5 Scary Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Most people are afraid of the interview process and interview questions.
Here are five challenging interview questions that are often asked. If you are ready to answer these questions, you’ve got nothing to fear.
- Tell me about yourself.
Every interview usually starts off with this question. Your answer shapes your first impression to the company.
Research the company and position and then identify what the employer wants to hear from you.
Prepare a story in a way that shows you have the skills to get the job done. Practice an “elevator pitch”!
Do: Focus on your professional experience related to the job post.
Don’t: Talk about your life story or go over every experience you have had.
- Why should we hire you?
When answering this question, you need to prove why the employer should hire you over other candidates.
In other words, convince your employer what makes you the best fit for this position.
Focus on your unique skills that other candidates might not have. This is the opportunity to sell yourself and impress the employer.
Do: Focus on your accomplishments and unique skills
Don’t: Talk about irrelevant skills and experience to the job
- What is your biggest weakness?
This one (or some variation of it) is one of the most hated interview questions.
Everyone has weaknesses and strengths. Trying to say that you don’t have any weaknesses or areas for improvement will make you look bad.
There is a way to make a negative answer here sound positive. Analyze the essential skills for the position and target a weakness you have that you’ve been working on, or one that you could work on.
You may talk about the skills you have improved. This way, you can show that you put in effort to overcome your weakness and you can improve when necessary.
Do: Show that you acknowledge your weakness and you are trying to overcome
Don’t: Discuss the weakness that is critical for the job
- What is your salary expectation?
This question is tricky and comes with a challenge. However, it’s a good sign if this topic comes into the conversation.
It illustrates that the employer is “interested” in hiring you. Keep in mind that the employer is still feeling you out and comparing you with other candidates.
Research the going rate for the position and for people with your level of skills and expertise.
You don’t want to say too high or too low. If you tell the price outside of their expectations, you will be removed from the list of potential candidates. If you go too low, the employer might think you are desperate to get a job and under-qualified for the job.
Do: Provide a salary range that you are comfortable with and understand the benefit package offered
Don’t: Give a specific number and negotiate during an early stage of hiring process
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The intent of this question is to understand more about your career goals so that they can hire someone who is motivated, works hard, and is likely to stay with a company long enough.
If the employer thinks succeeding in the role is important for your long-term goals, they will also think you are more likely to put in effort and try to succeed.
This will reflect positively on you and the employer will be more likely to hire you compared to another candidate who seems less invested.
Employers invest a lot of time, money and energy in hiring and training a new employee so they want to know if you are worth their investment.
Do: Stress your interest in being a long-term employee with the company
Don’t: Let the employer know that you are more interested in a different company or that you don’t intend to stay with them for the next five years
Go over these questions and practice delivering your “elevator pitch”.
Always keep in mind that your answers should be consistent with the company and position. Be confident and enthusiastic when you present to the employer.