Tackling tough interview questions can be difficult. But have no fear, we asked professionals how to embrace challenging questions to highlight personal strengths, not weaknesses.
By Ursula Lauriston
We’ve all been there. Stumbling and floundering about as we try to answer unexpected or ridiculously obvious interview questions in a manner that won’t make us look entirely idiotic. “Why do you want this job?” Before answering this question with “My parents cut me off,” try these answers on for size. Twenty Something spoke to DC’s most seasoned professionals and got the best answers for the most difficult interview questions.
1. So, tell me about yourself.
Do not be afraid of this question. It’s asked more to break the ice than to stump you. So have fun with it…but not too much fun. Show your interviewer how well rounded you are.
You: I spend approximately twenty hours a week watching reality television.
TS: I love browsing old book stores for interesting books to read, playing softball with friends, and spending time with my family.
2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Most of us have no clue what five years down the road will look like. But as much as honesty counts, no one wants to hire someone with no direction or concrete goals.
You: I have no idea. I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow. However, this weekend is pretty much booked solid.
TS: In five years I see myself growing with this company. I hope to make myself an indispensible member of this team and hopefully be an expert in my field.
3. If you could be an animal (soup, superhero, etc.) what would you be?
This question is ridiculous. Nonetheless, we tackle it because you will most likely come across it.
You: I would totally be my cat Rodger. He is living the life!
TS: I would be a tiger. They’re born leaders, team players, and tender–all at the same time.
4. What is your biggest weakness?
Probably the worst question ever. You basically have to convince someone you don’t suck that much.
You: I’m extremely lazy, but I can change!
TS: At times, I can be a bit disorganized. However, over the years I have discovered tactics that really work for me and help me stay more organized.
5. Why should we hire you?
This is your chance to recap the entire interview and sell yourself. Practice this in front of the mirror a few times so you can be sure to leave a lasting impression.
You: Because I desperately need to pay for this four year degree you all insisted I get.
TS: My skill sets and passion for this field would make me an asset to this company. I’m hardworking, dependable, a quick learner, and work well with others. I can see myself growing here and I think I’d make a good fit.