24 tricky interview questions and how to answer them (2023)

Tough questions in interviews are increasingly common in recruitment processes to identify the best talent.

The tough interview questions are designed to separate the great people from the great people.

The difference between the two can be bridged with one thing:


We show you a huge selection of potentially difficult interview questions. These can be formulated differently than we present them. Trust us when we say that for every question you ask, there is a right answer and a ton of wrong answers.

1. Why do you want to leave your current position?

Why this is a tough interview question: It's all too easy to trip over this by demoting your current or former employer. You don't want to be the next company you have negative things to say about.

  • How to respond: “My current role, while enjoyable, doesn't offer me the challenge or advancement I need at this stage in my career. I'm looking forward to staying in a similar role, but I'm looking for the additional responsibilities and new projects I believe this role offers."
  • How not to respond: “Management and I just don't get along. They seem to have some kind of irrational vendetta against me and seem eager to take away any creative freedom I have. Since they don't know as much as I do, I think they're being very rude."

2. What is your passion/what drives you?

Why this is a tough interview question: Employers want to know why you get up in the morning. You should know that the position you applied for will not only keep you busy, but also engaged.

  • How to Answer: “I am motivated only by the desire to do my best. I need a role where I can learn and challenge myself. I like to overcome goals and meet deadlines in advance because I have the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.”
  • How not to answer: “The weekend. And money. I want it to rain on payday."

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Why this is a tough interview question: It's all too easy to go too far when answering this question. Be realistic with your expectations and don't present yourself as a threat to others' work.


  • How to respond: “I see myself as an invaluable employee who has a visible impact on how the company operates and the results it achieves. I imagine that I also have more responsibility and personal responsibility for the projects.”
  • How not to answer: "In your shoes" is usually a bad answer. While it sounds smart, it can seem like you're trying to jeopardize the interviewer's job. Even worse is "Sit on the Beach and Get 20%," though it might earn style points for quoting Die Hard, the best Christmas movie.

4. Describe yourself in three words.

Why this is a difficult interview question: The difficulty here lies in two main factors. First, lack of preparation can leave you without adjectives. The second is relevance and balance.

  • How to respond: “Careful, methodical, reliable. I strive, maintain a high level of method, execution and accuracy, and I am confident that I will meet deadlines and be on time.” Again, it is important to go through examples of diligence, method and reliability; Without them, the three words you choose are just that: words.
  • How not to respond to this: "Commitment, direct, fearless" Chances are you are not one of them. Dedicated is one of those "nothing" words that everyone uses. Simple usually means "tell it like it is, brutally and without regard to the feelings of others". And no, you're not brave, you're afraid of heights.

5. No really, what is your main real weakness?

Why this is a tough question in an interview: You're always asked what your weakness is, and you've prepared an answer that turns the negative into a positive. This iteration of the question forces you to admit where you are really weak and what you intend to do to improve and develop.

  • How to respond: Be honest, but pick your smallest weakness. Again, justify why you are the way you are by incorporating as much positivity into your argument as possible.
  • “I'm not particularly gifted with Java and I know this role gives the successful candidate an opportunity to explore it. However, I have a safe hand with C+ and other object-oriented languages, so I'm sure I'll catch up with them quickly.
  • How not to respond: "I'm not comfortable with the idea of ​​not being the smartest person in the room. So when I have some knowledge that others don't, I tend not to share it to maintain a sense of power."

6. Why were you unemployed for so long?

Why this is a tough interview question: Some employers can be really put off by the idea of ​​someone being job shy. You must explain that your free time was not wasted.

  • How to respond: “I decided to take a short break from my career. I wanted to take time out to see more of the world, recharge my batteries and learn new skills. You'll see that I got my PRINCE2 qualification during my spare time, so you can see that I didn't waste any time.”
  • How not to answer: “The new Call Of Duty is out. Finding a job can wait, but I've been looking for a job since I finished."

7. How do you deal with criticism?

Why this is a tough interview question: Throughout your career, you will constantly receive criticism, both constructive and offensive. You need to show them that you can handle criticism.

  • How to respond: "Criticism is something I always welcome. I know some of these things can be hurtful, but it's the best advice you can get. I take every word I get and put it into action."
  • How not to respond: “The reviews are usually negative; I prefer to receive praise for what I do well."

