PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Use factoHR and automate your HR processes
Mobile-first hire to retire HR and Payroll software that automates all HR operations and works as a catalysts for your organisational growth.
May be you can try some of these which I came across,
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Achievement
Do you enjoy working on difficult projects?
Do you have accomplishments you are proud of?
Do you have initiative?
Have you ever accomplished something difficult?
Have you ever accomplished something you did not think you could?
How have you shown initiative?
How have you shown willingness to work?
Tell me about a time when you went beyond the call of duty.
Tell me about accomplishments of which you are the most proud.
Tell me what initiatives have you undertaken recently?
What challenging accomplishments have you had?
What are some examples of important recommendations or decisions you've made recently?
What are some of your recent accomplishments in your current job?
What are the five biggest accomplishments of your life?
What are your major accomplishments? Your failures? Your disappointments?
What challenging experiences have you had?
What difficult challenges have you solved?
What difficult problems have you worked through?
What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment and why?
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Your greatest disappointment?
What have been the most memorable accomplishments of your career?
What have been your biggest accomplishments?
What have been your greatest accomplishments?
What have been your greatest disappointments?
What initiatives have you undertake recently?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
What is the most difficult task you have undertaken?
What is the most important accomplishment in your life?
What is the most challenging thing you have ever done?
What is the most stimulating thing you are looking for in a job?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
What is your most significant accomplishment?
What is your proudest accomplishment?
What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
What was the job's biggest challenge?
What was the most/least challenging part of the job?
What was your greatest accomplishment?
What was your greatest disappointment?
What was your most significant accomplishment in your last position?
What were your most memorable accomplishments with your last employer?
Are you willing to take risks?
Describe a significant risk you took to accomplish a task.
Describe how you can take risks to accomplish tasks.
What kinds of risks do you face when implementing a new initiative?
What risks have you undertaken recently?
What risks did you take at your previous job?
Are you a self starter?
Are you a competitive person?
Describe two things that motivate you at work?
Describe when you felt motivated to do your very best work and did.
Do you enjoy challenges at work? If so, what kinds of challenges have you recently faced.
Do you feel motivated in your current job?
Do you feel motivated to work harder?
Do you work to achieve your objectives? If so, describe how hard.
Does competition increase your desire to succeed?
Have you received any recognition for significant accomplishments at work?
How important are promotions and advancement to you?
How important is challenge to you?
How important is recognition to you?
How important is responsibility to you?
Is recognition important to you?
Were there any special difficulties you overcame in achieving these accomplishments?
What are your motivations?
What challenges are you looking for in a job?
What do you get out of completing difficult tasks?
What has your last employer done that motivated you to work harder?
What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
What have you done which shows initiative and willingness to work?
What kinds of responsibilities are important to you in your work?
What makes you put forth your greatest effort?
What motivates you?
What motivates you in a job and in your personal life?
What motivates you in accomplishing difficult tasks?
What motivates you to be successful in your job?
What motivates you to put forth your best effort?
What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
When do you put forth your greatest effort?
Would you describe yourself as motivated more by your goals or by money?
Sense of Self/Definitions
Are you successful in completing projects at work?
Describe what success means to you.
Describe situations in which you are most successful.
Do you feel you have been successful in your job?
Do you generally think of yourself as a risk-taker or someone who plays it safe?
How do you define 'success?'
How do you determine if you are successful?
How have your successes benefited your previous employer?
How would you describe your standards of performance?
How would you evaluate success?
Tell me about your recent successes.
To what do you attribute your success?
What are some of the reasons for your success?
What do you think has contributed most to your success so far?
What does 'failure' mean to you?
What does 'success' mean to you?
What is your definition of success.
What projects have you recently completed successfully?
Why are you better than your co-workers?
Why are you successful?
Would you define yourself as a self-starter?
Would you rate yourself as an overachiever?
Do you achieve all of the goals you set? If not, why not?
How could you have improved your progress?
What weaknesses have you overcome when accomplishing difficult tasks?
Interview Questions: Behavior
A fellow employee told you what his/her salary is and wants to know yours. How would you react and what would you do? (situational)
Describe a conflict with an employee and how you handled it.
Describe a complex problem you solved.
Describe a work situation in which you were not proud of your performance. What did you learn from this mistake?
Describe an important goal you have set and tell me how you reached it.
Describe how you have been able to apply something you learned from your degree program to a real-life or work-related situation.
Describe a (recent) project in which you failed? What did you learn from this?
Describe a (recent) situation in which you asked for advice?
Describe a (recent) situation in which you asked for help?
Describe a (recent) situation in which it took several tries or approaches before you were able to figure out what was going on.
Describe a (recent) situation in which you had to quickly establish your credibility and gain the confidence of others. What did you do ?
Describe a (recent) situation when you didn't know who you needed to speak with in an organization too get something done. What did you do ?
Describe a (recent) situation when you were able to identify a conflict between two individuals and were instrumental in the solution to that conflict. (skills)
Describe a (recent) situation when you worked in a team environment.
Describe a (recent) situation in which what was really going on with someone else was much more complicated than it might have seemed on the surface.
Describe a (recent) situation on your last job that you did not handle as well as you might have.
Describe a (recent) situation that you just couldn't handle.
Describe a (recent) situation when miscommunication created a problem on the job.
Describe a (recent) situation when you were confronted by a difficult problem and how you solved it.
Describe a time when you had to take on something very new or different and you had little or no guidance and support in doing so. How did you handle it ?
Describe a time when you organized a project where your directions were vague?
Describe a time when you simplified or clarified a situation by putting your finger on the key issue.
Describe a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty.
Describe a time when you accomplished a challenging goal.
Describe a time when you accomplished a difficult goal.
Describe a time where your performance went above and beyond expectations.
Describe how you work under pressure. Do you anticipate problems effectively or just react to them?
Describe how your (office/department/company) is organized.
Describe how you would handle rude, difficult or impatient people.
Describe how you have handled rude, difficult or impatient people.
Describe projects that have required accuracy and attention to detail.
Describe situations you have been under pressure in which you feel you have handled well.
Describe projects you have been involved in the last few years.
Describe techniques you've used with great success in your field. Have you ever managed people in the positions you've held?
Do you feel you can ask for help?
Do you feel you can assist others in their jobs?
Explain how you overcame a difficult situation.
Finish this sentence: Successful managers are the ones who....
Given a situation when you disagree with your supervisor, how would you deal with it?
Has competition had any positive or negative impact on your achievements? How?
Have you ever been absent from work? If so, how often?
Have you ever been late for work? If so, how often?
Have handled rude, difficult or impatient people?
Have you prepared and communicated ideas and information in a formal setting?
How do you complete a boring job?
How many hours a week does it take you to get your work done?
How many hours can you work in a week?
How many hours do you usually work in a week?
How many hours do you work per week?
How would you ask for advice?
How would you ask for help?
You effected considerable organizational changes in you last position. Could you tell me how you did it?
I notice you failed your second year initially. Tell me about that?
Looking back now, is there anything that you could have done to improve your relationship with that one bad boss?
Please give me an example of your experience in staying late to finish a project. How do you feel about that?
Please tell me a situation where you were in a dilemma to make a decision and how you dealt with it.
Please tell me a situation where you were very stressful and how you handle it.
Tell me about a particularly difficult or awkward conversation you needed to have with someone?
Describe a particularly difficult or risky challenge you took on because you felt it was important for you to do so.
Tell me about a significant failure in your life.
What do you feel would be an acceptable attendance record?
What role do you take ina group situation? Give examples.
What would you define as a satisfactory attendance record?
When have your verbal communications been important enough to follow up in writing?
Your supervisor left an assignment in your 'in' box, then left town for a week. Now, you can't reach him and don't understand the assignment. What would you do?
Your supervisor tells you to do something in a way you know is ineffective. What would you do?
You've been with your current employer for a very short time. Is this an indication that you'll be moving around a lot throughout your career?
You've changed jobs quite frequently, what assurances do we have that you will stay with us?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Creativity
Are you an innovator?
Are you creative?
Did you implement any new procedures in any of the positions you've held?
Do you consider yourself creative?
How would you get subordinates who didn't like each other to work together?
What are some innovations you're particularly proud of?
What are some of the most creative things you have done?
What is the most creative thing you did on your last job?
What new products are we working on now?
What was your most creative idea?
Would you prefer routine or creative work? Why?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Education
Do you have a college degree?
Do you have a college education?
Do you have an advanced degree?
Did you drop out of collge? If so, why? What did you do during the time you were not in shcool?
How long have you been in school?
Tell me about your educational background.
Are you going to go back to school?
Are you going to take evening classes?
Are you interested in continuing your education?
Are you planning to continue your education?
Are you planning to go to graduate school?
Do you have any plans to continue your education?
Do you have plans for additional education?
Do you have plans for continued study and/or an advanced degree?
Do you have plans for continued study?
Do you have plans for graduate work? Are you willing to relocate or travel?
Do you plan to return to school to pursue additional education?
Do you feel your choice of major was the right one?
Do you feel your college choice was the correct one?
Can you take classes in (_____) to improve your skills at work?
Now that you've had some real-world experience, would you change anything about your education?
What are your plans for furthering your education?
Why didn't you continue your education?
Would you consider obtaining a higher educational degree for job advancement?
Are you in school now?
Did you take any classes recently?
Have you ever taken any classes recently?
How are you improving yourself?
What classes have you taken recently?
What classes have you taken recently to stay on the top of your field?
What educational goals do you currently have?
What seminars have you taken recently to stay on the top of your field?
What specifically have you been doing since you entered this field?
Why did you choose to be a business major? Do you think you have received good general training?
Are you planning to change majors?
Did you change your major in college?
Have you ever taken any training for work?
Have you had courses in (____)?
How did college prepare you for this position?
How did you choose your field of study?
How did you choose your course of study?
How does your degree prepare you for this position?
How does your education prepare you for your chosen field of work?
How has your education prepared you for a career?
How has your education prepared you for this career?
How is college preparing you for your career?
How will your degree help you to succeed?
Tell me about your course work.
What college subjects have you liked best? Why? Least? Why?
What courses have you taken in school that give you special qualifications for this position.
What did you learn in college?
What relevant training have you received?
What subject did you dislike? Why?
What subject did you like the most? Why?
What type of education has best prepared you for this career?
What was your favorite subject in school?
What was your least favorite class in school? Why?
What was your least favorite subject in school?
What was your most favorite subject in school?
What were your strongest subjects subjects at school? What were your weakest subjects?
When did you decide on your major?
Why are you majoring in ____?
Why did you choose your field of study?
Why did you choose your major?
Did you have a favorite teacher?
Did you like the courses you took for this field?
Did your college challenge you?
Did your college education challenge you?
Do you like going to school at (____)?
Is there any class you have completely disliked? Why?
What classes have you enjoyed the most?
What courses did you enjoy?
What courses do you like the best? The least? Why?
What did you learn about yourself in (_____) class?
What did you learn from your high school, university education?
What do you like the most and least at school?
What was your most favorite subject in school?
Who is your favorite professor and why?
Why did you choose your (college/university)?
Why did you choose your major?
Why did you decide to get this degree and attend this university?
Why did you decide to go to grad school?
Why did you drop out of college?
Why did you go to the school you attended?
Do you take advanced classes?
How can your college education be useful on the job?
How developed are your skills in this area?
In which classes did you get the worst grades?
What correlation do you see between grades in school and success in the workplace?
What were your biggest problems in college?
Which classes did you find useful?
Which classes did you like the least?
Which courses did you like least?
