How to Answer the Toughest Job Interview Questions

By Alicia Geigel on August 5, 2018

There are a lot of things to prepare for when it comes to a job interview such as:  what to wear, how to present yourself, and perhaps most importantly, how to answer the dreaded interview questions. Unfortunately, questions are unavoidable in a job interview, so you will always have to prepare for them as long as you’re applying for jobs. Some questions may be simple and straightforward, while others, however, may throw you completely off-guard and make you second guess whether or not you should be sitting in the interviewer’s office.

These more difficult questions are meant to help the interviewer understand more of who you are as a person and get a better idea of how you could be a good fit for their company. The hardest of questions put you in the spotlight and make you evaluate your ability to perform a certain task, your capability to handle the office atmosphere, and certain strengths and weaknesses.

It’s certainly a lot easier to talk about your strengths and what you’re good at, but what about the things you have trouble with? Reflecting on your weaknesses and the thought of having to relay them to an employer may have you wanting to run for the nearest exit, but rest assured that there are ways to calmly and professionally answer the toughest of interview questions. Are you currently in the job search and application process? Are you completely dreading the interview stage, especially the questions? Unsure of how to answer the hard questions? Check out the guide below on how to dominate your next job interview with the simplest of steps!

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In a study about the job interviewing process, Come Recommended, a content agency which specializes in careers and job recruiting, found that in a survey of 2000 bosses, 33% claimed that they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. You may shutter at that number, however, while 90 seconds may seem like a short amount of time, it is plenty to give a good impression if you answer perhaps the toughest of questions- “Tell me about yourself”.

“Tell Me About Yourself”

In the context of a job interview, it may be hard to figure out what segments of your life to reveal to your possible employer. According to the editor of the Daily Muse, give them the present-past-future formula, meaning, “start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited about this particular opportunity.” When an interviewer asks you to speak about yourself, remember, you don’t have to delve into every detail about your life or recite the employment section of your resume, but rather convey why you are a perfect fit for the position based on your prior and current experiences.

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After you’ve successfully answered the introductory question, you may face tougher questions such as:

“What is Your Greatest Weakness?”

Not one person likes to talk about what they’re bad at or when they made a mistake in life. Humans are prideful beings, and doing so often diminishes our confidence and pride. However, it’s important to be aware of your weaknesses, skills that need improving, and specific tasks that are challenging to you so you can grow and strengthen them. So, when an interview pops the timeless question, try to recall a trait of yours that could need improvement that isn’t a deal breaker. Allison Doyle of the Balance writes, “The best way to answer questions about weaknesses is to be honest, positive, and focused on solutions.”

“Where Do You See Yourself In X Years?”

Imagine where you, your career, or your life will be anytime in the future is a baffling and difficult thought for some. To effortlessly answer this question, consider potential goals and accomplishments you’d like to achieve within a reasonable amount of time. Don’t aim too high or too low, just think of somewhat realistic! Ruth Omoh of CNBC affirms this by stating, “Your potential employer wants to see that you plan on staying with the company for the long haul. No employer wants to spend money and resources training you just to have you leave.”

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No one who is applying for jobs gets excited over the job interview process. It’s stressful and forces you to make a good first impression in a limited amount of time. This impression usually comes down to how you present yourself and how you answer tough questions. Despite the stressors and anxieties you may feel prior to an interview, if you effectively prepare beforehand by practicing answers and doing research on the employer, by the time you’re done, you’ll think the interview was a total breeze! As always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | photographer | food blogger if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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