8. What is the least attractive aspect of the company/role?

Why this is a tough interview question: the dreaded opposite of "What do you love most about work?" You applied for this position because you like it. Therefore, if something worries you, you need to turn it into something positive.

  • How to respond: “There's nothing I care about on paper. looking out the windows." Its products and the challenges the position offers are enough to keep me engaged."
  • How not to answer: “Help with ad hoc office tasks. After all, I'm an experienced developer, not an administrator!"

9. How do you prioritize your workload?


Why this is a tough interview question: Employers want to know what you consider not only your most important responsibilities, but also what is important to the company.

  • How to respond: “I like to step back and think about the impact each task has on the project. Tasks of greatest importance to the end user always go to the top of the list, while projects with more distant deadlines go to the bottom of the list.”
  • How not to respond, "I like to do the fun stuff first and the boring stuff until last!"

10. How do you deal with conflicts and confrontations at work?

Why this is a tough interview question: Every office seems to have an aggressive, confrontational, overbearing jerk. Prove that you're not that guy.

  • How to respond: “I try not to get involved in conflict, even as a peacemaker. Ultimately, I come to work to do my job at the highest possible level, and having petty arguments and arguments with my co-workers will not help me or the company.”
  • How not to respond: "Left hook, right hook, uppercut, down. I'm like a young Mike Tyson."

11. Why should we hire you?

Why this is a tough interview question: It seems like such an obvious question, but it can be really hard to answer when you're stuck on your heels.

  • How to respond: While your specific answer will depend on your key selling points (number of languages ​​you can code in, experience level, problem approach, etc.), they really want to see you sell yourself. Time this answer to take less than a minute and choose three of your four best and most unique traits to use as elevator pitches. They need to sound as confident and clear to make them as memorable as possible. I would also choose at least one substantive example to support everything you say.
  • How not to answer: "I got a B in Technical Drawing!"

12. Give me an example of a time when you failed.

Why this is a tough interview question: On the one hand, it's hard to admit failure, but employers want to see what positive experiences you get out of bad experiences and how you learn from them.

  • How to answer: You have to follow a structure here. It's all in your leg... or baby cow... or baby dugong... or caribou... you get the point.
  • Cause: What did you do that caused the error? Maybe you missed some bugs in your code or you developed a product that wasn't successful.
  • Consequences: What were the consequences of your decision?
  • Lesson: What did you learn from your failures? What would you do differently? What are you going to do next?
  • Fallout: How did you deal with the aftermath of your failure?

How not to respond: Something silly, like "I once ate 14 bowls of cereal and felt like I was dying," or something seriously wrong, "I once sabotaged a coworker's project to get ahead."

13. How do you put a giraffe in the fridge? (obscure questions designed to test your reasoning skills)

Why this is a tough interview question: Not only is it physically impossible to fit a large giraffe into a large fridge, you'll likely reconsider this question and get the wrong answer. This question comes in many different forms.

  • How to respond: "Open the door, put the giraffe in the refrigerator, close the door." Simplifying things will take you far. Yes, this answer is totally illogical, but it is also the correct answer. I would prefer "Build a refrigerator around the giraffe" as it shows your intelligence and dexterity, but whatever you want.
  • How not to respond to this: “Brute force. Bend it until you hear a click; It goes in the fridge whether you like it or not.

14. What achievement are you most proud of?

(Video) TOP 7 Interview Questions and Answers (PASS GUARANTEED!)

Why this is a tough interview question: Justifying why you're proud of it makes it harder. They want to see how inspiring you are and if you've done anything worthwhile in your life so far.

  • Answer: “In college, I always tried to fill my free time with activities that would help me in the long term. As someone who is very invested in the mobile industry, I've developed a lot of different apps. One was a small platform game that used Tilt technology, and it was actually nominated for a UK [app] design award. Given my relative age and lack of experience, I was very proud to receive such an award."
  • How not to answer: "The simple fact of being approved was an achievement in itself!" it's a terrible thing to say. "I once assembled an IKEA chair in less than 5 minutes" is impressive but totally irrelevant and meaningless.

15. How do you feel about reporting to a younger person?

Why this is a tough interview question: This is a test of respect. If you're the type of person who believes that power comes with age, rather than those who work hard for it, this might be a difficult question to answer.

