Pathetic Answers To Common Interview Questions

I have my share of pathetic interview experiences.  For more than 15 years now, I have been engaged in human capital development and one important aspect of staffing a company is to select the right one.  And Oh boy, the task is no walk in the park.  It can be grueling especially if you encounter applicants who are oblivious about what it takes to pass an interview.

Here are some of the common questions that interviewers will ask applicants.  There is a right way and a pathetic way of answering them.  Remember that the quality of one’s answer is what contributes to passing this selection process.

Interview Question #1:  What can you tell us about your self?

This is a common question that you will encounter during a job interview.  Although this may be a simple question to answer, many have done epic fails in address this one.

Pathetic answers I got:

  1. I’m a Virgo and I think you are one as well.  You have that Virgo look in you.
  2. My father left our family when I was 3 years old, and my mother got a new man in her life…(applicant starts crying and sobbing and it was the first question).
  3. I don’t know why I am here….

Job Interview tips when answering this question:

  • Focus on what you can do to help the company
  • Highlight interests and skills that you can use to perform the tasks of the position you are applying for
  • Emphasize your background (education, experiences, knowledge, skills) that can be seen as assets to the company
  • Never lie about your background

Remember that this question is often the first one asked.  It helps put the applicants at ease.  Likewise, it is your opportunity to “sell” yourself to the interviewer.

Interview Question #2:  What is your greatest strength?

This interview question will show numerous attributes that you have.  This is a great gauge on of one’s parameters for success and for future accomplishments.

Pathetic answers I got:

  1. I can spend lots of time on Facebook without getting caught by my supervisor.
  2. I really don’t have any strength because I’m new to everything.  I will learn if you let me.
  3. I can do anything.

Job interview tips when answering this question:

  • Never exaggerate your capabilities.
  • Never admit that you do not know anything – there is something that you know.  You actually got to the interview stage.
  • Apart from identifying your strength, it is essential to link it to the job you are hoping to get in the company.  You should be an asset to them.
  • Site concrete examples showcasing the strengths that you have.  Moreover, highlight how your previous company benefited from it.

This question provides the interviewer an idea of your parameters for success.  By putting the bar low, it will reflect on your possible work performance.  Exaggerating on the other hand, will pull down your points for being trustworthy.

Interview Question #3:  What is your greatest weakness?

This question is often feared because no one wants to put one’s self down in front of the interviewer.  However, this is a typical question you will encounter.

Pathetic answers I got:

  1. I’m a poor worker but I good at being a team player.
  2. Get real, I have no weaknesses.
  3. I’m still searching for one.

Job interview tips when answering this question:

  • Tell the truth
  • Apart from identifying your weakness, it’s important for the interviewer to know what you are doing to address this issue.

Exploring the weaknesses of the applicant is important for the company.  This will identify what competencies are needed to become more efficient in the workplace.  Of course, teaching a new employee what he should already know is counterproductive to the company.

Interview Question #4:  What is your greatest achievement?

This interview question is all about what you consider as successes in your life.  This is important as it will provide the company an inkling of what you can contribute to the company.

Pathetic answers I got:

  1. I got pregnant.  (Unless you are a man, this is not unusual!)
  2. I received the best in English back in Elementary.
  3. I have no achievements yet.

Job Interview tips when answering this question:

  • Choose an achievement that you can relate with the job or the company
  • Choose relevant achievements
  • Identify an achievement that is recent.  Interviewers are not impressed at what you did when you were in grade school.

Achievements like strengths provide a glimpse of your capabilities and potentials that the company can utilize.  Make sure that you highlight something that will seem to be important for the company.

Interview question #5:  Why should we hire you?

This is a difficult question even for the experienced ones.  However, even the experienced applicants can fail in addressing this question properly.

Pathetic answers I got:

  1. I need the job to pay off my bills and debts.
  2. I can do a better job than the applicants here.
  3. I’d hire myself if I had the chance.  (This was one of the most pathetic answers I got)

Job interview tips when answer this question:

  • Focus on your strengths
  • Highlight why you can be an asset to the company
  • Enumerate ways you can help improve the company’s processes or at least your own work to be more productive
  • Never compare your self with other applicants

This is a question where you as an applicant should “sell” yourself.  It’s an opportunity to highlight the best you have to offer.  So don’t shortchange yourself by putting yourself down.

Interview questions can be hard because it will squeeze out what you know.  Moreover, it is a meter stick at which you are gauged by the interviewer.  Answering the questions properly will give you better chances of landing your dream job.  Know some of the pathetic ways these questions are answered so you can prevent yourself from answering in the same way.  What stands between you and your dream job is your performance during the selection process of the company.

