Tell Me What You Felt Was Unfair in Your Last Position?
If you speak negatively about yourself or others, will you still get the job?
How horrible is it when you're excelling at your interview, only to find the next question guts your confidence and ability to stay focused? Believe me, it is 100 percent intentional in order to see if you have the verbal fluidity and disciplined character to maneuvers yourself cleverly and graciously around such sticky questions.
Hiring managers will venture into your insecurities, weaknesses, and shortcomings to measure your strength and character fortitude. Positioning candidates with provoking questions have long been part of the job hunting race to the contact and dotted line. When you are propositioned with such a question as, “Tell me what you felt was unfair in your last position,” you may be wondering how to respond without seeming inconsiderate, needy, or trivial.
Incriminating questions prod your ability to take responsibility for actions, particularly for the moments when you know that-you-know-that-YOU-KNOW you are not the one who has caused the problem at hand. These questions measure your response within deliberately amoral workplace scenarios.
So, as presumptuous as the question may be, I often find that the choice by the hiring manager to raise the question reveals a few vulnerabilities behind the interviewer and the work environment. What has happened on the job prior to your arrival for this question to even be proposed? Why would an interviewer be interested in how you manage unfairness if accusations of unfairness have not been present before? Be that as it may, never answer this question directly by stating your point of view on what is fair and unfair. Instead, show how you evaluate two sides of a moral coin.
Fairness evaluates moral justifications of what is considered equal and acceptable. As such, fairness is highly subjective. Use that subjectivity to your advantage! Show how you have approached understanding both the opponent and yourself in competing point of views.
To do so, I suggest expressing how your perspective and beliefs fit in concert with your opposition and not competitively. In other words, explain why you chose to lean toward one perspective more so than the other instead of flat out rejecting your opponent’s point of view.
With this approach, you have displayed to the hiring manager how you manage to keep workplace scenarios in balance and in perspective of a greater picture. As we all know, this ability is important as workplace drama often resembles fragments from reality TV shows or retrospectives from our junior high school days. Prove to your potential new boss you can put anything into perspective with your ability to see both sides of an issue.