Listed below are common tough interview questions with examples of how you could answer them. When preparing for your interview, think about a few different scenarios of tough questions you may be asked depending on your industry.
1. What critical feedback do you most often receive?
Employers ask this question to see if you have a sense of self-awareness and that you are actively working on self-improvement. To answer this question, think of a piece of criticism you have been given, or a weakness of which you are aware of. Provide a brief explanation of the critique and how you are working to improve it.
2. Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.
Employers ask this question to understand how you deal with difficulties. Try providing a brief summary of the situation, your role in the situation, the action you put into place to resolve the issue, and how the issue was resolved as a result.
3. How do you manage stress?
Employers want to know if you will manage stress in the workplace constructively with a good attitude to maintain good company culture. You can answer this question by explaining how you typically respond with an example to support it.
4. What have been your most positive and negative management experiences?
Employers will want to understand what you like and dislike in certain management styles. This helps them determine whether or not you would be a good fit under a certain manager. Always be as honest and tactful as possible.
5. Why are you leaving your current position?
This helps the employers ensure the opening will be a better fit than your last one. Answer this question honestly but refrain from providing too much personal or negative detail.
6. How many pennies, if stacked on top of each other, would equal the height of the Empire State Building? (Or other questions with no right or wrong answer)
Employers may ask questions like this to understand your thought processes. They want to gauge whether you can think analytically, deal with ambiguity and communicate clearly. You should take a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Even if your answer seems silly or wrong, employers are simply looking for an answer with logical support.
7. Why do you want to work here?
Employers ask this question to make sure you have put thought and research into your decision to seek employment at their company. Be sure to research their Mission Statement before the interview!
8. Why should we hire you?
Employers might ask this question to understand what differentiates you from other candidates they might be interviewing. Explain how your experience, skills, and attributes make you the best fit for the job. Make sure to review the job description beforehand to understand what qualities they are looking for.
9. Do you have any regrets?
Let them know that you have made mistakes and you have learned from them to become better. You might also select a regret or shortcoming that is both professional and would not hinder your ability to perform the job in any way.
10. Tell me about yourself
Provide a quick synopsis of your education, highlights of your professional experience, and what brought you to the position you are applying for. Be sure to focus on any achievements.
11. What is your greatest achievement?
Think about a recent example that is ideally related to the job. Briefly explain the achievement, your role in it, and why it is valuable to you.
12. What salary are you looking for?
You should come prepared to discuss your pay expectations. Do you research in determining a reasonable salary.
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