9 of the Most Difficult Interview Questions

9 of the Most Difficult Interview Questions

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1. What Is Something People Assume About You That Is Incorrect?

This is what one of our teammates describes as an "introspective question," and there are similar ones that come up as well, such as: – Tell me about an error in judgment that you made in the last year. What was its impact? – When have you been most satisfied in your life? How to Answer It: The goal with these questions 

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1. What Is Something People Assume About You That Is Incorrect?

is to test how self-aware you are but also how open you are to discussing flaws and mistakes. You should share some honest experiences but also focus on spinning those negative experiences into positive ones. For example, that error in judgment should have ultimately made you into a better worker somehow (I mean, didn't it?).

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2. What Tasks Do You Dislike?

Similar to other introspective questions, there's one key distinction here: This question is meant to tell your interviewer a bit more about your working style. Are you more of an independent worker? A fan of group projects? But also, are you aware of how you work best? Because ultimately, they want to hire someone who 

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2. What Tasks Do You Dislike?

knows how to ask for what they need to perform. How to Answer It: Start by focusing on one of your greatest weaknesses you've recognized in yourself such as, "I've never been the most comfortable in front of crowds, so I've always dreaded public speaking or presenting in big meetings."Then, explain how 

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2. What Tasks Do You Dislike?

you've worked on improving those weak spots. "I used to dislike public speaking so much that I decided to sign up for Toastmasters. I realized getting better about it is essential to my career..." And end with something like "Even though it's still not something I completely enjoy, I've gotten a lot more comfortable in roles that require I do it."

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3. What Are You Currently Reading?

When I sat down to write this article, three out of five people I asked said they'd been given this question before. I have, too. So clearly, it's a popular one with hiring managers, even though it seems out of left field. How to Answer It Feel free to include some details about the current novel or memoir you've got on your nightstand—this is a great way 

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3. What Are You Currently Reading?

of showing some personality, which makes your interviewer more likely to connect with you—but we'd also recommend tying it back to your career. Mention some blogs you visit regularly that have to do with your industry. Talk about a recent article you read on a topic that overlaps well with your professional interests.

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4. If We Gave You a $1 Million Dollar Marketing Budget, Where Would You Spend It and How Would You Measure ROI?

These are what our founder (and former Hulu recruiter), Lauren McGoodwin, refers to as "case study questions." It's about getting into specifics and testing your knowledge of the company you're applying to—which obviously, you should have researched before your interview. How to Answer: This is about showing a clear 

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4. If We Gave You a $1 Million Dollar Marketing Budget, Where Would You Spend It and How Would You Measure ROI?

knowledge of the company's goals and interests, as well as a smart critical eye. Get as specific as possible as you're talking, and don't be afraid to ask questions of your interviewer for clarity. Think: "I saw on your site that you're expanding into offering e-learning as well as your live events. Is that something you're planning for in the next few 

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4. If We Gave You a $1 Million Dollar Marketing Budget, Where Would You Spend It and How Would You Measure ROI?

months? [Answer] "...In that case, I would say that I'd want to put a good portion of the marketing budget into that because..."

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5. What Is This Gap in Your Resume?

Maybe you got laid off or fired, maybe you took time off to raise a child, or maybe you took time off to travel. If an interviewer notices a missing period of time, they'll likely ask you about it. How to Answer: Especially if you got fired, it's essential that you keep your response succinct. Place the focus on how

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5. What Is This Gap in Your Resume?

you took control of the situation and why you're ready to get back to work. One good way to spin this is to focus on the things you learned during your period of unemployment.  An example answer might be: "This was actually a great experience for me in a way I hadn't expected. I started doing freelance marketing projects, 

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5. What Is This Gap in Your Resume?

and quickly realized that I was fascinated by social media growth strategies, which I hadn't been able to focus on at my previous job."

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6. What Do You Dislike Most About Your Current Job?

Eesh. This is right up there with "Why are you looking for a new job?" and no one enjoys that question either, but as the interviewee, you'll want to play this question strategically. How to Answer: You probably know by now that you shouldn't bash your current company, employees, or boss, so what happens when a question like this comes up?

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6. What Do You Dislike Most About Your Current Job?

This is a good time to go with the classic "it's not them, it's me" approach and focus on why it's not a good fit for you. Tell them about some of your strongest skills, career goals, or the projects you've loved most that you haven't been able to work on enough.

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7. What Does the Ideal Work Day Look Like to You?

This is tricky because, often, there are subtle work expectations that companies don't talk about. Maybe people don't take lunches or they stay late a few nights a month to finish big projects. That's where things can get hairy. (Do you say, "I like to work flexible hours and maintain a good work-life balance on weekends" if you're not sure 

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7. What Does the Ideal Work Day Look Like to You?

whether the job is, in fact, flexible?) How to Answer: Review everything they wrote there before going into your interview. Look on their website careers page, too. These places should give you a good idea of company culture. Chances are part of what you applied was because something about the culture appealed to you, so talk 

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7. What Does the Ideal Work Day Look Like to You?

about that. It also never hurts to say something like, "I know we love work-life balance, and in an ideal universe, we'd all go home at the same time every day and not check our emails until we got into work. But I also know that there will be times when that's simply not the reality."

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8. Why Should We Hire You?

A danger zone between self-assured and cocky, this essentially amounts to "What makes you so special?" and "Why do I need you?" This also reminds us of a common interview question, "Why do you want to work here?" How to Answer: Through a problem-solving lens. Through your research and even the current interview, 

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8. Why Should We Hire You?

you should have a pretty good grasp of what the company is struggling with. Your answer should focus on how you're uniquely qualified to help them tackle those issues head-on.

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9. What's Your Desired Salary?

Other similar questions include: – How much do you expect to get paid? – Are you open to added benefits/stock options in exchange for taking a lower salary? (Often startup-specific, especially when interviewing someone from a non-startup.) How to Answer It You need to have a range ready to go. Do this long before you 

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9. What's Your Desired Salary?

walk into the interview by using various salary tools, including The Salary Project™. You should also have an explanation for why that's your desired salary with clear evidence of why you should be paid that amount.

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