5 Tough Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

With many contracting positions across construction and engineering available & the world of work changing rapidly and people seemingly moving jobs more often or joining the gig economy, there’s many out there who have become interview professionals and are able to answer the most difficult of questions in a simple, straight forward and concise manner.

For those of you who may not be so well versed, we’ve compiled a short list of our favoured ‘Hard’ questions and want to give you some advice should you come up against these:

1. Tell me something about our company we don’t already know

Now we’re all well versed that we should research the company that we have an interview with and going to their website and getting some headline information just won’t do anymore. You need to be more insightful to get that job that you want and to stand out so do something different!

Credit check the company you’re joining (this should be another article itself) and give them some financial successes on their company – don’t point out if it’s all bad, and if it is – what are you doing there in the first place?

Get on their social media channels and employer branding platforms such as Glassdoor and start a discussion with their followers or staff. According to www.officevibe.com Two thirds of candidates believe current employees offer the best insight into a working role and if you can give them some employee feedback or something that was shared with you, it will make you standout and show you’ve really researched the company – we interviewers love that.

There is just so much information available in the public domain there really is no excuse to not be able to get some information readily available that you can impress your interviewer with.

2. What would your manager say are your weaknesses?

Now this question needs to be asked straight after you’ve just answered the old favourite: ‘Name your weaknesses question’. No doubt you’ve prepared some good and honest answers and reeled them off with confidence but lo and behold you need another and from a different perspective. Answer honestly and competently and identify a genuine assessment of yourself but from your managers eyes – think back to an appraisal where there was something to improve upon – if you can relay it back to how you have turned it to a strength or learnt from it, this should be a great answer.

3. In what way do you consider yourself above average?

Now don’t jump on your high horse and start saying how brilliant you are this is only going to annoy your interviewer. What we’re looking for here is a frank and honest assessment of your best strengths and that you can highlight these without embarrassment and importantly, arrogance! It’s likely at this stage the interviewer already has a good idea of your strengths from your prior CV/Telephone or video interview so just reinforce gently what we’re already thinking.

4. What was the last thing you failed at and please describe?

Interviewers aren’t just looking for someone who never makes a mistake, they’re looking to get the crux of you. Also; don’t say you never fail – you may get the interview terminated immediately!

Again, they’re after an honest assessment of something that you’ve failed at to find out how you reacted to it. Did it eat you up, do you learn from it, did you improve from it. It could be an exam, a work project, a social experience – we fail at stuff all the time just make sure you turn that negative into a positive

5. What demanding tasks have you had previously and how were they solved?

All about the details this one! Now if you’ve been involved in a large project such as managing a large construction site or manufacturing facility and you made a success of it, spill the beans and spill them everywhere. Don’t go on for hours but be proud of how a difficult project was achieved. As a complex task, there will be many details to it so explain how they were overcome – did you rally the troops? did you delegate to others who possessed certain strengths over yourself? Was it completed on time? Were your team on your side? Did you manage difficult people? These are all the things and details we want to hear. If you’re too blasé we’re likely to think that you didn’t have too much input so be descriptive.

Hopefully these will assist you in your interview research and help for when you next come up against tough questions. If you are looking for first interview suggestions and questions click here.

Please get in touch with one of our consultants who would be happy to talk to you regarding interview preparation in more detail on info@martonrecruitment or by calling our office on 01233 665775.