Preparing for a job interview can be stressful. You have to be ready to answer the basic questions that any manager would ask, but there are also more challenging questions that can be hard to prepare for.
Sometimes these questions don’t have a right answer but are designed to show how you think, while some are designed to put you on the spot and see how you react. The point of these tougher questions is to give the interviewer a sense of who you are and whether or not you’ll be a good fit for their company.
Here are a few examples of common interview questions that you’re almost certainly going to come across during job interviews, with some tips on how to ace them like a pro. When preparing for your interview, you should come up with a couple of different answers for these tough questions.
Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle.
I think anyone who’s interviewed for any job ever has heard this question. If you’re about to go to a job interview, this should be the first question you’ve prepped an answer for! The employer is trying to understand how you deal with difficulties, and it’s not so much about the obstacle itself, but more about you and your reaction.
You should provide a brief summary of the situation, what your reaction was and what you did to resolve the issue, and how the issue was resolved. You definitely do not need to give extensive details about the situation, and you definitely should not pick a time that ended badly for you!
What are Your Greatest Weaknesses?
The key to answering this question is acknowledging that everyone has flaws. If you tell them you don’t have any, you’ve already messed up! Also avoid saying something like “being a perfectionist,” because this also doesn’t address the fact that everyone has flaws.
The interviewer actually cares less about what your actual weakness is, and more about the fact that you acknowledge having it and the steps you’re taking to improve. Show them that you have the drive to reach goals and grow.
Why are You Leaving Your Current Position?
This isn’t necessarily the time to lie, but if your current situation is negative, you may want to think of a positive spin to put on it. A well thought-out answer here will do wonders. You should answer truthfully, but it’s best to leave out all the negative details or avoid providing too much personal information. Just keep it simple, and positive.
The last thing you want to do it sit and gripe to your potential future employer about your current employer! It can potentially make you sound like you complain a lot, or are negative or whiny, hurting your chances at snagging the new job.
Why Should I Hire You?
What they’re really trying to figure out is why you’d be the best fit for the position. You basically need to have a “sales pitch” ready that explains what you have to offer and why they absolutely need you. Go back over the job listing, and make sure that your pitch covers the requirements or qualifications they’re looking for to fill the position.
Remember that you’re trying to sell yourself as the best choice for that job, so you want to make sure you tell them all of your skills and accomplishments that will make you stand out as a better candidate than any of the other competition.
How Much are You Looking to Get Paid?
You should never lowball out of fear! If you get the job, do you really want to be disappointed with the compensation? Make sure that you know your worth, do your research on what others with similar qualifications get paid for the same work, and don’t be afraid to show them that you know what you are worth. It’s also important to remember to discuss the whole package, not just the salary itself.
You also need to consider the health benefits, time off, and other perks that they may or may not be offering. Sometimes when interviewing for a job, we can lose sight of the fact that we are also interviewing them to see if it’s the right workplace environment.