4 Tough Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

4 Tough Interview Questions and How to Answer Them


4 Tough Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them - Your People Partners

Congratulations on landing an interview for your dream job!

It’s time to let your potential employer know why you’re an outstanding candidate by finessing some tough, but typical, interview questions.

Describing Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview

While you’re trying to impress the interviewer with your strengths, they’ll naturally want to know about the areas where you still need to grow. Even if they don’t specifically ask for your weaknesses, it illustrates that you’re self-aware if you weave these into your interview answers at some point.

The key to describing your weaknesses in a job interview:

Learn how to sound confident while talking about your weaker areas without sounding as though you’ve rehearsed.

  • Be moderate. Steer clear of anything so major that it would likely sink your chances of getting a job offer. Choose a flaw that’s significant, but not a deal breaker.
  • Focus on learning. Prove that you’ve learned from your past missteps. For example, maybe you once made an embarrassing typo in a business proposal and are now a meticulous proofreader.
  • Practice accountability. Take responsibility for your performance. Your potential new employer is eager to know that you’ll stand behind your work and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
  • Refer to tasks that will play a small role in your work responsibilities. For example, an accountant who struggles with public speaking raises less concern than one who has trouble with decimals.

Discussing Your Greatest Achievements and Strengths

Listing your assets in an interview can be a delicate situation because you want to seem extraordinary, without sounding arrogant.

  • Remain relevant. Select qualities that are mission-critical. If your new boss is looking for someone to reduce the company’s travel costs, describe how you cut the travel budget in half at your last job.
  • Storytelling is key. Create a personal connection by letting your enthusiasm shine through. Bring the person into the story with you. Try not to talk at them when sharing your story and examples that show your strengths. Provide details that show exactly how you tackle a project.
  • Distinguish yourself. You’ll be more desirable for the position you’re seeking if you can offer a unique benefit. Maybe you’re the only candidate who speaks three different languages or possesses all the desired professional certifications.

Salary Negotiations at a Job Interview

Discussing money matters can be tricky for many of us. Negotiating your desired salary and job package during a job interview is also a scary prospect.

Learn to hone a wise and proven few key sentences and this will keep you under consideration for the job without risking a reduction in your future earnings.

  1. Postpone negotiations. Seriously! Let your interviewer know if your requirements are flexible and that you’re happy with the top end of their salary range. Normally salary is only one part of your decision making so share the other factors too. Consider sharing the other benefits that matter to you.
  2. Speak in ranges. Politely ask the interviewer if they can confirm their salary range first. If you mention your own figures, consider if you’ll really be happy with the low end.
  3. Research your job market. Find out what the going rate is for the opening you’re targeting. Knowledge will strengthen your bargaining position.

If you’re unsure where to look, please reach out to one of the team at Your People Partners as our finger is well and truly on the pulse of what the job markets and related salaries are doing at any given time.

Posing Your Own Questions at a Job Interview

Many interviews conclude with an invitation for you to ask your own questions.

The biggest mistake you can make is not asking any or saying ‘oh, well, I think you answered all my questions already’. Nope! Don’t do this… especially if you want this job!

Posing thoughtful questions will make you more memorable and strengthen your case for being a good fit for the job and the company.

  • Repeat your strengths. Use your questions to summarise and recap your qualifications. For example, asking about the company’s social media strategy could help you call attention to your experience with Facebook campaigns.
  • Be courteous. Watch for signs that the interviewer is looking to complete the session and bring your job interview to a close. Similarly, be tactful in approaching subjects that could be helpful, but controversial, to talk about. Your interviewer may be open to commenting on negative news stories about the company or may want to avoid the topic altogether.
  • Assess your prospects. Determine if you truly want the position. While it’s flattering to get any job offer, it’s a better use of everyone’s time to ascertain if this is an advantageous career move for you. Ask about the organisational culture, training opportunities, and plans for growth.

Respond to difficult interview questions with ease by rehearsing your answers in advance. You’ll be more likely to impress your potential new employer with your confidence and accomplishments, which is only helped by some preparation for the job interview ahead of time.

Still need help?

If you would like some additional advice when it comes to nailing interview questions, why not get in touch with the team at Your People Partners? We love to help.

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Helen Sanders Managing Director and Chief People Partner
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