skip to Main Content

How to answer the toughest interview questions – Part 2

This is part 2 of our blog series on answering some of the most difficult interview questions

Tell me about a time when you failed….Be honest here, give something that actually happened. Choose something that was a failure but focus on what you do now to prevent that failure in the future. With all of these difficult interview questions, you need to prepare them in advance so you’re not caught off guard, and you have a solid, confident answer for each of them.

What negative things would co-workers say about you?
Again be honest, you can’t make something up and it can’t be something that is actually a strength – like “my co-workers would say I’m too driven.” Be honest but put a positive spin on it and similar to the suggestions above, focus on what you do now to manage that weakness. Let them know a co-worker may say you could improve your communication for example. Be more clear perhaps when you are making a request. Come up with something that is honest but that you are aware of and working on. Ideally you want to choose something that is accurate, but would not be a make or break for the job you are applying for. So for example, if you are terrible at writing marketing copy, and that’s the job you are applying for – don’t choose that one. And question why you’re applying for that job in the first place if you can’t perform the duties.

How much money do you make?
This is tough and can be awkward. You need to answer truthfully. Find out the salary range from them first if possible, and at the very least you must do your homework regarding salary range for your industry, location and role. When you answer this question, you need to know where your current salary lies within the range for the industry. And you must be prepared to say “I make X because of these qualifications and experience I have” and be able to list those items that demonstrate your value. So tell them what you make. You can say that it is not including benefits, and you can tell them you are willing to be flexible within the range of X and y salary if needed. If the salary you make now is higher than they can offer you, you have a decision to make. But either way you must be prepared to make a case for why you are worth the salary you are asking for.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!