How to Tackle Tricky Job Interview Questions

When looking for a new job, you will inevitably have to prepare yourself for the job interview process. No matter what company you are interviewing for, there’s bound to be a question that throws you off or catches you a little off-guard. How you react to these tricky questions can say a lot about your personality and how passionate you are about getting the job.

In secretarial, PA and HR industries, the interview process is a great opportunity to make sure you get your skills and personality across to the employer. In our latest blog, we offer some advice to help you tackle those tricky job interview questions.

Why do employers ask tough job interview questions?

There is no doubt that at some point you have been asked a question that seems unrelated to the industry or role, and is more centred on your own attributes. Employers will do this for a number of reasons; whether it’s to find out information about you as a person, or to seek out your thought process and how you approach things.

Sometimes you may be asked a tricky question to see if you can deal with a difficult task, or being put on the spot. With that in mind, here is some helpful tips on answering some of the more difficult job interview questions.

Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle

You might be asked this question if the employer wants to know about how you deal with difficult situations. If you are asked something similar to this, consider the popular STAR method to help you answer; situation, task, action, result.

This approach can help you reply to the question concisely. Think of a few situations where you have come across a challenge in your workplace, and what you did to achieve the outcome. This can be anything from dealing with difficult customers, taking on new clients or admitting a mistake and fixing it.

Why are you leaving your current job?

A question like this is usually asked to make sure that you are the right fit for the vacancy. It also ensures the employer is confident the role will provide the right experience for you.

It is important that you answer this honestly, but try to avoid being too negative or giving away too much personal information. Consider why the new position would serve you better than your current one. Start by making sure you are familiar with the company, the department you would be working in and the specific role duties.

What is your greatest achievement?

Employers might ask you this question to gain a better understanding of your productivity and accomplishments over the years. This can help them to understand what you could bring to their company. Consider an achievement that is related to the job in some way.

Your achievements might include organising staff, speeding up internal processes or taking on a new responsibility that you have excelled at. Even if it seems small, it’s worth mentioning to your interviewer as it could make a great impression.

What are your weaknesses?

This one comes up time and time again, and it can throw many candidates off because they don’t want to say anything negative about themselves. The employer is sometimes looking for a way to find out if you know what areas to improve on, and if you are doing anything to achieve it.

Consider offering a weakness, but follow it up with what you are doing to overcome it.

If you would like some more specific job interview preparation help or advice, please get in touch with us!

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