How to Handle Awkward Interview Questions


Hurray! You’ve been called for an interview and you’re one step closer to landing your next job. Before you can completely call your career move a success though, you still need to ace this interview and impress your potential employer.

However, you may have already heard about or have had experiences where you were asked awkward questions. While most interviewers are highly-skilled professionals, there may be some who might ask you awkward questions or those which are more on the private side of your life. When you are asked and you don’t know how to answer, they might see it as a sign of not being prepared enough and this might cause you your chance of getting hired.

Awkward Questions and Suggested Answers

Below are three awkward questions which are frequently asked in Job interviews. Read the tips on how you can answer them without being impolite to your interviewer:

  • Why did you choose to leave your previous job? You must remember that to answer this question in a professional way, you shouldn’t badmouth your previous employers—doing this will send the impression that when you no longer work for this current company, you will do the same for them. Tell them you are looking forward to career growth, having a new environment, and better opportunities and you believe that you can experience these things with them.How to Handle Awkward Interview Questions
  • Why should we hire you? This is a common question which can also be an awkward one because you will have to raise yourself up to meet their expectations while keeping in mind not to be overly confident.  Answer this by saying specific examples of why you are highly qualified for the job. Instead of saying just “I’m qualified…” tell them what makes you qualified for the position.
  • What is your greatest weakness? You’re trying to get a job, so saving your weaknesses to yourself is an understandable thing to do. However, when asked this question, you can answer politely by saying: “For this career, I believe my skills will be of great value and as a professional, I have no weakness.” If this sounds too confident, you can tone it down by saying “I work too hard…” or perhaps “I strive for perfection too much…” On the other hand, you can also say something about your personality which you find a disadvantage, but something which wouldn’t affect your career. Illustrators can say “I get too shy…” but that kind of weakness cannot be applicable for those who are applying as flight attendants. Make sure that the weakness you mention will in no way affect your career performance.


Tips to Remember

  • Answer the essence of the question. Instead of completely dodging what you’ve been asked, answer it in a witty way.
  • Be professional and have a cool outlook on things. It may catch you by surprise, but you should have the presence of mind to recover.
  • Prepare for what you think may be asked. You can have a mock interview with a friend or colleague so that on the interview day itself, you wouldn’t be too nervous.

Keep a level head and you can surely ace that interview— with or without awkward questions!

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