Tough Interview Questions and How to Answer Them


By Matt Zeichman, Senior Delivery Manager

Take a deep breath. The big moment has come. Your interview has been set and you are about to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are the right choice for the position. Preparing beforehand is going to facilitate the success of your interview. Predicting exactly what you are going to be asked is simply impossible; however, you must be ready to answer tough interview questions that are essential to the course of the meeting. Check out the following points to make sure that you are primed to give the right responses.

Explain the Gaps in Your Resume
If for any reason your resume shows that you have gaps in employment, it is likely that your potential employer is going to bring it up during the interview. It is important that you are comfortable, confident and honest with your response. The interviewer wants to know what kept you out of the workforce and what actions you took during that period to foster your technology career growth. Did you obtain any tech certifications, attend any training courses or local user group meetings to keep your skills sharp? What professional initiatives did you take during your unemployment? Make sure you can explain what you did during the employment gap to keep yourself emerged and current within your technology field. Consult with your technology recruiter on how to better address tough interview questions like this one.

Why Should We Choose You
Lining up an interview doesn’t automatically mean that the job is yours. Hiring managers and potential employers want to confirm that the candidate in front of them understands their business needs and has the expertise and knowledge to fulfill them. Simply listing your technology skills during your interview is not going to make the difference. When asked why you should be the hire, you must directly associate your technical experience with the opening you are going for. In order to tackle tough interview questions about your capabilities, give specific and tangible examples from past positions and education that relate to the job you are applying to. Be sure to rehearse your answers to questions like this multiple times before attending the interview. It helps increase your confidence level. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Where Do You See Yourself In the Future
Organizations want to know how their candidates plan to be part of their success. They are looking to see whether the applicant has done research about the position and the company, or whether he/she is simply there for the paycheck. Do they see the opening as a chance to boost their technology career? Contrary to contract positions that have a limited period of life, this is significant for direct hire positions. Be prepared to explain how you see yourself succeeding and justify your decision to apply for that particular opening. Check with your technology recruiter beforehand to determine the potential opportunity that exists within a company.

Why Did You Leave Your Job
One of the toughest interview questions in regards to direct hire opportunities is to answer why you left your previous job and applied for the opening you are interviewing for. Don’t panic. Instead of replying with generalities, focus on describing how your previous opportunity contributed to your technology career advancement and talk about the new challenges the current position offers for your career growth. Avoid talking about personal relationships with past colleagues or internal company politics, as these are irrelevant topics for the interview. Be professional and never speak poorly about past employers when applying for the job.

What Is Your Opinion on Technology
Very often the qualifications of a candidate perfectly match the requirements of a position, but the candidate does not get the job. The reason is that they fail to address tough interview questions such as giving their opinion about the technology used by the potential employer. For example, if you are asked to give your point of view on design patterns or development methodologies that the hiring manager has in place, talk about the technology you know but be mindful to demonstrate how flexible and open you are to learning new things. Don’t be rigid about your approach, and explain how you are going to be part of their process.

Key Takeaways to Tough Interview Questions and How to Answer Them:

  • When asked about employment gaps in your resume, be honest and straightforward with your responses
  • When asked why you are the right candidate, explain confidently with relevant examples why you are the right choice for the job
  • When asked where you see yourself in the company, talk about how the success of the organization is going to boost your technology career
  • When asked about your decision to leave your previous position, describe how your previous opportunity contributed to your technology career advancement but you need more a more challenging position
  • When asked about your opinion on technology, talk about the pros and cons associated but also be sure to explain your flexibility and how you are open to learning new things

About Softworld:
Softworld is a multifaceted staffing and consulting firm who is a recognized leader in the industry. With offices across the country we have the experience and infrastructure to support clients on a national level. Softworld has developed expertise across five distinct staffing and consulting practices over the past 20 years that include Technology Services, Life Sciences, Engineering, Government, and Banking.