When you’re preparing for an interview, you expect to be asked certain questions about your education, professional experience, and other qualifications. While it’s important to be prepared to answer those questions, it’s also important to be prepared in case you are asked some tougher- and less predictable- questions.
Employers have certain goals in mind when they ask questions during an interview. It is not always the exact answer that you provide that they are most interested in. It’s often the logic and thought process that you put into determining your response that they want to hear.
Traditional interview questions are important for determining whether you have the personality, experience, and qualifications employers are looking for. You need to be prepared to answer these in every interview, and to be able to answer them as they relate to each specific job you interview for. In addition to these types of questions, you may find some interviewers- and this often depends on the company, the interviewer, or the type of job you’re interviewing for- will also ask other types of questions, such as brain teasers or seemingly off-the-wall questions requiring logical thinking that seem to have nothing to do with the job.
Interviewers may decide to ask these types of questions to see how you come to your response. They are most likely not looking for one correct answer, but want to see the process you use in coming to an answer. This information can help them determine if you have the skills they deem necessary to face challenges and succeed as an employee in their work environment.
In addition to this type of question, interviewers may ask other difficult questions, such as what you didn’t like about your last employer, why you left your last job, or how you handled a specific failure. These types of questions should be answered as positively as possible- turn all negatives into a positive. Give examples of how a negative experience helped make you better, more prepared, or gave you experience that you have since used to your benefit. Employers want to know how you respond in difficult situations and you should answer in a way that lets them know you can handle whatever comes your way.
The key to being able to successfully respond to these types of interview questions is to be prepared. Have a general idea of how you would answer such questions before you go to the interview, and once you’re there, don’t rush your responses or sound rehearsed. If you’re prepared for the difficult questions that may come your way, you will be able to demonstrate during the interview that you have the qualities employees are looking for in the workplace.