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I'm a proud dad and husband. Everything else is just life's clutter.

68 thoughts on “Pathetic Answers To Common Interview Questions”

    • Sad to say yes my friend. I even got an applicant who was late, in beach shorts and sandals. He even had the audacity to say that the interview was just a formality and he had to catch a flight. Of course I asked him to go get his flight and told him he was not suited for the job.

          • yes that’s right… and good decision you made there… too bad it is too difficult to find a job and be included in the short list at least.

          • It’s important to really prepare for any job application. Some people just send out resumes and go office hopping like it’s a game.

          • I think that’s okay i mean hopping from office to office. (isn’t that tiring, can’t they just walk or ride a jeep, hehehe corny, fine I know).

            but yes prepared and office hopping, i think are the right combination.

          • Applicants need to understand that there are other people who want the same position. The company will look for the best candidate. They have to make an effort to stand out

          • so agree, professionalism is always called for. I just wonder if I ever answered the same way those applicants did. LOL. I hope not but surely I did not share my love and life stories to t he interviewer. hahaha

          • Applicants should only share those that are relevant. As an interviewer. I don’t want to know info that will not affect the company. Although some personal info are juicy. 🙂

          • hahaha sounds like gossip hahaha cool… so you know a lot of real life dramas.. but that’s normal to interviewer.. hahaha some people just can’t stop their mouth.

          • It’s not gossip, it’s pure personal facts. LOL ok, it’s gossip. But at least i get entertained.

          • hahaha… entertaining…well at least it breaks the monotony of seriousness. hahaha…

          • you have an exciting job.. hahaha I will surely enjoy that kind of job too. so coool

            good morning…

          • Interviewing is just a small portion of my job. I am a corporate trainer so I get to go out and teach people from different levels of the organization. It can be interesting at times.

          • wow.. impressive. I always wanted to be a part of the training team. you know, going to some places for the team building.

          • Professionalism is a must. There’s always going overboard with information. interviewers only want what is relevant. But the additional juicy stuff may work against the applicant.

          • LOL that’s my joke for the day.
            I know a lot of new grads doing this. It beats staying at home and doing nothing.

          • Sorry trying to be funny here no worries I am not bald yet.
            Don’t be too harsh to them some are persistent too

          • LOL dong something is better than just staring into nothing. helping out at home is better than just being a freeloader.

  1. I never thought applicants these days are like that! They should be smart and honest enough to get hired.

    • Unfortunately, I have encountered too many of these applicants. It does not make my life easier. But at times it makes my day really full of laughter.

      • It does make one wonder if a lot of these people really don’t want the jobs offered, but are simply going through the motions, knowing that they surely won’t get an offer, doesn’t it?
        Yes, a lot of this is laughable, but not so much, when you’re really looking for that one (two or three) person(s) to hire that will do the company more good than harm. Then, it’s just frustrating and a waste of time.

        • One would expect a little more effort from applicants. But they are not doing a good job. It’s difficult to find the right person. And there are times when I just leave the position vacant until the right one comes a long. I don’t want to settle for something below my standards.

  2. hahaha! These people don’t know what life is all about outside of their homes that thinking correctly for the answer seemed to be vague for them.

          • I know which Public school you come from but it is not the kind that has low standard of education. Sometimes, the person himself lacks motivation to bring out the best in him.

          • Point taken. I see a lot of people who lack the drive to improve themselves. If only I can slap them back to reality. It’s a competitive world and mediocre is not enough.

          • Yeah, I know what you mean. People should at least come prepared wduring job interviews. We should not expect that each applicant would come from the best schools but at least they should spend time to improve themselves.

          • Simple things matter during an interview. it’s the time to sell your self. if you do not do that properly your chances of getting the job dwindles dramatically. To think it’s common sense to prepare. But as i usually say, common sense is not so common nowadays.

          • I remember my very first and only job interview I had. I really didn’t know what to expect or I did know but just decided not to be bothered to much with the clammy hands I had and my heart almost popping out of my chest. The questions were not as hard. I just felt like telling what the first thing pops in my mind after hearing a question. I was surprised, though that I did get the job despite not knowing much about computers and my only background was managing a pharmacy.

          • Was the interviewer a guy? LOL
            My first job was a with a big computer school in Quezon City. I was a bit nervous but the HR was terrific at conducting the interview.

