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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:04 AM   #1
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First the disclaimer: this is all stuff I have pieced together and put into a word document... NOTHING THAT I WROTE If you would like the entire word document (total of 37 pages!!), please PM and I'd be happy to send it to you. Otherwise, everything in here can be found on the internet by just googling, but we all know how lazy humans can be so it's much easier to see everything in one place. Also, some of these things can be found in the job guide post and various other posts I've made along the way. Good luck!
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:05 AM   #2
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143 interview questions you may be asked
1. How would you describe yourself? Tell me about yourself.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
3. What are your long range and short range goals and objectives?
4. What specific goals other than those related to your occupation,
have you established for yourself for the next ten years?
5. What do you see yourself doing five years from now? Ten years from now?
6. What do you really want to do in life?
7. What are your long range career objectives?
8. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
9. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
10. What do you expect to be earning in five years?
11. Why did you choose this career?
12. Can you explain this gap in your employment history?
13. How well do you work with people? Do you prefer working alone or in teams?
14. How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
15. Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor? How did you
resolve the conflict?
16. What?s more important to you -- the work itself or how much you?re
paid for doing it.
17. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
18. How would a good friend describe you?
19. Describe the best job you've ever had.
20. Describe the best supervisor you've ever had.
21. What would your last boss say about your work performance?
22. What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job?
23. Why should I hire you?
24. What makes you qualified for this position?
25. What qualifications do you have that make you successful in this career?
26. How do you determine or evaluate success?
27. What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
28. In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
29. Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
30. Have you ever been fired or forced to resign?
31. What qualities should a successful manager possess?
32. Do you consider yourself a leader?
33. What are the attributes of a good leader?
34. Describe the workload in your current (or most recent) job.
35. Which is more important: creativity or efficiency? Why?
36. What?s the most recent book you?ve read?
37. Describe the relationship that should exist between the supervisor
and those reporting to him or her?
38. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
39. Describe the most rewarding experience of your career thus far.
40. If you were hiring a job-seeker for this position, what qualities
would you look for?
41. Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
42. In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
43. How do you work under pressure?
44. Are you good at delegating tasks?
45. What's one of the hardest decisions you've ever had to make?
46. How well do you adapt to new situations?
47. Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
48. What can you tell us about our company?
49. What interests you about our products?
50. What do you know about our competitors?
51. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
52. Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
53. What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
54. What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
55. Do you have a geographic preference? Why?
56. Are you willing to relocate?
57. Are you willing to travel for the job?
58. Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which
our company is located?
59. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
60. What have you learned from your mistakes?
61. What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work?
62. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to
successfully convince someone to see things your way.
63. Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation
that demonstrated your coping skills.
64. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment
and logic in solving a problem.
65. Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to
meet or achieve it.
66. Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills
to influence someone's opinion.
67. Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a
policy with which you did not agree.
68. Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.
69. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call
of duty in order to get a job done.
70. Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you
were required to prioritize your tasks.
71. Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
72. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
73. Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with
another person even when that individual may not have personally liked
you (or vice versa).
74. Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.
75. Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.
76. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
77. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a
very upset customer or co-worker.
78. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
79. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
80. Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding
skills to solve a problem.
81. Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
82. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and
developed preventive measures.
83. Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
84. Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.
85. Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
86. What can you do for us that someone else can't?
87. What do you look for in a job?
88. What skills and qualifications are essential for success in the
position of ______?
89. How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
90. How does this assignment fit into your overall career plan?
91. Describe your management style.
92. What do you believe is the most difficult part of being a
supervisor of people?
93. Why are you looking for a new career?
94. How would your colleagues describe you?
95. How would your boss describe you?
96. What do you think of your present or past boss?
97. What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last assignment?
98. What were the five most significant accomplishments in your career so far?
99. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
100. How much do you expect if we offer you this position?
101. Why do you want to work for us?
102. What other positions are you considering?
103. Have you kept up in your field with additional training?
104. How did you do in school?
105. If you took the job what would you accomplish in the first year?
106. What was wrong with your current or last position?
107. What kind of hours are you used to working or would like to work?
108. Do you have your reference list with you? (Remember don't give it
out unless it is asked for).
109. Can you explain your salary history?
110. What questions didn't I ask that you expected?
111. Do you have any question for me? (See Questions for the
Interviewer that you might want to ask below).
112. What do you want to do with your life?
113. Do you have any actual work experience?
114. How would you describe your ideal job?
115. When did you decide on this career?
116. What goals do you have in your career?
117. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
118. Describe a situation in which you were successful.
119. What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
120. If you had to live your life over again, what would you change?
121. Would your rather work with information or with people?
122. Are you a goal-oriented person?
123. What major problem have you had to deal with recently?
124. Why did you choose to attend your college?
125. What changes would you make at your college?
126. How has your education prepared you for your career?
127. What were your favorite classes? Why?
128. Do you enjoy doing independent research?
129. Who were your favorite professors? Why?
130. Why is your GPA not higher?
131. Do you have any plans for further education?
132. How much training do you think you'll need to become a productive employee?
133. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
134. Why do you want to work in the _____ industry?
135. What do you know about our company?
136. Why are you interested in our company?
137. Do you have any location preferences?
138. How familiar are you with the community that we're located in?
139. Will you relocate? In the future?
140. Are you willing to travel? How much?
141. Is money important to you?
142. How much money do you need to make to be happy?
143. What kind of salary are you looking for?
__________________

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"If you feel you need to tell lies to get ahead, perhaps you need to evaluate why you're behind in the first place."

