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How To Answer Five Common, But Difficult Interview Questions

Preparing for a job interview could be a difficult task when you think about all the possible questions you may be asked. Everyone stresses about that list of questions in the hands of the interviewer, giving them full control over conversation. However, preparing some answers to potential questions beforehand can really help.

With that in mind, we have put together five common, but difficult interview questions and how to answer them.

1.What is your biggest weakness?

This can be a tough question, since you may not know how to give an honest answer without undermining your position. Everyone has weaknesses because that’s what makes us humans. However, when trying to formulate an answer, do not try to draw negative attention to yourself.

The best way to answer this question is to state a natural weakness and then give an example from your personal experiences. Then, make sure you state the results achieved after trying to overcome your weakness. An example of a good answer to this question could be that, at times, you tend to become over-committed.

2.What is your greatest achievement?

This is a tricky one, as well. You have to pay attention to your answer and try to avoid bragging about your successes. The greatest achievement you have should be one that places you in a positive light and relates to work you would be doing at the new company, if possible.

Give an example of a relatively recent task you have accomplished, explaining the situation and why you are proud of it. Keep in mind the fact that you have to state which is your greatest achievement from a professional point of view. Focus on finding an appropriate story from your past experience without rumbling about something that is of no interest to your potential employer.

3.Why should I hire you?

From a career seekers’ past experiences, “Why should I hire you?” is often seen as the hardest question in a job interview. Why would a potential employer ask you this if they can already find the answer in your resume? You have already listed in your resume every ability and experience that qualifies you for the job. Why would they ask this question when there is an obvious answer?

Well, they expect you to formulate your answer based on your resume. Therefore, make sure you prepare the answer before the interview. Go through your resume and state your past jobs that helped you develop the skills that qualify you for the potential job. If you choose to say something like “I am a hard worker” then make sure you exemplify this, relying on the results you have obtained in the past.

4.Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

The truth is there is no right answer for this question. If you answer with “Not here, occupying this position,” this could mean you have higher aspirations and will be trying to grow and evolve in their company. However, the interviewer might misinterpret this answer. Whatever you do, do not even think about answering “I have no idea.” This is qualified as the worst answer as if you do not know what you want to do with your life.

Try to answer with something that indicates that you want to build your career at their company, even if in a few years you may occupy a higher position there. This shows that you have high hopes and that you trust your skills to quickly evolve to the next level. If this is true, tell your potential employer that you want to make a commitment to that career.

5. If you were a color (or an animal), what would it be?

Your interviewer might ask you a weird question like this only to see the surprise on your face since you cannot anticipate it. They use all sorts of formulations like “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?” or “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?” Interviewers know that these questions are specifically designed to extract improvised answers.

Candidates should not stress very much about these questions. You should have to prove that you are creative and spontaneous. However, if the question really makes you reflect upon the answer, then you can ask the interviewer to allow you to think about it and email them the answer.


After you have reworked your resume and rewrote your cover letter, you should be all ready for your interview. However, when you walk through that door and meet your potential employer, if you are nervous, everything you had in mind just vanishes. Take a deep breath, feel confident in your ability and focus on giving honest answers.

Always exemplify and explain your answers to the interviewer, using experiences from past jobs. Remember that your posture and what you are wearing can also influence your potential employer’s decision. Keep smiling and maintain eye contact when answering the questions.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you ace your interview and find your dream job? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

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About the Author Dianna Howell

Dianna Howell is an HR Manager. She is very passionate about her job that is why she also runs JobInterviewAdvice - a collection of job interview resources for career searchers.

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