The following challenging interview questions are a selection from then most common ones. You should be prepared to answer any one of them and provide challenging and thought provoking answers to them, allowing the interview to rememeber your particular interview the most.
Do you cope well with stress?
Increasingly in today's society there is an augmenting sense of stress in the workplace environment and many different constraints are being placed upon employees. You must not however state that you resent this in any way, but rather be enthusiastic about it and explain that you thrive under pressure. Give as many examples as you can about instances where you did work in stressful environments and achieved excellent results for the company. This will make them admire your tenacity and hard work ethic.
What is your expected salary?
This is another cheeky question but one which you should be prepared to answer. You should not commit to an exact number at this stage as you will be at a hige disadvantage. It is best talk in the range of, for example, " I am expecting something like Â£20,000-Â£25,000 for this position." If you do not know the exact figures for the job that you are applying for then you should do some research about common salary figures for that role on the internet. There are a lot of great websites out there that will tell you exactly what your salary would be in certain locations too. You can also be witty in return of this question by saying, "What salary would you expect to pay for this position?". You should however read the situation carefully before you do this and judge whether your interviewer has a sense of humour. A lot do not. They will always start with their lowest figure to save money, so do not see this as a final salary at all, and you do not have to accept it. They will usually increase it if you say that you are open to negotiation on the matter.
Are you attending other interviews in addition to this one?
This is one such challenging interview question and a great one that you can use to your advantage. If it appears that one of their competitors are after you then you will look like a much more appealing employee. There will also be better offers on the table if they think that they may lose you to someone else and they will speed up their decision thinking time so that you will not be waiting around. If you are not having other interviews with similar companies then you should think about doing so, even if you are not then try to appear as if you are in demand by saying that you are through to the final stages with another company.
In your opinion, has your career been successful thus far?
This question really has no particular bearing on what kind of an employee you would make, but it is an interesting one to ask in terms of an insight into your character. Success can only really be measured by the person who it applies to and what one person may view as a failure, others may not. A good way to answer this challenging interview question would be to explain that you have always felt that you have been generally successful in your career, but of course there are certain elements that you can always improve upon to be a better person and employee. Say that you are always striving to be more successful and better yourself and that you are very determined. Mention that you have never really placed emphasis upon the salary of a job, but rather the enjoyment that you gain from a certain role and that this has been the most successful strategy for you personally.
How would you deal with personal issues that arise with your colleagues?
This is another challenging interview question and one which you can use to your advantage. It is important to come across as fair minded and approachable here should any of your team or colleagues need to confide in you. Draw upon your own experience in the workplace and provide evidence of when you have diffused challenging and awkward situations. Explain that you are aware that nothing ever runs smoothly within the workplace environment and arguments and issues with colleagues can arise. As long as you make clear that you would deal with each issue in a professional and private manner, and in a way that would not cause upset or embarressment to those it involves, you will seem like an invaluable asset to any workplace.
Do you find it difficult to work with any particular kind of person?
This is one such interview question that you have to be very careful with as you do not want to come across as nasty and childish. Do not slag off your current colleagues as you will come across as someone who is very difficult to work with. Give plenty of examples of issues that you have either been involved in or have witnessed in the workplace, that were subsequently dealt with very well and in a professional manner. Explain that you are a helpful and friendly person who usually gets along with everyone that you meet. However, the only people that you may find difficult working with are those who do not pull their weight or who do not work as hard as you do or put the company first.
These are just some of the challenging interview questions that you may be faced with, but there are many more. You can read more of our interview advice below at our website. Remember that if you think about your questions before you answer them and research them thoroughly,you will really stand out amongst others who give cliche's and expected answers. Do yourself justice here, a little extra work at this stage will go a long way!
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