Tricky Questions

By, 03/22/2012

When I interviewed for jobs at the beginning of my career, one question always threw me: “Tell me about yourself.” I was pretty sure they didn’t want to know my favorite books, hobbies, likes and dislikes. But I had no idea what they did want—the question seemed too open ended to concisely answer on the spot.

Have you been similarly stumped at an interview? If so, check out “Handling Tricky Interview Questions,” published by one of the UK’s leading career advisers. Not only will you learn how to answer the question above (sell yourself!), but you’ll receive handy tips on several tough queries. Among the highlights:

  • Find out how to answer, “What are your weaknesses?” without hurting your chance of getting hired.
  • “Tell me about an achievement you are proud of” really means “tell me how you made a quantifiable difference in a previous job.”

And perhaps most important, what’s the best way to answer “What are your career goals?” It’s probably tempting to tell the interviewer your dream job, like owning your own business, and why this role is a good “stepping stone.” However, that answer could give the impression you wouldn’t be committed to the role, and most hiring managers are looking for a long-term fit. So, make sure your answer demonstrates why you’re excited about the role’s long-term prospects.