Interviews are inherently difficult, the stakes are high, the questions are personal and challenging, and you’re always left wondering if the striped shirt you wore was the best choice. That’s not even the worst part about interviews either, sometimes the questions are so hard, they make even the coolest interviewee sweat in their striped shirt. Worry not though my stressed out friend; these are some of the most effective ways to answer difficult interview questions.
What is Your Greatest Weakness
Ah, easy right? Usually, the average interviewee would respond with I’m a workaholic; I’m a perfectionist, etc. but what if the interviewer adds the twist: that isn’t a hidden strength, but a true weakness? Now, my friend you have an entirely different writhing can of worms in front of you. Are you going to reveal that you are a bit of a slacker, or that you don’t really have a passion for the job you are applying for?
Well, you could reveal a weakness, but it’s an interview so instead sugar-coat it. For example, say that you’re impatient and if your employees aren’t working to your expectations you have the tendency to take it on yourself. Although this reveals that you might be a bit of a micromanager, it also proves that you aren’t afraid to work below your pay grade and pick up the slack where needed…sneaky sneaky.
Why Didn’t You Leave
A question that makes the blood run ice cold. If you knew that your company was going under why didn’t you leave? If you answer I thought about it, it makes you seem disloyal and opportunistic, if you answer I never noticed, it makes you look oblivious. The best way to answer is to say although you were aware (and not oblivious) you tried your best to keep your job as your co-workers were being let go, which didn’t allow you the right mindset or time to pursue other opportunities.
Why Were You Fired
…And how did it make you feel? That’s what makes this question excruciatingly difficult: feel. Feel is subjective and dependent on the circumstances, could be intense and unprofessional. At the same time though it allows you to present something that most people like, a redemption story. Tell the interview that although you had some negative feelings regarding your termination, it made you stronger, smarter, more focused and determined to succeed in your next position.
Tell them that although you were fired, the experience was an educational one none the less. Never, ever bad mouth a previous employer as this can show bitterness and resentment something that not a single employer in the world is looking for in a candidate.
Another difficult question to answer is: You were with Mega-Corp X for five years and never got a promotion why is that? The interviewer here is trying to see if it was a lack of initiative, ambition or if you just made terrible mistakes while working at your last job. Just blame it on the economy.
Are there any other tricks you know to effectively answer difficult interview questions? Let us know in the comment section below.