Interviewers often deliberately try to pose difficult, challenging questions to candidates during interviews. They can ask in-depth questions on the applicant’s past experiences and qualifications, create hypothetical situations where candidates have to problem solve and come up with solutions, enquire about the applicant’s motives and reasons for applying to the role, etc. So, when it comes to preparing for job interviews, applicants have to do thorough research and prepare for unexpected out-of-the-box questions as much as possible.
Your employer will try to test you to see how quickly and accurately you are able to respond to tough interview questions in a coherent, well-structured, and articulate way. Remember to stay calm and collected and regulate your breathing when answering tricky questions in a job interview, and there’s no need to get yourself in a panic. Try and answer the question to the best of your ability. Read on to learn more in our guide on how to prepare for difficult interview questions.
Research the Employer and the Role Before the Interview
When applying to an employer, researching their company values, mission, and goals is essential to know what to say and how to make a good impression. In your preparations, you need to realize what they may be looking for and what will make them tick.
You also need to do plenty of research into the job role and what it will require you to do on a day-to-day basis and possess a good knowledge of the industry in question in the hope of impressing the interviewer.
Provide Facts and Figures on Your Professional Achievements
Your future employer will want to hear positive examples of your achievements in previous jobs. Prepare by having in mind facts and figures which clearly back up your professional achievements.
For instance, an applicant to a Sales Manager position should highlight their successes as a Sales Manager with their current or previous employer(s). Using facts and figures will help to back up your professional achievements and any claims you make to an interviewer about being a highly competent candidate and an ideal applicant for the role.
Provide Examples of How You’ve Dealt with Challenging Situations
Employers these days tend to ask you questions concerning previous examples of challenging situations you have faced, and how you have managed to overcome them. To stay one step ahead, before the interview, practice recalling examples of how you have dealt with tricky situations at work in the past through the look, cover, write check technique with post-it notes or revision cards.
Learn to Think on Your Feet
In an interview, you may need to think on the spot and improvise, as they may ask tough probing questions which take a lot of thought to answer in a way that impresses your interviewer. You may be asked things such as: what are examples of work-related tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing? To learn more about providing a great answer on work tasks that you dislike doing, that will show your interviewer you’re a top candidate, take a look at this article where the reputable career coaching platform Placement breaks down this interview question.
Many job roles in 2022 require flexible, quick thinking. Therefore, you have to try and prepare as much as possible for any curveballs or unexpected questions an interviewer may ask you. Remember to think about some of your key weaknesses, as well as your strengths as an employer know that nobody is perfect. Being able to address points for improvement will show the interviewer you are self-aware, and willing to improve. However, during the interview, you must make sure you get across to the interviewer that your strengths as a professional greatly outweigh any of your weaknesses.
Time Your Answers When Rehearsing for an Interview
An interviewer may find what you are saying and your train of thought difficult to follow and become disinterested if your answers take too long, and if you are spending a long-time talking about things that are irrelevant to the job role. To combat waffling on during the interview, perhaps practice rehearsing for the interview by using a timer to limit the amount of time you have to answer certain questions.
Keeping your answers in an interview relatively short and succinct will help to keep your interviewer engaged and interested in listening to what you are saying. Timing your practice responses may improve your performance during the interview and make you come across much better to the interviewer.
Preparing for a challenging job interview is always demanding. No matter how much you prepare, it’s still likely that the interviewer could create a hypothetical dilemma and ask you to use your problem-solving skills to find the best solution for a demanding job role. Yet, there are many things you can do to prepare for particularly testing job interviews.
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