What is the hardest interview question you've been asked and how did you answer it?
Also, did you get the job?
This is a really good question, because it makes one think. For me the question was "Why did you leave your last job?" When I left for advancement opportunity or for a more challenging role it's an easy response. However there have been instances when I found myself in a toxic work environment and I knew that moving on was the best thing for me but saying my boss was a tyrant or the people were miserable is not the best way to paint yourself when looking for a new opportunity. So my response was that "the role was not a good fit, as the reality of it was different than the picture painted during the hiring process. As a result, I have some questions for you about the work environment, daily responsibilities and your management style because I don't want to find myself in a similar position." I got them talking about the team, how they managed and what characteristics were best suited for the role. They key is to get them talking and ask probing questions so that when they reflect on the conversation, they like you for being honest and feel good about how you could fit into their team. YES, in every situation I was offered the role BUT because I asked those direct questions in a few I was able to see that it was not a good fit and did not take it. Remember any time you go to an interview, YOU ARE INTERVIEWING the company just like they are interviewing you!
A extra skill you can use is apply for job similar to what you want to do with no plans for working for that company. Use them as practice for a interview for the job your actually trying to get. Job fairs are another good way to get practice interviews for your dream job.
The hardest question in a job interview for me is " if you have to disagree with your boss, how would you handle the situation?" this is a tough one because they are not really looking for you to say that you would never put yourself in that situation because in reality it can happen. they want to see how you would handle in a respective way. I always respond that question saying that I would try to explain my feelings and my perspective to my boss and try to get to a point where we both can agree on something. we are all adults, and we should be able to handle these situations.
What interviewers are really interested in are the aspects not covered in your resume and how these align with the company's ethos. To truly impress an interviewer and get a step ahead, discuss your experiences in relation to the company's objectives or mission, explain why your skills are a perfect fit, and articulate why you're drawn to this particular company beyond the mere fact that they're hiring.
In my most recent interview, I shared a personal story about how the California healthcare system potentially saved my life when I was younger. Given that the company was in the healthcare sector, this resonated with them, and I landed the job!
I've always found the question, "What is your biggest weakness?" to be a tricky one. So, I suggest you ponder on it beforehand. This way, you'll be well-prepared to answer in a way that not only addresses the question, but also casts you in a favorable light. Remember, this question isn't about exposing your flaws.
What I usually do is turn the spotlight on my strengths and view them from a different angle to identify areas I could work on. Instead of focusing on your greatest weakness, why not take a look at your strengths and identify aspects that could use some polishing?
For instance, if you're a natural at teamwork, do you struggle when it comes to handling disagreements or taking on leadership roles? If you're someone who excels at the finer details, do you occasionally overlook the broader perspective? By approaching the question this way, you can turn a potential weakness into a strength-in-progress.
Personally I have found this question to be a very difficult one: "Tell me about a time when you failed."
This question is challenging because it requires you to be introspective and honest and what the interviewer is looking for is your ability to learn and grow from past mistakes. You can approach this question by following the STAR method as others have suggested, with a small tweak/addition at the end.
Situation: briefly describe the context and the project or task where you faced the challenge or failure.
Task: explain your role or responsibility in that situation and what was expected of you.
Action: talk about the actions you took, the decisions you made, and how they led to the challenge or failure. It's essential to take ownership of this part.
Result: discuss the outcome of the failure and the impact it had on the project or task.
Learning: This is the most crucial part. Here you want to emphasize what you learned from the failure, the steps you took to address it, and how you grew as a result.
Demonstrating self-awareness, adaptability and a willingness to learn from mistakes is key in answering this question. By focusing on the lessons learned, you can demonstrate that you can handle challenges gracefully and use them as opportunities for personal and professional development. It's essential to be genuine and transparent while maintaining a positive and constructive tone throughout the answer.
Hope this helps!
I find that whenever has stumped me, I usually go "hmmm" and then repeat the question back and that's usually enough for me to think of an answer.
If you ever stumped on a interview question, always try to relate the question back to something you're familiar with and that should usually make it easy to tie things together.
Hope that helps
A. Michelle Hawkins
A. Michelle’s Answer
1. Don’t focus on a weakness vital to doing the job for which you are interviewing.
2. Emphasize steps you have taken to address the weakness (e.g., enrolling in Toastmasters is public speaking or taking on assignments to learn more about an unfamiliar topic).
Yes, I did get the job.
For me, as a healthcare professional, I generally answer the question as such “my greatness weakness is that I care too much at times and can become too vested in situations at work. This causes me to bring stress home sometimes. This is something I’m actively working on correcting.”
I’ve been able to use this answer successfully in my interviews.
With any interview question, it takes a lot of practice!
As many have pointed out, always be prepared for the "what is your biggest weakness" question. Make sure to answer in a way that shows self-awareness and includes your plan for improving that weakness. It's not just about acknowledging your weakness but also demonstrating your commitment to growth and self-improvement.
Essentially the same format as the "Greatest weakness" question but phrased differently for you to think about how you would operate in company X
For me, i was caught completely off guard because my greatest weakness answer was always communication, but this question I think lends to a different type of answer - something like "i am very quiet at meetings"
This shows interviewer, 1. Are you honest about how you operate?, 2. Let them know what it would be to have you in the day-to-day job responsibilities