you come to an answer in a calm and methodical way?

So don’t answer, “I have no idea.” But something like: “I estimate that there are X filling stations per province, so that there are about X in the whole of the Netherlands”. You can make it as complicated as you want, as long as you show that you think clearly. For example: “I estimate that X people in the Netherlands have a car…”, et cetera. The point is not to throw in the towel on a complicated issue, but to look for a logical answer.

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Then the most common question among the top 5 worst interview questions. Sometimes you even have no idea where life will take you next week, let alone five years from now. What do you do with this question? Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, recommends thinking about where this position could take you in five years. For example, answer: “In five years’ time I want to be seen as an expert in this industry and this position gives me the opportunity to do so.” Don’t answer too modestly, but certainly not too pompous.

A photo of an application with two ladies

The team player

3. What is your worst quality?

Of course you don’t want to give an answer here that puts the new job at risk. So always adapt your answer to the vacancy and position. If it says in the vacancy that they are looking for a team player, it is better not to mention “I can’t work well together” as a bad quality. Also always emphasize that you are working on your bad quality and in what way.

4. Describe a mistake you made in the past and how you addressed it.

This is really one of those questions that will leave you tongue-tied if you haven’t prepared yourself. Nobody will have any problems making up a mistake, because we all make mistakes. But how do you phrase this? The person on the other side of the table also knows that making mistakes is very normal. In fact, you learn from making mistakes and ultimately only get better.

So, with this question, it’s important to emphasize what you’ve learned and how it will never happen again in the future. Therefore, when answering, make sure that you do not sketch your mistake for too long, but go deeper into what your greatest lesson has been in this.

Application to pay your bills

5. Why do you want this job?

Wrong answers are, of course, “To pay my bills” or “Because I hate my current job.” The interviewer wants to be able to taste from this answer how enthusiastic you are about this job (but do not overdo it). Professor of Leadership A.P. Grow recommends aligning your goals and values ​​in this answer with those of the company. For these types of interview questions, do good research about the company and always include the mission in your answer.

Also read: It is better not to mention these characteristics during a job interview

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The 5 worst questions (and answers) when applying for a job, according to research

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