Which courses in college did you like best? Why?
Which courses would you like to take if you go back?
Which of your school years was (the most) difficult?
Are your grades an accurate reflection of your academic achievement?
Are your grades a good indicator of your true ability?
Are your grades reflective of your work?
Are your grades reflective of your intelligence?
Did your rank in school reflect your achievement?
Do you agree that grade point average is an indication of how successful you would be in this company?
Do you feel you have done your best work? If so, why? If not, why not?
Do you feel your grade point average is an accurate indication of your academic achievement?
Do you grades reflect your scholastic achievement?
Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your ability in (____)?
Do you think that your grades are a good indicator of your academic achievements?
Do you think your grades are a good indication of your intelligence?
Do you think your grades are an accurate indication of your academic achievement?
Do you think your education has prepared you for this position?
Has your education prepared you for this position?
How did you rank in you graduating class?
How do you feel about your GPA?
Should we consider your grades?
What is the (Grade Point Average) GPA for your major?
What is your GPA?
What is your overall GPA?
What kinds of grades did you get in this area?
What kinds of educational goals have you set?
What was your most difficult class?
What were your grades and class standing?
Which were your best classes?
Which were your most useful courses?
Which were your worst classes?
Are you glad with your selection of schools to complete your studies?
Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?
Can you attend training on weekends?
Did your college education change you?
How did you pay for your college education?
How did your college education change you?
How do you feel about spending time on weekends at work?
How do you find time to study?
How have you changed since you started college?
How have you financed your college education?
How much influence did your family have on your college choice?
How were your college expenses financed?
In what school activities have you participated?
Is there anything you have been involved in at college that you are really proud of?
Was this school your first choice?
What are a few of your most memorable experiences from college?
What did you do during your summers between semesters?
What else did you do while you were in college?
What other areas of preparation do you have for this position?
What percentage of you college expenses did you earn?
What were your responsibilities in your university activities?
What would you do differently if you were to start college over again?
When did you decide to go to grad school?
Who paid for your education?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Experience/Responsibilities
Are you experienced in making presentations?
Can you describe a typical day at your (last/current) job?
Describe a mistake you made. What have you learned from that mistake?
Describe your current job for me.
Describe your experience handling telephones.
Describe your experience working with computers.
Describe your experience working with difficult people.
Describe your experience working with money.
Describe your experience working with numbers.
Describe your typical workday.
Do you have military experience?
Have you given any (speeches/presentations)?
Have you handled fiscal duties?
Have you made presentations?
Have you made presentations before large audiences?
Have you served in the military?
How much experience do you have with (____)?
How much experience do you think someone should have in this position?
How many years have you used (____)?
What are the responsibilities of your position?
What are your (major/primary) responsibilities?
What experience did you gain from your internships?
What experience do you have for this job?
What experience do you have in making oral presentations?
What experience do you have?
What experience do you have with computers?
What experience do you have with (____)?
What experience do you have working with (other/difficult) people?
What experience do you hope to gain from this position?
What experience do you think makes the best employee? Manager?
What experiences did you gain from college?
What experiences did you gain from your (previous/current)?
What experiences did you have in the military?
What experiences have influenced you?
What experiences have benefited you the most?
What experiences have taught you the most?
What experiences led you to choose this occupation?
What experiences led you to choose your career path?
What have you learned from participation in extra-curricular activities?
What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held?
What have you learned from some of the other jobs you have held?
What have you learned from your (education/college)?
What have you learned from your experiences?
What have you learned from your extracurricular activities?
What have you learned from your jobs?
What have you learned from your (previous/current) job?
What have you learned from your mistakes?
What have you learned on your current job?
What is an example of a working relationship outside of your company that you've handled successfully?
What is the least relevant job you've taken?
What is your level of experience with (_____)?
What is your typical day?
What jobs have you held?
What kind of projects using leadership skills have you done?
What kind of projects using typing/word processing skills have you done?
What was the most important lesson you've ever learned?
What was the most interesting job you've had?
What work experience has helped you the most?
When were you in the military?
Where were you stationed in the military?
Which are the most important (functions/divisions) that you control?
Which of your jobs presented the best (learning) experience?
With which departments did you interact most with in your first position?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Goals
Describe an unusual goal that you have?
Describe your most significant goal?
Did you have an impact on your company's goals?
Did you have goals that you were unable to (accomplish/complete/carry out)?
Did you reach goals you have set so far?
Did you set goals for next year?
Do you achieve all of the goals you set? If not, why not?
Do you have any unconventional goals?
Do you have financial goals?
Do you have goals for learning how to use the latest technology?
Do you have goals to become a manager?
Do you have goals to become an expert in any particular field?
Do you have political goals?
Do you have things you would like to accomplish in life?
Do you see yourself doing your supervisor's job?
Do you set your own goals?
Have you ever thought of completely changing your career?
Have you recently developed any new goals?
How are your present goals different from those of ten years ago?
How are your goals different from those of your supervisor?
How did you choose your last employer?
How did you choose your career?
How did you decide on this profession?
How did you decide on your goals?
How did you have an impact on your company's goals?
How did you reach goals you have set so far?
How did you set goals for next year?
How did you start in this line of work?
How did your accomplishments in last job relate to the goals of your company?
How do you accomplish your most (important/significant) goals?
How do you set (important) goals for yourself?
How is your current position a stepping stone to the advancement of your career?
How has working for your employer changed your goals?
How have your career goals changed over time?
How have your goals changed since you finished shcool?
How have your goals changed since you started working?
How many goals do you have?
How often do you set goals for yourself?
How, on a long-term basis, do you plan to achieve your goals?
How, on a short-term basis, do you plan to achieve your goals?
If you could start your career over, what would you do differently?
If you stay with your current employer, what will happen to your career?
If you get hired, what do you think you will be five years from now?
If your boss' job became vacant, would you apply for it?
Our company has a mission statement that provides direction. What is your mission statement?
Tell me about your career goals.
Tell me about your most important long-term goals.
What are financial goals you would like to accomplish?
What are goals you would like to accomplish in the next year?
What are goals you would like to accomplish in this profession?
What are goals you would like to accomplish in your current job?
What are goals you would like to accomplish in working with other people?
What are goals you would like to accomplish with your current employer?
What are goals you would like to accomplish with your life?
What are other goals you wish to achieve?
What are some of your (most significant) goals?
What are some things you had planned but were unable to accomplish?
What are some things you would like to accomplish in life?
What are your (most significant) career goals?
What are your career goals for the future?
What are your future career goals and how do you hope to achieve them?
What are your career plans for the future?
What are your future vocational plans?
What are your goals and your plans for reaching them?
What are your goals for the next year?
What are your goals for the rest of this year?
What are your long range and short range goals and objectives, when and why did you establish these goals and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
What are your long range career goals?
What are your long range career objectives?
What are your long range career objectives? How will you achieve them?
What are your long term goals?
What are your other goals?
What are your personal five-year goals?
What are your personal long-term goals?
What are your personal short-term goals?
What are your professional five-year goals?
What are your short term and long term career goals? How are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
What are your short-term and long-range goals and objectives and how have you prepared yourself to achieve them?
What are your short-term and long-term objectives?
What are your short-term career goals?
What are your short-term goals?
What do you hope to be doing five years from now?
What do you plan to do in the coming year?
What do you really want to do in life?
What do you see yourself doing five years from now, 10 years?
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
What do you want to be doing five years from now?
What do you want to do with your life?
What educational goals do you currently have?
What goals do you want to achieve within the next five years?
What goals have you accomplished recently?
What goals have you set for yourself? Why did you choose these?
What is your career objective?
What is your long-term goal with relation to your occupation?
What kinds of career goals have you set?
What goals, other than those related to your career, have you established?
What goals, other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself for the next 10 years?
What types of goals are you most anxious to accomplish?
What would you like to be doing in five years? Ten years?
What would you like to be doing in two years?
What would you like to be making in 3 to 5 years?
When do you change your goals?
Where do you see this company going?
Where do you see yourself next year?
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten?
Where would you take your department if you got this position?
Who sets your goals at work (you or your supervisor)?
Would you want to do your boss' job?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Interests
Are you interested in sports?
Are you looking for a permanent job?
Are you really interested in this job, or are you thinking more about getting out of your present job?
Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
Describe the perfect job.
Describe your ideal job based on the industry right now.
Do you like working in different locations?
Do you like working indoors?
Do you like working inside?
Do you like working long hours?
Do you like working outside?
Do you like working overtime?
Do you like working with computers?
Do you like working with gadgets?
Do you like working with numbers?
Do you like working with machinery?
Do you like working with people?
Do you like working?
Do you play any sports?
Do you play golf?
Do you read often?
Do you recycle?
Do you watch a lot of television or go to movies?
Do you watch sports?
How did you choose this occupation?
How do you spend your spare time?
How does your ideal job measure up against the description of the job you're applying for?
How interested are you in sports?
How would do describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
How would you describe the ideal job or you?
If I hired you for this position, what responsibilities do you most look forward to filling?
If you could construct your own job within our company, what factors would you include?
If you could create an ideal job, what responsibilities and working atmosphere would you like to have?
If you were to start college over tomorrow, what courses should you take? Why?
In what extra curricular activities did you participate in school? Do you think they were worth the time you devoted?
In what jobs have you been most interested?
Is there any class you have completely disliked? Why?
Is there anything you have been involved in at college that you are really proud of?
What activities have you participated in? Were these worthwhile?
What are some of your outside interests or hobbies?
What are the extracurriculars you participated in during school? What position you held? What did you learn?
What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in a job and why?
What are the most important rewards you expect in your (business) career?
What are the most important rewards you expect in your profession?
What are the most important things to you in a job?
What are the most important things you want to get out of a job?
What are the most important things a job can offer you?
What are two or three things that are most important to you in a job?
What are you expecting from an employer?
What are your hobbies?
What are your interests? (or What types of activities do you like the best?)
What are/were some of your extracurricular activities? What did you learn from them?
What aspects of the job are the most important?
What aspects of the job do you believe are the most important?
What aspects to this line of work do you enjoy the most?
What brought you to enter this field?
What determines your personal choices?
What did you like about your previous employer?
What did you like (most/least) about your previous job?
What did you like least about college?
What did you (like/dislike) about your current job?
What didn't you like about your previous (position/employer)?
What do you do with your spare time?
What do you do to maintain good physical condition?
What do you hope to do in your next job?
What do you hope to do in your next job that you can not do in your present position?
What do you hope your next (job/employer) will be like?
What do you like most about your profession?
What do you like most about your current employer?
What do you like most about your current job?
What do you like most about this job opening?
What do you like most about our company?
What do you like to do the most?
What do you like to do with your spare time?
What do you like/dislike most about your current position?
What do you look for in a job and why do you look for those things?
What do you particularly like about your position?
What do you think is the most important thing in working in a company? What do you think is the least important?
What extracurricular activities did you take part in?
What extracurricular activities were you active in?
What factors are important to you in a job?
What industry do you want to work in?
What profession do you want to work in?
What interests you about our product (or service)?
What interests you about our company?
What interests you about this position?
What is most important to you in a job?
What is the latest book you read?
What is the most important aspect of your current job?
What is the most recent movie you saw?
What is the reason for a career change?
What is your favorite computer platform?
What is your favorite hobby?
What is your favorite job?
What is your favorite sport?
What job are you interested in?
What job do you want to do immediately?
What jobs do you like to do?
What jobs have you enjoyed the (most/least)? Why?
What jobs have you enjoyed least (in your career)?
