Skip to main content

Interview Tips for Difficult Questions

If you’re invited for a job interview, it’s important to prepare so that you are able to put your best foot forward. The interview is a great opportunity to show the employer that you have what it takes to succeed in the role. In addition to reviewing the eleven Interview Practice Questions we covered in a previous post, it’s important to consider some trickier questions that may come up. Below we’ll cover some interview tips for difficult questions that may arise so you can be fully prepared and be more likely to receive a job offer.

Legal Answers to Illegal Questions

Even though it may be illegal for an interviewer to ask a certain question, it’s not illegal for you to answer it. So, if you’re asked one of those hot button issues, think carefully before answering. Figure out whether it’s to your advantage to respond honestly or to hedge the issue.

Answering honestly might be to your advantage. For example, if you interview for a job at an elementary school and the interviewer wants to know if you have children, answering that you have two kids may be seen as a plus.

On the other hand, if you want to work as a traveling salesperson and the interviewer asks if you have kids it would probably be better not to talk about your kids at that point. If you don’t want to answer the question do not accuse the interviewer of having broken the law. Instead, take a minute to understand what’s behind the question. If she asked if you have kids, maybe she’s concerned that you’ll be pulled away from work a lot. In that case, you could answer, “I believe you’re concerned about my attendance on the job. Let me assure you that my personal life won’t interfere with my work.”

Questions You’re Afraid Of

Almost all of us have questions we’d rather not be asked. To avoid going into an interview with anxiety about the possibility of those questions emerging, do two things:

  1. Review your resume before you send it out to be sure it doesn’t highlight anything that would instigate conversation about anything you’d prefer to avoid.
  2. Make a list of the questions you’re afraid of and practice how you’ll answer them in a positive way.

A Word of Thanks

When the interview draws to an end, thank the interviewer by name, saying something like, “Ms. Jones, this interview has been really helpful and enjoyable. Thank you! Is it OK for me to call you tomorrow if I have more questions?” or “I’m very interested in this job. What is the next step in your hiring process?” Make sure you show enthusiasm.

And don’t forget to thank the administrative assistant and receptionist on your way out. And to be a real hit, use their names if you know them. It always helps to be friends with these people, since they are the ones who screen calls and messages.


How can we help you?

Would you like to engage with the top 1% of executive support professionals?

We can establish an exclusive and confidential search to suit your organization’s unique needs. [button color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” url=”” text=”I’m Ready to Hire!” color_override=””]

Are you considering a new career growth opportunity?

We can help you land the role that best fits your skills and advances your career. [button color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” url=”” text=”Contact Us” color_override=””] or [button color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” url=”” text=”Browse Jobs” color_override=””]

Leave a Reply