Getting to the interview stage can be a feat in itself – but now you have a whole new set of challenges to pass through. Interviews are nerve racking for many people, and some are tougher than others. These days you may be asked to attend two or three interviews before you’re offered a position, so it’s essential that you feel confident in these situations.
Nevertheless, it’s easier said than done! It’s only natural to feel nervous before and during an interview, so don’t worry about it too much. Preparation is key, so do your homework on the company and the industry news to show the interviewers you know your stuff. You can also try and prepare by practicing typical questions with a friend so you don’t have to panic and think on the spot during the questioning.
It’s always a good idea to have a think about how you would respond to difficult questions. You might not just be expected to talk about your skills and past experience – there may be a few curveballs to throw you off. We’ve rounded up some of the most common difficult interview questions and how most interviewers will be wanting you to respond.
This can be a difficult one to answer successfully if you quit your job without being offered another position. If you left to go travelling, to become a carer for a relative or to relocate then this shouldn’t be an issue. Whatever the reason, be careful that your answer doesn’t make you unfavourable – for example don’t slate your last employer or say you didn’t enjoy the role.
Nobody’s perfect, and many employers want you to be able to identify your weaknesses and how you can improve on them. This question is best answered with a professional weakness (rather than I always forget to put the bins out). However, you don’t want to put a negative light on your candidacy for the job, so always try and focus on your strengths. Name a weakness but tell them how you are working on it.
This is a very popular question to gauge what an interviewee wants out of life. Are they career focused, or are they likely to start a family or go travelling? There’s no right or wrong answer, but what the interviewers won’t want to hear is “I don’t know.” That says you don’t have a plan and don’t really care about what job you’re going to have for the near future.
Most interviews will include at least one of these questions. The employer wants concrete evidence that you can offer the right skills and traits for the position. It might be an example of a time you have offered excellent customer service, or a time you have showed initiative. If they don’t mention that it has to be in a professional environment, then you can use any achievement outside of work too. Have a few of these under your belt as it can be difficult to identify these situations straight away.