Interview Prep Tips

HireVue: Tell me about a tough challenge you faced.


Barely anyone enjoys taking a HireVue interview, but they are getting increasing popular with organizations and if you are here, it probably means you have one coming up!

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to prepare for your upcoming HireVue. The questions on HireVue interviews tend to follow a pattern – and that pattern applies to almost all industries, roles and seniority levels. The same applies to other platforms like Spark Hire and VidCruiter.

In this post, the team at Voomer – experts at HireVue prep – break down one of the most common questions on HireVue interviews: Tell me about a tough challenge you faced.

The actual question being asked

As we’ve discussed in our other “common HireVue questions” blog posts, you should not take this question at face value.

Think about a tough challenge you’ve faced. It was probably something you knew little about, or it was a large, daunting challenge that took time to solve. What do all those have in common? A need to break up the challenge into smaller parts and prioritize what you tackle first.

That’s what this question is asking about – your ability to break things down and prioritize.

How to answer “tell me about a tough challenge you faced”

  1. Learn the C-A-R method for answering questions. That’s Context, Action, Result. We have a great blog post that explains this method in detail here.
  2. Establish context, set the scene for the interviewer. Briefly explain what the challenge was. Try and pick an example for your answer that had multiple issues that were best dealt with in stages.
  3. Show what actions you took. Explain to your interviewer how you broke up the challenge into smaller, more manageable parts. After that, explain how you decided what task to prioritize and how to tackled the most important tasks.
  4. Finally, explain the results you achieved with the preceding actions. While you could talk about the results of each individual task you mentioned above, the best answer here will discuss the overall results of that big, complex challenge you mentioned in point 2.

Example answer

The example answer below is a short and simple one – pay attention to the structure, not the content. If you learn the structure, you can apply it to any example you use when answering this question.

My boss asked me to write an article about how to answer a HireVue question. The problem was, I had no idea how to write one, much less post it on the internet!
To get around this issue, I searched online for information on HireVue questions, which led me to a shortlist of video interview experts – who I reached out to. I picked their brain for tips and wrote a great article. After that, I looked for some videos on how to post an article online. I found a great step-by-step one and managed to upload the article to the company website.
The article got a ton of views and ranked pretty well on Google. Not only that, but we helped a lot of people with their HireVue video interviews!

See? Follow the structure and you’ll have a solid answer.

Watch out

Many people freeze on this question, racking their brains looking for “the absolute toughest challenge” they’ve faced.

Don’t sweat it – answering with a well thought out structure, keeping calm and staying confident is far more important than finding the perfect example.


Don’t freak out! This HireVue question won’t be the toughest challenge you’ll ever face. Just understand what they are really asking you about (how you prioritize) follow the C-A-R structure and you’ll do just fine.

Keep in mind that HireVue interviews can be surprisingly stressful, so consider preparing with a tool like Voomer. You’ll gain access to company-specific questions, pratice in an environment almost identical to HireVue’s and get AI-powered feedback on your answers so you can land that dream job!

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By David Anderton-Yang

David Anderton-Yang is the CEO and co-founder of Voomer where AI as a force for good, helping people be more confident on video.

He is a former researcher at the MIT Media Lab, Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.

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