Toughest Questions Interviewers Get
There’s no question that the interview culture has changed significantly over the last decade. The days of interviews feeling like a trip to the dentist are long gone. As work spaces become increasingly relaxed and informal, so does the interview process. Often times, interviews feel more like a conversation, rather than a one-sided Q & A. In fact, it’s not uncommon for candidates to turn the tables on an interviewer and start asking questions. Although this is a great opportunity for an interviewer to really sell the company, it can get a bit distracting and may even limit an interviewer’s ability to extract the information needed from this meeting. We’ve put together a few of the toughest questions interviewers get love to ask, and some tips on how to respond.
“Why did you choose to work here?”
This question is definitely tough and you don’t want to get stuck on it for too long. The key to answering this without getting off topic, is to not get too personal. Most of us make career choices based on a lot of factors. Some of these reasons are personal and some are professional. You want to stick to the professional reasons and keep it short. It’s also a great idea to let them know why you’ve stayed with the company. So, your answer may sound something like, “You know, Company X has always had a reputation for being one of the best in the industry and of course I wanted to be with an industry leader. It was a great fit for my family and I’ve stayed all these years because of the team I’m with and all we’ve accomplished here together”. Then, quickly follow up with the same question, to redirect the interview. Ask them why they were drawn to this position. The key is to naturally transition back to the “interviewer position”.
“What do you think is the most important quality to have in order to succeed in this job?”
Again, you want to represent yourself as someone who understands the job and the skillsets required to perform well. The answer here will vary, but it’s important to know it, before you step into the interview room. This answer should always be a characteristic, rather than a hard skill. For instance, you’d want to emphasize an ability to learn on the job quickly, rather than knowing a particular software. Again, a brief but complete answer is best in this scenario. It’s also a great transition for you to ask about a candidate’s quality. After you answer the questions, ask the candidate if they feel they have that quality and if so, can they elaborate.
“What are your company’s current goals?”
For this question, I’d narrow down my answer to no more than three high level goals the company hopes to achieve. Don’t get specific like, clean out a back storage room, or integrate a new software. This should be something inspiring and also something the candidate can see themselves participating in. A good example here would be exploring new product options or becoming an industry leader. Once you’ve given your answer, ask the candidate for their thoughts. This is a great way to see if your candidate has done their homework on your company and maybe discover they have some great insights into your company.
No matter the question, if you feel stuck on an unexpected answer, don’t feel like you must rush an answer. Remember, this is still your interview, so take a minute to think about your response. The toughest questions interviewers get often are the most valuable part of your interview, so think about all this carefully as it could make or break your opportunity. To find that next job interview be sure to check out our list of openings!