How to deal with Tough Interview Questions

interview questions you should be asking

Questions’ level of difficulty always varies. Some questions are easy to handle, while others can get quite tricky to answer. While giving an interview, there are a number of useful things that one can keep in mind to avoid any awkwardness in front of the hiring panel. Majority of employers do not wish to embarrass the candidate, neither their intention is to stump them. Rather, the basic motive behind asking questions is to obtain maximum useful information from the individual. Such information helps them to analyse and judge that whether this particular person is a suitable candidate for the job or not.

This aforementioned motive would further change, if it is a non-profit organisation – where one is applying for a job. These organisations do not rely on the boastful things that a candidate might say about himself or herself – rather, their focus is on knowing about the practical experience and skills of the candidate. For instance, they would judge that whether a candidate has quickly grasped the meaning of their asked question or not. Furthermore, they might judge the way a candidate responded to a particular question – noting their body language and confidence.

Considering this variety of circumstances, I present some useful strategies for handling the tough questions in an interview.

Giving Reasons for Applying

Many potential employers ask the candidate about the reason behind which they bothered to apply for the job. This particular question, on the surface level, might seem quite a simple one to answer. However, experts suggest that this query can have multiple replies – and that is why it is a tricky question.

The motive behind asking this question is to see that whether the candidate connects with the vision of the organisation or not. Their response would also speak about their passion for the job and thus, the employers can readily judge that whether the candidate casually applied for the post or was actually quite interested in it.

For reacting to this question, the candidate should begin with the affiliation they feel for the organisation. Next, they should mention how their skills and experiences are totally relevant with the requirement of the post and the vision of the organisation.

The candidate should not discuss that how important this job would be for their career. Hence, they should not sound desperate. Instead, they should be positively energetic and enthusiastic about the opportunity at hand.

Handling the Work

Another common difficult question raised by employers is that what the candidate would actually do if they are hired. This is obviously a theoretical supposition. It can be confusing because you have not experienced having the position – so, your answer may be inaccurate too. Hence, professionals suggest that the candidate should properly research about the position they have applied for. After an insightful research, the individual should relate the acquired knowledge with practical and real-life examples – to convince the panel of their command on the subject matter.

Furthermore, the candidate can discuss important aspects of this professional role by elaborating on various projects and goals that they would take on in that position. Moreover, the individual can relate their past work experiences in this context – to indirectly hint at the employer that they are competent enough to handle the challenges of this position.

Discussing a Complicated Situation

Interviewers might ask the candidate if they have had any bitter experiences with another colleague at a workplace. This question would particularly pop up, if the company habitually hires people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Their motive behind asking this question would be to judge the ability of the individual to survive in a diverse workplace culture. They want to see if the candidate has an issue with any particular race, gender or even class of colleagues.

This question can be tricky to handle because the responder would not want to sound biased in any way. Some candidates might even feel awkward while answering to this question, as it overlaps with one’s personal preferences.

When answering this question, you should show that you can connect with almost anyone at workplace – through several small personal examples (from your past work experience). If you do not have any previous instances to share with the employers, then you should offer a response that reflects your insightful understanding of diversity and its beauty. You might mention certain issues which come with it, but should mostly focus on the strategies of dealing with these problems. Your language should also be carefully chosen while replying to this question, i.e. it should be free from any kind of bias or stereotyping.

Explaining your Salary Expectation

When employers spontaneously ask about your expected salary in the first interview, it feels quite awkward at times. Enthusiastic candidates do not want that their quoted salary amount might come in the way of them getting the new job. That is why majority candidates always ‘gulp’ at this question – as they do not know whether the quoted numerical value is okay, beyond the employers’ expectations or below their expectations.

The candidate should be prepared for this question beforehand. They should conduct a research earlier on to see what salary range is being offered to other people in similar positions. Next, you should never give a clear-cut amount; giving a salary range to the employers is a safer option. Never quote too low of a salary amount – as that sounds too desperate – and might become a reason for rejection.

tough interview questions

On the other hand, if you are not really concerned about the salary and are flexible about it – then, experts suggest that the best option is to say it honestly. But if you do have a specific demand of salary from the employer, then you should definitely give them a numerical salary figure. Lastly, never refuse to answer this question – because it would never win the hearts of the employers and they would regard honest numerical values, instead of getting impressed with a negative response to the question.

Thus, by utilising all these aforementioned techniques, you can successfully strike an excellent impression in front of your potential employers during the interview session. Good luck!


If you found this article helpful you may like to try out our social media training where we’ll match you with a social media employer so you can try to deliver a return-on-investment by running your first social media campaign. Find out more here >>

About post author

Clinton is an Educationalist, a Teacher and a writer who works for Coursework Club where he helps students who want to pay someone to do my coursework and he mostly writes article on topics related to different trends in education, business and technology.
Posted in Tools for Your Job SearchTagged