How to Answer Tough Job Interview Questions


Employers like to ask interview questions that challenge employees to think outside of their comfort zone and get creative. While this might seem like a smart tactic, these questions can quickly turn into bad questions that create a distraction during the interview process.

As you prepare for an upcoming interview, it’s a good idea to be prepared for any type of question. Here are some answers to five bad questions an interviewer might ask:

1. “What is something you don’t want me to know about you?”

This question is risky for interviewers to ask because it has the potential to reveal information that isn’t necessarily legal for employers to ask. In this situation, candidates might think employers are trying to find out about their religious views or marital status.

When faced with this question, it’s important to be graceful and clever with your response. This is also an opportunity for you to reveal a bit of your personality and ability to think on the spot.

For example, you could reply with, “I drink five cups of coffee a day” or, “I always put ketchup on my grilled cheese.” These types of responses can lighten the mood and shift the interview away from serious and more personal topics.

2. “What is the question you were hoping I wouldn’t ask today?”

Employers ask this question because they want to stump candidates during interviews.

If you’re asked this question, reply with a cliché question such as “If you could be an animal, what kind would you be?” When you provide your question, be sure to have an answer prepared, as well.

3. “What do you dread most about going to work?”

When an interviewer asks a negative question like this, it can make you freeze up during the interview.

Instead of getting nervous about this question, there are a few ways you can respond. One way you could answer is that you could say your least favorite part of work is having to punch out at the end of the day because you love your job so much.

4. “How many pizza places are in New York City?”

Ridiculous interview questions like this one is often asked by employers to measure your ability to think on the spot. Although silly interview questions seem irrelevant to the job interview, you’ll need to craft a flawless answer.

When asked an out-of-the-box question, take a moment to collect your thoughts. Don’t focus so much on being clever or unique. Provide an answer that is genuine and makes most sense for the position you’re applying for.

5. “Are you married and do you plan on having children?”

Interviewers cannot ask questions about your marital status or if you have children. Questions similar to these are simply off limits during a job interview.

In the case an interviewer asks this question, it’s important to provide a thoughtful answer. One way you can answer this question is that you’ll be able to perform the duties of the position and meet the employer’s qualifications. If you’re uncomfortable with the question, you might want to reconsider if this is an employer you truly want to work for.

By following these tips, you hopefully won’t be caught off guard during your next job interview. Remember, if you begin to feel uncomfortable during a job interview, you need to stick to your gut. Job interviews aren’t meant to make candidates fail; they’re meant to help you show off your best skills and accomplishments.

What’s the worst question you’ve ever been asked during a job interview?