Going speechless when asked tough interview questions during an interview isn’t a desirable occurrence, though it’s known to happen to the best of us from time to time. While the bulk of commonly asked interview questions are straightforward and easy to navigate and answer, there are some genuinely tricky questions that interviewers ask job applicants.
What makes these interview questions difficult is that there are no right or wrong answers, only personalized response that helps the hiring manager decide who’s a good fit for the job and who isn’t. You don’t have to be a perfectionist to clinch a job interview, but you do have to be calm, thoughtful, and in the right frame of mind.
There are several ways to prepare for an interview and tip yourself ahead of the pack of similarly qualified job seekers. One of them is preparing yourself for some tough questions that hiring managers like to ask and familiarizing yourself with what they also like to hear. Thus, excelling at interviews requires a combination of luck, persona, preparation, and sheer will.
Don’t Let Tough Interview Questions Surprise You
Performing well at your job interview is vital to land the job you want rather than just taking up one that’s available. Being prepared and anticipating what you’re likely to be asked and what recruiters would like to hear is key to avoiding being uncomfortable and answering questions awkwardly during your interview.
When you’re not well prepared, then there’ll likely be spurts and moments during your interview that you’ll find it hard to come up with what to say. The recruiters can sense this nervousness when it occurs, and that’s not something you want to be part of the first impression created in their minds. So coming in prepared and in the right frame of mind will help you a ton when the spotlight is on you during your interview.
Below are some more challenging Interview questions you might come across in your job search, as well as how you should approach answering these questions.
What Are Your Salary Expectations For This Position?
It’s tough to state your salary expectations for a role you applied for, especially when you’re not informed on the salary range. However, recruiters want to gauge how big of a factor money is in your application considerations and your expectations for the position. They also want to see if an applicant oversells or undersells themselves with their salary expectations.
The key to success: research and negotiation
The appropriate way to answer this isn’t exactly giving a specific figure when asked. Rather than delving into specifics as you might be tempted to, let the recruiter know that money isn’t all that important to you. When asked your salary expectations for the role, you should state politely that you’re currently researching the salary range for the position you’re being considered.
If you possess expensive and difficult skills to acquire and are therefore in higher demand, express this clearly to the recruiter. In addition, also be sure to consider the location of the job and the general cost of living. Finally, when you do provide a specific amount for your salary expectation, try to communicate to the recruiter that you’re not rigid on that figure and are willing to negotiate.
Tell Me A Bit About Yourself
This is usually the first question that interviewers pose to applicants during interviews. This question allows the applicant to introduce himself and lay the foundation for how the entire interview will turn out. The recruiter wishes to have an understanding of who you are and be briefly introduced to your history and values when they ask this.
The key to success: brief but significant insight into your character
This question is carries more weight than it appears at first glance. Answering it seems simple and straightforward though this is far from the case. This question forms the basis of the recruiter’s impression of the applicant and can set the tone for how the rest of the interview will turn out.
This is what makes answering it harder than it seems on the surface. You need to keep your response brief while still providing vital details about yourself to your interviewer and present yourself as an eloquent qualified candidate for the role. Your experience, goals, and aspirations are some of the things you should talk about when responding to this question.
You also need to let the recruiter have an idea of who you are as a person, away from the professional world. Just remember to keep it brief and hammer on the important points while painting a vivid picture.
Why Should We Hire You?
This question allows the recruiter to know the qualities you bring to this role if you’re accepted. They also want to know why you, out of the pool of applicants, deserve this role as much as you want it. What recruiters want to hear most is how well you can blow your own whistle. They want to understand the qualities that you believe are noteworthy and relevant to the position.
The key to success: highlight your skills and abilities
Even though this question involves you selling yourself over other applicants, you need to resist the urge to speak ill of other candidates. Refrain from speaking about other candidates altogether if you can, and focus on your innate qualities that might be hard to find in other applicants.
While answering this question, feel free to highlight your valuable skills and abilities that are useful for the role you’re being interviewed for. Answering this question cheerfully and demonstrating that you’re a great rather than good fit for the role is vital to keeping your answer lingering in the head of the interviewer long after your session.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
No human exists without some vulnerability, and it is important to recognize these are a big part of human identity. Recruiters want to know what the applicant is really like when they ask this, want to see if you get rattled and become nervous and shaky or if you stay steady and reveal your shortcomings honestly.
The key to success: honesty, awareness, and willingness to improve
You need to emphasize that you’re working on your shortcomings when you answer this question. Let your interviewer know that you’re aware of your weaknesses and that you’re working on becoming better at these shortcomings. Honesty and steadiness are important for getting the recruiter to believe you when you talk about your weaknesses. Your self-awareness and willingness to become better are the most important elements of answering these questions, so be sure to hammer on both.
Why Are You Looking To Switch Jobs?
Interviewers know that the opening you’re being drilled for presents a new opportunity for you. They want to know why you’re willing to leave your previous job for the new one you applied for. They want an idea of how stable a person you are and how impactful your stability or lack thereof is to the organization. They also use this question to gauge the employee’s character and if you spill unnecessary details when drilled.
The key to success: express your excitement
Like other questions, be calm when answering this and focus on what excites you about the new opening. Let the recruiter know that you feel this opening is a better match for your skills, and refrain from spilling or bad-mouthing your previous or current employer.
Being familiar with and preparing for certain challenging interview questions is immensely beneficial. Interviewers want a relaxed applicant that gives steady concise replies to their queries. By understanding the reasons for being asked these questions and what recruiters like to hear, you’ll be on track to ace your job interview.