Most recruiters or hiring managers have interviewed so many people that you can almost guess what their responses will be. Typically something filled with buzzwords and so rehearsed, they may as well be reading off of a teleprompter. This is why they often ask tricky questions, in order to challenge you or throw you a curveball. It’s a good test of character and will allow the interviewer to delve a bit deeper and get to know you better.
I’m here to help, and give you 3 examples of tricky questions you may get in your interview, and how to answer them so you can impress your interviewer and secure the employment offer.
1. Tell me three things about you that aren’t on your CV?
This was always my favourite interview question to ask when hiring new team members. Why? Because it’s typically unexpected. People spend so much time curating their CVs with employment and education achievements, they often forget to add their personality. This is a chance for the interviewer to get to know you as a person, not just key points on a page.
With your answers, be honest and try to relate it back to how this will aid you if given the role. For example, if you are going to be in a customer facing role. Have you ever had an experience where you helped a member of the public or community? Were you on a debate team at school, or had experience giving a speech? Were you part of a school team that had members from a diverse background and therefore you’re able to interact with those who may have a different background to your own?
Get personal but don’t overshare. You can take this opportunity to share a personal story, or perhaps a hobby or interest that might positively reflect upon your character.This will help you to be a more memorable candidate. For a lot of jobs, little or no prior experience is required, and a lot of your success in the interview will be down to personality and if the hiring manager believes you’ll fit in well with the team.
Sharing your strengths, skills, passion or something in progress. Share either an intangible strength or one that isn’t mentioned on your resume. Are you currently learning something? Perhaps a new language, musical instrument, learning to bake, draw, play sports or working on a garden project? It can show that you are serious about growing and developing both in and out of the workplace. Do you have any skills that you haven’t shared on your CV? We often neglect the skills and personal qualities on a CV, so this is your time to make those skills shine.
If you haven’t written a cover letter or personal profile that includes the reason why you’ve applied for this specific role and why it spoke to you, and why you think you’d be right for it, this is a good place to talk about it.
2. What’s Your Greatest Weakness?
Possibly the most dreaded question anyone going for an interview prepares for. It is mainly asked to test the level of self awareness the candidate has. And of course, also to see any potential large barriers or obstacles that they would have to face and overcome if they hired you. If any red flags are raised, this is potentially game over for you being hired so it’s an important question to navigate correctly.
You want to be honest with your answer. Is there anything that particularly comes to mind that you feel you could improve on? Do you struggle with time management? Or perhaps you are not as strong with writing or mathematics than you’d like to be. Whatever answer you give, it’s important to show the hiring manager what you are doing to improve this. Have you started using a different system to keep your time management skills on track, or have you implemented a stricter editing process to minimise mistakes in your maths or writing? Ending on a positive note will encourage and reassure the employer that you’re working on any weaknesses or issues you may have and motivated to overcome them and improve for the future.
3. The Critical Thinking Curveball Question.
An example could be – How many working telephone boxes are still in operation in the UK today? Or How many trees are there in London? Or How many roundabouts are there in Sheffield? The interviewer knows that there is a 99% chance you will not know the answer to this question. The interviewer is looking to see your thought process, test your problem solving skills and your ability to remain calm under pressure.
Know that it’s okay to say “Now that’s a great but tough question, let me think about this” before you move forward with your answer. Just know, the end answer is almost irrelevant, it’s how you tackle the question that counts. Keep your cool, and don’t let the question throw you off. Explain your thought process and reach a reasonable conclusion. Will it be the right answer? Probably not, but you completed the task in a way that proved to the interview you can handle yourself in a stressful situation and remain calm under pressure.
I hope that this has helped you and given you some ideas on how to answer some of the hardest interview questions. For more interview and recruitment tips, please click here: http://thedentalschool.org/blog/