How to answer common difficult interview questions

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From a practical point of view, you should focus less on where you will be physically or practically in five years, and more on what you plan to learn by then, and how that might add to your ensemble. skills.

Bad interview questions are the gold standard. Most of the recruiting professionals we spoke with said this is a question they would never ask these days. Although that doesn’t mean other employers won’t, as you’ve probably seen by now. That’s not to say it won’t appear in other forms. Questions like “Tell me about a time when you failed and what you learned from it”, for example, offer an alternative to getting the same information.

If you encounter this question, your first reaction might be to answer the question pointing out a weakness that is actually a strength: “I work too hard” or “I am a perfectionist”. Do not do it. “Both seem insincere,” Ms. Sailing said.

Instead, look for ways to pick up on a real weakness, even a small one, and focus on the ways you are trying to correct it. This is not the occasion to stress that you are chronically late or often absent. Instead, focus on smaller, more manageable weaknesses and what you’re doing to fix them. “If you have to answer this question, you want to answer it as part of the pursuit of opportunities for personal improvement and growth,” Ms. Sailing said. If I had to answer this question, I would point out that I have a terrible time estimating how long it will take me to complete a project, and that leads me to take on more work than I can handle. To remedy the problem, I’m currently taking a course on Udemy, an online education platform, to learn how to better manage my time and workflow.

Mr. Edward agrees. He told us that he would be “looking for a candidate to show me how he could have addressed his weaknesses and created solutions to be successful in a previous position”. Microsoft calls it “learning agility,” and Mr. Edward said it was an attractive trait to anyone it interviewed.

Alternatively, you can always report faults that are not related to the job. If you are applying for a job as a software developer, for example, you can mention that you are not particularly good at public speaking. This would not often be a deciding factor, as public speaking skills are usually not associated with software development.

Ms. Sailing and Mr. Edward both stressed the importance of turning an interview into a dialogue. It shouldn’t sound like an interrogation, but a conversation. Look for ways to share the interest, even asking questions to find out more about the company or position.


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