Almost everyone has had a job interview when they have been asked really tough interview questions that they didn’t know how to answer.
In some cases, they have been able to fake their way through the question and ended up getting the job.
Preparing For Tough Interview Questions
But in many more cases job candidates spend years wondering if they would have gotten that dream job if they had simply been prepared to answer the tough questions that were tossed their way.
There’s not really any set formula or way of knowing which questions interviewers are likely to ask you, but you can rest assured that there are certain topics that interviewers are likely to hit upon.
By taking the time to research these areas and prepare to discuss them during your interview you can be assured that you will be much better prepared to handle touch and dubious questions if they are tossed at you during the interview.
Tough Interview Questions #1
”Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your last (or current job)?”
This interview question seems to be a favorite among many employers.
It can be hard to handle, especially if you are leaving because of rather delicate circumstances.
If you have just had it out with your boss, if you were fired or laid off; it can be difficult to know how to answer this question honestly without ruining your chances for getting the job.
“I feel it’s time for a career change.” is always a good way to respond if you are currently employed and don’t want to state that you can’t stand your boss or some other particular circumstances.
If you were laid-off, there is not necessarily any shame in admitting that. Millions of very qualified and educated people have faced the same circumstances in the last few years.
Tough Interview Questions #2
”I see from your resume that you haven’t worked in the last five years. Can you elaborate about that time period for me?”
If you were unemployed, staying at home to care for family, were ill or incarcerated this question is probably one that haunts your nightmares.
Legally, employers can’t ask about your family or marital status and they can only ask about medical conditions and legal issues under very tight parameters.
This is one way in which they can try to get around those numerous restrictions.
It’s up to you to give them as much or as little information as you want them to have; however be aware that if your answer doesn’t satisfy their curiosity they will either keep digging or move on to the next candidate.
Tough Interview Questions #3
”What are your weaknesses?”
Most job candidates are prepared to discuss their skills and strengths but are dumbfounded when employers ask about their weaknesses.
Even though none of us really want to admit we have them or focus on our weaknesses, it’s always best to be prepared for this type of question.
All of us have areas where we could use some improvement … you can be somewhat creative with the response to this question.
Try not to divulge too much and make sure you stick with weaknesses that are related to employment. It’s also a good idea if you can turn the weakness you mention into a strength.
Example: “I feel as though I could improve on my communication skills.”
Remember to follow-up with an example of how you are working to improve that weakness.
Tough Interview Questions #4
”Why are you interested in this position?”
The correct answer does not have anything to do with salary and benefits even though that is probably your real motivation. You also shouldn’t respond by saying you simply need a job. Most people, unless they are independently wealthy, need a job.
Most employers realize that the most productive employees are those who are interested in and satisfied with their work.
This question is meant to find out whether this position will meet your intrinsic needs and result in your being a highly efficient and productive employee or whether you will be looking for a better job as soon as another opportunity comes along and meanwhile just doing enough to get by.
If you have done research on the company you are interviewing with, this is a perfect chance to showcase your knowledge about the organization and the services and products they offer.
Example: “I have always been very interested in (your product/service.) I believe that the experience and skills I have obtained will allow me to help your organization meet their goals.”
Remember to keep your answer focused on what you can do for the employer and not what they can do for you.
Tough Interview Questions #5
”Why are you the perfect candidate for this job?”
This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer, especially if you don’t know exactly what the employer is looking for and what the other candidates have to offer.
The only choice you have here is to focus on your unique experience, skills and education. Keep your answer to a couple of concise sentences that reflect what you believe to be your strongest assets.
Tips On Answering Interview Questions
No matter how well you prepare for your job interview, there will always be times when you will be asked a question you are not expecting.
The best way to handle this is to answer the question honestly and do not try to second guess what the interviewer wants to hear.