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20 Impressive Answers To Any Tough Interview Questions

20 Impressive Answers To Any Tough Interview Questions

Tough interview questions shouldn’t keep you from getting the job. The resume got you in, now all you have to do is rehearse and prepare for the interview. Brush up on the company’s business through a little internet research. Interviewers will be impressed that you took the time and initiative to get to know more about the company on your own. Use the following questions and answers to rehearse before the big day.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Keep your answer short and to the point. Highlight career accomplishment and relate these accomplishments to what you can do for the company. Memorize and provide a brief synopsis of your resume. Be sure to tailor your responses to the job description. Describe how you are the best candidate to fulfill the company’s needs.

2. What Is Your Long Range Objective?

Provide examples of what you see yourself doing within the company. Tailor your answers to the job at hand and focus on how your objectives fit with the companies’ long term goals. Review the objectives of the job description as a guide to how you should answer this question, as well.

3.  Are You A Team Player?

Don’t choke on this question and simply nod or say yes. Provide examples of successful team interaction. Specifically talk about how being on a team was beneficial to you and ultimately the company. Read up on the company beforehand to get a sense of the internal culture of the company. Offer ideas as to how a team can come together and do what is best for the company.

4. Have You Ever Had A Conflict With A Boss? How Did You Resolve The Problem?

This question is very much geared to how you negotiate positively with people. Focus on how the problem was resolved, rather than the conflict itself. Emphasize your ability to understand both sides of the conflict. Talk about how you maintained a professional demeanor and did not allow the conflict to get personal. Finally, share how both parties resolved the difficulty.

5. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

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Of all the tough question, this one by far is the most difficult. Talk about the weakness, whatever it may be, impatience, disorganization, or poor planning. However, end on a positive. Tell the interviewer that you recognize your own weakness, but are working to correct the problem. For example, you may be disorganized yet you are making an effort to organize.

6. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

Explain to the interviewer that the company you left was not the best possible fit for you. You decided that you could and have done better elsewhere. Refrain from saying anything negative about your former company. Perhaps the last company did not have opportunities for advancement as this new company does.

7. How Would Others Describe You?

This is a great way to introduce your communication skills. For example, you can emphasize that not only do you listen but that you engage in active listening. Tell the interviewer about how friends and colleagues have come to think of you as a problem solver.

8. Why Should I Hire You?

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    Now is the time to let the interviewer know that you are the best fit for the job. Let him or her know that you are the problem-solver the company has been looking for. This is where the research into the company will be a big help. You will be able to tell exactly how and why you are a good fit for the company.

    9. What Relevant Experience Do You Have?

    This is where the job description will really come into play at the interview. Highlight all relevant experience and be sure to include volunteer work as well. It helps to make a side-by-side list relating your job skills next to the ones that are in the job description.

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    10. How Do You Plan To Add Value To This Organization?

    Describe the value that only you can bring to the role. Your relevant experience and acquired job skills both come into play here. This is your chance to let the interviewer know how you best fit into the job and the organization as a whole.

    11. Why Do You Want To Work For This Company?

    This is where your research into the company before the interview is useful. Know the company’s mission statement and tell the interviewer that you have similar goals in mind. Check out the company’s website, so you can really stand out above the competition when answering this question.

    12. Why Should I Hire You?

    Provide real-world examples of how your work ethic aligns with the company mission and culture. This is your chance to prove you are the best candidate for the job. Again, use the job description to align your experience and skills exactly to the company’s needs.

    13. What Are Some Problems In The Workplace You Have Overcome?

    Provide concrete examples of the means and ways you have in mediating and your ability to problem solve.Explain how you took the initiative of the problem at hand and were able to come up with a solution. Emphasize your ability to ‘think outside of the box’ and overcame the problem.

    14. What Interests You About This Job?

    Simply plug your skills in alongside the job description. You now have the opportunity to now accentuate your skills and accomplishments with the job you are seeking. Show the interviewer exactly how your skills and accomplishments are exactly what the company is seeking and has found in your abilities.

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    15. Is There A Type Of Work Environment You Prefer?

    Tell the interviewer that you are entirely flexible in answer to this question. Say that you work well both independently and in a team environment. Let the interviewer know that you are able to adjust and work as the company requires.

    16. What Are You Passionate About?

    In this case you may relate something personal about yourself. For example, you could sure that you volunteer to help people who are in need. In other words, you could share that you are people-oriented and that your passion lies in giving your time to others.

    17. How Much Do You Expect To Get Paid?

    This point really does take some study before the interview ever takes place. Look up the company’s websites to find comparable salaries to the job you want to win. That way when this question comes up you will have a median range in mind when asked.

    18. How Do You Handle Pressure?

    Let the interviewer know that you are aware of both good stress and bad stress. Good stress can be exemplified through working in a challenging environment or meeting deadlines. As for bad stress, an interviewee could emphasize how exercise helps keep a balance between good and bad stress.

    19. Describe Your Work Pace

    Answer by telling the interviewer that you work to accomplish goals and deadlines at a steady pace. That you are cognizant about deadlines and habitually meet deadlines on time. Discuss how well you are motivated to get the job done is a timely fashion.

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    20. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

    Keep in mind a particular list of what you want to ask the interviewer. Ask about the work environment. Another suitable question is to ask what happened to the person who left the job.  Was the former employee promoted, did they quit, or were fired?  You may want to inquire as to how long has the position been vacant or if this is a new position.

     

    Featured photo credit: bpsusf via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

    Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

    Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

    Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

    How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

    The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

    You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

    Physical Signs

    Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

    It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

    In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

    Mental Signs

    One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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    I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

    Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

    • The tension in your neck
    • Difficulties with sleeping
    • Unable to concentrate
    • High anxiety
    • Depression

    If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

    Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

    Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

    The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

    Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

    Desire for an Increase of Salary

    The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

    At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

    Overnight Decision

    Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

    Rejected for a Promotion

    I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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    Bored at Work

    Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

    A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

    • How long have you worked in your career?
    • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
    • Do you receive recognition?
    • Can you consider working in a new department?

    If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

    How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

    I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

    One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

    It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

    A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

    You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

    • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
    • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
    • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

    How to Make a Career Change Successfully

    The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

    1. Write a Career Plan

    A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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    You can learn how to set your career plan here.

    2. Weigh Your Options

    If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

    You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

    3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

    It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

    A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

    • Economic factors
    • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
    • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
    • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
    • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

      A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

      4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

      A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

      • What is required to be successful in the role?
      • What certification or educational development is needed?
      • What are the challenges of the role?
      • Is there potential for career advancement?

      A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

      Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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      5. Research Salary

      Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

      It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

      6. Be Realistic

      If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

      For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

      Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

      7. Volunteer First

      A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

      Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

      Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

      8. Prepare Your Career Tools

      I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

      • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
      • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
      • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
      • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

      Bottom Line

      It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

      Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

      More About Career Change

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
      [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
      [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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