The 4 Toughest Interview Questions (And How To Answer Them)

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Interview questions can be tough, and coming up with the right answers on the spot can be just as daunting. Here are some of the tougher questions you may be asked and a possible answer for each. Before your interview, make sure that you practice being asked questions and responding. Try not to sound too rehearsed.

Why should I hire you?

This questions seems easy, because you think you are best for the job, but the interviewer will want more than that. The best way to answer this question is to first read the job description and then provide an answer using the skills that they asked for in the ad. Liz Ryan, a contributor to Forbes magazine, suggests saying something specific such as, “Fantastic question! I get excited about a new job when it seems to hold a challenge that is close to what I’ve done before, but a step forward — otherwise I’d be repeating what I’ve already done before. My take based on our conversation so far is that your sales leads are getting stuck somewhere between the trade show floor, where prospects are excited, and the live call from a sales rep to the prospect – and that blockage is costing you money and potentially losing you customers to other vendors.” (Obviously, your specific response will vary).

READ: Questions You Shouldn't Answer on an Interview

What is your biggest weakness?

Interviewers want to know what strengths you bring to the table, but they also want to know your weaknesses. Don’t listen to most career experts who say to take a strength you have and present it like a weakness. For example, “I’m much too hard on myself and want my work to be perfect.” Interviewers can see right through that you didn’t quite answer the question. Instead, choose a weakness that you actually have and let your interviewer know what you are doing to improve it. However, do not choose a weakness that would eliminate you from the position. For example, many travel jobs are reliant on computers, so don’t say “I really am weak on computer skills, but hope that I can take a course to help me improve.”

A better option might be, “I need to slow down and evaluate my options before making a decision.”

What didn’t you like about your last job?

Sharon Rossignuolo, an Online Business English Coach and founder of Welcome BE, said that when describing either yourself, your experiences or your previous jobs, think of all the positive adjectives you can use:  Adaptable, amicable, communicative, creative, decisive, courageous, conscientious, determined, enthusiastic, energetic, easygoing, diplomatic, dynamic, friendly, generous, hard-working, helpful, honest, innovative, intelligent, kind, intellectual, independent, optimistic, patient, persistent, passionate, practical, proactive, resourceful, sincere, sociable, willing.

There is a two-year period that you didn’t work. What happened?

Gaps in unemployment can happen. Perhaps you were laid off or moved between jobs. The best way to answer this question is to explain what you were doing when you were not working, whether it was taking care of family, moving or even freelancing. Perhaps you took a course or read up on your industry.  If you had children during that time, you can explain how you had children and missed working in the travel industry and are ready to return.

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