The top 6 toughest interview questions - and how to answer them

We have all been there, the employer has asked a really difficult question and you don’t know how to answer it in the right way. We’ve created a list of some the toughest interview questions and how to answer them. Remember, you must practise for job interviews, whether on the phone or in person, to improve your chances of being selected for the role.

What is your biggest weakness?

Although your natural instinct in an interview is to keep your flaws hidden, you must answer in a positive fashion. Some would say ‘perfection’ is their biggest weakness as it is positive flaw to have. Others may say they like to take the lead, and see themself as more of a leader in a team. Avoid saying something like “I’m forgetful” or “I get bored easily” as this may come across wrong in interview. Moreover, perhaps add how to aim to improve on your weakness or how you overcome it in the workplace.

What motivates you?

This is tricky question and employers are looking for answers relevant to the role, for example if you’re putting yourself forward for a sales role, money should be the main motivator. If you’re working in an IT support position you may want to say staying up to date with technology and helping resolve issues. Although altruistic characteristics are beneficial to every job role, make sure your answer is relevant. Focus on what you enjoy doing and why, and if it supports the job role, even better.

How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks?

Provide insight into your strategies and tactics for keeping organised, whether it is a ‘to-do’ list or form of triage system. You must be prepared to answer according to the role, such as IT Support, you may want to say working on the quick resolutions in order to dedicate time for longer fixes. Prepare to describe an example of a project or task you have successfully prepared for.

Give an example of when you’ve shown initiative

This is a difficult, but great question, as it enables you to talk about your experiences and play to your strengths. Make sure it relates to an action you’ve taken and the successful outcome. If you can, explain how you arose to that solution and mention if it was through your own initiative or team collaboration.

Where do you expect to be in 5 years time?

This is a common question and the answer must relate to working at that company - you’d be surprised how many don’t say they see themselves working for that company. Most employers want someone for the long run, after all they’re training you and nurturing your talents. Demonstrate you have researched the role and understand your chosen career path and where it can take you, for example, working in first line support to be promoted to second, third and then network support. Specific details about where you see yourself with the company will work to your favour. Be enthusiastic about the role, show your understanding of it, but don’t be arrogant or presumptuous.

Why should we choose you for this role?

This is alo a great question and again it is one where you can play to your strengths. What makes you different from the competition? What makes your skills and knowledge beneficial to the company? Why are you an asset? This is not an invitation to boast, but it is an opportunity to speak about your experience and your fit for the role. Match your expertise to not only the role, but the company as well, and state how you can see yourself working there for years to come.

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