Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Answer Hard Interview Questions

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What Is Your Dream Job

6 MOST Difficult Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Employers typically ask this question because they want to ensure that your interests and passion align with their job. A good answer will describe a role that matches the one youre interviewing for. Consider using this formula for your response:

1. Mention the skills you want to use:I enjoy guiding other team members on projects and making sure everything goes smoothly…”

2. Describe a job in general:“…My dream job would be a leadership position where the other team members are active participants and communication happens daily…

3. Discuss your values:“…I love seeing a project through to the end and celebrating everyones hard work…

4. Tailor to the job for which you are interviewing:“…For instance, if youre applying for a leadership position, you might discuss how your dream job would include supervisory responsibilities.”

Read more: Interview Question: “What Is Your Dream Job?”

The 20 Hardest Questions To Be Asked In An Interview

Weve all been there, you spend hours preparing for an interview and set off to your appointment satisfied that there couldnt possibly be a question that you havent mentally prepared a genius answer for. Then BANG, a bewildering, stress inducer of a bombshell is dropped on you and youre left in a cold sweat as you decipher the best course of action.

Some of the most run-of-the-mill interview questions such as whats your biggest weakness? and describe yourself in three words, made an appearance in the most dreaded questions to be asked, which doesnt come as too much of a surprise to me. Even when youre expecting to be asked such a thing it doesnt seem to weaken the blow an awful lot and what really is the best response to these after all?!

The average job hopeful thinks their fate is decided early- with just over five minutes cited as the time an interviewer takes before deciding if theyll be hired or not. This is much longer than the 90 seconds many research state that it actually takes, however it means that pressure is well and truly on to provide impressive answers throughout the introductory stage of the interview.

Our friends at the Association of Accounting Technicians recently completed a study on interview experiences in the UK and compiled a list of what they found people regard as the difficult interview questions.

Where Do You See Yourself In 5/10 Years

This question is asked to determine how the job youâre applying for fits into your long-term career plan. Will you be gone in a few months? Do you have unrealistic expectations of where the role is headed? To answer this question, like many common interview questions, stick with honesty. If you hope to move into a more senior or management role, say so, but be realistic. Most interviewers will appreciate your ambition after all, 5 years is a long time.

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How To Prepare For An Interview

Use these questions and example answers to prepare for your interview by making them your own and tailoring them to fit your experience, the job and the company youre interviewing for. Its important to get comfortable with what you could be asked and understand what a good response might be.

Much like preparing for a test in school, the best way to succeed in your interview is to study and practice. Research the company and the job, and practice your talking points until you feel confident about your answers. The more you prepare, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression and outperform fellow candidates. Come equipped with examples of work from previous jobs, as well as ideas for the new job. Try and make the interview as conversational as possible by showing genuine interest in the job, company and your interviewer.

How Do You Handle Or Manage Stress

How to answer hard interview questions

Many jobs are stressful or have stressful components to them. Employers want to know how youll handle yourself when times get tough. Do you outwardly explode, get quiet and withdraw, or feel motivated to push through?

While you want to be honest, take a more positive approach to your answer: When I get stressed out, I find its best for me to take a step back and make a plan of attack. This helps me get a handle on the situation and figure out what I need to do to alleviate my stress and get things accomplished.

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Give An Example Of Your Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking is the ability to use your imagination to look at a problem in a fresh way and come up with a new solution. Companies prize employees with lateral thinking skills because without them, they canât innovate and create new products. Think about times when youâve been faced with real-life problems and have somehow managed to overcome them. Chances are your solution involved an original, creative approach, and thatâs what employers want to find out about.

Why Should I Hire You

Identify the key requirements of the position based on the job description and highlight the skills and knowledge from your past that demonstrate this to the interviewer. Take this as an opportunity to sell yourself as the ideal person for the job, and dont be afraid to show that youve proud of your abilities.

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How Do You Like To Be Managed

This is another one of those questions thats about finding the right fitboth from the companys perspective and your own. Think back on what worked well for you in the past and what didnt. What did previous bosses do that motivated you and helped you succeed and grow? Pick one or two things to focus on and always articulate them with a positive framing . If you can give a positive example from a great boss, itll make your answer even stronger.

