Human Resources South Africa

10 Popular Interview Questions – What’s the Hidden Meaning?

10 Popular Interview Questions – What’s the Hidden Meaning?

May 12
08:35 2012

Q5. What salary did you earn in your last job?

Companies will frequently find different ways to ask an interview question to determine the candidate’s salary requirements. Your last salary is a good way for them to determine whether they can afford you. If the salary the organisation is offering is considerably lower than your previous salary they’ll have concerns over whether you will stay in the job. If this is the case, then a good interview answer is to convince them that you are prepared to live on a lower salary and why. Sometimes, companies will ask the candidates, ‘what salary do you require? If this is too high for their budget they will look at other applicants. A good interview answer is to say that you are willing to start on a lower salary with bonuses driven by targets. This gives them savings on their budget and a safety net if the candidate does not achieve as well as expected.

Q6. What do you think is your weakness?

One of the most important tasks of the interviewer is to find a candidate who they would like to work with and who is likely to get on with other people in their organisation. Candidates often try to answer this popular interview question with a positive trait disguised as a weakness. For example, ‘I’m a bit of a perfectionist’ or ‘I tend to work too hard and expect others to do the same’. An interviewer is looking for someone who has a level of maturity and self-awareness as this is an important trait for creating empathy and working with people. To stand out from other candidates a good interview answer is to mention a genuine weakness, and then emphasize what you’ve done to overcome or manage your weakness. This is evidence of a truly confident person who takes personal responsibility for themselves.

Q7. Give me an example of when you found working with someone difficult?

By asking this popular interview question, the interviewer is acknowledging that we can all have a problem working with people some of the time. This is a popular question for revealing any prejudices that the candidate might have. Today it is essential that an interviewer employs a candidate who is comfortable working with people from a diverse range of ethnic, cultural, ages and religious backgrounds. A good interview answer would be to mention a specific person who you found difficult to work with rather than a group of people. Give a specific example such as a person resisting change on one project. Importantly, demonstrate the difficulty and how you resolved the issue.

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1 Comment

  1. sbonelo
    sbonelo May 15, 08:10

    I would like to know what Informs the employment Equity Act?

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