How To Answer Tough Interview Questions: Must-Know Tips

Research the Company

One of the most important things you can do in preparation for a job interview is research the company and the role. Make sure to learn the company’s mission, values, and goals. By doing your research, you’ll be more likely to impress potential employers and land the job of your dreams.

Look at their core values, a lot of questions are based with this in mind. Things like: Putting health and safety first, environmental responsibility, integrity, cultural awareness, trust, teamwork, respect.

The key to success in any interview is being knowledgeable about the company and the position you are interviewing for.

Interview Tips

  • Research the company and what their history is.
  • Learn about the position you are applying for and review the requirements.
  • Be knowledgeable about the company’s products or services.
  • Be prepared with questions that will show your interest in the position and demonstrate your understanding of what they do.
  • At every stage of the process, show a positive, enthusiastic attitude!

Be Prepared

Have a couple of scenarios in mind, one where you experienced some type of workplace conflict and how you dealt with it, for example, poor communication with staff members, toxic work environment, a difficult customer or discrimination related conflict.

Have another scenario prepared, where you demonstrated safety, for example, not taking unnecessary risks, looking out and preventing accidents, daily safety inspections.

Think about what you bring to the table, what can you offer the company?

Prepare using the STAR interview technique

The STAR interview technique is a structured method used to answer behavioural interview questions effectively. STAR stands for:

Situation
Task
Action
Result

1 Situation: Describe the specific situation or context where you faced a challenge or had to take action. Provide details to set the stage.
2. Task: Explain the task or objective you were assigned or that you needed to accomplish in that situation. What was the goal or expectation?
3. Action: Detail the actions you took to address the situation or achieve the task. What specific steps did you follow? This is often the most crucial part of the response, as it showcases your abilities and decision-making.
4. Result: Describe the outcomes or results of your actions. What happened as a result of your efforts? Be sure to highlight your accomplishments and quantify them when possible (e.g., “increased sales by 20%,” “reduced customer complaints by 50%”).

The STAR method helps interviewees provide structured and comprehensive answers to behavioural questions, which often begin with phrases like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of…” It allows you to provide evidence of your skills, experiences, and competencies by telling a story that demonstrates your qualifications for the job.

Have this prepared and you will find every interview easy as you keep practicing this format. These are the basic questions that trigger interviewers. Write down an answer to each of the questions and then write the situation of it, what the task was, the action you took, and the result of the situation you are describing.

  1. Was there a time you felt someone was being unsafe at work? What did you personally do to correct the situation?
  2. Was there a time you had a personal conflict with someone at work, such as a supervisor or co-worker?
  3. Tell me about a time where you showed safety leadership at work. What initiative did you bring? How did you lead the implementation of it?
  4. Tell me about a time that you had to communicate with a group of people. How did you get your message across?
  5. Tell me about how you communicate with other co-workers / your direct supervisor / other supervisors from different department or management?
  6. How would you improve safety in your work place?

Online Interview

  • Test your microphone with a test call, use earbuds/ headset if any echos etc clean camera and ensure good lighting
  • Promote confidence sit up straight and speak clear, don’t use slang, and don’t mumble. Make eye contact with each person speaking, don’t look around the room.
  • Listen and understand what they ask and then reply. Speak with confidence and respect, actively listen and participate.
  • Have some questions prepared for them.

Don’t be afraid to have written notes and refer to them, it makes you look prepared. Don’t be afraid to say “could I answer you next question and come back to this one?”

Prepare using real examples of how you acted / behaved in a work situation

Common Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about a situation you had conflict,and how did you over come it?
  • Where you see yourself in 5 years, career wise?
  • How do you handle challenges presented to you?
  • What can you bring to the team?
  • What are your strengths and Weaknesses?
  • How you manage competing priorities?
  • Stopped a job because it was unsafe?
  • Acted to support a diverse and inclusive workforce?
  • Disagreed with a manager or colleague?
  • Something that didn’t go as planned – what did you do / how you reacted / recovered. What you learnt from the situation. Have you been able to apply that since?
  • Innovation / problem solving / improvement
  • Your strengths?
  • Your areas for development? (this is important – shows your self awareness, ability to introspect, and that you have thought about how you can improve)

Questions To Ask Your Potential Employer 

Choose your questions carefully, you don’t want to give them a reason to not hire you.

Let them talk and then get your questions from that, it shows you’re interested and on the ball.

  • Is there any reason why you wouldn’t consider me to be the perfect candidate for this role?
  • Would there be an opportunity to progress further down the line?