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Tough Interview Questions

30 Tough Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
Why should we hire you?
How to Answer
Interviewers want to hear about that one unique skill that sets you apart from the other candidates applying for this job. Think of your answer as your 'elevator pitch' or your qualifying statement. If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.

Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This skill could include any industry accolades, exceptional achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.

Answer Example
"You should hire me because I am unlike anyone else you have interviewed before. When I started at my current company, I was the youngest salesperson they had ever hired. That didn't stop me from becoming the #1 sales person in the company within six months. I am dedicated to my craft and engaged in this industry to the point where I commit myself to take at least one business development or leadership related workshop every business quarter. I am a competitive achiever. You won't be disappointed when you hire me."
Admin Example
"You should hire me because I'm qualified and passionate about your cause. I am excited about the idea of delivering value to your organization and will hustle for the opportunity to go above and beyond for your customers."
Manager Example
"You mentioned earlier in the interview process that you were struggling with maintaining staff and retaining them. I have an incredible onboarding strategy that took my current company from a 35% turnover rate to just 5% in twelve months. I will turn this pain point around for you."
Marketing Example
"I know that my years in sales, freelancing as a marketer, and working on different marketing campaigns have prepared me to be a great asset to your team. I believe that I am the best fit for the role because of my experience, passion for marketing, and more specifically, excitement for your company and product. Having been a customer and fan for years, I know that I will be able to bring more fire and energy to the role than my fellow applicants, and am certain that I am the right fit for your team."
Retail Example
"I have over a dozen years of experience in a related industry at one of your largest competitors. I have a proven track record of successes there and will bring that knowledge with me. I also offer creative solutions on how to position your department against the competition, and ideas that will help elevate your business to the next level. Having been a part of the industry for nearly half of my life, I have seen a ton of change and have adapted to every change or innovation with ease and excitement, and I look forward to doing that at your company as well."
Sales Example
"When I read the job description, I smiled because it was as though you wrote it with me in mind. I have three years dedicated to exceeding my sales goals, inside and outside sales experience, and I know the industry. Also, I was the fastest promoted in my previous position and have led the rollout of new markets in my current job, making me ideally positioned to help you continue to build your sales organization, markets, and exceed financial metrics. Not to mention, I am looking for a company that I can stay with for the long haul, something that you said you value earlier as well."
Teacher Example
"In addition to winning the 'Top Educator of the Year' award in my current district this year, I also bring an elevated level of education compared to most candidates. I have my Masters' Degree in Education and have also taught first-year University classes for future educators. I look forward to bringing this knowledge and influence to your school."
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Question 2 of 30
Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from your resume. You are indeed not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate!

Focus on unique non-work related skills or hobbies. For instance, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when it's possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)

Answer Example
"I am an avid marathon runner and have traveled to 10 countries in the last eight years to compete in a variety of races. I am a competitive individual and enjoy keeping fit."
Admin Example
"I am a complete organization nerd, which you may have already gathered from our interview time together. I have created and designed customer personal planners that are downloads which I sell on Etsy. My shop offers me a great side income, and essentially runs itself!"
Manager Example
"I currently run a meetup group in our city for ultimate frisbee! I have met many new friends this way and always encourage my team to participate when they can. Healthy competition is great for team building, too."
Marketing Example
"I am a certified yoga instructor, and I spent three months after college traveling and doing yoga. I spent six weeks in Asia and another six weeks in Latin America, and it was a fantastic experience that helped me to grow as both a yogi and a professional."
Retail Example
"I moved here from Ukraine when I was 8, speaking only Russian, and learned English from my Palestinian neighbor who spoke zero Russian. How? I'm still not sure, but we were pals and hung out daily and somehow figured out how to communicate! This experience taught me a lot about the importance of eliminating pre-conceived notions of others based on their background."
Sales Example
"I am bilingual in Spanish and have some proficiency in French and Italian, too. I also am a huge Harry Potter fan and could pretty much quote each book to you! Are you a Harry Potter fan?"
Teacher Example
"I have not included the information on my resume; however, I put in volunteer efforts on weekends. It's important that I give back to the community which is why I act as a volunteer coordinator for the women's shelter."
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Question 3 of 30
What is your long-range career objective?
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How to Answer
Onboarding new employees is a time consuming and costly endeavor, so the interviewer wants to make sure that this role will be a long-term fit for you. Be open to the interviewer about your dreams within this company, on a long-term basis. Share what promotions you hope to eventually receive and discuss what you wish to learn from being a part of their organization. The key to answering this question is to express to the interviewer that you plan to stay with the company for many years to come.

