It’s pretty much always the case that the hardest questions you’ll have to answer in a job interview are also the most common. Understanding how to tackle them without hesitation will put you ahead of every other applicant. 

 

We’ve put together a brief list of some of the most common and most difficult interview questions that you’ll come across. Let’s find out the best way of approaching them. 

 

Tell me about yourself 

 

Ok, so perhaps not a question in the proper sense, but still a tricky one to tackle. Usually a candidate will use this time to ramble on about their personality and non-relevant hobbies and interests, which are completely unrelated to the job they are applying for. Avoid this at all costs. 

 

Instead, try to word your response as a slightly more detailed version of your CV. Elaborate on a bit more of your early life, education, work history and recent relevant work experiences. 

 

But don’t get carried away. Keep your response to about one or two minutes in length. This is usually an opening question, so you’ll have the opportunity to provide further details as the interview process continues. 

 

 

What are your weaknesses?

 

The best way to approach this one is always with a positive. Being self-deprecating in an interview situation may seem a little strange and counter-intuitive, but it’s valuable information for the interviewer to understand how you deal with your own shortcomings. 

 

Explain what you struggle with, for example impatience, and then go into detail about how you overcome this weakness. Focusing on how you manage this shows you ability to improve and grow within the company you’re applying for. 

 

 

What was wrong with your last employer?

 

The interviewer will want to know why you’re leaving behind a perfectly good job in order to join their company. Your answer will help them to understand what you expect from the job role and whether or not that’s something their company could provide. 

 

Remember DO NOT use this as a chance to bad-mouth your old job. Nothing is less attractive to an employer than someone who shifts blame onto others.

 

Instead, express a desire to move on, evolve and take on a new challenge. Spin your response to reflect the positive aspects of the job you’re applying for, and how it will help you develop your career. 

 

 

Have you ever had to work with a difficult person?

 

The response to this type of competency styled question will show what kind of person you are to work with. 

 

As with the weaknesses questions, this will test your ability to overcome adversity. Recall a specific time, and elaborate on how you dealt with it. Talk about what you learnt from the experience, and how it has improved your interpersonal skills. 


You will be expected to work alongside different people within your role, so it’s important that you’re able to demonstrate how well you work as part of a team. 

 

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

 

This is an extremely popular question that interviewers like to ask. It tests your research abilities and your general knowledge of the career path you’ve chosen. 

 

They won’t want to hear about how much you love the company and want to work there forever, but neither do they want to hear an answer that is unrelated to the job itself. 

 

Make sure your response incorporates your own skills and experience with your career aspirations, and relate this to what the company does and how you could thrive within it. This will make you look enthusiastic and well-versed in your chosen industry. 


 

What should I hire you?

 

Usually the final question, it’s a chance to sell yourself as the absolute best choice for the role - so it’s crucial you rehearse what you’re going to say. 

 

Often it’s this very common question that catches people out because they don’t read the job description carefully enough and fail to go into any relevant detail about why they are the best person to choose for the job. 

 

Make sure that you carry out research on the position - nail down the responsibilities and link them to your own expertise and past experiences to prove you are the best candidate, as opposed to just vaguely passionate. 


 

Being confident, honest and doing a bit of research will take you far in any interview. There’s no reason you couldn’t answer these questions as long as you do your homework on the business and know exactly why you’re the best possible candidate for the job.

 

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