What jobs have you enjoyed most (in your career)?
What kind of job are you looking for?
What kind of job do you like to do?
What kind of job do you want immediately?
What kind of position are you looking for?
What kind of work interests you most?
What kind of work interests you the most? The least?
What kinds of extra-curricular activities have you been involved in?
What lead you to choose your (college/university)?
What lead you to choose your field of study?
What led you to choose your major? What courses have you enjoyed most? Least? Why?
What led you to choose your major field of study?
What position are you interested in?
What position in our company interests you?
What about our company interests you the most?
What sports do you play?
What is most important to you in a job?
What trade journals do you read?
What types of books and/or magazines do you read?
What was the last book you read?
What was the most favorite book you read?
What was the last movie you saw?
What was wrong with your last employer?
What was wrong with your last job?
What was your most boring job?
What was your most boring employer?
What was your most interesting job?
What was your most interesting employer?
What were some of your extracurricular activities in college? What did you learn from them? Did you hold any offices?
What were the most enjoyable aspects of your last job? What were the least enjoyable aspects?
What were your favorite extracurricular activities?
What work do you like the (most/least)?
What would you do if money was not a concern?
What would you do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?
What's your favorite book or TV show?
What's your idea of the ultimate job?
Which activities did you most enjoy? Why?
Which of your jobs have you liked the (most/least)?
Why are you changing jobs?
Why are you looking for a career change?
Why are you looking to change jobs?
Why are you majoring in (____)?
Why did choose the career for which you are studying?
Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
Why did you choose this career?
Why did you choose this (college/university)?
Why did you choose your (previous/current) job?
Why did you leave your previous position?
Why did you major in (____)?
Why did you pick this minor?
Why did you quit your job?
Why do you like working in this (field/profession)?
Why do you want to work for our company?
Why do you want to work for our organization?
Why do you want to leave your current employer?
Would you prefer excellent pay or job satisfaction?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Job Search
Are you looking for permanent or temporary work?
Are you still employed?
Describe to me what you're looking for in a job.
Do you have any objections if we check former employers for references?
Do you know much about our company?
Does your current employer have any policies that you consider unfair?
Does your current employer know that you are interviewing for another job?
For what period of time do you envision yourself working with us?
Have you had any other interviews?
Have you seen our Web site?
How are you conducting your job search?
How badly do you want to get this job?
How did you do your most (interesting/boring) job?
How did you feel when you started your last job?
How did you find your current job?
How did you get promoted in your last job?
How did you get summer jobs?
How did you get the time off to interview?
How did you get your first job after college?
How did you get your last job?
How did you get your previous jobs?
How did you happen to apply for this job?
How did you hear about us?
How did you learn about this job?
How did you plan to interview?
How did you prepare for this interview?
How did your previous jobs relate to his position? What did you learn from them?
How do you interview while still employed?
How do you manage to interview while still employed?
How do you rank your current job with others that you've held?
How do you spend most of your time in your current job?
How do you think this industry works?
How does this job compare with any other jobs you've applied for?
How does this job fit into the goals of the company?
How does this job fit into the goals of the department?
How long has your current job search lasted?
How long have you been looking for a job?
How long have you been looking for a new job?
How long have you been looking for another job?
How long have you been unemployed?
How long would you plan to work for this company?
How long would you stay with us?
How many interviews have you had?
How many offers have you received?
How many other companies have you interviewed for?
How many other positions have you applied for?
How soon could you begin work?
How would you define your profession?
If you have these complaints about your current company, and they like you, why haven't you brought your concerns to their attention?
If you're happy with your current employer, why are you looking for another job?
In what type of position are you interested?
In what type of position are you most interested?
In what type of position are you most interested? Why? What do you know about this field?
In what ways did you prepare for this interview?
May I contact some of your references?
May we check your references?
May (I/we) contact your (current) employer?
Tell me what you know about this organization [company].
Tell me what you're looking for in a job.
Tell me why you left your last job.
Tell me your career goals.
What about your current job do you find the most unpleasant?
What are some of your reasons for considering other employment?
What are the disadvantages of your chosen field?
What are you looking for in a job that you do not have in your current job?
What are you looking for in a job?
What can you tell me about our company goals?
What can you tell me about our company?
What can you tell me about our customers?
What can you tell me about our products?
What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
What criteria are you using to evaluate this company as a potential employer?
What criteria are you using to interview employers?
What do you find least interesting about this job?
What do you find most interesting about this job?
What do you like least about this job?
What exactly do you do for a living?
What factors are important to you in a job?
What has caused you to change jobs so frequently?
What interests you most about our position?
What interests you most about this position?
What is missing from your last job that you'd like to see in this one?
What is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
What is our corporate culture like?
What is the biggest mistake you ever made in selecting a job?
What is the silliest thing you've ever done?
What is your present position?
What job do you like doing the least?
What jobs have you held?
What jobs have you held? How were they obtained and why did you leave?
What makes this job different from your others?
What other firms are you talking to and why?
What position are you most interested in?
What research have you done on our firm and on our industry?
What story could you tell me that would make you stand out from the other candidates?
What the most important thing you're looking for in a job?
What type of career are you looking for?
What type of position do you have now? (or What exactly do you do at ___? Or, Tell me more about your work at ___).
What was your most meaningful job, whether paid-time, full-time, summer or volunteer? What was special about that job?
What will be the determining factors in choosing a job?
What's your present job like?
When can you start working?
When did you leave your last job?
Where did you learn about this job?
Where else have you applied to?
Which of the following matters most in deciding to take the job: money, recognition, challenge, or responsibility?
Who made you a job offer?
Who made you the job offer?
For what kind of position?
Why are you interested in our company?
Why are you interested in this company, this position?
Why are you interested in this position?
Why are you interviewing with us?
Why are you seeking a position with this company?
Why did you decide to seek a position with this company?
Why did you leave your last (employer/job)?
Why did you interview with this company?
Why do you think you would like this particular type of job?
Why do you want this job? What are you looking for from this job?
Why do you want this position?
Why do you want to be manager? (or Why a ______?)
Why do you want to change positions?
Why do you want to leave your current employer so soon?
Why do you want to leave your job if you like it so much?
Why do you want to leave your present job?
Why do you want to work for me?
Why do you want to work for us?
Why do you want to work here?
Why do you want to work in a job for which you are overqualified?
Why do you want to work in this industry, and for our company?
Why didn't you complete any internships?
Why have you changed jobs frequently?
Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
Why have you changed jobs?
Why would you like this line of work?
Why would you want to work here if I hired you?
Would you rather go to another company?
You've been with your current employer for a very short time. Is this an indication that you'll be moving around a lot throughout your career?
You've changed jobs quite frequently, what assurances do we have that you will stay with us?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Knowledge of Company
Are your work practices similar or different from ours?
Describe our (products/services).
Describe our company for me.
Describe our corporate environment for me.
Describe your work (methods/processes) in comparison to ours?
Do our competitors do things that we should be doing?
Do you have any concerns about working here?
Do you have any questions about (our/this) company?
Do you know how long we have been in business?
Do you know what products we make?
How could you have prevented your (judgmental) errors?
How do you think our company determines success?
How does you present employer communicate with others in your department?
How was your company management viewed by your subordinates?
How would you evaluate your present employer's strengths?
Tell me how you found out information about (our/this) company?
Tell me what you know about (our/this) company?
Was there anything your company could have done to be more successful?
What about our company do you like best?
What about your present employer (do/did) you like best?
What advantages do you think our competitors have over us?
What advantages do you think we have over our competitors?
What are the greatest challenges that this company faces?
What concerns do you have about this company?
What direction do you think this company is headed in?
What do you dislike about our company?
What do you know about (our/this) company?
What do you know about (our/this) operation?
What do you know about our competitors?
What do you know about our customers?
What do you know about our products?
What do you know about our products or services?
What do you know about our stock?
What do you know about our web site?
What do you know about the way our campany (works/operates)?
What do you know about this position?
What do you think are the challenges facing this company?
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing this company in the near future?
What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
What do you think it takes to be successful in our company?
What do you think the atmosphere here is like?
What is the financial stability of your last company?
What questions do you have about our organization?
What would make someone successful in our business?
What is the (best/worst) thing you have heard about (our/this) company?
What is the (best/worst) thing you have heard about (our/this) department?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Leadership
Are you a better leader or follower?
Are you a leader? Give some examples.
Are you a natural leader or a natural follower?
Are you able to lead others?
Are you more of a leader or follower?
As a department manager, how would you establish staff rapport?
Can you lead a group of (__) employees to complete a task? If so, give an example or explain.
Can you instruct a group of employees without feeling intimidated?
Can you take instruction without feeling upset?
Can you take instructions without feeling upset or hurt?
Can you take instructions/criticisms without feeling upset?
Can you take instructions?
Can you work with direct supervision?
Describe an incident in which you had to discipline a subordinate.
Describe an incident in which you had to give a verbal warning to a subordinate.
Describe how you are mentoring an employee.
Describe how you supervise other employees.
Describe how you would discipline a subordinate for tardiness.
Describe how you would discipline a subordinate for missing work.
Describe how you would discipline a subordinate for missing a deadline.
Describe how you would discipline a subordinate for inappropriate behavior.
Describe the (best/worst) manager you have ever had.
Describe the (best/worst) subordinate you have ever had.
Describe the ideal supervisor-subordinate relationship.
Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.
Describe the toughest (manager/subordinate) you have ever had.
Describe your approach to management or supervision.
Describe your management philosophy. Have your disappointments helped you improve yourself?
Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower? Why?
Do you have a unique approach to management or supervision?
Do you have job performance appraisals?
Do you have the attributes of a good manager?
Do you need direct supervision?
Do you publicly disagree with your supervisor?
Do you report to more than one supervisor?
Do you require close supervision?
Do you see yourself as more technically or management oriented?
Do you sometimes get flustered when working with supervisors?
Do you supervise others?
Do you think you have the personality to be a (manager/supervisor)?
Do you think you would make a good (manager/supervisor)? Why?
Do your subordinates come to you with personal problems?
Explain an instance when you used your leadership skills to solve a problem.
Explain how you have used your skills to resolve a conflict between your boss and a co-worker.
Explain how you have supervised others.
Explain how you have worked successfully with a team.
Explain how you motivate others to work more efficiently.
Have any employees you have mentored been promoted?
Have you ever had to make decisions when your supervisor was unavailable? Explain.
Have you had any supervisory experience? Explain.
Have you held any leadership responsibilities? Explain.
Have you mentored (anyone/a subordinate)?
Have you supervised any subordinates? Explain.
How closely are you supervised?
How closely do you supervise others?
How closely have your past supervisors managed you?
How closely would you supervise an employee who was having difficulty?
How did the employees you hired work out?
How did you get along with your last supervisor?
How did your boss rate your job performance?
How do you communicate with your subordinates?
How do you communicate with your superiors?
How do you delegate responsibility?
How do you establish rapport with your subordinates?
How do you establish rapport with your subordinates?
How do you feel your supervisor could have done a better job?
How do you get along with superiors?
How do you handle leadership?
How do you supervise your staff?
How do you think that supervisors and subordinates should act toward one another?
How do you think your boss or a co-worker would evaluate your current job performance?
How good are you at personnel management?
How have past managers gotten the best out of you?
How have you selected any subordinates you've had in the past two years?
How many employees do you supervise?
How many employees have you mentored?
How many immediate subordinates have you removed from their jobs recently?
How many levels of management did you interact with?
How many people are you comfortable supervising?
How would you characterize your leadership and use of authority?
