Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How To Handle Interview Questions

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Why Did You Leave Your Job


One of the most critical job interview tips: Don’t badmouth a former employer. So if an interviewer asks, “Why did you leave your job?” and you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20% reduction in the workforce, which included me.”

If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”

What Do You Consider To Be Your Weaknesses

What your interviewer is really trying to do with this questionbeyond identifying any major red flagsis to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, I cant meet a deadline to save my life is not an optionbut neither is Nothing! Im perfect! Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that youre working to improve. For example, maybe youve never been strong at public speaking, but youve recently volunteered to run meetings to help you get more comfortable when addressing a crowd.

Read More:4 Ways to Answer What Is Your Greatest Weakness? That Actually Sound Believable

What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position

This question can tell employers about types of work you enjoy, your experience level with certain workplace scenarios and whether or not you would be a good culture add. Avoid saying anything negative about your former employer, managers or colleagues. Dont mention any aspects of your last role that youre aware would be part of this role. Make your answer about your career growth and enthusiasm for joining their organization.

Example answer:While I enjoyed my time learning and growing in my last job, there was a lack of opportunity in the way I wanted to progress in my career. I deeply enjoy being challenged and getting better at what I do, which I understand is a top priority for managers at your organization. Thats why Im excited to continue having conversations about this opportunity.

Read more: Interview Question: “What Did You Like Least About Your Last Job?”

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What Skills Would You Bring To The Job

While this is similar to questions like, Why should we hire you? or What can you bring to the company? it allows you to be more specific about your work ethic, style and unique abilities as it relates to the role.

An impactful answer will discuss your hard and soft skills and use the STAR method to illustrate how your unique skills might benefit the team or organization.

Example answer:I can make anyone feel comfortable in a new environment, which makes me a good fit as a human resources assistant. In my previous position, a new employee came to me and told me that she didnt think she was right for the company culture. After talking to her for a few minutes, we realized that she felt too much pressure to participate in company events. I started introducing events that involved fewer competitions and more casual environments, and she quickly grew more comfortable with her team.

Read more: Interview Question: “What Skills Would You Bring to the Job?”

You Feel Overwhelmed With Your Workload

Interview Question: How Do You Handle Stress?

On the flip side, if you’re miserable at work, you might simply be overwhelmed. This can result in excessive stress, anxiety, and irritability.

If you feel like there’s not enough time in the day to complete all of your work, think about how you can manage your time and tasks better. Take an online course, watch a free webinar, or read expert articles on good time management practices. Sometimes all you need is to organize yourself better.

Also, learn how to say “no.” Packing on unnecessary work will burn you out and make things worse.

If you still find yourself overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to have a tactful conversation with your manager. Explain that you’ve taken steps to increase your efficiency in your role, but still find yourself extremely overwhelmed with the amount of work you’re required to do and you’re worried you’ll eventually become burned out. You might be able to work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

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How Do You Handle Or Manage Stress

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.

Example Answers To Questions About Working Under Tight Deadlines

If you want to impress your interviewers the right way, make sure you back up your claims of being able to successfully work under tight deadlines. Below we discuss a couple of examples of answers to the interview question how do you deal with tight deadlines?. However, these are just general examples. Make sure that you prepare your answers specifically to the position and company that youre applying for.

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Whats Your Biggest Strength

When talking about strengths, try not to give generic answerseveryone will say theyre a hard worker. Instead, find personal traits and skills earned from experience that set you apart and make you a valuable asset to the company. Keep the job description in mind for this answer and try to highlight the strengths you have that match what theyre looking for.

Rather than simply naming the strength, consider giving an example of a time when youve used it in action or a person has pointed out that strength in you. That way you come across as humble and confident!

How Do You Approach Diversity In The Workplace

How to Handle Open Ended Job Interview Questions

Focusing strongly on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, this question is becoming more popular with interviewers. Diversity in the workplace means including people from many cultures, but it goes deeper than that. It means including people from all genders, races, religions, academic and economic backgrounds, physical and mental abilities, ages, and ethnicities and providing equal treatment and opportunities for all staff.

