I know from my own experience that returning to work or looking for a new job is a nightmare! (Especially after being a stay at home parent) And once you get through the application process, which is staggering enough nowadays with countless forms, ID’s and checks, you still have the interview to look forward to! Not that you actually look forward to it!
The interview process is ‘BAFFLING!’ (Yes that word again, I am Baffled mum so I like to use it).
Now, unless you are an extremely confident person, you will spend hours preparing for your interview. From what clothes to wear, what time to set out so you don’t get late, weather checks (you don’t want to walk in looking like a wet dog), breath check, toilet check (we all get nervous, there’s no shame in it!) and finally questions check!
By questions check I mean your answer preparation – when you will spend a vast amount of hours on google (or Bing) researching the types of questions interviewers will ask you and then you plan out your answer.
This is the part I find really amusing. YOU PLAN YOUR ANSWER! So it’s not necessarily a truthful answer because that you wouldn’t have to rehearse, that would leave your mouth naturally. These are the answers we find that will help us land that job.
I’ll show you what I mean by going through 5 frequently asked interview questions… You’ll notice the difference between my answer given and the real answer, which of course has to stay in my head or I would be ‘unemployable’…
- Tell us a little about yourself.
- I’m a mum of 3 who decided to take time out to raise my children. However, I knew I would want to return to work at a later date so I used this phase of my life to continue my studies. I managed to achieve top marks in my distance learning course and was even asked by my online tutor to join the company as a mentor… I’ve had various job roles within my career and I always excel in my position to progress up the career ladder… My leisure interests include reading, keeping up to date with world news, I’ve volunteered at many local fundraisers and schools and I like to keep fit – being healthy keeps my mind active.
- (What I was really thinking) I’m a mum to 3 boys and haven’t worked for ++years but think it’s time I did. I haven’t had much time to do anything else – bringing up kids is a full-time job which leaves me absolutely shattered on the best of days. I’ve had many different jobs because I get bored easily and decide to move on. Leisure interests include grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and constantly picking up after the kids and husband. Not really interests but somebody has to do them!
- Describe yourself in 3 words and tell us why you picked these words.
- Ambitious – I’m keen to get on with my work, prove myself and work my way up within a company.
- Diligent – I work very hard and pay the up most detail to what I do.
- Punctual – I am always on time, if not early, as I wouldn’t want my time keeping to have a negative impact on my duties. I have never missed a deadline.
- (In truth) Ambitious – I’ll say whatever I have to in order to get this job.
- Diligent – I will work very hard and get things done but it might be at a slightly slow pace! I don’t sleep very well and am often up various times during the night checking in on the kids so chances are I will be a tad lethargic.
- Punctual – I will be running through the door to get here on time, I may be sweating and don’t expect me to have makeup on because there’s no time for that in my house in the mornings whilst sorting out the kids! But I will be here!
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- I’ve heard a lot of good things about this company. I like it’s ethos and values. I feel you are a rapidly growing company and will achieve great things which I know I can contribute towards. You are well-known and I would feel proud to be associated with your name.
- (In my mind) The company is located within 30 minutes from home and has its own car park! (Yeah!) You pay extremely well and I love the package you offer – holidays, pension, health care and full sickness pay! I also love the hours I would need to work, fits in well with home life and mummy duties!
- What do you think is your greatest weakness?
- I’m a perfectionist! I need to make sure every detail is correct and there is no better alternative. I don’t sign off on a task until I am completely satisfied with it. I do however have great time keeping skills as I mentioned before, so do not miss deadlines. I get over my perfectionist ego but prioritising the job at hand.
- (Only as far as a job is concerned) My kids! If they are not well – I will not be in work. If they are on holiday – I will be booking my holidays. If they are running late – I will be late! I think you understand what I’m getting at…
- Why should we hire you?
- You will not come across a more hard-working and eager employee. I have proved I am capable of stepping into the role without hesitation through my CV and assessments. I feel my experiences and qualifications are inline for this position however, I am willing to undergo any further training you require of me. I am at a point in my life where I want to settle within a company and focus my career within that company, I feel this is that place.
- (Honestly) It fits in well around my home life and I really need to get back to work without sacrificing what I really love – spending time with the family. You’ll be doing me a massive favour!
See what I mean? We Lie to get what we want!!!
If I went into an interview and spoke honestly, nobody in their right mind would give me a job. So we falsify our answers, we tell the interviewers what they want to hear. And it’s so easy to do as the answers are all over the internet!
Actually reading this post back now, I don’t think it’s a nightmare going for an interview…
In fact it’s the interviewer I feel sorry for! They have to listen to all the blagging and try to work out who is the most sincere candidate. Good luck with that!!!
Now your time to confess… What’s the biggest lie or exaggeration you’ve used at a job interview? And did it work??
Waiting for your confessions…