How to handle the toughest questions
- Jul 11, 2017
If you’re looking for a promotion at work, you should think ahead about the job interview for the new position.
Just because you are a known entity in the office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare to answer interview questions just as you would if you were applying for work at a brand new company.
Being prepared helps you think on your feet and intelligently discuss your goals, aspirations and work skills. So here are several tough interview questions. The suggested replies are not meant to be memorized, but to help stimulate your thinking.
What would you do differently if you could start over again? Don’t go negative. Try to reinforce a positive image of yourself by choosing a work-related decision that you made early in your professional life, and then focus on a minor error that you’ve since recognized.
Don’t highlight any deficiencies in your educational background either. You don’t want to call attention to a degree you might lack that the company prefers job candidates have. Instead, say if you could do it over you would have gone back to graduate school earlier or would have changed your minor.
What would you rate yourself as a professional or as an employee? Don’t be squeamish about self-promotion. In a job interview you should brag. Rate yourself at the top. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect your employer to believe in you?
The only rating question that may require some humility is if you are asked to rate yourself as a spouse or family member. Acknowledging your commitment to work is so great that your family life somewhat suffers is not going to lose you any points with the boss.
Discuss your biggest strength and greatest weakness. Refer to one of your accomplishments listed on your resume when talking about your strengths. Try to use one of your most current accomplishments. As for discussing a weakness, be careful not to sabotage your chances. Suggest a weakness that could be viewed as a plus by an employer—for example, that you are too critical of your own work or too quality-oriented or even too detail-oriented.
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