Today, most large-scale companies feature a multi-cultural employee population that comprises people from various cultures and beliefs. A hiring manager asks this question to evaluate your understanding of diversity within the work environment and your ability to remain open-minded and inclusive.

Example:”Having worked with national and international companies in my experience, I love the opportunities that diversity offers in the workplace. I deeply enjoy working with and learning from coworkers and managers who can expand my perspective and openness to others’ ways of viewing the world.”

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Your Work Environment Doesn’t Work With Your Personality

You might not realize it, but your work environment might be affecting your happiness. If you have an introverted personality, working in a loud, open area might be distracting and mentally exhausting for you, which can negatively impact your performance.

On the flip side, if you thrive off of collaborating and connecting with others, working in a quieter atmosphere might set back your creativity and energy.

When you’re working in an environment that consistently makes you uncomfortable, you’re unproductive. And when you’re unproductive, you’re unsatisfied. This is why it’s so important to understand your workplace personas and interaction styles and do your research on the company so you know what kind of work environment to expect. Even if you work remotely, make sure your work environment is having a positive effect on your mental health and productivity.

Tips For Dealing With Conflict In The Workplace

Because companies highly value the skill of conflict resolution, you can work toward developing and improving your skills with these simple tips:

  • Build professional relationships with your colleagues founded on mutual respect.

  • Practice the skill of actively listening to provide your complete focus and attention to the speaker to eliminate misunderstanding.

  • Use respectful communication to express your ideas and opinions so that everyone feels comfortable in the situation.

  • React objectively in the workplace and focus on a person’s actions if there is a problem, instead of attacking the person themselves.

  • Identify recurring situations of conflict and find ways to solve the underlying issue to prevent future challenges.

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Tips For Answering Questions About Handling Tight Deadlines

The best tip for answering questions about dealing with tight deadlines is making sure that youre able to provide a specific answer. This can all be done through good preparation. When interviewers ask candidates about how they have worked under tight deadlines, most will give an answer along the lines of:

Im very accustomed to working under tight deadlines. Basically, all the projects that I work on have tight deadlines. My and I colleagues do everything to meet the requirements of our clients and make sure that we finish our projects on time successfully.

The answer above is too general. Sometimes candidates include specific details from their particular industry, but its still a very general answer. The interviewer is aware of the fact that almost everything you work on has some sort of a deadline. This means that the example answer above tells the interviewer precisely nothing.

Therefore, make sure that your answer includes specific details that show that you understand the urgency of deadlines and that you can perform to meet them successfully. The key to success in this question is to give an effective answer by using an example of a specific deadline and how you were able to keep it.

Learn more about answering behavioral interview questions here.

Responses To Look For

Interview Questions For Freshers

When you are interviewing candidates and asking them about how they handle stress, you should keep an eye out for a few things.

During the interview, candidates should be calm. If theyre stressing out throughout the entire interview, it might be a sign that they dont handle stressful situations well.

You should look for candidates who provide specific situations. And, you can use candidate answers and apply them to the position. Maybe a candidate had a similar situation to something they could experience in your clients company. Or, the way they handled a stressful situation would benefit them in the open job.

Also, you should look out for candidates who obsess on someone or something that stressed them out. If the candidate spends their time bad mouthing a colleague or blaming their company, you might want to pass. Everyone has stressyou are looking for the candidates who are able to roll with the punches without passing blame.

If a candidate tells you they dont get stressed out, you might want to press them for more information. This could indicate that the candidate doesnt get stressed out because they are disengaged from their work. Or, it could mean a candidate is not in tune with their stress and emotions.

Jot down notes on your interview scorecard and record answers in your recruiting software. That way, you can refer to them at a later time.

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How To Successfully Answer The Conflict Question

As a Product Manager, having an effective strategy for how you handle conflict is critical. But answering this question successfully is not necessarily about telling the interviewer your amazing, magic solution to conflict! On the job as a Product Manager, your day to day operation will be all about making sure you have all the information and understand all the variables before you make a decision. The same mentality should be brought to conflict resolution. Even if you have had experience with a particular strategy previously, what worked at another company might not necessarily be effective in this new environment.

