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Answering tough job interview questions is a challenging task. You want to provide the most original answers and demonstrate that you are passionate about the opportunity. You also want to show that you have the skills to do the job well. Finally, you have to have an attitude that will be a good fit for the team. Here are a few questions that are extremely helpful to prepare for.

1. Why should we hire you?

This is the obvious question that managers ask to formulate their thoughts on the applicant’s differentiation. If you are applying for a sales role, you might want to be competitive and share accomplishments proudly. If it is a research or analytical role, you may want to be more objective with what you can offer.

2. Why do you want to leave your current job or why did you leave your previous employer?

These questions gives you an opportunity to be tactful while also demonstrating the desire to join the new firm. If possible, link the reason for leaving with the benefits of the new company.

The answer should never be to get more compensation since that demonstrates a lack of passion for the company and is not tactful. Do not trash your previous employer either as that can also demonstrate a lack of tact. The manager does not want you to speak about their company that way in the future and can make you look like a bad choice for the role.

3. Describe the biggest problem or issue you had in your last employment and how did you overcome it?

This question should demonstrate problem solving capabilities and aptitude for the job. You should give an example of a real operational, business or technical problem that required your skills to come to a unique and productive solution.

If the answer is too trivial, it will appear you have not thought enough about the day to day problems of your job. You should, however leave out anytime you caused a huge disaster or error as it will be a red flag not to hire you.

4. What is your biggest concern in working here?

If you say you have no concerns, that shows a lack of creativity and thoughtfulness. If you answer that you will be bored or tired of the job quickly, that will tell the manager you are not a good fit.  You want to demonstrate a specific critique of the organization, industry, or culture that demonstrates deep knowledge and insightfulness about the opportunity.

5. Who do you see as a mentor, teacher or advisor? Tell me about them.

This question helps to identify the influences on the applicant’s life and how they may effect their employment or team dynamic. A good influence helps a job applicant brush off minor disturbances and focus on the goals of the group. They also provide an insight into the person’s values, ideals and long-term objectives. Hopefully, the advisor has also instructed them on some of the technical components of the job that will give them an advantage in their daily tasks.

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