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TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

What are your salary expectations? •My expectations are that I receive a salary commensurate with my experience taking into account current market rates. Given my background and knowing that I can deliver what you’re looking for I would be looking at getting paid in the upper quartile of what the market is paying for people like me. This is the best answer. This answer is fair, realistic and shows you’re not pulling a number out of the air. It demonstrates to the employer that you know what’s going on and that you’re expectations are reasonable. Also, by quoting the upper quartile range you’re indicating to the interviewer a deeply held belief in your abilities. How would your boss describe you and your work style? •She'd say I have a lot of initiative. I see the big picture and do what has to be done. And that I always meet deadlines, and if I say I'm going to do something, I do. And, lastly, I have the ability to focus on what I'm working on - I am not easily distracted. This is the best answer. Not only did the answer give three positives, but it also gave reasons for the answers. By giving more detail, you give the interviewer a better look at how you think others see you and what you think is positive about your work style. Tell me about yourself and your past experience. •I have four years experience working in the high tech industry. For the past two years, I have been working as a Web developer. I have experience with most of the software programs on the server side: Javascript, ASP, VB, HTML and SQL Server. I am very organised and able to do multiple projects at once. I want to work in a cutting-edge company where I can add my experience to the mix and be a part of a growing team. This is the best answer. By emphasising specific examples of knowledge-based skills, transferable skills, and personal traits, you give the interviewer a summary or snapshot of yourself. You are also speaking the jargon of the industry. What are your strengths and weaknesses? •My strengths are in my ability to learn quickly. I've seen a lot of changes in the technical industry. I've had to adjust and learn new programs several times. As far as weaknesses, I really enjoy my work, and sometimes I put in too much time. But by being aware of my tendency to overwork, I have learned to pace myself more and work smarter. This is the best answer. This answer gives specific examples of strengths, not just the skill. One of the most important traits employers are looking for is the ability to be flexible and learn new things as changes arise. The weakness question is handled best by leading with a

positive statement, slipping in a negative and ending on a positive note. Also, you’ve shown that you’re in control of your weakness and have improved it. P.S: Never offer more than one weakness unless absolutely compelled to. Why did you leave your last position? •I've set some goals for myself and my career, and unfortunately, I'm at a standstill in my current situation. I have begun to explore options available before I spend too much time in a job where I cannot advance. My goal is to continue to improve myself so that I can eventually be a project manager. This is the best answer. This answer indicates planning and thinking proactively. Sometimes things happen in careers that are out of your control, but at other times, planning gives you more power over your future. Do you have any questions? (Usually asked by the interviewer at the end of the interview.) •Yes, I do. Thank you for asking. What would you say would be my biggest challenges? What would a typical week look like for a person in my position? This is the best answer. It's important that you ask questions but be careful not to ask too many questions or questions that may embarrass the interviewer/s. Asking too many questions creates a role reversal situation which many interviewers do not enjoy (they feel as though they’re being put under the microscope). Also, be aware that if you’re being interviewed by a panel one of the interviewers may be the manager of another. The last thing you want to do is ask a question that the subordinate cannot answer in front of his/her boss.? What experience have you had that qualifies you for this position? •For the past four years, I have been working in the e-commerce industry. I am proficient working with Java and possess a strong working knowledge of HTML. I have great communication and teamwork skills have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to get results. This is the best answer. This answer provides the interviewer with a good idea of the experiences and skills you will bring to the position. In addition to technical knowledge, communication and teamwork skills, the ability to get results can be critical to most jobs. Give me an example of a project you handled from start to finish. •As a customer research analyst, I developed a database for the collection of customer data. After collecting the data, I did an analysis using Excel and wrote a summary and evaluation. I worked with the customer's marketing department so the information could be used to monitor and focus on customer behaviour for future planning. The results of my work were that we had now had a user-friendly tool that accurately tracked customer behaviour. This is the best answer. The answer gives a specific example of how you handled the project through the problem to the result. Communication, analytical skills, organisational and

coordination skills are all demonstrated by this answer. When have you been most motivated? •During my first job at a start-up company I had to undergo some rigorous training to understand the product and customer. At the same time, we were actually working with the customer. It required a lot of self-direction and motivation. I thrived on the whole experience - the discipline, the planning and the deadlines. It was a pressure cooker, but I got through it. This is the best answer. It has energy and enthusiasm. Companies are looking for high-energy people who are able to be in the moment. This answer demonstrates self-motivation, passion, energy and ability to cope under pressure. It also provides a specific example of a time when you were highly motivated. Tell me about a time when you had to learn a new program or system. •I was studying MBA while in my previous job. The company I was working for changed from C to C++, and I didn't have time to attend the training program. I learned it on my own through an online program, working a lot of late hours. By staying focused, I was able to get through it and continue my education goal. This is the best answer. This answer demonstrates motivation, determination and flexibility, which are important traits in almost any job. Being able to handle five things at once is almost a prerequisite in this field.

