5 Toughest Interview Questions: Answered

In an interview, the hiring manager may ask questions that catch you off guard. Here are 5 examples of questions and how to prepare winning answers for each:

Why should I hire you?

Prior to your interview, make sure you do your research on the company’s core values and behaviors, as well as review the critical skills listed in the job description. When developing your answer, the goal is to reiterate your most unique or impressive strengths. Your answer should include three or four points relating to technical skills, soft skills, industry experience, education, key accomplishments or awards. Show the hiring manager how great of a fit you are!

What would the person who likes you least in the world say about you?

Be prepared to answer this question, as any hesitation could give the wrong impression. This question is another way of asking “What is your worst quality or weakness?” When answering, it is best to pick out a personality trait that may seem negative initially. For example, you have a very close attention to detail. Someone may complain that it takes you a little bit longer to complete tasks; however, you will ensure that there are no errors and that no project is completely finished until all loose ends are tied up.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

This is not an opportunity to tell the hiring manager about your latest skydiving adventure. Employers want to hear about a time you took a calculated risk and demonstrated the ability to plow through a tough time. Show that you can handle adversity. Your answer to this question will show if you have the ability to pick yourself up after being knocked down and ultimately succeed.

If you had to live over again, what one thing would you change?

You should NOT answer this question by saying that you would be a movie star. Instead, point out a true shortcoming or regret in your life, but not one that has had a significant impact on your preparation for your career. For example, talk about how you would settle on a major earlier in college so you could take more major-specific classes rather than general classes. Then focus on positive change by explaining that in your remaining years of college, you were able to take your major-specific classes and really excel in those classes. Although you overcame challenges as you caught up in your major, it would’ve been much easier had you chosen your major earlier.

What salary do you think you deserve?

Make sure you research what the job market is paying for someone with your background, in your industry, and in your location. When asked this question, do not be the first to throw out a salary number. The best way to go about this is to wait for the employer to give a range. Then, choose a salary that is higher than the median they provide. Be confident in your abilities and know your worth. For more information on salary negotiation, attend the $mart $alary Negotiation Workshop on April 19th, 2015 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm.

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