5 Tips to Answer Tough Interview Questions Successfully

Preparing for an interview can be quite an anxious and stressful experience. It starts right from dressing impeccably, to making sure you are ready and confident to answer a variety of questions. While technical questions are slightly easier to navigate, answering behavioral questions can be challenging. Especially so because it is impossible to know what questions you may be asked, and behavioural questions are often weighted heavier.

Our tips below can help you to answer some of the toughest questions successfully.

1. Preparation

How to answer the “3 strengths or weaknesses” interview question? You practice ahead of time.

Thanks to today’s wealth of internet resources, books, podcasts and videos, candidates can look for simple and effective ways to form responses. Look for commonly asked questions, review sample responses or techniques and form your personal responses. Once they are ready, make sure to practice them.

If you are one of those who tend to get nervous in interviews or have a problem thinking on your feet, brainstorming your response ahead of time can help you to know in advance what you will be saying. While memorizing a response may seem viable, it can make you sound too rehearsed.

2. Follow with an example

Citing examples always adds credibility to your answer. Make sure to include an example of your work with your answer. Provide a detailed answer by highlighting points that speaks about your accomplishments, initiatives, and reactions.

Questions like, “Why did you leave your previous job?” or “What you can bring to my company?” help your employer to know how you’ll handle the various situations while working for them.  Your answers provide an opportunity to assess your abilities. Following your answer statement with suitable examples provides a concrete demonstration of your skills in action.

3. Discuss what you’re proud of

It is natural to display more enthusiasm when you are speaking about your accomplishment or something you are proud about. Although you still need to maintain a professional tone, the ability to answer tricky interview questions with an example you’re proud of depicts that you are enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated to your work.

Whether you’re discussing your career plan for the next three- to five-years or giving them the right reasons to hire you, showcase yourself in a way that highlights your best abilities. Then, combine that response by reflecting on how the examples relate to the role. Adding specific details helps to strengthen your answer.

4. Turn your negative experience into a positive opportunity

Questions like “describe a stressful situation that you faced in your work” or “how did you react to a difficult boss or colleague” are likely to bring out some negative sides of your behavior. It is best to use this opportunity to follow up with how you improved the situation.

Negative experience questions may not make you look your best, but you want your employer to know that you are an honest and competent candidate. Hence, make sure to finish your response by discussing what you learned from this failure. Discuss the steps you took to ensure the situation wouldn’t happen again. Also, talk about what you would do differently to resolve such an issue in future. This highlights your ability to learn from past negative experiences.

5. Pause for time

You may have prepared for the most commonly asked questions. But sometimes, you may be asked something you are not quite ready to answer.

If you find yourself struggling to give a spontaneous response, focus on finding your response by either asking the employer to repeat the question or even repeating the question aloud yourself. If this doesn’t help, ask for clarification. It’s okay to pause and collect your thoughts. In fact, many interviewers are totally okay with candidates requesting a moment to think before answering a question.

Having a ready inventory of question and answers and reading them before every interview will help you answer even the toughest interview questions with confidence. For more information and tips on writing resume, feel free to contact us.

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