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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:07 AM   #3
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More questions that you may be asked
- What's your biggest accomplishment so far? (Be ready with a specific example for this interview question.)
- Why should I hire you? (Good question. Tip - it's a great opportunity for you.)
- How do you handle a job that's very stressful?
- Why do you think you will fit in with the company culture? (Research the company, the position you're applying for, etc before the interviews.)
- How do you define success? Are you now successful?
- Why do you want a job here instead of with our competitor, XYZ Inc?
- Do you work better on your own or as part of a team?
- How do you handle it if your boss criticizes you about your work?
- Have you ever lost your job? Why?
- What will you do if you have a serious difference of opinion with your immediate superior?
- What have you accomplished in the last five years?
- Describe what you think this type of job entails and what you might like and dislike about the work.
- Describe a conflict you've had with other staff members and how you resolved it.
- Tell me about a time when you saw room for improvement in some area of your work environment or a process that could be more efficient. What did you do to change the status quo?”
- Describe an occasion when you had two bosses ask you to do conflicting tasks. How did you handle this dilemma?
- Describe a time when your supervisor or a co-worker asked you to help out and doing so required extra work outside your established responsibilities or staying later than you anticipated. What did you do, and how did you feel?
- Tell me about a time when your job required you to perform a task that you didn't know how to do. How did you respond?
- While at work, a co-worker complains to you about the office manager and some of the office policies and procedures, concluding with ''Don't you think so too?'' How would you respond?

100 possible interview questions (some may be repeats from above)
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What are your strengths?
3. What are your weaknesses?
4. Who was your favorite manager and why?
5. What kind of personality do you work best with and why?
6. Why do you want this job?
7. Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
8. Tell me about your proudest achievement.
9. If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?
10. If I were to give you this salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?
11. Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
12. How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
13. There's no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
14. How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
15. Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
16. What's your ideal company?
17. What attracted you to this company?
18. What are you most proud of?
19. What are you looking for in terms of career development?
20. What do you look for in terms of culture -- structured or entrepreneurial?
21. What do you like to do?
22. Give examples of ideas you've had or implemented.
23. What are your lifelong dreams?
24. What do you ultimately want to become?
25. How would you describe your work style?
26. What kind of car do you drive?
27. Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job.
28. What's the last book you read?
29. What magazines do you subscribe to?
30. What would be your ideal working situation?
31. Why should we hire you?
32. What did you like least about your last job?
33. What do you think of your previous boss?
34. How do you think I rate as an interviewer?
35. Do you have any questions for me?
36. When were you most satisfied in your job?
37. What can you do for us that other candidates can't?
38. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?
39. What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
40. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
41. What salary are you seeking?
42. What's your salary history?
43. Do you have plans to have children in the near future?
44. What were the responsibilities of your last position?
45. What do you know about this industry?
46. What do you know about our company?
47. How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
48. Are you willing to relocate?
49. What was the last project you headed up, and what was its outcome?
50. What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?
51. Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
52. What would you do if you won the lottery?
53. Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?
54. Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
55. What is your personal mission statement?
56. Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?
57. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
58. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
59. What is your greatest fear?
60. Who has impacted you most in your career, and how?
61. What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?
62. What's the most important thing you've learned in school?
63. What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?
64. What will you miss about your present/last job?
65. If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
66. List five words that describe your character.
67. What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
68. Sell me this pencil.
69. If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
70. Do you think a leader should be feared or liked?
71. What's the most difficult decision you've made in the last two years?
72. What do you like to do for fun?
73. Why are you leaving your present job?
74. What do you do in your spare time?
75. How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
76. What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?
77. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
78. Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?
79. Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want me to know.
80. Tell me the difference between good and exceptional.
81. Why did your choose your major?
82. What are the qualities of a good leader? A bad leader?
83. What is your biggest regret, and why?
84. What are three positive character traits you don't have?
85. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
86. If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do?
87. How many times do a clock's hands overlap in a day?
88. How would you weigh a plane without scales?
89. What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?
90. If I were to ask your last supervisor to provide you additional training or exposure, what would she suggest?
91. If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
92. What's the best movie you've seen in the last year?
93. Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
94. What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
95. If you could get rid of any one of the US states, which one would you get rid of, and why?
96. With your eyes closed, tell me step-by-step how to tie my shoes.
97. If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
98. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?
99. Who are your heroes?
100. Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
__________________

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want"
"If you feel you need to tell lies to get ahead, perhaps you need to evaluate why you're behind in the first place."

