We all know that job interviews are frightening, and that there are many really difficult questions that employers and hiring managers love to ask. People all over the internet want to help you answer those prompts correctly, but the real question that we need to be asking ourselves is, what can we learn from them?
Forbes listed the top 10 hardest interview questions here – 10 Toughest Interview Questions: Answered. What I am suggesting to you is that you can learn a lot about yourself and improve your career by considering these ideas before the job interview.
#1. Why Should I Hire You?
Forbes advises us to “do our homework” on the company so we can effectively describe what we will offer that particular company. This is excellent advice. Definitely do that. I have another question for you though, when you look for a new job, are you looking at it with goal-oriented vision? Are you imagining what you can do at this job to make yourself and the company better? If you adopt a goal-oriented approach, you will naturally grow faster and go further as an employee and this will offer immediate and noticeable benefits for you. It will also make you a much more valued employee and help you realize how to sell yourself that way.
#2. Why Is There A Gap In Your Work History?
The most important point lurking under the surface is, what did you do with that gap in your work history? Capitalize on that mindset, at the time when you are out of work and when describing the situation in a job interview. Use that time to build a new skill, take a course, or work in a temporary position to gain valuable experience.
#3. Tell Me One Thing You Would Change About Your Last Job
Forbes points out that there may have been a possibility that you could have rectified the problem. What could you have done differently? You could also ask yourself: how could you avoid getting into that situation again? or why did that situation exist? If any of these points help you make smarter job choices or become a better employee, then this dreaded job question is very valuable.
#4. Tell Me About Yourself
What you do with this question says more about you than the actual facts or opinions you reveal. Most importantly, did you shy away from it or were you ready for the challenge? Are you the type of person whose first response is to say, “I can’t” or to find a way to make it work? This doesn’t mean you can’t have any nervousness at all. Of course, the hiring manager expects you to be a little tense about it. That is part of the point. When you are given a problem that is a bit much to chew, what do you do with it?
#5. Explain A Complex Database To Your Eight-Year-Old Nephew
This is a test to determine if you have a thorough understanding of a skill or concept that you will have to use on the job. This is very useful in itself. Can you explain something you are supposed to be an expert in to your eight-year-old nephew? If not, could you improve? If you are at the job interview when this realization dawns on you in horrifying clarity, what do you with that realization? Do you grow defeated, or do you address the situation as a new goal?
#6. What Would The Person Who Likes You Least In The World Say About You?
In the job interview and for your own purposes, make this constructive. Is the negative trait also a positive? Are you learning something from this knowledge?
#7. Tell Me About A Time When Old Solutions Didn’t Work
Basically, this question is asking are you driven and innovative? Do you adapt to changing times and unexpected situations? So, ask yourself, what old solutions aren’t working for me and what can I do about that? Keep the following words foremost in your mind: “what can I do about…”
#8. What’s The Biggest Risk You’ve Ever Taken?
This question involves your ability to take risks(obviously) and your desire to be innovative. People don’t take risks unless they see a need to change something. This shows that you are seeking to improve yourself and the company, even if it is a little scary, and even if it might not work. So, is this true? Are you always seeking to improve yourself and the company, even if it is a risk? Can you apply that mindset to your job search as a whole?
#9. Have You Ever Had A Supervisor Challenge A Decision?
The interviewer is not expecting you to say no. If you have any experience at all, a supervisor should have questioned something you have done. How did you handle that? What did you learn from it? Is there something you recognize now when you think about the situation that you could still learn from or that might make you a better employee and person?
#10. Describe A Time When Your Team Did Not Agree
Many things can be revealed when you answer this question. First, how do feel about working on a team? Second, how do you work to resolve conflicts? Third, whether the situation ended favorably or not, how did you take it and what did you learn?
All of these questions are valuable not only to the employer or hiring manager, but to you as well. By asking yourself these questions, you can discover many ways to be a better employee, to set yourself up for success, and be a better person.