How to Answer ‘Tell me about yourself’ (and 14 more tricky Interview Questions with Answers)

With the fierce competition in job markets today, it’s tough enough to get a call for interview. And when you do, you don’t want to blow your chances. Studying as much Interview Questions and Answers as possible are needed today in order to succeed.

Why do you need to read this?

Interviews are getting tougher day by day. All sorts of Tricky Interview Questions get asked in the interviews today. If you are not prepared for all sorts of Job Interview Questions, you will be unpleasantly surprised in the interview room. So make sure there’s no stones unturned in your interview preparation.

Common but Tricky Interview Questions

One of the most common Job Interview Questions widely asked to the candidates are ‘Tell me about yourself’. While it sounds pretty straight-forward and simple, answering it might become a little difficult without even realizing it. And that’s not the only one. There are a few such Common Interview Questions that sound simple but actually are more complex than they look.

So, we compiled a list of Tricky Interview Questions for you. This list of Interview Questions and Answers will help you in your preparation. Keep reading to know them all.

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Tell Me About Yourself

This is one of the most frequently asked Job Interview Questions in any interview. While the question sounds very easy, you wouldn’t realize just how tricky it is to describe yourself until you start attempting to do so.

Most of the candidates just lose their track in the very beginning itself when they are asked this question. Many of them end up asking the interviewer silly questions like ‘What exactly do you want to know, like my education, or work experience, or personal life…?” Well, for starters, you should not answer this question with more questions.

When the recruiters ask you this Common Interview Questions, they have two purposes in mind. One, they want to get you start talking, and Two, they want to find something in you that is suitable for the job. This is actually a very good chance for you for self-promotion, as the interviewer is directly asking for this.

How to answer this Question: Step-by-step

To prepare for this Interview Question and Answer, think like this: You are a commodity in the job market that you want to sell. You have less than a few minutes (ideally, only 1 minute) to impress the customer (the interviewer). Here are some do’s and don’ts to lead your way to the right answer.

DO: Start with an introduction. It’s best to describe your current designation and company name in the first sentence.

“I am Miranda Rose, working as an Accounting Assistant for the last 3 years in YBS inc.”

You can choose whether you want to mention your current company name or not. If the company is a reputed one, then it’s best to mention it. but if the company has been to the limelight recently for some wrong reasons, or attracted some negative media attention, it’s wise to skip the name and just mention it as ‘a reputable organization’.

DON’T: Read aloud your resume. They already have it. So, try to give them the information that is not there in the resume.

DO: Follow the present-past-future approach. Start by describing what you are doing right now, followed by a brief history of your past and then what you are looking for in the future.

 “I worked as a Junior Accountant in Nelson Industries for 2 years, before I joined my current organization, but now I feel that I am prepared for a more responsible and senior position.”

DON’T: Go overboard with describing every insignificant detail from 7-8 years back, like

“after my college, I was working part-time in a local novelty store and also giving private tuitions to school-going children. But then I thought I should be more serious in my career, so I started applying for Accounting jobs in various organizations.”

Well, these are not only unnecessary, but also off-putting. Considering an average interviewer has to interview so many candidates every day, it’s safe to assume that they have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. So, you don’t want to bore them. Sticking to the professional history of the last 5 years will be enough.

You can add any other significant details of your professional experience, your achievements and success-stories, even talk about your academic qualifications and how they played an important role in your career path, etc.

So, if you follow these simple guidelines, and make a little practice beforehand, answering this diabolical question will not be so hard ultimately.

‘Tell me about yourself’ is the first weapon in the interviewer’s arsenal, but not the last. There are many such Tricky Interview Questions waiting for you. Here we have made you a list of 14 more Interview Questions and Answers that can be rather difficult to answer. To help you further, we have provided the sample answers for all these common Job Interview Questions.

Q1. Why were you fired?

That’s one of the most dreadful Job Interview Questions that you might have to face in an interview. Well, try not to get fired in the first place. If you have any problems with your workplace, any dissatisfaction, any conflict of interest, better quit on your own.

However, sometimes things don’t go our way, and we have to see the worst possible day of our career- getting fired. Sadly, getting fired is something you cannot cover up by any means. It will create a lasting bad impression on your career, and recruiters will always find a good reason not to hire you.

How to Answer

If you have been fired, and you are asked this among other Tricky Interview Questions, you have no choice but to be honest. Lying will make things worse. So, admit you were wrong, and let the recruiters know that you have come a long way since then and improved yourself, and will not let such things happen again.

Possible Answer

“It was an unfortunate incident. I failed to fulfill my duties as well as I was expected to. My previous employment was a great opportunity for me but I let my personal problems affect my professional life, and failed in submitting my assignments. However, this has been a serious lesson for me and I have figured out how wrong I was. I have worked really hard on improving myself and become a better professional than I was 1 year ago.”

Q2. Why do you want to leave your current organization?

You need to be diplomatic while answering this, which is one of the most Common Interview Questions. You might have a lot of reason for wanting to quit your current job. You might be unhappy with your boss or team, the position you are holding, the salary or the job description. But it’s not wise to reveal them all in front of the interviewer. Instead of revealing all the negative qualities of your current job or organization, focus on the positives that you are looking for in a new organization.

