A New Scientific Study Reveals the Most Intimidating Job Interview Questions

most intimidating job interview questions

New research measuring the changes in the heart rate (beats per minute) of candidates being interviewed for a job reveals which are the most intimidating job interview questions.

For this study, over 1,300 participating interviewees were outfitted with fitness trackers to assess which common job interview questions raised their heart rate the most. The results revealed that being asked to perform an unexpected “quick test” of their skills or knowledge caused the most significant spike in heart rate.

When told they would have to take a test, the candidates’ average beats per minute jumped to 154 BPM from the calmer average of 80 BPM. Here’s a quick look at the other most intimidating job interview questions – and our top tips for how to answer them like a pro.

The ten most intimidating job interview questions

Question Heart rate Average heart rate increase
We’re going to give you a quick test 154 93 percent
What are your salary expectations? 133 66 percent
Do you know what we do here? 130 63 percent
How would your last boss describe you? 129 61 percent
Why are you leaving your current job? 121 51 percent
Explain these gaps in your resume 115 44 percent
What are your greatest weaknesses? 107 34 percent
Why should we hire you? 105 31 percent
Where do you see yourself in XX years? 99 24 percent
Tell me about yourself 94 18 percent

First off, let’s deal with question three.

Being asked, “Do you know what we do here?” should not have to stress you out. You should research the company and have a solid idea of its products and services before applying for the job. Furthermore, when preparing for the job interview, you should conduct even more in-depth research about the company, its culture, challenges, and competition. So that you can describe your skills and experience in the context of how they would be beneficial to the specific employer.

Having done that, being asked what you know about the company shouldn’t be overly intimidating. Of course, you won’t be fully aware of the organization’s inner workings, but you’ll be able to describe what they do without panicking.

How to answer the other most stressful job interview questions:

When asked intimidating or open-ended questions, remember that the employer is simply trying to determine if you are confident in your abilities to do the job and would be a good fit with the team.

So, keep in mind that whatever the question, your answer should relate to what you can do for the company that other candidates can’t and how you are a right fit for the job. Map your skills, experience, and accomplishments to those required for the role, and stay upbeat so that you seem like an excellent addition to the team.

This research was conducted by Reboot Digital PR.

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