Ace the Toughest Interview Questions
Regardless of how many you’ve done over the years, interviews can feel overwhelming and stressful. And no matter how prepared you are, there will always be questions you dread. But don’t worry, every job seeker feels the same way. So before you walk into your next meeting, consider some of the toughest interview questions ahead of time so you can feel a little more confident when you need to come up with an answer on the spot.
- What is your biggest weakness? You may anticipate this question, but that won’t make it easier to answer. You’re worried that, if you’re honest about your weakness, they may not hire you. One popular solution is to turn a strength into a weakness like, “I work way too hard. People have to ask me to leave the office.” But this has been overused and companies know it’s happening, so they are less likely to respond positively. Instead, admit your weakness but provide your solution. For instance, “Sometimes I have trouble organizing my desk. So, I make sure I give myself an extra 10 minute at the end of the workday to make sure paperwork is where it belongs.”
- What kind of work environment do you like? Here, a company is trying to determine if you’ll be a good fit within their existing company culture. Prior to the interview, you should have done enough research on the company to understand what they’re about and learn if you can see yourself working there. But don’t just parrot their office environment back to them. Tell them honestly what you like to experience working in a company. If you were to accept a position with the wrong corporate culture, you won’t be satisfied on the job. Answer truthfully, but sprinkle in examples that may apply to their organization.
- Tell me about a time when. Behavioral interview questions are designed to dig into your decision making process. An interviewer wants to see how you would handle certain situations on the job. They typically start with this phrase and extend it to a specific task that is common within their office. For example, “Tell me about a time when you notice a major error in your work before anyone else did. How did you handle that?” They want to know how quickly you think on your feet and if you can solve the kinds of problems they face from day to day.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This question is very common and can be asked in number of ways, but ultimately the company wants to know if you are interested in a long term career within their organization. They don’t want to hire someone who is looking for just any job. They want someone who is committed to their business, culture, and products or services. Researching the company will give you some background. Answer honestly about your career path, but ensure that it’s a possibility within their structure.