[Part 4] Toughest Interview Questions

16) Give me an example of an important goal that you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it

Interviewers ask this question because they want to have an idea about how determined you are, and how purposeful you are, and also want to have an idea of your vision and goal to see how it points at you as the best fit for the job.

Use the STAR method to answer this question effectively You should focus on the following:

  • You should focus on telling the interviewer about the goal
  • How do you set to achieve the goal?
  • The action you took to achieve success
  • The result of the action that you took

Sample Answers

“When I first got to my current company, I discovered that increasing the customer base was the core of what the company wants to achieve. I set a goal to contribute a least 10% to the existing customer base of the company. To achieve that I did research on what method the company has been using, and I decided to take a course in marketing and sales promotion. At the end of the course, I was able to better make use of online marketing solutions as well as offline and PR. At the end of that year, I was able to contribute over 10% to our customer base, and my boss my very happy”.

“During my internship period in my previous company, I set a goal that I would build my career in human resources even if I was just a front desk officer. I always spoke and interacted with the human resources department to get a grasp of what they are doing. I took a course in HR and indirectly practiced it in my company. At the end of my one-year internship program, I was able to discover my career path, and gained useful experience in Human Resources”.

17) Can you an example of a time that you were pleased with your work (what happened, what was your reaction)

When an interviewer asks you this question, the interviewer simply wants to understand what success means to you. Simply put; the interviewer wants to have an idea of your definition of success and a feel of what brings satisfaction to you. The interviewer also wants to know how much concern you have for the growth of the company.

When answering this question, focus on:

  • What exactly you did
  • The actions you took that led to success
  • Why you were pleased with the actions
  • What effect did the action have


  • Bragging
  • Exaggeration

Sample Answers

I was handling a project to do a blog post that would inspire people. So I did research on topics that people will be interested in and a topic that can help people become better. I asked a couple of friends about their suggestion and I started the post. I also reached out to CEOs that could be a source of inspiration to others. When we published the post, we discovered that we got far more recognition than what we planned for initially and we received an enormous turnout of testimonials that affected our sales that year. I was very pleased with the approach that I took to make that project a success”.

“In my first job, I was working as a sales intern, but I was really interested in pushing my sales skills to the next level. I told my supervisor to allow me to sell a product on my own without any guidance or assistance. She agreed, so I did my research and used my internet and PR skills to sell over 90% of the product that I was given. I was really pleased with the fact that I was able to achieve that level of success even with my limited access as an intern”.

18) Can you give an example of a time that you solved a problem

When interviewers ask this question they are really interested in how you go about solving a problem. The interviewer looks forward to understanding your problem-solving skills to know how well you will deal with challenges on the job.

How to answer this question:

  • Identify the problem
  • Clearly explain the method you used to solve the problem
  • Why you decided to use the approach
  • What the solution to the problem was eventually

Sample Answers

In my role as the growth lead in my previous company, I was in charge of managing the growth of the company and making sure that everything that will finally lead to increased revenue is functioning well. At a point, I noticed that our growth was limited to just one source (online source) and this was limiting the revenue capacity that we would have gotten over time.

Our offline activities were declining fast, and according to my research, I noticed that a better portion of our revenue can best be tapped into from offline activities within our niche. So I called to talk to our sales and marketing team to see how best we can handle the situation. We agreed and came up with offline branding and a lot of PR strategies to put our brand in front of people’s eyes. After a while, we noticed that we now had a good number of walk-in requests and this increased our client base and revenue too”

“In my role as the Human resources manager, I was responsible for staff welfare and management. During the course of my work, I noticed that we were finding it difficult to get the best candidates for our positions and that of our clients. This became a big problem because this was the service that we provide to customers and not getting it right would have an effect on our reputation.