  • How to respond: “Age is just a number; In fact, young people often bring a refreshing attitude and perspective to leadership roles. If they excel at what they do, I have no problem letting them know."
  • How not to respond: “I don't like taking instructions from younger people. It's a bit like your kid telling you to go to your room if you've been mean, it's just not right."

16. What do you hope to achieve in the first 6 months?

Why this is a tough interview question: This question tests your ability to manage your own expectations. You should not overestimate or underestimate what you want to do.

  • How to answer: “I don't expect to walk in on day one and set the company on fire. I know it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year for my effects to really be felt. However, I think I can go in and impress internally, demonstrate my own way of doing things, and then have a deep understanding of whatever product you're developing."
  • How not to answer: “I want to come in and make a difference from day one. In six months I will be the manager here” or “Passing the probationary period is success enough for me!”.

17. What three skills do you have that make you a perfect candidate for this position?

Why this is a tough interview question: It's about selling yourself as a unique candidate, but also prioritizing your skills to meet the company's needs. It's important to support everything you say with examples.

  • How to answer: “I would say I'm versatile in the sense that I can stack code in many different languages. I have proven over time that I am very proficient in C+ and Java. I also have the necessary communication skills to communicate effectively with internal and external clients as well as my team members and my previous experience demonstrates this. After all, I am a logical thinker; I can go a step further and look at problems from the broadest possible perspective to find the best and most creative solution.”
  • How not to answer: "I'm a great programmer, I'm a hard worker, and I'm always on time for work."

18. Have you ever had to make a difficult decision in favor of the company?

Why this is a tough interview question: This is a test of your decision-making skills. In life, you can't please everyone, and you have to make unpopular decisions for the good of the company. Those who withdrew from the toughest options may not be leadership material.

  • How to respond: “From my point of view, the hardest decisions involve people. In my last role, I was old enough to make decisions about who to fire and who to keep. We went through a period of instability after the recession and we couldn't afford to keep everyone on the books. The decision wasn't easy and emotionally harrowing, but I did my best to help those I fired find work through referrals and a great referral."
  • How not to answer: “There was a developer on our team who hated the bright sunlight in his eyes. I decided to trade places with him. It was a difficult decision with many consequences, but their quality of work life has improved a lot."

19. Do you consider yourself a leader?

Why this is a tough interview question: It's hard to define yourself as a leader; it is usually a title given to you by someone else. In other words, you're only a great leader if the people around you think you are.


  • How to respond: “I would say that I have many qualities that good leaders possess. As I mentioned earlier, I have an innate ability to make tough decisions head-on, and in my previous roles I have always been asked for advice. I always make myself available to people and that helps a lot to keep morale high. My peers would say I'm selfless, which is the most underrated leadership quality anyone can have."
  • How not to answer: “Yes. I'm the loudest voice in the room and I'm great at organizing a pub crawl."

20. How would you react if you didn't get promoted in, say, 3 years?

Why this is a tough interview question: This question is designed to challenge your true motivations and career aspirations, as well as your patience.

  • How to answer: “There are reasons for everything. If he didn't get a promotion when he thought he deserved it, the last thing he would do is suspect foul play. I would look at myself, look at the work I've done and focus on the positive. I would request a performance review to see where I am and where I can improve and focus on the future instead of the present.”
  • How not to answer: “I would. If I feel I deserve a promotion, I should get one!"

21. How do you measure your success?

Why this is a tough interview question: People shouldn't settle for insistent mediocrity. How do you achieve and measure "success"?

  • How to respond: “First, it's important to clarify my definition of success. Success goes beyond what is expected of you and is much more than making your bosses happy. As a web developer, I can use Google Analytics to measure the performance of a new site compared to the previous version, and through surveys and positive reviews, I can measure the usefulness and effectiveness of the site's features. Sales are also important and everything I do to increase profits contributes to my success.”
  • How not to answer: "If my boss is happy, so am I."

22. Why would you rather work for us than a competing organization?

Why this is a tough interview question: Have you done your research yet? It will appear here if you haven't already. Not only do you need to know the company you are interviewing for, but also who the competition is.

  • How to respond: “Your main competitors use technology that I would consider outdated and uninteresting. I think your technology is groundbreaking and would love to have the opportunity to work with you. I also like the corporate atmosphere and culture you've developed and I think it really helps your developers focus and relax.”
  • How not to answer this: "Who are your rivals?"

