20 of the Toughest interview questions and great answers to scale through and win!

We have always talked about interview questions but this post today will be looking at the 20 of the Toughest interview questions and great answer for them to make you win!


No more dilly-dallying, lets start to woo the interviewer and win big in the job search

20 of the Toughest interview questions and great answer for them to make you win!

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

This is probably the first question you will be asked when the interview begins. Most prospective employers see this as a very easy question and also open ended but it is not …

What the interviewer wants is a two – three minutes overview of who you are and why you are the best candidate for the potion or job.

You have to be honest and talk about your best trait, especially those that relate to the position that you are applying for.

Most times, the interviewer is trying:

  • To put you at ease.
  • To learn from you, why he should or should not hire you.
  • To learn a little of your background.
  • To assess your ability to communicate orally and properly.

This is your personal commercial, so do not blow away this once in a time chance.

Use examples to back your answers and ask if they want more details

“Tell me about yourself” does not mean you should start talking about your family and challenges, mention nothing personal, just say what make you the very best candidate!

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU

When you are asked this direct question, the interviewer is asking you in a sense to make the decision for him.

The easiest answer here is to say that, he should hire you because you are the best candidate and try to back it up with a citation of your skills and abilities to help differentiate you further from other candidates.

You should list your skills and positive characteristics. Demonstrate the skills, talents, abilities and training relevant to the job that makes you the best person for the position.

WHAT IS YOUR LONG-RANGE OBJECTIVE

The interviewer is indirectly telling you make his job easier by making him want to hire you,  that is the x-ray of this question.

Let your long range objective be tied to the company as this will make them desire you more

EXAMPLE

“Within 5 years, I will be the very best accountant in your company”

You can also state what you will do to achieve this objectives.

20 of the Toughest interview questions and great answers to scale through and win!

HOW HAS YOUR EDUCATION PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR CAREER

This is a broad questions and you need to focus on the behavioral examples in your educational background which specifically aligns with the required competencies for the career.

EXAMPLE

“My education has not only focused on learning the fundamentals, but also on the practical application of the information within those classes”

ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER OR A HIGH FLYER

A lot of people will just answer YES/NO to this question.

The first thing is to note is the type of job you are seeking, if it does not require group work, then you can say you are a high flyer.

It is better to always say you are a team player, because at one time or to, you will work with a team or in a group.

You really need to state and demonstrate that you can work in a group or as a team.

State the advantages of working with a team and give examples of when you worked with a team and the results achieved.

EXAMPLE

“Yes, I am very much a team player. I have worked in my school to develop skills as a team player, for example on a recent project … “

HAVE YOU HAD A CONFLICT WITH A BOSS? HOW WAS IT RESOLVED?

The key here is to know how you behaviorally reacted to a conflict and what you did to resolve it. That is the true essence of this question.

“Yes I have had conflicts in the past but they were resolved. It helps to fully understand the other person’s perspective, then we seek out a collaborative solution and move on”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS

This is like saying, answer the question and tell me what is really negatively wrong with you so I can reject you right now.

Others will tell you to present a strength as a weakness, but that is pure deception and dodges the point of the question, trust me they will know when you lie.

EXAMPLE

“I have a tendency of working a little too late when completing an interesting project”

“I have problem with time management, but I am taking steps to correct this and I just got a planer to that effect.”

You may even present evidence to back up your claim.

WHAT DOES YOUR REFEREE (PROFESSOR, BOSS, GUARDIAN ETC.) THINK ABOUT YOU

This question is testing the credibility of your reference section in your CV / Resume.

You do not have to wait till it is the interview time to get their opinion about you, ask anyone you will using as a referee to give you an answer on how they perceive you professionally.

It is ideal you ask for a letter of recommendation to cement your claim.

EXAMPLE

“He would say I am hardworking and reliable, definitely one of the best he had worked with, you may read it up in his own words as he gave me a letter of recommendation”.

WHAT QUALITIES SHOULD A SUCCESSFUL MANAGER HAVE

The two words you should focus on here are: LEADERSHIP AND VISION.

Expatiate on those two words to give an elaborate answer to this question, you can also add real examples too. It could be about someone you used to know or even a past boss.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE

It could be rephrased as why did you apply for this job? What kind of work are you looking for?

He is trying to find out what you know and like about the company and also testing if your interest is genuine.

Mention positive features of the company, its good reputation, how they treat employees and tell them how you love to work with them as their goals and mission is in line with your career goals and aspirations.

WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH

Show and tell them what you are good at in relation to the job, mention all your positive aspects and attributes, skills, reliability, experience, enthusiasm, efficiency and even ability to work as a team and in a group.

State your strengths and this is a really good advantage to show off too.

WHAT EXPERIENCE OR EXPERTISE DO YOU HAVE

Have you ever done this kind of job before? What makes you think that you will be very good at this job? Those are the questions he wanted to ask you.

Do not ever answer in the negative to this question, even if you are yet to do a similar job, you must have gotten similar experience from voluntary work or even education.

Talk about all transferable skills and how you are a fast leaner and can learn on the job.

HOW IS YOUR HEALTH? ANY CHALLENGES?

A question about your health has the intent of disqualifying you or making you ineligible for the job, this tests on the borders of your reliability and ability to function properly.

He wants to know if you will be always absent due to health challenges, he is trying to avoid a liability as a staff.

State that you have no health problem that can interfere on your delivery of the job, and even if you are disabled, show him how you function well even in the face of the disability.

WHEN ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR WORK

When you are asked this question, you can say as soon as possible. Many factors may be causing your hesitation about committing yourself, but now is not the time to mention them.

You may not be sure you want the job, but you can always go home and think about that, and in the worst case scenario, you can put a call through stating your unavailability.

WHAT 5 WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU

When asked to choose words to describe yourself, only select positive words, do not ever mention anything in the negative.

It could be a remark someone has made about you before, just choose your words wisely.

CAN YOU WORK UNDER PRESSURE OR TIGHT DEADLINE

This questions shows that your job may become demanding at a point and will involve working under pressure and with deadlines.

You have to reassure the interviewer by giving examples from paid and unpaid activities where you delivered even with a close deadline, examples of when you achieved greatly even under immense pressure.

ARE YOU THINKING OF GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

If you are young applicant, chances are high that you will be asked this question by the interviewer as a concern that you may be quitting anytime soon to further your education.

You need to assure them that you are only interested in doing your job and even if you will return to school, it will only be in evening classes where it can interfere with your productivity.

You can also state that, you will definitely get an MBA but only on weekend classes, this will really impress the interviewer.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT US TO PAY YOU

This question is used by the interviewer to know if your expectations of the in very high or too low.

Mention a salary figure at this stage may be very detrimental, if it is too low, you may end up getting employed at a level lower than where you are supposed to be and if it high, you can as well kiss the interview and the job goodbye because they may not be able to afford you.

Tell them that you will work for whatever they think befits you based on your qualification and the company’s standard salary level for that position.

ARE THERE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE FOR US

This questions signals that the interview is coming to an end already and it is merely a gesture of courtesy and friendliness:

  • I am interested in learning about … (some aspect of the company’s operation that came up in the interview). Could you tell me a little more about it, please?
  • Do you have provisions for any training program? Could you please describe it?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • What would my schedule be like?
  • How large is your company? How many employees do you have?
  • How will I get the result of this interview?
  • Would I be working alone most times or in a group?
  • I will love to know a little more about certain aspects of the company’s operation, works, duties etc that came up during the interview.
  • What are the main duties of this job?
  • Does your company have branches elsewhere?

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