Dealing with Difficult Interview Questions

Job interviews are daunting enough, but they can be made much worse by an unexpected or difficult question. You may have experienced it before; the type of question you hope won’t get asked but invariably always will. So how can you prepare for these questions and the process in general and stay cool under pressure? Quite often the prospective employer asking the questions will not only be looking for your answer – he will also be looking for your reaction and how you deal with stress.

Keep Cool, Calm and Collected

It is probably one of the most stressful situations you can find yourself in, particularly if you have been out of work for an extended period of time. In the 15 minutes before you interview, make sure you gather yourself. The ‘red-flag’ situations your interviewer will be looking for are nervousness, fidgeting and edginess – so keep as calm as possible. Obviously you need to give good, clear and concise answers and if you have done your research then this wouldn’t be a problem

Be Confident

The most important thing to remember when going in to an interview is this; out of all the people who sent in their CVs yours was the one that was selected – along with a handful of others – for an interview. They have obviously seen some potential in you. This in itself should give you a confidence boost, but also keep a mantra in your head – ‘what is the worst that could possibly happen?’ it always helps to put things in perspective, particularly when it comes to dealing with a difficult question

The Simple Questions are Sometimes the Most Difficult to Answer

The questions that often trip people up are the simplest to answer. For example why did you leave your last job? Always give a positive, assured and buoyant answer to this and show you are ambitious. Explain, for example, that you needed a new challenge or the chance to progress. The other is why do you want the job? Essentially you need to answer this question with more consideration than any other. It is often the first or last question to be posed and can be the make or break in an interview. Make sure you have done your research on the company and tell them why you think they would be such an excellent organisation to work for, and don’t be afraid to compliment them.

In summary always prepare your answers and carry out thorough research on the company. Make sure that you go into the interview with as few concerns as possible – even down to an empty stomach (a good breakfast on the morning of an interview is a must). You can’t anticipate a difficult question, neither can any of the other candidates, but you can be prepared to deal with it