Well done! You have landed an interview for an exciting, prospective new job. Now you must prepare yourself by researching everything you can on the company and the services it provides. In addition to explaining why you feel you are the perfect candidate for the job, you will need to be prepared for some more difficult scenarios.
Here, we provide 5 examples of tough interview questions and how to answer them to impress the interviewer.
What is your biggest weakness/what are your biggest weaknesses?
A weakness doesn’t have to be negative. Now is your opportunity to provide examples to demonstrate your adaptability. A good example is “I dislike confrontation. In the past, I have found myself compromising my needs to keep the peace. This proved to be a problem in team situations or when leading a group. Since then, I have identified this as a weakness and worked hard to overcome it. I no longer avoid these situations, I take it as an opportunity to practice being more assertive without coming across difficult”.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Use this question to show you are ambitious and committed to the role, not to divulge on your personal life goals. For example, you could say “In 5 years, I would ideally like to see myself settled in a company for the long-term, having progressed in my career, working at a higher level and having taken on a lot more responsibility”.
Why should we hire you?
With this question, reiterate your qualifications, skills and personal attributes that match the job specification. Use this as a chance to really sell yourself and make you stand out from the crowd. A good response could be “I am dedicated and reliable. As you mentioned, you are looking for a highly skilled [Job Title] and as demonstrated on my CV I feel my skill set matches your criteria to a tee”. It is also beneficial to mention that you find the company appealing and your reasons why.
What didn’t you like about your last job/company?
This is not an opportunity to rant about or bad-mouth your most recent employer. Be analytical: pick something you disliked in your past job but that you know for sure you won’t be doing in this one. Always remain positive in your response and explain why you didn’t enjoy that particular task, for example, “My biggest dislike was probably having to produce presentations as I do not feel like my strengths lie in creativity. I am most looking forward to finding a role where I can step away from this area”.
Do you have any questions for us?
It is best practice to have at least 2 or 3 questions for the interviewer, this will demonstrate that you are engaged and genuinely interested. It is important to note; an interview is not the time to ask questions about salary or working hours. Good questions to ask, could be along the lines of “Why has this role become available?” This is a good way to find out why your predecessor is moving on, without having to ask outright. Other questions could include “How long have you been at the company? What is it about the company that you most enjoy? Is there scope for career progression, long-term?”