Tricky Questions in a Job Interview

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Interviewers might sometimes ask tricky questions. These questions are designed to get you to reveal something about yourself. They also want to check out how well you communicate and whether you can think on your feet.

In an interview you should always answer every question as honestly and positively as you can. Don’t spend too much time giving your answers to tricky questions, though – you don’t want them to be the focus of the interview.

Here are some examples of tricky questions you may be asked.

"Why did you leave your last job?"

Here are some possible reasons you could give for leaving your last job:

  • It didn’t fit with your interests at that time
  • You had to travel too far each day
  • There were no opportunities to advance your career
  • You’ve increased your qualifications and are looking for work in a more specialised field

"Why have you had so many jobs?"

You don’t want the interviewer to think you can’t commit to a job. Here are some possible answers to this tricky question:

  • You wanted to try different jobs to broaden your skills - this has given you a wealth of experience to bring to the job
  • You were unsure about where you wanted to work, but now you’re clear about what you want are ready to make a commitment to one workplace

Your answer to this question could also include some of the reasons for leaving your job outlined above.

"Why were you out of work for so long?"

You don’t want the interviewer to think that no one wants to employ you. It's better to say you chose to take time off between jobs. This might be because:

  • You needed a break for physical or emotional reasons
  • You wanted to explore study opportunities
  • You were travelling to gain experience
  • You had a personal situation that needed your attention

Don't Freak Out

Tricky questions are just another way that employers try to pick the best suited person for the job. But just because the questions are tricky doesn't mean they're impossible.

Remember - if you've prepared yourself to answer a few curly questions, then you've already given yourself a good a head start!