Among the hardest hit industries during the pandemic have been the restaurant and hospitality workers. In California alone, nearly one million people have lost their restaurant jobs. This includes wait and bussing staff, chefs, line cooks, hostesses and management. Stay at home orders around the country necessitated the closure of all restaurants, with a few reopening for take-out service only. The prolonged nature of the … (continued)

Tough Interview Questions and Answers

Every other week or so we pose a question you might get asked during an interview and a suggestion on how you might formulate your answer. 

This week’s question:

When are you most serious?

This is the type of question that could be asked when an interviewer is trying to learn a little bit about how you see yourself, and if you might be a cultural match to her team. Are you most serious in meetings, when making presentations or a sales pitch? Are you serious when talking to the boss? Not everyone is serious all the time, but when it comes to work and the degree of responsibility a particular position might require, the employer might be trying to gauge if the candidate has the right temperament. Let’s say it is a given that all employers want their new and existing hires to take their work and internal relationships seriously. However some positions require less seriousness than others. For example, bank teller and telephone help desk agent are at their core both customer service positions. But because one of the positions necessitates the employee accurately handle monetary transactions, the employer may determine a higher level of seriousness is required to do the job properly. This isn’t to say that the help desk agent requires any less attention to detail than the teller, or the help agent’s employer may be lax about the importance of accuracy and detail demonstrated by their representatives. In fact, being serious about the execution of one’s responsibilities, respecting and maintaining appropriate office relationships and communication is what most employers want from all of their staff. So, if you are asked this question tell your interviewer that you are serious when the situation calls for it; that you take the responsibilities of your job, assignments, deadlines, communication and rapport with others with the appropriate level of seriousness. Interviews are not the place for an applicant to convey their wonderful sense of humor, their irreverence for authority or their penchant for silliness. Those qualities are rarely appropriate for demonstration during an interview. But follow the interviewer’s lead: If s/he is making light of something, it’s ok to laugh politely or nod in agreement, but don’t try to “one-up” them attempting to be funnier or more clever. Respect the situation. Definitely be personable and try to be relatable. But remember that interviews are a place to be serious, and hopefully taken seriously.


To see previous installments of

Tough Interview Questions and Answers,

click here.

(Most recent are at the bottom of the list.)


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