Five tough questions you should be able to handle during your next job interview

Posted February 20, 2015 by
Young clever woman during her job conversation

Young clever woman during her job conversation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Handling yourself with poise during a job interview takes preparation and practice. Not only do you have to do your research on the company and the position, you also have to practice your answers to tough interview questions. Before you go on your next interview, make sure that you have prepared answers to the following interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself?

Although this may seem like an easy warm up question, the interviewer is really assessing your judgment, communication skills, and preparedness for the interview. This question is broad, therefore it is best to narrow your response and only address your education, professional history, and interests. When answering this question you should remained focused and organized (it is easy to go off on tangents when you are not prepared to answer this). Prior to the interview, you should take the time to prepare a concise summary of your background and highlight the main points you want the interviewer to remember.

  • What is your greatest weakness?

This question is the cause of anxiety during many interviews, but it does not have to be. In fact, this question can be a good opportunity to highlight a weakness that you have now turned into a positive trait. The key to answering this question is to remain positive and demonstrate (with specific examples) how you addressed that weakness. What skill did you work on to improve the most? How have you overcome your weaknesses?

  • Why do want to work here?

Without doing research on the company and the position, this might as well be the most difficult question of them all. Do not get caught off guard; do your homework. Before stepping into the interview room, you should be familiar with the mission statement, values, and culture of the company. What makes the company stand apart from their competition? How do you fit in to the culture of the company? What skills do you have that align well with the requirements of the position? When you know the answers to these questions, you should be able to craft a response that highlights your unique candidacy for the position.

  • What did you dislike about your last position?

The interviewer is well aware that most jobs have good and bad points. He or she is mostly interested in the way you handle this question. Talking negatively about your employer or saying that you hated the long hours are not options. Instead, you should think about those tasks you found mundane and speak about their importance and why they are necessary. It is fine to explain that those tasks were not your favorite, but do provide examples on how you motivated yourself to complete them.

  • Tell me about a time you had difficulty in making a decision?

Not being prepared to answer this question will cause you to fumble during your interview. Stating that you do not have difficulty when making decisions will make you seem ingenuous, therefore, it is best to think about a professional decision that took careful consideration. You should explain the situation and stress that you don’t have difficulty in making most decisions, but some of them (refer back to the example you provided) require more consideration than others. By doing this, you will demonstrate your analytical skills and show that you are not an incautious employee.

Prior to your interview, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the company, and the job you are pursuing. Preparing your responses to these questions does not mean rehearsing your responses over and over. It means to think of specific examples that you can draw from during your interview. Doing this will give you the confidence that you need and it will make the actual interview seem less stressful.

Noe Bernal is a Recruiter for Hajoca Corporation’s Management Training Program, a three year training program used as a source of external talent for leadership positions. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Villanova University. Prior to Hajoca, Bernal held roles in sales and was a Corporate Recruiter for Farmers Insurance. He enjoys painting, running and traveling.

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