The questions interviewers ask candidates are usually the focus. It is important that you do not neglect the questions interviewees might have. Starting an open dialogue will allow both yourself and the candidate to learn more about how well they would fit the position.
One question they might ask is, “Describe some of the toughest situations you’ve faced in this job.” It may seem like they are trying to avoid doing the hardest part of the job, but they are likely just trying to get a feel for what sort of challenges they may face if hired.
Points to Emphasize
As with any question an interviewee might ask, your answer will affect their enthusiasm for the position. It is important that your response is encouraging.
- Be positive. A good attitude will make it clear that even the tough situations are not that bad. Your words will describe the common issues, but your tone will describe how those issues affect employees.
- Be honest. You should not sugarcoat the worst parts of the job. You can point out some of the easier aspects as a counterpoint, but it is not good to stretch the truth.
- Examples are helpful. The better they are able to imagine situations they may face, the more prepared they will be.
- Be encouraging. Even though you are describing tough situations, you want to emphasize that even the most difficult circumstances can be overcome. Point out how other employees have succeeded.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It is easy to scare the candidate off when discussing tough situations. Still, you need to make sure they understand what responsibilities they may have. Avoid these common mistakes to provide a strong answer.
- Do not read too much into the question. It may sound like they are trying to avoid hard work or learn which jobs are the best. Even if this is true, it should not affect your answer.
- Do not focus too hard on the negative. You should not sugarcoat your answer, but do not only talk about the negative. Mention that there are great parts of the job that make it all worthwhile.
- Do not avoid answering the question. Saying you cannot think of tough situations is not helpful.
- Avoid rushing.
The following is a good example of how to answer a question about difficult parts of the job:
The toughest part of the job is definitely dealing with certain clients. When they give us a hard time, it is hard to do our job. On the other hand, when you get a really great client, it is probably the most rewarding and simplest part of the work.