How would you deal with a subordinate who violated a company policy?
How would you decide who to fire?
How would you define your management philosophy?
How would you discipline a subordinate?
How would you evaluate your present employer's weaknesses?
How would you go about creating a plan for your department if you were the boss?
How would you go about terminating an employee?
How would you handle a supervisor challenging one of your decisions?
How would you handle reporting to more than one supervisor?
How would you organize your staff if you managed this operation?
How would you typify your relationship with your former boss?
How would your subordinates describe you?
How would your supervisor describe your leadership abilities?
In relation to others, how do you view yourself on taking initiative?
In what respects have you improved as a supervisor in the past few years?
In what ways do your leadership skills show?
Tell about your leadership skills?
Tell me about a time where you had to stand firm and make a tough or unpopular decision in order to maintain the standards you had set.
Tell me about an experience where you had to manage people conflicts at work -- could you describe an incident like this?
Tell me about the best boss you've ever had.
Tell me about the worst boss you've ever had.
Tell me more than your resume does about managing our department -- for example, how do you handle acquisitions?
What are the most important attributes of a good manager?
What are the qualities that are most important to a manager?
What are you looking for in a supervisor?
What are your team-player attributes?
What challenges have you faced in a leadership position?
What did you dislike about your supervisor?
What do your subordinates consider your strengths?
What do your subordinates think of you?
What factors do you think have contributed to your effectiveness as a supervisor?
What is the title of the person who you report to, and what were his or her responsibilities?
What is your management philosophy?
What is your opinion of your current boss?
What is your opinion of your last boss?
What kind of boss do you prefer?
What kind of boss/supervisor do you prefer?
What leadership positions have you held?
What management positions have you held?
What organizational techniques do you use to manage your workload?
What qualities do you think a successful manager posses?
What qualities make the best manager?
What qualities should a successful manager possess?
What quality should a successful manager possess?
What role do you take ina group situation? Give examples.
What steps would you take to terminate an employee who is not performing adequately?
What techniques do you use to motivate people?
What type of supervisor brings out the best performance in you?
What was the best boss you've ever had?
What was the worst boss you've ever had?
What would you look for in hiring people? For this job?
What would you say about a supervisor who was tough to work with?
What would you say about a supervisor who was unfair?
What would your former supervisor say about you?
What would your past supervisors tell me about you?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Money
Are you willing to work overtime?
Are you able to accept a job paying less than you are currently making?
Are you able to work on commission?
Are you currently unemployed?
Are you 'under' employed?
Are you looking for a salary advancement?
Can you work overtime?
Do you feel that money is the most important aspect of a job?
Do you have a minimum salary for which you will work?
Have you had financial problems?
How do you live within your means?
How do you see your salary requirements changing in the near and far futures?
How important is money to you?
How important is overtime to you?
How much commissions do you receive?
How much compensation are you searching for?
How much compensation do you currently earn?
How much compensation do you (need/want)?
How much compensation will it take to get you here?
How much do you think you expect to be making in five years?
How much money do you currently make?
How much money do you hope to earn at age (30/35/40/45/..)?
How much money do you see yourself making in ten years?
How much money do you want to make?
How much money would you like to be earning?
How much of your current compensation is paid on commission?
How much overtime could you work?
I can imagine you must have a specific number in mind for salary in order for you to accept the position. What is it?
I understand your reluctance to commit to a salary estimate here, however I need to know what salary you are seeking in order to know if your salary is within our range.
Is money important to you?
Is there a particular benefit you want from (our/this) company?
Should your profession be higher paying?
This job might entail a cut in pay. Is this acceptable to you?
What amount of compensation are you seeking?
What are you earning now?
What are your current salary requirements?
What are your needs for salary?
What benefits are you looking for?
What do you expect to be earning in five years?
What do you think about working overtime?
What do you think would make a fair compensation package for this position?
What do you think your salary will be in five years?
What do you want in salary?
What increase in salary are you looking for?
What is your salary (history)?
What is your current salary (grade) range?
What kind of money do you need to make?
What kind of salary are you looking for?
What range of salary do you want?
What salary are you worth?
What salary do you (expect/need/desire)?
What salary were you thinking of for this position?
What type of salary are you worth, and why do you think so?
What types of benefits does your current employer offer?
What was your salary history (on your last job)?
What would be an adequate payment for your efforts?
Where are you in your current salary (grade) range?
Which is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
Who paid for your education?
Why are you willing to take a cut in pay?
Why do you think you deserve your current salary?
Would you be willing to work for less?
Would you select a job primarily on the basis of (compensation/money/benefits)?
Would you take a cut in salary to work here?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Flexibility
After being with the same employer for so long, do you think that it might be difficult to start at a new job?
Can you forget your education and start from scratch?
Can you start in this new profession?
Can you work irregular hours?
Describe how your job changed.
Describe the biggest change you've brought to your present company?
Describe the changes that took place at your (previous/current) employer.
Describe the most difficult problem on your last job, and tell me how you overcame it.
Describe situations in which you had a variety of projects simultaneously.
Do you feel comfortable making procedural changes affecting your department?
Do you have a problem with irregular hours?
Do you have a problem with non-routine tasks?
Do you like routine work?
Do you think you've been with one company for too long?
Do you view job security as of prime importance?
Has your job changed as a result of re-organization? Please explain.
Have you been through a re-organization?
How do you cope with change?
How do you deal with surprises?
How do you handle change?
How have you handled difficult changes in your working situation in the past?
How have you responded to your greatest disappointments?
How important is job security to you?
How would you change your current working conditions?
How would you handle a decision for which no procedure existed?
If you could change something about this position, what would it be?
If you could change something in the course of your life, what would you change?
This is a much larger company than you've ever worked at. How do you feel about that?
This is a much smaller company than you've ever worked at. How do you feel about that?
What adjustments do you expect to make in this job since it is so different from your (previous/current) employment?
What are your opinions on the challenges facing our company?
What can you do to help adjust to a new job?
What changes do you see this industry making in order to stay competitive?
What changes would you make in your current job?
What do you do when starting a new job?
What happens when two priorities compete for your time?
What is the most difficult change you've encountered in your career?
What is the most difficult change you've faced in your career?
What job responsibilities would you like to avoid on a new job?
What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
What major problem have you encountered and how did you handle it?
What major provlem have you encountered? How did you resolve it?
What problems do you have tolerating people different from you?
What will be the most difficult aspect of making the transition from college to your career? Why?
What will you do to compensate for your deficiencies?
What will you do to correct weaknesses?
What would you change about your current job or position?
What would you do to meet a deadline of a project?
Would you be happy in an entry-level job?
Would you consider a career change?
Would you prefer a large or a small company? Why?
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Organization
Are you a very organized person?
Are you systematic?
Describe your study habits.
Do you manage your time well?
Have you been in charge of budgeting, approving expenses, or monitoring departmental progress against financial goals?
Have you ever postponed a decision you wanted to make right away?
How do you determine your priorities?
How do you feel about your current employer?
How do you feel that you've improved your planning process in the last few years?
How do you fix unexpected problems?
How do you keep track of projects?
How do you organize your time?
How do you organize your workload -- could you describe it?
How do you plan for large projects?
How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
How do you plan to correct your weaknesses?
How do you plan to prevent from having your biggest failures again?
How do you plan your day?
How do you plan your week?
How do you prepare for major projects?
How do you prepare for speeches?
How do you usually plan your day?
How important are details?
How organized are you?
How would you change your planning for your future if you could?
Tell me about a time when you organized a project where your directions were vague?
Tell me about a time when you simplified or clarified a situation by putting your finger on the key issue.
Personnel Selection: Interview Questions: Personal Relations
Describe the ideal employee.
Describe the most difficult boss or co-worker you have ever worked with, and tell me how you coped with the situation.
Describe your best friend and what he or she does for a living. In what ways are you similar or different from your best friend?
How did you get along with your co-workers?
How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
How do you deal with people at different levels?
How do you deal with rejection?
How do you handle people who are critical? (or How do you handle rejection?)
How do you interact with you superiors?
How do you resolve conflicts?
How have you developed your interpersonal skills? Are they good?
How have you ever embarrassed yourself?
How would you describe your character?
How would you handle a difficult situation with a co-worker?
How would you handle an angry co-worker?
How would you handle an angry customer?
How would you handle an angry supervisor?
How would you help a co-worker with a personal problem?
How would you work with someone you didn't like?
If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
Is it an effort for you to be tolerant of persons with a background and interests different that your own?
Tell me about a particularly difficult or awkward conversation you needed to have with someone?
Tell me about a time where you had to stand firm and make a tough or unpopular decision in order to maintain the standards you had set.
Tell me about a time you used your spoken communication skills to get a point across.
What was a team project that you helped complete?
What's the toughest communication problem you faced?
How did your boss help you to be your best?
What's been the greatest influence on your career plans?
Which person has had the most influence on your life?
Who has been an inspiration to you?
Who or what has been the greatest single influence in your life?
Do your subordinates come to you with personal problems?
How do you earn respect from co-workers?
How do you establish rapport with your subordinates?
How do you feel your subordinates would describe you as a communicator?
How do you get along with co-workers?
How do you get along with superiors?
How do you think a friend who knows you well would describe you?
How do you think your co-workers would describe you?
How do you think your friends would describe you?
How would a close friend or professor describe you?
How would one of your friends describe you?
How would others describe you as an individual?
How would someone you work with describe you?
How would you be described by your best friend?
How would your best friend describe you?
How would your co-workers describe you?
How would your supervisor describe you?
If a friend or professor were asked to describe you, what would he/she say?
The successful candidate for this position will be working with some highly trained individuals who have been here fo
please see below:
1/ Tell me about yourself.
This is the dreaded, classic, open-ended interview question and likely to be among the first. It's your chance to introduce your qualifications, good work habits, etc. Keep it mostly work and career related.
2/ What are your strengths?
Point out your positive attributes related to the job.
3/ What are your weaknesses?
Everybody has weaknesses, but don't spend too much time on this one and keep it work related. Along with a minor weakness or two, try to point out a couple of weaknesses that the interviewer might see as strengths, such as sometimes being a little too meticulous about the quality of your work. (Avoid saying "I work too hard." It's a predictable, common answer.) For every weakness, offer a strength that compensates for it.
4/ Why do you want to work for us?
Research the company before you interview. Avoid the predictable, such as, "Because it's a great company." Say why you think it's a great company.
5/ Why should I hire you?
Point out your positive attributes related to the job, and the good job you've done in the past. Include any compliments you've received from management.
6/ What are your ideas about salary?
Research salaries in your field before your interviews so that you know the current salary range for the type of position you are seeking.
Hope its useful for you,
D PriyaHi, Poulami,
How are u?
U could try answering something like
1. Tell me something about yourself.
- Can start with yourself- as to u r correcting working with this org. as ----
- U have completed---- degree from ___ college/ institute
- u are basically from ____, ur father is __ and your mother __ (family backgroud)
- U aim to be ___ in coming 5-8 yrs as ___
2. What is you salary expectation?
- This depends upon the current market.
- ( U must consider u need salary for monthly expenditure, savings, conveyance) depends upon your exp. , education, location- where u are (in the sense that have u shifted from native place to job location place- then ur expenditure will be more), staying with family/spouse, responsibilities etc.
- Need to do proper study about it.
- At interview u can mention a particular range and negotiate (not much)
3. Your Strenghts and Weakness?
- It can said +ve -cum -ve way
Eg. I am restless when the work is not completed
4.Why do you want to join our organisation?
