How Do You Handle the Difficult Interview Questions?


For most applicants, interviews are a nerve-wracking, anxiety-causing event.  After applying to any number of different positions, most people get only a few calls for an interview.  And, it is because there are so few interview opportunities, that applicants stress over the process of preparing for and going in to an interview.  Applicants are not only trying to succeed at answering every question right, but also are competing with others for the same position.  Some applicants might be more qualified and some might be willing to take the position for a lower salary.  Given all of these concerns, if you feel the same way that most applicants do, then the information contained here will help you!  If you are lucky enough to be invited in for an interview, as you are preparing for your interview, how can you get over your nerves and handle the difficult interview questions?  Below please find some sample questions or sample situations, and some useful ways that we have found to handle them.

  • Stay confident!

First, and foremost, stay confident!!  Interviewers sometimes ask difficult questions to see how you handle them more so than what you answer. The way you handle difficult questions says more about you than you think. It can demonstrate how you handle hard situations, the way you react to unexpected things, and how well you work under pressure. Interviewers might even ask questions that can offend you. Will you be defensive or shift things the other way by emphasizing on the positive things? They might also ask questions that can very easily be answered with negativity. Thus, it is crucial that you pay attention to how you answer tough interview questions. Here are a few examples of difficult interview question and how you can answer them.

  • What did you like the least about your previous job?

It is hard to mention only positive things on this question because you do have to say at least one thing about your previous job that you did not like. What you can do, however, is give an answer with valid reasons. Do not just list one things and elaborate on how bad it was. Instead, name your least favorite thing and explain why it hindered a better performance, how it helped you grow, what you did to improve the situation, and so forth. Employees are not always faced with perfect working conditions and people are aware of that. Saying there was nothing you did not like about your job is going to be hard to believe. What would differentiate you from other applicants is giving valid reasons as to why you disliked that part of your job, and what you did about it.

  • What kind of people do you find it hard to work with?

This can be tricky because you can easily fall into explaining how you cannot stand certain things people do and laugh about it, and your interviewer will probably laugh with you too. Even if you mention a few traits people may have that are obviously not acceptable, the fact is, there is no guarantee that you won’t encounter such people at the organization with which you are seeking employment. The best way to answer this and similar questions is to focus on your ability to work with different personalities, your determination, how diversity is important or your understanding of how people came from different backgrounds. Instead of saying “I can never work with…,” it is better to take the approach of “I can handle ….”

  • Mention one thing you did in your previous job that you now regret?

An average employee will have a thing or two that he or she regrets for doing so during their employment. Some employees regret the decisions they made that cost them or the company money, some regret the act that got them fired and some regret not having worked harder. If anything, you definitely don’t want to talk about the things that got you fired, or cost the company money. What you can do is talk about some improvements that you could have made, even if there was nothing you were necessarily doing wrong. It is important to remain honest in your answers, you just have to be cautious in how you word things and what you choose to discuss.

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These are just a few examples that can show you what approaches you can take while answering difficult interview questions. The important thing is that you walk in well prepared. This will make some of the hard questions much easier to answer. Nevertheless, there are always some questions that can be difficult regardless of how much you prepare. If you have done your research, you will feel more at ease. This is because you can answer the question in a way that would fit with the culture of the company. Keep in mind that some hard questions have no right answer. The best way to tackle them is to stay confident and to emphasize on the positive things. If you implement these tips, you can use difficult questions to showcase your skills and relevant qualifications.

Work Cited


Lexacount Search is grateful for Bezawit Dabi’s hard work and research assistance.   This posting would not have been possible without her exploration of this topic area.

By Lexacount Search

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Lexacount Search is a boutique recruiting and staffing company, focusing on permanent placement for legal and accounting professionals. We place attorneys, paralegals, accountants, and contract specialists with law firms and corporations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and nationwide. Equidistant from New York and Washington, D.C., our offices are located in suburban Philadelphia. Our search consultants have a range of experiences as lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, accountants and accounting clerks. These backgrounds make our consultants uniquely qualified to match your skills and career goals with permanent positions with our clients. Whether you are a lawyer, paralegal, law clerk, accountant, accounting clerk or other skilled professional, Lexacount will provide you with a variety of available career opportunities.

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