How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

24th January 2024, Tara McManus

In the dynamic landscape of job interviews, the ability to tackle tough questions is a skill that can set candidates apart.

Let’s run through the top 3 most difficult interview questions and how to answer them!

What’s the Purpose of Difficult Interview Questions?

Employers frequently pose difficult interview questions to gauge a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and cultural fit within the organisation. Their purpose is to throw you off to see your response and thought process. It is essential to maintain composure during these moments to make a lasting positive impression.

Common Difficult Interview Questions

“Tell me about a time when you faced a challenging situation at work and how you handled it.”

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your problem-solving skills with actual examples.

The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a powerful tool for structuring your response to behavioural questions. Illustrate a specific situation, describe the task, outline the actions you took, and conclude with the positive results achieved.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

This question allows the interviewer to assess your self-awareness and honesty. Everyone has weaknesses, make sure to select a genuine weakness and discuss the proactive steps you’ve taken to overcome it.

Steer clear of cliché answers as they come across as disingenuous and pretentious.

For example:

  • I am too much of a perfectionist.
  • I work too hard sometimes.
  • I care too much about my work.

Focus instead on showcasing self-awareness and a commitment to continuous improvement.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

This question allows the interviewer to understand your motivation and career trajectory.  Align your response with professional growth within the company. Showcase how your personal goals align seamlessly with the organisation’s long-term objectives.

Strategies for Answering Difficult Questions

Research the Company

Thoroughly understanding the company’s values, culture, and goals is critical. Integrating this knowledge into your answers shows a keen interest in the company. This shows interest, and respect and highlights you as a serious candidate.

Practice and Preparation

Build confidence by practising common interview questions. Interviews are an opportunity to sell your skills and experience, so it’s important to come across as calm, collected and confident.

Consider engaging in mock interviews or utilising online resources for additional preparation (like our blog post!).

Common Interview Questions and How to Answer them!

Be Positive and Honest

Frame your responses positively, emphasising your strengths and accomplishments. Your body language should ooze modest confidence, whether that be from sitting up straight and actively listening, or maintaining a healthy amount of eye contact.

Be honest about your weaknesses, it’s a great opportunity to highlight how you’re actively looking to improve and progress.


Mastering tough interview questions is a valuable skill that can improve your chances of achieving a job offer. Maintain a positive outlook, be honest, and thoroughly prepare for your interviews.

If you’re seeking personalised guidance, reach out to Connectment for expert assistance tailored to your needs! Our consultants are on hand to guide you through the job search process.

Connectment Ltd is a consultancy-based recruitment company based in the North East, operating globally. Our reputation is based on proven results, as we are dedicated to providing our clients and candidates with the best possible service. If you are interested in working with us, get in touch today.

Connectment, connecting you to success.