How to Answer Those’s Really Tough Interview Questions

Enjoying a successful interview in today’s competitive technology job market can be a challenging feat. If you want to be prepared for your next interview, then you need to know how to answer the complex, questions your hiring manager is likely to ask the next time you apply for the job of a lifetime.  

Hiring managers aren’t picking complicated questions to stress you out or throw you off your game. Remember, like you’re looking for the perfect role, the company you’re interviewing with are looking for the ideal candidate. Those tough questions are your interviewer’s chance to get a deeper understanding of who you are, and what makes you a good fit for the organisation.  

Here, we’ll look at 5 tough interview questions, and how you can answer them.  


1. Questions About Co-workers: “How Did You Feel About Your Last Team?”

Most staff members won’t work in a silo, disconnected from the rest of the business. That means that when your hiring manager wants to see how you’ll work as part of a team, they’ll ask about your previous experiences with other employees. For instance, they might ask, “How did you feel about the people you worked with in your last role?” 

The key here is to stay away from negative answers. If you don’t have anything positive to say about your old coworkers, be honest and professional in your reply, such as: “We had a few debates on how individual projects should be handled; it’s natural I guess. I have always been a team player. In fact, on my last project I…” 

Emphasise how you developed your rapport building skills to connect with colleagues who communicated and worked in a different way to yourself.

Give examples of project teams that you were part of and what roles you had in the various teams
and what the outcomes of the projects were.

Remember that any interviewing manager knows that not everyone in a team will be ‘best friends’. What they are looking for is how you handle situations.


2. Questions About Failure: “Tell Me About a Time When You Didn’t Succeed”

During any interview experience, the hiring manager you speak to will want to assess your abilities, and how you’re going to impact the existing team, you are soon to be a part of. Though they’ll want to see examples of your achievements, and the things you might have accomplished in the past, they’ll also be interested in finding out how you respond to failure.  

No-one wins all the time.  

The key to being successful with your answers here is to think about how you can discuss what you learned from your mistakes. Explain how a previous situation went wrong, then tell your interviewer how you adapted to the experience, and what you’ve done to reduce the risk of similar problems occurring in the future. For instance, if you didn’t meet a deadline to implement a programme on time because a client was too vague with their specifications, you might have come up with a more intuitive way to ask for briefs from future customers.


3. Questions About Weakness: “Describe Your Biggest Flaw?”

This is another interview question that can be complicated and a challenge to answer. When you’re trying to make sure that you show your most “hireable” side to the business, it can seem counterproductive to highlight your flaws. However, with this question, your hiring manager is looking to see that you’re willing to accept your development areas and deal with them.  

Avoid telling your interviewer that you don’t have any shortcomings, or offer vague answers like “I’m a perfectionist”. Instead, be honest about the things that you’re not great at. Try to choose a something that isn’t going to be a deal breaker based on what you learned from the job description, then show the company that you’re currently focused on a process of self-development, intended to help you improve your skills and abilities.  


4. Questions About Motivation:

The purpose of an interview is for employers to understand more about candidates and how they will fit into the company culture as well as their fit for a role. A part of this will be finding out more about who you are, and what motivates you towards success.

Contrary to what many people think, salary isn’t the No 1 motivator. Yes, we all need it to support ourselves and families, and there is far more to this question.

The most common question you will be asked is “What motivates you?”, sometimes you may hear, “What’s important to you about the job you do and your career?”

This kind of question explore your “values”, and the interviewer is looking to see if your own personal values align with the values of the company you are applying to work for.

Examples of what motivates individuals are;  

  • Having interesting and meaningful work 
  • Being able to use their skills fully 
  • Opportunities to contribute outside their primary role responsibilities 
  • Development opportunities 
  • Working alone, or with others depending on the role 
  • Achieving goals 
  • Seeing a career pathway 
  • Personal and team recognition 
  • Having close working relationships with colleagues 
  • Flexible working opportunities 
  • Working with an inspiring manager 

While it can be easy to check out your prospective employer’s values on their website and
talk about things that relate to these values, if you don’t share these values
you are at risk of talking yourself into a role and company that you are likely to be unhappy in.

Be clear at the outset of any interview what is important to you about a new role and the company.


5. Questions about Goals: “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”

Most employers want to know that the people that they hire have ambitions and passion. In other words, have an idea of what you want to accomplish not just in general, but in the context of your potential new role within a team.

Think about where you’d like your career to go if you were offered the job, and what you could do to improve your chances of reaching your own personal career aspirations. For instance, if you’re hoping to be a team leader in three years, how are you going to make that a reality? 

Although there’s nothing wrong with talking about how the company in question could support you to achieve your goals; don’t make it sound like your future rests entirely on your new employer’s shoulders. It’s up to you to make sure you can drive your own career growth. 

