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5
Be Ready for the Tough Questions
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In addition to the easy questions, you should expect the interviewer to ask difficult questions or ones intended to make you reveal faults that would disqualify you. That's one of the reasons for the interview. Remember that you don't always have to answer the question directly -- you can talk around it. Look for ways to give the question a positive spin.

Here are three examples of challenging questions commonly asked in job interviews:

  • What are your weaknesses? An answer that turns a positive trait into a weakness -- like "I'm impatient to get results" -- is too evasive. It may be better to choose a minor flaw and tell how you compensate. For example, "I haven't always been completely organized, but I make up for it with a day-planner and strict attention to priorities." Focus on the lack of a particular skill, not on a character flaw.
  • What did you dislike about your last job? This question should not tempt you to run down your previous employer. Better to mention that the job didn't offer as many challenges as you would like and go on to explain an important accomplishment.
  • How do you handle conflict with your colleagues? If you've rarely had conflicts, emphasize that -- the interviewer may be trying to weed out candidates who can't get along with others. Picture yourself as a peacemaker, someone who finds a way to work constructively even with difficult co-workers.
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