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Your biggest fear of the job interview might be those infamous tough interview questions. Questions that are not so straightforward and might potentially reveal some of your weaknesses for the position. “Hoping” those questions won’t come up is not the best way to prepare for your interview. Read on for some useful tips for preparing for these tough interview questions.

What is your greatest weakness?

What we have always learned about answering this question is making your positive trait sounds like a weakness. Hiring managers don’t live under the rock and they have heard interviewees use this strategy way too many times.

Zansler suggests being honest about your weakness during the interview but also mention you are working on improving on the weakness. (Zansler, n.d.) The author also suggests a method of Weakness-Action-Result when preparing for the answer to this question.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Not all of us have a clear plan of where we want to be in five years, especially when this position is an entry-level job. If you do have a clear five-year career plan, that’s great. If you don’t, you can focus on the “right now”.

You can answer this question with your interest in the position and how you plan on learning and contributing to the team. This is also because the interviewer is trying to see if you plan on leaving the company soon after you get hired. “Often the intent behind this question is about longevity … Positions are expensive to fill, and if you are planning to leave before you even get the job, that can be a red flag.” (Zansler, n.d.)

Why should we hire you instead of other candidates?

This is a tricky question… We don’t know anything about the other candidates besides you are competing for the same position. The only fact we know about this situation is ourselves.

You should focus on yourself and what makes you stand out as a potential employee. How you will contribute to the company as an asset. Also, make sure you carefully read the position responsibilities and craft your answer based on it before the interview. (12 Tough Interview Questions and Answers, 2020)

Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.

The interviewer is trying to see how you deal with stress and how your attitude fits the position. It is very helpful to prepare ahead for these types of behavioral questions. It’s hard to think of your examples on the spot during a nerve-wracking interview.

Indeed.com suggests using the “STAR” method when answering behavioral questions, which is done by providing a summary of the obstacle, your role in the situation, and the action you took to resolve the obstacle. (12 Tough Interview Questions and Answers, 2020)

Be sure to provide a real-life example of your own instead of using a made-up one you found online. Interviewers can probably tell a fake story when they ask further questions about the obstacle and you have to make it up on the fly. The example doesn’t have to be work-related. It can be how you overcame an obstacle in school. The example is good as long as it shows you took action to overcome a stressful situation.

How did MATC prepare you for your career?

Think about all the hands-on experience you had in MATC’s IT classes. You can talk about how you learned to take apart the tower and motherboard in A+ class, how to manage mobile devices in Mobility+ class, how to manage Cisco devices with Putty in Cisco classes, etc. This is one of the biggest advantages MATC students have over bachelor’s degree students. We received a lot of hands-on experience in our classes compared to their theory-based curriculum. The company can save a lot of training time by hiring us instead of other students from the universities.

Image Courtesy – matcitsupport.org

Also, MATC instructors stay closely involved in the professional field. They are very helpful by staying updated on what skills are most needed in the IT field and keeping the students informed about it. MATC instructors also stay connected with local recruiters and hiring companies to make us aware of new IT positions in Wisconsin.

Last but not least, MATC IT students are required to take multiple IT career readiness courses, such as Employment success, IT Internship, and IT Career Skill.