Top 7 Hardest Interview Questions and the Best Answers (2022)

What are some of the hardest interview questions, and how can you prepare for them? Before an interview, you should go over the most common questions and prepare your answers. But if you skip over some of the most difficult interview questions, you could be killing your chances of success. The following questions are trickier than most, so let’s look at how to answer them so that you impress the interviewer and land the job.

What Are the Most Difficult Interview Questions?

Table of contents

  • 1. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • 2. Why should I hire you?
  • 3. Tell me about yourself
  • 4. How do you handle conflict?
  • 5. What is your biggest failure?
  • 6. Describe yourself in 3 words.
  • 7. What’s your greatest weakness?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

How to Answer Hardest Interview Questions

1. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

Although it may seem that way, this question is not an invitation to put other candidates down. Instead, it’s your chance to acknowledge what sets you apart from a sea of similarly qualified applicants. To do this, it’s best to prepare a list of your unique strengths and skills. When preparing them, don’t be too generic. Instead of saying “I’m good with people,” focus on why you are good with people. Is it because of natural leadership abilities? Or maybe your time spent traveling the world?

Once you know your unique qualities, try to apply them to the job and company. Research any current challenges the company is facing or ask the interviewer what the top priorities are in the position. Then, demonstrate how your skills and strengths could help you achieve those and propel the company forward.

2. Why should I hire you?

This is your opportunity to pitch yourself and your experience to the interviewer. Usually, the interviewer will want to hear why you are the best fit for the role out of all the other applicants. The correct answer is one that aligns with the company’s goals and needs.

Firstly, read through the requirements for the position. Then, identify 5-10 of your skills and strengths that align with the requirements. Finally, think of the times you have demonstrated these characteristics in your work. Prepare a short story to show what you did and what the outcomes of your actions were.

For example, you may answer like this:

I believe my years of experience in similar positions and award-winning sales record make me a perfect fit for this role. I understand that you are looking for a sales manager with strong interpersonal and strategic skills. In my most recent position, I have designed a new sales strategy and onboard a team to implement this strategy. This resulted in a 40% increase in revenue and raised brand awareness.

(Video) TOP 7 HARDEST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS (Including Job Interview Tips, And BRILLIANT EXAMPLE ANSWERS!)

Read more:Why Should We Hire You? 3 Step Guide to the Best Answer

3. Tell me about yourself

When answering this question, aim for a short answer that summarises your personal and professional qualities. To get started, think about the traits that are valuable for the position you are applying for. Always have a story that depicts that quality ready. Then, think about why you are interested in the industry, the company, and the particular role. Finally, think about the qualities that would help you the most in this role.

An excellent way to answer this question is by following this structure:

  • Present your past achievements and how they relate to the role.
  • Discuss how your current position relates to the one you are applying for.
  • Highlight the strengths that you can support with examples from your life.
  • Show off your personality by mentioning hobbies or volunteer experience.

Read more:“Tell Me About Yourself” Tips and Example Answers

4. How do you handle conflict?

The key to an assuring answer is demonstrating that you can listen and accept the views of others, even if they’re different from your own. Also, prove that you’re able to solve conflict privately and effectively with examples from the past. Most often, employers want to learn more about your personality through this question, so focus on the result rather than dwelling on the conflict itself.

To create an impressive answer, use the STAR method:

  1. (S) Situation – Explain the circumstances of the conflict.
  2. (T) Task – Discuss what part you played in the conflict.
  3. (A) Action – Describe what steps you took to resolve the problem.
  4. (R) Result – Elaborate on the positive outcome of your action and explain what you have learned.

5. What is your biggest failure?

This might seem like one of the most difficult interview questions to answer. After all, you want to be honest but don’t want to reveal mistakes that could cost you the job. Worry not – interviewers mostly ask this to find out whether you’re able to take responsibility for your actions. That’s why you should focus more on what you have learned from your failure and what changes you have made to prevent such situations from occurring again.

(Video) 7 MOST DIFFICULT Interview Questions & ANSWERS! (PASS GUARANTEED!)

This question directly demands an example from the past, so prepare a story you can use in your answer. This can be from your past jobs, or even from school or your personal life. Start with explaining the situation and where you went wrong. Then, focus on how you have improved and what action you took to become better at handling similar situations. Most importantly, try to keep your answer positive and don’t dwell on the past too much.

