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Tough Interview Questions and Answers

If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking?

Alternative and related questions:

If you were interviewing someone for this job what would you most like to ask them?

The meaning behind the question:

On the one hand, the interviewer is genuinely looking for a question (or questions) they haven’t thought of and that they perhaps should have. On the other hand, in unexpectedly reversing your roles they’re looking to see how well you can think on your feet.

Your answer:

You’re going to need to give the interviewer a possible question – if not a couple of possible questions. There’s no way you can answer along the lines of, “I think you’ve already asked everything that I would have asked.”

The only way in which this question might be tricky is if you’re unprepared for it – which most candidates will be. Other than that, it’s a gift horse – because it gives you the opportunity to deliver a positive and pre-prepared answer to a question of your choice.

It’s all too easy to interpret this question as, “What would be the toughest question I could ask you?” – and that is, of course, the last thing you should do. If you select your seven ‘favourite’ questions (or, more precisely, your seven favourite answers) from the previous chapter then it’s unlikely that any one interviewer will ask you all seven. This should leave you with one or two up your sleeve to roll out on just this occasion.

Don’t select from my ‘top 10’ – because most of these will crop up in almost any interview.

And I would naturally recommend you don’t select from this chapter – with one exception. If you feel confident enough to pull it off then you could plump for, “What makes you better than any of the other candidates I’m interviewing?” (see Question 18 below). I would generally recommend you stick to safer ground though.

Example:

You’ve already asked many of the questions that I myself would be asking. I’ve obviously been to a few interviews in my time and, if I had to think of a question I would ask – that you haven’t already asked – I think I would say, “What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?”

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

Take the fear out of your interview and never be stuck for the right answer to even the toughest questions with The Interview Question & Answer Book.

The job market is fierce, competition has never been greater and it's important that you can grab every opportunity for competitive advantage and stay one step ahead. Written by one of the world's leading careers experts and bestselling author of The Interview Book, this definitive guide to questions and answers encourages every job-hunter to think on your feet and express your individuality while supplying ideal responses to interview questions so that you’re seen as the ideal candidate for the job.

 

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More tough interview questions and answers

 

You must surely have more than one weakness?

What character flaws do you have?

How do you handle being criticised?

What really makes you lose your rag?

How did you cope with the most difficult colleague you've ever had?

Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?

Why haven't you achieved more in your career?

What don't you like about this line of work?

Where does your current employer think you are at the moment?

What are your current boss's weaknesses?

What are your current employer's plans for the year ahead?

What reservations do you have about working for us?

You've been out of work for a while. Has it been difficult finding a job?

What's your sickness record like?

What do you think of me as an interviewer?

If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking?

What would be the toughest question I could ask you?

What makes you better than any of the other candidates I'm interviewing?

I think you're overqualified for this job. Don't you?

What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

See this pen? Can you sell it to me?

If you were an animal at the zoo, which animal would you be and why?

If there was a monkey hanging from a chandelier, how would you get it down?

Why don't polar bears eat penguins?

How much water would it take to fill St. Paul's Cathedral?

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