Tough Interview Questions and How to Overcome Them

Tough Interview Questions and How to Overcome Them

Tough Interview Questions and How to Overcome Them

Chances are you’ll be presented with tough interview questions. How you answer them might determine whether or not you get the job. Here’s a guide to help you overcome them.  

The interviewer has a vested interest in protecting their company. Don’t lose sight of why he or she asks the questions he asks. He or she will ask you questions to identify discrepancies in your employment history, red flags, or limitations in your skills or abilities to do the job. Let’s say, for example, you took time off of work to open a business or took maternity leave to raise a child. That gap in employment on your resume might raise a red flag.  

Do you have a good reason for it? Do you know how to answer these types of questions? Questions such as these are difficult to answer for most people, and many candidates respond by rambling on. Know how to respond to these critical questions.

There are three steps involved in answering typical interview questions:


1) Understand what the interviewer wants to find out. He or she might have an agenda for the interview. They might be wondering if you are dependable, able to adapt, or a team player.


2) Don’t give too much information. Saying less is actually better. Only answer questions you are asked. Present the answer in a way that is to your “best” advantage.


3) Take your time and respond to questions asked. If you know what they are looking for, you can respond by selling the skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the employee’s concerns.

Here are some tough questions:

  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • Your education does not match with the requirements of the position. Why did you apply for the position?
  • What are your compensation expectations?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Why were you fired from your last job?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • There appears to be a gap in employment from X date to Y date, is there a reason for that?
  • Your background doesn’t exactly match the job description, why did you apply for this job?

Having answers to these questions is going to be important. You don’t want to come across in the interview as ill prepared, or hesitate to find answers to these questions.

It’s important to know that some employers are more likely to hire someone who presents him or herself well, rather than a candidate with extensive credentials. The safest way to answer questions is to emphasize your strongest personal strengths, backing them up with examples that demonstrate your value to the company.


The Best Way to Answer Common Interview Questions

The Best Way to Answer Interview Questions

The Best Way to Answer Common Interview Questions

The famous “Tell me about yourself” question

This is something you should practice and perfect. It’s the basic introduction of who you are and what you are looking for in a job. It will form the basis of your introductory message when networking, and your opening statement in telephone contacts with employers.

Here are some pointers on how to keep the messaging on-target and focused.


  • Don’t give your life story.
  • Give a very brief overview which includes education, previous job titles, responsibilities and achievements. Target your response to the audience or contact with whom you are speaking, and the position for which you are applying.


What did you most enjoy about your last job?

  • “I was able to set goals and find effective ways to achieve them, using limited resources.”
  • “I was able to use my analytical skills to implement corrective methods at a critical stage of the project.”
  • “I developed a new approach to process improvement which became a standard for the company.”


How would your colleagues or supervisor describe you?

  • “I have been described as a dependable and trust-worthy worker.”
  • “I was able to take on a task through from inception to completion with excellent results.”
  • “I have a knack for finding useful demographic information about our customers’ buying habits.”

What can you offer us that other people cannot?

  • “I have a track record of identifying little-known investments that produce a great yield.”
  • “I am familiar with legal loopholes and parameters that affect client’s finances.”
  • “I am a certified professional with many years of experience finding unique ways to solve financial problems.”
  • “I require very little supervision and produce great results.”


What about this job attracts you?

  • “I am able to use my knowledge in market research to develop strategies that will give your company an advantage in the marketplace.”
  • “I share the same values as your company, and strongly believe in your corporate mission and vision.”
  • “I am comfortable in a small business environment as in a large one.”




How long do you see yourself with us?

  • “I see myself here as long as I am making a valuable contribution to the company.”
  • “I see myself here for the long run providing expertise, guidance and leadership to take the company top the next level.


How would you describe an ideal working environment?

  • “An environment that proactively looks at solving problems in a team approach”.

“A marketing support team that can assist the outside sales force with customer and product information that will help them close more business and lend help to customers when needed on a timely basis.”