The 'most difficult' interview questions

We ask leading recruitment experts to reveal the hardest questions they have ever heard asked of trainees in an interview situation

Some of the most common interview questions can be some of the toughest questions to answer.

To get the ball rolling, interviewers often like to start the conversation with an open questions like ‘tell me about yourself’. This question, when used to the best potential, can provide trainees with an opportunity to make a great first impression.

Another question that can feel quite tough to answer is ‘tell me about your greatest weakness’. While it can be tempting to try to gloss over your weaknesses during an interview, answering this question shows that you are aware of your abilities. In your answer, it is also a good opportunity to highlight how you are currently working to improve.

The most important way to make sure that you can make the most of all the questions you are asked during your interview is to prepare. Taking the time to gather as much information as possible about the role and the company will allow you to tailor your responses to highlight you in the best light.

Phil Sheridan, managing director at Robert Half UK, says: ‘Hiring managers don’t ask tough questions to intentionally trip up candidates during the interview. The next time you are asked a tricky question, consider this before answering.

‘During the interview, the hiring manager will be using the time to uncover how well you will be able to perform the role and fit in with the company culture, what personality you have and how you cope with challenges. Consider this before you answer so you can make the most of the opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates.’

Lorraine Twist, operating director at Michael Page Finance, says: ‘There are some standard interview questions that most trainees are familiar with and would expect to crop up in interviews. However, some employers test a candidate’s ability by adding a ‘curve ball’ question to the mix. With most, there are no correct answers; the only wrong answer is becoming flustered and unable to reply at all.’