Simple interview questions part 6

Part 6

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 achievements, ever ready on the tip of your tongue.

If you have such a list, it’s easy to present any of your achievements in light of the quality the interviewer is asking about.  For example, the smashing success you orchestrated at last year’s trade show could be used as an example of creativity, or analytical ability, or your ability to manage.

Question 44        Where could you use some improvement?

TRAPS:  Another tricky way to get you to admit weaknesses.  Don’t fall for it.

BEST ANSWER:  Keep this answer, like all your answers, positive.  A good way to answer this question is to identify a cutting-edge branch of your profession (one that’s not essential to your employer’s needs) as an area you’re very excited about and want to explore more fully over the next six months.

Question 45        What do you worry about?

TRAPS:  Admit to worrying and you could sound like a loser.  Saying you never worry doesn’t sound credible.

BEST ANSWER:  Redefine the word ‘worry’ so that it does not reflect negatively on you.
Example:  “I wouldn’t call it worry, but I am a strongly goal-oriented person.  So I keep turning over in my mind anything that seems to be keeping me from achieving those goals, until I find a solution.  That’s part of my tenacity, I suppose.”

Question 46        How many hours a week do you normally work?

TRAPS:  You don’t want to give a specific number.  Make it to low, and you may not measure up.  Too high, and you’ll forever feel guilty about sneaking out the door at 5:15.

BEST ANSWER:  If you are in fact a workaholic and you sense this company would like that:  Say you are a confirmed workaholic, that you often work nights and weekends.  Your family accepts this because it makes you fulfilled.

If you are not a workaholic:  Say you have always worked hard and put in long hours.  It goes with the territory.  It one sense, it’s hard to keep track of the hours because your work is a labor of love, you enjoy nothing more than solving problems.  So you’re almost always thinking about your work, including times when you’re home, while shaving in the morning, while commuting, etc.

Question 47        What’s the most difficult part of being a (job title)?

TRAPS:  Unless you phrase your answer properly, your interviewer may conclude that whatever you identify as “difficult” is where you are weak.

BEST ANSWER:  First, redefine “difficult” to be “challenging” which is more positive.  Then, identify an area everyone in your profession considers challenging and in which you excel.  Describe the process you follow that enables you to get splendid results…and be specific about those results.
Example:  “I think every sales manager finds it challenging to motivate the troops in a recession. But that’s probably the strongest test of a top sales manager.  I feel this is one area where I excel.”  

“When I see the first sign that sales may slip or that sales force motivation is flagging because of a downturn in the economy, here’s the plan I put into action immediately…” (followed by a description of each step in the process…and most importantly,  the exceptional results you’ve achieved.).

Question 48        The “Hypothetical Problem”

TRAPS:  Sometimes an interviewer will describe a difficult situation and ask, “How would you handle this?”  Since it is virtually impossible to have all the facts in front of you from such a short presentation, don’t fall into the trap of trying to solve this problem and giving your verdict on the spot. It will make your decision-making process seem woefully inadequate.

BEST ANSWER:  Instead, describe the rational, methodical process you would follow in analyzing this problem, who you would consult with, generating possible solutions, choosing the best course of action, and monitoring the results.

Remember, in all such, “What would you do?” questions, always describe your process or working methods, and you’ll never go wrong.

Next Page| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 7 | 8 |Previous