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9 tricky job interview questions and how to answer them

Tricky job application questions? With these positive answers you profile yourself as a top candidate.

Bright Plus

2 min. reading time

During any job interview you will most probably be asked a few questions you dread. Instead of being disheartened and stammering an apologetic reply, use your answers to profile yourself as the ideal candidate and co-worker. Counter every tricky question with a positive statement about yourself. It will get you to the next round in a heartbeat.

1. Why did you leave your last employer?

Explain - as positively as you can – which challenges you missed in your previous job and what you hope to find in and bring to the job you are applying for.

2. You took longer to graduate?

You may have chosen a different discipline in the course of your studies to better prepare for your current job. Or you were perhaps working your way through college or an active member in your student association. Elaborate on your first working experience, explain how you developed team spirit – and show how you apply this in your work today.

3. You frequently changed jobs, why is that?

Job hopping isn't always a negative thing. You were consciously choosing for temp jobs, finding out which job suits you better. Emphasize what the benefits of your career choices are for your future employer: you’ve got experience in different functions, have a flexible disposition, and are immediately employable.

4. Have you ever been fired?

Answer truthfully and explain what the resignation has taught you. Maybe you misjudged some of the requirements of your previous job. Explain which strong skills and qualities you do bring to the new job. Or show which courses you followed to acquire the skills you lacked.

5. Are you currently applying elsewhere?

It’s perfectly normal to apply for more than one job. Only mention the applications that are equal to the job you’re interviewed for.

6. What is a correct salary for this job – according to you?

Don’t negotiate your salary until you are further along in the application procedure. Only then answer with a realistic salary – in line with your age and experience, the sector and region you would be working in. Bright Plus collected these data for you in its Salary Guide.

7. How do you deal with conflicts?

Never ever talk negatively about your former colleagues or employer. Show instead that you are an assertive and diplomatic co-worker and that you respect other people’s opinion.

8. How do handle stress?

Illustrate with an example from how well you perform under the pressure of deadlines and how you prioritize.

9. Why would we choose you and not another candidate?

Don’t be tempted to compare yourself to the others (I’m cheaper, I’m more experienced), but take this opportunity to emphasize your specific skills again.

What questions have already confused you during a job interview? And what were your answers? Share your experiences with us.