How to Answer the Toughest Interview Questions

toughest interview questions

If you want to land your dream job, you need to know how to answer the toughest interview questions. While some interviewers think up entirely new questions, most hiring managers will use fairly similar topics. The interview basically serves as a way to weed out individuals that they don’t believe will thrive in the position. With this in mind, the interviewer will include tough questions to see if you can think on your feet and are worthy of further consideration.

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

The response to a question regarding your greatest weakness shows a lot about you as a candidate. When answering this question, state a weakness. Then, continue answering to show how you have addressed and overcome that weakness in the past. Everyone has an area that they should improve on, but your ability to handle it shows the interviewer that you are capable of solving problems and demonstrates self-awareness.

Why Should We Hire You?

This might be one of the toughest interview questions, but you can handle it. You have to start by doing your homework. Read through the job description carefully and think about how your skills fit the description. When you answer this question, relate your experiences to the position requirements.

Tell Me About Yourself.

While it seems like an ice breaker, this is another one of the toughest interview questions. It is very easy to start rambling on about your hobbies, past work history and skills without focusing on what’s relevant to the position. The key is to showcase your successful job history and skills in a concise response. Since this is often the first question that employers ask, it is a good way to set the tone for the rest of the interview. Basically, think of this as an elevator pitch for your candidacy.

Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

There are a few pitfalls to watch out for with this question. If you have been fired, you need to prepare for this question in advance. Try to stay positive and focus on a simple response. We learn and develop skills in every position we hold. Express that you are starting a new direction in your career, and will bring your learnings and depth of experience to your new role. Whatever you do, avoid negative remarks about a past employer.

Explain a Time When You Were Put in an Ethical Dilemma.

This question is twofold, to see if you are honest and ethical as well as how you handle yourself when put in a difficult situation. While you could say that you have never been placed in an ethically challenging circumstance, this is probably not the truth. Think of a time when you discovered a wrongdoing or saw a colleague cutting corners. Do not name names, but describe what happened and how you dealt with it. This question is not just about your ethics though. Your interviewer is also going to see how diplomatic and politically astute you are.

When it comes to the toughest interview questions, your best option is to prepare in advance. By thinking through and practicing your responses, you can make sure to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. Stay positive and incorporate your skills or successes that relate to the position. If you reach a question that you cannot answer, stay calm, take a moment to pause and think through your response.