The most difficult interview questions and how to answer them
So, you’ve finally got the call to interview for that job that you have been eyeing and really want to make a great impression on the recruiters. The interview stage of any job application certainly makes even the most experienced candidates nervous and anxious. While questions about your work experience and career trajectory are navigable, it is the more difficult questions that interviewers ask which may take you by surprise or even leave you stumped.
But there’s always a way to navigate such tricky questions and ensure you put your best foot forward in the interview. Recruiters like to test their candidates with a set of questions that can show them the applicant’s ability to think critically and respond appropriately under pressure. It is always wise to be prepared for any unexpected questions and prepare to answer calmly after a moment’s thought.
We have listed out some of the most difficult questions asked at interviews and how to answer them, so you can confidently finish your interview having made a positive impression.
Q. What is your biggest weakness? How do you plan to overcome it?
A. Present the interviewer with a real-life weakness that is not a key requirement to the job you have applied for. Put forward an example from your personal or professional life of how this weakness affects you and explain how you are actively working on improving it.
Example – “I am struggling with focusing on my physical health. Staying consistent in working out is a big weakness of mine. I am trying to be as physically active as possible and plan to join a fitness class soon.”
Q. Why are you leaving your current job?
A. Try to answer the interviewer honestly and tactfully and keep it brief. Refrain from making negative or overly personal comments about your previous employers. Instead, you could simply say you wanted more growth opportunities or expand the horizon of your work.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. Answer this question to show that you are ambitious and driven to achieve your professional and personal goals. Make sure to mention your intent to grow in the role. Give a realistic but driven approach to where you see yourself in the next couple of years in your career.
Q.Tell me more about yourself.
A. This question may seem vague but you can answer it with a simple approach.
Give a summary of your educational qualifications and professional career, making sure to mention your past achievements. Emphasize your expectations and intentions for this new role you are interviewing for.
Q. What are your biggest achievements?
A. Highlight your professional achievements that are relevant to the role. Cite past examples from your jobs to show how you have been successful or pivotal to adding value to the company.
Q. What are your salary expectations?
A. Navigating the salary expectations is always a tricky domain. Provide a realistic figure, preferably a salary range, that is also an acceptable industry standard. Cite a salary figure that compensates you for the skills and work experience you bring to the table. Express your intent to discuss this further and show that you are open to negotiations on remuneration.
Q. How do you handle stress?
A. This question is to test if you are able to navigate the pressure at work and also keep a positive attitude. Explain to management about your ability to take constructive feedback, willingness to learn and grow, and also keep your composure in stressful situations. Cite a previous example from a stressful situation to show how you handled it well.
Q. Why should we hire you?
A. This is one of the most difficult questions but answering this the best way leaves a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Explain to the interviewer why you are the best fit for the role. Highlight two-three of your biggest strengths (relevant to the role) and cite examples too. Express your excitement to work in this role and how your worth ethic and positive attitude will be a great addition to their workplace.
There are many more tricky questions that are asked in interviews but these are perhaps the most commonly asked across different fields and roles. Make sure to always answer realistically and tactfully. If a question surprises you or makes you nervous, don’t let it affect your confidence. Take a moment to think over it and try to answer as calmly as possible. Always keep a positive, polite attitude throughout the interview.
Acing these questions is pretty easy if you plan ahead and anticipate them. Prepare yourself and show your employers you are ahead of the curve with well-constructed and insightful answers. Good luck!
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