Unfortunately, the only way to handle this sticky situation is to go into the interview prepared. Check out these common but tough interview questions and some suggested responses in order to avoid an interview disaster:
So, tell me about yourself?
This is usually the first question in an interview so don’t start it off wrong by telling your whole life history! Your answers should be a brief summary of your qualifications and experience. Talk about your education, work history, recent career experience and future goals.
How would your best friend describe you?
Always keep your answers positive and maybe have a few specific examples in mind. “They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “Hilary Smith has always said I was the most dynamic, team player she’d ever met.”
What would you say are your greatest weaknesses?
This question reveals your ability to identify the need for personal improvement. The best responses include turning your weakness into a positive or a presenting a plan on how you’re addressing the weakness. For example, wanting to double-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a positive or address your weakness by saying “Being organized wasn’t my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really improved my organization skills.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Most importantly, the interviewer wants to know that you’re stable and you want to be with their company for the long haul. Keep your aspirations to take over the firm to yourself and answer something more like this “I want to secure a recruiting role with a national firm that concentrates on Engineering placements. I want to grow with the company and one day, manage my own recruitment team.”
Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.
Give solid examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work – then talk about what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive and be specific “Even though it was a difficult time when Ben quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.”
Now that you’re acquainted with these common but difficult questions, you can walk into that interview feeling confident! Good luck!