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How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77

Job Interview Question

What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

Table of Contents

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q1 -- Are you overqualified for this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- Are you willing to relocate?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q3 -- Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q4 -- Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q6 -- Describe your work style.
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q7 -- Describe yourself to me in one word.
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q8 -- Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q9 -- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q10 -- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q11 -- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q12 -- Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor/manager?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q13 -- How can you apply your specific skills to help the organization achieve sustainable growth and generate revenues?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q15 -- How do I know that you still have the “fire in the belly” to do this job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q16 -- How do you deal with difficult customers?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q17 -- How do you deal with stressful situations?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q18 -- How do you evaluate success?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q19 -- How do you handle stress and pressure?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q20 -- How do you rate yourself as a professional?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q21 -- How does this position fit in with the career path you envision for yourself?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q22 -- How have you responded to a colleague who is putting you down at work?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q23 -- How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q24 -- How long would you plan to stay with us?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q25 -- How much did / do you make?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q26 -- How was your working relationship with your previous supervisor?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q27 -- How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q28 -- How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q30 -- If we hire you, what will we know about you a year down the road?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q31 -- If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q32 -- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q33 -- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q34 -- If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q35 -- Is there anything I haven’t told you about the company that you would like to know?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q36 -- Situational Response Question:  An airplane landed in the parking lot. What would you do?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q37 -- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss about a way that something should be done. How did you handle that?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q38 -- Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q39 -- Tell me about a time when you failed.
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q40 -- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q41 -- Tell me about yourself.
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q42 -- Tell me your life story (more of your personal history).
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q43 -- Tell us about a failed project.
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q44 -- Tell us about a time that you went against corporate directives. Why? How did it turn out?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q45 -- There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q46 -- We are looking for someone with experience…or, You don’t have enough experience—why should we hire you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q47 -- What are some of your greatest and/or proudest accomplishments?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q48 -- What are your advantages and DISADVANTAGES?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q49 -- What are your hobbies?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q50 -- What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q51 -- What are your pet peeves?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q52 -- What are your salary expectations?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q53 -- What are your workplace values?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q54 -- What did you earn at your last job?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q55 -- What did you like or dislike about your previous jobs? 
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q56 -- What do people most often criticize about you?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q57 -- What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q58 -- What do you expect from a supervisor?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q59 -- What do you know about this company?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q60 -- What do you wish you’d done better?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q61 -- What excites you and scares you about this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q62 -- What have you been doing since you got laid off?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q63 -- What have you learned from your mistakes?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q64 -- What is good customer service?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q65 -- What is your greatest weakness?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q66 -- What is your ideal job?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q67 -- What is your least favorite managerial task?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q68 -- What kind of money would you be interested in making?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q69 -- What makes you unique? 
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q70 -- What motivates you?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q71 -- What questions do you have for us?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q72 -- What salary are you looking for?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q73 -- What type of work environment do you prefer?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q74 -- What was the last book you read?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q75 -- What was your least favorite part of your last job?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q76 -- What was your most difficult work experience and how did you deal with it?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q77 -- What were the major challenges of your last job and how did you handle them?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q78 -- What were your responsibilities in your last job?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q79 -- What will you contribute to this job?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q80 -- What will you do if you don’t get this position?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q81 -- What would you do first at this job?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q82 -- What would your friends tell me about you?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q83 -- What would your line manager say was the area you needed most development in?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q84 -- What you can do to make this company better?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q85 -- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q86 -- Who was your best boss and who was your worst?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q87 -- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q88 -- Why did you freelance for so long?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q89 -- Why did you leave your last position?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q90 -- Why did you take a job that seems to be outside of your career path?

  1. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q91 -- Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?
  2. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q92 -- Why do you have a big gap in your employment history?
  3. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q93 -- Why do you think you can manage a team without any prior managerial experience?
  4. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q94 -- Why do you want to join this company?
  5. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q95 -- Why do you want to switch from an academic field to business/industry?
  6. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q96 -- Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?
  7. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q97 -- Why have you been out of work for so long?
  8. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q98 -- Why have you changed jobs so frequently over the past X years?
  9. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q99 -- Why haven't you been promoted?
  10. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q100 -- Why should we give you the job over the other candidates?  (Why should I hire you instead of someone else?)
  11. How to Answer Interview Questions - Q101 -- Why would you accept a lesser salary than what you made before?  (Won’t you jump ship when a better offer comes along?)

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

This is a tough job interview question to answer because the major challenges of your last job typically are going to be the key job skills that you’re bringing to the new one.  (The exception being if you’re a brand new graduate or transitioning careers).  Since most jobs you interview for build on the job you had before, you’re actually likely to be talking about the job skills that you’re going to take on in this new role.

You always want to be positive about your job skills.  If you successfully dodged the weakness question, you don’t want to get caught in this one.

The idea you want to go with here is to talk about a few of the major situational challenges you faced in your last role that you handled successfully—using your key job skills, if possible.

Or, you could even choose a challenge that you dealt with using your key job skills, plus some other supplementary skill that you bring to the table that makes you a unique and valuable employee.

You want to use the STAR format to put it together.  (STAR stands for Situation or Task, Action you took, and Results you got.)  There’s nothing magic about the format.  It just ensures that you give a complete answer, and that you end on a positive note:  a result.

First, explain what the challenge was and why it was important.  Then take them through your thought process:  Did you have to research new information?  Did you have to call in additional resources? What resources did you bring in? Then, tell them how it ended up.  If you can quantify your result, do it.

If you can, choose challenges that highlight the top skills they want someone to have in this role.  You can have a story or two in your mind when you go to the interview if you are very familiar with the job description and the company. (This is yet another reason to do your homework and research the job and the company before you interview.)

Would you like some free training on
 How to Answer Interview Questions? 


FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions

With all behavioral interview questions, the hiring manager wants to know how you handled a past situation so that he can see how you might handle a future similar situation.  Keep this story positive, don’t badmouth anyone when telling it, and focus on the results you got from your actions.

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