5 Reasons Why Your Best Candidate Said, “No Thanks”

The race for the perfect recruit is on. As companies in the technology industry struggle to find the perfect combination of skills and characteristics in their ideal employee, the recruitment experience is growing more complex than ever.  

It’s not an employer’s market anymore.  

Tech specialists have their pick of countless new job opportunities today, which means they have the luxury of being able to choose the right work environment, the ideal title, and the best perks.  

In a world where candidates reject up to 50% of all job offers, it’s time for businesses to start thinking about how they can refine the hiring process, and improve their chances of attracting the perfect employee. Since the best way to improve is to learn from past mistakes, we’re going to look at 5 of the top reasons why your ideal applicant might say “no thanks” to your career opportunity.

1. The Recruitment Process Took Too Long

Tracking down the right team member is a huge challenge. You might spend months evaluating your business needs, working out which roles need to be filled the fastest, and thinking about how you’re going to advertise yourself.  

Unfortunately, the longer your recruitment process is, the more you could risk losing the attention and interest of your candidates. Remember, they’re on the hunt for the perfect job, which means they don’t have time to sit and wait months for an interview.  

Try to follow up with the individuals in your applicant pool that have the most potential as quickly as possible. Even if you simply send out a quick email telling them that they’ve made it to the “consideration stage”, you could reduce the chances that they go out and actively search for an alternative employer.  

When you’re struggling to fill the gaps in your company, it’s easy to forget that potential employees have deadlines to think about too. A lengthy recruitment process could make your candidates feel like you don’t respect their time, or even cause your organisation to appear disorganised. Consider working with a specialist recruitment agency to help streamline the process, and keep wasted time to a minimum.

2. Your Employer Brand Lacks Appeal 

Businesses often spend a lot of time worrying about how their brand looks to prospective customers. However, you might not spend as much effort thinking about how you look to future team members. Your “employer brand”, is how you highlight what it’s like to work with, or for your organisation. It involves everything from your reviews on individual hiring websites like Glassdoor, to the way your employees talk about your business online.  

Your existing staff can easily give away hints on what it’s like to be employed by your business. If they’re happy, then it’ll show in their social media posts and the way they interact with customers. On the other hand, if your hires are unhappy, then that will show too, in everything from high turnover rates, to grumpy teams.  

As brands grow more aware of things like “corporate culture“, technology experts are searching for careers that offer excellent salaries, room for growth, and a welcoming internal experience. Remember, every candidate you interview will be hoping to work with a team that provides happiness and satisfaction.

3. You Didn’t “Sell” The Opportunity Enough

Businesses often forget that interviews are a two-way street. While employers need to evaluate each applicant carefully and consider which factors are most important to their business, potential team members will also be thinking about how the role in question will satisfy their personal and professional needs.  

It’s not only the candidate that needs to sell themselves in a job interview but the business too. You need to show new people how they will be appreciated in your organisation, and what you’re going to do to give them an experience that couldn’t be matched by other businesses in your industry.  

A specialist recruitment agency can help you to craft a job description that appeals to your ideal employee, but it’s up to you to show off the best parts of your brand when the opportunity comes knocking. Think about interview body language, how you can highlight the potential for future growth, and what you’ll need to do to draw attention to employee perks.

4. There Aren’t Enough Opportunities for Development 

Growth is something that every recruit wants. While salary and work environment are important, it’s also crucial for businesses to think about how they can underline development opportunities for their job candidates.  

In a recent poll, 87% of millennials noted that advancement was critical to accepting a new role. When today’s employees are happy with the career progress available for them, they’re more likely to choose and stay with a company.  

On the other hand, a member of staff who feels like they’re stagnating in their role will be more likely to browse for alternate employment opportunities. That’s why it’s essential for growing organisations to assist team members with ways of improving their knowledge and skills.

If you demonstrate your potential new hire that there’s future in your company, then you’ll have a better chance of securing that all-important “yes”.

5. Problems with Remuneration and Benefits 

Finally, your salary and benefits package can go a long way towards deciding whether you’re going to secure the perfect applicant or not. While choosing a remuneration package can be a challenging experience for employers, it’s important to make sure that you select something that appeals to your ideal candidates, and compels them to join your team.  

Remember to think beyond the initial salary, and consider extra benefits like flexible working hours, remote working, and even medical or life insurance when you’re trying to earn the attention of technology talent.  

If you’re struggling, consider speaking to a recruitment group about the specific salary trends and requirements of your industry. These professionals could help you to pinpoint the benefits that put you one step ahead of the competition when hiring the best staff.  


About Resource on Demand 

Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations in growing their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs. 

The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 (0)20 8123 7769