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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:07 AM   #4
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116 questions to ask the interviewer
1. Why is this position open?
2. How often has it been filled in the past five years? What were the
main reasons?
3. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills
this position?
4. What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job?
5. What is most pressing? What would you like to have done in the next 3 months.
6. What are some of the long term objectives you would like to see completed?
7. What are some of the more difficult problems one would have to face
in this position?
8. How do you think these could best be handled?
9. What type of support does this position receive in terms of people,
finances. etc?
10. What freedom would I have in determining my own work objectives,
deadlines, and methods of measurement?
11. What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is
successful in this position, and within what time frame?
12. In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms
of products and services over the years?
13. What significant changes do you foresee in the near future?
14. How is one evaluated in this position?
15. What accounts for success within the company?
16. What can you tell me about the position?
17. What type of person you are seeking?
18. What can you tell me more about the department?
19. Who is the manager I would be working for and what is their management style?
20. May I have a copy of the written job description?
21. What would a typical working day be in this position?
22. How would you describe your company culture?
23. What is your company?s mission statement?
24. Is this job opening due to growth or replacement? (if replacement)
What happened to the previous person in the position?
25. How much does the position pay?
26. What is the compensation range for this position?
27. What benefits are provided to your employees?
28. Do you have a tuition reimbursement plan?
29. Do you have an employee stock purchase plan? Do you participate?
30. What is the typical career path for this position?
31. What type of internal and external training do you provide?
32. How are performance appraisals conducted within your organization?
33. How are promotions evaluated within your organization?
34. What is your organization?s commitment to diversity?
35. How diverse is your executive management team?
36. What is your retention rate within the company? Within the hiring department?
37. Has your company had any layoffs in the past two years?
38. What was the criteria for deciding who would be laid off?
39. Do you foresee any additional layoffs in the near future?
40. What is the next step for consideration?
41. When will you be making a decision on this position?
42. What are the most important skills and attributes you are looking
for in filling this position?
43. What would be a typical working day for this position?
44. How many hours of work per week would be required to be successful?
45. What is the organization structure of your department?
46. How would you describe your company culture?
47. What are your organizational values? How do these values influence
your decision-making?
48. What is your vision for your department over the next two to three years?
49. What major challenges are you currently facing as a manager?
50. What is your competitive advantage in the marketplace?
51. What makes your company better than your competitors?
52. What are the areas where your competitors are better than your company?
53. Who do you consider your customers to be?
54. What is your value proposition to your customers?
55. What business problems keep you awake at night?
56. Can you tell me more about the other people in the organization I
would be working with? Can I meet with any of them before accepting an
offer of employment?
57. What would you consider to be exceptional performance from someone
performing in this position in the first 90 days?
58. What is the internal perception of pursuing further education,
such as a Master?s degree?
59. What is your management style?
60. How do you typically make decisions?
61. What is your preferred method of communicating with your team?
62. How are you measured as a manager?
63. What can I do to make you successful?
64. How long have you been with the organization?
65. What has been your career path within the organization?
66. What will be the measurements of my success in this position?
67. Do you have an employee stock purchase plan? Do you participate?
68. Who are the primary constituencies that you are responsible to
support? Shareholders? Customers? Employees? How do you make decisions
which conflict with the needs of these different constituencies?
69. How does the pressure of Wall Street expectations affect the
short-term decision making among managers?
70. What are the organizational goals?
71. What are the metrics used to measure whether or not you are
achieving your goals?
72. How far out into the future is the organization planning?
73. Do you have strategic planning within your organization? How often
is it done? Who participates? What is the typical planning time
horizon?
74. How are new strategic initiatives communicated to the organization?
75. Is your department considered to be a profit center or cost center?
76. What are the financial expectations of the department?
77. Do you have control over your own budget?
78. How is the initial budget amount determined?
79. Are budgets made at a centralized location, then rolled down, or
decentralized, then rolled up?
80. What is your approach with regard to the use of technology?
81. Is there anyone within your organization who is considered to be a
thought leader within the industry? What is it about that person that
makes him/her a thought leader?
82. Where did you get my name?
83. What is the name of the employer?
84. Who is the hiring manager?
85. Are you working with HR or directly with the hiring manager?
86. How are you involved in the hiring process?
87. Are you working on a retainer or contingency?
88. What will be the interviewing process?
89. Are there any additional pay components beyond salary?
90. Are you working on this exclusively or are other firms working on it as well?
91. Have you ever placed candidates with this client before?
92. Where is the job located?
93. Is this at the company headquarters/corporate office?
94. Is the company profitable?
95. What is the background of the person I will be interviewing with?
96. What is the interviewing style of the person I will be interviewing with?
97. Who has final hiring decision authority?
98. What will you do with my resume?
99. Will my resume be given out to any other client without my permission?
100. Why did you decide to join this company?
101. Were your expectations initially met?
102. Have your expectations changed over time?
103. Do you consider your company to be the ideal employer? (yes) Why?
(no) Why not?
104. Do you enjoy working here? (yes) Why? (no) Why not?
105. Have you ever considered leaving the organization? (yes) Why did
you decided to stay?
106. Tell me about a typical working day for you.
107. How many hours a day do you typically work?
108. Do you work weekends? How many and how many hours typically?
109. How much travel is involved in your job?
110. What is your honest opinion of your manager?
111. Is the employer truly committed to diversity? Can you give me any
specific examples?
112. What do you consider to be your company's greatest strengths and weaknesses?
113. Do you have an employee stock purchase plan? What are the
details? Do you participate?
114. Does the company support you in training? How specifically?
115. How much has been spent on training you in the past year?
116. What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started in
your position?
__________________

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want"
"If you feel you need to tell lies to get ahead, perhaps you need to evaluate why you're behind in the first place."

