Job Interview: What Challenges Are You Looking For?

When the interviewer asks you, ‘what challenges are you looking for?‘ this might seem like a trick question. However, it’s actually a great question to demonstrate your suitability for the position that you’re interviewing for. Questions about the challenges you’re looking for are commonly asked during job interviews.

The interviewer wants to figure out if you’re a good fit for the job and company culture. Just like the interviewer wants to get a better understanding of if you’re the right match for the job, they want to see that you are able to demonstrate that you’re the right fit too.

The best way to demonstrate this is by mentioning a couple of challenges that you are looking for in a job. Of course, you should align your challenges with tasks and responsibilities, as mentioned in the job description, to make the right impression.

Other ways the interviewer can ask you a similar question:

In this blog, we explain how you can answer questions about the challenges that you look for in a position. We also discuss how you can use this question to your advantage when interviewing for a job. In other words, we’re here to help you out!

Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist. Read everything about the most common interview questions here. Learn more here!

Why the interviewer is asking what challenges you are looking for

There are several reasons why the interviewer is interested in the challenges that you look for in your work. This question helps employers get the essential pieces of information about you and what you’re looking for in a job.

First of all, the interviewer wants to figure out whether or not you’re qualified for the job. By asking about the challenges, you look for, he or she can assess your motivation by the right challenges and if you’re able to handle complex tasks.

Employers are always looking for candidates who can help them progress and succeed. If you can demonstrate that you’re actively searching for challenges in your work, this is seen as a sign of a motivated and enthusiastic employee.

Therefore, when the interviewer asks you ‘what challenges do you look for?‘ he or she is trying to make sure that you are genuinely interested in the position, and if you’re hired, you will be intrinsically motivated to perform well.

Another reason for interviewers to ask you about your challenges is to see if the challenges that you are looking for are in line with the requirements of the position.

Because interviewers can get to learn a lot about you by asking this question, it’s smart to prepare a response prior to your interview. Your answer gives the interviewer insights into your personality and expectations from the position.

The interviewer is interested in your dedication to developing yourself, how you want to be challenged in your work, and your ambition and desire to grow personally. Furthermore, they want to know you these align with what the company and position can offer you.

How to answer what challenges are you looking for in your work?

Every preparation for a common interview question such as those about the challenges you’re looking for starts with doing research. By doing your research on the company and position, you get a better understanding of the required competencies, skills, and abilities.

Based on your research, you can start thinking of challenges that you can discuss in your answers when the interviewer asks you this question. There are a lot of different challenges that you could bring up during your interview.

However, make sure that you align these challenges with the requirements and tasks that you will be performing in the position that you’re interviewing for.

Examples of challenges are:

  • Developing new skills such as a new software program
  • Managing your own team / Managing a larger team
  • Taking on your first leadership role
  • Increasing sales
  • Expanding your customer base

Below we discuss a couple of important points to focus on when you’re preparing your answers.

Focus on showing your skills

When answering a specific question about the challenges you’re looking for, it’s smart to explain how you would like to be able to use your skills, abilities, and experience in the position. For instance, you could tell the interviewer:

I recently finished my final exam for my professional certificate for ABC. I’m really looking forward to utilizing those skills and develop my knowledge even further.

Another example is:

I’ve been working on my communication and presentation skills. I look forward to applying those new skills during the roadshows that I read about in the job description.’ As you can see, you can use this question to your advantage by demonstrating strengths and aligning them with the job requirements.’

Demonstrate your motivation for professional challenges

When the interviewer brings up this topic, you can explain that you’re actually motivated by challenges because they make you a better professional.

Furthermore, you can use your answer to your advantage by explaining that you have the skills and knowledge to handle those challenges. Instead of a trick question, you should view it as an opportunity to show that you’re flexible and creative in your approaches.

For example, you could tell the interviewer:

Challenges really motivate me in my work. For instance, when I have several deadlines coming up, I make sure that my planning stays on point to ensure that I finish each project in time and have time left to perfect everything before turning it in.

The example answer shows that you possess important time management and organizational skills. Furthermore, you show that you can keep strict deadlines. It’s important that you align your answers to the specific job requirements, as described in the job description.

Align your answers to the job requirements

There are a couple of things to look out for when you’re preparing your answers. It’s smart to align your answers to the position. This means that you need to mention challenges that include you utilizing the skills and abilities that are required for the job. Show that you’re able to handle those types of challenges well and did so in the past.

As stated earlier, to do this, you need to research the company and job description. Your answers should highlight those skills and work experiences necessary to successfully perform the job.

Use examples to give your answers more weight

If you want to give your answer more weight, you can use example situations in your answers. Use specific examples of times during work when you actually used those skills.

The best way to describe such situations is by using the STAR interview technique. STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It’s an effective way to give a concise and to-the-point answer.

For example, if you tell the interviewer that you have used your creative thinking skills to tackle challenges at work, you can give an example of a time you actually did just that.

Another example is if you tell the interviewer that you’re used to using planning and time management skills, you can give an example of a time you successfully managed an important project.

Example Answer for answering ‘What challenges are you looking for in your work?’

Below we discuss some sample answers. You can use these sample answers as inspiration. Of course, you need to make sure that you create your own answers for the job that you’re applying for. Also, make sure to include specific details about the position in your answers. That way, you can demonstrate your suitability.

When you make a statement about work experience or skills, make sure that you are able to back them up through example work experiences. This way, you can really demonstrate that you have used your experience and skills to successfully perform at work. In other words, it gives your answers more weight.

Example Answer 1

‘As this will be my first management position, I’m really excited to take on the opportunity and challenge of increasing the production and output of this team.

I have been working with this team for a while now, and I have seen the potential that they have to achieve this together. Using my experience, I really believe that I can make a positive difference to make the needed year on year progress.’

Example Answer 2

‘When I started looking for a new marketer position, it was important to me that I was able to make a step forward in my career. I have been a senior marketer for a while now, and I look forward to taking on this challenging marketing manager opportunity. 

I believe that my experience allows me to make a positive difference, and I’m really excited to develop with your products.’

Example Answer 3

‘I know that your company sets high targets for employees, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a part of a team with high goals. I have several years of experience working with tight deadlines and fast-paced work environments.

Furthermore, I believe my time management abilities and team working skills can make me a valuable addition to your team.’

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic