The 20 Hardest Questions to Be Asked in an Interview

We’ve all been there, you spend hours preparing for an interview and set off to your appointment satisfied that there couldn’t possibly be a question that you haven’t mentally prepared a genius answer for. Then BANG, a bewildering, stress inducer of a bombshell is dropped on you and you’re left in a cold sweat as you decipher the best course of action.

Some of the most run-of-the-mill interview questions such as “what’s your biggest weakness?” and “describe yourself in three words”, made an appearance in the most dreaded questions to be asked, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to me. Even when you’re expecting to be asked such a thing it doesn’t seem to weaken the blow an awful lot and what really is the best response to these after all?!

The average job hopeful thinks their fate is decided early- with just over five minutes cited as the time an interviewer takes before deciding if they’ll be hired or not. This is much longer than the 90 seconds many research state that it actually takes, however it means that pressure is well and truly on to provide impressive answers throughout the introductory stage of the interview.

Our friends at the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) recently completed a study on interview experiences in the UK and compiled a list of what they found people regard as the difficult interview questions.

The 20 hardest questions to be asked in an interview:

  1. What are your weaknesses?
  2. Describe yourself in three words?
  3. If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
  4. If you were a flavour of ice cream, what would you be and why?
  5. What has been your greatest achievement?
  6. What are your strengths?
  7. Describe a time when you have failed?
  8. Why should we choose you for this role?
  9. Why did you apply for this job?
  10. How will you contribute to the team?
  11. Describe a situation where you have gone above and beyond?
  12. Describe a project you have handled?
  13. What do you think the chief executive thinks of the company?
  14. What attracted you to this company?
  15. How would your friends describe you?
  16. Describe a situation where you have had others follow your lead?
  17. Name a time where you have worked under pressure?
  18. What attributes do you have that will support you in this role?
  19. Are you a competitive person?
  20. What are you hoping to get out of life?

More of this at How to Answer the Top 35 Interview Questions.

By Sophie Deering