Uncomfortable Interview Questions and How to Respond to Them

How to Address Uncomfortable Interview Questions Interview
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Christina Morillo

Interviewing for a new position can be nerve-wracking. Though you may have the right skills and experience, you may not be prepared as you should for a few uncomfortable questions the interviewer may ask that could jeopardize your chances of winning that employer over.  Here is the help that you may have been searching for on how to address uncomfortable interview questions.

What are your weaknesses?

You may think that you have the right answer to this common interview question by answering with a generalized statement such as “I am an overachiever” or “I’m a nitpicker when it comes to the quality of my work.” This is the wrong approach if you hope to single yourself out from your hoards of competition. Instead, you need to set yourself apart.

How you set yourself apart is by starting off saying something you pride yourself on. Think of a specific quality that you have to share first. Next, it is important to focus on another aspect of yourself that you hope to strengthen. Then make it a habit to always conclude with how you are reversing that minor weakness. For example, “I’m always trying to improve my social media skills by keeping up with all the latest computer technology to be a better communicator. I signed up for a coding class online that is helpful for web design to make me more valuable to my current position.”

Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?

Most of us do not have a crystal ball to see our future. The only reason interviewers ask this question is to see how much ambition that you have. Some like to see if you already have mapped out the growth of your career or just drifting to see where you will land. Judging by your answer, the interviewer could conclude this only might be a temporary position for you, a stepping stone to something better in the future or that you lacked enough drive in the first place to move up the career ladder.

Why was there a gap in employment on your resume?

Regardless of what you hear about the economy and nearly full employment, life is not always fair for everyone. Despite your best efforts, you may fall into this category of being unemployed. Trying to explain gaps to someone that never experienced them is not easy and can make you uncomfortable. Explain the best and as briefly as you can. After all, the interviewer hardly cares what your personal struggles were from competing in a crowded job market or family problems, etc. Instead, turn the tables in your favor by saying how you used that gap in time to enrich yourself by taking a few courses or maybe blogging, volunteering at your church, food shelter or another worthwhile organization to benefit others. Integrate how those experiences you gained will help the organization in detail to show the employer the value of your time off.

Are you planning to get married soon or have children?

This is one of those uncomfortable interview questions that you may be asked. They are supposed to be illegal just like age, but you are likely to hear them at one interview or another. The reason this is often asked is because some family pressures can take away from time at work. If you have children, the interviewer also might assume that you are more likely to better manage a team than a childless candidate. Your safest bet when asked this uncomfortable question is say something like this, “I haven’t given it much thought because I’ve been concentrating on my career. What I’m really interested in is hearing more about this position with your company.”

What is your salary history?

This is another of the annoying uncomfortable interview questions you probably will run into. However, as of February 2019, asking it is considered illegal in thirteen states. Nonetheless,  some interviewer  may still press you for an answer. This is a tricky question. The only reason that the interviewer asks it in the first place is to determine past worth and offer a salary in that range. If you want to avoid a direct answer, you can always say that it varied.

These are just a few awkward questions that you may feel unprepared for.  However, this post on how to address some of these uncomfortable interview questions  may help put you in a better position. You also might want to read another helpful post on how to make the best first impression at an interview.


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