Career Tip of the Week

Interview Techniques: Sample Question 5

What has been the most difficult situation you’ve had to face? How did you tackle it?

What the interviewer is really saying: ‘I want to know what your definition of difficult is. Do you have a sensible, logical approach to problem solving and can you show some initiative?’

Type of question: Defensive, with a positive opportunity

Your response:As you can see the interviewer is giving you several invitations to dig your own grave so avoid it by selecting a difficult work situation, not caused by you, but which is understandable and quickly explained in several sentences. If it is a situation that can be compared to a situation you could find in the interviewer’s company that is even better. Explain how you defined the problem, what options you had, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was, making sure you end on a positive note. If there is not suitable work situation, then select an appropriate personal situation.