Tricky interview questions can catch you off guard and be challenging to answer. However being prepared for these questions can help you come up with a thoughtful response and impress the interviewer. Here are some common tricky interview questions and tips on how to handle them:
1- What is your biggest weakness?
This question is often challenging because you don’t want to highlight a weakness that will negatively affect your job performance. However avoid trying to spin a strength as a weakness. Instead acknowledge a genuine weakness but also mention what you are doing to improve it. Be sure to relate your weakness to something relevant to the job position.
Example answer: “My biggest weakness is that I tend to take on too much work at once. However I’m actively working on improving my time-management skills by prioritizing tasks and delegating when necessary.”
2- Why should we hire you?
This question can be difficult because you need to explain why you are the best candidate for the job without sounding arrogant or overly confident. You need to provide specific reasons based on your skills and experience.
Example answer: “You should hire me because I bring a unique combination of relevant experience and skills as well as a strong work ethic. I have a track record of driving growth and improving efficiencies in my previous jobs and I’m always looking for ways to improve and learn.”
3- What are your salary expectations?
This question can be tricky because you don’t want to price yourself too high or too low. Research salary ranges for the position and location to prepare your answer.
Example answer: “Based on my research the average salary for this role in this location ranges from $X to $Y. Given my experience and skills I would expect my salary to be towards the upper end of that range.”
4- What was your biggest failure and how did you handle it?
This question can be difficult because you don’t want to sound like a failure. Be honest and specific about the situation and focus on how you learned from the experience and grew as a professional.
Example answer: “My biggest failure was when I missed an important deadline. However I took responsibility for my mistake and immediately worked with my team to come up with a plan to fix the problem. From that experience I learned the importance of effective communication and being proactive in anticipating potential issues.”
5- Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question can be challenging because you don’t want to come off as unrealistic or disingenuous. The key is to demonstrate ambition and a desire to grow within the company while acknowledging the reality that plans can change.
Example answer: “In five years I see myself having grown within this company and taking on more responsibility. I would love to continue developing my skills and taking on new challenges and I believe this company is a great place to do that. However I also understand that priorities can change so as long as I’m continuing to learn and contribute to the team I would be happy in any role.”
6-Describe a situation in which you had to resolve conflict.
Conflict resolution is a key skill for any professional but it can still be difficult to talk about. When answering this question focus on your ability to communicate effectively listen to all parties involved and find a solution that works for everyone.
Example answer: “In one of my previous jobs I worked with a team that had some personality conflicts that were affecting our productivity. I set up a meeting with everyone to talk through the issues and listen to each other’s concerns. We were able to come up with a plan to allocate tasks and communication responsibilities to avoid future conflicts. It was challenging but I was proud of the way the team came together and the positive impact it had on our work.”
7- What makes you stand out from other candidates?
This question can feel like a bit of a trap as you don’t want to sound boastful or arrogant. Instead focus on highlighting your unique skills and experience that directly relate to the job position.
Example answer: “What makes me stand out is my combination of relevant experience and skills my passion for this industry and my ability to work well in a team. I have experience with X Y and Z which are directly relevant to this position and I’m constantly looking for ways to stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments. I’m also a strong collaborator and believe that as a team we can achieve great things.”
Remember to prepare and practice your responses to these tricky interview questions to appear confident and competent during your interview. Most importantly be yourself and be genuine in your answers. The interviewer wants to know who you are and how you will fit in with the team so keep that in mind as you answer any tricky questions.
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