Getting thrown off by a hard interview question can be frustrating. And how you answer can make or break your chances of landing that dream.
To help you prepare to tackle any interview scenario, job and careers website Glassdoor scoured hundreds of thousands of interview questions shared by candidates on the website over the past year.
“What on your CV is the closest thing to a lie?” asked by software company The Phoenix Partnership for a marketing communication role was crowned the toughest interview question of the year, according to the survey.
It was followed by “What I am thinking right now?” asked for a regional director role at digital education company TES Global and “How would your enemy describe you?” for a position on the advertising sales graduate scheme at publishing group Condé Nast.
“Preparing for an interview thoroughly means being ready for anything, even a curveball question not directly related to the job. Remember, it’s not necessarily about getting the right answer, more how you cope under pressure,” David Whitby, UK country manager at Glassdoor, said.
Enduring a hard interview can mean higher job satisfaction down the road.
An October 2015 Glassdoor report revealed that increasing the difficulty of an interview by 10 per cent led to a 2.6 per cent increase in individual employee satisfaction later on.
The 13 highest-paying jobs with less than 40 hours per week
The 13 highest-paying jobs with less than 40 hours per week
1/13 13. Postal service clerks
Average hours typically worked a week: 39.32 Median earned income: $51,000 What they do: Perform any combination of tasks in a post office like receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail racks or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.
2/13 12. Speech-language pathologists
Average hours typically worked a week: 36.17 Median earned income: $54,000 What they do: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders.
3/13 11. Registered nurses
Average hours typically worked a week: 37.59 Median earned income: $56,000 What they do: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing-care plans, and maintain medical records.
4/13 10. Psychologists
Average hours typically worked a week: 36.75 Median earned income: $56,000 What they do: Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observations, interviews, and psychological tests and formulate and administer programs of treatment.
5/13 9. Chiropractors
Average hours typically worked a week: 39.75 Median earned income: $60,000 What they do: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system.
6/13 8. Occupational therapists
Average hours typically worked a week: 36.02 Median earned income: $60,000 What they do: Provide rehabilitative treatments and procedures that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills.
7/13 7. Technical writers
Average hours typically worked a week: 39.61 Median earned income: $62,000 What they do: Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.
8/13 6. Physical therapists
Average hours typically worked a week: 37.43 Median earned income: $63,000 What they do: Assess, plan, organise, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.
9/13 5. Audiologists
Average hours typically worked a week: 37.77 Median earned income: $64,000 What they do: Assess and treat people with hearing and related disorders.
10/13 4. Radiation therapists
Average hours typically worked a week: 38.40 Median earned income: $70,000 What they do: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.
11/13 3. Optometrists
Average hours typically worked a week: 39.03 Median earned income: $100,000 What they do: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.
12/13 2. Pharmacists
Average hours typically worked a week: 38.38 Median earned income: $102,000 What they do: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use.
13/13 1. Dentists
Average hours typically worked a week: 37.83 Median earned income: $130,000 What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums.
From Tesla Motor to American Express – here are the 20 companies hiring for jobs with the toughest interview questions
1. “What on your CV is the closest thing to a lie?” – Marketing and Communications Employee, The Phoenix Partnership
2. “What am I thinking right now?” – Regional Director, TES Global
3. “How would your enemy describe you?” – Advertising Sales Grad Scheme, Condé Nast
4. “If you had a friend who was great for a job and an identical person who was just as good, but your friend earned you £2,000 less, who would you give the job to?” – Associate Recruitment Consultant, Hays
5. “What's the most selfish thing you've ever done?” – Graduate Consultant, PageGroup
6. “You are stranded on the moon with a group of other astronauts and you need to travel 200 miles back to base, here is a list of 15 items salvaged from the wreckage of the spacecraft you were travelling in. List them in order of importance.” – Sales Employee, Turnstone Sales
7. “If your best friend was here what advice would he give you?” – Central Clearing Counterparty, American Express
8. “Describe your biggest weakness. Then describe another.” – Forward Deployed Software Engineer, Palantir Technologies
9. “How do you cope with repetition?” – Product Specialist, Tesla Motors
10. “How would you describe cloud computing to a seven-year old?” – Graduate Scheme, Microsoft
11. “There are three people, each with different salaries, and they want to find the average of them without telling any of the other two their salary. How do they do it?” – Technical Delivery Graduate, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
12. “Who is your hero, and why?” – Product Quality Employee, GE
13. “What’s your the biggest regret managing people so far?” – Area Director, Regus
14. “What would you ask the CEO if you met him one day?” – Performance Analyst, British Airways
15. “You have 50 red and 50 blue objects. Split these however you like between two containers to give the minimum/maximum probability of drawing one of the colours.” – Operations Analyst, Clearwater Analytics
16. “What does social justice mean to you?” – Content Marketing Manager, ThoughtWorks
17. “What is your coping mechanism when you have a bad day?” – Consultant, Switch Consulting
18. “Are you a nice guy?” – Product Manager, Badoo
19. “Provide an estimate for the number of goals in the premier league.” – Management Accountant, VAX
20. “Tell me about your childhood.” – Learning and Development Employee, Next