Why do employers even bother asking tough interview questions?
When interviewers ask tough questions, you can be thrown off your game. Of course, interview questions vary depending on the profession or job you are going for. Most of the questions are designed for you to show a potential employer your strengths. And you can be prepared for the most common tough ones. The following is a guide to answering tough interview questions and hopefully will increase your prospects of getting the job.
1-Tell us about yourself?
A job interview is designed for an employer to get to know you. It is very important that you prepare an answer for this one, as it is one of the tough interview questions that always crops up. Don’t be intimidated; the interviewer is human. Speak up and tell them honestly about yourself and all your skills.
2-What is your current boss’s worst weakness?
This is one of the toughest interview questions. But it is a great opportunity to demonstrate what kind of a person you are and how professional you are. Even if you truly hate your current boss and are tempted to slate him, remember the person sitting opposite you may be your boss one day.
You might think too much money goes on the boss’s perks, but never say this; it will be to your detriment. You should say something that will make a good impression. If you mention positive things, your interviewer will respect you a lot more and recognize you can be discrete in the workplace.
Switching the question around will give you an advantage over your competitors and make you much less nervous and flustered during an interview. So think about this one before you step into the interview.
3-What are your views on the company you are working for?
Again, even if you think your company is cheap and does not invest enough money in the community, working standards or employee relations, you should remain positive. You would be best saying something along the lines of, ‘I have learned so much from my current job and it has allowed me to progress my career effectively’. If you say things like this, the interviewer will see where your priorities are, and they will respect you a lot more for your positivity.
4-How much do you presently earn?
This is another of the very tough interview questions you should be aware of. You need to think of an appropriate answer to it. Companies will want to offer you a similar salary and package as you have now.
It is important not to lay all your cards on the table at the interview. Maybe say something like it is not just the salary that you are interested in. You are more interested in the finer points of the position and the contract, like the working environment, health care and added benefits. Negotiate later.
5-Make me want to buy this pen.
This question will need you to blow the interviewer away with your sales skills. Even if the job you are applying for is not directly related to sales or selling, it is a good question. Your answer will let you demonstrate your creative and persuasive skills and show how flexible you are.
Your answer should be about the benefits of the pen rather than the product itself. If you can see the bigger picture, it impress your potential employer and make them want to hire you.
6-What do you see as the five greatest successes in your life?
Give an answer that has at least three work achievements, an educational achievement and one related to an interest or family and friends. This demonstrates your achievement orientation as well as your work/life balance. Don’t just focus on work as your answer to this question, you are a person as well as an employee.
7-What are your three greatest strengths and weaknesses?
This is your chance to shine, as well as show self-awareness. Give three positive strengths that are related to job you are applying for. For the weaknesses find two that are strengths in disguise and one minor weakness that will not impact on your employment chances. For example, ‘I know that sometimes I find it difficult not to finish a job before I leave, and this means I stay longer at work than I should. I can be a bit of a perfectionist so my drive for excellence can sometimes irritate others’.
8-Are there any questions you would like to ask us?
Some candidates are stumped by this question. It may be an idea to ask a question related to specifics of the job, but you don’t have to. A good one that shows you are motivated to succeed is: ‘Can you tell me about the training and development I can expect to receive?’ Again, prepare your answer to these types of tough interview questions in advance.
9- If you were doing this interview what question would you want to be asked next?
Think of a question that lets you highlight your strengths and not reveal weaknesses. For example, ‘What strength do you have that would be most valuable to our company?’ This type of question requires you to think laterally so you have an opportunity to provide a positive response.
10-What has been your biggest mistake at work and what did you learn from it?
This is one of the toughest interview questions as it is a behavioral question designed to assess your future performance. Your answer to this question will need two parts: the mistake and what you learned. For example: ‘I missed a deadline a couple of years ago and the ad agency lost the account. We were working as a team on the creative, but it was mainly my fault. I thought really hard about what I could have done and realized I needed some help with time management. I asked my boss if I could take a course. The whole team did. After that we won an even bigger account and worked better as a team’.
These kinds of answers to tough interview questions will give you a great advantage over other candidates. So prepare your answers, well, rehearse them and go for it!