GENERAL QUESTIONS.

Tell me about yourself. •What would you like to know? Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best response. The question "Tell me about yourself" is far too openended to answer immediately. The interviewer may want to know about your career goals, your hobbies, who knows? When you ask the interviewer what he/she wants to know, you allow him/her to focus the question so that you can provide the kind of information he/she wants to hear. Do you have any questions? •How much growth potential is there in this job? Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is a good example of a final question. Others topics include: finding out why the job is open, what your initial responsibilities would be, and the company's competitors and future outlook. Do not ask too many questions, and never ask a question that may embarrass the interviewer.

Why do you think you would enjoy this kind of work? •Brand management appeals to me because it requires a combination of creativity, strategic and analytic ability-all qualities that I feel I possess. Also, after working at Sellstuff Advertising Agency, I have a pretty good idea of what it's like to work toward the same goal but from another angle, and I know I enjoy the work. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best answer: you clearly demonstrate how your particular skills and talents match the requirements of the job. What have you done that shows initiative? •When I was a Lecturer in University, my department was one of the smallest, and we often had trouble getting sufficient enrolments in our classes and classes got cancelled. This was extremely frustrating to me so I went to see the Dean to talk about it. He expressed his commitment to the department and suggested we form a task force with the department head and a few other students to address the problem. In the following year we revamped the curriculum so that it was more in line with student demands. As a result, classes were better attended. It was a great learning experience. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best response because it not only demonstrates initiative and results from your undertaking, it also shows how you identified a problem, were willing to take advice and took part in its solution. What do you do in your spare time? •I have interest in theatre and I like to work with a local theatre group on weekends. The group conducts theatre workshops for children every summer and I have been volunteering for the last two years Congratulations, you picked the best answer. Great answer. Your pursuits are interesting and unique, and you show a long-time commitment to your interests and community. Where do you see yourself five years from now? (assume you’re a candidate who has not had managerial experience). •To be honest I think it's difficult to know now exactly where I'll be five years from now. Certainly, my main goal is to move forward and to get ahead. In order to do that I need to continue my learning in the areas that are essential to this company. This is something I really look forward to doing. Once I've done that I can define my goals more narrowly. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best type of answer for a non-manager candidate because it shows that you’re willing to continue your learning and forward movement but that you are also flexible where you end up. How do you work under pressure? •I work well under pressure, although I usually try to avoid getting into eleventh

hour situations Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is definitely the best response. You want to walk the middle ground here - don't sound like pressure is the only thing that gets you to do your work, and don't sound like a wimp. What has been your most difficult work experience? •Last year when I was working in the recruitment department for a large financial institution I was having a difficult time because all the work I was given was the same - that is, reading through hundreds of resumes. Not only was the work the same, but it was also tedious. After several weeks of this, when I thought I would go mad, I approached by boss and told her how I felt. I asked if I could take part in some interviews and I also made suggestions on how I thought I could contribute more to the HR department. My boss reacted very positively. She told me the only reason I was reading resumes all day was because she thought that as a new person that’s what I really wanted to do. She was very pleased I approached her directly with my problem and immediately assigned me to new duties. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This example demonstrates your ability to confront and resolve a difficult situation in a responsible and non-aggressive manner. Not only have you demonstrated how you resolved the problem but you’ve also told the interviewer that you’re not a person who will sit there and take no action when things are not going well for you. Tell me about the positive and the negative aspects of your last job. •I really enjoyed working for Artwork Advertising at my last job. I was working on very different projects that I found challenging, and I was able to work with some really talented people. I think I learned a lot from them. The downside was that I was only there for a short period of time so that I was unable to see some of my projects through to completion. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best answer: You should say you liked your last job - even if you didn't (generally there are aspects of a job that are enjoyable - focus on these). Also, negatives should be as neutral or harmless as possible. If you are hired, how long will you stay with this company? •As long as the work is challenging and I have the opportunity to learn and advance, I see no reason to consider leaving. How long do you believe that will be? Congratulations, you picked the best answer. "As long as the work is challenging and I have the opportunity to learn and advance" - this is the most important part of your response. Since no one can see into the future, you shouldn't give a more specific response. Asking the employer how long that environment will continue is also a good idea; it suggests the idea of mutual responsibility for your ongoing commitment. What aspects of your experience make you qualified for this job? •I understand you are trying to expand your reach into youth. As well as having

