Six tough interview questions

If you do land in the ‘hot seat’ be prepared for these six potential trip wires. 

1: Why should we hire you?

After the usual questions like where you heard about the job and what you know about the company, the interviewers may very well land this one on you. Be prepared. This could be the foundation of your interview success. Make sure you can explain that not only can you do the job and deliver excellent results but you will also fit in with the team and the culture and the reasons why you are a better hire than anyone else. Be creative but be honest. Don’t brag. Memorably sell your skills.

2: What are your weaknesses?

Don’t say: “I’m a bit of a perfectionist”. The key to this question is simple. You should strike a balance between something you struggle with but are working to improve. For example, you can say you don’t like speaking in front of large audiences but have been arranging regular team meetings to help you become more comfortable addressing groups of people.

“Do your homework. Be able to give a simple but effective action plan.”

3: Where do you see yourself in five years?

What a horrible question, but interviewers still use it. Why? Because it’s meant to show if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career and you have ambition. The best way to deal with this question is to think about how it aligns with some of your broader professional goals. You can say something like: “I’m very excited about this position with ‘Bright Ball Energy’ because in five years I will be seen as someone with deep expertise in the renewable sector. I know this is something that I’ll have a chance to achieve here.”

tough interview questions baby

4: Why are you leaving your current job?

A tough one to answer with any real honesty. The reasons people want to leave a job for another are simple. The new job offers more money, better conditions, is closer to where they live and their current employer isn’t allowing them to progress in any meaningful way. It’s important not to trash your current employer, however. You could say something like: “My current role is great, but I’ve been working at it for three years now. This opportunity is one that I’ve been waiting for, and I believe the cultural dynamics of this business are a much better fit for me.”

5: What would you do in your first week on the job?

It’s tempting to say, “Whatever you want me to”. However, don’t. Do your homework. Be able to give a simple but effective action plan. For example, you could say something like: “I think a great project to start with would be a deep dive into your email marketing campaigns. I could split test the campaigns into week two and see what’s working and build out a more comprehensive strategy.”
It’s good to be prepared for these types of questions as it shows you can deliver an immediate impact.

6: Do you have any questions for us?

Here we are assuming that you know the salary scale of the job before the interview. ‘Do you have any questions for us’ is a real stickler. It’s usually the last question of the interview, and at this stage, you’ll be sick and tired of talking about yourself. So, be prepared. Four questions to ask the interviewer(s) include:
1: What’s your favourite part of working here?
2: What can you tell me about your new products or your strategy for growth?
3: What are the most significant challenges that someone in this position would face?
4: How would you describe the company’s culture?