Possible Answer

‘I have been in this organization and in this position for the last 3 years. While I immensely enjoy my work here, I feel I have reached a point where I am ready for a more responsible and important position, and my departure can offer a younger employee an opportunity to learn and move forward in his career.’

Q3. Why do you want to join us?

Again, the diplomatic approach will be the best while answering this question.

When we asked experienced interviewers about these kinds of ofJob Interview Questions, they shared with us all kinds of responses that they got from the candidates. From foolishly honest or insane flattery, to downright stupid… the answers covered everything. While some answered they got an interview call from this organization only, some others exclaimed how this is the best organization ever to be found on earth and it is their childhood dream to work for them.

Well, all these answers are unfortunately wrong.

How to answer

While preparing for this, or similar sounding Interview Questions and Answers, you should try to make the interviewer believe that you are genuinely interested in this company, that you have done your bit of research about the company and the job description, and only after that you have consciously taken the decision that this job will be the greatest opportunity for you right now.

Even if you don’t believe it to be true (and genuinely came to this interview because no other company called you), you should not let the interviewer know that. Also, don’t emphasize only on why it will be a great thing for you, but also point out the fact that the company will be benefitted by hiring you.

Possible Answer

‘The kind of work that this organization is doing, and where it’s headed today, is really impressive. The company’s vision and mission matches with mine, and the job description is just perfect for me, just what I was looking for right now. This will be a great opportunity for me, and I believe my abilities and trainings will do justice to the job and I will be worthy enough to contribute to the company’s future success.’

Q4. Why did you choose this profession?

Again, the purpose of this question is to check whether you are genuinely interested in this career, or you just approached a random career. Besides, recruiters might be truly interested in knowing your story too.

How to answer

Whether you are a fresher or an experienced employee, this question might be asked to you at any point in your career. So being prepared beforehand will be beneficial for you.

While answering this question, make sure that you deliver what the recruiters want to hear, i.e. this is your dream career and you are absolutely sure about your career choice.

Possible Answer

‘I always wanted to do something creative, and I am very passionate about literature, language, and everything related to it. That’s why I chose Content Writer as my profession because it is the closest to my personal interests. My academic background of higher studies in literature has further helped me strengthen my base upon which I have built my career as a creative writer. I am very happy with my choice of career today because it gives me the kind of job satisfaction that possibly no other career would have given me’

Q5. Are you available for remote working while on vacation?

This is one of the most Tricky Interview Questions to answer. Because, whether you answer Yes or No, you will fall into a trap. The recruiters would not want a person who works like a maniac and ignores his mental health, for which a break/ vacation is extremely necessary. On the other hand, they also need a dedicated worker who prioritizes his job more than anything. So, what can possibly be the right answer to this question?

How to answer

Fortunately, there is a right answer for this question. You can maintain both sides if you can handle the situation with a little smartness.

Possible Answer

‘I don’t usually work while I am on vacation, since, a break from work is much needed to keep our health intact. However, I make sure that everything is in order before I leave for my vacation. I go up and above and make sure that my absence does not create any problem for the organization, and in case of an emergency, I am just a phone call away.’

Q6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is another of the widely asked and most Common Interview Questions in any interview. While no one expects you to exactly predict what you will be doing in 5 years, the answer should be in line with the current job position you are applying for.

How to Answer

While interviewing for a position of Cost Accountant, you can’t tell the recruiters that you are looking forward to open your own firm. Because, that means you are not planning to stick around with this company and this job for long. So, from the recruiters’ points of view, hiring you, training you and investing in you will be a waste of time and resources. So, they would much rather select a candidate whose future plans are in line with the company’s self-interest.

Possible Answer

‘In 5 years, hopefully I will have completed all my duties in this job role and I will be looking forward to a senior position in this company, preferably in a managerial position.’

Q7. Do you have any questions for us?

This is a huge topic that cannot be possibly covered within a paragraph. However, the short answer to this question is ‘Yes’. You can never say ‘No, thank you’ or ‘Not right now’ while answering this question. You should be prepared to ask the interviewer a few relevant and witty questions that will show your interest in this job and the company, and also provide you valuable information to help you make a better decision about whether to join the company or not.

To get a detailed list of what questions you can ask the interviewer, and at which stage, visit: Top 60 questions to ask the interviewer

Q8. What is your biggest weakness?

Gone are the days when candidates would reply to this question with a strength veiled as weakness, for example- ‘I am a perfectionist, I can have peace until everything around  me is just perfect’ Well, they don’t sound impressive anymore, rather they sound like bragging and as if you are trying to trick the interviewer.

How to Answer

When asked about your weakness, you should reveal an actual weakness and not a veiled strength. However, don’t go overboard with honesty and start confessing about your drinking habits or your easy loss of temper. Rather, try to find a weakness that does not affect the job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an accountant’s job, then your weakness of English Grammar will not really affect you that much.

