3 Tricky Interview Questions and How to Answer them

Airi Tasaki 09 Aug 2019

You have secured an interview for your dream job but you have no idea what style of interview to expect and how to prepare for those tricky interview questions?

Your recruitment consultant will advise you on what to expect in any interview. However, it’s always best to be well prepared, so you should also spend your own time preparing in advance.

Here we take a look at some of these questions, why they are being asked and what the best response could be. For more questions and preparation tips, simply download a free copy of our Interview Preparation Guide below. 

Interview Question #1. What areas would you most like to improve?

Why ask it?

A friendlier question than ‘what are your weaknesses?’ It’s slightly easier to answer as most people will feel there is room for improvement. The interviewer is looking to gain a better insight into your perceived weaker areas.

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Best response

The better candidate may attempt to disguise a strength as a weakness, such as: ‘I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is not always on the same wavelength’.

In a role requiring extensive communication you could say, ‘If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as possible with my stakeholders, as opposed to being in at my desk. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of paperwork and I do it conscientiously, but what I really love to do is talk to people'.

 

Interview Question #2. What would you have liked to have done differently in your life?

Why ask it?

This question gives the interviewer the opportunity to uncover any life influencing mistakes, regrets, disappointments or problems that may continue to affect your personal compatibility and performance and may also be interested to know what you have learned from these experiences.

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Best response

You do not want to give them anything negative such as a great personal or career disappointment that could have been avoided. If you do not answer this question objectively, you are at risk if references show up a major concern. The better candidate will state they are happy, fulfilled, optimistic and that in general, they would probably not change a thing since life is always full of mistakes and learning by mistakes is very important to success.

 

Interview Question #3. The question that is not asked – the ‘long pause’!

Why use it?

On occasion, interviewers could pause to see how the individual reacts to the silence. Some interviewers write answers to the interview questions – this should prompt you to remain silent. The ‘long pause’ is normally used by those who are keen to see how interviewees respond under stress.

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Best response

The ‘wait’ can often make candidates uneasy. This is very much a test of maturity and/or confidence. When you face this approach, keep quiet and then ask with sincere politeness and not a trace of sarcasm, ‘Is there anything else I can fill in on that point?’. They will see you have read the situation well!

Airi Tasaki's picture
Consultant | Financial Services Recruitment
atasaki@morganmckinley.co.jp