30 Smart Answers To Tough Interview Questions

Some job interviewers ask tough questions to trip you up or to get you to reveal information you may be trying to conceal. Others want to get a better sense of your thought process or see how you respond under pressure.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to be prepared.

In her book “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

,” Vicky Oliver says in order to prevail, you need to “trounce your competition.”

“You could be competing against someone with three times your experience, or conversely, against someone who can do the job at half your salary level,” she says.

One of the best ways to stand out: have the smartest answers to the toughest questions.

Q: You have changed careers before. Why should I let you experiment on my nickel?

A: As a career-changer, I believe that I'm a better employee because I've gained a lot of diverse skills from moving around. These skills help me solve problems creatively.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: From your resume, it looks like you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?

A: After I recuperated from the shock both times, it made me feel stronger. It's true that I was fired twice, but I managed to bounce back both times and land jobs that gave me more responsibility, paid me more money, and were at better firms.

The morale here is very high. I've been exposed to the 'seamy underbelly' of this business, but I'm still passionate about working in it.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: From your resume, I notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?

A: Yes, I did very well at my internship, and I had originally assumed that I would come on staff once I graduated from college. However, BB&L drastically cut back the number of new hires they were planning. As fate would have it, they will not be hiring any of the interns they had last summer.

I love working at BB&L, and I brought some references with me today to show you that my job performance there was stellar. Still, in some ways, I consider this new turn of events to be a lucky break for me, believe it or not.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: Can you describe your dream job?

A: This is my dream job and that's why I approached you about it in the first place. I am excited about the prospect of helping your promotion agency upgrade and fine tune your loyalty programs.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: How many skis are rented each year?

A: There are 250 million people in the U.S. Let's suppose that the number of skis is 15% of that, or 37,500,000. Of those, let's figure that 21,175,000 of them own skis, leaving the number who rent at 9,325,000. Then let's add the number of tourists who ski, say, 1 million. So the grand total of renters would be 10,325,000.

Now let's assume that the renters who live here take three trips a year, so three times 9,325,000 is 27,975,000 and add that with 1 million is 28,975,000.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: How many hours a week do you usually work, and why?

A: I work pretty long hours most of the time. With the extra time, I try to find ways to 'add value' to each assignment, both my own and the firm's. When our clients read our reports, I want them to think that no one else could have possibly written them, except for our company.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: Does a company need B players? Or is it better off only having A players on staff, and why?

A: I believe that a company needs both A and B players. When you're pitching new business, you want the A players on the front line. But behind the A players, you need the B players who can hammer out the details of the projects and stick with them on a day-to-day basis. Having too many A players on the team leads to ego clashes and a disorganized, anarchical way of doing business.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: Please give an example of the most difficult political situation that you've dealt with on a job.

A: I was hired by a woman who was on her way out. She asked me to be her 'fall guy' on a number of assignments. I just learned to drop the assignments off with my boss on the day that they were due, and when the managers would ring me up, I would recommend that they simply follow up with her. This kept me out of hot water with my boss and with her superiors.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: Did you ever make a mistake that cost your company money?

A: I suppose that asking for name-brand vodka at the Christmas party, instead of the generic swill that they normally serve, doesn't count, right? No, really honestly, I'm delighted to report that I never made a mistake that cost my company money.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: Is it more important to be lucky or skillful?

A: I think that it's more important to be lucky, although being very skilled can help to create more opportunities. Certainly, (at my former job, my boss') confidence in me inspired the decision makers at our firm to trust that I could do the job. But clearly, I also happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Q: When do you think you'll peak in your career?

A: I come from a long line of healthy, hardy, mentally active types, and so I confess that I never even think about 'peaking' in my career. That having been said, I do think it's important to have some self-knowledge, and to recognise when one is past one's prime.

Source: '301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions(image url='http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thebusiinsi-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1402203853' link='http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Answers-Tough-Interview-Questions/dp/1402203853' size='secondary' align='right' clear='true')'

Now read about questions that will trick you into sharing more than you'd like:

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