You are on page 1of 8

1. Tell me about yourself: The most often asked question in interviews.

You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. tart with the item farthest back and work up to the present. 2. Why did you leave your last job? tay positive regardless of the circumstances. !ever refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors" co-workers or the organi#ation. $f you do" you will be the one looking bad. %eep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity" a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons. 3. What experience do you have in this field? peak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. $f you do not have specific e&perience" get as close as you can. 4. o you consider yourself successful? You should always answer yes and briefly e&plain why. ' good e&planation is that you have set goals" and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others. !. What do co"#or$ers say about you? Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. (ither a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. )ill *lark" a co-worker at mith *ompany" always said $ was the hardest workers she had ever known. $t is as powerful as )ill having said it at the interview herself. %. What do you $no# about this or&ani'ation? This question is one reason to do some research on the organi#ation before the interview. +ind out where they have been and where they are going. ,hat are the current issues and who are the major players(. What have you done to improve your $no#led&e in the last year? Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. ' wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. .ave some good ones handy to mention. ). *re you applyin& for other jobs? Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. %eep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organi#ation. 'nything else is a distraction. +. Why do you #ant to #or$ for this or&ani'ation? This may take some thought and certainly" should be based on the research you have done on the organi#ation. incerity is e&tremely important here and will easily be sensed. /elate it to your long-term career goals. 1,. o you $no# anyone #ho #or$s for us? Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organi#ation. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of. 11. What $ind of salary do you need? ' loaded question. ' nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. o" do not answer it. $nstead" say something like" That0s a tough question. *an you tell me the

range for this position- $n most cases" the interviewer" taken off guard" will tell you. $f not" say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range. 12. *re you a team player? You are" of course" a team player. Be sure to have e&amples ready. pecifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. 1o not brag" just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point. 13. -o# lon& #ould you expect to #or$ for us if hired? pecifics here are not good. omething like this should work2 $0d like it to be a long time. 3r 's long as we both feel $0m doing a good job. 14. -ave you ever had to fire anyone? -o# did you feel about that? This is serious. 1o not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. 't the same time" you will do it when it is the right thing to do. ,hen it comes to the organi#ation versus the individual who has created a harmful situation" you will protect the organi#ation. /emember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force. 1!. What is your philosophy to#ards #or$? The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. 1o you have strong feelings that the job gets done- Yes. That0s the type of answer that works best here. hort and positive" showing a benefit to the organi#ation. 1%. .f you had enou&h money to retire ri&ht no#/ #ould you? 'nswer yes if you would. But since you need to work" this is the type of work you prefer. 1o not say yes if you do not mean it. 1(. -ave you ever been as$ed to leave a position? $f you have not" say no. $f you have" be honest" brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organi#ation involved. 1). 0xplain ho# you #ould be an asset to this or&ani'ation You should be an&ious for this question. $t gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. 4ive a little advance thought to this relationship. 1+. Why should #e hire you? 5oint out how your assets meet what the organi#ation needs. 1o not mention any other candidates to make a comparison. 2,. Tell me about a su&&estion you have made .ave a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. 3ne related to the type of work applied for is a real plus. 21. What irritates you about co"#or$ers? This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. ' short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great. 22. What is your &reatest stren&th? !umerous answers are good" just stay positive. ' few good e&amples2 Your ability to prioriti#e" Your problem-solving skills" Your ability to work under pressure" Your ability to focus on projects" Your professional e&pertise" Your leadership skills" Your positive attitude .

23. Tell me about your dream job. tay away from a specific job. You cannot win. $f you say the job you are contending for is it" you strain credibility. $f you say another job is it" you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something like2 ' job where $ love the work" like the people" can contribute and can0t wait to get to work. 24. Why do you thin$ you #ould do #ell at this job? 4ive several reasons and include skills" e&perience and interest. 2!. What are you loo$in& for in a job? ee answer 6 78 2%. What $ind of person #ould you refuse to #or$ #ith? 1o not be trivial. $t would take disloyalty to the organi#ation" violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. 9inor objections will label you as a whiner. 2(. What is more important to you: the money or the #or$? 9oney is always important" but the work is the most important. There is no better answer. 2). What #ould your previous supervisor say your stron&est point is? There are numerous good possibilities2 Loyalty" (nergy" 5ositive attitude" Leadership" Team player" (&pertise" $nitiative" 5atience" .ard work" *reativity" 5roblem solver 2+. Tell me about a problem you had #ith a supervisor Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. $f you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss" you may well below the interview right there. tay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor. 3,. What has disappointed you about a job? 1on0t get trivial or negative. afe areas are few but can include2 !ot enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction *ompany did not win a contract" which would have given you more responsibility. 31. Tell me about your ability to #or$ under pressure. You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. 4ive an e&ample that relates to the type of position applied for. 32. o your s$ills match this job or another job more closely? 5robably this one. 1o not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more than this one. 33. What motivates you to do your best on the job? This is a personal trait that only you can say" but good e&amples are2 *hallenge" 'chievement" /ecognition 34. *re you #illin& to #or$ overtime? 1i&hts? Wee$ends? This is up to you. Be totally honest. 3!. -o# #ould you $no# you #ere successful on this job? everal ways are good measures2 You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss

