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How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

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The interview process is filled with personality assessments and questions designed to determine your relevant job skills. Figuring out how to answer these tough interview questions can cause stress in entry-level job seekers and even seasoned career veterans. Learn to prepare confident answers to the toughest career questions. Follow these steps carefully, and you'll ace your next interview with confidence and exceptional clarity.

Anticipate every question the job interviewer will ask. Make a list of standard tough interview questions, including "Tell me about yourself" and "Why should I hire you?" Search the Internet and public library for lists of job-interview questions and answers. Prepare a list of 25 questions for your interview. Write down a response for each. Don't try to memorize the answers verbatim, but formulate your replies to gain familiarity with the subject matter.

Practice your responses to tough interview questions. Participate in a practice interview session with a trusted friend. Give him the list of 25 questions you gathered in Step 2. Hours of preparation are required for a meeting with a potential employer. Build your confidence by repeatedly answering the tough interview questions. Before you meet with a potential employer, use this practice time with a friend to remove any fear or doubt about the job interview process.

Videotape a mock job interview with a former teacher, boss or mentor. Your goal is to create a simulated interview environment. Ask a former professor or senior executive to interview you in his office. It's important that you wear your interview suit and dress appropriately for the mock job interview. Attach a video camera to a tripod, behind your interviewer, to record your responses to her tough questions. If you don't own any video equipment, a tape recorder is sufficient.

After the mock session, review the tape. Critique your responses to the tough questions. Watch your body language for signs of nervousness. Listen to your responses carefully. Adjust your answers accordingly to prepare for your upcoming meeting with your potential boss.

Write your own questions to bring to the interview. Silence the nervousness within by preparing your own list of questions to ask the hiring manager or potential boss. Ask the interviewer about his management style and job expectations. Assess the personality and temperament of your potential employer. Prepare thought-provoking questions about your new responsibilities to assure the interviewer that you are interested in the position and are the best candidate for the job.

About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in NewsOK.com and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.

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