The job of any good interviewer is two fold. First, it’s the interviewer’s job to sell you on the job and the company. Second and most important, it’s their job to protect the company and existing employees from a “bad” co worker. The easiest way to do this, is to make the job seeker comfortable & excited about the opportunity, then to follow with questions designed to make us all sweat a little. Preparing for these tough questions is the best way to ace your next interview and move one step closer to a new job.

The tough questions generally fall into one of a few categories. We’ll list a few in each so you can practice answering them before your interview.

Personality questions: These questions focus on how you behave in the work place. Examples would include: How do you handle stress on a tough project? What did you enjoy about your last job? What are your hobbies? What jobs have excited you in the past?

Social questions: These questions focus on how you interact with others: What would you do if you had to work with a challenging or difficult co-worker? What would one of your co-workers say about you? Describe your favorite boss. Talk a bit about your favorite co-worker.

Performance questions: How do you handle stress on a tight deadline? Describe the worst project you’ve ever worked on. What do you do if a project fails? Describe the most successful team you’ve ever worked with. Why were they successful?

Each of these questions is designed to see how you tick. They can give the hiring manager tremendous insight into your potential as an employee. With a little preparation, you can answer these questions with little stress making you an idea candidate. Just remember when putting together your answers to focus on teamwork, accomplishments, and success.