Answering Tricky Interview Questions

November 02 2015

Interviews can be tricky. But some interviews can be trickier than others. If you have been on more than a few job interviews, you know this is true.

Why the need for tricks? Because a prospective employer knows that they will be taking a gamble on you. Put simply, you are an investment. If they do not choose wisely, that investment may not pay off. And those tricky questions? They separate the great from the mediocre. Some of these questions may seem simple, but do not let that fool you. Here are three examples and how to answer those tricky interview questions and maximize your hire worthy potential.

So, tell me about yourself.

Ahh, the question asked and answered many times over a lifetime. Yet employers aren’t just looking for any answer. They want to hear keywords. They want to hear in your explanation things that matter in their decision making process—your skills, education, experience, good qualities and achievements.

This is a chance to introduce yourself in a way that brands you as the person the company not only wants, but needs.

What is the biggest challenge when dealing with others?

In life there are bothers. There are challenges. If you tell them that you get along with everyone and anyone and life is a happy place, they likely won’t take you seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to use this opportunity to unload your grievances.

Speak in generalizations, not specifics, and speak calmly. For example, “I find that negative attitudes in the workplace can be challenging.” Once you state a challenge, be sure to conclude with a resolution so that your answer is based on solutions as opposed to the problem.

I see you’ve been out of work for some time.

In this instance, the employer is essentially asking why you’re still on the market—if you’re that great, that is. Success in answering this question is dependent on calming whatever fears or reservations they may have about hiring you.

Let the employer know that it is your choice. Perhaps you haven’t had the right opportunity or found the right fit. Or, perhaps you opted to take some personal time after your last job, prior to starting over. Wrap it up with a sense of urgency, however. Yes, you took some time for whatever reason, but now that you are invested in the job search, things are moving along quickly. (Read: better snap me up!)



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