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How do I Answer Difficult Interview Questions?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 18 February 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Answering difficult interview questions can be a challenge, but it is important to do so to the best of your ability to make it more likely that you will be offered the job. When answering difficult interview questions, feel free to pause for a moment and gather your thoughts; it is not necessary to immediately begin speaking after the interviewer has asked the question. Keep in mind that some questions may not be legally asked in job interviews, such as questions regarding age, religion, ethnicity, or marital status, among others, and you are within your rights to refuse to answer these questions and cannot be discriminated against for your refusal.

The best way to prepare for difficult interview questions is to consider possible questions and answers ahead of time. Searching online will give you a number of different examples of interview questions that may be asked of you. In addition, consider any issues you have previously had at work, such as challenges dealing with other people or resolving conflicts, and expect that you will be asked to discuss such problems; be careful to choose example that show you in a good light. Preparation before an interview can help make you a lot more relaxed and can make answering difficult interview questions a lot easier.

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When you are asked difficult interview questions, take a moment and gather your thoughts before responding so you do not just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Then, answer the question honestly yet succinctly; provide as many details as needed to fully answer the question, but do not ramble on and provide additional unnecessary information. Being friendly and honest, yet using an economy of words in an interview, can work to your advantage because you are less likely to say something that is inadvertently damaging, or that makes the interviewer want to ask even more difficult questions.

If there is something you would really prefer not to discuss, you may say this politely to the interviewer, keeping in mind that it will likely not be viewed very favorably. In addition, when answering difficult interview questions, stick to information about what is directly relevant to your skills, education, and the job at hand. If an interviewer says "tell me about yourself," or "why should I hire you?" for example, share a brief history of your education and work experience, and provide an example or two of when you excelled in a job or task relevant to this job. Avoid personal information, such as religious or political views unless they is directly relevant.

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