13 Tricky Interview Questions You DON'T Know How To Answer

There’s a lot of tricky interview questions that come up in normal interview sessions. For the most part, you won’t know that they’re tricky. They sound pretty straight forward but in reality, the answer the interviewer is looking for is not really the one they’re asking about.

Let’s explain this. Interviewers are often seeking more information about the candidate than they allude to. They can ask indirect interview questions that provide them an idea of who you are and why you are there interviewing. For the most part, people respond to the question as though the answer to the question needs to be a direct one.

For example, a question like, “What is your management style?” is one that can be answered simply by saying, “I like to make sure things get accomplished.” But in reality, that’s not the answer that the interviewer is looking for. That’s what makes it tricky in terms of the question and the ideal answer.

13 Tricky Interview Questions & Ways To Answer

There are roughly 13 tricky interview questions you need to watch out for. These interview questions aren’t always situational, too. Meaning, the interviewer isn’t looking for you to describe a past working scenario and how it will apply to the job function you are looking to get employed for. For example, the question, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” is one that requires some thought behind the reasoning for your animal choice. This makes it not situational but almost passive in nature.

Let’s go over what interview questions you should watch out for and what type of answer the interviewer is looking for.

1. What is your management style?

When the interviewer asks this question, you’ll need to be sure that you answer with what good management looks like, what bad management looks like and your flexibility in the style that you manage others. In this vein, it makes it difficult to prepare a perfect answer but you’ll need these three qualities to make a good answer.

Read our guide on answering “What is your management style”

2. Why did you leave your last job?

Having a good answer to this question is important. Most people will respond with a story. That’s not what you want. You don’t want to use this as an opportunity to speak about your employer and what they could be doing better. Instead, you need a simple, straightforward and respectful answer.

Read our guide on answering “Why did you leave your last job”

3. What is your work style?

While some people might answer this question with, “hard-working” — you need to be more descriptive and less cliche with your answer. Being prepared in advance with what type of work environment the job offers is what is going to set you up for a perfect answer.

Read our guide on answering “What is your work style”

4. How do you like to be managed?

This is another tricky question to answer. Most people will say they like freedom. In reality, you want to answer with a question that fits in with their company culture. Because of this, it requires you to do the research about a company’s values and culture beforehand.

Read our guide on answering “How do you like to be managed”

5. Why do you want this job?

Most people answer with something dull, like, “I need a job.” You don’t want to answer with something like this. Your answer needs to contain enthusiasm about the company and the opportunity.

Read our guide on answering “Why do you want this job”

6. If you were an animal, what would you be?

This is a question which requires some preparation. For example, saying you are an eagle sounds wonderful but if you are applying for a non-leadership position, this could make you seem unfitting for the role.

Read our guide on answering “If you were an animal, what would you be”

7. What is your greatest strength?

It’s important that you don’t answer with something cliche, like, “I’m a hard worker.” You need to answer with a strength that is going to compliment the needs of the position you applied for.

Read our guide on answering “What is your greatest strength”

8. What are you passionate about?

It’s really important that you don’t answer with something that makes it appear as though you aren’t passionate about the type of job you are applying for. Most people answer with something like, “I’m passionate about knitting.” But they are applying for software engineering. Your answer needs to line up with your job function.

Read our guide on answering “What are you passionate about”

9. What are you looking for in your next job?

Most people answer this question with a single dream quality. And that’s difficult for the interviewer to swallow. What they’re actually looking for is a series of environment qualities which their environment already offers.

Read our guide on answering “What are you looking for in your next job”

10. What is your greatest weakness?

Knowing you have weaknesses makes you leadership material. Everyone has a weakness. But there’s a way to describe weaknesses which show opportunity for professional growth and development. That’s the type of answer the interviewer is looking for.

Read our guide on answering “What is your greatest weakness”

11. Can you describe yourself?

Knowing how to describe yourself sounds either difficult or easy for some people. But both would be wrong. There’s a specific way that you need to be able to describe yourself so that you don’t sound unappealing to the other colleagues you might be working with.

Read our guide on answering “Can you describe yourself”

12. What do you know about our company?

It’s important that you have a firm grasp on the company you are applying for. If you say something simple like, “you sell toys” this is going to put you out of the running for the position. You need to be sure that your answer contains industry-specific and company-specific components to the response.

Read our guide on answering “What do you know about our company”

13. Tell me about a time you failed.

Being able to describe a time you failed is important. Most people will answer with an event in life where they made a mistake. Usually, a non-work related story. When asked this question, you need to be able to respond with something that makes you appear as though you made a mistake at work but know what the answer is for next time in order to correct it.

Read our guide on answering “Tell me about a time you failed”

Want higher salary?

Our comprehensive free guide on increasing your salary through new or existing employment has finally dropped. Get it here.

     

    Share

    Help us by spreading the word