How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

6 min readAug 12, 2021


We are already in mid-2021 and the pandemic is still affecting various industries globally. Many lost their job over the past year, many switched their job/careers, which means going through interviews! For those that managed to get their CV’s past the ATS (Application Tracking System) and into the hands of a human being, then congratulations! If not, then watch this video on how to ‘Hack the ATS.’

Now, we have all gone through this process of interview rounds before at some point in our lives, hence, questions may very well be familiar. However, why exactly is HR asking these questions, and what are the hidden signals they want to get from you is the KEY.

So, do not just skim through, read each tip carefully. These are some inside tips that HR and hiring managers don’t want you to know. To get personalized answers based on your relevant skills and your experience for ‘tough interview questions, schedule a FREE 1-on-1 consultation with us and let us help you!

10 most commonly asked hiring questions:

Tell Me About Yourself. Why Do You Want This Job? Why Should We Hire You? What is Your Greatest Strength? What is Your Greatest Weakness? Why Do You Want to Leave (or Have Left) Your Job? What Are Your Salary Expectations? How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure? Describe a Difficult Work Situation or Project and How You Handled It. What Are Your Goals for The Future?

Here are the best ways to answer the questions:

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This is one of the first questions you are likely to be asked. Be prepared to talk about yourself, and why you’re an ideal candidate for the position. The interviewer wants to know why you’re an excellent fit for the job. We recommend a simple and effective formula for structuring your response: present, past, future. Make sure you ultimately tie it to the job and company. You want to be absolutely certain your interviewer is left with the impression that it “makes sense that [you’re] sitting here talking to me about this role.”

2. Why Do You Want This Job?

Why are you a good fit for the position? What would you accomplish if you were hired? This interview question gives you an opportunity to show the interviewer what you know about the job and the company, so take time beforehand to thoroughly research the company, its products, services, culture, and mission. Be specific about what makes you a good fit for this role, and mention aspects of the company and position that appeal to you most. Ensure you let them know how you stand out from the rest of the competition.

3. Why Should We Hire You?

Are you the best candidate for the job? The hiring manager wants to know whether you have all the required qualifications. Be prepared to explain why you’re the applicant who should be hired. Make your response a confident, concise, focused sales pitch that explains what you have to offer and why you should get the job. This is a good time to review the qualifications and the requirements in the job listing, so you can craft a response that aligns with what the interviewer is looking for. Read this blog if you’re trying to decide career switch between startup vs corporate.

4. What is Your Greatest Strength?

This is one of the questions that employers almost always ask to determine how well you are qualified for the position. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it’s important to discuss the attributes that qualify you for that specific job, and that will set you apart from other candidates. When you’re answering this question, remember to “show” rather than “tell.” For example, rather than stating that you are an excellent problem solver, instead tell a story that demonstrates this, ideally drawing on an anecdote from your professional experience.

5. What is Your Greatest Weakness?

Another typical question that interviewers will ask is about your weaknesses. Do your best to frame your answers around positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee, turning seeming “weaknesses” into strengths. This question is an opportunity to show the hiring manager that you’re well qualified for the job. In addition to learning whether you’ve got the right credentials, the hiring manager wants to know whether you can take on challenges and learn new tasks. You can also share examples of skills you have improved, providing specific instances of how you have recognized a weakness and taken steps to correct it.

6. Why Do You Want to Leave (or Have Left) Your Job?

Be prepared with a response to this question. You’ll need to give an answer that’s honest and reflects your specific circumstances but keeps it positive. Even if you quit under challenging circumstances, now isn’t the best time to share what could be construed as too much information with the interviewer. The interviewer wants to know why you left your job and why you want to work for their company. When asked about why you are moving on from your current position, stick with the facts, be direct, and focus your answer on the future, especially if your departure wasn’t under the best circumstances.

7. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

What are you looking for in terms of salary? Questions about money are always tricky to answer. You don’t want to sell yourself short or price yourself out of a job offer. In some locations, employers are legally prohibited from asking you about salary history — but they can ask how much you expect to get paid. Do your research before the meeting so that you’ll be prepared to name a salary (or salary range) if you’re asked. There are several free online salary calculators that can provide you with a reasonable range based on your job title, employer, experience, skills, and location.

8. How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure?

What do you do when things don’t go smoothly at work? How do you deal with difficult situations? The employer wants to know how you handle workplace stress. Do you work well in high-stress situations? Do you thrive on pressure, or would you prefer a more low-key job? What do you do when something goes wrong? The best way to respond to this question is to share an example of how you have successfully handled stress in a previous position. Avoid claiming that you rarely, experience stress. Rather, formulate your answer in a way that acknowledges workplace stress and explains how you’ve overcome it, or even used it to your advantage.

9. Describe a Difficult Work Situation or Project and How You Handled It.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to a question about handling a difficult situation. How you react will show the hiring manager your work style and how you manage issues. It will help determine if you mesh with the company, and you’re a fit for the role. The interviewer wants to know how you respond when faced with a difficult decision. As with the question about stress, be prepared to share an example of what you did in a tough situation. It’s important to share details to make the story believable and engaging.

10. What Are Your Goals for The Future?

This question is designed to find out if you’re going to stick around or move on as soon as you find a better opportunity. Keep your answer focused on the job and the company, and reiterate to the interviewer that the position aligns with your long-term goals.

So that’s it for now, thank you for reading. If you want to know how to answer such questions then schedule a FREE 1 on 1 consultation. We personalise it based on YOUR own skills and experiences and guide you accordingly.




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