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10 most difficult interview questions answered

Forbes Forbes 20/01/2016

1. Why Should I Hire You?

The most overlooked question is also the one most candidates are unprepared to answer. This is often because job applicants don't do their homework on the position. Your job is to illustrate why you are the most qualified candidate. Review the job description and qualifications very closely to identify the skills and knowledge that are critical to the position, then identify experiences from your past that demonstrate those skills and knowledge.

2. Why Is There A Gap In Your Work History?

Employers understand that people lose their jobs and it's not always easy to find a new one fast. When answering this question, list activities you've been doing during any period of unemployment. Freelance projects, volunteer work or taking care of family members all let the interviewer know that time off was spent productively.

3. Tell Me One Thing You Would Change About Your Last Job

Beware over sharing or making disparaging comments about former coworkers or supervisors, as you might be burning bridges. But an additional trouble point in answering this query is showing yourself to be someone who can't vocalize their problems as they arise. Why didn't you correct the issue at the time? Be prepared with an answer that doesn't criticize a colleague or paint you in an unflattering light. A safe scapegoat? Outdated technology.

4. Tell Me About Yourself

People tend to meander through their whole resumes and mention personal or irrelevant information in answering--a serious no-no. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. Don't waste your best points on it. And keep it clean--no weekend activities should be mentioned.

5. Explain A Complex Database To Your Eight-Year-Old Nephew

Explaining public relations, explaining mortgages, explaining just about anything in terms an eight-year-old can understand shows the interviewer you have solid and adaptable understanding of what it is they do. Do your homework, know the industry and be well-versed.

6. What Would The Person Who Likes You Least In The World Say About You?

Highlight an aspect of your personality that could initially seem negative, but is ultimately a positive. An example? Impatience. Used incorrectly this can be bad in a workplace. But stressing timeliness and always driving home deadlines can build your esteem as a leader. And that's a great thing to show off in an interview.

7. Tell Me About A Time When Old Solutions Didn't Work

The interviewer is trying to identify how knowledgeable you are in today's work place and what new creative ideas you have to solving problems. You may want to explore new technology or methods within your industry to be prepared for. Twitter-phobes, get tweeting. Stat.

8. What's The Biggest Risk You've Ever Taken?

Some roles require a high degree of tenacity and the ability to pick oneself up after getting knocked down. Providing examples of your willingness to take risks shows both your ability to fail and rebound, but also your ability to make risky or controversial moves that succeed.

9. Have You Ever Had A Supervisor Challenge A Decision?

Interviewers are looking for an answer that shows humility--and the ability to take direction. The anecdote should be telling, but it's the lesson learned, not the situation, that could land you the job.

10. Describe A Time When Your Team Did Not Agree

Questions pertaining to difficulties in the past are a way for employers to anticipate your future behavior by understanding how you behaved in the past and what you learned. Clarify the situation succinctly and explain what specific action you took to come to a consensus with the group. Then describe the result of that action.

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