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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:08 AM   #5
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More questions to ask the interviewer
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?- What challenges might I encounter if I were to take this position?
- What are the first projects to be addressed? / What are the priorities you’d like addressed in the first six months to a year?
- What major issue(s) is the functional group facing right now?
- Are there any gaps or improvement opportunities in particular you are looking to address?
- What do you consider the five most important day-to-day responsibilities of this job? Why?
- What personality traits do you consider critical to success in this job?
- How is performance measured? Based on the individual or a team measurement?
- What might be a logical or natural career path/progression for someone in this role?
- Assuming I excelled in the position, what opportunities for growth and development might I expect?
- Do you have any concerns with my ability to do the job and fit in?
- How do my skills compare to those of other candidates you’re considering?
- What is the timetable for filling the position?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Will you be contacting all candidates regardless of the outcome?
- What key results do you expect out of someone in this position?
- What are the main challenges this job entails?
- Why is this position open at this point in time?
- What results do you like someone in this position to achieve in six months?
- How many people have held this position over the past three years?
- How much independence would I have in making decisions?
- What options do I have for advancement?
- What key factors contribute to success in this job?
- Are there any major changes due to take place at the company in the near future?
- How would you like the new person to do things differently from the person who had this position earlier?
- What factors have been responsible for the company's success in the past?
- How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
- Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
- What is the company's management style?
- Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
- How many people work in this office/department?
- How much travel is expected?
- Is relocation a possibility?
- What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
- What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
- How does one advance in the company?
- Are there any examples?
- What do you like about working here?
- What don't you like about working here and what would you change?
- Would you like a list of references?
- If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
- What can I tell you about my qualifications?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
Interview Questions NOT to Ask
- What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
- If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
- Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don't mention it now...)
- Did I get the job? (Don't be impatient. They'll let you know.)
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:08 AM   #6
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The 1st interview
Your objectives are:
1. Make a good impression
2. Determine if you were interested in pursuing the position further
3. Receive an invitation for a second interview (maybe)

The interviewer's objectives will be:
1. Obtain information to determine whether you have the skills and qualifications to do the job
2. Determine who to invite back for a second interview

How to answer some questions
Tell Me About Yourself
The interviewer is often trying to find out how you organize, your thinking, what you focus on, and how well you articulate your thoughts when you answer. Be sure to keep your answers concise and do not go off on tangents. Talk about more professional accomplishments and avoid personal topics. Example: “Well, first of all, I'm pleased to be here meeting you because I've long been an admirer of your company and of the work you personally have done. I believe I have what you're looking for. I'm currently working with ABC Corporation where I head the accounts team. I have 8 years experience in accounts and internal audit with two Fortune 500 companies. In my performance appraisals, my bosses have remarked that I'm an effective manager and a good problem solver and that I have an excellent ability to create and implement office procedures and systems. I'd be happy to elaborate on any of these, if you'd like me to.”

You walk into the interview room, shake hands with your interviewer and sit down with your best interviewing smile on. Guess what their first question is? "Tell me about yourself."
Do you "wing it" and actually tell all manner of things about yourself? Will you spend the next 5 minutes rambling on about what an easy-going, loyal, dedicated, hard working employee you've been? If this is the case, you stand a good chance of having bored your interviewer to death thus creating a negative first impression.
Because it's such a common interview question, it's strange that more candidates don't spend the time to prepare for exactly how to answer it. Perhaps because the question seems so disarming and informal, we drop our guard and shift into ramble mode. Resist all temptation to do so.
Your interviewer is not looking for a 10-minute dissertation here. Instead, offer a razor sharp sentence or two that sets the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your competitors.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Give them "your synopsis about you" answer, specifically your Unique Selling Proposition. Known as a personal branding or a value-added statement, the USP is a succinct, one-sentence description of who you are, your biggest strength and the major benefit that a company will derive from this strength. Here is an example of a Unique Selling Proposition: "I'm a seasoned Retail Manager strong in developing training programs and loss prevention techniques that have resulted in revenue savings of over $2.3Million for (employer's name) during the past 11 years."
What a difference you've made with this statement. Your interviewer is now sitting forward in her chair giving you her full attention. At this point, you might add the following sentence: "I'd like to discuss how I might be able to do something like that for you." The ball is now back in her court and you have the beginnings of a real discussion and not an interrogation process.
Be Specific
The key is that you must lead with your strongest benefit to the employer. Be specific and don't wander about with some laundry list of skills or talents. Be sure to put a monetary value on your work if at all possible and be ready with details when you're called upon. Give an estimated value to the $$ you've either helped to make or save for your employer.
Be Prepared
When you walk into an interview, remember to always expect the "tell me about yourself" question. Prepare ahead of time by developing your own personal branding statement that clearly tells who you are, your major strength and the clear benefit that your employer received. The advantages of this approach are that you'll quickly gain their attention and interest them in knowing more. You'll separate yourself from your competitors. You'll also have a higher chance of being positively remembered and hired.


What Are Your Weaknesses?
Do not try to mention a strength and present is as a weakness! Trying to say that you're a workaholic or that you're a stickler for detail and using those as a weakness will make it seem that you are attempting to doge the question or over-glorify yourself. Talk about your weakness in content knowledge rather than a basic personal quality or skill because lack of content knowledge is much easier to fix than a personality trait. For example, saying that you are unfamiliar with a computer software rather than saying you have difficulty managing people. You should also mention what you are doing to remedy the weakness.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:08 AM   #7
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How Do You Prioritize Work?
This is often a difficult questions to answer (at least for me) because you are not physically working for the company. These are a few ways people have chosen to answer:
- Prioritize based on most important and not by who has seniority or who asked you first. For example: If you had a huge document to photocopy and collate for a meeting that was taking place in an hour and an urgent email to staff that needed to be sent right away and your boss wanted you to contact the travel agency and fix his tickets for this afternoon's flights. Which one would you do first and why?
- Review the length each assignment would take. For example, you have 3 projects and you know that 2 would take the least amount of time so you would knock those out first and then work on the 3rd project.
- If there are unequal factors, rank assignments by deadlines, time for each project, and seniority of person who requested the project.

