How to respond to tricky interview questions

06.14.2012


How to respond to tricky interview questions
How to respond to tricky interview questions

When it comes to finding a job, going in for an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience with much at stake. However, one high-level employer recently sat down with Fast Company to discuss the touchiest questions that may be asked.

While no two interviews will ever be identical, job seekers can expect the process to follow somewhat of a formula, with the following questions likely to be asked.

To start, the interviewer may ask: "Why don't you tell me about yourself?" Seemingly a simple ice breaker, the question actually measures how well you conduct yourself in an unstructured environment. Use the question to show off your articulation, confidence and ability to run with whatever is thrown at you, the media outlet stated.

There are several ways to properly answer the question, but really only one wrong way - asking what exactly they would like to know. Develop your own answer, rehearse it and deliver it with confidence and a strong bearing.

Next, the interviewer may ask how long you have been working with your current - or former - employer. This question hopes to gauge you on your potential for job-hopping. According to the media outlet, an outstanding employee tends to stay with a company for three to five years. At the very least, this shows a willingness to survive in any given situation, and also reflects your ability to continuously contribute to a company.

If your resume indicates such job-hopping, it will be crucial to raise your networking to another level in order to offset what looks to be a lack of commitment.

Employers will also ask what your greatest weakness is. The strongest answer to such a question lies in the confidence in the response and the evidence that you were prepared for such a question. This indicates you are capable of self-reflection, accepting criticism, and self-improvement. Give a short, honest answer, and remain composed to show you don't fear the weakness as a hindrance to your current work abilities.

According to Forbes, if coming out of a relatively long stint of unemployment, it will also be crucial to show your discipline during the job search, rather than complaining about the hard job market. Remaining positive throughout the interview will show an employer you are resilient, and can handle whatever it is that you are tasked with. 

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