7 Tricky interview questions and how you should answer them
Going for a job interview can be tough, especially if you’re not prepared to answer some of the questions that your potential employers ask you. Are you going to an interview and are you clueless when it comes to answering interview questions? Well, don’t stress, today I’m going to boost your confidence with 7 tricky interview questions and give you pointers on how you should answer them.
1. “Tell me more about yourself”: Some job seekers may see this interview question as an invasion of their privacy, but it’s not. The interviewer is just trying to determine what kind of personality you have and if you would fit into their company / business.
The safest way to answer this question is to mention your childhood (where you grew up, etc), past work and recent opportunities that you may have come across (preferably ones related to the industry). Don’t go too much into specifics. Focus on what most interests the interviewer, highlight your most important accomplishments and be brief. Starting your answer with “I can summarize who I am in three words…”, “My passion is…” or other compelling words immediately focuses the interviewer’s attention on you. Don’t answer this question with “What do you want to know?” (which will show the interviewer that you did not prepare), compile an answer and practice it before you go to the interview.
2. “How do you fit an elephant in a refrigerator?”: Questions like this one, “How do you get a penguin to ski?” or “How do you scale a tall building with flip-flops?” and others are more commonly used in job interviews nowadays, so try not to give the interviewer an “Are you crazy?” look when they ask you the question. They’re not crazy. All they want to do is get a peek inside your brain and they want to see how it works.
Your answer doesn’t need to be 100% correct or on point for this question. What matters here is how creatively you solve the problem the interviewer presents you with. Tell them exactly how you would go about solving it, however silly it may seem. Show them that you can come up with unique ways to solve problems in their company.
3. “How do you handle office conflict?”: This behavioral question is asked to find out if you’re a team player. The best way to answer this question is give the interviewer an example. Tell a story about how you’ve handled office conflict in the past and how you were able to resolve it. Make sure that the example you use had a positive outcome. Don’t answer the question with “I didn’t agree with how my manager was treating me, so we sorted it out in the parking lot.” It won’t get you the job.
4. “What didn’t you like about your current / previous employer?”: Think twice before you answer this question and don’t talk negatively about your current / previous employer. Turn this negative question around by answering it with with a positive twist. Start by complimenting the company you work for / worked for and delve into things that annoyed you. An example of a good answer is “I was tasked with too much paperwork and administrative work, but I feel like I would grow and excel in my job if I had more interactions with people.”
5. “Do you know any jokes?”: When you are going to an interview, always have a funny joke in your pocket that is harmless and that could invoke a laugh from the interviewer.
6. “Where do you see yourself in five years from now?”: When an interviewer asks you this question they’re actually asking you “How does this position fit in with your overall short-term and medium-term career goals for yourself?”. Be genuine and help the interviewer understand why the position you are applying for would be a great next step for you on your career journey, even if you’re not sure what your ultimate career goal is. Avoid answering this question with answers like “I want your job some day”, “I want to be the CEO, unless you are an executive VP or on the board of directors”, “As high as I can go” or “I want to own my own company some day”.
A great example of an answer is “First and foremost, I want to contribute as much as I can to your company in the position I’m applying for. Once mastered, I see myself in a supervisory or management role. I’m a good leader and enjoy managing people and projects.”. When answering this question remember that what you say should be truthful and should apply to you, the potential asset for the company.
7. “What are your strengths and your weaknesses?”: Don’t start by listing all the imperfect aspects of your personality. Interviewers will ask you this question because they want to check your honesty and confidence levels. They want to see how you handle a stress question and how you respond to it. Try to turn your weaknesses into strengths in your answer. Don’t say “I work too hard”, “spelling” (if you are applying for a secretarial position) or “dealing with difficult people” (if you’re applying for a customer service job).
Here’s an example of a good answer for this question: “I think my strengths are in my ability to understand the intent of a project, master the details, and organize and pursue a well-developed project plan. My weakness might be that I can be a little impatient with people who don’t keep their commitments, although I’m learning that I get better results by being tactful and persistent in asking questions, rather than making demands.”
Well, there you have it, 7 tricky interview questions and how you should answer them. I trust this info will help you when you go for your next job interview.
Feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is caring. You could be the reason that someone aces their next interview. If you have any tips or questions about interviews, feel free to comment on this article. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
Latest posts by Henno Kruger (see all)
- Fast-track your career in Direct Marketing - November 30, 2016
- How to repeat your Free Adverts on Job Mail - October 14, 2016
- Reach the right target audience with Job Mail’s Value Added Products - September 28, 2016