5 Tricky Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them!)

Every business owner knows that the overall success of their company lies in the hands of its employees. It’s their productivity and innovative thinking that keeps the company ahead of the competition. That’s why so many interview questions are personality based. By getting to know how a candidate will react in certain situations, the hiring manger can predict how they’d perform in this organization.

Many of these personality questions are tricky, and candidates may become flustered trying to give the right answer. Here are five of some of the most daunting interview questions, and how you should answer them.

Question 1: Can you tell me about a time you faced a crisis? How did you deal with it?

The interviewer is trying to figure out a candidate’s ability to think and act in stressful situations, and see if they are the type of reflective person who learns from mistakes. The answer they give will convey their level of commitment, responsibility and teamwork – which is especially important to know when working with temporary employees. Be sure to use a specific example that emphasizes safety, collaboration and the ability to develop and implement a plan.

Question 2: What interested you most in this position? Why did you apply for this job?

Some applicants are interested only in a paycheck, and some are looking for a career that they can be passionate about. The goal is to be in that second group. They want a new hire who will commit to the company’s overall success, so here’s where candidates need to do their homework. The answer to this question should highlight specific details in the company’s mission statement, along with any information pulled from the website and press releases. For example, if they just released an important upgrade, complement their forward thinking.

Question 3: Tell me about a time someone questioned your integrity.

This will give the hiring team a little more detail about a candidate’s work ethic, as well as insight about their values. This question should be answered carefully. If someone accused you of a theft, you better have a hilarious punchline, or else you can kiss the job goodbye. Give a few details about a time you unknowingly engaged in favoritism, or a miscommunication that left a co-worker in a stressful place. Always emphasized what was learned, how it made you feel and how you’d change it in the future.

Question 4: What kind of office culture do you prefer?

Getting an understanding of a candidate’s idea workplace environment will help the hiring team see how candidates will fit in, both personally and professionally. Candidates can let the company know what they need for a positive work-life balance, consistent job satisfaction and what they need to meet their professional goals. Avoid making specific statements about hours or benefits, but instead steer the conversation toward the ways a company’s culture can support individual employee success.

Question 5: What would your former boss say about <insert just about anything>?

This one is tough. Of course, a hiring manager can just simply ask the job applicant’s previous employers during the reference checks, but there is a lot than can be revealed by what a candidate thinks their former supervisors would say. This could range from be anything from teamwork to project management. Take a moment to think about what your favorite boss liked most about you as an employee. Find a way to answer the question by highlighting the areas in which your former employers consistently complemented you.

At Pascoe Workforce Solutions, we understand the interview process from both sides. We have matched talented employers with leading companies in Massachusetts, Connecticut and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a new career or an opportunity to take the reigns for a temporary time, we can help you find the best companies in your area. Give us a call today!