covered sales of soft drinks and branded apparels in your area gaining sound knowledge of youth spending habits. I have also increased sales by over 10% in the eighteen months I have been there. I have valuable contacts in the area that I can immediately tap into. In other words I can hit the ground running. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. Ideally you want to show the interviewer that you know what will be asked of you and that you have some experience that applies directly to the job. Very importantly you have demonstrated the ability to increase sales. What is your greatest strength? •I'm efficient and I know how to get things done. For example, in my previous job I repeatedly met my targets within time and budget and within our quality standards. I was able to do this by planning ahead, prioritising and ensuring I was up to date with any of the technical changes. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is a good, straightforward response. You know what you're good at; you sound proud of it; and it's a talent that's valuable in any job. You’ve also provided a concrete example and the relevant skills. How did you feel about your last boss? •I have a lot of respect for the work she does, and I learned great deal from her. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. Yes, this is the best answer. When talking about a former or current employer, never say anything negative. It will only make you look bad. Instead, focus on their positive qualities (come on, even the worst bosses have positive qualities) and leave it at that. How do you feel about working in groups? Do you tend to play a particular role? •I enjoy working in groups. Although some projects may take a little longer when several people have to reach a consensus, I believe the result is always better when you can benefit from several peoples' ideas. I've found that when I work in groups I'm usually the person who makes sure the work gets finished-the detail person, the person who ties up all the loose ends and who sees the thing through. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best answer because it shows a real understanding of the value of teamwork and what your major strength is. Before answering this question, it's important to consider the type of job you're interviewing for. Obviously, if you're going to be alone in a room all day doing some type of individual research you don't want to convey the idea that you hate working alone. Conversely, if you're planning a career in management consultant where teamwork is everything, you don't want to come off as a hermit. Tell me about a time when you received criticism for your work or an idea. •I work as an editorial assistant at a book-publishing house, and recently I came up

with an idea for a new book: a book about the history and changing dynamics of the airline industry. I told my boss my idea and she thought it had merit, so at the next editorial board meeting I presented the concept to the board. Well, the other editors were not nearly as enthusiastic. They said that the airline industry had already been written about a lot and they didn't see enough of an audience for the book. After the meeting my boss and I discussed the board's reaction and my presentation skills and how they could be improved. Even though my idea was not well received, presenting it to the board and discussing it with my boss were valuable learning experiences. As a result of this experience the next time I had to give a presentation my proposal was accepted and I received great feedback. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This response demonstrates a willingness to accept criticism and to follow up and learn from the experience. It also shows that you are good at taking initiative What is your greatest weakness? •I used to be very disorganised. You know, the kind of person with every paper he owns spread on top of his desk. Eventually this got me into trouble; I missed a meeting because the slip of paper I wrote the details on got lost in the mess. I knew I had to make some changes, so I asked a very meticulous coworker if she would help me organise my workspace. In just an hour we worked out a system that I still use today. I find now that not only am I more on top of things, but I work more efficiently, too. Congratulations, you picked the best answer. This is the best response because you discuss a real weakness and show how you successfully acted to improve your self. Also, and very importantly, you’ve placed the weakness in the past. How much money do you want to make in this job? (Assume your target range is Rs 2.5 lakhs – Rs 3 lakhs) •As I understand it, the position would entail reporting directly to the executive editor, overseeing all aspect of book production from acquisition to publication, reviewing submissions, and acting as a liaison between authors and agents and the company. Am I missing anything? In that case, based on my track record and qualifications, what would be the salary range for the position? Congratulations, you picked the best answer. In any discussion of salary your goal should be to find out as much as possible about the employer's expectations and target range before you divulge your own. In this answer you clearly articulate your responsibilities (making them sound as weighty as you can); you ask the employer if there are additional responsibilities that should be considered, and then you turn the question around to try to find out the employer's bargaining zone. Nice work.