Job Interview Tips

How to Answer the 10 Toughest Interview Questions

Written by Jessie Liu

Everyone is nervous on interviews, but with a little practice and guidance, you will be able to confidently answer the most difficult interview questions and land the job.

To help you prepare, here 10 of the toughest interview questions and how to answer them.

1. “Tell Me About Yourself”

This question can be tricky because the interviewer is essentially aiming to discover who you are as a person and how well you fit with the company.

Full Answer >>> 6 Steps to Answering ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ During a Job Interview

2. “Why Should I Hire You?”

In an interview, few questions can throw off a candidate’s poise like the simple, “Why should I hire you?” After all, it seems redundant. What have you been talking about this entire time, if not the reasons why the company should hire you?!

Full Answer >>> 6 Dos and Don’ts for Answering “Why Should I Hire You?”

3. “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

When you’re sitting in an interview, there’s a good chance that most of your mental real estate lately has been going toward this day. So when the interviewer asks you where you see yourself in five years, it can be a bit of a jolt to suddenly think about the long term.

Full Answer >>> How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

 4. “What’s Your Perfect Day?”

Recently, it came out that Facebook’s head recruiter’s favorite interview question to ask is more like a personal essay question. “On your very best day at work—the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world—what did you do that day?”

Now that this is making the viral rounds, don’t be surprised to hear it in your non-Facebook interviews as well. Here are some tips for breaking the question down and being ready to pounce on it.

Full Answer >>> How to Answer the “What’s Your Perfect Day?” Interview Question

5. “The Salary Question”

The job application process has a number of separate stages: applying, interviewing, job offer, then salary negotiation and acceptance. Most employers stick to this, and let the money talk wait until things are further along. But if they jump the gun and ask you up front for a) your current salary or b) desired salary, what do you do?

Full Answer >>> How to Answer the Salary Question in an Interview

6. “Can I Contact Your Current Employer”

If anyone asks where you were today, you were at a dentist’s appointment. Right? The vague “appointment,” always in the middle of the day, is a classic tactic for interviewing for new jobs while you’re still at your current one. You just put up your “out of office” message and hope no one notices that you’re awfully dressed up for a Wednesday. However, your slick cover story could be blown if the interviewing company contacts your current one.

Full Answer >>> How to Answer “Can I Contact Your Current Employer?”

7. “Why Have You Had So Many Jobs?”

You’re sitting in the interview, and things are going fine, when the hiring manager looks up from your resume, eyebrow raised, and asks the question you’ve been dreading: “You’ve had an awful lot of jobs, haven’t you? Can you walk me through that?”

Full Answer >>> How to Answer “Why Have You Had So Many Jobs?”

8. “Aren’t You Overqualified For This Position?”

In an ideal world, we’d all be applying for (and getting) a job that is a perfect, snug fit for our skills, experience, and career goals. In the real world, that’s not always an option. Maybe you were laid off, and are seeking a foot (any foot!) back in the door of your career path. Perhaps you’re feeling stalled in your current job, and are looking to move back a step or two to get new skills and experience. Whatever the reason, it could very well lead to the dreaded “aren’t you overqualified for this position?” question in an interview.

Full Answer >>> The Best Way to Answer the “Aren’t You Overqualified?” Interview Question

 9. “Why Are You Leaving This Position?”

Chances are, the interviewer will ask you why you’re looking to leave your current job—or if you’re currently unemployed, why you left your last job.

Full Answer >>> How to Answer the 5 Most Common Interview Questions

10. “What Changes Would You Make if You Came On Board?”

Watch out!  This question can derail your candidacy faster than a bomb on the tracks and just as you are about to be hired. No matter how bright you are, you cannot know the right actions to take in a position before you settle in and get to know the operation’s strengths, weaknesses key people, financial condition, methods of operation, etc.  If you lunge at this temptingly baited question, you will probably be seen as someone who shoots from the hip.

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About the author

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, Digital Analytics, Content Marketing and Social Media. She helps lead TheJobNetwork’s content marketing efforts, including content strategy and promotion strategy. She believes in data-driven decision making. She recently adopted a Beagle mix puppy named Happy. Feel free to tweet her @jessiecliu for pictures of her adorable new puppy or just any marketing related stuff.