(Need to study about the company)
- Can say it is one of the best org. in the country/world.
- ___ industry is booming
- These are the growth prospects which I feel.
- (NEVER SAY - IT IS MY DREAM COMPANY)
5.Why should I hire you?
- This streses on your strenghts
- Can say as U have the required qualifications
- And the qualities which this job requires
- U are capable enough of handling this position, and will be one of the best in the company
Hope this helps u out
Do let me know, will be happy to hear from u.
From India, Pune
I ma sending you the interview questions and their answers.hope you will find it useful.
How to Answer
The 64 Toughest
Table of Contents
General Guidelines in Answering Interview Questions 4
Q1 Tell me about yourself. 6
Q2 What are your greatest strengths? 7
Q3 What are your greatest weaknesses? 7
Q4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of. 8
Q5 Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position? 9
Q6 The “Silent Treatment” 10
Q7 Why should I hire you? 10
Q8 Aren’t you overqualified for this position? 11
Q9 Where do you see yourself five years from now? 12
Q10 Describe your ideal company, location and job. 13
Q11 Why do you want to work at our company? 13
Q12 What are your career options right now? 13
Q13 Why have you been out of work so long? 14
Q14 Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss (company, management team, etc.)… 14
Q15 What good books have you read lately? 15
Q16 Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized. 15
Q17 What are your hobbies and pastimes? 16
Q18 The “Fatal Flaw” question 16
Q19 How do you feel about reporting to a younger person/ woman, etc)? 17
Q20 On confidential matters… 17
Q21 Would you lie for the company? 18
Q22 Looking back, what would you do differently in your life? 18
Q23 Could you have done better in your last job? 19
Q24 Can you work under pressure? 19
Q25 What makes you angry? 19
Q26 Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career? 20
Q27 Who has inspired you in your life and why? 20
Q28 What was the toughest decision you ever had to make? 21
Q29 Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had. 21
Q30 Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous position? 21
Q31 What changes would you make if you are selected? 22
Q32 I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience as we’d like in… 22
Q33 How do you feel about working nights and weekends? 23
Q34 Are you willing to relocate or travel? 24
Q35 Do you have the stomach to fire people? Have you had experience firing many people? 24
Q36 Why have you had so many jobs? 25
Q37 What do you see as the proper role/mission of… …a good (job title you’re seeking); …a good manager; …an executive in serving the community; …a leading company in our industry; etc. 26
Q38 What would you say to your boss if he’s crazy about an idea, but you think it stinks? 26
Q39 How could you have improved your career progress? 27
Q40 What would you do if a fellow executive on your own corporate level wasn’t pulling his/her weight…and this was hurting your department? 27
Q41 You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it be hard switching to a new company? 28
Q42 May I contact your present employer for a reference? 28
Q43 Give me an example of your creativity (analytical skill…managing ability, etc.) 29
Q44 Where could you use some improvement? 29
Q45 What do you worry about? 29
Q46 How many hours a week do you normally work? 29
Q47 What’s the most difficult part of being a (job title)? 30
Q48 The “Hypothetical Problem” 30
Q49 What was the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced? 30
Q50 Have you consider starting your own business? 31
Q51 What are your goals? 32
Q52 What do you look for when you hire people? 32
Q53 Sell me this stapler…(this pencil…this clock…or some other object on interviewer’s desk). 32
Q54 “The Salary Question” – How much money do you want? 34
Q55 The Awkward Question 34
Q56 The “Hidden” Question 35
Q57 What was the toughest part of your last job? 36
Q58 How do you define success…and how do you measure up to your own definition?. 36
Q59 “The Opinion Question” What do you think about …The Death Penalty…reservations (or any other controversial subject)? 37
Q60 If you won Rs10 crore lottery, would you still work? 37
Q61 Looking back on your last position, have you done your best work? 38
Q62 Why should I hire you from the outside when I could promote someone from within? 38
Q63 Tell me something negative you’ve heard about our company… 39
Q64 On a scale of one to ten, rate me as an interviewer. 39
in Answering Interview Questions
Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you'll do much better. Remember also that it's difficult for the interviewer as well.
In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative.
Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight.
Don't try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide only, and don't be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.
Find out what people want, than show them how you can help them get it.
Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you meet those qualifications.
In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your answers, you must find out what the buyer is buying... what he is looking for. And the best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.
You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above all: before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as the perfect “key” that fits the “lock” of that position.
• Other important interview strategies:
• Turn weaknesses into strengths (You'll see how to do this in a few moments.)
• Think before you answer. (A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a thoughtful person).
As a daily exercise, practice being more optimistic. For example, try putting a positive spin on events and situations you would normally regard as negative. This is not meant to turn you into a Pollyanna, but to sharpen your selling skills. The best salespeople, as well as the best liked interview candidates, come off as being naturally optimistic, "can do" people. You will dramatically raise your level of attractiveness by daily practicing to be more optimistic.
Be honest...never lie.
Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview note what you did right, what could have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then take those steps.
About the 64 questions...
You might feel that the answers to the following questions are “canned”, and that they will seldom match up with the exact way you are asked the questions in actual interviews. The questions and answers are designed to be as specific and realistic as possible. But no preparation can anticipate thousands of possible variations on these questions. What's important is that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the main strategies behind each answer. And it will be invaluable to you if you commit to memory a few key words that let you instantly call to mind your best answer to the various questions. If you do this, and follow the principles of successful interviewing presented here, you're going to do very well.
Good luck...and good job-hunting!
Question 1 Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS: Beware; about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters.
BEST ANSWER: Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.
So, before you answer this or any question it's imperative that you try to uncover your interviewer's greatest need, want, problem or goal.
To do so, make you take these two steps:
1. Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person's wants and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
2. As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what the position entails. You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I'd like to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it's usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for.
You might ask simply, "And in addition to that?" or, "Is there anything else you see as essential to success in this position?
This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer questions, but only if you uncover the employer's wants and needs will your answers make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates you're competing with.
After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear striking parallels to tasks you've succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.
Question 2 What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS: This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don't want to come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER: You know that the key to your strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates your strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.
You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are:
1. A proven track record as an achiever...especially if your achievements match up with the employer's greatest wants and needs.
2. Intelligence...management "savvy".
3. Honesty...integrity...a decent human being.
4. Good fit with corporate culture...someone to feel comfortable with...a team player who meshes well with interviewer's team.
5. Likeability...positive attitude...sense of humor.
6. Good communication skills.
7. Dedication...willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8. Definiteness of purpose...clear goals.
9. Enthusiasm...high level of motivation.
10. Confident...healthy...a leader.
Question 3 What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS: Beware - this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of a weakness or fault will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the interview.
PASSABLE ANSWER: Disguise strength as a weakness.
Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”
Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it's so widely used; it is transparent to any experienced interviewer.
BEST ANSWER: (and another reason it's so important to get a thorough description of your interviewer's needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can think of nothing that would stand in the way of your performing in this position with excellence. Then, quickly review you strongest qualifications.
Example: “Nobody's perfect, but based on what you've told me about this position; I believe I’d make an outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do they have the qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation to do it well? Everything in my background shows I have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence in whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that I see nothing that would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong desire to perform this job with excellence.”
Alternate strategy (if you don't yet know enough about the position to talk about such a perfect fit):
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making sure that what you like most matches up with the most important qualification for success in the position, and what you like least is not essential.
Example: Let's say you're applying for a teaching position. “If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as possible in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back at the office. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of filing paperwork properly, and I do it conscientiously. But what I really love to do is selling (if your interviewer were a sales manager, this should be music to his ears.)
Question 4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of.
TRAPS: There are some questions your interviewer has no business asking, and this is one. But while you may feel like answering, “none of your business,” naturally you can’t. Some interviewers ask this question on the chance you admit to something, but if not, at least they’ll see how you think on your feet.
Some unprepared candidates, flustered by this question, unburden themselves of guilt from their personal life or career, perhaps expressing regrets regarding a parent, spouse, child, etc. All such answers can be disastrous.
BEST ANSWER: As with faults and weaknesses, never confess regret. But don’t seem as if you’re stonewalling either.
Best strategy: Say you harbor no regrets, then add a principle or habit you practice regularly for healthy human relations.
Example: Pause for reflection, as if the question never occurred to you. Then say, “You know, I really can’t think of anything.” (Pause again, and then add): “I would add that as a general management principle, I’ve found that the best way to avoid regrets is to avoid causing them in the first place. I practice one habit that helps me a great deal in this regard. At the end of each day, I mentally review the day’s events and conversations to take a second look at the people and developments I’m involved with and do a double-check of what they’re likely to be feeling. Sometimes I’ll see things that do need more follow-up, whether a pat on the back, or maybe a five minute chat in someone’s office to make sure we’re clear on things…whatever.”
“I also like to make each person feel like a member of an elite team, like the Australian cricket team in their prime. I’ve found that if you let each team member know you expect excellence in their performance…if you work hard to set an example yourself…and if you let people know you appreciate and respect their feelings, you wind up with a highly motivated group, a team that’s having fun at work because they’re striving for excellence rather than brooding over slights or regrets.”
Question 5 Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?
TRAPS: Never badmouth your previous industry, company, board, boss, staff, employees or customers. This rule is inviolable: never be negative. Any mud you hurl will only soil your suit.
Especially avoid words like “personality clash”, “didn’t get along”, or others which cast a shadow on your competence, integrity, or temperament.
(If you have a job presently)
If you’re not yet 100% committed to leaving your present post, don’t be afraid to say so. Since you have a job, you are in a stronger position than someone who does not. But don’t be coy either. State honestly what you’d be hoping to find in a new spot. Of course, as stated often before, you answer will all the stronger if you have already uncovered what this position is all about and you match your desires to it.
(If you do not presently have a job.)
Never lie about having been fired. It’s unethical – and too easily checked. But do try to deflect the reason from you personally. If your firing was the result of a takeover, merger, division wide layoff, etc., so much the better.
But you should also do something totally unnatural that will demonstrate consummate professionalism. Even if it hurts, describe your own firing – candidly, succinctly and without a trace of bitterness – from the company’s point-of-view, indicating that you could understand why it happened and you might have made the same decision yourself.
Your stature will rise immensely and, most important of all, you will show you are healed from the wounds inflicted by the firing. You will enhance your image as first-class management material and stand head and shoulders above the legions of firing victims who, at the slightest provocation, zip open their shirts to expose their battle scars and decry the unfairness of it all.
For all prior positions:
Make sure you’ve prepared a brief reason for leaving. Best reasons: more money, better opportunity, responsibility or growth.
Question 6 “Silent Treatment”
TRAPS: Beware – if you are unprepared for this question, you will probably not handle it right and possibly blow the interview. Thank goodness most interviewers don’t employ it. It’s normally used by those determined to see how you respond under stress. Here’s how it works:
You answer an interviewer’s question and then, instead of asking another, he just stares at you in a deafening silence.
You wait, growing a bit uneasy, and there he sits, silent as Mt. Rushmore, as if he doesn’t believe what you’ve just said, or perhaps making you feel that you’ve unwittingly violated some cardinal rule of interview etiquette.
When you get this silent treatment after answering a particularly difficult question, such as “tell me about your weaknesses”, its intimidating effect can be most disquieting, even to polished job hunters.
Most unprepared candidates rush in to fill the void of silence, viewing prolonged, uncomfortable silences as an invitation to clear up the previous answer which has obviously caused some problem. And that’s what they do – ramble on, sputtering more and more information, sometimes irrelevant and often damaging, because they are suddenly playing the role of someone who’s goofed and is now trying to recoup. But since the candidate doesn’t know where or how he goofed, he just keeps talking, showing how flustered and confused he is by the interviewer’s unmovable silence.
