Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Handle Tough Interview Questions

Landing an interview is a big step along the way to securing that perfect position, but it should not be considered an end result. Now that Mr. or Ms. hiring manager has agreed to meet with you face to face, it is time to put the finishing touches on your ‘A’ game. Most interviewers do not ask you to repeat information on your application. Requests for an inventory of strengths and weaknesses are considered passé. They want to dig deeper and discover hidden attributes or undisclosed flaws— unveiling the core of the applicant. A few of these tricky queries are presented below with some actual responses that can result in smooth sailing.

  • How have you handled a problem with a previous supervisor?

Response: One former supervisor enjoyed probing into the personal lives of staff members during meetings. He preferred these side trips to discussing company business. We all felt uncomfortable discussing relationships and intimate family information, but we did not want to refuse to participate for fear of reprisals. Finally, in a private meeting, I explained our feelings. He said he thought he was putting everyone at ease by encouraging conversation about matters not related to the job. When I assured him that his approach had the opposite effect, he discontinued the practice immediately.

  • How have you dealt with an angry customer?

Response: I once had a call from a customer who was threatening to cancel services because his equipment had stopped working for the third time in two weeks. I allowed him to discuss the details of the situation. I empathized with him and assured him that his feelings were reasonable. He soon became less intense and began to understand that I truly wanted to find a solution that would be mutually acceptable. He no longer saw me as an adversary, but as someone who sincerely wanted to assist him. He did not end up canceling his service.

  • How will this company benefit if we hire you?

Response: This company needs more people on board who have had actual hands-on experience inspecting homes. In addition to having the necessary licenses, I have built my own home and worked as a contractor for a number of years. I have current references that will vouch for my knowledge and integrity.

  • What motivates you to be your best each day?

Response: My commitment to achievement is my prime directive. My goal is to continue to learn all that I can about this position and to seize every opportunity to advance.

  • What type of work environment is conducive to your success?

Response: I am able to focus on my duties in any environment. Whether it is a high traffic area where things are constantly in motion or a more tranquil setting where no one speaks above a whisper and the hum of the air conditioning unit is the only sound in the building, I am able to meet my objectives.

Perhaps some of these examples will help you in your interview when a hiring manager or an employer throws a difficult interview question your way. Good luck!

What is a tough interview question you experienced in an interview and how did you answer it? Let us know in the comments section below! We love to hear about your experiences.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Interview Questions Etc

Adrienne Jones

Adrienne Jones has worked as a freelance author, ghost writer, copy editor and writing coach for several years. She is the author of “Rhymes of Death”—a mystery novel and “Bible Theories”—a critical synopsis of biblical text. Her work has been published in various print and online media sources. She specializes in movie reviews, feature articles and artist profiles.

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