7 All Time Classic Interview Questions You Should Not Answer From The Heart

You know way back when you were a knee high kid, and every adult from your kindergarten teacher to your parents kept on drilling the important of honesty? You have probably grown up hearing the phrase ”Honesty is the best policy”. But once you leave the rose tinted phase of your school & college days and take the first few tentative steps in the ”real” world- that is the professional world – a torrid universe filled with project deadlines, demanding team leaders and supervisers, office politics and job interviews, you realize that being blatantly honest all the time will actually work against you.

Being brutally honest and calling a spade, a spade sounds very desirable on paper, but if you are in a tell all mode during a job interview, you will not be praised for your honesty, but get permanently blacklisted by said company/firm. But this doesn’t mean you should become a pathological lier or the boy who cries wolf, so to speak. You just have to answer some questions tactfully. In this article, we will address those all time classic interview questions you should answer with tact and caution.



  • Why do you want to leave your current job ? The honest, in your face answer would be something like this : ” Because I want a fatter paycheck, ” or ”I want more holidays” or ”I hated my boss/team leader who was a literal devil from the pit” etc etc. You get the drift. But any of these answers might get you blacklisted! Therefore when asked why you want to leave present job in a job interview, give diplomatic answers like how you did love your present role, but are now aiming to conquer new challenges/ handle more responsibility.
  • How are you? This question is just a formality. The interviewer does not intend to have a heart to heart discussion with you. So even if you had a rather aweful day, always answer this question with an affirmative. An interview is not the place to vent your frustrations and sob stories. So keep your bad day to yourself.
  • Where do you see yourself in five year’s time? The honest answer will be something like : Making about 100K per year, driving a Rolls Royce or ”Becoming your boss eventually.” But if you answer in these lines, you will probably be shown the door. So try to be as diplomatic and tactful as possible. If asked this particular question, reply that you want to see yourself growing professionally, developing relevant career skills and handle more responsibility with ease.
  • What are your weaknesses? Again this is a trick question. You need to exercise tact and utmost caution when answering this one. Rememeber, as admirable as it is to own up to your faults, do not mention any shortcomings which can become a liability to the firm. For example if you have slacker tendencies, or struggle with time management etc it’s best not to own up to them.

    You can always admit how you are lacking in some soft skills ( especially if you are a shy person and not much into public speaking) and how you are looking forward to brushing up those. You will get brownie points for honesty without going overboard. However this will only work, if you have applied for jobs with involves no or very little public interactions.

  • How would you describe yourself in one word? This question is often asked during interviews . The main purpose behind this question is to test your self perception and how confidant you are in your abilities. Again our advice remains the same : Don’t go overboard. If you are confidant in your abilities, do not use an epic/flamboyant line to describe yourself. Actually one liners will depend upon the job you have applied for. If it’s an accounting/auditing job, or a job which requires high quantitative/analytical ability, involves a lot of data crunching, you will probably not want to describe yourself as creative.
  • How does this position, compare to others you have applied for? What your interviewer is basically wanting to know, do you have other job offers in your pipeline? Answering these can be tricky. You cannot say that this is the only job you have applied for, as that will instantly send up a red flag. No sensible employer will believe that you have applied for only one job.

    On the otherhand you cannot be blatant, and admit that you have applied to multiple jobs- employers will sense that you are only biding your time until you get a more profitable opportunity. The best answer in this case would be ”There are several firms I have applied to, but I am unsure which will be best for my temperament and requirement.”

  • Why do you want to work with us ? Basically what your interviewer is seeking to know, what has motivated you to join this firm, how you can align your long term priorities to the goals of the company, and whether you have done adequate research on the mission and vision of the company. Your answer have to be to the point and crystal clear, but also have to emphasize, why you are gunning for this particular job and just not any job.

In some ways a job interview is a lot like a blind date. You have to do your best to stand out, yet cannot afford to overshare or look conspicuous. You have to take care not to make your potential employer feel, as if they are just another among the many job positions you have applied to, and at the same time you cannot come across as too desperate for the job. Job interviews are almost always tricky, but know this – the employers are not there to bully you or make you feel embarrassed. What they seek to know, is your ability to handle difficult/stressful questions gracefully.