How to Handle Tricky Questions in a Job Interview

Mastering Tricky Interview Questions: Proven Strategies for Handling Job Interviews. With this in-depth guide on answering challenging interview questions, you'll discover how to maintain composure, give organised responses, and dazzle interviewers.

4. Oct 2023
How to Handle Tricky Questions in a Job Interview

Job interviews may be tense situations, especially if the interviewer asks you challenging questions. These inquiries are meant to gauge your capacity for quick thinking, your capacity for problem-solving, and your level of stress tolerance. Even though they could catch you off surprise, you can effectively manage them with the appropriate strategy. In this article, we'll provide you with valuable insights and strategies on how to handle tricky questions in a job interview.

1. Stay Calm and Composed

The first rule of advice is to remain collected and calm when answering a challenging question. Keep in mind that the interviewer is only testing your capacity to manage difficult conditions; they are not attempting to frighten you. Breathe in deeply, look the person in the eye, and wait a moment to collect your thoughts before answering. Your finest responses are rarely those that are hasty or tense.

2. Understand the Question

Make sure you comprehend a question completely before responding to it. If a question is confusing, it's absolutely fine to ask the interviewer to clarify it. It might also be helpful to restate the question in your own terms to make sure you understand the main idea. This shows that you are paying attention and are determined to respond thoughtfully.

3. Buy Time if Necessary

It's fine to buy some time if you need to think about a topic or if it's one that you find particularly difficult. This might be accomplished by gently accepting the query and requesting a moment to collect your thoughts. Saying something like, "That's an interesting question; let me think about it for a moment," can buy you the time you need to come up with a thoughtful response.

4. Break Down the Question

Complex components or several elements are frequently seen in difficult problems. Divide them into more manageable chunks to deal with them successfully. Describe each component independently and offer a well-organized answer. This strategy not only improves the organisation of your response but also shows your capacity for analysis.

5. Provide Relevant Examples

Give relevant examples from your prior experiences to back up your claims. Drawing from real-life events helps strengthen your replies, whether the issue is about managing disputes, overcoming obstacles, or exhibiting leadership. Make careful to draw attention to your successes and the advantageous effects of your efforts.

6. Stay Positive and Professional

Keep your composure and act professionally, even while answering difficult queries. Avoid using foul language, making complaints, or criticising former bosses or coworkers. Instead, put your attention on how you have developed and learnt from your experiences, highlighting your capacity for improvement.

7. Avoid Rambling

It's important to find a balance between giving a thorough response and refraining from pointless rambling. Answers should be brief and direct. Candidates that can effectively speak and get their point across without digressing are valued by interviewers.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice is one of the best strategies to deal with challenging topics. Ask a buddy or career counsellor to assist you in conducting practice interviews. To imitate actual interview situations, use a list of often asked tough questions. You may improve your replies and gain confidence in your capacity to respond to difficult questions by practising.

9. Be Honest

Integrity is a quality that employers look for in job seekers. It's better to acknowledge you don't know the answer to a challenging topic or are uncertain than to try to bluff your way through. Following the interview, you might volunteer to provide the proper information or state your readiness to learn more. A favourable impression may be made on the interviewer by being honest and humble.

10. Reflect and Learn

Spend some time after the interview thinking back on the challenging questions you were asked and your solutions. Think about what worked well and what you can do better. Utilise this self-evaluation to improve your interviewing abilities and better prepare for future interviews.

Examples of Tricky Job Interview Questions

1. Tell me about a time you failed and how you handled it.

Tip - Pick a situation where you failed and used the experience to improve yourself. Stress your fortitude and capacity for development.

2. Why should we hire you over other candidates?

Tip - Emphasise your distinctive abilities, experiences, and love for the organisation and the position. Demonstrate how you can add value and influence the situation.

3. What is your greatest weakness?

Tip - Mention a genuine weakness while also describing your ongoing efforts to address it. This exhibits self-awareness and a dedication to personal development.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Tip - Adapt your response to the needs of the organisation and the position you're looking for. Demonstrate ambition and a willingness to advance within the company.

5. How do you handle difficult coworkers or team members?

Tip - Describe a diplomatic strategy that emphasises teamwork, dispute resolution, and effective communication.

6. Give an example of a time when you had to meet a tight deadline.

Tip - Share a concrete example and describe the actions you used to set priorities, manage your time effectively, and fulfil the deadline.

7. What's your salary expectation?

Tip - Examine the company's pay scale for the position and industry norms. Based on your training and expertise, give an acceptable range.

8. How do you handle high-pressure situations?

Tip - Talk about your capacity for maintaining composure under pressure and for setting priorities for your work. Mention instances in the past where you shown such excellence.


Interviews for jobs can be difficult, and hard questions are often present. You may successfully handle these trying situations by being calm, comprehending the questions, providing organised replies, and retaining professionalism. Remember that exhibiting your abilities to withstand pressure and adapt to unforeseen events is just as important as showcasing your talents and qualifications in interviews. You may transform challenging questions into opportunities to shine and land your ideal job with practise and the correct attitude.


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