Tough Job Interview Questions (With Answers)

by Chris Kolmar
Get The Job, Guides, Interview Questions - 2 weeks ago

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Why should we hire you?

That’s the question on every employer’s mind.

As soon as you walk in the door they start to size you up. You sit down. You say hello. Then the interview process begins. When the hiring manager throws you a tough interview question can you handle it?

This article will help you explain why you are the person they need to hire, sell yourself for the job, and feel confident in the interview.

How to Crush These Common Interview Questions

Interview questions are like a pop quiz in high school. You have to fire off what you know and hope you passed the exam. It can be a little nerve-wracking. But if you do your homework, you will shine like a star. Here are the most cringeworthy interview questions and how to answer them like a boss.

  1. What is one of your greatest weaknesses? – Admit weakness. Be self-aware. Take corrective action. (More tips on what are your weaknesses.)

    Example Answer

    I have a hard time delegating. I get so passionate about a project that I want to handle every part of it to make sure it is done right. To help myself with this, I try to match my strengths with where I can best use them in the project. Then I hand off other pieces of the project with better skills for other tasks. I found this keeps me working in my zone of genius. Plus, the project gets done faster.

  2. What tasks do you not like to do? – Name it. Share how you stay positive and get it done. .

    Example Answer

    I didn’t like proofreading resumes at my last job. The reason was that I wasn’t very good at it. So I created a resume proofreading checklist. I went over it with my boss to make sure it was complete. Now it’s easy to review resumes and catch the errors I used to miss

  3. Tell me about the gap in your employment history? – Why? Skills learned. You are ready for full-time work now.

    Example Answer

    In the last couple of years, I was home caring for my father, who was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. During this time, I kept my work skills updated by taking night classes toward my MBA. At this time, my father is in a care facility and I am available to return to work full time.

  4. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. Shows self-awareness and willingness to improve.

    Example Answer

    I believe we fail forward to success. Each mistake we make offers us a chance to learn. I have learned when a customer asks a question you don’t know, to say that it’s a great question and that you will find out the answer. That way the customer gets the information they need. Plus, you learn something new. Knowing when to ask for help is a key to growth.

  5. Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it. – They want to see if you can take coaching and grow from it.

    Example Answer

    Once at my sales job my boss took me aside. She said that when customers asked the prices for common repair jobs that I had to look them up or ask. She challenged me to memorize the pricing of top repairs. So I created a cheat sheet listing the pricing for the top repairs. I taped it on the bottom of my laptop. Having quick access to this information helped me memorize it quickly. The key to sales is knowing your product. This criticism helped me do that.

  6. How do you handle a challenge or conflict you have faced at work ? – Show you can keep calm, listen, and resolve the situation.

    Example Answer

    Move to a private place where you can talk. Then I ask them to tell me what is going on. I remain calm and don’t get defensive. I want to make sure that I understand their point of view. Then ask them what I can do to resolve this.

  7. Describe a situation when you took initiative to solve a problem. – Shows leadership.

    Example Answer

    There were a few individuals that came into the store attempting distraction theft. They were unsuccessful and said they were coming back the next day. My boss did nothing to ensure our protection. So I posted the security number by the phone. I spoke with the head of security who pointed extra cameras at our store. I also talked to the head of the police at the location. I wanted to be proactive to support the safety of our store.

  8. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you resolve the situation?

    Example Answer

    When a dissatisfied customer complained about the quality of one of our jewelry repairs at my prior retail job, I offered to get it repaired again with a rush free of cost. Then I arranged through customer service to give her a free store gift card for the inconvenience.

  9. Give me an example of when you had a disagreement with a co-worker how you handled it. – They want to know if you have relationship skills and can work well with others.

    Example Answer

    Our company was looking to cut expenses. I found a new vendor that would save us a lot of money. In a meeting, my co-worker brought it up like it was his own idea. I simply said, that’s for spotlighting my point. Then I went on to share all the research I had done regarding the vendor. It was a calm way to reclaim my idea.

  10. Tell me about a time you were under a lot of stress and pressure. – They want to know if you can handle a fast-paced challenging work environment.

    Example Answer

    As a writer, I like the adrenaline rush of a little pressure. When I have a lot of projects on the line, I break it down, set deadlines, focus, and hustle. I stop between breaks to get a drink, walk around, and clear my head. Pressure can be a motivator if you handle it the right way.

  11. Describe a long-term project that you managed and how you kept it moving along. – Show them how you emulate the skills of effective project managers.

    Example Answer

    I thrive on keeping projects running smoothly from kickoff through launch. When I worked at Robbins Inc., a media software and services company, we were tasked with launching new software for public relations and marketing communications professionals. I led the team through lead generation retention, product marketing, and events. We completed the launch in six months. We gained national visibility with influencers and sales skyrocketed.

  12. What is one thing that you disliked about your last job? – Tread carefully. This is not the time to trash your boss or bash your co-workers. Tell them tactfully why you are leaving your job.

    Example Answer

    Actually, I loved working at my last job. But the company was very small. I was the only staff member at our Oakbrook office. I missed having coworkers. That’s what excited me about your company. You have a whole marketing team. Plus there is room for advancement down the road.

  13. Why with 15 years of experience, why would you be willing to start at an entry-level position?

    Example Answer

    While I have extensive writing experience, I really have a passion for writing about job search topics. I love helping others to identify their strengths and land their dream job. Plus, being able to work remotely from home is a huge bonus.

  14. How much do you expect to get paid in this role? They want to know what your salary requirements are and if they are in their budget. Share a salary range that is fair based on your experience and the market you are working in.

    Example Answer

    With my experience, I would expect to receive something between $75,000 and $85,000.

  15. Where else are you interviewing ?

    Example Answer

    I am just starting out in my job search. I am exploring a number of jobs and have applied to a number of opportunities that will allow me to use my skills in marketing and publicity. I’m really excited to learn more about seeing how I can contribute to your company.

Additional Tips to Plan and Prepare for Your Job Interview

Remember confidence gets you hired.

When you feel relaxed, you will give better answers. So you want to do everything to feel your best:

  • Be prepared.

  • Do a mock interview with a friend.

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

  • Dress sharp.

  • Drink that protein smoothie.

  • Know what to bring to an interview.

  • Arrive early.

  • Put on your best smile.

  • Sit up in your chair.

  • Make eye contact with your interviewer.

  • Project your voice.

  • Don’t shrink down in your chair and mumble out of stress.

Handle The Curve Balls With Ease

Take a breath.

You can harness that stressful energy to give yourself the edge. Now you can tackle even the trickiest questions that recruiters ask with ease.

These are the questions and answers to the toughest job interview questions. This interview guide helps you prepare by explaining what questions are asked, why they are asked, and what the interviewer is wanting to hear.

You can walk into your interview with full confidence.

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