What Job Interviewers Say VS What They Actually Mean

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Job interviews are an exercise in the fine art of subtext. When an interviewer asks you about your work history, for instance, they're really looking for evidence of a certain skill set, your feelings toward former employers, or a host of other things that could all be contained in your answer. Most of the answers given in job interviews are equally as predictable as the questions, which is maybe why some interviewers are starting to ask about things like cooking tips or hypothetical situations involving penguins.

Nevertheless, as a prospective employee, it's up to you to get to the bottom of what your interviewer is really asking, and frame your answer accordingly. Sometimes this is easy ("How do you pronounce your name?") but other times even seemingly straightforward questions can hide an indirect line of inquiry. Here are a few examples:

1. What they say:


What they mean:


2. What they say:

What they mean:


3. What they say:


What they mean:


4. What they say:


What they mean:


5. What they say:


What they mean:


6. What they say:


What they mean:


7. What they say:


What they mean:


8. What they say:


What they mean:


> Apply for a job

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