Applying in Germany

Master the tricky interview questions

HR Managers and executive recruiters love these sweat-inducing interview questions for candidates. In our constant attempt to go through difficult interview questions, we have a few more today for you to consider, when preparing for your next senior level job interviews. Time and again, we have already discussed how culturally recruitment does vary. Thus, we hope this can serve as a small guide for you to master the tricky interview questions, while applying in Germany.

Preparation is everything

Master these Tricky Interview Questions

1) “What would you have achieved in the first four weeks of your new job?”

This question requires you to keep a cool head and be thorough. The recruiter is looking for specific goals. But remember: you are not exactly aware of the situation in your new business or teams- including structures, hierarchies, the specific tasks in your work area. And that’s also something that the executive recruiter or headhunter is not expecting you to do. But what can be expected of you, is how well can you underline the uncertainties underlined or identified by you in the first four weeks. You need to clearly see yourself as a leader with a set of goals and responsibilities in the company. And your communication needs to reflect that clearly.

2) “What did you like the least about your previous job?”

This could be a tricky question. Definitely avoid personal criticism of your former colleagues and superiors, because this can create an unpleasant impression about you as a professional. Instead, try and steer the conversation towards what you did like in your previous job and how this new offering would lead you to opportunities furthering your interest and career development plans.  For this you would naturally need to have sufficient information about the new job. And that’s also something that the headhunter or executive recruiter will expect from you.

3) “What is your greatest fear?”

Avoid generalized comments or evasive statements here. Surely, an answer such as – health of your family or even the fear of uncontrollable risk is an adequate response. However, you can also use another positive spin to this. You can let your interview partner know that you’re well aware of the risks in a leadership position and these are certainly fears- but you’re viewing them as a challenge that you’d like to use to develop further professionally.

4) “Which personal qualities would your friends recall, if they would describe you?”

Do not be fooled by this different formulation- this is just a clever way of asking you about your personal strengths and weaknesses. Regarding your strengths: the key is to remember that you must not overdo it. It’s good to be persuasive and confident regarding your skills, but there’s a fine line being a brag and sounding professional. Regarding your weaknesses- it is important to exercise caution. No employer wants to hear that you are habitually late. It is smart to mention weaknesses that can be reinterpreted as strengths. However, you perhaps need to forego classics such as ‘perfectionism’ or ‘impatience about poor quality’ as they are likely to leave recruiters with a tired smile.

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