          • There were 4 managers that gave me an interview- one every other written exam! Gosh! It was one tiring day!

          • That was quite an experience. I bet afterwards you wanted to just sleep and forget about the harrowing experience.

          • Yes, in today’s’ world, one has to keep on learning and taking short courses to improve. There is no place for complacency. One should adapt to quick changing demands.

    • Surprisingly yes. I’m not sure if it’s just honesty or just the lack of common sense in a job interview.

      • Lovely post and a very useful discussion via comments. I learned so much and I hope others will too especially those who are preparing for their interviews.

        • Thank you for the kind words @gulrukhtausif:disqus
          When applicants are serious about applying for a job they should prepare well for the selection process. Every company has their own criteria. A successful candidate is one that scores well and stands out.

  3. Some of the answers are so hilarious. But I am glad I don’t have to give interviews. It must be so hard to have all your dreams hanging by a thread every time.

    • I think I would be having a heart attack if I was to give the interview and get answers like these! LOL

      • I’ve had hilarious interviews. Some are down right pathetic. it comes with the job and it can test one’s patience.

        • I would really want to be the person to give interviews. I feel a different power over the applicants! LOL Actually, as a HR manager from a previous online job, it was really a tiring job but at the same time fun to be interacting with those applicants. I get to make them think real hard and it help make my job easier. SADIST? LOL

    • Interviews are essential part of knowing the candidate. it can be both stressful for the interviewer and interviewee. Sometimes, the interview makes a huge impact on the decision of a company to hire an applicant. it can be a daunting task and experience.

  4. hahaha I can’t believe some of the responses you get from interviewees. They sound absolutely clueless regarding job interview protocol. Interesting job you have. You get some good laughs out of it. On the down side of it, if these are young people it’s kind of depressing to think that they’re the future of the world.

    • It’s really sad when I have to face these kinds of applicants. but with their hilarious answers, I get to enjoy it a bit.

  5. Some even funnier interview tips!

    One interview I remember went like this.

    Job position: Engineering professor

    Interviewer: What is your name?
    Candidate: What’s there in a name? So says William Shakespeare

    Interviewer: Can I see your resume
    Candidate hands over the same

    Interviewer: So you did MTech from Tirke Technical College. Where is it located?
    Candidate: I don’t remember. Don’t worry! It is somewhere in this world only.

    Interviewer: Sorry but I haven’t heard this name before
    Candidate: Even I did not know before applying.

    Interviewer: But you could have taken a better college. Why you chose this one?
    Candidate: My marks were very less so could not take any better college

    Interviewer: Why your marks were very less?
    Candidate: I am a Football fan. The problem is with the examination Department, they deliberately kept exam on such dates that it clashed with the Football World Cup. It should be banned.

    Interviewer: You mean Football should be banned?
    Candidate: No. Examinations should be banned.

    Interviewer: OK. What are your hobbies?
    Candidate: Writing.

    Interviewer: What you write?
    Candidate: Football reviews.

    Interviewer: Any other hobby.
    Candidate: Singing

    Interviewer: What do you sing? Hollywood OR Rock OR classical OR any other?
    Candidate: Sorry! I sing only songs.

    Interviewer: Of Course you will sing songs. But, which category?
    Candidate: Whatever my friends tell me.

    Interviewer: OK. Tell me your strongest subject during graduation?
    Candidate: None as such.

    Interviewer: In what way, you generally spent time during lectures?
    Candidate: I went to lectures after playing Football. Since, I was always tired, the lectures are a good platform to sleep.

    Interviewer: Anything you would like to ask us?
    Candidate: Why are job interviews always lengthy processes?

    Interviewer: They are defined like that. Any other?
    Candidate: Am I selected for engineering trainer?

    Interviewer: No way! But we have another opening. Stress Management Executive. You are hired for the same.

    Finally, he got a job though not in his subject area but he still managed.

    So, I suggest you one thing! Whenever you receive pathetic / funny answers in Interview, kindly hire candidates for Stress Management Department in your organization.

  6. // I got pregnant. (Unless you are a man, this is not unusual!) //

    What an achievement! Well, it is unusual in 2 cases.

    1: You aren’t a female
    2: You aren’t married

    Both the cases put a doubt on your capability rather than do something to be classified as “Achievement”

    // I’d hire myself if I had the chance. (This was one of the most pathetic answers I got) //

    WoW! This is the most interesting answer.

    It proves 2 points

    1) There are people who like to hire themselves
    2) They need a “chance” to do so (can’t do it otherwise)



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