How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

You only have a small window of time to make a proper impression to a prospective employer. Try not to think of an interview as a way to make you uncomfortable, but more as the best and quickest way to get a sense of who you are professionally.

A hiring manager is trained to look for candidates who possess certain qualities.

Here are some tough interview questions and how to effectively answer each challenging topic:

Why do you want this position?

This is your chance to discuss what you know about the job and the company. A wonderful answer to this question if you are seeking an entry-level position is to acknowledge that you know you need to learn as much as you can about the company by starting at the “beginning” (some say “bottom”, but think of this as the start of something great). Explain why this position will suit your life. Describe what you are excited about with the position and highlight any applicable skills you have.

Why did you leave your last job?

How you answer this question can determine your chances for a job. It is important to have grace when speaking about your previous employer. It’s also important to acknowledge if you made a mistake which resulted in your termination. Be honest, but don’t hide pertinent details.

Tell us something about yourself.

This isn’t even a question, but more a demand. But, it’s a great way to ease the tension. So, be prepared to answer this question as it relates to your professional life. Summarize what’s important to you and what’s unique about you and your experience. Be brief, but take the opportunity to be positive.

What’s your greatest weakness?

This is a difficult question to answer, but realize everyone is flawed in some way. This isn’t necessarily a time to confess your sins, but be honest about something you struggle with. It is beneficial to employer and employee to know how each can be help each other to succeed. Acknowledging your weakness doesn’t mean you won’t get the job. In fact, it shows an employer that you are confident in who you are despite your weakness.

Above all else, learn about the company’s culture before your interview. Read the job description thoroughly and be prepared to explain how you fit into their dynamic. You don’t have to memorize information or statistics about the company, but become familiar with the ethics and abilities of which they are seeking in candidates.