Forget about listing your strengths and weaknesses. Forget about where you see yourself five years from now. These and other trite overused interview questions just don’t cut it anymore. Whether you’re in retail or any other career track, you have to be aware of the latest trend in interview questions if you’re going to rise above the rest and get the job.
Online social media companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are setting the trends in recruiting. These companies have lots of money to provide the kinds of jobs, salaries and perks that draw thousands of applicants for each job. It’s no wonder that retail companies like Wal-Mart and Target are changing up their interview questions. Retail companies draw a diverse workforce, but depend on lots of younger workers to fill the hundreds of positions for each store. Asking questions that are new, thought-provoking and a little unexpected can reveal a lot about an applicant.
Target asks a lot of the standard questions, like why do you want to work at Target, and tell me about your strengths and weaknesses. But, according to a Business Insider article, they share one question. “Why should Target hire you?” Twitter goes even farther, and asks the question, “Why shouldn’t we hire you?” Now that’s an interesting question. How do you know what the interviewer expects? What’s a good answer?
“What’s your favorite meme?” If you don’t know what they’re talking about, you probably won’t get the job at Twitter. Stumped for an answer? Try the dancing baby that was a recurring ghost in Ally McBeal. If you don’t know what Ally McBeal was, politely excuse yourself and try to get a job elsewhere.
How about, “How many golf balls fit in a school bus?” You may wonder why someone would ask that question at all, since it’s highly unlikely anyone would need to know the number or actually fill a school bus with them. Twitter, isn’t much different from retail or any other industry. They are looking for problem solvers. Whether it’s writing program code, thinking up new ideas or handling customer complaints or figuring out how to increase sales by changing store displays, companies need problem solvers. This is a fun, unique question that will show how innovative, creative and logical an applicant is.
“What’s the last movie you saw in theatres?” Now here’s an interesting question on a lot of levels. Are you a traditionalist who even goes to movie theatres in an increasingly digital age? How long has it been? Do you go for the movie or just like experiencing the movie with others? Is it the tub of buttered popcorn and a 64-ounce soft drink? The movie itself may not be as revealing as the choice to go to a theatre for whatever reason.
Twitter and Target ask some of the same, time-honored questions, like, “…what is your five-year plan?,” and “…what do you like to do in your spare time?” They aren’t looking for a boring answer. Retail shoppers are the same ones that are constantly on their cell phones tweeting and posting on Facebook. Retail employees have to be able to relate, regardless of their age or any other factor. Staying current with employment trends and interview questions can help you land your job of choice.
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