- tell me about yourself. …
- why did you leave your last position? …
- why do you want to work here? …
- what are your salary requirements? …
- how do you handle tight deadlines?
Responding to Difficult Interview Questions
how to prepare for an interview
Youve got this. Study up on smart questions to ask when the day arrives, and get tips on how to navigate different types of interview scenarios.
why do you want to work for this company?
This is another of those seemingly innocuous interview questions, but which could really dent your confidence if you donât give a strong answer. This is why itâs extremely valuable to expect this one and prepare an answer for it ahead of the interview.
You need to go beyond the obvious – the company has a vacancy youâre qualified for – and really impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their business. Monster contributor Carole Martin advises that âyou should use this opportunity to show that youve done your homework on the company and how you might fit into the open roleâ.
Meanwhile, workplace culture consultant Steve Langerud adds that those who âcan move beyond an attractive culture or lifelong dream and put their skills into the context of a deliverable to the employer will move beyond other candidatesâ. Explain to the interviewer how your experience and abilities will help their business move forward and attain its goals.
What candidates say about the interview process at Randstad
Commonly asked questions, as reported by candidates
tell me a little bit about yourself
One of the first things the hiring manager is likely to ask you is to tell them about yourself. This is not the time to get too personal and explain where you grew up and what you like to do on Saturdays, but is the perfect chance to sell yourself while giving them a bit of background.
Although it may not initially seem like a difficult interview question, this is one where you could blow your shot at quickly getting the interviewerâs attention. Mess this one up and it could set the tone for the rest of the meeting.
Career development specialist at MIT Lily Zhang recommends using a formula for this answer. According to Zhang, âone way to structure this answer is to start with your present, go into your past, and finish off with your futureâ. So explain what your current position is, briefly discuss your previous experience – making sure to tailor it to your potential employer – and and finish with what you hope to do.
Whatâs your biggest weakness is a particular favorite of many interviewers as it allows them to test you. The advice has always been to frame a positive as a negative, which is why the cliche about being a perfectionist exists.
However, hiring managers donât want to hear that anymore. As with all answers, you should provide the interviewer with a story when you answer what your biggest weakness is. This allows them to put it into context. Explain what you struggle with – whether thatâs organization, presenting, whatever it may be – and give a description of a time when it caused a problem. But then make sure you have a solution ready to discuss so you highlight how youâre working to overcome the issue.
Sharon Florentine, senior writer for CIO, suggests that âthe ideal answer here is one that shows youâre self-aware, understand where you struggle in a professional setting, and adds what youâre currently doing to improve on that weaknessâ.