Blog > Career Talk

Job Interview Tips: How to Answer Difficult Questions

Job Interview Tips: How to Answer Difficult Questions

It's possible to get an unexpected question from an interviewer. You might not know how to answer it, so don't worry about it. Keep your professionalism and answer these questions the right way, even if they seem like they're out of the blue at first or even silly at worst. As important as what you say when you answer a difficult question is how you say it. Even if you have a great resume, how you say it is just as important as what you say. Here are some tips on how to deal with some of the tougher questions you might get asked at an interview, like:

People ask, "What is your biggest weakness?

Make sure your answer doesn't make it too easy for the interviewer to say no to your job application. You always want to be positive and talk about your strengths during an interview, but you also want to stay calm. The question is, how do you focus on your strengths when they're asking you about your weaknesses right in front of you? You don't want to say that you "don't have any." All of us have a weakness, and the interviewer is sure to find out about it, too. The key is to find something about yourself that you think is bad but that employers might think is good. This tells the employer that you are a hard worker, even if it comes at a cost to yourself. A weakness, but also a strength.

"Tell Me About Yourself."

People find this question hard because: a) It doesn't seem like a question at all; and b) It's easy to get caught up in this one and keep going for hours. The interviewer doesn't want to have a good time before the interview starts. A two- to three-minute summary of your work history and why you're the best person for the job is all he or she wants. Do not think of the question as "tell me something about yourself." Instead, think of it as "tell me something that's different about you." Quickly tell the interviewer about your work history and education, as well as one good thing you've learned that will help with your job. In this case, you could say that your business degree and experience as the director of a hospital have made you a strong leader, and you are sure that your leadership skills could also help you do well in this new job.

What's the reason you want to leave your job?

There's no need to say that you're leaving a job because your boss is hard to deal with, or because you haven't had a raise in five years. When you give an answer, make sure to be positive and upbeat about it, too. The way you talk about your current job may be how you talk about your future job, and your future job knows this. The best way to answer this question is to think about the good things about the job you're applying for. You can never go wrong if you say that you want to take on a more difficult job. Remember, too, to keep your tone upbeat as well. This means that if your real reason for leaving your job is because you are so unhappy, the interviewer will know and may be afraid that the same thing will happen to them in six months.

Are there any questions you want to ask me about?

Every time you get this tough interview question, your answer will always be "yes." You should always have questions ready for the person who is hiring you. The company might think you don't care about them and are only interested in money. Even if this is true, you don't want to show it to the interviewer, even if it is true. You should ask questions that you couldn't have found out about by doing a quick search on the web. Do not ask lazy questions, because they are just as bad as not having any questions at all. "What do you like about working for the company?" "Can you describe the company culture?" These are questions that no one else can answer, so ask them. You want to ask at least two or three questions in all. Three is usually better, but you can usually tell from the interviewer if you should ask that third question or keep to the two.


In your interview, you've made it to the end. You're sure you did a great job. They then ask you a question that is completely out of the blue, like "how many ping-pong balls can you fit in a minivan?" What can you fit inside of an airplane? In this case, they're more interested in how you answer than in what you say. Instead of acting cute, stick to the facts. Try to come up with an honest answer to this question, no matter how silly it might seem to you. They want to see how well you can solve problems, and snark isn't going to work here. No, I haven't. I've been asked a question that I didn't know how to answer. We want to know about it.

Here at Ujuzingo, we've made it a habit to support accounting and finance enthusiasts put their best foot forward as they search for opportunities that meet their skills and career aspirations, while also assisting employers in finding more job-ready applicants. Check out our accounting and finance courses or current job openings.

Contributed by: Henry Mubiru Kweba. 

Views expressed by our contributors are their own.