Tough interview questions: How to answer and deal with it confidently.

Tough interview questions of course should be a concern of every employee. Job interviews are tough, but you can be prepared! Learn how to answer some of the toughest interview questions, with examples of the best answers.  Prepare yourself for the big day by getting familiar with the organization’s culture and values. It can be easy to source this information from the annual or media reports, or by connecting with current employees over LinkedIn and looking up reviews on websites like Glassdoor. You’ll have to look for clues: For instance, if there is diversity in age and overall attrition has been low, it suggests that the organization nurtures its employees, who in turn are probably respectful of the culture.Tough interview questions

Some common questions asked in some interview are:

  • How would you describe yourself in one word? …
  • What is your greatest accomplishment? …
  • What are your biggest strengths? …
  • What are your biggest weaknesses? …
  • Tell me about yourself. …
  • Where do you see yourself in X years? …
  • If you could work anywhere, where would you work?

Based on experience, Tough interview questions are designed to unnerve the candidate in order to test their responses in a stressful situation. Here are some tough interview questions you can expect, alongside are answers and how to deal with it confidently. 

 Tell me something about yourself

How do you come up with an answer that has it all? Before you begin answering, keep in mind that recruiters now care less about grades and academic performance and more about softer skills: how quickly and creatively a candidate thinks, whether he or she will be able to cope with high-pressure environments, and how well the candidate will fit in the organization.

Why should we hire you?

Your response to this question can be steered to indicate “a fit”.

Demonstrate confidence and present your ability to match personality traits with organizational culture. 

A response such as, “My achievements match with your requirements” is a starter to lead the recruiters in a direction that’s comfortable for you.

Sure enough, the next question will be something like,

“What are your achievements and how do you think they match with our requirements?”

Now is the time to talk about what you have achieved in life – be it sports, academics, extracurricular.

Be careful, though, to link this to learning that is relevant to the position you’re discussing.

For instance, tie your accomplishments in sports to leadership; in academics to project management; your extracurricular activities to team work.

The objective is to lead recruiters in a direction in which you are comfortable without boasting of accomplishments and achievements.

What are some of your weaknesses?

This  question is always designed to test your honesty. So deal with it diligently.

Spell out a couple of weaknesses as honestly as possible. You are human after all!

The weaknesses, though, should not seem detrimental to the work processes.

For instance, responses such as, “I nitpick”, “I am in the habit of interrupting”, “I sometimes tend to talk while eating” are neutral and probably won’t hurt your chances to get the job.

Be careful not to open up too much or reveal too many of your flaws.

Be different and original in your statements.  And you don’t have to list more than two weaknesses.

Which is more relevant for you — goals or rules?

A question that addresses the long-standing debate on whether the end justifies the means.

For decades, philosophers have argued the dominance of one over the other and, to the best of my knowledge, have still not found an answer.

Expecting you to give a definitive response to this question is a kind of test to check how well you think on your feet.

Consider these sorts of answers: “I’ve learned to score goals while playing by the rules”; “Are there goals that can be scored when one doesn’t play by the rules?”; or “Would you consider a goal scored if we don’t play by the rules?”

How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?

Disagreements between co-workers are inevitable—but showing prospective employers how you’re equipped to handle them is crucial.

“You want to demonstrate that you have strong listening and communication skills, have compassion and empathy to sit in someone else’s shoes and be understanding, can problem-solve effectively, and can rebuild bridges and restore strong working relationships with others, which is essential to work success,” Caprino advises.

Bad answers:

  • “My coworker kept trying to steal credit for my ideas, so I took the issue to my boss to have her intervene.”
  • “Our personalities clashed, and we fought a lot. I learned that some people just don’t get along.”

Great answers:

  • “When I have a disagreement with a co-worker, I always pull the person aside and discuss the issue privately. I listen actively to make sure I understand the other person’s point of view, and I work with the person to develop a solution together.”
  • “I talk a collaborative approach to resolving conflict at work. For example, on at least three occasions, my colleague missed deadlines that pushed back our production schedule. After I discussed this with him, we found a way to improve the workflow system together and prevent that problem in the future.”
Do you have any questions for us?

This is normally the last question in the interview cycle.

Your response to this question should be structured after you have carefully assessed parameters critical for the organization.

This assessment can be part of your interview preparation phase. Is the organization in its growth phase or mature? Structure your responses accordingly.

For instance, “What are the targets you want me to achieve in the first year?” or “What are the jobs and responsibilities for an entry level/lateral hire?”

Remember that from the minute you walk through that door to success, someone is critically observing you and forming an impression.

Its’s not just what you say but also what you do not say – that is, your non-verbal cues.

The first impression created by a candidate is usually what helps them sail smoothly through the interview process.

Walk in confidently, maintain eye contact, and begin with a nice, firm handshake and take the interview questions by storm!


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