How To Tackle Difficult Interview Questions


You have been successful for an interview! Hooray! All of that hard work has finally paid off.

Now you need to prepare for that interview and ensure you can handle those difficult questions that may come your way.

Interview questions will always differ, however in essence they will gain the key information needed by the interviewer;

•    if you possess the skills required for the role 
•    if you are genuinely interested in the company and the role
•    and whether you will be a good team fit

Here are some typical tricky questions and some advice on how to answer them.

Tell me about yourself?

A very common opening question and your chance to make a great impression. Your answer needs to be confidently delivered and well-prepared.

Focus on -

•    your current situation, giving information on your relevant studies and employment
•    any impressive achievements e.g. Academic, awards, contracts you have won
•    future plans and career objective

Avoid –

•    personal or irrelevant information e.g. your children, un-related work experience
•    do not talk for too long as it is easy to go off track.
Why do you want this job?

Think about when you first noticed the job advert and the reasons why you were excited.

Focus on -

•    the selection criteria and how you compare to it
•    your interest in the company and their products/services
•    the company’s reputation and the exciting challenge ahead

Avoid –

•    anything that does not express your genuine interest. Eg – its close by, the money is good, it’s the first interview you received.
What are your weaknesses?

Honesty is the best policy and the truth about this question is, it will more than likely be asked of you.

Focus on –

•    something that will not affect you in the role
•    turn it into a positive eg – I can spend too much time double checking work
•    a weakness which you have already improved on and talk about how you managed this

Avoid –

•    be careful of being too negative. Try and be positive wherever you can.
•    giving more or less examples than required. If they ask for two, give two.
Why should we hire you?

You can reiterate points that you have made from the interview already, if anything this just confirms you mean what you say.

Focus on -

•    personal qualities and characteristics
•    job related or education gained skills
•    industry experience

Avoid -

•    ensure you talk about aspects that the company are looking for and not what you are looking for
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