Job applicants tend to underestimate interview questions that sound simple. I mean, everyone has their own point of view on the society they live in, so why to hide that in an interview?
Similar “simple sounding” questions include: “Name three characteristics of this company.”, “What would you say about your former boss?”, or “How would you describe your former colleagues?”.
Interviewers ask the questions for two reasons:
- To see whether you can assess skills and abilities of other people. You will need to do that in your job in HR.
- To see your attitude to people, and your way of thinking. Do you look for the good, or for the bad in them?
Your attitude matters
Now I would like to elaborate on the second point. Let’s have a look at two alternatives of an answer to the original question (three things that characterize an average American).
Option 1: I think they are lazy, over-confident and many times hard to deal with.
Option 2: I would say people in the United States are friendly and talkative, have huge potential, and a healthy level of self confidence.
Now imagine an HR worker with the attitude expressed in the first answer. They would always see the dark side of the coin, looking for negatives. They will never become great HR manager, simply because it would be difficult for them to build good relationships with the employees of the company, and help them develop their strengths (since they do not see any)
Oppositely, an HR manager with the 2nd answer sees Americans as people who are capable of achieving their dreams, and are ready to sacrifice something on that journey. Needless to say, person with this attitude will have a much better chances to choose good employees, motivate them, and help them to deliver their best in job.
Speak nicely about the others
It does not matter if they ask you about your former colleagues, bosses, class mates, or about people in general. Look for the good in people, and speak with enthusiasm about the others. Demonstrate the right attitude in your HR interview.
Special Tip: Did you like the answer? Consider checking my Interview Success Guide, an eBook in which you will find an analysis, and multiple brilliant answers, to each of the thirty most common interview questions.
- How would you motivate people in our company, without offering them a raise?
- Imagine you should choose a new general manager. What steps would you take?