Every minute you spend in an interview is valuable, so make sure your every answer works to your benefit. Thought you had it all down? Well here are a few more tough interview questions if you’re still feeling a little unprepared:
Why are you leaving (did you leave) your current (last) position?
When answering this question, there’s no reason to give a long-winded answer. Simply tell the interviewer that you are looking to advance your career, and that the company you are interviewing with can provide the opportunity you hope for while your current or previous company cannot. There is no reason to give the interviewer any more information than they ask for. Don’t give a list of excuses or say something petty. If you were laid off, don’t be afraid to say so – it’s not all that uncommon. And if you were fired, try to stay as positive as you can, again without being petty. Perhaps you can mention that you and your former boss/company had differences that you could not overcome, but that your termination was the best thing for both you and that firm. More than this, you can always expound upon the lesson that you learned from this experience.
Why haven’t you found a job yet?
This may seem like one of those in-your-face questions, but it’s perfectly legitimate. If you’ve been out of work for a significant amount of time, again, don’t spend your time giving excuses. Simply explain that you have been looking for the right opportunity, and that you want to work for a company where you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship.
Has your performance or work ever been criticized?
While you may consider yourself the perfect employee, chances are that you have received some criticism along the way – and that’s perfectly reasonable. What an employer wants to learn from this question is how you dealt with the criticism. So explain to him or her that you received constructive criticism from a colleague, and that you gained something valuable from it. You can talk about how you were able to integrate another person’s suggestions into a project and make it better than it was before. Employers want individuals who are tough-skinned and open to suggestions, so demonstrate that you are able to swallow your pride and bounce back from critique.
At times an interview can feel like a battle of wits, interviewer and interviewee each trying to outdo the other. It’s a tricky dance, but if you learn how to use even the most difficult questions as a forum to discuss how valuable you are, you’ll soon be making history at your next position.
Happy job hunting,
The Doostang Team