6. Describe yourself in 3 words.

When describing yourself, think of your best personality and professional traits. Also, check what the company is looking for and make sure your characteristics align. Finally, use easy-to-understand but original adjectives that will make you stand out.

Examples:

For sales jobs: Proactive,Motivated,Positive, Independent,Determined

For analyst jobs:Analytical,Methodical,Focused,Trustworthy,Patient

For corporate jobs:Professional,Diplomatic,Team player,Confident,Collaborative

7. What’s your greatest weakness?

Interviewers usually ask this question to see if you are self-aware. Don’t try to answer by turning a positive into a negative – the interviewer will see right through it. On the other hand, don’t be too harsh in your answer. Overall, you should try to stay positive and focus on how you are improving on your greatest weakness.

(Video) TOP 5 HARDEST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & Top-Scoring ANSWERS!

First, present your weakness. Then, elaborate and explain why you are trying to overcome it. Finally, discuss how you are working towards improving yourself. For example, you could answer like this:

One of my most significant weaknesses is my fear of providing constructive criticism. I often have trouble criticizing others’ work and try to keep my opinions to myself. Yet, I understand that constructive criticism is essential for improving. Recently, I started writing down my ideas so that I have a clear idea of what I want to say and feel less nervous.

Read more:Why Should We Hire You? 3 Step Guide to the Best Answer

Other Hardest Interview Questions You Might be Asked

How do you work under pressure?

At some point, you will likely experience stressful situations in any position. That’s why interviewers want to learn more about your techniques for managing stress and pressure. This question is your opportunity to show that you can still get your work done even under tight deadlines or stressful circumstances.

To assure the hiring manager that you can handle pressure, follow these steps:

  • Think about what you usually do to avoid or handle stress.
  • Use an example of when you excelled in your work even under pressure.
  • Share whether stress ever motivates you and pushes you to do a great job.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Interviewers mostly ask this question to determine how the job you’re applying to fits in with your career goals. After all, every employer wants to find employees excited to grow within the company instead of leaving as soon as new opportunities arise. And even if you don’t have a specific 5-year plan for your career, you can prepare an answer that will prove you’re in for the long run.

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Think about your career goals and the steps that could take you there.
  • Research growth opportunities within the company you’re applying to.
  • Find out if your goals align with the company’s vision.
  • Demonstrate why you are worth the time and investment as a new employee.

Read more:How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

(Video) TOP 7 MOST DIFFICULT Interview Questions (BEST WAY To Answer Them!)

Why are you leaving your current job?

This is one of the hardest interview questions. Essentially, it reveals your real priorities and how you can handle conflict or discomfort. When answering, remember to be truthful but stay positive, polite, and professional.

Some of the best examples of reasons for leaving a job include:

  • Looking for career growth
  • Seeking new challenges
  • Looking to change career paths
  • Relocation to a new city
  • The company going out of business
  • Being laid off or let go

Read more:How to Answer “Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?”

What are your salary expectations?

Salary expectations are one of the hardest interview questions. On the one hand, you don’t want to give a number too low and feel undervalued. On the other hand, if you aim too high, the employer might turn you down because of the potentially high expense. The best way to tackle this question is through adequate research and flexibility.

First, research the usual salary for the role you are applying for. Then, offer a range as your answer. Giving only one number might make it seem like you are not adaptable. Finally, don’t forget to mention that you are flexible and the number is negotiable.

If you don’t feel comfortable giving a specific number or want to elaborate on your expectations, consider an answer like this:

I am flexible in my salary expectations. I do believe that I have experience and skills that would show as invaluable for this position. I would, of course, like fair compensation for my years of experience in [Your Industry]. Thus, I would prefer to first discuss the responsibilities of this job before focusing on specific numbers.

Read more:How to Answer, “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

(Video) TOP 7 Interview Questions and Answers (PASS GUARANTEED!)

Do you have any questions for me?

Although this question is common, it remains one of the hardest interview questions. The key to answering is to prepare your questions beforehand.

In general, think of open-ended questions that require a long answer rather than a simple “yes” or “no”. Depending on your interviewer and the topics you have discussed, you might ask one of these questions:

  • What does a typical day in this role look like?
  • Can you tell me more about the company culture?
  • How is success measured in this role?
  • What are some challenges the company is facing?
  • What are the current goals I would be working to achieve?
  • Do you have any concerns about my experience and qualifications?