How Do You Deal With Pressure Or Stressful Situations

Heres another question you may feel the urge to sidestep in an effort to prove youre the perfect candidate who can handle anything. But its important not to dismiss this one . Instead, talk about your go-to strategies for dealing with stress and how you communicate and otherwise proactively try to mitigate pressure. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation you navigated successfully, all the better.

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Why Do Employers Ask Tough Interview Questions

Employers ask tough interview questions for several different reasons. One reason employers ask difficult questions is to seek out important information about you. For example, employers might ask you to tell them about yourself. While it is difficult to provide a brief, eloquent summary of yourself, it is helpful context for employers to understand.

Another reason employers ask difficult interview questions is to learn about your thought processes. For example, they might ask you an unexpected and abstract question like, If you were a tree, what type of tree would you be? The employer is not looking for a specific answer here but rather asking to see if you can think quickly and support your answer with some logic or explanation.

Lastly, employers might ask tough interview questions to gauge your experience level and comfort with difficult tasks. This is more common in technical roles like computer programming or accounting. These questions should be answered to the best of your ability. Check with friends or colleagues in your industry for examples of test questions theyve received.


  • What are you passionate about?

  • Why are you leaving your current job?

  • What are your greatest strengths?

  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

  • Why Are You Looking For A New Job

    Interview Questions: How did you Handle an Angry Customer

    The answer the candidate gives to this manager interview question helps you evaluate whether he or she would fit in well with your company culture.

    Listen for answers that express a desire for roles that are more challenging and opportunities to satisfy work-related goals and passions.

    If the candidate is leaving their current job because of issues that are common to every business, they might not be the right choice for your company.

    Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation

    Why Do You Want To Work With Us

    This question is an ideal follow-up to, What do you know about our business? because it goes directly to the candidates motivation for applying for the job.

    Asking this question and the answer the individual provides gives you insight into the benefits they perceive theyll gain by working for your company.

    If they reply with something about your stellar customer service or your business strategy, thats a good sign. If they indicate that their interest is because your business pays the highest wage of all your competitors, thats a bad sign.

    If the candidates answer is vague, ask a follow-up question or two to get to the heart of the matter.

    Why Do You Want This Job

    Can you admit that you primarily want this job because it will allow you to work from home? Not necessarily.

    Employers like to hear why you want to work for themand mentioning something general that many other companies also offer wont help them understand what your admire about their company.

    Flatter your boss-to-be by mentioning the companys solid reputation, its admirable diversity policies, and its excellent mentorship programs instead.

    For example, Im really impressed with this companys reputation in the industry and I would love to help contribute to your mission.

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    How Would You Describe Yourself

    With this question, your interviewer wants to learn how your qualities and characteristics align with the skills they believe are required to succeed in the role. To answer this question, pick one to a few personal characteristics and elaborate on them with examples.

    For example, if you are ambitious and driven you can say: I am an ambitious and driven individual. I thrive in a goal-oriented environment where I can constantly challenge myself personally and professionally. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and grow. These characteristics have helped me achieve success in my career. For example, I was promoted three times in less than two years in my last position.

    Read more: Interview Question: How Would You Describe Yourself?

    What Are Your Pet Peeves

    How to handle pressure interview question

    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.

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    What Have Been Your Most Positive And Negative Management Experiences

    Employers might ask you this question to understand what you like and dislike in certain management styles. This might help them decide whether or not you would be a good fit under a certain manager. You should answer this question honestly and as tactfully as possible.

    Example:One of my past managers, while very talented, tended to manage our teams work closely with little flexibility on how things were to be done. It made me feel like I wasnt trusted and there wasnt much room for process improvement. My most recent manager was terrific at listening to my needs and helping me get the resources I needed to achieve my goals. I thrive under managers who create a collaborative, trusting team environment.

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