These hard interview questions can throw you off balance in your job interview. Be ready with practiced and polished interview answers and impress as a confident and competent job candidate.
Go through the sample interview answers and think about your own responses based on your background and situation.
In addition to the typical job interview questions asked by most interviewers there are a couple of testing interview questions that can put you on the spot.
Are you overqualified for this job?
The hiring manager may consider that your experience and skills are a level or two above the position you are applying for. This may be frustrating but if you handle it properly it can become a positive in your interview discussion.
You need to persuade the interviewer that your skills and strengths will be of great benefit to the company. Your interview answer should focus on why it would be the right move for them to hire you rather than why it is the right move for you to take the job.
You must convince the employer that not only can you do the job better than other candidates but that you want to do it. Focus on a couple of reasons why this job and company is a good fit. Why do you want to work here?
What do you do in your free time?
Interviewers like to ask about a candidate's leisure activities and personal projects because it provides insight into the individual's motivations, character and life/work balance.
Candidates often struggle to answer this question as they try to tailor their answer to include what they think are impressive pursuits. It is more productive to be honest but always explain why you enjoy and participate in these activities.
For example, rather than just saying "I enjoy reading" elaborate on why. "I have always been fascinated by detective work and how to solve problems and find answers so I am a big fan of crime novels."
Including a variety of activities demonstrates flexibility and a range of interests.
Have you applied for any other jobs?
You may feel this is an invasion of your privacy but interviewers like to ask it to determine how interested you are in their position and how serious and focused you are about your job search.
They want to hear that the types of jobs you are applying for are similar to their position and in the same sort of industry and work environment. It is best to respond in non-specifics with an answer that confirms your interest in the type of job they are recruiting for.
You can mention a couple of common characteristics that the jobs you are applying for have. "I have applied for other jobs that also involve teamwork and a strong customer service orientation."
If you are pressed to provide specifics make sure the jobs you refer to are consistent with their position. This will reinforce your enthusiasm for their job opportunity.
Avoid stating that this is the only job you are applying for. This does not impress the employer but rather raises concerns about your commitment to finding a new job and your activity levels.
What to do if you don't understand the question
You can be asked hard interview questions that you are unsure of how to answer. You may be confused about the sort of information the interviewer is looking for. In this case it is always advisable to clarify the question, that way you can be sure you are providing the right information.
It is quite acceptable to ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question.
Asking for further clarity on the question demonstrates confidence and a desire to get it right.
When you really don't know the answer ....
There are certain hard interview questions that you just cannot answer in the interview. These are usually job-related or technical questions. It is acceptable to not know an answer, it is how you deal with the situation that is important.
Challenging interview questions crop up all the time. Preparation will help you to confidently answer whatever is thrown at you during your job interview.
Candidates often struggle with one of the most common interview questions "Tell me about yourself". You can use these sample interview answers to help you.
Here are some excellent interview question and answer guides to go through before your next job interview.
Tough interview questions include:
Tell me something about yourself that's not in your resume
Top Interview Resources