These are only some of the hardest interview questions. Most importantly, remember that even the most qualified candidates can be taken aback by a question sometimes. Interviewers understand this, and will not reject you based on your answers. When in doubt, ask for a moment to think rather than stuttering or giving an incomplete answer. To avoid stress during the interview, always try to research as much as you can beforehand. For example, you may ask your friends and colleagues about the hardest interview questions they have been asked. Then, think about how you would answer them.

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FAQs

Top 7 Hardest Interview Questions and the Best Answers? ›

7 common interview questions that are difficult to answer—and how you should respond
  • What are your weaknesses? ...
  • What's your greatest achievement? ...
  • Why did you leave your last job? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? ...
  • Why did you choose your profession? ...
  • Why do you want to join our company?
Jan 31, 2018

What is the most difficult interview question to answer? ›

What are the 7 most common interview questions and answers? ›

7 most common interview questions
  1. Where do you see yourself in five years? ...
  2. What are your strengths/weaknesses? ...
  3. Why should we hire you? ...
  4. Tell me about yourself / your past work experience. ...
  5. Why do you want to work for us? ...
  6. What are your salary expectations? ...
  7. What skills or experience will help you succeed in this role?

How do you answer the 10 hardest interview questions? ›

How to answer 10 tough interview questions
  1. Story Highlights.
  2. "Tell me about yourself" is the perfect moment to toot your own horn.
  3. Always ask for feedback from your colleagues to gauge your performance.
  4. Don't badmouth a boss or give a laundry list of reasons for leaving your last job.

What 3 questions should I ask interviewer? ›

7 good questions to ask at an interview
  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role? ...
  • How could I impress you in the first three months? ...
  • Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/company? ...
  • Where do you think the company is headed in the next five years?

What are 3 good interview questions? ›

10 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
  • Could you tell me about yourself and describe your background in brief? ...
  • How did you hear about this position? ...
  • What type of work environment do you prefer? ...
  • How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations? ...
  • Do you prefer working independently or on a team?
Nov 11, 2021

What are the 5 star questions in an interview? ›

The most common questions are:
  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a challenging situation. ...
  • Do you usually set goals at work? ...
  • Give me an example of a time you made a mistake at work.
  • Have you ever faced conflict with a coworker? ...
  • Tell me about a time when you handled the pressure well.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? ›

The best words to describe yourself will be those that honestly capture your positive qualities.
...
Positive Words to Describe Yourself.
PersistentGenuinePatient
WarmheartedLoyalBright
EasygoingAdventurousEmotional
OptimisticAffectionateHonest
VersatileFlexibleLoving
17 more rows
Jun 10, 2022

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Common stress management strategies include:
  1. Staying positive.
  2. Using stress as a motivator.
  3. Accepting what you can't control.
  4. Practicing relaxation methods, like yoga or meditation.
  5. Choosing healthy habits.
  6. Learning how to manage time better.
  7. Making time for your personal life.
Jun 29, 2021

What is a good weakness to say in an interview? ›

Classic examples include “I'm a perfectionist,” “I'm competitive,” and “I just work too hard.” Interviewers are on to these stock answers, but they can still be effective if you add details relevant to the job to show you've put real thought into it.

How do you answer tell me how you handled a difficult situation? ›

How to answer "Tell me how you handled a difficult situation"
  1. Describe the situation. Explain the "situation" you handled in one or two sentences. ...
  2. Explain the problem. ...
  3. Detail the steps you took to rectify the issue. ...
  4. Describe the results you produced.

How you handled a difficult situation example? ›

Examples include: Avoid speaking badly of current/former company, co-workers, supervisors, or direct reports. Try not to come across as “superior” in your past or current role. Conversely, don't play yourself down — unless it's explaining how you've grown.

How do you answer why should we hire you? ›

How to Answer Why Should We Hire You
  1. Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. ...
  2. Highlight that you'll fit in and be a great addition to the team. ...
  3. Describe how hiring you will make their life easier and help them achieve more.
Jul 8, 2022

What is the toughest question? ›

Science can't answer the big questions
  • Is the economy doing well?
  • Does your family really love you?
  • Why is there hatred in the world?
  • Is the Mona Lisa beautiful?
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • Who is the best football player ever?
  • Are you having a good day?
  • Does this dress make me look fat?
Apr 27, 2021

How do you answer tell me about yourself? ›

A simple formula for answering “Tell me about yourself”

Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment. Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that's relevant to the job and company you're applying for.