23. What trends do you foresee for our industry?

Why this is a tough interview question: You must always be on top of what's going on in the industry. You must sound like someone who has astute observations about the industry as a whole.

  • How to respond: "With the arrival of 'Mobilegeddon', I think we can expect a big shift away from traditional website designs. Soon, all new websites will be developed for mobile devices first before being developed for the web. Almost 1/3 "The FTSE100 companies weren't ready for the mobile era. The paradigm is shifting and it will be interesting to see how and if large companies adapt to changing consumer needs."
  • How not to answer: "There will be more developers and things like that."

24. Don't you feel a little overqualified for this position?

Why this is a tough interview question: This question is not intended to be condescending or to make you think differently about the role, but it does give you a chance to justify why you want to leave.

  • How to answer: “If I want to get to where I want to be in my career, I have to take one step back before I can take two steps forward. This is a great opportunity to advance my career and I am willing to accept a lower salary and less responsibility in order to develop the skills I need to advance."
  • How not to respond with "Sure, but I really want (NEED) this job."


What are the hardest interview questions to answer? ›

The most difficult interview questions (and answers)
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What's something that you didn't like about your last job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?
  • Here's an answer for you.

How do you answer tricky interview questions? ›

Try not to get flustered, and keep in mind that interviewers are likely more interested in how you respond, rather than your precise answer. Be strategic in your response to tricky questions—and any interview questions—and aim to give replies that paint you in a positive way as a candidate.

What are 5 unique questions you can ask at the end of an interview? ›

20 smart questions to ask at the end of your next job interview
  • What do you personally like most about working for this organisation? ...
  • How would you describe your organisation's culture? ...
  • Can you tell me about the kind of supervision you provide? ...
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

What is a weak point to say in an interview? ›

Here are eight examples of the best weaknesses to mention in an interview: You focus too much on the details. You have a difficult time letting go of a project. You have trouble saying no.

What are the top 3 interview mistakes? ›

Top 5 job interview mistakes
  • Being unprepared.
  • Dressing inappropriately.
  • Talking too much or not enough.
  • Criticising previous employers or colleagues.
  • Failing to ask questions.

How can I impress a difficult interviewer? ›

Top 9 Ways to Impress Your Interviewer
  1. Work on your handshake. Don't offer up a flimsy or sweaty hand. ...
  2. Get serious. ...
  3. Get the practice. ...
  4. Be enthusiastic. ...
  5. Ask questions. ...
  6. Tell a story. ...
  7. Show restraint. ...
  8. Be memorable.

How do you outsmart an interview? ›

Five ways to outsmart your interviewer
  1. They want to bring on board someone that they like… so be nice. ...
  2. Do your research. ...
  3. Ask probing questions. ...
  4. Show confidence with body language. ...
  5. Be totally engaged.

What is the STAR method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

What are powerful interview questions? ›

They're the perfect way to ease candidates into the interview and get the background information you need.
  • How did you hear about the role? ...
  • What do you know about the company? ...
  • Why did you apply? ...
  • What are your key professional strengths? ...
  • Why should we hire you? ...
  • Do you have any questions for us?
Apr 14, 2022

What questions impress an interviewer? ›

Asking these questions shows that you're interested in your interviewer as a person—and that's a great way to build rapport with a future colleague.
  • How long have you been with the company?
  • Has your role changed since you've been here?
  • What did you do before this?
  • Why did you come to this company?
Feb 2, 2023

How do you subtly fail in an interview? ›

Interview Mistakes to Avoid During the Interview
  1. You're Late to Arrive. ...
  2. You Pretend You Know an Answer That You Don't. ...
  3. Too Much Name Dropping. ...
  4. You're Too Rehearsed. ...
  5. You Have No Questions Prepared, Especially at the End of the Interview. ...
  6. You Use Too Much Jargon. ...
  7. You Let a Small Mistake Derail You.

Is it OK to mess up an interview question? ›

Some interviewers will appreciate the extra elaboration on a question you think you botched, but to others, it will simply draw more attention to your mistake. So, it's important to pinpoint if the errors from your interview are important enough to bring up again—and if bringing them up is going to help you.

What is the most annoying interview question? ›

The Most Annoying Interview Question That Interviewers Need to Stop Asking. It's surely the most annoying and predictable interview question that ever gets asked: "What is your greatest weakness?" I'll start out by saying that I hate this question. Everyone hates this question.