Explaining Terminations
This is often a very uneasy topic to discuss, but the best thing you can do is be 100% honest about the situation and explain how you have fixed such behaviors (if it was your fault for being fired).
- Tardiness (a common one): Where you tardy due to transportation? Explain to the interviewer that your transportation situation has been taken care of because you now realize, too late but better than never, that promptness is as important for attendance as actually being at your desk for the day of work. Where you tardy because you needed before school child care? Explain to the interviewer that you do have appropriate child care for before school and that you do realize it should have been taken care of sooner. Where you tardy because you just couldn''t get your butt out of bed? Explain to the interviewer that you didn''t feel challenged any longer and, in your quest for locating another position, you left your house later than you should have in order to arrive to work on time. Go on to state that you are excited about this opportunity as it will offer you the challenges that you have wanted.

Describe Your Employment History
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to review their work history in detail. Be prepared to tell the interviewer the names of the companies you worked for, your job title, your starting and ending dates of employment, how much you earned and what your job entailed.
You'd be surprised how many job applicants fumble when asked about prior employment. Don't be one of them! Refresh your memory prior to the interview by reviewing your resume, so, you can speak about your prior work history in detail and accurately.
If you don't have a resume, make sure what you tell the interviewer matches what you filled out on your job application. The best way to prepare is to download a sample job application ahead of time. Complete the sample application and bring it with you when you are applying for employment. This way you will be able to copy the information rather than having to remember dates and other employment information.

What Were Your Expectations for the Job?
In many cases, interviewers will want to know what you expected from your last job when you were hired, so, be be prepared to answer the interview question "What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?"
There isn't a right or wrong answer to this question. The best way to respond is to discuss what you expected when you took the job and give examples of how the position worked out for you. If the job wasn't exactly what you expected, it's fine to mention that. However, you should focus on the job itself, not the company, your boss, or your co-workers (if they were a problem). Do be careful how you answer and don't focus too much on the negative. Instead, address the highlights of the job.
When responding, be specific. Prepare some examples to share with the interviewer in advance. For example, if your job involved creating web applications using Cold Fusion, discuss the specific programs you developed and the responsibilities you were given. If you were provided training and opportunities for professional development to help you achieve your goals, mention that, as well.

What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to provide the details of their compensation history. Be prepared to tell the interviewer how much you earned at each of your prior positions.
Make sure that what you tell the interviewer matches what you listed on your job application. Refresh your memory prior to the interview by reviewing your compensation history, so, you can speak in detail and accurately. Don't exaggerate or inflate your earnings. Many employers will check references and confirm your salary history prior to making a job offer. A discrepancy between what you reported and what the employer says could knock you out of contention for the job.
The best way to prepare is to download a sample job application ahead of time. Complete the sample application and review it prior to the interview.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:09 AM   #8
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What were your responsibilities?
When you are asked questions related to your current or previous positions, it's important to be specific and to be positive about what you did in your previous position(s).
The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and to connect them to the job you are interviewing for. Try to tie your responsibilities in with those listed in the job description for the new position. That way, the employer will see that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. Focus most on your responsibilities that are directly related to the new job's requirements.
It's also important to be honest. Don't embellish your job, because you don't know who the hiring manager will be checking with when they check your references.

What major problems or challenges did you face? How did you handle them?
When asked the job interview question "How did you handle a challenge?" be sure to include specific examples of how you handled a particular difficult situation. Discuss how you researched the issue and contributed to finding a solution. Examples of good responses include:
· During a difficult financial period, I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules with multiple vendors.
· When the software development of our new product stalled, I coordinated the team which managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems, within a very short period of time.
· A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis, in order to keep the business.

What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
When you're asked what don't like about your previous job, don't be too negative. The reason is that you don't want the interviewer to think that you'll speak negatively about the new job or the company when you're ready to move on, if you get this job. Rather, it makes sense to talk about yourself and what you're looking for in a new role.
Sample Answer
I enjoyed the people I worked with. It was a friendly and fun atmosphere and I actually enjoyed going into work each morning. I felt the leadership team was great as well. They knew all of their employees on a first name basis and tried to make those personal connections. I also enjoyed that fact that the office tired to do community outreach with local organizations.
One of the reasons I am leaving is that I felt I was not challenged enough at the job. As a fresh face in the working world, the company offers a great opportunity for a good entry level position, however, after being there for so many years, I felt I was not able to reach my full potential because of the lack of challenge and there was no room for advancement in the company. While I did enjoy working there and appreciate the skills I developed while with the company, I feel my skill set can be better utilized elsewhere, where my capabilities are more recognized and there is the opportunity for growth.

What was most/least rewarding?
This interview question can be tricky. You want to make sure that the things you say are least rewarding aren't responsibilities that are going to be a major part of the job you are interviewing for. For example, if the last job you had involved extensive customer service telephone work that you hated, and if being on the phone doing something similar is even a minor part of the new job, don't mention it. Instead, focus on the the tasks that were most rewarding and highlight those.
When interviewing, always be cognizant of the job you are interviewing for and tailor your response accordingly. Try to accentuate the positive, regardless of what question you have been asked, because you don't want to be construed as someone who is negative about work, in general.

