Interview questions can have hundreds of different purposes. Some interview questions are designed to trick you. Others are designed to learn more about your past. Others are designed to see if you will say something negative, and so on. All of these questions tell the interviewer something about who you are as a candidate that they can use to help make a decision.
At first glance, the same cannot be said about questions that appear to be “gimmes.” One of the most egregious examples is “How well do you handle deadlines?”
“I handle them very well”
It seems like a fairly obvious answer, and it is. The answer to how well you handle deadlines is “very well.” If you answer with something along the lines of “Pressure makes me cry” you are probably not going to be hired. So why do companies even bother asking it?
Why Companies Ask Deadline Interview Questions
Companies ask questions about deadlines for two reasons:
- To warn you that the company has strict, pressure filled deadlines.
- To see if you can naturally inspire confidence in the employer about your ability to handle deadlines.
Warning – Deadlines Occur
Remember, when an applicant goes to an interview, they are interviewing the employer as much as the employer is interviewing them. They need to see if this is a place they want to work. If someone left their last job because they felt too much pressure, then perhaps they don’t want a job that is going to be filled with an equal amount of pressure. Simply asking this question will get rid of some of the pressure-averse candidates.
In addition, though the meaning of the answer is still the same, you can answer it in a different way.
“Yes, I handle deadlines well” is not as impressive as “With my previous job, we were under strict deadlines every day. If we failed to meet these deadlines, we would not be receiving any revenue from the project. Though the pressure started out somewhat difficult, over time these deadlines became a motivator, rather than a detractor, from quality, error free work.”
They say the same thing, but one says it better. That inspires confidence in the employer that you are not simply giving them a BS answer.
Approach All Easy Questions
Whenever you receive questions that appear to have very obvious answers, consider those two reasons behind the question. Sometimes they are warning you about their company. Other times they may be looking for an answer that inspires them. Either way, there may be other factors in the question besides just the answer.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Sometimes easy questions are letting you know more about the company.
- Sometimes easy questions want you to give them a more confidence inspiring answer.
- Sometimes both.