BEST ANSWER: Like a primitive tribal mask, the Silent Treatment loses all it power to frighten you once you refuse to be intimidated. If your interviewer pulls it, keep quiet yourself for a while and then ask, with sincere politeness and not a trace of sarcasm, “Is there anything else I can add on?” That’s all there is to it.
Whatever you do, don’t let the Silent Treatment intimidate you into talking a blue streak, because you could easily talk yourself out of the position.
Question 7 Why should I hire you?
TRAPS: Believe it or not, this is a killer question because so many candidates are unprepared for it. If you stammer or adlib you’ve blown it.
BEST ANSWER: By now you can see how critical it is to apply the overall strategy of uncovering the employer’s needs before you answer questions. If you know the employer’s greatest needs and desires, this question will give you a big leg up over other candidates because you will give him better reasons for hiring you than anyone else is likely to…reasons tied directly to his needs.
Whether your interviewer asks you this question explicitly or not, this is the most important question of your interview because he must answer this question favorably in is own mind before you will be hired. So help him out! Walk through each of the position’s requirements as you understand them, and follow each with a reason why you meet that requirement so well.
Example: “As I understand your needs, you are first and foremost looking for someone who can manage the sales and marketing of your Travel and Tour operations division. As you’ve said you need someone with a strong background in tour operations. This is where I’ve spent almost the last five years of my career, so I’ve chalked up substantial experience exactly in this area. I believe that I know the right contacts, methods, principles, and successful management techniques as well as any person can in our industry.”
“You need someone to give a new shot in the arm to your e-sales, someone who knows how to sell in space and direct mail media. Here, too, I believe I have exactly the experience you need. In the last five years, I’ve increased our e-sales from Rs60, 000 to Rs2, 80,000, and now we’re the country’s second leading marketer by mail.” Etc., etc., etc.
Every one of these selling “couplets” (his need matched by your qualifications) is a touchdown that runs up your score. It is your best opportunity to outsell your competition.
Question 8 Aren’t you overqualified for this position?
TRAPS: The employer may be concerned that you’ll grow dissatisfied and leave.
BEST ANSWER: As with any objection, don’t view this as a sign of imminent defeat. It’s an invitation to teach the interviewer a new way to think about this situation, seeing advantages instead of drawbacks.
Example: “I recognize the job market for what it is – a marketplace. Like any marketplace, it’s subject to the laws of supply and demand. So ‘overqualified’ can be a relative term, depending on how tight the job market is. And right now, it’s very tight. I understand and accept that.”
“I also believe that there could be very positive benefits for both of us in this match.”
“Because of my unusually strong experience in ________________, I could start to contribute right away, perhaps much faster than someone who’d have to be brought along more slowly.”
“There’s also the value of all the training and years of experience that other companies have invested tens of thousands of dollars to give me. You’d be getting all the value of that without having to pay an extra dime for it. With someone who has yet to acquire that experience, he’d have to gain it at your expense.”
“I could also help you in many things related to the administration. For example… (How to hire, train, motivate, etc.) When it comes to knowing how to work well with people and getting the most out of them, there’s just no substitute for what you learn over many years of front-line experience. You company would gain all this, too.”
“From my side, there are strong benefits, as well. Right now, I am unemployed. I want to work, very much, and the position you have here is exactly what I love to do and am best at. I’ll be happy doing this work and that’s what matters most to me, a lot more that money or title.”
“Most important, I’m looking to make a long term commitment in my career now. I’ve had enough of job-hunting and want a permanent spot at this point in my career. I also know that if I perform this job with excellence, other opportunities cannot help but open up for me right here. In time, I’ll find many other ways to help this company and in so doing, help myself. I really am looking to make a long-term commitment.”
NOTE: The main concern behind the “overqualified” question is that you will leave your new employer as soon as something better comes your way. Anything you can say to demonstrate the sincerity of your commitment to the employer and reassure him that you’re looking to stay for the long-term will help you overcome this objection.
Question 9 Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TRAPS: One reason interviewers ask this question is to see if you’re settling for this position, using it merely as a stopover until something better comes along. Or they could be trying to gauge your level of ambition.
If you’re too specific, i.e., naming the promotions you someday hope to win, you’ll sound presumptuous. If you’re too vague, you’ll seem rudderless.
BEST ANSWER: Reassure your interviewer that you’re looking to make a long-term commitment…that this position entails exactly what you’re looking to do and what you do extremely well. As for your future, you believe that if you perform each job at hand with excellence, future opportunities will take care of themselves.
Example: “I am definitely interested in making a long-term commitment to my next position. Judging by what you’ve told me about this position, it’s exactly what I’m looking for and what I am very well qualified to do. In terms of my future career path, I’m confident that if I do my work with excellence, opportunities will inevitable open up for me. It’s always been that way in my career, and I’m confident I’ll have similar opportunities here.”
Question 10 Describe your ideal company, location and job.
TRAPS: This is often asked by an experienced interviewer who thinks you may be overqualified, but knows better than to show his hand by posing his objection directly. So he’ll use this question instead, which often gets a candidate to reveal that, indeed, he or she is looking for something other than the position at hand.
BEST ANSWER: The only right answer is to describe what this company is offering, being sure to make your answer believable with specific reasons, stated with sincerity, why each quality represented by this opportunity is attractive to you.
Remember that if you’re coming from a company that’s the leader in its field or from a glamorous or much admired company, industry, city or position, your interviewer and his company may well have an “Avis” complex. That is, they may feel a bit defensive about being “second best” to the place you’re coming from, worried that you may consider them inferior.
This anxiety could well be there even though you’ve done nothing to inspire it. You must go out of your way to assuage such anxiety, even if it’s not expressed, by putting their virtues high on the list of exactly what you’re looking for, providing credible reason for wanting these qualities.
If you do not express genuine enthusiasm for the firm, its culture, location, industry, etc., you may fail to answer this “Avis” complex objection and, as a result, leave the interviewer suspecting that a hot shot like you, coming from a prestigious company in New Delhi, just wouldn’t be happy at an unknown manufacturer based in Cochin, Kerala.
Question 11 Why do you want to work at our company?
TRAPS: This question tests whether you’ve done any homework about the firm. If you haven’t, you lose. If you have, you win big.
BEST ANSWER: This question is your opportunity to hit the ball out of the park, thanks to the in-depth research you should do before any interview.
Best sources for researching your target company: annual reports, the corporate newsletter, contacts you know at the company or its suppliers, advertisements, articles about the company in the trade press.
Question 12 What are your career options right now?
TRAPS: The interviewer is trying to find out, “How desperate are you?”
BEST ANSWER: Prepare for this question by thinking of how you can position yourself as a desired commodity. If you are still working, describe the possibilities at your present firm and why, though you’re greatly appreciated there, you’re looking for something more (challenge, money, responsibility, etc.). Also mention that you’re seriously exploring opportunities with one or two other firms.
If you’re not working, you can talk about other employment possibilities you’re actually exploring. But do this with a light touch, speaking only in general terms. You don’t want to seem manipulative or coy.
Question 13 Why have you been out of work so long?
TRAPS: A tough question if you’ve been on the beach a long time. You don’t want to seem like damaged goods.
BEST ANSWER: You want to emphasize factors which have prolonged your job search by your own choice.
Example: “After my job was terminated, I made a conscious decision not to jump on the first opportunities to come along. In my life, I’ve found out that you can always turn a negative into a positive IF you try hard enough. This is what I determined to do. I decided to take whatever time I needed to think through what I do best, what I most want to do, where I’d like to do it…and then identify those companies that could offer such an opportunity.”
“So between my being selective and the companies in our industry downsizing, the process has taken time. But in the end, I’m convinced that when I do find the right match, all that careful evaluation from both sides of the desk will have been well worthwhile for both the company that hires me and me.
Question 14 Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss (company, management team, etc.)…
TRAPS: Skillful interviewers sometimes make it almost irresistible to open up and air a little dirty laundry from your previous position. DON’T DO IT!
BEST ANSWER: Remember the rule: Never be negative. Stress only the good points, no matter how charmingly you’re invited to be critical.
Your interviewer doesn’t care a whit about your previous boss. He wants to find out how loyal and positive you are, and whether you’ll criticize him behind his back if pressed to do so by someone in this own company. This question is your opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to those you work with.
Question 15 What good books have you read lately?
TRAPS: As in all matters of your interview, never fake familiarity you don’t have. Yet you don’t want to seem like a dullard who hasn’t read a book since Tom Sawyer.
BEST ANSWER: Unless you’re up for a position in academia or as book critic for The New York Times, you’re not expected to be a literary lion. But it wouldn’t hurt to have read a handful of the most recent and influential books in your profession and on management.
Consider it part of the work of your job search to read up on a few of these leading books. But make sure they are quality books that reflect favorably upon you, nothing that could even remotely be considered superficial. Finally, add a recently published bestselling work of fiction by a world-class author and you’ll pass this question with flying colors.
Question 16 Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized.
TRAPS: This is a tough question because it’s a more clever and subtle way to get you to admit to a weakness. You can’t dodge it by pretending you’ve never been criticized. Everybody has been. Yet it can be quite damaging to start admitting potential faults and failures that you’d just as soon leave buried.
This question is also intended to probe how well you accept criticism and direction.
BEST ANSWERS: Begin by emphasizing the extremely positive feedback you’ve gotten throughout your career and (if it’s true) that your performance reviews have been uniformly excellent.
Of course, no one is perfect and you always welcome suggestions on how to improve your performance. Then, give an example of a not-too-damaging learning experience from early in your career and relate the ways this lesson has since helped you. This demonstrates that you learned from the experience and the lesson is now one of the strongest breastplates in your suit of armor.
If you are pressed for a criticism from a recent position, choose something fairly trivial that in no way is essential to your successful performance. Add that you’ve learned from this, too, and over the past several years/months, it’s no longer an area of concern because you now make it a regular practice to…etc.
Another way to answer this question would be to describe your intention to broaden your master of an area of growing importance in your field. For example, this might be a computer program you’ve been meaning to sit down and learn… a new management technique you’ve read about…or perhaps attending a seminar on some cutting-edge branch of your profession.
Again, the key is to focus on something not essential to your brilliant performance but which adds yet another dimension to your already impressive knowledge base.
Question 17 What are your hobbies and pastimes?
TRAPS: You want to be a well-rounded, not a drone. But your potential employer would be even more turned off if he suspects that your heavy extracurricular load will interfere with your commitment to your work duties.
BEST ANSWERS: Try to gauge how this company’s culture would look upon your favorite outside activities and be guided accordingly.
You can also use this question to shatter any stereotypes that could limit your chances. If you’re over 50, for example, describe your activities that demonstrate physical fitness and enthusiasm for hard work. If you’re young, mention an activity that connotes wisdom and institutional trust, such as belonging to a socially relevant movement or a reputed forum.
But above all, remember that your employer is hiring your for what you can do for him, not your family, yourself or outside organizations, no matter how admirable those activities may be.
Question 18 The “Fatal Flaw” question
TRAPS: If an interviewer has read your resume carefully, he may try to zero in on a “fatal flaw” of your candidacy, perhaps that you don’t have a post graduate degree, or a specialization …you’ve been out of the job market for some time… A fatal flaw question can be deadly, but usually only if you respond by being overly defensive.
