Responding To Tricky Job Interview Questions

Job interviews are demanding and can at time be fairly stressful too.  The best candidates will have sat down ahead of the job interview and really thought about the kind of questions that will be asked and have an answer to hand.

Even with the best preparation, there still can be times when you get some of those tricky questions.  So let’s look at some of those questions and how you might respond.

You don’t have any experience of this type of industry or sector

A real common one and if you don’t have experience in that particular industry you cannot pretend you have.  Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that this is a criticism.  There is a reason why you have been invited for interview.  Maybe the team is top heavy with people who know the industry inside out and they want some fresh perspectives and insights.  My response to this type of question is to say that in my experience 80% of organisations are very similar and that 20% is specific.  If you have in the past moved from industry to industry you can show you can do it.

You don’t have any hands on experience of this computer package

In most professions there are two or three packages targeted at different levels of businesses.  In the main they don’t have huge differences.  Talk about the different packages you have used that are very similar to the one the recruiter uses.  Offer to take any training needed to get up to speed fast.

You don’t have any experience of managing people

No one started off at the top.  Often there are things that you have done outside of work that demonstrate that you can plan, organise, delegate and work with others.  Don’t be afraid to use examples that demonstrate the skill even if not work related.

You don’t seemed to have had many different roles in your career

Some people are job hoppers for the sake of it.  Others tend to plan their growth with a few organisations.  It is not the number of jobs that matter, it’s whether you have continued to grow and develop that counts.  You may well have been in a very fast moving environment where there were always new challenges.  Don’t assume that the recruiter will know that and talk about this.

The Golden Rule:  There are always going to be tricky questions.  The key is to stay calm, be honest and demonstrate why you believe you can overcome that perceived barrier.  Ultimately the recruiter is looking for assurance from you.

Duncan Brodie helps professionals to achieve more career success.  He invites you to sign up for his free audio masterclass

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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