You spent the last hour in an interview listing, highlighting, and illustrating that you're perfect for the role. Yet, as if not convinced, the interviewer asks:

"What part of this role will be most difficult for you?"

Sweating man

No need to sweat. It's actually a good question that you can use to your advantage!

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

It's worth understanding what the interviewers want to get out of the question so you can tailor your answers.

With this question they want to see:

  • that you thoroughly understand the role and its challenges

  • your ability to self-assess and recognise potential issues

  • how you handle challenges

  • how much support you'd need

A woman looking through a magnifying glass

So How Do You Answer It?

Before the interview:

  • Make sure that you study the job description.

  • Know where you'd ace the role and identify some difficulties.

A person writing notes on a deskPhoto by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

During the interview:

  • Choose a challenging aspect that is not crucial to the role.

  • Select a difficulty that is easy to overcome such as a knowledge or skill gap, rather than personality traits.

  • Show that you're eager to learn and explain what your solution is.

  • List examples of similar situations and how you handled them.

  • Be honest. No new job is without challenges, so mention something you can truthfully express.

Three women in a job interviewPhoto by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

What not to do:

  • Avoid giving the impression that you would struggle.

  • Don't make it sound like the role is too easy for you.

A hand with googly eyes that looks like a worried facePhoto by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

Pro Tip

Use this formula to help you shape your answer:

A person tapping his temples and smiling

Something that excites you about this challenge

+

The challenge itself

+

Your skills or previous experience to help you overcome it

+

How you would handle the challenge

Of course, feel free to adjust this to your situation and background.

Example Answers

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Knowledge gap

While I'm very confident about managing the workload, I haven't used this data processing software before. I'm a fast learner, though, and in my current role, I was able to run reports with their program in less than two weeks, so I'm sure that I'll pick it up quickly.

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Inexperience

I'm really excited about leading this project, but I'm aware that there will be some challenges. I've learned a lot about project management through my training and internship by assisting my current manager with large budget projects, so I know that communication is most crucial for success. I'll ensure that everybody on the team has a clear understanding of the project workflow and tasks.

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Company culture

Coming from a smaller company with a start-up feel, perhaps adapting to the culture of a big corporation might be a bit of a challenge. However, I've moved countries a few times and I know that I'm fairly adaptable. I'll have to observe and learn how the systems work, and then pick up the pace.

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This Byte has been authored by

IC

Ivett Csordas

Instructional Designer