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How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

Interviews can be daunting, especially when tough interview questions are thrown into the mix. Tough questions can range from technically advanced ones, to the most ambiguous question that has no right or wrong answer. So why do interviewers ask tough questions? And how can you be most prepared to reply with a stellar answer?

There are multiple reasons employers decide to interview with a few hard questions. Usually, employers want to see how quickly and logically you can think on your feet. They are analyzing your natural thought process through your response and identifying whether or not you can articulate your thoughts in a way that makes sense. They aren’t looking for a right or wrong answer, rather the problem-solving skills you utilize to bring yourself to that answer.

How can you answer those tough technical and sometimes strange questions?

Technically advanced questions help interviewers gauge your knowledge and skillset. The best way to prepare for these types of questions is to research beforehand. Understand the role you are applying for and expect to flex some of your industry knowledge. It’s a great idea to attend a few company seminars to get the inside scoop on more technical details. Even if you don’t know the correct answer right away, don’t panic. Shift your answer to what you do know and highlight that you are more than capable of learning and growing.

The next set of tricky questions usually come out of left field. For example, “If you were an animal what animal would you be and why?” or “How many pennies would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” These questions usually throw candidates off, but if you can answer the question and back up your answer with composure, this proves to the employer that you do well under pressure. Begin by describing your thought process and highlighting your problem-solving skills while answering the question. Usually, there isn’t a right answer, employers want to understand how you think and identify if you possess coachable characteristics that will help facilitate learning on the job.

Be sure to do your own research on different types of interview questions and polish up your interview skills at the CCO. Career consultants meet with students daily to practice real world interviews and give advice on how you can stand out to an employer. Schedule an appointment today through BoilerConnect to get one step closer to your dream job.

Boiler up!

-Elizabeth Vernier

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