Interviewing for a Job? Here’s How to Handle Three Tough Questions That Are Sure to Come Up

Wowing a job interviewer is the first step towards nabbing a dream career. But as anyone who’s completed a job interview can attest to, the carefully crafted and multifaceted questions asked by interviewers can be difficult to answer, let alone answer well. To help job applicants thrive during interviews and secure the positions they’ve always wanted, here’re some difficult-to-answer questions that are often asked during the interview process—and some tremendous, precise, and ultra-impressive responses to these questions.


Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?


This question is tough to handle because different employers want to hear different answers, and it’s impossible to know with certainty which of these answer types should be provided. Some employers expect responses to concern moving up in the company, while other employers like to hear that prospective employees see themselves performing the exact same functions for at least half a decade; the former prefers a can-do attitude, while the latter prefers security. These preferences might also overlap.


To avoid disappointing either type of employer, applicants should focus exclusively on general predictions. For example, it’d be hard for an employer to find fault with an applicant who answers: “I see myself with a stable family and sharpened skills, working hard on behalf of a company that supports me.”


Question: What’s your greatest weakness?


The “weakness question” has tripped up an abundance of job interviewees. However, this inquiry, which has been around for about as long as modern job interviews have, can be combated, simply enough, by turning the weakness into a positive. Thus, responses like, “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes work too hard,” or, “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes take my job too seriously,” are sure to knock the ball out of the park.


Question: How do you explain the gaps in your resume?


Last but certainly not least, the resume-hole question has devastated a staggering number of interviews over the years. It’s not so much the question that gets people; rather, the lackluster responses that it elicits prove troublesome. Avoid stumbling, lying, and rationalizing when answering this one. Just be honest. Resume gaps are relatively common, and questions relating to them intend to reveal whether an applicant is truthful. In short, most employers (rightfully) believe that if an applicant is willing to lie about a resume gap during an interview, he or she would probably lie about a work-related matter while on the job.


Job applicants who are prepared to handle these questions have a greater chance of succeeding during interviews. Remember to dress professionally, be respectful, and craft an error-free resume. Here’s to smooth job interviews!