“They are only tough interview questions until you learn how to handle them”

Tough interview questions are your biggest interview nightmare. They make your mind go blank and your mouth dry up. The silence seems to last forever… you squirm for an answer…We’ve all been there at some point.

Three things make a tough interview question:

• Not understanding what the interviewer wants from you

• Lack of interview preparation – not being ready to answer.

• Being caught off guard

Some questions take you by surprise. They may be about an issue you feel unsure or sensitive about, such as being out of work. Or they may be illegal. Yes, there are some questions that are out of bounds .

How do you deal with tough interview questions?

You need a plan (and no, crossing your fingers doesn’t count). Here is what will get you through:

Stay Calm!

The interview can be stressful, but try not to panic. Remember, they are interviewing you because they believe you are can do the job. They aren’t trying to catch you out.

Get clarification

It’s common to misunderstand a question. If you are unsure what the interviewer wants from you, ask! You might find it’s not such a tough question after all. It’s a lot better to ask than give an answer that doesn’t fit the question.

Don’t be afraid to ask for time to think

You may need more time to think on some questions. If you need to come up with an example scenario to illustrate a point you want to be sure that you choose the best one. The interviewer will too. They would rather wait for the best example than the first one to pop into your head.

Don't answer it

There are some questions that should not be asked at all. These are illegal interview questions that could lead to discrimination.

Be Prepared

You can feel better about tough questions by feeling prepared for them. Think about the areas that might throw up a challenge, eg a period of time out of work, an increase in responsibility, and think about what the employer will be looking for from you.

The more comfortable you are with all types of questions, the less likely you are to find them “tough”. Then you can focus on giving great answers.

Practice Sample Interview Questions

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