Answering Tough Interview Questions

Interviewing is hard; there’s no doubt about that. And sometimes, interviewing can be tricky. Before you schedule your next interview, it’s helpful to prepare for some of the more complicated questions you’re likely to hear. Here are a few of the most common but most challenging interview questions so you can plan and put your best foot forward.

What is Your Biggest Weakness?

The biggest weakness question may also be the biggest trap. For years, the general advice was to turn your biggest weakness into a strength with an answer along the lines of, “my biggest weakness is that I care too much.” However, responses like that feel inauthentic. Instead, be honest about your weaknesses and share how you work to improve yourself in that area. For example, “I sometimes struggle with organization, so I make sure I take about ten minutes at the end of each day to organize my desk and make sure files are in the right place.”

Why Do You Want to Work Here?

In many ways, this question wants to learn more about the way you’ve researched the company. If your answer is, “I just want a job,” that’s not enough. Instead, turn what you’ve discovered about the company into the reason it’s a good fit for you. For example, “I really admire the work you do with non-profit organizations around Texas, and I would love to be involved in a company with these shared values.”

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Most people don’t think far enough ahead for long-term goals, especially regarding a job. Companies are trying to get a feel for whether you intend to stay with the business for a while, but that’s not the only way you should answer. Try to match your career goals to the company culture and give them an idea of how they could use your talents in the future.

Why Do You Want to Leave Your Job?

Or, if you’re not employed, “Why did you leave your last job.” There are a million and one reasons why you might have left a job that can range from it not being a promising career fit to dissatisfaction in the work you were doing. But what the interviewer doesn’t want to hear is any negative associations with your previous employer. Don’t use this as a platform to tell them how unhappy you were. Focus on your career growth and development and how a new job can help you reach your goals.

Why Should We Hire You?

Finally, this question can make job seekers very nervous. You know that the interviewer has spoken to many people, and the most important thing you can communicate here is what makes you stand out. But since you don’t know what your competition has brought to the table, you have to do some creative thinking. Talk about your accomplishments in terms of your success in previous positions to show that you would be an asset if hired.

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