Reposted from Former Headhunter Explains How To Answer 11 Tough Interview Questions, Business Insider, Jul 26, 2012.
When you’re on a job interview, you need to be armed with knowledge better than any other candidate.
“Apart from a healthy and perfectly natural case of pre-performance nerves, the only rational worry you have left is fear of the unknown,” Martin Yate, former director in Training & Development at Dunhill Systems and a career management coach for the past 35 years, writes in his book “Knock ’em Dead 2012: The Ultimate Job Search Guide.”
With Yate’s suggestions, you can now be better prepared for those unexpected questions meant to baffle interviewees.
We compiled some of the toughest questions accompanied with answers and explanations that will get you to the next interview round.
Q: Walk me through your job changes.
Smart answer: “My last company was a family-owned affair. I had gone as far as I was able to go. It just seemed time for me to join a more prestigious company and accept greater challenges.”
Explanation: When an interviewer asks you this, your answer should come from the following acceptable reasons:
- Challenge: You weren’t able to grow professionally in that position.
- Location: The commute was unreasonably long.
- Advancement: There was nowhere for you to go. You had the talent, but there were too many people ahead of you.
- Money: You were underpaid for your skills and contribution.
- Pride or prestige: You wanted to be with a better company.
- Security: The company was not stable.
Q: What interests you least about this job?
Smart answer: “_________ are probably the least demanding part of my job. However, I know they are important for _________, so I do them at the end of the day as part of my performance review and next-day planning.”
Explanation: The question is potentially explosive but easily defused. Regardless of your occupation, there is at least one repetitive, mindless duty that everyone groans about but that nevertheless goes with the territory. Use that as your example.
Notice how this response also shows that you are organized and possess critical thinking and multitasking skills; it also shows you understand that it is necessary to take the rough with the smooth.
Q: What can you do for us that someone else cannot do?
Smart answer: “I bring to this job a determination to see projects through to a proper conclusion. I listen and take direction well. I am analytical and don’t jump to conclusions. I understand we are in business to make a profit, so I keep an eye on cost and return. How do these qualifications fit your needs?”
Explanation: You cannot know other candidates’ capabilities, so smilingly disarm your interviewer with this fact, then say, “But what I bring is…” Your answer will then demonstrate your grasp of the job’s responsibilities, the problems that occur in each area, and how you are prepared to deal with them.