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Tricky interview questions

The best way to keep interview nerves at bay is to be well prepared. Everybody dreads being caught out by a tricky interview question, so we’ve taken the fear out of the process by compiling a comprehensive list, along with advice on how to answer each one. From ‘What is your biggest weakness?’ to ‘How do you manage your time?’, check out our suggestions on how to respond and what you should avoid saying at all costs. You’ll find that even the most challenging interview question can be turned to your advantage.

'How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks?' Tricky graduate interview question

Find out how to crack interview questions about your time management techniques and the kind of examples you might give in your answer.

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'Why do you think you will be successful in this job?' Tricky graduate interview question

Want to know how to talk about what you could bring to a graduate job? Find out how to answer with confidence.

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'Give an example of a time when you handled a major crisis.' Tricky graduate interview question

This type of question can throw you if you haven't thought about it in advance, especially as you may struggle to think of an example. However, you can turn it to your advantage.

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'What motivates you?' Tricky graduate interview question

You are particularly likely to be asked about your motivation in a strengths-based interview. Find out what recruiters want to hear in your answer.

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'What is your biggest weakness?' Tricky graduate interview question

This classic tricky interview question appears to be asking you to reveal your shortcomings, but if you use the right tactics it can be a golden opportunity to show that you're right for the job.

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'Where do you expect to be in five years' time?' Tricky graduate interview question

When interviewers ask this they don't just want to know how ambitious you are. Find out about the response they are really looking for.

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'Give an example of a time when you showed initiative.' Tricky graduate interview question

Here's how to give examples of your initiative in an interview. You'll need to show you can tackle problems creatively by sharing your ideas with others and seeing them through.

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'Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?' Tricky graduate interview question

Pick up tips on how to avoid the trap of being rude about your old boss and give a positive answer to questions about any negative experiences you may have had at work.

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'Give an example of your lateral thinking.' Tricky graduate interview question

What do employers really want when they ask you questions about your ability to think laterally? Find out how this is connected with your creativity, use of initiative and problem solving skills.

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The top nine tricky interview questions and how to answer them

Here's an overview of tricky interview questions you might come up against in graduate job interviews, along with tips on how to answer them that will help you manage your nerves and impress employers.

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'What is your most significant achievement?' Tricky graduate interview question

You don't have to brag to answer this classic tricky interview question, but you do need to talk about an achievement you're genuinely proud of.

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'What has been your biggest failure?' Tricky graduate interview question

Usually followed by ‘…and how did you deal with it?’, this question can throw an interviewee who is all geared up to talk about the positives.

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‘How do you handle stress?’: Tricky graduate interview question

Find out what recruiters really want to know when they ask about ‘handling stress’ and learn how your answer can demonstrate your self-awareness, preparation skills, motivation and resilience.

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'How do you deal with conflict?' Tricky graduate interview question

Here's how to answer questions about handling conflict and tension, and convince your interviewer you could resolve differences constructively.

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‘Give us an example of a time when you faced an ethical dilemma.' Tricky graduate interview question

When an interviewer asks you to discuss an ethical dilemma you've faced, you need to show both your integrity and your approach to analysing and resolving problems.

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