Updated April 19, 2023
Tough Job Interview Questions
Imagine that you’re going through ten filters, one by one. Each filter is getting narrower, and you’re moving inward as if something wonderful is waiting for you at the end.
And you’re getting smarter and smarter, and as you pass through each filter, you’re getting closer to your desired goal. Then whoa! Finally, you’ve arrived. The desired goal is yours now!
The above scenario is an exact replication of how you face the top 10 tough job interview questions. If you can handle these tough job interview questions well, you’ll be able to say proudly that you’re hired.
But you may wonder why recruiters select these tough job interview questions. Do they want you to fail? No. They ask you these tough questions to screen better.
Any company wants people who’re the smartest, most intelligent, hard-working, and most reliable and who would become the greatest assets for the company. So how do you select these people? Simply by asking tough job interview questions that only the smartest, most intelligent, and best people can answer in a proactive manner.
When screening is good, the company will get the greatest resources. To do great work, every company needs a great team. So, if you’re wondering whether you’re one of the topmost people on earth, stop wondering. Rather start preparing. The following tough job interview questions are tools to prepare yourself and handle any interview wonderfully.
Tough job interview questions:
Let’s get started with and also ways to handle them.
1. Tell me something about yourself
When the interviewers ask this question to the interviewees, most candidates start speaking about their schooling, personal life, hobbies, and family.
But when the interviewers ask these tough job questions, they’re not looking for your personal preferences or family details. Rather, they want to know about your professional life and how you’re doing in your professional career.
If you’re a fresher, recruiters like to know what skills you’ve and whether you’ve any internship experience in any industry.
When the recruiters ask you this question, be prepared to answer it. It’s the toughest because it seems like a very simple question, but most candidates are rejected after answering this question.
Because recruiters are looking for not only information about the candidate but also the candidate’s poise, delivery, confidence, communication, and style.
While answering this question, remember to briefly describe your personal and professional experience and how your experience aligns with the position you’ve applied for. If you like, you can also prepare a personal branding statement to stand out.
When you ask people whether they are in the business of selling or not, most people will nod their heads in negation. But you’re a salesman no matter what you do.
So, when you’re asked to get into the interview room and at first asked this question, try to sell yourself. Don’t worry about self-promotion because you’re in the interview room to do just that.
2. Why’re you leaving your present job?
There could be many reasons why you’re seeking this job. But recruiters are skeptical about you. Why? Because there’re many job-hoppers out there who go from one job to another within a matter of months.
They want to know whether you’re focused and whether you’ve clarity in what you would like to do in your professional life.
So, you need to prepare for this question beforehand.
Start with assessing why you’re considering leaving your current job. Is it because you’re not being paid enough, or you’re not able to get any job satisfaction out of it, or you can simply see that you’ll be laid off soon enough? No matter what your reason is, you need to tell the truth tactically.
If you say the truth upfront, in front of recruiters, you may feel awkward. Say it in a way like “I want to part ways because this job is more suitable for my skill-sets and ambition”, and then explain about the skills you’ve and how your skills and experience can help the company gets its objective.
No company will hire you until they know that you can ensure better ROI for the company. Make sure your sales pitch is good enough. You need to sell yourself well so that the recruiters don’t suspect your intention in the first place.
let’s move to the next tough job interview questions.
3. What’re your greatest strengths?
This is a trick question.
Most candidates, when they’re being asked this question, reply with some vague intangibles like – “good team player”, “hardworking”, “self-motivated”, “loyal”, etc.
They fail to understand that everyone is saying these terms, and they are not valuable because they don’t cite any examples along with their strengths. So they don’t stand out and get rejected.
The best approach to answer this question is to think beforehand about the 3-4 strengths you would discuss. The strengths you mention should align with the job you’re applying for, and at the same time, you cite a real-life example of your professional career where you’ve shown these strengths.
Most recruiters are a combination of left and right brains. The intangibles will serve their right brain, while the facts you present satisfy the left brain.
4. What’re your weaknesses?
This is a trickier question, trickier than the above question.
To screen the best candidates, the recruiters ask this question.
The best way to approach this question is to show your weakness in the camouflage of professional strength. Suppose you always have a helicopter view, have a big picture in mind, and aren’t satisfied until things get perfect.
Use it as a weakness. Say, “I’m a perfectionist, and I don’t leave things or projects until they’re done perfectly.” May the recruiter ask then you would take a long time to do that? You may answer – “That you can say another weakness of mine.