What Do You Expect From A Supervisor

How To Answer Tough Interview Questions

What They Want to Know: Your interviewer is interested in knowing whether you, as an employee, are coachable and have reasonable expectations of your supervisor answering this question negatively wont earn you much credit. Provide an honest example of the management style that is most likely to motivate you to do your best work.

Sample Answer: I find I thrive in situations where my supervisors take the time to provide me with constructive feedback about my performance. This allows me to know that Im on the right track. I also appreciate it when they have an open door policy where their staff feel encouraged to approach them about issues.

More Answers: How would you handle it if your boss was wrong?

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What Skills Are You Lacking

The interviewer is trying to find out if you have gaps in your level of knowledge and expertise. And if so, how you articulate this and what you have planned to remedy these skills gaps.

You might be wondering how best to go about handling this interview question.

First, make a list of the skills from the company’s job description that you don’t currently have.

Their goal may be for you to help improve the company’s current product line. If you’ve never worked with product development teams, this can be a skills gap. For example, you may need advanced experience:

  • Managing project financials and cost controls
  • Identifying new product ideas and bringing those to fruition
  • Keeping your product team on task and overseeing production milestones
  • Working with clients during product changes and change requests

Second, resolve any skills gaps by taking advanced online training. Scope out free online resources and educating yourself to narrow your skills gap. Ever heard of Lynda ? It’s an online learning portal acquired by LinkedIn in 2016.

Few have heard of LinkedIn Learning, which is a shame.

LinkedIn Learning is available free of charge to premium LinkedIn members. For premium LinkedIn members, there’s a “go to learning” link in their profiles.

Another resource to help boost your education is good-ole YouTube. Once you get beyond the cat videos, you’ll find YouTube offers a bunch of training.

There are also tech schools, online certification programs, and so on.

What Does Customer Service Mean To You

If youre applying for a public-facing role, an employer may ask this question to determine what aspects of customer service are most important to you. . A good answer will align with the companys values, which you can glean through researching their customer service policy, understanding their products and clientele and reflecting on your own experiences as a customer. Your answer can either come from the perspective of a customer or a customer service provider.

Example answer:In my experience, good customer service involves taking responsibility when something goes wrong and doing what you can to make it right. For example, on a recent flight, I had pre-ordered my meal only to discover they didnt stock enough of my dish. Instead of simply stating the facts, the flight attendant apologized sincerely and offered me a free drink or premium snack. To me, this apology went a long way in smoothing things over. The freebie was a bonus that made me feel valued as a customer and choose the same airline for my next flight.

Read more: Interview Question: What Does Customer Service Mean to You?

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Allows You To Demonstrate Your Collaboration Skills

Your collaboration skills dictate if you can build relationships with different personalities that make up the workplace of the company you’re interviewing for. You can use collaboration skills to formulate new ideas around a product or service or you can develop existing processes that have advanced your career and your previous employers. Answer hypothetical interview questions by showing when you worked with a team to reach a goal that had a mutual benefit for all parties.

How Did You Hear About This Position

How to answer hard interview questions

Another seemingly innocuous interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name-drop that person, then share why you were so excited about the job. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.

Also Check: How To Interview A Manager

What Are Your Pet Peeves

Heres another one that feels like a minefield. But itll be easier to navigate if you know why an interviewer is asking it. Most likely, they want to make sure youll thrive at their companyand get a glimpse of how you deal with conflict. So be certain you pick something that doesnt contradict the culture and environment at this organization while still being honest. Then explain why and what youve done to address it in the past, doing your best to stay calm and composed. Since theres no need to dwell on something that annoys you, you can keep this response short and sweet.

Questions About Your Abilities

The hiring manager will be assessing your abilities during your interview so they can try to determine how successful you might be in the position youre seeking. It would help if you thought about specific examples of positive outcomes from previous jobs. Here are some example questions:

  • Describe a decision you made that was a failure. What happened and why?
  • Tell me about a time that you needed to convey technical information to a non-technical audience.
  • Tell me about a time that you worked interpreting and presenting data.
  • Why do you think you will be successful in this job?
  • Tell me about a time that you participated in a team. What was your role and how well do you think you fulfilled it?
  • Tell me about a time when you faced conflicting priorities. How did you determine the top priority?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed.

