Dynamic Happenings

5 Tricky Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

June 30, 2014 General

No matter how prepared you are, the interviewer always throws that ONE
question that gets you off the guard. But as they say, adversity is opportunity in
disguise. Such questions are your ticket to showcase your skills and get yourself

Hiring is more of a hide-and-seek game. Every interview question hides beneath
another question. The trick to answering such questions lies in picking out the underlying question. Once you do that, unraveling the answer won’t be difficult.

Roll up your sleeves as we bring to you some of such tricky questions and the wrong & right way of tackling them. 

Question 1 - Why did you leave your organization?

Wrong Answer – Well, I suppose a period of 2 years is pretty long time to stay in one company. So I decided to move on. Moreover, I didn’t have a great relationship with my manager.

Why is it Wrong - Bad mouthing your last or current employer is a big no. Rather than speaking negatively about the past, you need to shift the focus on to your future goals and convince the interviewer how the job profile seems to provide you just the right platform to do that.

Right Answer – I have learned a great deal from the managers at my current/last company. But at this point of my career, I need to broaden my horizon and acquire new skill-sets. I moved because it was the right thing to do for my career.

Question 2 - What is your weakness?

Wrong Answer - I am a perfectionist. Can’t help it!

Why is it Wrong - Everyone has shortcomings. The interviewer wants to know how good you are at accepting your own shortcomings. Most of us tend to give cliché answers to this question. Your interviewer wants to listen to real stories. Try to stay true while giving a positive spin to your answer. Tell them about a weakness that is irrelevant to the job position or a weakness that you recently were able to overcome.

Right Answer – Since I’ve been mostly involved in backend operations, I was never too keen on client interaction. It was not something that I was bad at. But I definitely did not look forward to it. So I decided to work on it earnestly for the last 2 years, and I’ve actually got a knack for it now!

Question 3 - Tell us about yourself.

Wrong Answer – I graduated in 2003 with a degree in Literature from Harvard University. An esteemed publishing house in an on-campus interview recruited me. And since then, I’ve been working for them as a writer.

Why is it Wrong - This seemingly simple question can be a hard nut to crack. Many candidates make the mistake of telling the interviewer their chronological job history. It’s all written in your CV anyway. They are not interested in hearing what is already written. Rather, tell them what made you work in this industry. Tell them your story.

Right Answer - I was good at playing with words, ever since I was a little kid. I always felt a strong need for self expression and I do it best with pen and paper. I guess being a writer was always my calling. So here I am, trying to get an opportunity to write for the leading publisher in the country.

Question 4 - Why should we hire you? 
Wrong Answer – I guess I am good at what I do. Besides, I really need this job.

Why it is Wrong - Unlike other tricky questions, this one is positive and you need to give a succinct description of your strengths rather than justifying your weaknesses. The interviewer wants to know what you can bring to the table. Be proactive. Review the job description and focus on the skills required for the position. When asked this question, build your credibility by highlighting those skills in your work history. 

Right Answer – I have rich and diverse experience in PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign and CorelDraw. Given an opportunity I believe I can utilize my expertise and bring that innovative spark to your print and digital artwork.

Question 5 – Can you explain ‘Database’ to a 6 year old kid?

Wrong Answer – Databases are software programs that enable the users to input, store, retrieve and manage large amount of information.

Why is it Wrong - Einstein once quoted, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” That is exactly the reason why the interviewer asked this question. If you can make a kid understand the complex terminology involved in a programming language, financial statements or mortgage terms, that means you know your area of expertise.

Right Answer – Santa Claus has to distribute gifts to all the good kids in the world in just one night. How do you think he knows how many kids are there in a particular place? He keeps a magical thing called as “database” that allows him to keep a track of all the good kids in a specific place such as New York, along with their wishes and addresses. Thus, a database makes Santa’s job much easier. You get it?

The Takeaway
Even industry leaders like Google, Amazon and Twitter use tricky questions, like the ones elaborated, as a tool to filter out the bad hires and shortlist the top applicants. By asking such questions, they create pressure and elicit the best and worst in a candidate. The candidates who can stay poised under pressure and handle the questions smartly make the best impressions and land the job offer. In a job interview, even more important than ‘what you answer’ is ‘how you answer’.
So, keep calm and answer on!

Widget is loading comments...