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How to answer tricky interview questions

Ever got the feeling that hiring managers try their best to trick you during an interview? If you’re thinking yes, you’re not alone. In fact, the whole point of interviews is to see how potential candidates respond when they’re put on the spot. Here’s a look at 5 of the trickiest interview questions and how you can best prepare yourself to answer them!

What annoys you in co-workers or managers?

You’re not a saint. We all get annoyed by others at one point or another. So, don’t even try and say “nothing”, because it’ll sound inauthentic. Your best bet here is to respond with something commonly disliked by most people. You could go with a dislike in pessimistic people or naysayers. Point out that you prefer people that act instead of complaining.


Tell me more about yourself.

This is one of the first interview questions you’ll be asked when meeting the hiring manager. And while it’s a great question in a social setup, it can be nerve-wracking in the interview. They don’t really care about your personality and beliefs. Instead, what they’re really asking is “Why should we appoint you?” Respond with a brief summary of relevant experience and education and don’t forget to mention the skills and achievements that’ll contribute to the job you’re applying for.

Why were you unemployed for so long?

Generally speaking, significant gaps in your career timeline can raise some red flags in the eyes of a hiring manager, but you can turn it into something positive. Explain that you’ve been developing your skills and relevant experience while waiting for the perfect fit. Mention any relevant experience you’ve gained while you were unemployed, like volunteering, because it’ll add value to your proposition.


What achievement are you most proud of?

This one is another one of the classic trick interview questions because the hiring manager is interested in work-related achievements. He or she probably doesn’t care about the fact that you just conquered a mountain or got your kid through high school. This is where you have to mention achievements that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Even if your achievements in your last job weren’t your genuine proudest moments, it will impress the hiring manager.

Why did you stay in the same position at your last job?

Whenever a hiring manager enquires about the fact that you were never promoted at your last job, pay attention because they’re trying to determine your worth. If you didn’t want to take on more responsibilities, explain that a promotion would have disrupted your work-life balance. On the other hand, if there weren’t any promotion opportunities on the table, tell them that’s the reason why you’re looking for a new job. Whatever your explanation is, make sure there are references that’ll back up your story.

 

Final thoughts

Interview questions can all seem like traps, but the most important thing to remember is that ALL your answers need to be relevant to the job you’re applying for. Don’t make it personal, and don’t tell them about your personal achievements. That’s not what interviews are for. Once you land the job, you can share more about yourself during happy hour!