How to Handle These 4 Tough Job Interview Questions

Congratulations on landing an interview for your dream job! It’s time to let your potential employer know why you’re an outstanding candidate by finessing your answers to some tough, but typical, interview questions.

“Describe Your Setbacks or Weaknesses.”

While you’re trying to impress the interviewer with your strengths, they’ll naturally want to know about the areas where you still need to grow. Learn how to sound capable while talking about your weaker areas.

  1. Be moderate. Steer clear of anything so major that it would likely sink your chances of getting a job offer. Choose a flaw that’s significant, but not a deal-breaker.
  2. Focus on learning. Prove that you’ve learned from your past missteps. For example, maybe you once made an embarrassing typo in a proposal and are now a meticulous proofreader.
  3. Practice accountability. Take responsibility for your performance. Your employer is eager to know that you’ll stand behind your work and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
  4. Refer to tasks that will play a small role in your work responsibilities. For example, an accountant who struggles with public speaking raises less concern than one who has trouble with decimals.

“Discuss Your Greatest Strengths and Achievements.”

Listing your assets in an interview can be a delicate situation because you want to seem extraordinary without sounding arrogant.

  1. Remain relevant. Select qualities that are mission-critical. If you know your prospective boss launching a major capital campaign, let him know about your previous fundraising successes.
  2. Tell vivid stories. Create a personal connection by letting your enthusiasm shine through. Provide details that show exactly how you tackle a project.
  3. Distinguish yourself. You’ll be more desirable for the position you’re seeking if you can offer a unique benefit. Maybe you’re the only candidate who speaks three different languages or possesses all the desired professional certifications.

“What Salary Are You Hoping to Receive?”

Money matters can be tricky. A wise strategy will keep you under consideration without reducing your future earnings.

  1. Postpone negotiations. Let your interviewer know if your requirements are flexible. Salary may be just one factor in your decision-making. Consider the other benefits that matter to you.
  2. Speak in ranges. Politely ask the interviewer if they can provide their salary range first. If you mention your own figures, consider if you’ll really be happy with the low end of that range.
  3. Research your market. Find out what the going rate is for the opening you’re targeting. Knowledge will strengthen your bargaining position.

“What Questions Do You Have for Me?”

Many interviews conclude with an invitation for you to ask your own questions. Posing thoughtful questions will make you more memorable and strengthen your case for being a good fit for the job.

  1. Repeat your strengths. Use your questions to summarize and recap your qualifications. For example, asking about the organization’s social media strategy could help you call attention to your experience with Facebook campaigns.
  2. Be courteous. Watch for signs that the interviewer is looking to complete the session. Similarly, be tactful in approaching subjects that could be controversial to talk about. Your interviewer may be open to commenting on negative news stories about the organization or may want to avoid the topic altogether.
  3. Assess your prospects. Determine if you truly want the position. While it’s flattering to get any job offer, it’s a better use of everyone’s time to ascertain if this is an advantageous career move for you. Ask about the organizational culture, training opportunities, and plans for growth.

Respond to difficult interview questions with ease by rehearsing your answers in advance. You’ll impress your potential new employer with your confidence and accomplishments.