BEST ANSWERS: As every master salesperson knows, you will encounter objections (whether stated or merely thought) in every sale. They’re part and parcel of the buyer’s anxiety. The key is not to exacerbate the buyer’s anxiety but diminish it. Here’s how…
Whenever you come up against a fatal flaw question:
1. Be completely honest, open and straightforward about admitting the shortcoming. (Showing you have nothing to hide diminishes the buyer’s anxiety.)
2. Do not apologize or try to explain it away. You know that this supposed flaw is nothing to be concerned about, and this is the attitude you want your interviewer to adopt as well.
3. Add that as desirable as such a qualification might be, its lack has made you work all the harder throughout your career and has not prevented you from compiling an outstanding tack record of achievements. You might even give examples of how, through a relentless commitment to excellence, you have consistently outperformed those who do have this qualification.
Of course, the ultimate way to handle “fatal flaw” questions is to prevent them from arising in the first place. You will do that by following the master strategy described in Question 1, i.e., uncovering the employers needs and them matching your qualifications to those needs.
Once you’ve gotten the employer to start talking about his most urgently-felt wants and goals for the position, and then help him see in step-by-step fashion how perfectly your background and achievements match up with those needs, you’re going to have one very enthusiastic interviewer on your hands, one who is no longer looking for “fatal flaws”.
Question 19 How do you feel about reporting to a younger person , woman, etc)?
TRAPS: It’s a shame that some interviewers feel the need to ask this question, but many understand the reality that prejudices still exist among some job candidates, and it’s better to try to flush them out beforehand.
The trap here is that in today’s politically sensitized environment, even a well-intentioned answer can result in planting your foot neatly in your mouth. Avoid anything which smacks of a patronizing or an insensitive attitude, such as “I think they make terrific bosses” or “Hey, some of my best friends are…”
Of course, since almost anyone with an IQ above room temperature will at least try to steadfastly affirm the right answer here, your interviewer will be judging your sincerity most of all. “Do you really feel that way?” is what he or she will be wondering.
So you must make your answer believable and not just automatic. If the firm is wise enough to have promoted peopled on the basis of ability alone, they’re likely quite proud of it, and prefer to hire others who will wholeheartedly share their strong sense of fair play.
BEST ANSWER: You greatly admire a company that hires and promotes on merit alone and you couldn’t agree more with that philosophy. The age (gender, race, etc.) of the person you report to would certainly make no difference to you.
Whoever has that position has obviously earned it and knows their job well. Both the person and the position are fully deserving of respect. You believe that all people in a company, from the receptionist to the Chairman, work best when their abilities, efforts and feelings are respected and rewarded fairly, and that includes you. That’s the best type of work environment you can hope to find.
Question 20 On confidential matters…
TRAPS: When an interviewer presses you to reveal confidential information about a present or former employer, you may feel it’s a no-win situation. If you cooperate, you could be judged untrustworthy. If you don’t, you may irritate the interviewer and seem obstinate, uncooperative or overly suspicious.
BEST ANSWER: Your interviewer may press you for this information for two reasons.
First, many companies use interviews to research the competition. It’s a perfect set-up. Here in their own lair, is an insider from the enemy camp who can reveal prized information on the competition’s plans, research, financial condition, etc.
Second, the company may be testing your integrity to see if you can be cajoled or bullied into revealing confidential data.
What to do? The answer here is easy. Never reveal anything truly confidential about a present or former employer. By all means, explain your reticence diplomatically. For example, “I certainly want to be as open as I can about that. But I also wish to respect the rights of those who have trusted me with their most sensitive information, just as you would hope to be able to trust any of your key people when talking with a competitor…”
And certainly you can allude to your finest achievements in specific ways that don’t reveal the combination to the company safe.
But be guided by the golden rule. If you were the owner of your present company, would you feel it ethically wrong for the information to be given to your competitors? If so, steadfastly refuse to reveal it.
Remember that this question pits your desire to be cooperative against your integrity. Faced with any such choice, always choose integrity. It is a far more valuable commodity than whatever information the company may pry from you. Moreover, once you surrender the information, your stock goes down. They will surely lose respect for you.
Some interviewers press candidates unmercifully for confidential information. If he doesn’t get it, he grows visibly annoyed, relentlessly inquisitive; it’s all an act. He couldn’t care less about the information. This is his way of testing the candidate’s moral fiber. Only those who hold fast are hired.
Question 21 Would you lie for the company?
TRAPS: This another question that pits two values against one another, in this case loyalty against integrity.
BEST ANSWER: Try to avoid choosing between two values, giving a positive statement which covers all bases instead.
Example: “I would never do anything to hurt the company...”
If aggressively pressed to choose between two competing values, always choose personal integrity. It is the most prized of all values.
Question 22 Looking back, what would you do differently in your life?
TRAPS: This question is usually asked to uncover any life-influencing mistakes, regrets, disappointments or problems that may continue to affect your personality and performance.
You do not want to give the interviewer anything negative to remember you by, such as some great personal or career disappointment, even long ago; that you wish could have been avoided.
Nor do you wish to give any answer which may hint that your whole heart and soul will not be in your work.
BEST ANSWER: Indicate that you are a happy, fulfilled, optimistic person and that, in general, you wouldn’t change a thing.
Example: “It’s been a good life, rich in learning and experience, and the best it yet to come. Every experience in life is a lesson it its own way. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Question 23 Could you have done better in your last job?
TRAPS: This is no time for true confessions of major or even minor problems.
BEST ANSWER: Again never be negative.
Example: “I suppose with the benefit of hindsight you can always find things to do better, of course, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything of major consequence.”
(If more explanation seems necessary)
Describer a situation that didn’t suffer because of you but from external conditions beyond your control.
For example, describe the disappointment you felt with a test campaign, new product launch, merger, etc., which looked promising at first, but led to underwhelming results. “I wish we could have known at the start what we later found out (about the economy turning, the marketplace changing, etc.), but since we couldn’t, we just had to go for it. And we did learn from it…”
Question 24 Can you work under pressure?
TRAPS: An easy question, but you want to make your answer believable.
BEST ANSWER: Absolutely… (Then prove it with a vivid example or two of a goal or project accomplished under severe pressure.)
Question 25 What makes you angry?
TRAPS: You don’t want to come across either as a hothead or a wimp.
BEST ANSWER: Give an answer that’s suited to both your personality and the management style of the firm. Here, the homework you’ve done about the company and its style can help in your choice of words.
Examples: If you are a reserved person and/or the corporate culture is coolly professional:
“I’m an even-tempered and positive person by nature, and I believe this helps me a great deal in keeping my department running smoothly, harmoniously and with a genuine esprit de corps. I believe in communicating clearly what’s expected, getting people’s commitment to those goals, and then following up continuously to check progress.”
“If anyone or anything is going off track, I want to know about it early. If, after that kind of open communication and follow up, someone isn’t getting the job done, I’ll want to know why. If there’s no good reason, then I’ll get impatient and angry…and take appropriate steps from there. But if you hire good people, motivate them to strive for excellence and then follow up constantly, it almost never gets to that state.”
If you are feisty by nature and/or the position calls for a tough straw boss.
“You know what makes me angry? People who (the fill in the blanks with the most objectionable traits for this type of position)…people who don’t pull their own weight, who are negative, people who lie…etc.”
Question 26 Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career?
TRAPS: You don’t want to give the impression that money is not important to you, yet you want to explain why your salary may be a little below industry standards.
BEST ANSWER: You like to make money, but other factors are even more important.
Example: “Making money is very important to me, and one reason I’m here is because I’m looking to make more. Throughout my career, what’s been even more important to me is doing work I really like to do at the kind of company I like and respect.
(Then be prepared to be specific about what your ideal position and company would be like, matching them as closely as possible to the opportunity at hand.
Question 27 Who has inspired you in your life and why?
TRAPS: The two traps here are unprepared ness and irrelevance. If you grope for an answer, it seems you’ve never been inspired. If you ramble about your high school basketball coach, you’ve wasted an opportunity to present qualities of great value to the company.
BEST ANSWER: Have a few heroes in mind, from your mental “Board of Directors” – Leaders in your industry, from history or anyone else who has been your mentor.
Be prepared to give examples of how their words, actions or teachings have helped inspire your achievements. As always, prepare an answer which highlights qualities that would be highly valuable in the position you are seeking.
Question 28 What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?
TRAPS: Giving an unprepared or irrelevant answer.
BEST ANSWER: Be prepared with a good example, explaining why the decision was difficult…the process you followed in reaching it…the courageous or effective way you carried it out…and the beneficial results.
Question 29 Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had.
TRAPS: You give a very memorable description of a very boring job. Result? You become associated with this boring job in the interviewer’s mind.
BEST ANSWER: You have never allowed yourself to grow bored with a job and you can’t understand it when others let themselves fall into that rut.
Example: “Perhaps I’ve been fortunate, but that I’ve never found myself bored with any job I have ever held. I’ve always enjoyed hard work. As with actors who feel there are no small parts, I also believe that in every company or department there are exciting challenges and intriguing problems crying out for energetic and enthusiastic solutions. If you’re bored, it’s probably because you’re not challenging yourself to tackle those problems right under your nose.”
Question 30 Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous position?
TRAPS: If you’ve had a problem, you can’t lie. You could easily be found out. Yet admitting an attendance problem could raise many flags.
BEST ANSWER: If you have had no problem, emphasize your excellent and consistent attendance record throughout your career.
Also describe how important you believe such consistent attendance is for a key executive…why it’s up to you to set an example of dedication…and why there’s just no substitute for being there with your people to keep the operation running smoothly, answer questions and handle problems and crises as they arise.
If you do have a past attendance problem, you want to minimize it, making it clear that it was an exceptional circumstance and that it’s cause has been corrected.
To do this, give the same answer as above but preface it with something like, “Other that being out last year (or whenever) because of (your reason, which is now in the past), I have never had a problem and have enjoyed an excellent attendance record throughout my career. Furthermore, I believe, consistent attendance is important because…” (Pick up the rest of the answer as outlined above.).
Question 31 What changes would you make if you came on board?
TRAPS: Watch out! This question can derail your candidacy faster than a bomb on the tracks – and just as you are about to be hired.
Reason: No matter how bright you are, you cannot know the right actions to take in a position before you settle in and get to know the operation’s strengths, weaknesses key people, financial condition, methods of operation, etc. If you lunge at this temptingly baited question, you will probably be seen as someone who shoots from the hip.
Moreover, no matter how comfortable you may feel with your interviewer, you are still an outsider. No one, including your interviewer, likes to think that a know-it-all outsider is going to come in, turn the place upside down and with sweeping, grand gestures, promptly demonstrate what jerks everybody’s been for years.
BEST ANSWER: You, of course, will want to take a good hard look at everything the company is doing before making any recommendations.
Example: “Well, I wouldn’t be a very good doctor if I gave my diagnosis before the examination. Should you hire me, as I hope you will, I’d want to take a good hard look at everything you’re doing and understand why it’s being done that way? I’d like to have in-depth meetings with you and the other key people to get a deeper grasp of what you feel you’re doing right and what could be improved.
“From what you’ve told me so far, the areas of greatest concern to you are…” (Name them. Then do two things. First, ask if these are in fact his major concerns. If so then reaffirm how your experience in meeting similar needs elsewhere might prove very helpful).
Question 32 I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience as we’d like in…
TRAPS: This could be a make-or-break question. The interviewer mostly likes what he sees, but has doubts over one key area. If you can assure him on this point, the job may be yours.
BEST ANSWER: This question is related to “The Fatal Flaw” (Question 18), but here the concern is not that you are totally missing some qualifications, such as a specialized degree, but rather that your experience is light in one area.
