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3 minute read

Answering Difficult Interview Questions: Here Are 5 Model Answers to Reply With

Interviews can be tricky, especially if you get thrown questions that are designed to muddle. Here’s a quick guide to answer them.

Anticipating the interviewer’s questions and preparing your answer can help you to gain confidence and show your interest to work for the company.

Consider these five questions and tips on how to answer to tackle your next interview.

“Tell me about yourself.”


  • Interviewers look for relevant information that complements the job scope
  • Talk about your experience, transferrable skills, and achievements relevant to the job you are applying for
  • Do not recite your resume pointers, or mention unrelated hobbies

For example:

I was the HR Manager with XYZ company for the past 5 years, where I took charge of talent acquisition and business partnership for the regional businesses. Reporting directly to the Head of Sales, I worked closely with him to ensure the company stayed competitive and nimble by having the right resources and talents. While I really enjoyed the work there, I hope to focus on growing talent for young start-ups, which is why I’m excited to take on this new opportunity.

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“What are your weaknesses?”


  • Be honest, do not say “I have no weakness”
  • Describe the actions you took/are taking to improve upon your weakness
  • Describe how the results improved you as a person or your area of work

For example:

My independent nature and lack of patience make it difficult to depend on others to complete tasks. However, I have worked on overcoming this weakness by involving myself in more team-related work over the past year and focusing on listening to and collaborating with others. Besides learning the importance of trusting one another, it has also improved the culture and working relations of my department.

“Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your boss.”


  • The interviewer is assessing your ability to manage conflicts and work problems
  • Avoid speaking negatively about your current/former boss
  • Explain succinctly how you applied interpersonal and communications skills to resolve the matter

For example:

My supervisor and I had a disagreement on whether we should invest time and money to distribute email content to our clients through weekly newsletters. He was concerned about manpower and costs, whereas I felt strongly that email alerts would greatly improve our publicity and marketing efforts. I approached the topic carefully and supported my stance using statistics and past case studies. He ultimately gave me the green light to pilot the programme.

“Why do you want to leave your current job?”


  • Avoid complaining about your boss or company
  • Focus on pull factors (why the job/ company interests you)
  • Focus on how your qualities are best suited to the new company

For example:

I am currently looking for an Asia Pacific role that allows me to utilise my extensive network, particularly in Japan. I’m excited that your company values being good professional relationships and an openness to try new ideas, which I believe I’ll enjoy being part of.

“Why should we hire you?”


  • Describe your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Show the company that you have the values and skills they’re looking for
  • Express your interest in working for the company

For example:

Based on what I have learned about your company, I believe my skills and experience in applying design thinking for public service projects make me a great fit for the role you are looking for. What’s more, I enjoy working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and would love the opportunity to be a part of the team and grow with your company.

Your next step

Now that you’ve learned how to answer a few common questions, go ahead and rehearse them with a Career Coach or a friend. Practice makes perfect!

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