How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

Traditional interview questions are nerve-wracking enough to answer. When interviewers ask tough interview questions, you can be thrown off your game. To prepare for these potential curveballs, you should be aware of example questions that may come your way. Being privy to potential interview questions and how to answer each will help you prepare for what otherwise can be an uncomfortable situation.

The questions below are actual ones that have been asked during interviews.

· You lack experience, and I don’t have time to train you. With that in mind, why should I hire you over another candidate who fits the job description perfectly?

The interviewer is looking for you to demonstrate that you are a self-starter. This question is also an opportunity for you to highlight times you hit the ground running with little or no training.

· You’ve been unemployed for a long time. How are you keeping your skills from turning stale?

If you are keeping your skills up-to-date while you are unemployed, this is an easy question to answer. However, if you aren’t, your answer can blow the interview. To avoid leaving a negative impression, enroll in a class or volunteer in an organization that will utilize your skill set (or at least mention that you were just looking through the offerings at your local college or professional organization for a chance to upgrade your skills.)

· I’m not comfortable offering you the position because you are a job hopper. How do I know you wouldn’t get bored and leave this position within a year?

This question shouldn’t throw you off balance. After all, your job-hopper image is showcased on your resume. Although the interviewer knows about your work history, she invited you in for an interview anyway. This is a good sign that the interviewer is open to listening to your explanation. Simply answer the question honestly and without getting defensive.


Interviewers ask tough questions to test your demeanor. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what your answer is. The interviewer will focus more on whether or not you keep your cool under pressure. This isn’t to suggest that your responses shouldn’t be coherent. Obviously you are accountable for everything you say during an interview. But no matter what you say, a negative tone in your voice and a defensive nonverbal stance sends a strong message—one that doesn’t work in your favor.

For example, if you are dynamic throughout the interview but your demeanor noticeably changes when asked tough yet reasonable questions, the hiring manager may interpret that as a lack of self-confidence or that you aren’t able to withstand constructive feedback. Interviewers will overlook many indiscretions, but not candidates who demonstrate they don’t believe in themselves or are easily tripped up.