What was your biggest accomplishment?
Your potential employer will want to know what you accomplished, and what you didn't, in your current or last position.
The best way to respond is to give an example of something you accomplished that is directly related to the job you are interviewing for. Review your resume and review the job posting. Find the best match and use that to show how what you accomplished will be beneficial to the company you are interviewing with.
If you wrote a targeted cover letter when applying for the job use the information you included to create your response. For example, if you are interviewing for a job at a school where you will need to manage student registration, explain to the interviewer how you registered students for courses, designed and managed registration software, and solved customer problems.
If you didn't fail at anything, say so. If you can think of an example, be sure that it's a minor one and turn it into a positive. For example, if you were working on a project that was behind deadline, explain to the interviewer how you adjusted the workload and the timeline to get back on track and ahead of schedule.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:09 AM   #9
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Questions about your supervisors/coworkers
Job Interview Questions About Co-Workers and Supervisors and Sample Answers
For the most part, the following questions may be asked to determine if you are a team player. Take a few seconds, when asked a difficult question, before you answer. An interviewer is not expecting you to have a ready answer. However, the Boy Scout Motto - Be Prepared - - certainly applies here as well.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a co-worker who wasn't doing his/her fair share of the work. What did you do and what was the outcome?
I worked closely with Ann who, for the most part, always carried her fair share of the work load. During a stressful time, working on a project with a deadline, I realized Ann's contributions to the project were almost minimal. I made the decision to wait until after the project to speak with her. I'm glad I did, because I learned she'd been going through a very tough time in her personal life and she appreciated my willingness to go the extra mile so the project was completed on time. As a result, our ability to work well together significantly increased.

Give me an example of a time when you took the time to share a co-worker's or supervisor's achievements with other?
At my most recent position, one of my co-workers, Dan, did an outstanding job of calming an irate customer, solving the customer's problem and completing a sale. When our boss asked me how things were going, I told him everything was going fine and that Dan had just completed calming an irate customer and closing a sale. It was a win-win-win- for our boss, Dan and the customer.

Tell me about a time that you didn't work well with a supervisor. What was the outcome and how would you have changed the outcome?
Early in my career, I had a supervisor (Judy) who was in a fairly good mood on Monday, but it deteriorated each day until by Friday, the supervisor was finding fault with everything I did. I didn't realize, until I left that position, that I had been a contributor to the decline in her mood. Judy would ask me how my weekend was (on Monday) and during the week she would ask how it was going. I would tell her how much fun I was having (I was single) and how I was looking forward to the weekend plans. After I left, I realized my life was in complete contrast to hers and I reminded her of it almost daily. When she asked the questions, I should have had a quick answer, and then asked her how she was doing!!!!
Have you worked with someone you didn't like? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes, I've worked with someone whom I found difficult to like as a person. However, when I focused on the skills they brought to the job, their ability to solve problems and the two things I did appreciate, slowly my attitude towards them changed. We were never friends, but we did work well together.

Tell me about a time that you helped someone.
Most recently, we had a new hire (Paul) that was really struggling with getting to work on time, and I knew the boss (Harry) was getting irritated. Over lunch one day I explained to Paul how important it was to our boss for everyone to be there at least 10 minutes early. It was personal with the Harry, but you could really get on his bad side when you were frequently late. The new employee was grateful for the advice. At his previous employment, the boss was only concerned about the work getting done on time; he/she did not "watch the clock".

Tell me about a time that you misjudged a person.
There was a long-time employee (George) at my second company who was very gruff when he spoke to me. At first, I went out of my way to win the George's approval. Then I realized that was compounding the problem. So I observed how he interacted with other employees and discovered I wasn't alone. He was gruff to most people. I quit trying to gain his approval and, in the process, discovered he'd learned his behavior from a former boss he'd had whom he admired.

How do you get along with older (younger) co-workers?
Suggested answer if your co-workers are older: There are times when I just know that a new way of doing something makes more sense to me; but, first hand, I learned that my "better way" may not be the best way to get the job done. As a consequence, I respect my older co-workers knowledge and I've learned how to make a suggestion at the appropriate time.

Suggested answer if your co-workers are younger: I quickly realized it was not my job to "parent" the younger people with whom I work; it was my job to get to know them and for us to find common ground where we could effectively work together. It took time, but the result was worth the effort.

What was it like working for your supervisor?
A typical interview question is "What Was it Like Working for Your Supervisor?" The reason it's asked it to find out how you got along with your boss. Be careful how your answer. Interviewers don't like to hear too much (or much at all) about bad bosses because it could be someone from their company that you're talking about next time around.
I once had a job applicant who spent 10 minutes responding to this question. She told me how awful her boss was and how her company was a terrible place to work. It so happened that her boss was a good friend and golfing buddy of my boss - our company's CEO - and the company was one of our biggest clients. Of course, she didn't get the job.
Don't make the same mistake she did. Instead, accentuate the positive and minimize any difficult situations. Discuss the strengths your past supervisors had and how they helped you succeed in your positions.
What do you expect from a supervisor?
I appreciate a work environment where supervisors try to make personal connections with their employees.
In my last job, I liked the fact that management did not show favoritism and they were understanding of employees needs, as well as their strengths. Of course, these things take time to know, but I would want my supervisor to try to know me in that way.
I would like to be able to go my manager if I have an issue or idea and to be able to feel comfortable to expressing my thoughts. I would also expect my supervisor to be open and honest with me and to let me know if there is anything I could do to improve upon or do differently in my work.

Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
With the question "Who was your best boss and who was the worst?" the interviewer is trying to discover if you assess blame or carry a grudge.
Best Answers
· I've learned from each boss I've had. From the good ones, what to do, from the challenging ones - what not to do.
· Early in my career, I had a mentor who helped me a great deal, we still stay in touch. I've honestly learned something from each boss I've had.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:10 AM   #10
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Why are you leaving your current position?
One of the questions that is typically asked in an interview is "Why are you leaving your job?" or "Why did you leave your job?" if you have already moved on. If you were fired from your job, use these answers to respond. If you left of your own accord, review these suggestions on how best to answer and tailor your response to meet your particular situation. Be direct and focus your interview answer on the future, especially if your leaving wasn't under the best of circumstances.
Don't Badmouth Your Boss
Regardless of why you left, don't speak badly about your previous employer. The interviewer may wonder if you will be bad-mouthing his company next time you're looking for work. I once interviewed a person who told me that her last employer was terrible. They didn't pay her enough, the hours were awful and she hated the job. That company happened to be my company's biggest, and most important, customer. And there is no way I would have hired someone who felt that way, justified or not, about our valuable client. So, she gave up any opportunity of getting the job as soon as she answered the "Why did you leave?" question.
Prepare answers to typical job interview questions, like this one, in advance. Practice your responses so you sound positive, and clear, about your circumstances and your goals for the future.
Sample answers to the interview question "Why did you leave your job?
· I found myself bored with the work and looking for more challenges. I am an excellent employee and I didn't want my unhappiness to have any impact on the job I was doing for my employer.
· There isn't room for growth with my current employer and I'm ready to move on to a new challenge.
· I'm looking for a bigger challenge and to grow my career and I couldn't job hunt part time while working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time.
· I was laid-off from my last position when our department was eliminated due to corporate restructuring.
· I'm relocating to this area due to family circumstances and left my previous position in order to make the move.
· I've decided that is not the direction I want to go in my career and my current employer has no opportunities in the direction I'd like to head.
· After several years in my last position, I'm looking for an company where I can contribute and grow in a team-oriented environment.
· I am interested in a new challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.
· I recently received my degree and I want to utilize my educational background in my next position.
· I am interested in a job with more responsibility, and I am very ready for a new challenge.
· I left my last position in order to spend more time with my family. Circumstances have changed and I'm more than ready for full-time employment again.
· I am seeking a position with a stable company with room for growth and opportunity for advancement.
· I was commuting to the city and spending a significant amount of time each day on travel. I would prefer to be closer to home.
· To be honest, I wasn't considering a move, but, I saw this job posting and was intrigued by the position and the company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match with my qualifications.
· This position seemed like an excellent match for my skills and experience and I am not able to fully utilize them in my present job.
· The company was cutting back and, unfortunately, my job was one of those eliminated.

What have you done since your last job?
If you have an employment gap on your resume, the interviewer will probably ask you what you have been doing while you were out of work.
The best way to answer this question is to be honest, but do have an answer prepared. You will want to let the interviewer know that you were busy and active, regardless of whether you were out of work by choice, or otherwise. Here are some suggestions on how to explain what you did while you were out of the workforce.
· I worked on several freelance projects, while actively job seeking.
· I volunteered for a literacy program that assists disadvantaged children.
· My aging parents needed a temporary caregiver and I spent time looking after them.
· I spent time being a stay-at-home mom and volunteering at my daughter's school.
· I took some continuing education classes and seminars.
As I said, it doesn't really matter what you did, as long as you have an explanation. Hiring managers understand that people lose their job - it can happen to anyone - and it's not always easy to find a new job fast. Also, there are legitimate non-employment reasons for being out of the workforce.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:10 AM   #11
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Why were you fired/terminated?
Fired from your job? Don't know what to say in an interview? Career expert and author, Joyce Lain Kennedy, shares her twelve best job interview answers to the question "Why were you fired?"
Joyce Lain Kennedy is the nation's first syndicated careers columnist. Her work is distributed by Tribune Media Services and appears in more than 100 newspapers and Web sites. In addition, Joyce is author of eight career-related books including Job Interviews for Dummies, where you can read additional excellent interview advice, Cover Letters for Dummies and Resumes for Dummies.
Joyce Lain Kennedy's sample answers to the interview question "Why were you fired?"
· Being cut loose was a blessing in disguise. Now I have an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit my qualifications and interests. My research suggests that such an opportunity may be the one on your table. Would you like to hear more about my skills in working with new technology?
· My competencies were not the right match for my previous employer's needs but it looks like they'd be a good fit in your organization. In addition to marketing and advertising, would skills in promotion be valued here?
· Although circumstances caused me to leave my first job, I was very successful in school and got along well with both students and faculty. Perhaps I didn't fully understand my boss's expectations or why he released me so quickly before I had a chance to prove myself.
· The job wasn't working out so my boss and I agreed that it was time for me to move on to a position that would show a better return for both of us. So here I am, ready to work.
· After thinking about why I left, I realize I should have done some things differently. That job was a learning experience and I think I'm wiser now. I'd like the chance to prove that to you.
· A new manager came in and cleaned house in order to bring in members of his old team. That was his right but it cleared my head to envision better opportunities elsewhere.
· Certain personal problems, which I now have solved, unfortunately upset my work life. These problems no longer exist and I'm up and running strong to exceed expectations in my new job.
· I wanted my career to move in a different direction, and I guess my mental separation set up the conditions that led to my departure. But by contrast, the opportunity we're discussing seems to be made for me and I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.
· I usually hit it off very well with my bosses, but this case was the exception that proved my rule of good relationships. We just didn't get on well. I'm not sure why.
· My job was offshored to India. That's too bad because people familiar with my work say it is superior and fairly priced.
· I outlasted several downsizings but the last one included me. Sign of the times, I guess.
· I was desperate for work and took the wrong job without looking around the corner. I won't make that mistake again. I'd prefer an environment that is congenial, structured and team-oriented, where my best talents can shine and make a substantial contribution.
Kennedy also says, "Practice in advance what you'll say. Then keep it brief, keep it honest and keep it moving." That way, you'll get past the sticky issue of getting fired and can move on to your skills and why you're qualified for the job.