How to Respond: Examples of the Best Answers

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Questions About Working With Other People

In any position, interaction with your colleagues is essential, and how well you manage your relationships with others impacts the work environment for everyone. Interviewers will ask questions to determine how well you can work with others. For example:

  • How would you assess the skills, personality traits and work ethic of candidates by applying behavioral interviewing techniques?
  • What techniques have you used to motivate subordinates to improve performance?
  • Are you comfortable leading group discussions in a way that incorporates diverse views and draws consensus?
  • How do you develop a comfortable rapport with clients and determine their preferences for products and services?
  • Do you listen actively and emphatically to encourage clients to share their feelings and problems?
  • Have you created and delivered training sessions that engage the audience in active learning? Please describe.
  • How would you provide difficult news to an employee targeted for layoff?
  • Tell me about a time when you mediated conflicts between employees or with clients.
  • Are you able to resolve customer complaints with patience and creativity?

How to Respond: Examples of the Best Answers

Questions About Your Work History

How to answer tough interview questions

The meat of any job interview is your track record at work: what you accomplished, how you succeeded or failed , and how you behaved in real time in actual work environments. If you prep a few versatile stories to tell about your work history and practice answering behavioral interview questions, youll be ready to go.

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Questions About You And Your Goals

Another crucial aspect of an interview? Getting to know a candidate. Thats why youll likely encounter questions about how you work, what youre looking for , and what your goals are. Its a good sign if your interviewers want to make sure youll be a good fitor addto the team. Use it as an opportunity!

What Are You Hoping To Gain From This Job

The wrong answer to this difficult interview question can be costly. Employers want to know that they are more than just a paycheck to you. They want to feel as if there is a genuine partnershipbetween them and their staff.

So tell the hiring manager how youd like to grow in this position, the things you hope to learn, and the experiences youd like to have if you were hired for this job.

Your answer could include, Im hoping to grow my knowledge in this industry, and I would particularly look forward to taking on the tasks of , , and .

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The 20 Hardest Questions To Be Asked In An Interview:

  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Describe yourself in three words?
  • If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
  • If you were a flavour of ice cream, what would you be and why?
  • What has been your greatest achievement?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • How will you contribute to the team?
  • Describe a situation where you have gone above and beyond?
  • Describe a project you have handled?
  • What do you think the chief executive thinks of the company?
  • What attracted you to this company?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Describe a situation where you have had others follow your lead?
  • Name a time where you have worked under pressure?
  • What attributes do you have that will support you in this role?
  • Are you a competitive person?
  • What are you hoping to get out of life?
  • Hypothetical Interview Questions And Tips On How To Answer Them

    How to answer hard interview questions

    Companies use hypothetical interview questions to understand your behavior in the workplace. During an interview, you’ll be asked a varying number of questions, which require you to employ your problem-solving skills to solve complex business challenges. Your ability to answer these questions effectively demonstrate if you’re qualified for the position and if you fit in with the company’s culture.

    In this article, we outline what hypothetical interview questions are, the advantages and disadvantages of hypothetical interview questions,15 hypothetical interview questions to prepare for and tips to help you answer them.

    Read more:Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

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    Why Was There A Gap In Your Employment

    Maybe you were taking care of children or aging parents, dealing with health issues, or traveling the world. Maybe it just took you a long time to land the right job. Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to discuss the gap on your resume. Seriously, practice saying your answer out loud. The key is to be honest, though that doesnt mean you have to share more details than youre comfortable with. If there are skills or qualities you honed or gained in your time away from the workforcewhether through volunteer work, running a home, or responding to a personal crisisyou can also talk about how those would help you excel in this role.

    Do You Consider Yourself To Be Lucky

    This question actually accomplishes a few things. First, it can help the hiring manager gauge your attitude, as your reply could reveal whether you are an optimist, pessimist, or realist.

    Second, it also gives them insights into how you view luck. After all, what one person considers lucky may be seen as the result of hard work, dedication, or something else by another candidate.


    I dont consider myself lucky in a traditional sense. I have been fortunate enough to have a chance to seize certain opportunities and to engage with some amazing people. However, I also took action, seizing opportunities when they arose to better my life and further my career.

    For example, in my last position, I had a chance to take on a critical project. I took it on enthusiastically, using it as an opportunity to broaden my skillset, collaborate with knowledgeable professionals, and step up as a leader. While I was fortunate to get a chance to have oversight of the project, its success was based on my diligence. In a way, I created my own luck, ensuring I excelled by fully dedicating myself to the task-at-hand.

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