What are 3 good weaknesses? ›

Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

What are three strengths? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

What are the 3 C's of interview? ›

These three C's that we will examine are: Credibility; Competence; and Confidence. They are inextricably connected. I'm an introvert by personality type, but can interview with the best of them because of the successful implementation of these three C's.

What can ruin an interview? ›

10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Any Interview
  • Arriving Late. ...
  • Jumping Into The Discussion Of Pay And Benefits. ...
  • Answering Your Phone. ...
  • Talking Badly About Your Previous Or Current Employer. ...
  • Being Brief, Hiding From Questions, Or Talking Too Much. ...
  • Not Asking Questions. ...
  • Dressing Inappropriately. ...
  • Being Unprepared.

What is the greatest fear in interview? ›

Sample answer 4: Fear of underperforming

Not achieving my full potential is one of the biggest fears in my life. I know I am a creative person with ideas, aspirations, and skills, but I still fear that I will fail to utilize my skills to achieve my professional goals.

What interviewers want to hear? ›

Six Answers Interviewers Need to Hear to Hire You
  • Do You Have the Skills to Do the Job? ...
  • Do You Fit? ...
  • Do You Understand the Company and Its Purpose? ...
  • How Do You Stack Up Against the Competition? ...
  • Do You Have the Right Mind-Set for the Job and Company? ...
  • Do You Want the Job?

What color is best to wear on an interview? ›

Neutral colors - navy, gray, black, and brown - are the best colors for a job interview. White is also an excellent color for a blouse or button-down shirt. You can certainly add a pop of color to a neutral interview outfit.

How do you beat a nervous interview? ›

  1. Go for a Walk. Fresh air does everyone a load of good. ...
  2. Practice the S.T.O.P Method. ...
  3. Prepare for the Worst. ...
  4. Make an Interview Cheat Sheet. ...
  5. Plan Something for Afterwards. ...
  6. Eat a Good Breakfast (or Lunch) ...
  7. Give Yourself a Pep Talk. ...
  8. Call an (Uplifting) Friend.
Jan 24, 2022

What are the 10 hardest interview questions? ›

10 of The Hardest Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
  • 1) What do you consider to be your weaknesses? ...
  • 2) What are your strengths? ...
  • 3) Could you tell me a little about yourself? ...
  • 4) What can you tell me about this company? ...
  • 5) What is it that sets you apart from other candidates? ...
  • 6) Why did you leave your previous job?

What are some tricky interview questions? ›

10 common tricky interview questions and how to answer them
  • What are your weaknesses? ...
  • Why do you want to work here? ...
  • Why are you leaving your current role? ...
  • Tell me a bit about yourself? ...
  • Why should we hire you? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? ...
  • Describe a time you have worked with a difficult person.
Apr 25, 2022

What is the best interview question ever? ›

Basic questions
  • How did you hear about the role? ...
  • What do you know about the company? ...
  • Why did you apply? ...
  • What are your key professional strengths? ...
  • Why should we hire you? ...
  • Do you have any questions for us? ...
  • What's your definition of hard work? ...
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
Apr 14, 2022

What are 3 good interview questions? ›

Tell me about yourself. Why are you interested in working for this company? Tell me about your education.

What are 4 tips for interviewing? ›

Interview tips
  • Review common interview questions. ...
  • Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. ...
  • Be prepared. ...
  • On the day of the interview, remember to:
  • Display confidence during the interview, but let the interviewer start the dialogue. ...
  • End the interview with a good impression.

What were the 6 Interviewing tips? ›

6 skills to rock your next interview
  • #1 Plan your first impression.
  • #2 Sell your strengths.
  • #3 Prepare speaking points—not a script.
  • #4 Show enthusiasm for the role.
  • #5 Tell a good (short) story.
  • #6 End on a positive note.
Feb 6, 2023


1. TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU TOOK A RISK! (2 Example Answers to this Tricky Interview Question!)
2. STAR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS! (The STAR TECHNIQUE for Behavioural Interview Questions!)
3. How to Answer These 10 Tricky Job Interview Questions
(Andrew LaCivita)
4. Tricky Interview Questions & How To Answer Them
(Azaria Bell)
5. TOP 21 'BEST ANSWERS' to Job Interview Questions!
6. SECOND INTERVIEW TIPS! (2nd Interview Questions you MUST PREPARE FOR!)


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