Getting an interview with a company is no easy feat but you’ve done your homework, you’re brimming with confidence, and you’re ready, right?
There are questions that interviewers like to ask to throw you off and see how you handle it. These questions are the exact same ones that could lead to long-winded answers, leaving a bad impression. A great way to avoid this is to prepare and be ready for these questions ahead of the interview.
Here are five common, tricky questions, and tips on how to handle them.
Tell me a little about yourself
You might see this as an invitation to tell your whole life story, but that’s not the case at all. It’s also not the time to brag about every professional accomplishment. It’s also not the time to talk about your pets, your living situation, or your marital status. It is, however, a great opportunity to flip the focus on the position and the company. Highlight what you care about with the values of the company and the position you’re interviewing for. When an interviewer asks this question, they actually want you to answer “What makes you a great fit for this role?”
Why did you leave your last job?
This question could vary and if you’re currently employed it could be “Why do you want to leave your current job?” It’s definitely a tricky question as there are many reasons you could’ve left your previous job or why you want to leave your current job. This is not an opportunity to talk badly about the company, your boss, or your job. Shedding negative light on past or current experiences is a huge red flag. Instead, focus on what you accomplished at your previous or current job and why you’re ready for the next step.
Could you describe a difficult situation and how you dealt with it?
This is a common question. We know that habits we have developed in the past are a predictor of future behavior, which is why interviewers want to see a real situation from previous careers as an example of leadership and teamwork for problem solving.
What’s your biggest weakness?
This is probably THE trickiest question out there. It’s a trap because answers to this question can make you look bad if you’re not careful. The thing about this question is that you don’t actually want to highlight flaws but instead, you should focus on things you want to do or improve.
Do you have any questions for us?
This is your perfect opportunity to clarify all doubts, show interest in the position and the company. It is important that you actually ask something. Make sure every detail about the job is clear such as schedule, line of business and the functions to be performed. One question that will speak well of you is to ask what the company’s culture is and what the day to day of someone in the role you’re applying for looks like. Essentially, the goal is to show as much interest as possible. Now, are you ready for your next interview?
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