tell you that you are successful 3%. Would you be #illin& to relocate if re2uired? You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a chance it may come up. 1o not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself future grief. 3(. *re you #illin& to put the interests of the or&ani'ation ahead of your o#n? This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. 1o not worry about the deep ethical and philosophical implications. )ust say yes. 3). escribe your mana&ement style. Try to avoid labels. ome of the more common labels" like progressive" salesman or consensus" can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management e&pert you listen to. The situational style is safe" because it says you will manage according to the situation" instead of one si#e fits all. 3+. What have you learned from mista$es on the job? .ere you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. 9ake it small" well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. 'n e&ample would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off. 4,. o you have any blind spots? Trick question. $f you know about blind spots" they are no longer blind spots. 1o not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. 1o not hand it to them. 41. .f you #ere hirin& a person for this job/ #hat #ould you loo$ for? Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have. 42. o you thin$ you are over2ualified for this position? /egardless of your qualifications" state that you are very well qualified for the position. 43. -o# do you propose to compensate for your lac$ of experience? +irst" if you have e&perience that the interviewer does not know about" bring that up2 Then" point out :if true; that you are a hard working quick learner. 44. What 2ualities do you loo$ for in a boss? Be generic and positive. afe qualities are knowledgeable" a sense of humor" fair" loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. 'll bosses think they have these traits. 4!. Tell me about a time #hen you helped resolve a dispute bet#een others. 5ick a specific incident. *oncentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute you settled. 4%. What position do you prefer on a team #or$in& on a project? Be honest. $f you are comfortable in different roles" point that out. 4(. escribe your #or$ ethic. (mphasi#e benefits to the organi#ation. Things like" determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

4). What has been your bi&&est professional disappointment? Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. how acceptance and no negative feelings. 4+. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job. Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organi#ation. !,. o you have any 2uestions for me? 'lways have some questions prepared. <uestions prepared where you will be an asset to the organi#ation are good. .ow soon will $ be able to be productive- and ,hat type of projects will $ be able to assist on- are e&amples.

'nyone can say" =$ have strong leadership skills"> or" =$ can keep my head in a crisis"> but can you substantiate these statements with real world e&amples- *ompetency-based interview questions ask you about your behaviour and actions in specific circumstances. The interviewer will look for a specific e&ample of a problem you addressed" a challenge you faced or a decision you made" as well as an e&planation of why you took a particular course of action and insight into the consequences. 0xamples of common competency"based intervie# 2uestions

1escribe a time when you used your initiative to resolve a difficult problem. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated good leadership skills. Tell me about a time when you?ve faced a crisis and how you responded. 1escribe a time when you had to win over someone who was reluctant or confrontational. 4ive an e&ample of a time when you had to make a decision without having all the necessary information. ,hat was the outcomeTell me about a time when you failed to communicate appropriately. ,hat did you learn-

-o# to ans#er competency"based intervie# 2uestions (mployers are not looking for general answers about your behaviour. They are seeking detailed and specific information about an event or e&perience and how you acted in the circumstances. ,hichever way you answer the questions" it?s essential to focus on you and your personal role" as the interviewer will be looking for evidence of how your skills were used to achieve your objectives.

