How To Keep Tough Interview Questions From Ruffling Your Feathers

You’ve won the employer over with your cover letter and resume, now the challenge really begins with the interview. How you present yourself, respond to questions, and build rapport will leave the most important impression an employer uses to decide whether or not you are the one for the job. Related: How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions Yes, there will be the usual questions like, “Tell me about your experience at XYZ Company,” but the questions that really ruffle feathers include, “Tell me about a time you faced a challenge and how you addressed it on the job,” “What’s your weakness?” or the employer may present its own scenario to see how you respond. Often, interviewers ask these questions not only to look at your answer, but also to see how you react under pressure. Here’s some tips and guidance around the tough areas of the interview.

Talking about weaknesses

Nobody likes to talk about their weaknesses – it’s awkward. Find ways to turn what’s negative into positive, but remember that employers are not fooled by the canned answers like “I work too hard.” So, when you speak of a weakness, discuss what you’ve done to improve in that area or what you have learned so it’s no longer a perceived weakness.

Answering behavioral questions

Employers want to know how you think so they may ask you behavioral type questions like “Tell me how you would handle catching an employee stealing credit for their peer’s work” or “How would you count the number of manhole covers in New York City?" There are no real right answers here, they just want to see how you think and approach issues. In these cases, feel free to work your response out in front of them so they can see your thinking pattern.

Talking about holes in your resume

A period of unemployment is not uncommon. Rather than focus on unemployment, focus your discussion on valuable experiences during that time period. It may include volunteer work, additional training and education, or travel experiences. Always find ways to tie the experience with things you learned that’ll be beneficial to the job. And there is nothing wrong with stating that you are selective and didn’t just jump to accept any job.

Talking about departure

Whether you are no longer employed at your own will or because you were fired, just remember to not answer with blame or negativity. Focus your answer in a positive light, whether that means saying you’ve valued the experiences provided and are looking to expand on it with new experiences, or that you were fired due to XYZ and you’ve learned from that experience. The job may also not have been the right fit because it required expertise in ABC, but you’ve come to realize your real expertise lies in another area – state an area for the job you are interviewing for. To perform well in an interview, always respond in a positive light that further demonstrates why you are the one for the job.

Want to work with the #1 Rated Resume Writing Service in 2013 and 2014?

If you want to cut your job search time and make sure your resume is noticed, then check out our Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call me at 800.909.0109 for more information.

Related Posts

8 Simple Interview Questions To Ask Hiring Managers #1 Interview Question You Must Answer Correctly What Your Interview Body Language Reveals About You

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013 & 2014. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less