How to Answer Tricky Interview Questions

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2020 by The InterviewerNo comments

Tricky interview questions that are hard to predict and harder to answer are part and parcel of job-hunting. The prospect of such questions will often keep candidates up the night before their interview. However, as a leading London recruitment agency, we know that you can prepare for the unexpected and learn how to answer tricky interview questions in a job-winning way.

The purpose of tricky interview questions

Firstly, it’s important to understand why you’re being asked unusual or tricky interview questions. Often, the interviewer isn’t looking for a certain answer; what they’re looking for is how you react and respond under pressure. They’re looking for insights into your personality.

When you view tricky questions in this light, you can see them as an opportunity rather than an interviewer taking perverse pleasure in making you squirm. It’s your chance to show that you can deal with difficult situations.

How do you answer difficult interview questions?

The trick is to slow down — seriously, no one is expecting you to rattle off a response without any thought. Take a breath, consider the question, and then reply.

You can also do some preparation in advance, even though these questions are often unpredictable. You can think about potential unusual questions. You can say to yourself that you’ll respond to such questions with “That’s quite a question!” to buy yourself a little thinking time.

Then try to apply the STAR approach to answering interview questions. We’ve explained before how to write your CV using the STAR approach. It’s also a useful strategy for answering unexpected interview questions.

With this approach, you outline a situation you’ve been in that’s relevant to the question. You then explain the task or what was required of you. Finally, you explain the action you took and the positive result you achieved.

This way of answering enables to you answer concisely but on point. You can even prepare some STAR responses in advance, creating a suite to choose from.

The expected-but-awkward questions

It’s also worth preparing for questions that can conceivably be anticipated, but which are still awkward to answer, such as:

  • Why do you want to leave your current job?
  • Why were you selected for redundancy over someone else?
  • Who don’t you get on with in the workplace and why?

The trick here is to be as honest as possible without being negative — a delicate balance! In these situations, focus on the positives of the potential place of employment rather than the negatives of your recent experiences. Also, explain how you have overcome any difficulties.

Feeling ready for tricky interview questions

Hiring managers are rarely trying to trip up interview candidates for office support jobs. However, they are trying to find the right match for their role and business. If you can go into your interview with this in mind, it will help you answer appropriately.

Unlike many recruitment agencies in London, we view it as our responsibility to help you prepare for interviews. If you’d like our help, register as a candidate with Love Success and benefit from a dedicated recruitment consultant who is in your corner.


Love Success is a leading London PA & office support recruitment agency.
Our expert recruiters can help you find permanent and temporary jobs in London.

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