I called a meeting with other Human Resource executives and we tried to find out what we are not doing well, and how fast we can get candidates to clients as early as possible. After a series of deliberations, we discovered that we don’t search for our candidates the right way, so we decided to add a page to our website where we can have a database of candidates for different positions. We also decided to use online tools like LinkedIn to search for candidates. We found out that we wait till there is so much pressure to start head hunting for talents, so we decided that we will start processing the candidate request as soon as a request is made. All the reformation helped us get candidates fast and also retained our clients”.

19) Can you give an example of a time when you experienced difficulty at work

This is a broad question, and it can come in different forms. Interviewers ask this question basically for these reasons; they want to understand what you consider to be difficult (this largely depends on how you choose to answer the question). To know how you go about identifying a problem and your approach to solving it.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • Focus on talking about a difficult situation on a problem that you have successfully resolved
  • Focus on talking about a problem that is related to your work
  • Carefully make the interviewer understand what caused the problem
  • State the actions you took that solved the problems The STAR method will help you answer this question well You should also avoid making the following mistakes:
  • Avoid talking about your personal problem
  • Avoid dwelling too much on the damage the problem caused, focus on what you learned instead.

Sample Answers

In my current internship in the product management department, the customer service personnel directed a customer to me that was really upset with a particular functionality of our product. The customer explained that it was the major reason she bought the product and she is so angry that the product cannot satisfy her needs. I talked to everyone on the team to see how we can handle the problem, but the solution was not forthcoming.

So I pleaded with the customer and assured her that I will make sure that we give her a new one with the functionality she intends to see. So instead of just solving the problem, I decided that we add that function to our new product, and promote the product with the new function when it is out.

At the end of the day, we achieved solving the woman’s problem as well as satisfying our customers with our products by adding a function. This led to a great brand and product awareness”.

“In my current position as customer success executive, we noticed that we were focusing on getting more customers to buy our product and services than retaining them. This was a major problem that everyone in the company was yet to resolve. This created a lot of tension for the marketing team because they kept thinking of how to get customers.

I thought of how we could improve our customer retention to enable us to build loyalty in our customers. I came up with a plan for us to improve our reward system for customers and also how we can improve engagement with our customers. I decided that we should create social media pages on different platforms where we can reach out to our customers and help them even before they visit our website. So we improved engagement with our customers and that way we were able to increase our customer retention and revenue for the company”

20) Can you tell me about a time that you disagreed with your supervisor

This question sounds like a trap. When interviewers ask this question, they want to find out how you handle disagreement, especially with a superior.

The interviewer is aware of the fact that disagreement happens, so the interviewer is not trying to stir up your anger, the interviewer just wants to know how you communicate your differences with a superior person.

Interviewers ask this to also know how well you will work with a supervisor, and your ability to compromise.

When you are answering this question, you should focus on the following:

  • How the disagreement with your supervisor helped you learn how to better deal with co-workers
  • Mention the skill or ability that helped you manage the situation
  • Explain the situation that led to disagreement (be brief) You should also avoid:
  • Dwelling on the disagreement for too long
  • Being disrespectful and talking about your supervisor
  • Playing the victim

Sample Answer

In my position as a Human Resources Executive, I disagreed with my supervisor about making sales representatives and customer care executives work during the weekends. Rather than talking to her about where the sales and customer service executives were, I spoke to her about it privately in her office. I was open and honest with her about how I feel these people will feel they are overused. After our discussion, I became clear about the motive of the decision.

The decision was taken because we have a greater customer turnout during the weekends even more than weekdays and we cannot afford to lose that. She also explained to me that the management is working on their compensation plan. It then occurred to me that the disagreement was just a simple misunderstanding. The disagreement made me understand the importance of communicating and how to better deal with issues at its formative stage”.

Opinion-Based Interview Questions and Answers

The opinion-based interview question could be a bit confusing to prepare for because it is a mix of both the traditional interview question and the behavioral interview question. Just like the name sounds, the opinion-based interview question sometimes seeks to know your stands on a particular issue in the workplace or in your job field.

Some opinion-based interview questions that you would likely be asked will require how you would act in a given situation.

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