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Three tough interview questions and how to answer them

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Sometimes, interviewers will test your metal by throwing in some tough interview questions for you to answer. It’s never pleasant, and it’s also a surefire path to failure if you’re not prepared beforehand. These questions are intentionally difficult, so we’re here to try and make things a little easier for you. We’ve picked out three common examples, but there are more that you might come across over time.

“What Is Your Biggest Weakness?”

This isn’t a nice one. It feels like a way to catch you out, but it’s not. The best way to answer this is to answer honestly. Whatever you do, do not spout something off that you think will impress the employer, “I sometimes work too hard and find it difficult to stop working in the evenings.” It’s not true and the employer will see straight through it.

So how do you answer? One way is to identify a potential weakness that you do have and then explain how you are already working on this weakness and the steps you have taken to improve. This shows that you are keen to develop your personal skills as well as the fact you are providing a thought-out, honest answer to a difficult question that makes everyone squirm!

“What Salary Would You Be Looking For?”

This question pops up regularly in interviews and most people panic when they hear it as you may not be expecting a potential employer to be asking such a question. However, you’ll hear it a lot more nowadays, and they want a positive, confident answer from you. You need to look a few factors when it comes to this.

Firstly, you need to know what this type of role would normally command in terms of salary. There are salary guides and surveys that will help you to determine this, and you must research them before the interview. You need to take into account your suitability for the role, your previous experience and the current stage of the interview process. Make an informed decision and stick to it.

“Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

This is a common question that will almost always be asked of you if you’re unemployed. It’s very difficult to answer if you haven’t had any work for a while. You need to look at the facts and try and present them in the most positive way. If you were previously relieved of your duties, why was that? If things didn’t gel between you and your previous employers, put it across in a very calm way. Elaborate on the fact that it, unfortunately, didn’t work out, but now you’re excited about this new opportunity. Don’t lie as it won’t help you when it comes to obtaining references, but make sure you always put a good spin on it.

Alternatively, you’re in a much better position if you were made redundant or simply left because you weren’t enjoying the role. Explain what happened and show your enthusiasm for this new opportunity. If you’ve been out of work for a while, it’s great to highlight any work experience or voluntary work you might have done in the interim. It sounds much better than sitting at home watching TV all day.

Have you been faced with a particularly difficult interview question? Let us know below!

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Career CamelThree tough interview questions and how to answer them

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