“Five Rude and Insulting Interview Questions and How to Answer Them” - OUR comments on forbes article


How clients can avoid the awkward questions and ask what they are trying to find out in a better way, and candidates, if asked the original question, can turn it into a positive and provide a constructive answer.

This article focuses on some uncomfortable interviewing questions that are frequently asked and sometimes difficult to answer, however, these questions can be delivered and responded to in a way that makes it more specific to professional experiences and attributes.

The first question was about your greatest weakness?  This is a question that is too broad, however if you make it specific or re-phrase it can be beneficial. For example, where do you feel in your professional experience, that you would like to make improvements to or learn to make your next role more successful?  This now makes it more professional performance based and turns it to a positive.

Question 2 speaks about what your former boss would say about you?  Again, this is a bit broad, if you made it more specific this can be a very valid question and it can show the consistency with the references that are performed.  Example; From your past experience, what do you think your former Manager/Supervisor was your greatest achievement while you were there?

The third question: We're interviewing many other people for this job. Why should we hire you? I agree with the article in the sense that it can be an intimidating question, the candidate is now thinking that they are competing with more qualified candidates that you don’t know, it can be stressful.  It would make more sense to focus on what the candidate feels are their best attributes that align with the role and the company’s values.

Question 4: Where do you see yourself in five years? This is very wide ranging, and I can understand from the client point of view they want someone for the long-term, however anything can change and you can feel one way and then you may go in a different direction all together.  A more specific question would be more on what is your professional passion, or what attracted you to this role/industry? 

Salary expectations was the final question and is tough for a lot of people I meet. Talking salary is always difficult for candidates and it is an in inquiry that I get asked often on how to manage.  It is easier to do your research on the role and the market salary in your local area, also factor in your years of experience and if you are confident to give your expectation then that is great to be upfront.  On the other side, people get nervous that they will give an answer that is too high or too low, always go based on knowledge and real expectation.  If this is not something you are comfortable engaging, it is always best to let them know that you are interested in role and your expectation is based on the market and you are open to discussing further.

From my personal experience, it is always best when interviewing candidates to ask more detailed and specific questions on professional experience, this will help get a better response from your candidate and make them feel more comfortable and valued professionally.