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Trap Interview Questions

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 | Posted in Ford Myers

Trap Interview Questions – Career expert Ford R. Myers discusses trap interview questions and his book “Get The Job You Want Even When No One’s Hiring” while being interviewed on Better Philly.

Trap Interview Questions with Ford R. Myers

Rhiannon:

In any job interview, you’re likely to be asked at least one trap question – probably even more than that. And, with the current job market, we certainly can’t afford to fail. Here to help you ace your interview and land that job is career expert and author of, “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” Ford R. Myers.

Ford Myers:

Hi, Rhiannon, thanks for having me!

Rhiannon:

Well, thank you for coming. Today, we’re going to do something a little bit different – we’re going to role-play. I’m going to be the interviewer, and I’m going to ask you some questions. And I’m not even going to tell you what order I’m asking. And I may even throw in some of my own questions.

Ford Myers:

OK, it’s a deal.

Rhiannon:

Are you ready for that?

Ford Myers:

I’m ready!

Rhiannon:

Question number one: what changes would you make to our company if you came on board?

Ford Myers:

Well, what I would NOT do is pronounce all the sweeping changes that I’m going to make the very first day on the job. Instead, what I would do, Rhiannon, is think about what kind of things the company is doing currently, what has been working, what hasn’t been working. I would solicit advice and information from other team members, and especially from my boss. I would then, slowly begin to formulate some ideas for improvements. And finally, I would reaffirm what the company’s greatest needs, problems and challenges are, and then tell some accomplishment stories that directly relate to those needs.

Rhiannon:

So, you’d want to use a little bit of tact is the bottom line.

Ford Myers:

You’ve got to be tactful. You don’t want to come in there like a bull in a china shop. You’ve got to take it slow and steady.

Rhiannon:

Next question: what did you like best and least about your last job?

Ford Myers:

Again, never say anything negative. So, you don’t want to complain about your last boss or your last company. What you want to say is that actually you did like some things about the job and state exactly what those things were. And then, say something like, although no job is perfect and every job has its challenges, you were very well positioned in your last role. You enjoyed it. You contributed a great deal to the company and overall you were quite satisfied.

Rhiannon:

So, be positive. That’s a good tip.

Ford Myers:

Always positive.

Rhiannon:

It’s probably easy to jump into all the negative things about a company. Next question: everyone has pet peeves; what are yours?

Ford Myers:

In terms of pet peeves, I would turn this around and focus on your own very high standards. So, talk about how you are very hard on yourself. You’re always trying to improve your performance and reach your full potential. And how while you may have had some minor challenges in the past, you’ve addressed them successfully, and they’re no longer problems. Again, never saying anything negative. Focus it back on yourself instead of complaining about other people.

Rhiannon:

In your expert opinion, doesn’t that sound a little fake to say something like that? Is that really how you should respond?

Ford Myers:

I understand your question. It’s a good question. But you have to understand that the employer or interviewer is trying to hang you. They’re trying to eliminate you. Don’t give them the rope to hang you. You can only keep it positive. Never say anything negative, even if it seems a little bit too contrived or Pollyanna-ish.

Rhiannon:

People like being around other positive people, that’s true.

Rhiannon:

Next – I love this question. Tell me about the best and worst boss you’ve ever had.

Ford Myers:

Again, never say anything negative about any prior bosses. What you want to say in this case is that you’ve had a lot of different kinds of bosses. They’ve had different kinds of styles and different approaches. But the fact is that you’ve been fortunate to learn and grow from each boss, and work productively with each one.

Rhiannon:

Here’s the next question for you: at your previous job, what did you think management could have done to make you function more effectively?

Ford Myers:

Now, can you hear how that’s a trap question too?

Rhiannon:

Yes. They’re trying to put me into a corner.

Ford Myers:

Again, never say anything negative. Here, what you want to talk about is the fact that your previous employers have always given you the resources and the support you needed to do a great job. And then, just stop it there. There’s no reason to go any farther.

Rhiannon:

And are they always trying to make you say something wrong? Is that what these trap questions are for?

Ford Myers:

Yes. Look at the current job market, with thousands of applicants for every position. Interviewers are trying very hard to eliminate candidates. The fastest way they’re going to reject you is if you say something very negative.

Rhiannon:

So, turn everything into a positive.

Ford Myers:

Everything, exactly right.

Rhiannon:

Thank you so much, Ford. I would hire you. You’re hired!

Ford Myers:

Thanks so much, Rhiannon.

Rhiannon:

For lots of other tips and specific examples of how you should and should not respond at a job interview, pick up a copy of, “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” It’s available now!

Follow Ford on Social Media:

Ford’s LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fordmyers/

Career Potential LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/career-potential/

About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at https://careerpotential.com.

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