3sin& 45T*67 3ne of the best ways to tackle these questions is to base your answer on a genuine e&perience using the = T'/> technique. Situation @ outline the situation you were in Task @ describe what you needed to do as a result of the situation Action @ e&plain what you did" how you did it and why Results @ describe the successful outcome of your actions using specific e&amples 8reparin& for the intervie# /emember that although these questions may be about specific situations and actions" their actual purpose is for you to demonstrate your skills" traits and methods of working to the interviewer. *ompetency-based questions are an opportunity to really sell yourself and emphasise your unique abilities. Think about the requirements of the specific job you are interviewing for and the key competencies that a successful candidate would be e&pected to demonstrate :use the job description or person specification if you have access to it;. Then" try to come up with some real e&amples from your career where you have e&celled in those areas and practice e&plaining the situations in a way which is clear" thorough" and emphasises your abilities.
Here are seven tips to telling a superior that he's headed down a misbegotten path. ("He" applies to male as well as female leaders.) Here, too, is advice about how to behave when you fail and face implementing the strategy you argued against. 1. Don't walk in mad to a meeting. Typically, it takes a while to discover that a new policy or initiative isn't working. ompany changes won't occur without bumps and glitches. !ake sure you've given the new policy a real

chance before you act. "ikewise, the impact of a wrong#headed policy doesn't happen overnight. $t's cumulative. %ffects ripple out and, little by little, everyone becomes increasingly impatient, irritable, overworked, or worse. &on't carry that volatile mi' of unsettled and bad feelings into the meeting and simply vent. "$f you are angry or frustrated and want to (ust blast your boss, before your meeting, talk things through with a friend or talk into a tape recorder," )ibson says. *lay back the tape and listen to yourself. +o doubt you'll want to develop more constructive ways to persuade the boss to reverse course. 2. Ask for permission. ,efore launching into your arguments, ask the boss if it's -. to proceed. /or one thing, most people like some warning before hearing tough criticism or feedback. Then, too, sometimes the timing isn't right. The boss might be preoccupied or dealing with other issues. $f you don't get permission, back off and try another time. 3. Be honest about your motivations. $f all you have to offer is complaints, don't bother. $nstead, think through the specific ob(ectives you want to accomplish by the end of the meeting. 0tay focused and provide the data, case histories or events that prove your points. "%mployees are often those closest to problems, so they have facts at the ready the boss may not have," says 1ohn ,aldoni, a management consultant in 2nn 2rbor, !ich. 3se hands#on e'periences or the day#to#day points of view of peers to command credibility and provide perspective. 4. A entuate the positive. "4ou can say 5almost6 anything to your boss as long as you say something nice first," says &eborah ,rown, a career coach in "ong ,each, +.4. 2void being confrontational and don't assign blame. .eep emphasi7ing positive factors whenever you can. !. "isten arefully. 4ou shouldn't do all the talking. Try to engage the boss in a dialogue about the issue that concerns you. !ake an effort to listen more than you talk. There could well be reasons or motivations for initiatives that you haven't been told about. ,y listening, you'll not only show your concern for the company's well being, you'll build the boss's trust. 4ou might also gain insights into future directions for the business. #. $reat the boss like you would a ustomer. *resent your case as if you're selling a client, suggests !aura 0chreier#/leming, a sales consultant based in &allas. " ustomers buy the way they want to, not the way we want them to." $f the boss is analytical, bolster your argument with graphs and charts. "$f the boss is a people pleaser, tell him why the idea will hurt the people he cares about," says 0chreier#/leming. !atch your style to the boss to put over your case.

%. Don't give up too soon. 4ou can't e'pect one meeting to make the boss re(ect his position instantly. /ew leaders will abandon policy or strategy after hearing one disagreement, especially when that comes from a subordinate. 3sually, the manager has deeper skills and more e'perience than you do. !ore than likely, he thought through the policy for some time before coming to a decision. &on't e'pect a single try to make the difference. !ake sure you're respectful and understanding, but try again. Then, too, if a boss must take the case to his own superiors or to a board of directors or investors, he might need more to go on. "8ery often when a boss says 'no,' he's (ust asking for a stronger case to be made," Treasurer says. To try again, marshal additional arguments and go through the steps of setting specific goals and figuring out how to calmly present your case. )athering new evidence will help. ,ut be sensitive when the boss draws the line. $f he remains unconvinced after a few tries, give it up. !ake sure your e'it is both gracious and professional. Thank him for opportunity of sharing your views, and avoid any semblance of sulking. !ost bosses prefer employees who care about improving the company. $f you're clearly a team player after voicing your arguments, the ne't time you have something to say, you're likely to find a much more receptive boss.