The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

July 16, 2019

How to Answer the Tough Interview Questions


When preparing for an interview, rarely do you need to practice the answers to questions about your past positions, current role, and the skills you have acquired. However, every interview includes some tough questions that can catch you off guard if you don’t have a plan on how to answer them. These questions are designed for the interviewer to weed through all the applicants and find the person who can not only fit the position, but also the company. Following the guidance below when preparing your answers will help you make a great impression and put you on the fast track to landing the job.

What is your biggest weakness?

Many people believe you should answer this question with positives that only sound negative, like “working too hard” or “caring too much”. In reality, the best way to answer this question is to share a real weakness but explain how you are working to improve it.

How do you handle stress?

Every job gets stressful at times, and so your future wants to know that these situations won’t cause you to lose your cool. When giving your answer, include an example of a stressful situation you were in previously so they can get a better feel for how you handled it.

Why are you looking to leave your current job?

Regardless of what the reason is, you want to be honest but vague. If you didn’t like the hours, say the work-life balance wasn’t right for you or if you didn’t enjoy your day to day tasks, say you didn’t feel like the work was challenging enough for you.

Describe a conflict and how you resolved it?

Of course, everyone has had conflicts at work, so it is not believable to say you don’t have an example. Sharing a situation that had a positive outcome is key and be sure to include what you learned from the conflict and how you shifted your actions or attitude after.

What qualities do you like and/or dislike in a supervisor?

This can be one of the most difficult questions to answer, as you don’t want to bash a former boss and do not want to mention a characteristic of the person who will hopefully be your new manager. The best route is to take a positive approach and keep your answer brief.

What are you looking for your salary?

You are almost guaranteed to be asked this question. Of course, everyone wants to get the most money they can, but you also don’t want to say something too outrageous. Do some research, state a range, but most importantly, say you are open to negotiating.

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