70% of the job interview is preparation. Basic questions are easy to anticipate but others are more challenging. Harder questions are trying to find more about who you are and how you react to being put on the spot. Here are some examples of trickier questions and how to navigate them.
Hiring managers are not trying to be mean when asking deeper questions. They usually have a greater purpose. This includes personality questions. They are wanting to know more about who you are as a person and if you will fit within the team. Some of these questions may be-
“How do you handle stress? What motivates you? Do you have any pet peeves?”
When preparing for these types of questions, ask your friends how they see you to get a better perspective and then take some time and examine how you really do handle stress and what really does motivate you. There is no harm in being honest. These answers help the hiring employer as well as help you find the right fit.
Another way employers like to get a good understanding of how you handle situations is to ask you previous work questions. Things like, “How did you handle problems at your last job? What did you like and dislike about it?” These are questions trying to find out how you handle workplace relationships and conditions. Do not say you got along with everyone and that there were no issues because every workplace comes with some dysfunction or discord. Employers will know that you are lying. Be prepared with some answers but do not say too many negative things. This is one of the trickiest questions because you want to be honest but not sound like the co-worker that could not get on well. The best way to answer is to have a couple examples prepared of a problem that came up and how you and that co-worker or boss handled it.
One of the most excruciating questions always asked is “What are your greatest weaknesses?”
Nobody wants to answer this and yet employers always ask it. A bad way to answer this is to say- “I don’t have any” or to use packaged answers like “I am a perfectionist.” The best way to prepare for this question is to first ask yourself some other questions-
What do people most criticize you for?
How have you learned from your mistakes?
When was a time that you felt like you failed at something?
Answers to these questions can then lead you to think of weaknesses that you have overcome and/or are working on.