Friday, 7 September 2012

Career Coach - How do I answer awkward interview questions?

If you have upcoming interview and want to answer those awkward interview questions well, this blog is for you.

The toughest questions often have us caught on the spot and often saying something that we later regret.

So what are those tough questions that make us feel awkward and how do we best answer them?

I think that one of the tough questions is what are your weaknesses?

Psychological research shows that interviewers are more likely to recall negative information, so this makes this question tough.

The best answers are weaknesses or 'development needs' that can be re framed into strengths in certain contexts such as attention to detail or frustration with others who do not share your motivation.

An alternative answer to this question could be referring to something that has a low impact on the role applied for such as no interests in accounts in a non-financial role.

Another tough question to answer is about gaps in your CV.

The best move here is to not leave gaps on your CV. They only draw attention to things that you might rather leave out. Aim to give a short honest answer that includes the learning and skills that you acquired during that time.

Another difficult question is why do you want to leave your current job and the best answer is again positive such as wanting a fresh challenge.

What are your salary expectations is a question that often alludes people at interview. For this research carefully what the top say 20% of people doing this role earn and how you can justify that. A good answer is 'I am being interviewed for posts paying £X.

It also pays to elicit your strengths in the eyes of people who know you well such as your friends and perhaps a trusted colleague or two. Align these to the key capabilities required in the role.

Please let me know how you get on.

If you would like help with your career move please get in touch via

1 comment:

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