What are 5 unique questions you can ask at the end of an interview? ›

Questions to ask at the end of a job interview
  • How would you describe the company's culture? ...
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company? ...
  • How do you see this company evolving over the next five years? ...
  • How would the person in this role contribute to this vision?
Feb 25, 2020

Why do you want this job? ›

Talk about specific examples of how you can help this company achieve their goals and highlight any relevant transferrable skills that will make you stand out as the right candidate. Write down any recent achievements you can talk about or any challenges you've faced recently that might be related to this new job.

How do you introduce yourself in an interview? ›

Begin by Greeting the Interviewer

First, greet the interviewer with a big smile and go for a handshake. Describe yourself stating your full name and a brief introduction. Just give a small detail about your family. Always keep your body relaxed with confident body language.

What is your strength best answer? ›

When answering, mention what your top strengths are, provide examples on how you've used them in the past, and finally, describe the results you've gotten. Be super specific with your answers. Don't just say “I'm good at X” - really dive deep and give the interviewer a comprehensive answer.

What should I say in a job interview? ›

Here are eight things you should always say (and mean) in an interview:
  • You know the company really well. ...
  • You have the experience to do the job. ...
  • You work well with others. ...
  • You are constantly seeking to learn. ...
  • You are motivated. ...
  • You are excited about this job. ...
  • You have a plan. ...
  • You want to build a career in the company.
May 15, 2013

What is your greatest achievement? ›

“What's your greatest accomplishment?” is a behavioral job interview question. What that means is, the interviewer wants to understand your past performance, and how you handle specific situations (for example, under pressure).

What is a 5 point interview? ›

The STAR format stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result: Situation: An event, project, or challenge faced. Task: Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation. Action: Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation. Result: Results of actions taken.

What are my strengths? ›

In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.

How do you sell yourself during an interview? ›

How to Sell Yourself in an Interview: 12 Tactics
  1. Focus on their needs. ...
  2. Have a great elevator pitch and understand what you can offer the employer. ...
  3. Get familiar with your own resume. ...
  4. Prepare examples of past successes and accomplishments. ...
  5. Be ready for behavioral interview questions. ...
  6. Research the person you're speaking with.

How do you introduce yourself? ›

The secret is using a simple framework: Present, past, and future.
  1. Present. Start with a present-tense statement to introduce yourself: Hi, I'm Ashley and I'm a software engineer. ...
  2. Past. The second part of your introduction is past tense. ...
  3. Future. The third and last part in this framework is future-oriented.
Aug 2, 2022

Can you work under pressure best answer? ›

In most cases, the best answer to this question is answering yes. Working well under pressure is a good trait to have.

What can you bring to the company? ›

your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark. your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn. the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

How do I stay calm in stressful situations? ›

Keeping Calm Under Stress
  1. Breathe. Take a few slow, deep breaths. ...
  2. Count to 10. In the time it takes you to do so, you may be able to look at your situation with a fresh pair of eyes.
  3. Take a walk. ...
  4. Try a 3-Minute Meditation. ...
  5. Practice gratitude. ...
  6. Eat well. ...
  7. Get moving. ...
  8. Let it go.

How can I impress interviewer? ›

How can I impress the interviewer with my answers?
  1. Be passionate. Have a positive attitude and be enthusiastic when talking about yourself and your career. ...
  2. Sell yourself. ...
  3. Tell stories. ...
  4. Ask questions. ...
  5. Ask for the job.

What are your top 3 weaknesses answer? ›

Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination. An authentic answer goes a long way. That's why the best solution is to identify your real weaknesses and take proactive measures to address them.

How do you answer tell me how you handled a difficult situation? ›

How to answer "Tell me how you handled a difficult situation"
  1. Describe the situation. Explain the "situation" you handled in one or two sentences. ...
  2. Explain the problem. ...
  3. Detail the steps you took to rectify the issue. ...
  4. Describe the results you produced.

What are some impossible questions? ›

If nothing is impossible, then would it be possible for something to be impossible? Why do noses run but feet smell? Why do they say that you have a cold when your temperature goes up? If you drop your soap on the floor, does the floor become clean or does the soap become dirty?

How do you handle a difficult situation interview answer? ›

HOW DID YOU HANDLE A DIFFICULT SITUATION ... - YouTube

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