How to answer "What do you think is the biggest misconception about your field?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why Employers Ask This?

Employers ask this question to gauge the candidate's understanding of the industry and their ability to communicate effectively. This question also gives the employer insight into the candidate's personality and how they view the industry. It helps the employer to determine if the candidate is aware of the common misconceptions and how they can address them in their work.

Additionally, this question provides an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate their critical thinking skills and how they approach challenges and problems in the workplace.

How to Answer the Question

  • Do your research: Before the interview, conduct research on the industry and identify common misconceptions. Use this information to develop possible answers to the question.
  • Be honest: Be truthful in your response and explain why you believe the misconception exists and how it can be corrected.
  • Showcase your knowledge: Use your response to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, and how you keep yourself informed about industry developments.
  • Stay positive: Avoid being negative about the industry or its professionals. Maintain a positive and professional tone when answering the question.
  • Share examples: Use examples from your experience to support your response. This shows the interviewer how you have addressed the issue in the past which is always a positive sign.

Remember, the key is to showcase your understanding of the industry and how you can contribute positively to the workplace.

Sample answers

Good answer: One of the biggest misconceptions about my field is that it's only for people who have a degree in that specific field. However, many of the skills required for my job can be learned through experience, and a variety of educational backgrounds can be successful in this field. I myself have a degree in marketing, but have been able to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field of digital marketing.

Bad answer: I don't think there are any misconceptions about my field. People seem to understand it pretty well.

Explanation: This answer lacks insight and awareness about the industry, and can come across as arrogant. It also doesn't address the question in a meaningful way.

Good answer: One of the biggest misconceptions about my field is that we just sit at a desk all day and type away at a computer. However, my job requires a lot of creativity and critical thinking. I often have to brainstorm and come up with new and innovative ideas to solve problems and meet client needs.

Bad answer: I'm not sure what the biggest misconception about my field is. I think people generally understand what we do.

Explanation: This answer lacks depth and does not show any personal insight or knowledge about the industry. It also dismisses the question, which can reflect poorly on the candidate's ability to engage in critical thinking.

Good answer: One of the biggest misconceptions about my field is that we work in isolation and don't communicate with others. However, my job requires constant communication and collaboration with team members, clients, and stakeholders. I have to be able to effectively communicate my ideas and listen to feedback to ensure the success of projects.

Bad answer: I'm not sure about misconceptions specific to my field, but I know there are a lot out there in general.

Explanation: This answer lacks specificity and does not show any personal experience or knowledge about the industry. It also does not address the question in a useful way.

Good answer: One of the biggest misconceptions about my field is that it's just about making a lot of money. While compensation is important, people in my field are often motivated by making a positive impact and contributing to society. Helping others and making a difference is a big part of what drives me in my job.

Bad answer: I think the biggest misconception about my field is that it's boring. But I don't really think that's true, because I find it really interesting.

Explanation: This answer lacks insight and does not show any personal experience or knowledge about the industry. It also does not address the question in a useful way. Additionally, it is important to provide a more substantial rebuttal to a common misconception than simply stating that you don't believe it's true.
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