Fast Track Recruitment

So, what is the most difficult interview question?

Posted by Mitch on 30th June 2014


There are lots of blogs that seek to prepare people for that most arduous of conversations – the job interview.

Whether it’s well-meaning advice on how to answer questions like “How many golf balls can you fit into a bus?” or “What are your three greatest weaknesses?”, most of it’s aimed at the interviewee rather than the interviewer.

I guess we all have our own ideas of what constitutes a difficult interview question, so rather than examine them all, let me be really brief and give you two that I think are the most difficult to answer.

For me the most difficult question I could ever be asked in a job interview, be it face to face or over the phone, is this:

“Why do you want to work here?”

I find this almost impossibly difficult to answer, mostly because it’s nearly always asked far too early in the process rather than at the best time; which invariably is a day or two before a possible job offer.

It puts too much early pressure on the candidate, because the candidate almost always doesn’t have enough information to answer the question. At least with something that isn’t a bit formulaic and bullshitty.

That’s what an interview process is partly for; for the candidate to collect more information about the company/job/hiring manager so they can determine to what extent they do actually want to work there.

OK, so that’s the most difficult interview question out of the way; let me leave you with what I think is the 2nd most difficult interview question.

This question needs to be asked, by the candidate, immediately after being asked why they want to work there:

“I don’t know why I want to work here, why don’t you tell me?”

One note of caution. This question tends not to work if you’re someone who needs another job (as opposed to someone who wants a better job) and/or are unemployed.

If you need another job then you’re probably going to have to answer the original question with something formulaic and bullshitty.


By Digital Marketing Job on Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Fortune favours the brave! I hate being asked this question, a lot of the time it doesn’t even serve a purpose other than to stroke the interviewer’s ego.

By Mitch on Tuesday, 01 July 2014

You’re absolutely right, Digital Marketing Jobs.

By Bradley Elliot on Monday, 14 July 2014

your right a difficult to give an appointment to online marketing personal

By Francois Guay on Friday, 05 September 2014

There is no most difficult question during an interview as it is a process of discovery on both sides. My view as a recruiter is that over multiple interviews before the offer, I determine via my questions and interactions, the quality and character of the individual I am interviewing. They do the same so that at the end we have the best possible fit.

Of course there are recruiters and companies that are terrible at interviewing and in creating self discovery and therefore fail to get best fit.

By Brian MacIver on Tuesday, 21 October 2014

“Why do you want to work here?”
It does provoke some of the wierdest answers, thats for sure!  Sometimes it reveals that they dont know where they would be working!

By Edward on Thursday, 08 February 2018

To that very same question my answer was: “I don’t know, your recruiter called me, so now I want to know what the job is about and find out whether I do want to work there”.

The guy remained speechless.

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