Handling Difficult Interview Questions | Kent State University

Handling Difficult Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself

Highlight your educational background and summarize your qualifications for the position, including related experience and skills. Don't ramble and conclude your response in one - two minutes.

What is your weakness?

You don't want to present a negative image of yourself, but to say you have no weakness is unrealistic. Your weakness should not directly relate to any key responsibilities of the position. Don't dwell on your weakness, instead, focus briefly on how you are improving in this area and support your comments with examples.  Show the interviewer that the positives you bring clearly outweigh any perceived negatives.

Why do you want to work for us?

The best way to prepare for this question is to research the organization.  Employers wants candidate who are passionate about their organization. Your response should be connected to specific information about the employer's products, services, mission statement, history or structure. Keep your response genuine.

Where do you want to be in 5/10 years?

It's not expected that you'll know specifically where you'll be, but you need to show the employer some forward thinking. Construct your response in relation to the job function (management, consulting, counseling, etc.) or education (advanced degree). "I would like to move into management at the local level and then perhaps later at the regional level." or "Getting a master's degree has always been a goal of mine."

How much are you making / do you think you are worth?

It is best not to offer any specific salary requirements. Instead, provide an answer such as, "I would prefer to discuss all aspects of this position before looking at salary" or "Can we come back to that when you have a better picture of what I have to offer?" Another option would be, "I am looking for the maximum, fair compensation for the responsibilities involved."

What salary range are you seeking?

If salary is raised midway through an interview and all is going well, you can ask, "Is this a job offer?" Proceed then to discuss responsibilities and your potential contribution to the organization. If salary is raised after you know the nature of the position, ask the interviewer what range he or she has in mind and indicate that you are flexible.

Why should I hire you?

This may be one of the last questions asked, and is an opportunity for you to quickly package yourself as the ideal candidate. Be prepared to summarize your qualifications (related experience, skills, personality traits) that best match you to the position. Be confident but not arrogant in your response.