Difficult Interview Questions And How To Respond

February 13, 2014

Prospective employers like to throw curve balls when asking interview questions to identify exactly how an individual’s thought process works, and also how they might respond to challenging situations. The key to staying calm during such questions is to anticipate what some of those questions might be. By doing so, you can equip yourself with the answer that best reflects yourself, and the skills you might bring to the particular job of interest.


“Tell me about yourself.”

It is very often that this is the first, and most difficult, question to answer. This is not the time to chronicle your life story or to reveal that your true dream is to make it to the Olympics. It is a time to highlight the qualities about yourself that are most in tune with the position you are applying for. If interviewing for a position as a dog walker, you would want to explain your love of animals and outdoors rather than your passion for curling up by a fire with a good book. It is important to reiterate why you are there. Telling an employer about yourself is essentially telling them why you are the best candidate for the position.


“What do you expect to get paid?”

This is not a question that should come up until you are offered a position, but often does as a way for prospective employers to screen out potential candidates. When posed this question, it is best to alleviate the pressure of coming up with a number by being honest without being completely transparent. If your expectation is a far cry from what they intend on offering, it will save you time by shedding light on a situation that you may want to reconsider. It is best to explain to your prospective employer that you are confident that the two of you will be able to come to a negotiation on the total compensation, which would include other types of compensation such as benefits and vacation time. This response can show that you consider the entire package rather than one individual part of it.


“What is your biggest weakness?”

It has always been advised that your answer to this question should have a spin on it that could possibly be in your favor. For example, telling a prospective employer that you are an “overachiever” or “hard-worker” might make you seem like a more desirable candidate. The unfortunate reality of these answers are that they sound insincere. Showing a little bit of humility in your answer tends to leave a more favorable and lasting impression on a prospective employer. It is important to remember not to reveal a weakness that is an essential part of the job, but highlighting a weakness that could be easily primed in the position you are going for. For example, telling an employer that you have a weakness of public speaking and hope to work on this weakness in the course of your employment there, is a good way to indicate to an employer that you are willing to rectify any weakness that you do have.


Don’t be caught off-guard with questions that you do not have the answers too. If you need additional help with finding a job or the interview process, please call us at 214.954.0700. Also, for more tips and advice, be sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter.

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