Tricky Interview Questions

Beware these tricky interview questions that can trip you up in your job interview. Some interview questions seem straightforward and easy to answer, others may have a hidden purpose.

Candidates waiting for a job interview with text "Tricky Interview Questions"

It is important that you know what the interviewer is looking for with these type of interview questions and be prepared with good interview answers that improve your chances of success.

Tricky Interview Questions & Answers

Use the sample answers to prepare your own convincing interview answers to these tough interview questions.

1. What is your dream job?

With this question the employer wants to find out a couple of things :

  • What type of  job are you really interested in?
  • How motivated are you to do this particular job? 
  • Are your just firing off applications for any job opening?
  • Does this job opportunity fit in with your career plans?

Make sure your interview answer is related to the position you are interviewing for and reassures the interviewer of your commitment and enthusiasm.

Make reference to the requirements of the job at hand and to aspects of the job that appeal to you. You can also focus on the company and industry in question.

To prepare your winning interview answer review the job posting and job description, use your background research on the company and think about what it is about the job that interests you.

Avoid specific job titles when answering this tricky interview question. Keep the focus on the responsibilities and skills of the position and the type of company culture that appeals to you.

"What is your dream job?" sample interview answer

2. What are your core values?

Employers ask this interview question to evaluate your fit with the culture of the company.  Are your core values in alignment with those of the organization? Consider your workplace values and personal values.

In general, a value is a principle that you believe is important in the way you live and work. Common core values include :

  • integrity
  • cooperation
  • accountability
  • commitment
  • reliability
  • quality-orientation
  • achievement
  • high standards
  • compassion
  • enthusiasm
  • loyalty
  • respect
  • hard work

Sample core values interview answer:

"What are your core values?" sample interview answer text

Interviewers may follow up with this question "Which one of our core values appeals to you and why?"

Research the company and find out the company mission statement and values so you can be prepared to answer this question with confidence.

Decide which of the company values you most identify with and why, when preparing to answer this interview question.

10 Common Core Company Values

  • accountability
  • honesty and integrity
  • respect and dignity
  • diversity
  • employee empowerment, development and growth
  • innovation and agility
  • transparency and trust
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • sustainability
  • customer-focused

Which of our company core values do you identify with?

List of company core values on blue background with wooden blocks with text Our Core Values

3. Describe yourself in one word

This is a really tricky interview question and needs some careful preparation. Think about the job and what qualities are most critical to perform it successfully. Which of those qualities most applies to you?

Examples of core indicators of job success include:

  • enthusiastic and motivated
  • organized and focused
  • dedicated and hard working
  • helpful and responsible
  • versatile and adaptable
  • determined and results-orientated

In your answer include an explanation of why you have selected that specific adjective to describe yourself. You need to back up your description with concrete examples.

"Describe yourself in one word?" sample interview answer text

For job candidates for little or no work experience this is a good sample interview answer.

"Describe yourself in one word" sample interview answer for entry level candidates

4. Is there anything else we should have asked you during the interview?

A number of job candidates get confused by this question. Simply put, the interviewer is asking candidates if they have anything else to add before the interview ends.

  • It is a good chance to mention anything that the interviewer has neglected to ask you and that is relevant to your suitability for the job.
  • In your interview answer focus on what else the employer should know that makes you a great fit for the position.
  • Avoid just repeating what has already been discussed and highlight a relevant fact that the interviewer genuinely does not know about yet.
"Is there anything else we should know?" sample interview answer text

Prepare for these interview questions and don't get caught off-guard. Employers will be keenly assessing how you deal with hard interview questions.

You can find a number of other tricky interview questions with sample interview answers at Tricky Interview Questions Part 2

Prepare for the Most Common Interview Questions and Answers


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