Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / JUL. 18, 2013
version 3, draft 3

How to Handle Tough Interview Questions

With the competition for jobs at an all time high, candidates can expect to go through rigorous interview procedures in order to succeed in getting a job. Additionally, the types of interview questions have now become somewhat invasive, complex and tough, and this is largely down to the need of recruiters to refine long applicant lists and short list only the very best for the job.  

Tough interview questions ought to be expected for interviews of all specializations, companies and job types, irrespective of the level of experience a candidate may have. It is therefore important that you are prepared to answer some of the more difficult interview questions, to avoid stumbling and stuttering your way through your answer when and if the interview does ask you!

How to prepare for tough interview questions

Like with any interview, preparation is paramount to succeeding. Candidates should draft practice responses to a wide range of difficult interview questions to ensure they know how to structure their answers when the time comes!

Usually, interview questions will vary according to the job type or industry, in which case you can view a list of the most commonly asked ‘difficult’ interview questions on the internet. However many interviews do tend to include a number of tricky interview questions irrespective of the job type. Some examples are listed below:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What makes you think you are better than the other candidates are for this role?
  3. Tell me 3 main weaknesses you have
  4. Give me an example of when you had to solve a problem at work, how did you do it and what was the outcome?
  5. Can I have your Facebook login details to view your online social media presence?
  6. What do you know about this company?
  7. Tell me about any recent developments that have occurred in the marketplace that may affect our business
  8. How would you add value to our company?
  9. What is your proudest achievement in life?
  10. What is your biggest regret in life?

Practice makes perfect!

Once you have created a list of all the potentially difficult interview questions you may be ask, and yes – this list is likely to be very long! – you will then need to draft your responses. Each of your responses should be informative, engaging, well structured and most of all – easy to remember!

After you have drafted your responses, try to learn them by heart; however, if time is not on your side, you can make small note cards to take with you provided they are discreet and short.

Get a family member or friend to test you on your questions and answers before going to the interview – every bit of practice makes all the difference!

During the interview

Be positive and remain confident in your responses throughout. If the interviewer sees that you are unsure of your answer, they will likely question you further and this could lead to complex situations. Remember to listen carefully to the questions the interviewer is asking you – just because you practiced the response to a certain question, does not mean that the interview will ask the exact same question in the interview. It is therefore important that you are able to tailor your draft responses accordingly. 

See also: How to Handle Rude Interview Questions

Very few interview qquestions are easy but some are a bit tougher than others so it is just important to remain positive and calm. That way you will give measured and reasoned response.

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'


1 comment

View Comments (1)


in doubt what to answer interview

Interviews are nerve racking affairs and that’s when they are normal. Add a bit of unpredictability in the form of an illegal question and you have a gut wrenching...

point finger at you

Many hiring managers choose to follow the rude questioning interview technique either because they want to test the candidate’s abilities or they are just plain rude...

angry business man

There are a number of reasons why you should ask tough questions during an interview. It is important that beforehand, you have prepared for the interview by assessing...

How to Answer Interview Questions Relating to Handling Conflict

The interview question ‘Have you ever had conflict with a co-worker? How did you solve it?’ or one of its variations is almost standard in job interviews these days. This...

Top Perfect Phrases for Handling Awkward Interview Questions

Job interviews are seldom easy and not many of us enjoy or look forward to them. The process can be especially challenging if you’re caught flat-footed by a really tough...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow