Tricky Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

by Sep 12, 2018

Interview questions are meant to trip us up. Even the seemingly “simple” questions can catch us off guard, and we end up giving an answer we wish we hadn’t.

So many interview questions seem to be universal, so why do they still boggle us, and what are the “right” answers? Ashley Sanford wrote a great article outlining some of the most common interview questions and how to ace them. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below, but we recommend reading the full article here.

  • What are your strengths?: People tend to have a hard time with this one because it’s not always so easy to talk about yourself. What Sanford recommends is to of course gear your answers toward the job your interviewing for. For example, if you’re interviewing for an Administrative Assistant job, you’ll want to mention that you’re detail-oriented, organized, and that you communicate well. Try to stick to 2-3 strengths, and always have an example from another job (the more recent the better) where you used this strength.
  • What are your weaknesses?: A similar, but even more challenging question than asking for your strengths. This one is tough, because it seems wrong to tell your potential employer where you need to improve. The best method to handle this is to think of a “weakness” that isn’t central to the job. The more vague, the better. When you tell them this example, frame it in a way that you’ve been aware of it and have taken steps to improve. That way, they’ll know you’ve put thought into the answer and that you’re self-aware enough to recognize where you need to improve.
  • Why do you want this job?: Hiring managers are always concerned about retention, and they’ll do their best to weed out candidates who see it as “just a job”. For this one, make sure you talk about the company itself, their mission, and how you can contribute to that position. It’s good to mention the job functions too, but if you focus on the company, they’ll know you want to be there for more than just the job. Make them believe that this placement would benefit you AND them.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

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