How To Answer Personal Questions At The Interview
How to answer the recruiter’s awkward personal questions
“Not to answer at all” you may say. Well, this is one of the ways, you will not spoil anything having said something wrong. But sometimes you can try to answer and benefit even more. Our resume editing website will tell you how to answer such questions in this post on how to answer personal interview questions.
Salary, family, life – everyone has his own list of taboo topics, and this is absolutely normal. If you do not want to answer some questions, which you consider personal, this is neither good nor bad, it just helps a jobseeker to avoid “dodge” and show the potential employer all-sufficient position of a candidate.
However, remember that the number of awkward questions at the interview is limited. So preparing for the interview, you can look for the most common interview questions. After that you can prepare possible answers or retain the ability not to answer those questions, which you consider unpleasant or discriminatory for you, saying: “I am soryy but I am not ready to discuss this issue right now”.
However, if you are ready to answer some awkward questions, our professional resume writing service will help you to do this. So let’s begin.
1. What is the annual income of the company, in which you work now? How much did you personally manage to increase it?
This is a quite common question, which is usually made to the sales managers and commercial directors. If the company is open and its data is published, you may give the following answer (with necessary correction): “Personally I (or my department) increased turnover of the company by “that much” percent. You can read about the sum of annual income of the company in the open sources, the information is available.”
If you work in a company, in which you have signed a nondisclosure agreement, you can easily tell about this to your potential employer. For example, like this: “I am sorry, but I do not have the right to disclose information about the structure or income part. It is written in my contract”.
There is more, this question can be a kind of a test on how much talkative you are and whether you are worth trust. That is why we can say that the last variant of the answer should be kind of a rule for suchlike questions.
2. What is your position in the company structure? Whom do you obey?
Speak about the zone of your interaction only. If an interviewer tries to get details about the structure of the company and the number of people in different departments, you may feel free to answer a question with a question: “What relation does this information have to our conversation?”
3. Describe your employer
Well, this is probably the trickiest interview question. If you make positive comments on your boss, they will definitely ask you: “Why are you going to change the job then?” If you make critical comments, they will say: “Do all employers cause such negative at you?”
The best option is to give the maximally neutral answer, mentioning only the professional qualities of your employer, and never personal. There was a case with one of the candidates. Almost everyone knew tat employer of that candidate was a quite rough and emotional man. The jobseeker also knew this fact, and at the interview he answered honestly and in detail. It turned out that interviewer was a good friend of the employer. Naturally, the jobseeker did not get a job.
4. What is your current income?
Here it all depends on who asks you. If a recruiter from the agency makes this question, you can answer it without any fear due to the several reasons: first of all, he knows the market salaries; second of all, he is on your side and can honestly tell you what you can expect.
If the question is made by an HR manager or your potential employer, it is better to answer basing on your salary expectations: “I consider the proposal from “number” to “number”. This is plus 15-20% of my current income”. Do not forget to speak about additional social package, especially if some point is fundamentally important for you.
5. Are you going to get married or on maternity leave in the nearest future?
Usually girls suffer from this question. Unfortunately, if your answer is “I am not ready to discuss it”, they will think that you are really going to get married and on maternity leave, thus you will get into the risk zone. Our recommendation is to give the following answer: “I do not have such plans now, but of course no one is immune from personal changes. I do not have the goal to start working and immediately go on maternity leave”. On the one hand you will protect yourself from refusal; on the other hand you do not give any promises.
6. Do you have bad habits?
It usually means whether you smoke or drink alcohol. More often an employer is interested in how much often you will go out on a smoke break. If you smoke, it would be better to give such an answer: “Yes, I smoke. But it does not influence the working process”, and put a firm point not letting the interviewer to develop this issue.
7. Questions like “What zodiac sign are you?”, “What is your favourite country, language, dish” and so on
Do not consider such questions personal. Likely, this is just curiosity of an employer, who interviews you. But it will be great if answering the neutral personal questions you find something common with your interlocutor.
8. How many sick leaves did you have last year?
An interviewer can ask directly how many sick leaves you had last year, or he can carefully find it out, asking how many working days you missed unplanned. You can give the following answer: “They were so few, that I do not remember the number”, or you can give a specific answer: “___ days” without mentioning details.
9. What is your religion or political views?
Yes, it may seem that this is important element of the internal microclimate in a team – the same religion, the same political idol and so on. However, suchlike question at the interview is absolutely inappropriate and discriminatory. You may not answer it, saying that it is too personal. Or you may jokingly recall some ancient politicians, if the question about politics sounds persistently and acutely.
Recruiter should know about your professional achievements, skills, experience, professional goals and reasons for looking new job. He should be aware of how soon you can start working. Answering any recruiter’s question, try not to become personal and give thoughtful answers to each question as a professional and competent jobseeker. Any way, any incorrect question can be turn into a joke or try to turn the tide in your favour.
Our resume service insists: if you thoroughly think over the answers to such questions in advance, you will likely manage to benefit. Otherwise, it may become necessary to save the unsuccessful interview.