Answer Example
"While visiting your company website I noticed that you have some leadership opportunities available in a variety of locations. I would love to work my way into a management or leadership role with your organization and would be willing to relocate to do so. I like what your organization stands for, and I hope to see a current fit, and future growth, here."
Admin Example
"Currently I support a couple of management-level executives; however, as you can see from my application to your position, I wish to gain a position that includes supporting executives in the C-suite. I want to earn my way to the top of your executive chain by proving my dedication to the people whom I support."
Manager Example
"My long-range objective is to be a director within your organization. I am constantly looking to improve myself professionally and personally and would welcome the opportunity to do that within your organization."
Marketing Example
"I am looking for a position with which I can grow, specifically into a Director of Marketing position. I know it's a few years off, of course, but that's where I am looking to end up within the next 5 or so years."
Retail Example
"I am a long-haul type of employee, as you can see from my decade-plus employment with my current organization. That said, I am looking to make a longterm career change. One in which I can grow into an executive management role, with my eyes set on GM of the store in the next four years or so. Of course, I know there are plenty of milestones to reach on the way to that end and intend to achieve floor manager in the next 1-2 years."
Sales Example
"My long-term goal is to move into an executive leadership role: ideally a VP of Sales or Customer Success. That said, I know there is a long way to go to getting there, so my next goal is a management role. I love that you promote heavily from within and I look forward to the opportunity to rise through the ranks of the organization into an executive role."
Teacher Example
"My long-range career objective is to extend my post-secondary education to include a Masters' degree and eventually work my way into a Vice-Principal position. If my passion as an educator could influence other teachers, that would be my biggest dream."
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Question 4 of 30
What would your most recent boss say about you if they were asked to describe your character?
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How to Answer
Think of some words that best describe your work ethic and character. If you are new to the workforce, feel free to refer to a professor from your post-secondary experience or even a high school teacher, or coach.

Be sure to include descriptive words that will ensure you are a standout candidate. Most people, when asked this question, will say they are 'reliable' and 'easy to get along with.' A well-thought and unique answer to this question will give you a better chance of impressing the interviewer.

Here are some unique descriptive words you could use:

- Honest
- Attentive
- Committed
- Persistent
- Motivated
- Tenacious
- Respectful

Answer Example
"If my current employer were asked to describe me I believe they would say that I am determined, collaborative, and broad-minded. Also, during my post-secondary years, I would hear those compliments from time to time, and it was always very encouraging. I was a strong student and am a dedicated employee."
Admin Example
"My boss would say that I am a people-pleaser who is enthusiastic about my job, the people I care for and doing the right thing. She would say that I am a go-getter, that I love what I do, and I approach situations with care and tact."
Manager Example
"My character is something that I am very attached to, and I am proud of the reputation that I have developed over the years. When you call my boss for a reference, I believe she will say that I am tenacious, motivated, and let by numbers and data."
Marketing Example
"My boss would describe me as creative, committed, and inquisitive. I am always looking to learn something new, try a new approach, and am dependable."
Retail Example
"My professors would describe me as diligent and someone who asks thoughtful questions. I am curious by nature and am always asking questions to understand a topic or situation better."
Sales Example
"I believe my manager would describe me as persistent, goal-oriented, not afraid to push the envelope, and always wanting more. Also, I think he would add that I am always up for the challenge and am fun to be around."
Teacher Example
"If asked to describe my character, my current Principal, and faculty would say that I am eager to help, creative with my lesson plans, and respectful of the needs and boundaries of others."
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Question 5 of 30
What qualities do you feel make a manager successful?
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Question 6 of 30
How has your post-secondary education prepared you for this job?
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Question 7 of 30
Have you ever experienced conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?
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Question 8 of 30
What questions do you have for me?
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Question 9 of 30
What motivates you?
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Question 10 of 30
Tell me about the worst manager you ever had.
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Creators of Tough Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 07/29/2018
Question 11 of 30
What do you know about us?
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Question 12 of 30
How much do you think this job should pay?
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Question 13 of 30
Why are you looking for a new job?
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Question 14 of 30
If you could change anything about your current job, what would it be?
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Question 15 of 30
Name one suggested area of improvement from your last performance review.
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Question 16 of 30
Describe yourself in just three words.
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Question 17 of 30
Would you rather lead or follow?
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Question 18 of 30
What does greatness, and success, mean to you?
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Question 19 of 30
Besides compensation, what do you value the most in the workplace?
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Question 20 of 30
How do you feel about relocation or substantial amounts of travel?
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Question 21 of 30
Take a few minutes to bring your resume to life for me.
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Question 22 of 30
Why should we not hire you?
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Question 23 of 30
How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?
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Question 24 of 30
Why do you think you will be successful in this role?
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Question 25 of 30
Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person. How did you handle it?
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Question 26 of 30
What was your least favorite job? Why?
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Question 27 of 30
What is your biggest regret?
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Question 28 of 30
Do you ever use your sense of humor to diffuse a situation at work?
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Question 29 of 30
What was one question you didn't want me to ask today?
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Question 30 of 30
Do you consider yourself a team player?
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About Our Interview Questions

Our interview questions are created by writers, almost all of which, have a long history of recruiting and interviewing candidates. They do not necessarily have experience interviewing or working with companies, careers, or schools, in which they may write for on MockQuestions.com. We do, however, strive to match their background and expertise with the appropriate question sets found on our website.

Our careers, companies, industries, and schools may have duplicate interview questions and answers found elsewhere on our website. Specifically, our companies and our graduate school interviews. For these two, we use the industry in which we believe the company most well-represents and the graduate programs, as the basis for the interview questions and answers that generate for each company or school.

The intent of MockQuestions.com is for our users to build confidence for their job interview, by using our thousands of interview questions and answers as they practice and prepare for their interview. We believe, most of our visitors can become more likely to succeed in their job interview with hard-work and practice. We believe, the key to success is for our users to rehearse with our interview questions while using our answer examples as an idea generator for their own interview answers. We strongly want to discourage users from memorizing our answer examples. That is not the purpose of our website.

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