Interviewing

Tough Interview Questions

While some interview questions are relatively easy to answer, some can be more challenging. Some potential stumpers follow:

What Is a Weakness of Yours?

This is a classic job interview question for which you should always prepare in advance. One strategy is to take a negative trait and make it sound like an asset. For example, say you thrive on meeting deadlines and sometimes stick to a project until it is done according to your specifications, which may cause you to work late nights. Another option is to talk about a weakness that's not too critical to the job. For example, if you're interviewing for an accounting position, you might discuss your discomfort with public speaking. Of course, any weakness you bring up should be one you're working on, and you should be able to say what steps you're taking to make progress in your weaker areas.

How Would you Describe Your Last Boss?

Take care with your response to this kind of question. Never bad-mouth a prior boss, or employer, or company in an interview. Answer briefly in a way that indicates respect and your ability to get along with superiors.

How Would You Deal with a Strong Personality?

It might be helpful in this case to ask for a bit of clarification. When you're clear on the question, provide a response, and then inquire why the interviewer is asking. This may give you some insight into the dynamics of the work environment and important information that may alter your interest level in the position.

Tell Me About Yourself.

Often the first "warm-up" question in a job interview, this is one you should always be prepared for. An effective approach is to briefly cover what you consider your most marketable attributes for the job being considered, and to comment about how this job would be a logical and desirable next step in your career development. Think about the question as if it were: "Tell me about the strengths that have brought you this far and how this job is the best next step."