You’ve been on the job hunt for awhile and have applied to numerous jobs that peaked your interest. Better yet, you may have received the email formally requesting your very first interview with an organization. While this sparks a feeling of exhilarating excitement, it can also spark feelings of nervousness and anxiety. What will the interviewer ask you? How do you prepare for potential curveball questions. In this article, we’re diving into three tough interview questions with expert advice from our staffing professionals at Comrise.
Question 1: What is your greatest weakness?
We think all, if not, most people can agree that this question is a difficult one to answer, especially when candidates want to talk about how their skill set makes them a great fit for the position. However, some interviewers want to know how self-aware you are and how well you can identify your challenges and steps you can take to improve. To an interviewer, this is one of the most vital questions to ask potential candidates.
Dana Nissan, Director MSP Strategic Partnerships, shares her own personal experience with this question. She explains that although this question was tricky, she believes she has nailed the response.
“My greatest weakness is time management. I have always been detail oriented, so it takes me longer to finish a project than I initially think it will. My goal for this year is to be more conscious with my time and use my calendar to help me keep track of projects and setting a time for what needs to be accomplished for the day/week.”
Take note of Dana’s sincere yet straightforward approach to the question. She thoroughly explains her weakness and provides a mapped out solution she has established in order to work on the weakness and improve over time. You can use a structure similar to Dana’s response when asked this question in your next interview.
Question 2: Why do you want to work here?
This question doesn’t seem tough on the surface, but it can be if you didn’t prepare prior to the interview. The interviewer wants to see whether you had a genuine interest in the opportunity and identify if you will be a good fit. For this question, an emphasis on conducting research on the industry, organization, and position will be incredibly important.
Latish Salian, Senior Technical Recruiter, offers a golden response from a job candidate he has personally assisted in landing a role at a multinational medical technology company. Check out the job candidate’s response to this question:
“I want to work at ABC company because I’m passionate about the mission of your company. It reminds me of why I got into the healthcare field in the first place, and I’m excited about the opportunity to help people make a difference in their lives.
With two years of experience in healthcare, I’m ready to take the next step in my career and I believe that can be achieved at ABC company because of your growing presence in the industry.
Ultimately, I’d like to eventually work my way up to a managerial role and receive more responsibilities. This opportunity would not only help me improve my skills, but also reach one of my long-term goals.”
Key aspects to note in this response is the acknowledgement of the organization’s mission, the industry, and the candidates “why”. In addition, the candidate acknowledges his/her admiration for the organization and recognizes its growth and success.
Question 3: Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle?
This final question has a similar vibe to the first question we highlighted, “What is your greatest weakness?” For some candidates, it can be super vulnerable to talk about their flaws or challenges they have faced. Keep in mind, though, we’re all human and navigating the world.
That being said, the obstacles we face have a huge impact on the person we become. While it might seem like a personal question, interviewers want to know your problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and your level of resilience. This is imperative when adapting to a new position or environment, or any other obstacles that may arise throughout your role.
Manny Rodriguez, U.S. Sales Team Lead, offers his insight on how candidates can structure their response prior to the interview. He starts off by emphasizing the importance of preparing for this question prior to your interview.
“Think of a situation where you overcame an obstacle. Be clear about when it was and with what company. When giving the answer of how you overcame, keep “MSA” in mind. MSA stands for Made, Saved, Achieved.
When you provide your answer about how you overcame, speak on what you were able to “make” for the company, what you may have “saved” your company, or what you were able to “achieve” for your company when overcoming that obstacle. Be sure to have specific details in your response.”
Lastly, Manny strongly believes that a response structured like this will demonstrate perseverance and strong attention to detail. Be sure to reference the “MSA” approach the next time you’re preparing for this question.
At Comrise, we offer customized solutions that are simplified for the full-time, part-time, direct-hire, contract, and permanent talent that your business needs. For over 38 years, we have delighted our customers by focusing on customer satisfaction, innovation, and flexible workforce solutions!
Read more about Comrise’s areas of expertise here.