Imagine this: you’re sitting in front of your potential employer in a cafe for an interview, nervously bouncing your foot and racking your brain for clever, authentic answers to each of their questions. Then, you’re asked the question.
We all have one — the inevitable and dreaded question asked at every interview, the one we can never quite find the proper response to. So, in the hopes of making your next interview a little smoother, here are some of people's least favorite interview questions and how to answer them. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our 40 best interview tips, too!
1. Why do you want to work here?
In reality, the truest answer for most of us is that we need money. However, that response doesn’t really fly with most employers. So, go the safe route and do your research. You can tie the morals and history of the company to your personal goals. Or, reference an experience you’ve had with that company.
These show your prospective employer that you care enough about the position to have done outside research. Another plus? It makes you memorable in the eyes of your interviewer!
2. Do you have any questions?
Always ask questions. I repeat, always ask questions. Some employers won’t even consider hiring an interviewee if they don’t ask questions at the end of the interview. Even if you’ve done your research and know everything about the job, you can still ask questions.
Ask the interviewer why they wanted to work for this company. Ask them what the work environment is like. If you’re feeling really confident about the interview, ask what the expected time commitment is for the position.
3. What is your biggest weakness?
This is the classic interview question. How do you answer? If you’re considering some negative aspect about yourself, don't. Use this as a way to showcase something good about yourself - just stated in a way that makes it seem like a weakness.
For example, you could say you “care too much” or get “too invested” in your work. Really, these just mean that you’re hard working. You could also go the honest route and say that you’re inexperienced in certain areas but eager to learn. Always showcase a strength with your weakness.
4. If ____ happens, how do you solve it/what do you do?
The tricky part about questions like these is that you never really know how in depth the interviewer wants in your response. Do they want a step-by-step walkthrough? Or a broad, generalized response?
When in doubt, ask them what they’re looking for. Then, use an applicable example from real life that exemplifies this work ethic. Do yourself a favor and prepare these examples beforehand.
Group Interview Questions
Worried that someone will say the answer you were thinking of? Be safe and come up with several answers. Also, don’t be afraid to assert yourself and speak up. Employers remember those who talked a lot rather than those who barely said a word.
Pro tip: pause before you respond. This allows you to collect your thoughts while also showing the employer that you are critically assessing the question at hand.With that, good luck on all your future interviews!