Tricky interview questions
17 March 2020
So, you want to take the next step in your career and you have an interview lined up. Although the interview process can be daunting, researching tricky interview questions can help and there are 3 things to remember:
1. The interviewer is *not* out to get you. They want you to give good answers. They’re looking for someone they feel comfortable hiring! And they’d rather find that person sooner than later.
2. Next, it’s okay to say, “Hm, that’s a tough question, let me think for a minute.” No interviewer will fault you for doing this once or twice in an interview. Don’t just blurt out an answer and rush yourself if you hear a tricky interview question that caught you completely off-guard. Take a deep breath and think it through.
3. Remember, for many of these questions, the interviewer just wants to hear your thought process.
Here are some tricky questions that are worth having a think about before an interview:
Where do you want your career to be in 5 years’ time – is often asked by employers who are looking for a sense of commitment from candidates. You need to answer in a way that makes clear that your goals align with the company’s and that you hope to grow in ways that align with the job you are currently seeking. It is a great opportunity to show how ambitious you are and show you have focus and direction for your career.
Tell me something about you that isn’t on your CV – worth just thinking about and having something ready.
What is your one biggest achievement in your career – think about it before the interview so you can talk passionately about why it is your biggest achievement.
What key things would you achieve in the first 90 days in post – if you are going for a more senior position in a leadership role then this is a good one to think about. Study the job spec and research the company to try to pinpoint some key areas that they might be looking for.
Why are you looking to leave your present role – don’t be negative, if things are not great with your present or previous company try to put a positive slant on it. It is your opportunity to show how ambitious you are stating that in your current role your career goals and aims are not being met. Emphasize what you were able to accomplish in your last role, and how you were able to grow.
Talk about a tricky situation and how you dealt with it – gives you the opportunity to talk through something and maybe you can say that with hindsight and with more experience you would handle it differently and why.
What are your weaknesses -Do your research and be ready with an answer that plays to your best-educated guess of what the particular company is looking for in a new hire. Shape your answer into a story about how you’ve worked on one of your weaknesses and turned it into a growing strength. If you can tie this growing strength to one of the skills needed for the job you’re going after, you’ll really ace the answer to this question.
Tell me about a time you made a mistake - Avoid talking about mistakes involving carelessness or lack of effort. It’s better to talk about making a mistake because you hadn’t experienced a situation before, or didn’t quite have the right knowledge. And then here’s the key – at the end of your answer, talk about what you learned from the experience and how you’ve become better since then. If possible, talk about encountering a similar situation a second time and getting a much better outcome because of the lessons you learned.
What can you offer us that other candidates can’t- This is another tough interview question because the interviewer is putting you on the spot to brag about yourself and sell them on why they should hire you. While this is a tricky interview question to answer, it’s also a big opportunity!
This is your chance to show what you can do for them. That’s essentially what they’re asking here – “Tell us what you can do for us!’
Study the job description, think about your own resume and experience, and prepare to highlight how your knowledge and skills will allow you to come in and succeed in this role. Make it clear that you are the candidate that can solve their problems by making sure you do the research to find out what those are (or might be), and tailor your answer to those issues with specific examples of how your skills and experience can be applied to those issues. Tell a success story about how you addressed similar issues in the past.
Do you have any questions for me - This is great as it is through these questions that you can figure out whether or not the company is a good fit for you. In addition, the questions you ask can be a means to show that you have thoughtfully researched the company. Don’t ask questions that you can find the answers to on their website, but questions that show a deeper level of thinking, like “What is your long-term vision for the company,” “what are the biggest challenges your team is facing” or “what does it take to be successful here?”
If you would like to chat through these questions or need any other advice please do get in contact.
And finally, Good Luck!!