How to answer difficult interview questions

Matt and Dan, Hooray Recruitment Consultants, discuss documents in the Healthcare and Education division in the Office in Cheltenham.

Hooray, Gloucestershire’s ethical recruitment agency, we’re here to help. Interviews are all about preparation, and there are many common interview questions you might be asked, so we’re going to discuss 3 different ones so you can prepare for interview questions you’re likely to encounter. Allowing you to effectively present your qualifications and personality and make a great impression during your next job interview.

Stay tuned as we will be spilling the beans and giving you our top hacks to answer common interview questions and ace your job interview.

We’ve analysed the data, crossed the T’s, dotted the I’s and compiled a list of the most common interview questions to help you practice. We will also be dissecting those difficult-to-answer ones and revealing the insider scope of what they’re truly asking.

Our top 3 most difficult-to-answer interview questions and how to answer them!

Candidate at her laptop

What are your weaknesses?

This interview question may seem quite daunting at first but it’s there to test your honesty.  The employer wants to know if you can be open with them so, be transparent and honest in your answer.

Make sure to add what you are putting in place to improve on it so that it doesn’t affect you in the workplace. This way you show them your ability to problem solve as well as growth and personal development.

To prepare your interview answer consider the job description. For example, if you are working in a heavily telephone-based role; like customer service advisor or receptionist roles saying that you’re not confident speaking over the phone or to new people will have a detrimental effect on your likelihood of getting the job.

When answering this interview question think about a weakness that doesn’t impact your success in securing the position.

Side note: It’s important to look at the job skills required and compare them to your own to make sure it’s a good match. Look at the responsibilities that are involved and if the day-to-day activities are of interest to you. If you don’t enjoy speaking over the phone, then customer service might not be for you.

Looking for a new job? Get in touch to talk to one of our expert recruitment consultants about how they can help find the perfect role for you!

Why should we hire you?

It’s time to let your personality shine through!

This interview question is a great opportunity to show off your skills. Everyone has their own set of unique skills and attributes which may be of interest to potential employers. Let employees know any distinctive interests or skills that could help you stand out from the crowd.

It can be difficult to talk about ourselves in a positive way, which we think is such a shame, so if you need some help ask a friend or family member to give you 3 words that describe you, as a starting point.

To help you with this interview question think about what values and attributes you have that match the job description and company ethos. Consider anything you have as part of your personality or skillset that can add quality to the company or the industry that you’re looking to join.

Remember this interview question allows you to showcase your unique qualities and alignment with the company. So make sure you:

  • Highlight Relevant Skills: Mention skills and experiences that directly match the job requirements. Provide specific examples of how you’ve demonstrated these skills in past roles.
  • Cultural Fit: Emphasise how your values and work style align with the company’s culture and mission. Highlight instances where you’ve contributed positively to team dynamics.
  • Value Proposition: Explain how your strengths and expertise will bring value to the company. Discuss how your contributions can help the company achieve its goals or address specific challenges.
  • Show Enthusiasm: Express genuine excitement about the opportunity to contribute to the company’s success and growth.

Here is a hypothetical example of an answer to that interview question for someone applying for a Project Manager role: “I believe my combination of strong analytical skills and experience in project management make me a strong fit for this role. My previous role involved successfully leading cross-functional teams to deliver complex projects within tight deadlines, which I see as a crucial skill for driving efficiency and innovation in this position. Moreover, my dedication to collaborative teamwork and my adaptability to fast-paced environments align perfectly with the company’s culture of innovation and continuous improvement.”

Recruitment consultant writing down notes

Why do you want to work for us?

What they’re really asking in this interview question is what is your motivation? What do you know about the company? And what skills do you possess that are relevant to the role?

The key to this interview question is preparation and research. Before the job interview, thoroughly research the company. Explore their company website, social media, recent news and other available information. This will help you gain a better understanding of their ethos, and corporate identity including their Mission and Values, products, services, industry reputation and achievements enabling you to the interview question.

By learning more about the company, you can identify alignments with your values, interests and what you’re looking for in a position. Find aspects of the company that resonate with you personally and professionally and see if there is anything that piques your interest.

Researching the company is also a great way for you to learn what they offer where other companies don’t. Look for their employees’ benefits and their EVP (Employee Value Proposition) to gain a further understanding of the companies’ offerings and working environment enabling you to confidently answer interview questions. If you can’t find these get in touch, we might be able to help. Need an example? Check out ours here.

Match with your own goals. Reflect on your short-term and long-term career objectives. Think about what you aim to achieve professionally. How does this role with the company contribute to these goals? Showcasing how your career ambitions, skills, and experiences align with the offerings of the company helps to build confidence in your potential new employer and identify key points of intersection between your aspirations and the opportunities the company provides.

Don’t forget…

When answering interview questions showcase your excitement and enthusiasm for the company. As well as how you will contribute to its success and growth. Make sure when answering the interview questions, to connect your response to the role you are applying for. Explaining why it’s a perfect match.

Finally, Tailor your answer, be genuine and practice, practice, practice. Don’t forget to customise your response for each interview and position you are applying for. Emphasise different aspects of the company and focus on showcasing how you can contribute positively to their success. Your response should be authentic and sincere. So, be genuine in your interview answers. Interviewers can often tell when a response is insincere or over-rehearsed.

Don’t forget the power of practising. Practice your response out loud in the mirror or with a friend or family.  By practising answers to common interview questions this will help you feel more comfortable and confident in delivering your answer. 

So, job seekers, are we feeling better about acing your interview questions already? Great. Stick with us and you’ll go far. Remember we’re Gloucestershire’s leading ethical recruitment agency and we’re here to help. So, go on and rock that interview with our insider tips. Hooray’s got your back, and your next job adventure is just around the corner!

Still not found the answer you were looking for? Give us a call or check out the rest of our helpful blogs here. Looking for work? Click here for our vacancies page.