‘I have many weaknesses, but the one I am the most embarrassed about is my lack of proficient knowledge in English Grammar. While I have worked towards improving myself really hard and come a long way in recent years, I still feel I have a long way to go when I can achieve flawless grammatical knowledge in English.’

Think you got it covered? Surprize Surprize!

Generally, every serious interviewee prepares for a weakness question, because this is so common. And when you get this question, and you feel that you have handled it well, as you have prepared for it beforehand, then comes the surprise!

Nowadays, the interviewer’s next question is: “What is your next weakness that you need to work on?” You were not prepared for that, were you? The good news is: now you will be! So be ready for such a situation. Have a list of a couple of weakness and make sure you present them well and as directed when needed.

Q9. Are you looking for any other jobs in other companies as well?

There can be multiple right answers for this Job Interview Questions, but there is definitely one wrong answer. That is-

‘No. This is the only company I am interviewing with.’

The reason why it is wrong is:

The recruiters will then think of you as an undeserving one, that you are not a sought-after candidate. So, let alone selecting you, they will even start doubting their decision of bothering to call you for an interview. It’s always better to go with the approach of letting the recruiters know that you have been called  for an interview by a few other companies as well, but you consider this company and this job role the most lucrative one (even if it’s not true).

Possible Answer

‘Yes, I have a few interviews scheduled for the next few days. But I am the most excited about this job because the job description fits my goals perfectly, and the company is also a reputable one. If I get selected for this job, I am confident that I will do justice to the job.’

Even if you are not called for any other interview, don’t directly tell that. But don’t lie either. Chances are if they ask for company names, you won’t be able to produce that. So just tell them that you are very early in the job hunting process, and are applying for a number of jobs.

Q10. Why should we hire you?

Another of the most Common Interview Questions, candidates still fumble while attempting to answer this question.

How to Answer

Remember, first you have to believe yourself that you are the best candidate for this job. Only then you will be able to make the interviewer believe it too. Confidence is the key here. And it’s not that tough to vouch for yourself. Let the recruiters know that you possess all the eligibility criteria, the special skills, and moreover, the willingness to do your job right and prove to be a worthy employee.

Possible Answer

‘I believe I have acquired all the qualifications required for the job. Moreover, I am very passionate about working with this company because the job description matches my criteria perfectly. I have been preparing myself for this kind of job for the past years in my old job and given an opportunity, I am confident that I will be able to contribute to the company’s success. I am totally dedicated to my work and it’s my first priority to not letting my employers down.’

Q11. Do you prefer working independently or in a team?

This is another trap. It is one of the toughest among the Tricky Interview Questions. Because no matter which one you choose, that means you are leaving the other one. In office, you might have to work both ways for some time or the other, depending on the situation. The recruiters don’t want an employee who is not a team player, but they also don’t want a person who is always dependent on his colleagues and can’t function independently. It’s like a riddle isn’t it?

How to Answer

While answering it, you should mix a little bit of diplomacy with honesty.’ For example, if you really prefer working alone, you should say that, but also add that when it’s required, you are more than comfortable to collaborate with others, and vice versa.’

Possible Answer

‘I have worked independently as well as in groups in the past, and I feel I am at my best when I am working independently. Having said that, I am good in communication skills and I am very adaptable too. I have never had any problems when I had to work as a team with others and we always managed to get the job done the best possible way.’

Q12. How do you handle a difficult situation?

This one is not among the widely Common Interview Questions, but still common enough to make it to our list. This question is generally asked to candidates who are applying for jobs where they have to deal with a lot of people- be it clients or other employees, and where conflicts of opinion can occur easily. Preparing for these kinds of Interview Questions and Answers are quite difficult.

How to Answer

Answering them with live examples will be the best way to answer this question. First, describe the situation, what exactly happened and why. Then explain what you did to solve the problem, and finally finish with what the result was.

Q13. What will be the ideal work environment for you that you could be the most productive in?

When an interviewer is asking this among other Job Interview Questions, they are checking for two things. One, how much do you know about the company culture, and Two, whether your values and working styles are in line with the company’s requirements.

How to Answer

To answer this question, first, you need to do your bit of research about the company’s work culture. This is one of those questions that should be different for each interview. While answering, you need to keep in mind the kind of environment that the company already has, and try to mix that with your own preference.

The described work environment can be either formal or semi-formal/ casual. You can put preference on teamwork or independent work. Also, talk about work-life balance, punctuality issues and strict working hours (both their presence and absence, whichever is preferred by you). But remember, if you want the job, you must answer according to the existing work environment of the organization, otherwise, you will be considered a misfit and will be rejected.

Possible Answer

‘I like a semi-formal work environment where teamwork is emphasized rather than giving credit to an individual. I am a punctual person, and I like maintaining strict working hours, however, emergency situations apart. I am passionate about my hobbies, and I prefer keeping my personal and professional life separate, so work-life balance is also important for me to maintain my physical and mental well-being.’

Q14. Describe yourself in three words.

Well, no special suggestions here. This question is in the list so that you are compelled to think about it beforehand, and eliminate the surprise when you are asked this question. Any three positive words that you feel connected to, will do. But of course, they should be professional and relevant.