If you created a survey asking professionals, what are the top 5 difficult questions they’ve faced during an interview it would likely be the five in this article.
These questions by their design are meant to cause you to think and while there’s no perfect answer, the way you answer could make or break your interview. If you have an interview coming up and you are not quite sure how to answer questions about your career goals, weaknesses, the motive for leaving your last employment role, and more, then you need to read this article.
One thing to bear in mind is that these tips are not for you to memorise. What they do is to help you think about your own answers, so you’re not caught off guard when asked. When you know what to expect your answers are likely to be stronger with prior practice.
To answer this, you first have to define them. Think about what you plan to do in the next 5 years. That can form the bedrock of your answer. Doing this enables you to have a distinct path and plan. Being able to answer create this vital idea helps prepare you for your interview. Take the time out to create career goals and note them down.
When answering this question you should also take into account the company you are applying at and the role offered. It puts you in good stead if your answers help you demonstrate that your long-term professional goals align with the role and opportunity the organization is providing. To do this, research on the company’s projects, vision, mission, and structure.
To help flesh out your answer, explain as briefly as possible how you aim to achieve those goals. Offering the interviewer a roadmap to your goals helps demonstrate to them that you have critically considered your career. It also highlights how you would be an asset to the company.
The answer you give to this question when you aren’t currently employed is even more imperative. Truth is, employers all over the world make assumptions concerning unemployed applicants. It might be unfair, but they do wonder why you aren’t employed if you are actually as good as you say you are.
Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware that this bias exists when responding to this question. If you’re a candidate who’s been in-between jobs for quite a while, it’s important you’re able to show proactive steps that you may have taken to enhance your skills. This could be with volunteer work, consulting on projects, or training.
Answering the reason why you left is a bit tricky in this scenario, as your response cannot be wholly positive. Employers will typically think that if you left your previous role and it wasn’t for a new opportunity, there must have been an issue. It could have been the company’s fault, or yours. Regardless, you must clearly explain why leaving was a reasonable thing to do and how that does not negate the fact that you are an attractive and highly skilled candidate.
Do all you can to not speak negatively about your former employer.
When answering this question, be as authentic as possible. You should refrain from selecting a weakness simply because it doesn’t sound too bad. When you are sincere you make a better impression. However, this does not mean the weakness you share is one which makes you appear incompetent. Most people tend to have more than one weakness and there’s always one that’s slightly more interview-friendly.
Find a weakness you believe would be acceptable. This means you have to pay attention to the requirements and ensure your weakness is not one of the desired skills or qualities for the role. Choose a weakness that’s fixable and relatively minor. Fixable in this sense means something that can be improved upon via motivation, training and development, or slight and attainable exposure to something new.
You don’t have to expatiate on your weakness. Be brief, but importantly avoid being overly negative or defensive when questioned on it.
After defining your weakness in the first part of your answer, you should move to discussing the steps you have taken to address this weakness. Doing this shows that you are an applicant who’s willing to grow and learn. It also shows that you take initiative when necessary. Your answer should demonstrate how motivated you are; doing this highlights the positive approach to discussing and addressing your weakness.
This sort of question is typically asked to ascertain if you are a great fit for the role.
Interviewers ask these to find out not only if you are qualified but if you are a match with the company and team culture. While it might be easy to talk about your most interesting professional qualifications, it is much better to share a few of your hobbies and personal interests. Doing this helps to create a personal connection with the interviewer.
You could talk about things that do not generally relate to your careers, such as your passion for tennis, singing, bird watching, or any other activity. If you are athletic, you can mention that as it shows the interviewer your energetic, healthy side.
To show your intellectual side, talk about pursuits such as loving brain teasers or crossword puzzles. If the prospective role is in sales or marketing, you can talk about your love for tennis, fine dining, and golf. This helps to show the interviewer that you can entertain clients if necessary.
To answer this question, you simply have to choose 4 or 6 of your strengths that directly correlate to the role and utilise those as the basis for your response. For instance, you can talk up your extra certification which reiterates the fact that you’re more knowledgeable than the average candidate.
When answering you should always be positive and ensure your response underscores your interest in the role.
Interviews can be quite nerve-wracking, particularly when you are asked difficult questions like the ones above. However, it is possible to overcome them as long as you practice.
Practicing these questions and how to eloquently answer them can go a long way to showing the interviewer your confidence.
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