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The 10 Toughest Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

TalkShop Toughest Interview QuestionA job interview is always a challenge that one has to prepare for. Much like making a sales presentation, one has to plan, prepare physically and mentally – and rehearse. Expect tough questions and do your research. The goal is to project yourself as poised, professional, and competent. Here are the toughest questions to help you ace the interview and bag the job:

1. Tell me about yourself.
This is your chance to make a sales pitch about yourself. Beforehand, come up with your personal brand positioning that will set the tone and direction of your answers for consistency. Keep it short but with impact.

2. Why do you want to leave your job?
It is commonplace these days for people to lose their jobs due to downsizing. Be honest and focus on the values you offer. If this is because of performance issues, admit you left your workplace but direct the conversation towards your strengths and skills.

3. What didn’t you like about your past job?
Choose an answer that will have no bearing on the job you are applying for. Explain while you didn’t like the task, you managed to carry the task well and share the lessons learned. Always answer a negative question with a positive response.

4. What do you think of your boss?
Point out the positive experiences. Avoid saying anything negative about your past workplace and superior.

5. What sets you apart from the rest?
Focus on your career highlights. Keep your answer professional. This should relate to the skills and accomplishments in your career.

6. Tell me about the company/the industry.
Remember to research about the company and the industry it is in to be able to tackle this question. Take note of the trends in the industry- conditions, opportunities, and threats.

7. How successful have you been so far?
Point out that with the high and low points in life, that you are quite successful and share your outlook that make it so. Point out also the intangibles in life that bring happiness and enrich your self-esteem: faith, family, friends, etc.

8. Please stand up and turn around so I can take a better look at you.
Sometimes, interviews can veer away from professionalism with requests and questions that make the situation feel awkward. Since these bear no weight on your ability to carry out the job, you need not accommodate or answer the question. Point this out in a polite and firm manner. Ask the interviewer if he has other questions.

9. How long will you stay with us?
Say, “For as long as it is mutually beneficial and I can give the value required of me.”

10. Where do you see yourself in 3 or 5 years?
Do not say you are aiming for the position of the interviewer. Reply by talking about what motivates you to do your best.

Questions at an interview need not be answered directly. Look into the intent of each one, and steer these to highlight your unique strengths. In any interview, aim at coming across as confident and competent by practicing sensibility and being a fast-thinker who can cope under pressure.

Acquire the polish to your personality to outshine the rest. TalkShop’s Interview Skills can be taken independently or as part of the Management Communication and Personal Effectiveness courses designed for corporations, professionals, and students who aim to be the winner in the paths they choose to track. For queries, call 894-5588 or log on to www.talkshop.ph.

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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