We’ve all been there. We’ve all prepared for an important job interview and then had that preparation put to the test by that one question or series of questions that seemed impossible to answer. Moreover, at those moments we’ve all felt the pressure of trying not to appear flummoxed by the interviewer as they waited for our reply. As a New York staffing company, we at A-List Associates can appreciate this common predicament. However, as hard as it may be to believe if you are on the receiving end of one of these kinds of questions, they are not asked simply to stymie the interviewee. There is a purpose to every question that an interviewer asks a potential new employee. Here is a list of some of those questions along with why an interviewer might pose them and tips on answering these inquiries.

  • What is your greatest weakness? This is the granddaddy of difficult questions that nearly all interviewers ask at some point. Yet, as common as the question is some people are still thrown off guard by it. Tip: Never answer you don’t have any. Reason it may be asked: Interviewers ask this question in order to get some insight into who you are.
  • What’s wrong with your past/current employer? This is another potential minefield but it is asked in order to gauge what your expectations are of your prospective new employer. Tip: Try to put a positive spin on anything you say.
  • Why are you leaving your current job? Again, this question may be asked by an employer in order to judge whether or not you have realistic expectations of the new position. Tip: Be honest in your reply.
  • Why should we hire you? This question is asked not only to determine if you are good match for the position but also to assess how well you think on your feet. Tip: Try repeating the question in order to formulate your response in your mind before answering.
  • What’s the worst job you ever had? This question is asked in order to find out what kinds of tasks/jobs interest you. Tip: Answer honestly and add what steps you took to correct negative work situations.
  • Are you a team player? Everyone answers this question in the affirmative yet they often leave out specific examples that prove their point. Tip: Answer the question by showing specific examples of how you contributed to a team project at your past job.

Finally, as a staffing agency in NYC we understand how some of the above questions may seem to be asked in order to place a barrier between you and your dream job. However, they are not asked in vain. The best advice for answering any interview question is to be honest and to stay calm. It is also helpful to realize that for those questions that actually are too difficult to answer, you may have another opportunity to address those questions during a follow up interview.alist-logo