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How to Overcome Challenging Interview Questions

Interviewing for a new job can be a stressful process. Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re keen to show that you are competent and able to rise to the challenge of the role, but sometimes an unexpected question can put you on the spot. It feels random and unrelated to the job, like it’s designed to trip you up, and it’s difficult to know how to give a clear answer when you’re confused about the question itself.

It’s natural to feel anxious about tricky interview questions, but don’t let that feeling jeopardise your chance of getting the job you want. Is your interviewer being purposefully difficult just to make you squirm, or are they giving you an opportunity to demonstrate problem solving and lateral thinking - skills which are desirable in most lines of work?

So if you get asked, How many gas stations are there in the US?, don’t panic! Unless you’re interviewing for a job in the fuel industry, an exact answer is probably not what they’re looking for. Rather, this could be a good chance to show how you might use logic and rational thinking to get perspective on a problem.

It’s also useful to anticipate how you can put a positive slant on potentially critical questions, such as What was the worst thing about your last job? A job interview isn’t the place to air grievances about your previous employer, so use this as an opportunity to practice diplomacy and a growth mindset. Show an appreciation of what you have learned from your past experience, and demonstrate your desire to seek new challenges.

Embracing a positive approach to challenging interview questions can transform a potentially hostile and stressful ordeal into a thought-provoking and engaging platform for you to demonstrate desirable skills. The insightful information and very helpful infographics at provide some useful tips to help you make a good impression, whatever you get asked. Here is just one of their infographics...

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