Find out how to answer the tough questions to improve your personal branding.

Answering the tough questions can enhance your personal branding.

For some, the executive resume cover letter and executive bio are the easy part. These individuals may feel confident in the way they look on paper, but when it comes to the interview, they may fear the tough questions and just don’t know how to answer them. Facing these types of questions when you aren’t prepared can create the wrong impression, costing you the job you’re looking for.

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

You spend a lot of time filling your executive bio with examples of your strengths to show your prospective employer why you are the perfect candidate. It’s all part of your personal branding. Unfortunately, this is one of the most commonly asked questions. The key is selecting a weakness that has little to no impact on the position for which you are applying. Carefully read through the job description before you make your choice. In addition to letting them know what your weakness is, address how you are working toward strengthening this area.

Why Is There a Gap in Your Work History?

There are a number of circumstances that can lead to gaps in your work history. Perhaps you took time off to raise children or maybe you were laid off and had difficulty finding a new position due to a declining economy. While you can’t make up a job to fill in the gaps, mention volunteer work and other activities you did during those periods of unemployment. Anything that shows you remained productive during those times can help pad your resume.

Tell Me About Yourself

This may seem like a way to learn about your personal life, but most employers don’t want to hear about your family or your latest vacation. Instead, they use this question to learn in your words about your career past. Talk about your education and your past jobs, particularly your last career. Keep this portion of the interview short and to the point.

Has a Supervisor Ever Challenged Your Choices?

When interviewers ask this question, they aren’t checking to see if you’ve made mistakes in your past job. Instead, they are interested in how you handle controversy and how you resolve issues with your superiors. Be sure your answer reflects humility and shows you learned a lesson from the encounter. Don’t badmouth your past supervisors or give the impression you were in the right.
Tough questions are all a part of the interview process. In many cases, it’s not about the exact answer you give. In fact, many of these questions are designed to gauge how you respond to specific situations and help an employer determine if you are a good fit for their company. Learning how to handle even the difficult questions with confidence will increase your odds of landing the job you want, especially if a good interview is accompanied by an excellent executive bio.