I’m a workaholic, and my family always complains about late coming to any family gathering for my workaholic nature.”
See, the thing is that the recruiter never expects you to be perfect. No one is. So, be wise and say things in such a manner that even the weakness sounds like strengths.
let’s move to the next tough job interview questions.
5. What did you like about your current job?
The biggest thing recruiters like to know about you while asking this question is how good you’re at handling tasks or any area of responsibility. When you answer this question, pull out some tasks that interest you. It would be easier to explain if you were in a similar industry in your previous job.
If not, then pick out something you really liked about your earlier job and mention that you did very well in handling it.
Also, mention that everything cannot be of your liking. But cite an example proving that even if you don’t like the task, it should be considered done when you’re assigned a task.
This is a very good question because recruiters are suspicious about whether your audio is aligned with the video. You can explain your magnificence here.
6. What can you tell about our company/industry?
This question may seem usual, but how you answer it matters greatly.
Most candidates make the mistake of praising too much about the company and industry. But that’s not the point. When recruiters ask you about their company, it means they want to know whether you’re really interested in the position of the company or not.
They don’t actually follow your words; rather concentrate on your non-verbal cues. Even if you praise the company and industry in words, your non-verbal communication may say differently if you doubt it. So, be selective about the interviews. Don’t just sit for an interview. You will waste the time of recruiters as well as the time of your own. And nothing fruitful will come out of it.
So, go for interviews where you’re interested in doing the job, like the company, or want to work for the industry.
Prepare well about the company and the industry and give specific reasons (bullet points) about why you want to expand your career in this company or industry.
let’s move to the next tough job interview questions.
7. Why should I hire you?
This is another tricky question. But it actually means what you have that others don’t possess? When you’re asked this question, remember to point out things about you that set you apart from other candidates.
Most candidates talk about being hard-working, willing to adjust, and loyal. But they are not what recruiters want to know. They want to know what one or two things you have that are scarce.
To answer this question, you need to do a bit of homework.
First, while preparing, draw a SWOT analysis, find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and then try to align them with the company’s (the company you’re applying for) goals. Whatever comes in unison would be your point of emphasis.
Use bullet points and say the commonalities in brief.
If you do this, you will get through one of the trickiest and tough job interview questions asked by the recruiters in all the interviews.
8. Are you overqualified for this job?
Most recruiters are targeting whether you say “yes” or “no” to this question. If you say “yes”, you’re rejected immediately (at least most recruiters do that, but there are exceptions).
You get rejected when you say “yes” to this question because the recruiters feel that if you’re already overqualified for this job, you’ll soon be bored or disinterested in the same.
So, say “no” and then add, “I believe this job perfectly fits my skills and ambition. Even as I can see, in this job, I have a lot of room to grow.” If you say this, the recruiter will be sure about what you think about this job and your qualification.
But don’t lie. Say it upfront if you don’t feel you’re a perfect fit. It would be better for you as well as for the recruiter to decide then and then what to do with your candidature.
9. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Most people don’t set goals. So when the candidates are asked this question, most of the candidates have no idea what they should answer! They say vaguely – “President of the company” or “on the other side of the table”.
But instead of giving this blunt answer, if you talk about your motivation and what motivates you, then it would justify the answer. You could say something like – “As I currently see myself, I have a lot of room to grow.
The work environment and culture here will allow me to stretch myself and reach for my highest self as much as possible.”
An answer like this leaves no scope for cross-questioning. The recruiters get that you’re truthful to what you’ve to say and you don’t imagine things out of the blue.
This question is usually asked of candidates who are fresher or just coming out of college. Even if, while reading this, you consider yourself a fresher, always know that a well-articulated answer will do the trick and satisfy the recruiter.
let’s move to the last tough job interview questions.
10. Do you have any questions?
A lot of people say “no” to this, but it shouldn’t be you. Don’t say “no”. This question is asked to clarify whether you’ve prepared well for the interview. If not, you would say a “no” for sure. If “yes”, then you’ve something to ask or add.
Prepare a few tough job interview questions before or during the interview; if you have any questions, ask them here. Ask the question politely and wait for the answer. It will show your interest in the company.
Ensure you’re not asking too specifically about the salary at the end because that will create an impression in the recruiters’ minds that all you care about is his salary. Whatever you ask should be well prepared in advance.
These are a few tough job interview questions you will face. The tough job interview questions may seem usual. But if you prepare well and are really willing to get the job, the above list will help you get through.