How to Answer Awkward Interview Questions

awkward interview


Interviews are stressful enough. However, when a hiring manager throws a curveball your way – in the form of an awkward interview question – the situation can go from uncomfortable to downright painful. How can you respond to these questions with poise and confidence?

As one of Kansas City’s top employment agencies, Morgan Hunter has the answers. Here’s a look at some of the most common awkward interview questions asked and how to best reply to each one:

Where else are you interviewing?

This question seems invasive and if it makes you squirm, you’re not alone. So why do hiring managers ask it? For a few different reasons. The kinds of companies you’re interviewing with reflect your value as a candidate. They’re also trying to gauge how far along you are in the hiring process with their competition.

However, getting into specifics on other companies and their hiring processes could make you look indiscreet. Instead, take a general approach when answering this question and just say something such as “I’m interviewing with a few different companies, but I’m especially excited about this opportunity.”

What’s your current salary?

Hiring managers want to ensure they can afford you. At the same time, they don’t want to overpay you; hence this question. That’s why it’s so important to do some research ahead of time. You know what your current employer pays you, but what are your skills really worth on the open market?

When you know this, you can be honest and give them your current salary, including your bonuses and any other forms of compensation. But you can also let them know what you expect in a new position – and what you know you’re worth.

Have you been fired in the past?

This question can be startling. But it’s a common one for hiring managers to ask. So just be short and sweet with your answer. If you haven’t been fired, then obviously you have nothing to worry about. If, however, you have, then state the facts and what you learned from the experience. Don’t blame or speak negatively about the employer. But do try to move the conversation along and refocus on your background and abilities.

Why are you leaving your job?

You can’t stand your co-workers, you hate the commute, you keep getting passed over for promotions. Whatever the case for you, it’s hard to be brutally honest during an interview. Instead, if you’re not getting promoted at your current company, just say you’re looking for something with more growth opportunity. If you don’t get along with co-workers, explain that you want to be a part of a more cohesive team.

In the end, it’s always best to be honest – but also diplomatic too. That way, you can ensure you’re prepared for whatever awkward interview question comes your way.

Need more help with interviews and landing a new job?

Call the experts at Morgan Hunter. As one of Kansas City’s top employment agencies, Morgan Hunter has helped thousands of job seekers find the next great opportunity in their careers. We work with top employers throughout the Kansas City area, matching talented individuals with growing, thriving companies.

Contact us today to learn more, or search our Kansas City jobs now.


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