Guide to Answering Difficult Interview Questions

Guide to Answering Difficult Interview Questions

“Just don’t smoke up the whole room”

A way for recruiters to test you during an interview, is to ask relatively difficult questions and judge your reaction under different circumstances. The best way to dodge this bullet, is to prepare for them. Here, we share some of the most frequently asked (and even deceptively difficult) questions!

  1. “Tell me more about yourself.”

Focus on your skill set, work-related experiences, and important achievements and use these to explain why you’d be the perfect fit for the position. Don’t show all your cards, though – keep them intrigued.

  1. “Tell me about your greatest strength/weakness.”


This question is all about self-reflection, where employers look for driven individuals to better themselves at any given opportunity. Always remember to link your strengths to the company and how you would be beneficial to them.

Weaknesses can be framed positively, and should also be discussed in a way that shows that you’ve overcome it. Do not self-deprecate to win the interviewer over.

  1. “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”

Research on the company really comes in handy for this question. Testing for commitment, you should be able to list the kind of career progression path you want within the company. You could also talk about the skill set you would like to gain from being in the company.

  1. “Why do you want this job?”

Recruiters want to know your motivations and reasons for applying for the position. Weave your reason into a story, allowing your answer to be more memorable compared to the generic ‘childhood dream’.

  1. “What would you like or dislike about the job?”

Testing your understanding of the job scope, you should be able to justify the reasons why you’d like or dislike certain aspects of the job. Most importantly, this question tests your willingness to adapt. Read the job listing and research the company carefully to know exactly what the recruiters are looking for.

  1. “Tell us about a time when you handled a major crisis.”


Your answer should show your resilience under pressure, ability to use logical thought processes, organisational skills, initiative, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills to manage tricky situations.

  1. “How would you manage office politics?”


Just be honest, everyone knows that office politics are regular workplace occurrence. Recruiters are gauging your ability to be level-headed and how resilient you are.

  1. “Give us one reason why someone may not like working with you.”

This question assumes you are problematic, but do not react negatively towards it. Recruiters are trying to asses your response to criticism and to see whether there would potentially be any personality clashes with the rest of the team. Never say that you are loved by everyone and although you should try to turn any negative aspects into a positive, don’t overdo it.

  1. “What other companies have you applied to?”


Don’t worry, answer as honestly as possible. Recruiters are looking for the consistency in your career goals and invested interest in the position that you are applying for. Remember to not pit companies against each other, and always give examples that are relevant, prestigious and consistent.

  1. “Share an example of a situation when you were given an unreasonable deadline or expectation.”

Employers are trying to see how well you work under pressure and how committed you are to delivering results. In addition, this question is also used to gauge your ability to manage expectations, and if you’re able to negotiate tasks well. Share instances of when you went the extra mile and obtained great results, and don’t forget to include challenges that you’ve faced and how you overcame them.

And with that, we hope that you will ace your next interview like a boss. Good luck!