How To Tackle Difficult Interview Questions

13/03/14

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
 
Our mentors can open up new found confidence in students in their approach to work but also in finding them placements. Our mentors aim to open a new confidence in university students and our placement consultants are on hand to find a suitable internship based on your skills and requirements.
 

You might also like

Take your video interviewing game to the next level

With more and more employers introducing video interviews within their hiring processes, more and more job seekers are also learning the basics. Therefore, if you want to stand out against the competition it’s time to take your video interviewing game to the next level.   

Read more

Words and Trends in IT

Have you ever eavesdropped on a cafe conversation involving work mates from an industry you’re unfamiliar with? If you’re looking for a job or an internship, knowing your industry’s buzzwords and new trends will make you look smart, and knowing what those words actually mean will make you look even smarter.

Read more

Behavioural Interviews – The What, Why and How to Wow!

So, you have been invited to an interview - congratulations!  No doubt you’ve spent hours fine-tuning your resume, studying those job boards, working your networks, and crafting cover letter after cover letter just to get to this point. Now you have scored that interview it’s time for more preparation to kick in – preparation to ensure you put your best foot forward and impress at your interview.

Read more