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Interview Tip: How to Handle Tricky Interview Questions

When you’re preparing for an interview, you should expect to do a lot of research on the company and of course, on possible interview questions. From standard to tricky questions, it’s important to be confident in your answers, no matter what your interview asks.

How Can You Handle Tricky Interview Questions?

Standard Questions

If you’ve been preparing for an interview, you are sure to have looked at standard questions to expect like:

  • What skills do you feel make you qualified for this position?
  • Which roles have best prepared you for this position?

When you’re preparing your answers for these standard questions, you’ll look back at your own work history and consider which skills and real-life examples to highlight.

Tricky Questions

While standard questions are easier to anticipate, interviewers have been adding tricky questions to the mix for years. Every few years, a few popular ones replace those that have been around for a while, but all tricky questions have the same purpose. These questions are meant to get the candidate thinking creatively on their feet. 

5 Tricky Questions + Hints to Answer Them

What are your weaknesses?

Possibly the most anticipated tricky interview question, you should definitely be prepared for this one. 

DO: Discuss a weakness that you’ve been able to take steps to improve upon. An example might be not knowing a certain budding technology, but you’ve taken courses or have watched tutorials so that you’ve been able to grow your confidence in your ability to add it to your repertoire.

DON’T: Please don’t pretend that you don’t have any weaknesses. If you try to disguise a strength as a weakness, you’ve effectively not answered the question and may have turned off the interviewer. 

Why do you want to leave your current company?

What sounds like the opportunity to air all the complaints you might have is actually the complete opposite.

DO: Take this opportunity to give credit and praise for all you’ve been able to accomplish in your role. This is a great time to speak to your drive and motivation to do your best and how you’re ready for the next challenge (which this job has for you). 

DON’T: This is not the time to complain about anyone at the company. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear you speak negatively about your job.

Tell me about a time you made a mistake.

With this tricky question, an interviewer wants to hear your honesty and humility. They definitely don’t want to hire a liability, so steer clear of sharing an example of when you were ill-prepared because of a lack of effort or attention. It’s better to choose a mistake that speaks more to a learning curve.

DO: Be honest and candid about your missteps. Include how this mistake helped you learn and grow as a professional to be better than before.

DON’T: Regardless of this mistake you’re recalling, do not take the chance to badmouth or blame anyone else. 

What would you do if you found out a coworker lied to a client?

“What if” questions can be particularly tough. Some of these “what if” questions are asked to gauge your values, while others might just be looking to see how well you think on your feet. 

DO: You can admit your surprise at the tricky question, then take your best shot at it. Being humble, cracking a light joke, and being authentically honest are all good ways to approach your answer. 

DON’T: You don’t have to get too specific in these “what if” questions. Giving a general answer will usually be enough for the interviewer to read your personality and values.

Tell me about yourself.

Company culture is important to any successful organization. Interviewers want to know that their new hires will fit well within their existing culture and not disrupt anything in a negative way. It’s also a good way to break the ice or see the candidate relax.

DO: Talk about yourself as a professional. How did you get into the industry? What do you love about it? You can also share a personal story if it’s relevant, too.

DON’T: It’s better to leave more of your personal life out of the interview. While you don’t have to be stoic and without your natural charisma, this is the time to really call to attention your professional abilities and accomplishments.

Looking for the Right Job? Need Help with Your Interview Prep?

No matter what you need help with concerning our new job search and interview process, you can contact Axiom Staffing Group for their help and expertise.

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