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How do I Answer Tough Interview Questions?

Article Details
  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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When applying for a new job, you're likely to face a few tough interview questions. Some typical examples include "Tell me about yourself" and "What are your weaknesses?" Questions like these are so difficult to answer because they require personal answers that are hard to formulate on the spot. The best way to answer tough interview questions is to try to anticipate the questions and prepare ahead of time by writing out answers or practicing with a friend. Some pointers when formulating answers are to be honest and to use the answers to highlight reasons you're right for the job.

Some of the tough interview questions you are likely to face are fairly common, general questions like "Why did you leave your last job?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" They're questions that require fairly personal answers and can reveal a lot about your personality to the interviewer. Honest answers to questions like these can be difficult to formulate on the spot, since you want to present yourself in the best possible way while still telling the interviewer what he or she wants to hear. You don't want to reveal too much with your answer, however, or make yourself look bad.

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The best way to answer tough interview questions like these is to be prepared for them. Many of these questions are asked on a regular basis during interviews regardless of the industry. Since they are so common, it can be easy to research typical questions along with tips for answering. Good places to research are the Internet and recently published career books. Armed with this knowledge, you can begin to formulate intelligent answers that relate well to the job.

As you decide on your potential answers to tough interview questions, it’s a good idea to write them down which can help you remember what you want to say. Another good idea is to ask a friend or relative to help you practice during a a mock interview. If possible, record this session and then listen carefully to the audio to find areas for further improvement. Practice a few times in order to become comfortable with possible questions and to help remember the answers.

When formulating the answers to tough interview questions, there are a few tips to keep in mind, particularly for unexpected questions. One of the most important is to be honest in your answers; being caught lying is the quickest way not to get hired. Another tip is to use the answers to point out why you are the best person for the job. Stay away from discussing your personal life and concentrate on education, relevant experience, and achievements, while citing specific examples as often as possible. It's also important to frequently relate your answers to the particular job and company you're applying for.

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