Tough job interview questions are one of the reasons so many people dread the interview process. It is not easy to be put on the spot with questions you really have no idea how to answer. As you hear the question you wonder…”What does this person want me to say?” “What is the right answer?” Though it is impossible to know all of the questions you will be asked, it is possible to gather some tips on handling the most common, difficult questions.
#1 – Tell Me About Your Weakness
You came to talk about your job skills and strengths. The last thing you want to do is to tell this person who you want to impress about the things you are not good at. The reality is, no one (except your mother) thinks you are perfect or that you should be. However, answering this loaded question properly is important. Make it a positive for the company. Perhaps you tend to be unorganized, but you counter this by creating email reminders and lists to help you through the day. Spin your weakness into a strength. Your Mom will be so proud.
#2 – What Happens When Things Go Bad?
Stress is a big factor in the workplace for most employers. An employee losing his or her cool is going to cost the company in one way or another. Because of this, the job interviewer is looking to see how you handle stress. Be honest, but avoid discussing hitting, smashing, or screaming. You should, instead, focus on your ability to calmly assess the situation and, with a cool head, make a calculated decision how to fix the problem at hand. Use past experiences to show how you handle stressful situations and turned a bad experience into a good one or at least minimized the fallout.
#3 – When Was the Last Time You Made the Wrong Decision?
There it is again, another negative-focused question. Now is not the time to talk about your 4 ex's or the huge Yoda tattoo on your back. This time, though, you definitely want to show how your decision making process works. The goal here is to determine how you handled the fall out, not necessarily why you made the wrong decision. When answering this question, then, focus on how you solved the problem you created. You handled it quickly and efficiently.
#4 – Are You Honest and Loyal?
If you struggle with that question, you may want to get an interview coach-STAT! Employers may not come right out and ask that directly but they are looking for you to have those qualities. Companies often deal with situations involving the ethics of employees. This is why so many have moved towards checking social media sites to really find out who a person is prior to hiring that individual. It is your job, then, to show that you are an honest, loyal person with good ethics and sound judgement
#5 – Tell Me About You
For many people, the hardest question you will have is answering questions about yourself. Who are you? What do you do in your spare time? What are your qualities? Answering these questions can be challenging, but be honest and open. Keep in mind, this is not a therapy session or the time to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets. You are allowing them another insight into who you are as a person, hopefully addressing what a great "fit you would be with everyone else in this organization.
#6 – Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Position?
Don’t spread gossip. Leave out the problems that you are having at your previous employer or the bad situation there. Instead, focus on yourself. You want bigger opportunities. You want a new challenge. Talk about your previous employer in a positive light because no hiring manager wants to hear you bash the former employer.
You may be asked some of these questions in one form or another. The winning strategy is to be prepared so you can present yourself to prospective employers in the best possible light.