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How To Answer The 5 Toughest Interview Questions

We’ve all been there – the anticipated job interview. You landed the interview and now it’s time to talk about your accomplishments, right? Half true. While interviewers want to know why you’re the best candidate for the position, they also want to understand how your behavioral patterns and personality will impact company culture and objectives.

There is no way to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked, although there are a handful that are likely to pop up. Impress your interviewer by learning how to answer the 5 toughest interview questions with confidence:

Why did you leave your last position?

Be sure to demonstrate what you accomplished in your previous role. It’s important to talk about how you contributed to the company and that you left on good terms – avoid criticizing former colleagues or management. Instead, show sincerity and explain that you’re seeking new challenges and opportunities for growth.

What is your greatest weakness?

Your first thought may be to present an attribute as a weakness. Interviewers are people too and like to see humility in potential employees. Talk about a trait you’re actively working to improve.

For example, if being meticulous means you spend unnecessary time on projects, recall a time you took a few steps back and looked at the bigger picture. This shows employers you acknowledge your flaws and are making strides to correct them.

How do you handle conflict at work?

Your answer helps the interviewer predict how you may behave in certain scenarios. How might you react if a supervisor rejects every one of your proposals? Will you use the criticism to improve or will you take it personally? Explain a situation, include context, how you found a solution, and the results. Remember to be positive and solution-oriented.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

While “I see myself as the CEO of a major accounting firm making X amount driving a Ferrari” may sound impressive, the interviewer is more interested in gaging your long-term career goals. Are you looking for more responsibility? Do you see yourself managing a team? The employer wants to know you’re there to contribute new ideas and build a career.

Why do you want to work for this company?

Make sure to research the company before your interview. Employers like to see that you’ve taken the time to understand business objectives and how your skillset can make an impact.

Do you work well in a small finance firm? Is corporate accounting more your style? Express what you find appealing about the company – its values, philosophy, reputation – and how this position is perfect for your professional plans.

Are you ready to make a lasting impression during your next interview? Search available jobs now and contact us to connect with an accounting and finance career that fits the bill.

For more interview tips, check out our video.


Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.