Interview questions can be deceptively simple, but don’t let your guard down.
At CH Solutions, we had a situation this week where a candidate went in for an interview, and the hiring manager told them to relax and that it was just an informal chat!
Unfortunately, the candidate was not offered the job, as we were told they lacked confidence and came across as unenthusiastic about the role. This was definitely not the case, which is what motivated me to write today’s article.
Please remember that interviews are not informal! Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security.
I’m not saying to have your guard up; I’m suggesting to remember that you are there to land a job, and if you want that job, you need to remain calm, professional, and put your best foot forward.
Even questions like “Tell me about yourself” can trip you up if you’re unprepared.
Recruiters and hiring managers often use these questions to probe deeper into your background and see how you react under pressure.
In today’s newsletter, I wanted to share 4 tricky interview questions that often get asked in an interview and how to answer them confidently.
I hope it prepares you for the interview!
Q1. “Tell me about yourself.”
This question seems safe enough, but it’s often a way for interviewers to see how well you can pitch yourself. Don’t just recite your resume or give too much personal history or a long, drawn-out life story (this isn’t a podcast). Instead, focus on your professional strengths and how they align with the position you’re applying for. Practice your pitch beforehand so that you’re confident, concise and ready to answer this question to the best of your ability.
Q2. “What’s your biggest weakness?”
This question can be tricky because you don’t want to appear incompetent or unprepared. But don’t give a fake answer like “I work too hard”, “I’m a perfectionist.” or “I’m a workaholic” Instead, be honest about a weakness you’re actively working to improve. Talk about concrete steps you’re taking to address it, like taking classes or seeking feedback from colleagues.
I thought about how I would answer this question. So here goes..;
“One of my biggest weaknesses in the past was public speaking. I used to get so nervous when presenting in front of groups, which sometimes affected my ability to communicate my ideas effectively. However, I recognised this weakness early on and have taken several steps to improve my public speaking skills. I have attended workshops, read books, and even joined a public speaking club called Toast Masters. Through working on my weaknesses, I have gained more confidence and feel much more comfortable speaking in front of groups. Of course, I still get nervous, but I’ve learnt to gain control of my nerves and see it as excitement instead of nervousness”.
How did I do?? Let me know in the comments below!
Q3. “Why do you want to work for us?”
This question lets interviewers see if you have researched the company and are genuinely interested in the position. Again, don’t give a generic answer like “I want to work for a successful, innovative company.” Instead, talk about specific aspects of the company that appeal to you, like its culture or values. Mention specific projects or initiatives that you’re excited to contribute to. This is also an opportunity to talk about the relevant experience you have gained from previous positions.
Q4. “What do you know about us?” or AKA… “Are you taking this interview seriously?”
This question is used by recruiters and hiring managers to gauge your interest in the job and the company. They want to know if you have taken the time to research their organisation and if you are genuinely invested in the position.
To answer this question confidently, you need to prepare beforehand.
Research the company’s website, social media accounts, and news articles to better understand its operations, brand, and values.
By demonstrating your knowledge of the company, you can show that you are taking the interview seriously and are genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Not researching the company before an interview is honestly one of the biggest mistakes I have seen people make in my ten years of recruitment. We don’t have many interviews in our lifetime, so there is no excuse not to do your research and do your best.
By anticipating and practising your responses to these tricky questions, you can confidently approach your interview, impress your potential employer, and, more importantly, land that job!
Remember to be honest, concise, and prepared to show how you’re the right fit for the job.