As a job seeker, you may have faced multiple occassions where you prepped for job interviews by taking advice from various sources on the internet. Now, bear in mind, due to the easy accessibility of the world wide web, chances are there hundreds of others like you who took up virtual advice, forgetting that it's not original anymore. As a result, the interviewers were often left with a chain of monotonous responses from the interviewees. Now, in order to break this tedious chain, here are a few cliched interview answers that we all should avoid.
Q: Why should we hire you?
A: I'm a perfect fit for the job/I'm passionate about
Avoid bringing up perfection into the equation because let's face it, all of us have flaws. You can rephrase the first answer to “The job description seemed fitting for me”. Also, you can't always be passionate about your work. For instance, you can't possibly be passionate about a data entry job if you're applying for one, so better to avoid lying.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Being an ambitious person, I see myself running this company/ starting my own business.
There's no sureity that you'll in fact stick around till then. Moreover, a few may even perceive it as arrogance. With the second answer, interviewers may start doubting your loyalty towards the company. So to be safe, use phrases like “I see myself learning a lot from this job, thereby enriching my skill set for the future.”, which contain both vagueness and knowledge about the future in right amounts.
Q: What are your weaknesses?
A: I work too hard/ I'm a perfectionist/ I care too much about my job.
Listing your strengths as your weaknesses shouldn't be a thing anymore. Other than not making you stand out, it will probably get you thrown out of the crowd altogether. So, it's better to use the honesty card and say something along the lines of “I had a lacking at *insert field* but I took measures to improve myself by *insert details*”. This will not only put up an honest front, but also highlight your eagerness to learn.
Q: What will you do if you don't get this position?
A: I will look for opportunities elsewhere/ I have applied for backup jobs.
Be sure to craft your response in a way to be less direct. Pointing out that you have backup options may be perceived as you not giving your hundred percent on attaining this job. Moreover, it leaves the impression that you want this job half-heartedly. So instead say something like “I'm sure the board will make calculated decisions and if I'm not fortunate enough to be selected, I'll use constructive feedback to correct myself and prepare for future opportunities.”
As a whole, this was just me giving my two cents, providing a list of hacks which will hopefully work in your favour if the ocassion seems fitting. However, job interviews are unpredictable in nature and you can never tell, even with the utmost preparation, how things are going to go.
Veronica Gomes is a devout Coldplayer and Sherlockian who is convinced her dog has secret pet parties at her place when she's not around. Email her at email@example.com