10 Tricky Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Interview questions can get really tricky. Some questions force you to reveal things you wouldn’t want to tell your recruiter. Although, if you go prepared enough, you can nail those interview questions easily. You don’t have to lie in an interview; you can win the game by simply twisting around a few words here and there.
Here are some of those tricky interview questions that the interviewers might ask you that might leave you in a fix:
#1 Why did you leave your last job? Or Why are you looking for a switch?
This is a question that will probably be asked to you everytime you apply for a new job. You can’t tell them negative things about the company, as it gives a wrong impression about you.
How to answer: There could be many versions of this answer. You can highlight that you didn’t see much growth in yourself, and wanted to learn new things. You can also say that the company simply wasn’t a good fit, as the vision of the company was changing towards an idea that didn’t sync with yours. You can also say that you would rather work for a B2B (Business to Business) or a B2C (Business to Consumer), whatever is valid in the situation.
Also, you need to make sure is that you don’t blame the company or your ex-colleagues for anything.
#2 Where do you expect to be in 5/10 years of time?
The question is mostly posed to reveal whether an employee is willing to stick with the company for long. An employer needs to spend a lot of time and resources on an employee once he hires him/her. If it is very clear that the employee is not willing to work for the company for quite some time, the employer won’t be willing to hire.
How to answer: Always try to give answers that don’t make you look like a quitter, but also highlight what you are exactly looking for. Let’s suppose you are applying for the position of a UI/UX designer. You could say, “I see myself as a successful designer in my field working alongside enthusiastic and inspirational people, still trying to learn the nuances of UI/UX.” This way, you are specifying to the recruiter that you are not looking for a career or job change anytime soon, and also not giving too much commitment.
#3 What is your biggest weakness that is really a weakness and not a strength?
This is a trickier version of the classic interview question, “What is your biggest weakness.” Now, you can’t tell them that you are a workaholic or a perfectionist.
How to answer: Here, you should choose a character trait that could be a weakness but is still acceptable at a workplace. You can try saying- “I am shy and not outspoken. I don’t often speak up in team meetings. Even if I have great ideas in mind, I am unable to deliver them at the right time. Although, I have begun taking several courses on public speaking and confidence building which shall help me overcome this weakness.”
“One of my greatest weaknesses is underestimating the time required to complete relatively small tasks. This makes me not being able to give enough time to the tasks that take longer. Although, I have begun reading time management books for the same and am trying to bring the principles to practice. I see some improvement, so I am learning to deal with it.”
This way, you are being honest about your weaknesses and also being clear about working towards the betterment.
You may also need to prepare for the interview questions that come after you have stated your weaknesses. For example, once you have talked about time management, the recruiter might also ask you- “Which books have you read so far?” ; “Which principles worked for you so far?”.
#4 Do you have any questions for me?
This question is a lot more crafty than it looks. Do not ask dumb questions. But, don’t miss the chance of asking some credible and intelligent questions.
How to answer: You can ask, “What is your long-term plan for the company?.” This can be regarded as a good question and something you won’t find on the company website.
There could be some other smart questions like- “What are the prior challenges that you are trying to solve for the company?”.
#5 You have changed careers before. Why should I hire you if you’re going to change again?
A very loopy question for someone who has changed career interests over time. Although, not a very difficult one.
How to answer: The answer to this question should guarantee your stability with the company, and should also look realistic.
An ideal answer would go like- “I have been exploring different career options to figure out what is it that I really want, and am good at. Ultimately, I have enjoyed marketing (let us say you are applying for it) the most and am good with it too. I just wanted to be sure about it. I did not want to be someone who doesn’t know what he wants from life. Now that I know it, I am affirmative about sticking with it”.
#6 What would you do if the Internet went down?
It is a simple problem-solving question. This question holds importance only when it is the only problem-solving question asked. Else, it determines very less of your character. Nevertheless, here is how you should answer it-
How to answer: A lazy person would say he would call the IT guy, and wait for him to fix it. This is not an acceptable answer.
What you could answer instead is- “I will first look around the office and see whether the internet is working for others. The IT guys can fix the problem, sure. But If the problem persists for long, then I would rather work from home, and finish my targets before I call it a day.”
You can have a different answer, but make sure it is practical. Don’t exaggerate and give impractical answers.
#7 Why are manhole covers round?
This certainly is not a trick question, but it looks like one. This question has a real answer– The manhole covers are round to prevent the lids from falling into the sewer.
This is an example of a common sense question. If you pay attention to your surroundings, you would know.
How to answer- If you know the real answer, you just have to tell. Although, if you don’t know, make an educated guess. Don’t leave the question at “I don’t know”. Try and think.
“I don’t know the exact reason, but, maybe it’s that way because…..”
There could be other such factual questions that the interviewer can put at the table. For example: “Why do humans have two eyes?”. You should always try to put some logic in your answers, and not pass the question.
#8 ‘What if’ interview questions
The recruiter can catch you off-guard easily with the ‘What if” interview questions.
What if a coworker had an annoying habit, and it hindered your quality of work, how would you resolve it?
What If you retired tomorrow and wanted to start a wildly different second career, what would you do?
Such situational interview questions have no definite answers and are highly diplomatic in nature.
How to answer: Always remember the 3 aspects the recruiter is looking at- stability, your interest in the company, and problem-solving skills.
If you are to answer such interview questions, you should make sure all of the above are retained.
#9 Why is the vision of our company important to you?
People are often asked to not lie in their interviews. Although, in situations such as these, you want to agree with the employer even when you may not want to.
How to answer: Do your research well. Learn everything you can about the company before going for the interview, so that you are able to answer this question well.
Let us say you are applying to PayTm, your answer could be-
“It is very important. I believe if the vision of the company and employee is in sync, great things are bound to happen. PayTm has played a great role in making people of India adapt to the digital wallet system. I see it as a revolution, and it excites me.”
#10 What would you do if you found out your best friend at work was stealing?
This question tests your loyalty as a friend and as an employee to the company.
How to answer: The best way to answer this question would be– “It depends. If he/she has stolen a few paper sheets, I wouldn’t bother. Although, if it is something big and is very important to the company, I will turn him/her in.”
All you have to remember is what your recruiter demands from you at that point. Once you get an understanding of what is appropriate and not, you can easily build your own spontaneous answers.