How to Manage Tough Interview Questions

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It is never suggested to falsely state something on your resume document or in an interview; however you must sometimes be creative, prepared, and calm in answering tough interview questions. It is impossible to list or foresee many of the more challenging interview questions one will face during the interview process. However, a few key techniques can assist you in assuring that you breeze through those inquiries unscathed.

    • It is not always necessary to say the word “fired.” If you were involuntarily terminated from a position, many times a company will not release that information to a third party under the fear that they will be unlawful in their comments and be at risk for a lawsuit. Therefore, it is reasonable to say something like, “There was a misunderstanding in the application of my duties as per my job description.” Or, “After completing my job duties to the best of my ability, I realized that I was not a good fit for the position.” You have to be prepared to positively explain why you left a position, but you don’t have to say the word “fired” or paint yourself in a negative light during your explanation.

  • Research the company! There are very few companies that do not have some kind of web site that you can research for information regarding the company and the position for which you are applying for. You will feel much more at ease with the process if you have familiarized yourself with the entire team and products or services provided by the company. Find out the name of the President or CEO. Read and familiarize yourself with their vision statement or look for facts that are relevant to the position as well.
  • Practice and be prepared with your answers. We have all heard the question, “Tell us about a problem that you encountered in your last position and how you dealt with the issue.” We can all think of a million examples in answer to this question AFTER we are in the interview chair. Trying to come up with some of your accomplishments and challenges that you have faced in past positions is not something to think of “on the spot.” An interview is like a sales presentation. Research and write down many questions and answers that you believe would be relevant to the position and then practice your answers with a friend or family member.
  • An interview is not a race. Take your time and stay calm while answering questions. While it is not suggested to wait more than 5 seconds to answer, allow the interviewer to fully ask the question and then take a few seconds to think it through before answering. Many people become so nervous that when a difficult question is presented, they start speaking very quickly and ramble on and on. Slow down and keep it cool.