Fail safe 4 point plan to handle tricky interview questions

How to answer those tricky interview questions

There are so many tricky interview questions. How can you explain it effectively and succinctly without anyone’ s eyes glazing over? We have the answers.

There are many low key questions in the interview process which can be misleading, but also intimidating. You aren’t exactly sure where to start and how much detail to go into. What any candidate has to do is to put themselves in the hiring manager’s shoes and understand what he or she would want to know. Surprisingly it is not about you. It is about them and their needs! They are loaded questions but they really matter.

tricky interview questions

IT USUALLY BOILS DOWN TO 3 BASIC THINGS:

What have you succeeded in doing before?
Can you do it for the client and is it relevant?
Will you fit in?

These are couched in these well-known old chestnut questions:

Tell us about yourself….
Why should we hire you?
Why are you the right candidate for the job?

For all of these questions, there is a loose structure which you can follow to make sure you address the main points. What you don’t want to do is bore your interviewer to death with long, rambling, unstructured answers. All research suggests that the most effective responses are succinct. To achieve this you have to plan and prepare and create the perfect USP or UVP.

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How to structure your responses to tricky interview questions

1. ALIGN WITH YOUR SKILLS

Now is the time to share any hard skills (academic qualifications, any additional professional certification or languages spoken) mentioned in the advert. Add on the required transferable skills also referenced. Be sure to specifically mention those laid out in the job profile so you are addressing the hiring managers pain points.

2. ALIGN WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE

At this point introduce a helicopter summary of your career, highlighting success stories that showcase the attributes and experience required by the job. For example: 10 years as an international project manager leading large multi-cultural teams, or 2 years running social media accounts for an advertising agency. You might be a great events manager, but if this is not part of the job content, there is no point wasting valuable time mentioning topics which are irrelevant. What you want to avoid doing is giving a long and dull chronological account of your career history from age 21.

3. ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES

If you have done your research correctly, you will have an understanding of the company mission statement and values. This will be on the web site. You can mention them and weave them into a narrative –whether it’s diversity, sustainable development or customer values. Research your interviewer and see what you can glean about them on LinkedIn for example. What type of person is he/she? There are many tells in the public domain.

4. ALIGN WITH YOUR GOALS

Here you can share your short to medium term goals and your vision for the future. You can also incorporate personal plans for growth and career development. Usually a company will have a career’s section on the web site with a statement of how they manage and develop careers within the companies. You can highlight elements of the job that are new and exciting. It’s important to communicate enthusiasm.

Although there might be occasions where an odd ball question will get tossed your way, following this structure will generally produce a response that should generate a dialogue. You can always ask your interviewer which elements he/she would like you to elaborate on.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCES IN HANDLING TRICKY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS?

Confidence is a key element in handling interviews well. Contact 3Plus for more information about our Returner Roll-Up Session on Building your Confidence.

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Candidate, Communication, Executive Search and Recruitment
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Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.

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