Answering the Tough Questions During Interviews

Some advice on how to answer those curveballs

An image of 2 professionals engaging in an interview.  Virtual Career System (VCS)“Do you have any questions for me?”

You may be tempted to respond with, “Oh I’m good! I think we’ve covered everything” this can make you appear unenthusiastic about the position. This is a great opportunity to show your interviewer how interested you really are in the position! But be careful not to ask about anything that can easily be found by reading the job description or the company website. Instead ask a question that shows you’ve done your research, perhaps you’ve read an article about a new office they recently opened in a neighboring state – you can ask about their market strategy and what possibilities this new region will bring to the organization.

- How would you describe the culture here?
- What is your vision for the team/company?
- What is the biggest achievement this department has made?
- What is the biggest challenge facing this department right now?
- Besides a paycheck, what keeps you coming back to work here every day?
- How did this position come to be open?
- What does success look like for this position?
- What common characteristics do you see in people who do well in this position?
- What are the biggest challenges people face when they start out in this position?
- So if I were to have this position, can you give me a snapshot of what a typical day would look like?

Asking these types of questions can give you valuable insight into the deeper workings of a company and the team you would be working with and ultimately help you decide if you think you would be a good fit there. If an interviewer struggles to answer questions about the culture, why they like the work, or question about the company vision and strategy – it may be a red flag.

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