As an IT professional you are experienced and ready to field any technical question that is thrown your way during an interview. You are confident with these types of questions, but what happens when the questions get tricky? Hiring managers will throw in some difficult questions to see how you handle touchy situations. Your answers give them insight into how you react in unexpected and uncomfortable settings. Here are four trick questions and advice on how to answer them.

What did you like least about your former job?

The most important thing to remember is to never disparage a former employer. Stay away from talking about people, policies and culture. Burning down a past company or supervisor is a surefire way to blow your chances of landing the position you are interviewing for. Now that’s out of the way, how do you respond to this question? First you should prepare specifically for this question, it will usually come up. Identify things you disliked about your old position that are not issues at your prospective employer. For example, you may bring up tasks that you weren’t fond of in your prior job that are not required in position you are applying for.

What are your weaknesses?

Contrary to what you may think when this tough question arises, the hiring manager is not an enemy combatant trying to torture you. Everyone has weaknesses and she just wants to find out if you are self-aware and how you handle your weaknesses. Be honest and avoid fluffy answers such as, “I am very impatient and find that I need to accomplish my goals quickly.” No one is buying that. Instead give an example of a weakness and what you have done to strengthen it. Perhaps you feel you are lagging behind in a certain technology and you have enrolled in classes to hone your skills. Remember to be yourself, be honest and no funny answers.

Explain the gaps in your work history.

A common thread to answering all of these questions is honesty. If you experienced periods of unemployment simply explain why. Also focus on activities you engaged in during these times to grow professionally. Maybe you did volunteer work, or attended school, or participated in career workshops. These will demonstrate your commitment to your career during difficult times.

Describe your dream job.

The hiring manager wants to find out if you will be committed to the position. If you tell her about a dream job which has nothing at all in common with the open position, you’ll likely not get called back for a second interview. It’s perfectly ok to describe a future dream job which aligns with this position. For example, your dream job may be to become a team leader in your given field and the job you are applying for is a junior team member in the same field. That is in perfect alignment. You should explain how this position will ultimately give you the necessary experience and expertise to take on greater responsibilities in the future.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.