5 Powerful Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Putting your best foot forward is essential in a job interview, where the margin of error is small and competition is fierce. Seeming confused or hesitant because of tough interview questions can ruin your potential employer’s first impression of you and sabotage any chance of you being hired. However, there are some simple strategies you can use to effectively answer these tough interview questions:

1. Why Should I Hire You?

One of the most frequently asked tough interview questions involves having to convince the interviewer that you are worth hiring. Being modest at this point is crucial, but not so much so that you come across as unsure of your own abilities. Determine which attributes and skills are most important from the job description and your discussion with the interviewer and emphasize these points. Explain how you are the best candidate for the job based on these qualities and back up your assertion with examples from your professional and personal life.

2. What Qualities Make You Successful?

There are two keywords that an interviewer wants to hear: “Initiative” and “Vision”. When you list the former, you are emphasizing that not only are you a team leader, but you are willing to pick up where others have left off and take it forward. When you say “Vision”, the interviewer sees ambition and a drive to move forward in a guided manner (i.e., you know where you’re going and how to get there).

3. Are You A Team Player?

Although this seems like a basic “Yes” or “No” question with an obvious answer, the way in which you respond is important. When you say “Yes”, make sure you have concrete examples ready. Talk about your college days, for example, if you played team sports or were a member of a club or other social group. Give examples from your previous jobs where you collaborated with others on different projects or simply played an active role in keeping a team running. Be as specific as possible.

4. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Most job postings do not mention the salary explicitly, which means you will have to do a little research on your own. One way is to contact the HR department and see if they can give you a rough idea of what to expect. If not, talk to others working in the same field and work out a figure. Once you have this in hand, you can answer the question without putting yourself out of their price range. Mention your current salary and emphasize how salary isn’t as important as gaining better opportunities for growth and professional exposure.

5. Tell Us A Little About Yourself.

The open nature of this question becomes an invitation to some people to start discussing their life history. Everything from their 10th grade play to the last movie they saw is discussed and you end up having a pleasant chat rather than an interview. Remember, you are there to show why you are an ideal candidate, not talk about your life. Prepare and rehearse an answer that runs for about four sentences. Explain what qualities make you a good person to hire and provide details of your background that could pique their interest.

By Tyrone Norwood