A Few Interview Questions That Could Leave You Stumped


Once you get an interview, it may seem like the hardest part of job searching is over. After all, constructing the perfect resume and cover letter was your goal, and by getting an interview, your hard work paid off.

But this is no time to slack off, as preparing for an interview is just as important as any other phase of the hiring process. Taking the time to rehearse what you might say to any particular question will help you keep from freezing up while speaking with your potential employer, and also show them just how articulate and prepared you are for the process.

Often, employers will throw questions at you that may be designed to trip you up, and being prepared for these questions will have a tremendous impact on how your potential employer sees you.

According to U.S. News and World report, here are a few of the hardest interview questions you're likely to encounter in your next meeting.

Thinking fast

One expert said one of his favorite difficult questions to ask is "How long are you willing to fail at this job before you succeed?" Even he, the originator of the question, says he has no preferred answer in mind whenever he asks it. Instead, he uses the question as a way to gauge how well candidates can think on their feet.

While there are several acceptable answers, he said has whittled them down to a few ideal responses.

"A good answer would be, 'I'm willing to stick with this job for as long as it takes to succeed,'" he said. However, another good example would be to respond by saying you would fail as quickly as possible, so you can study the mistakes you made, make adjustments and move on. The only bad answer, he added, would be to give a time frame.

According to the news source, another hiring expert said she also sees candidates stumble over the question "What are you most proud of in your career?" While this may seem like a somewhat straightforward question, she stated that candidates will often pause and say "that's a great question."

Instead, Bishop says you should go into an interview ready to discuss your value as an employee, which includes knowing your accomplishments. Choose one distinct achievement and give details about why it makes you swell with pride. The best responses will be those that show how your accomplishment helped improve a company's bottom line or got you over a personal roadblock.

Explaining weakness

You may have been asked before to explain which skills you lack, or which weaknesses you may have. Interestingly, hiring managers say this is one of the most telling questions they can ask.

"Interviewees show up thinking they should just be talking about what they're great at, but I'm more interested in where the gaps are and if they are self-critical," said the vice president of a social media consultancy.

While you should always be honest, it's also crucial to never bring up any flaw that could be perceived by your potential employer as a hindrance to performing your job to the best of your abilities. A good response, the Report noted, would be to say you sometimes say yes too often, which gets you in trouble when you over-commit to projects or duties.

According to CareerCast, the worst way to answer this question is to deliver a strength-as-a-weakness answer. In the current hiring climate, interviewers will see through this response 100 percent of the time, and opt for an honest worker as opposed to one who only says what they believe someone else would want to hear.