Before going into any interview, try to identify the weakest aspects of your candidacy from this company’s point of view. Then prepare the best answer you possible can to shore up your defenses.
To get past this question with flying colors, you are going to rely on your master strategy of uncovering the employer’s greatest wants and needs and then matching them with your strengths. Since you already know how to do this from Question 1, you are in a much stronger position.
More specifically, when the interviewer poses as objection like this, you should…
1. Agree on the importance of this qualification.
2. Explain that your strength may indeed be greater than what your resume indicates because…
3. When this strength is added to your other strengths, it’s really your combination of qualifications that’s most important.
Then review the areas of your greatest strengths that match up most favorably with the company’s most urgently-felt wants and needs.
This is powerful way to handle this question for two reasons. First, you’re giving your interviewer more ammunition in the area of his concern. But more importantly, you’re shifting his focus away from this one, isolated area and putting it on the unique combination of strengths you offer, strengths which tie in perfectly with his greatest wants.
Question 33 How do you feel about working nights and weekends?
TRAPS: If you indicate, “no way”, you can kiss the job offer goodbye. But what if you have a family and want to work a reasonably normal schedule? Is there a way to get both the job and the schedule you want?
BEST ANSWER: First, if you’re a confirmed workaholic, this question is a softball lob. Whack it out of the park on the first swing by saying this kind of schedule is just your style. Add that your family understands it. Indeed, they’re happy for you, as they know you get your greatest satisfaction from your work.
If however, you prefer a more balanced lifestyle, answer this question with another: “What are the norms for your staff here?”
If the hours still sound unrealistic for you, ask, “Do you have any persons who perform exceptionally for you, but who also have families and like to get home in time to see them at night?” Chances are this company does, and this associates you with this other “top-performers-who-leave-not-later-than-six” group.
Depending on the answer, be honest about how you would fit into the picture. If all those extra hours make you uncomfortable, say so, but phrase your response positively.
Example: “I love my work and do it exceptionally well. I think the results speak for themselves, especially in …(mention your two or three qualifications of greater interest to the employer. Remember, this is what he wants most, not a workaholic with weak credentials). Not only would I bring these qualities, but I’ve built my whole career on working not just hard, but smart. I think you’ll find me one of the most productive people here.
I do have a family who likes to see me after work and on weekends. They add balance and richness to my life, which in turn helps me be happy and productive at work. If I could handle some of the extra work at home in the evenings or on weekends, that would be ideal. You’d be getting a person of exceptional productivity who meets your needs with strong credentials. And I’d be able to handle some of the heavy workload at home where I can be under the same roof as my family. Everybody would win.”
Question 34 Are you willing to relocate or travel?
TRAPS: Answer with a flat “no” and you may slam the door shut on this opportunity. But what if you’d really prefer not to relocate or travel, yet wouldn’t want to lose the job offer over it?
BEST ANSWER: First find out where you may have to relocate and how much travel may be involved. Then respond to the question.
If there’s no problem, say so enthusiastically.
If you do have a reservation, there are two schools of thought on how to handle it.
One advises you to keep your options open and your reservations to yourself in the early going, by saying, “no problem”. You strategy here is to get the best offer you can, then make a judgment whether it’s worth it to you to relocate or travel.
Also, by the time the offer comes through, you may have other offers and can make a more informed decision. Why kill of this opportunity before it has chance to blossom into something really special? And if you’re a little more desperate three months from now, you might wish you hadn’t slammed the door on relocating or traveling.
The second way to handle this question is to voice a reservation, but assert that you’d be open to relocating (or traveling) for the right opportunity.
The answering strategy you choose depends on how eager you are for the job. If you want to take no chances, choose the first approach.
If you want to play a little harder-to-get in hopes of generating a more enticing offer, choose the second.
Question 35 Do you have the stomach to fire people? Have you had experience firing many people?
TRAPS: This “innocent” question could be a trap door which sends you down a chute and lands you in a heap of dust outside the front door. Why? Because it’s real intent is not just to see if you’ve got the stomach to fire, but also to uncover poor judgment in hiring which has caused you to fire so many. Also, if you fire so often, you could be a tyrant.
So don’t rise to the bait by boasting how many you’ve fired, unless you’ve prepared to explain why it was beyond your control, and not the result of your poor hiring procedures or foul temperament.
BEST ANSWER: Describe the rational and sensible management process you follow in both hiring and firing.
Example: “My whole management approach is to hire the best people I can find, train them thoroughly and well, get them excited and proud to be part of our team, and then work with them to achieve our goals together. If you do all of that right, especially hiring the right people, I’ve found you don’t have to fire very often.
“So with me, firing is a last resort. But when it’s got to be done, it’s got to be done, and the faster and cleaner, the better. A poor employee can wreak terrible damage in undermining the morale of an entire team of good people. When there’s no other way, I’ve found it’s better for all concerned to act decisively in getting rid of offenders who won’t change their ways.”
Question 36 Why have you had so many jobs?
TRAPS: Your interviewer fears you may leave this position quickly, as you have others. He’s concerned you may be unstable, or a “problem person” who can’t get along with others.
BEST ANSWER: First, before you even get to the interview stage, you should try to minimize your image as job hopper. If there are several entries on your resume of less than one year, consider eliminating the less important ones. Perhaps you can specify the time you spent at previous positions in rounded years not in months and years.
Example: Instead of showing three positions this way:
6/1982 – 3/1983, Position A;
4/1983 – 12/1983, Position B;
1/1984 – 8/1987, Position C;
…it would be better to show simply:
1982 – 1983, Position A;
1984 – 1987 Position C.
In other words, you would drop Position B altogether. Notice what a difference this makes in reducing your image as a job hopper.
Once in front of the interviewer and this question comes up, you must try to reassure him. Describe each position as part of an overall pattern of growth and career destination.
Be careful not to blame other people for your frequent changes. But you can and should attribute certain changes to conditions beyond your control.
Example: Thanks to an upcoming merger, you wanted to avoid an ensuing mix up in your career, so you made a good, upward move before your department came under the axe of the new owners.
If possible, also show that your job changes were more frequent in your younger days, while you were establishing yourself, rounding out your skills and looking for the right career path. At this stage in your career, you’re certainly much more interested in the best long-term opportunity.
You might also cite the job(s) where you stayed the longest and describe that this type of situation is what you’re looking for now.
Question 37 What do you see as the proper role/mission of…
…a good (job title you’re seeking);
…a good manager;
…an executive in serving the community;
…a leading company in our industry; etc.
TRAPS: These and other “proper role” questions are designed to test your understanding of your place in the bigger picture of your department, company, community and profession….as well as the proper role each of these entities should play in its bigger picture.
The question is most frequently asked by the most thoughtful individuals and companies…or by those concerned that you’re coming from a place with a radically different corporate culture (such as from a big government bureaucracy to an aggressive small company).
The most frequent mistake executives make in answering is simply not being prepared (seeming as if they’ve never giving any of this a though.)…or in phrasing an answer best suited to their prior organization’s culture instead of the hiring company’s.
BEST ANSWER: Think of the most essential ingredients of success for each category above – your job title, your role as manager, your firm’s role, etc.
Identify at least three but no more than six qualities you feel are most important to success in each role. Then commit your response to memory.
Here, again, the more information you’ve already drawn out about the greatest wants and needs of the interviewer, and the more homework you’ve done to identify the culture of the firm, the more on-target your answer will be.
Question 38 What would you say to your boss if he’s crazy about an idea, but you think it wont work?
TRAPS: This is another question that pits two values, in this case loyalty and honesty, against one another.
BEST ANSWER: Remember the rule stated earlier: In any conflict between values, always choose integrity.
Example: I believe that when evaluating anything, it’s important to emphasize the positive. What do I like about this idea?”
“Then, if you have reservations, I certainly want to point them out, as specifically, objectively and factually as I can.”
“After all, the most important thing I owe my boss is honesty. If he can’t count on me for that, then everything else I may do or say could be questionable in his eyes.”
“But I also want to express my thoughts in a constructive way. So my goal in this case would be to see if my boss and I could make his idea even stronger and more appealing, so that it effectively overcomes any initial reservation I or others may have about it.”
“Of course, if he overrules me and says, ‘no, let’s do it my way,’ then I owe him my full and enthusiastic support to make it work as best it can.”
Question 39 How could you have improved your career progress?
TRAPS: This is another variation on the question, “If you could, how would you live your life over?” Remember, you’re not going to fall for any such invitations to rewrite person history. You can’t win if you do.
BEST ANSWER: You’re generally quite happy with your career progress. Maybe, if you had known something earlier in life (impossible to know at the time, such as the booming growth in a branch in your industry…or the corporate downsizing that would phase out your last job), you might have moved in a certain direction sooner.
But all things considered, you take responsibility for where you are, how you’ve gotten there, where you are going…and you harbor no regrets.
Question 40 What would you do if a fellow executive on your own corporate level wasn’t pulling his/her weight…and this was hurting your department?
TRAPS: This question and other hypothetical ones test your sense of human relations and how you might handle office politics.
BEST ANSWER: Try to gauge the political style of the firm and be guided accordingly. In general, fall back on universal principles of effective human relations – which in the end, embody the way you would like to be treated in a similar circumstance.
Example: “Good human relations would call for me to go directly to the person and explain the situation, to try to enlist his help in a constructive, positive solution. If I sensed resistance, I would be as persuasive as I know how to explain the benefits we can all gain from working together, and the problems we, the company and our customers will experience if we don’t.”
POSSIBLE FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: And what would you do if he still did not change his ways?
ANSWER: “One thing I wouldn’t do is let the problem slide, because it would only get worse and overlooking it would set a bad precedent. I would try again and again and again, in whatever way I could, to solve the problem, involving wider and wider circles of people, both above and below the offending executive and including my own boss if necessary, so that everyone involved can see the rewards for teamwork and the drawbacks of non-cooperation.”
“I might add that I’ve never yet come across a situation that couldn’t be resolved by harnessing others in a determined, constructive effort.”
Question 41 You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it be hard switching to a new company?
TRAPS: Your interviewer is worried that this old dog will find it hard to learn new tricks.
BEST ANSWER: To overcome this objection, you must point to the many ways you have grown and adapted to changing conditions at your present firm. It has not been a static situation. Highlight the different responsibilities you’ve held, the wide array of new situations you’ve faced and conquered.
As a result, you’ve learned to adapt quickly to whatever is thrown at you, and you thrive on the stimulation of new challenges.
To further assure the interviewer, describe the similarities between the new position and your prior one. Explain that you should be quite comfortable working there, since their needs and your skills make a perfect match.
Question 42 May I contact your present employer for a reference?
TRAPS: If you’re trying to keep your job search private, this is the last thing you want. But if you don’t cooperate, won’t you seem as if you’re trying to hide something?
BEST ANSWER: Express your concern that you’d like to keep your job search private, but that in time, it will be perfectly okay.
Example: “My present employer is not aware of my job search and, for obvious reasons; I’d prefer to keep it that way. I’d be most appreciative if we kept our discussion confidential right now. Of course, when we both agree the time is right, then by all means you should contact them. I’m very proud of my record there.
Question 43 Give me an example of your creativity (analytical skill…managing ability, etc.)
TRAPS: The worst offense here is simply being unprepared. Your hesitation may seem as if you’re having a hard time remembering the last time you were creative, analytical, etc.
BEST ANSWER: Remember from Question 2 that you should commit to memory a list of your greatest and most recent achieve
From India, New Delhi