What is your greatest weakness?
When you're asked what your greatest weakness is, try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.
Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.
Sample Answers
· When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
· Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.
· I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
· I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.

What is your greatest strength?
This is one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked. When you are asked questions about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. The best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.
Sample Answers
· When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
· I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.
· My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
· I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:10 AM   #12
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Describe a typical work week
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your past experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions.
It should be obvious that it's not a good idea talk about non-work related activities that you do on company time, but, I've had applicants tell me how they are often late because they have to drive a child to school or like to take a long lunch break to work at the gym.
Keep your answers focused on work and show the interviewer that you're organized ("The first thing I do on Monday morning is check my voicemail and email, then I prioritize my activities for the week.") and efficient.

Do You take work home with you?
Do you take work home with you is a tricky question, be ready. The longer the answer, the bigger the hole you've dug.
Best Answer
When I need to, no problem. I realize the importance of meeting deadlines and getting work done on time.

How many hours do you normally work?
Be careful before you answer questions about how many hours a week you work. You don't want to be construed as a slacker or as someone who works too many hours. At some companies, the norm is a 40 hour week and everyone goes home on time. At others, everyone might work 50 or 60 hours a week.
However, working a lot of hours isn't necessarily a good thing - it could mean you're not productive enough to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.
So, unless you're sure about the company culture and expectations, the safest answer is not to mention a certain number of hours. Rather, mention that you work as much as necessary to get the job done.

Describe the pace at which you work
When you're asked to describe the pace at which you work, be careful how you respond. This is another question where faster isn't necessarily better. Most employers would rather hire employees who work at a steady pace. Someone who is too slow to get the job done in a reasonable time frame isn't going to be a good hire. Neither is a candidate who works frenetically all day.
Options for answering this question include saying that you work at a steady pace, but usually complete work in advance of the deadline. Discuss your ability to manage projects and get them done on, or ahead, of schedule. If you work at a job where you have set criteria (i.e. number of calls made or responsed to) that measures accomplishments, discuss how you have achieved or exceeded those goals.

How do you handle stress/pressure?
A typical interview question, asked to get a sense of how you handle on-the-job stress, is "How do you handle pressure?" Examples of good responses include:
· Stress is very important to me. With stress, I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive.
· I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful.
· I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
· From a personal perspective, I manage stress by visiting the gym every evening. It's a great stress reducer.
· Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when, has helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.
· If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level, I discuss options for better handling difficult situations with them.
It's a good idea to give examples of how you have handled stress to your interviewer. That way, they get a clear picture how well you can work in stressful situations.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:11 AM   #13
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What motivates you?
There isn't a right or wrong answer to interview questions about what motivates you. The interviewer is trying to understand the key to your being successful in the job he is interviewing for, and wants to make sure it's a good fit. Consider, in advance of interviewing, what actually does motivate you and come up with some specific examples to share during the interview.
Your response will vary based on your background and experiences, but, you will want to share your enthusiasm and what you like(d) best about your job. Here are some examples:
· I was responsible for several projects where I directed development teams and implemented repeatable processes. The teams achieved 100% on-time delivery of software products. I was motivated both by the challenge of finishing the projects ahead of schedule and by managing the teams that achieved our goals.
· I've always been motivated by the desire to do a good job at whatever position I'm in. I want to excel and to be successful in my job, both for my own personal satisfaction and for my employer.
· I have always wanted to ensure that my company's clients get the best customer service I can provide. I've always felt that it's important, both to me personally, and for the company and the clients, to provide a positive customer experience.
· I have spent my career in sales, typically in commission-based positions, and compensation has always been a strong factor in motivating me to be the top salesperson at my prior employers.

How would others describe you?
When the interviewer asks "If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?" he or she wants to know what your perception is of what others think about your qualifications and abilities.
Best Answer
I'm sure if you asked my friends that question they would say you should hire me because I have the skills outlined in the job description and I bring 10+ years of expertise to this position. Words they've used to describe me are: hard working, professional, trusted and a team player.

What type of work environment do you prefer?
I can be flexible when it comes to my work environment. What is the environment in the Engineering department here at RRS, Inc? (Once they've described the work environment, include key phrases they've used when you describe your preferred work environment).

Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it
There is no right or wrong answer to questions like "What are the most difficult decisions to make?" or "Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it." These are behavioral interview questions designed to discover how you handled certain situations. The logic behind these type of questions is that how you behaved in the past is a predictor of what you will do in the future.
Give concrete examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work. Then discuss what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive ("Even though it was difficult when Jane Doe quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.") and be specific. Itemize what you did and how you did it.
The best way to prepare for questions where you will need to recall events and actions, is to refresh your memory and consider some special situations you have dealt with or projects you have worked on. You can use them to help frame responses. Prepare stories that illustrate times when you have successfully solved a difficult situation.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:11 AM   #14
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Questions about your abilities
Tell me about a time that you worked conveying technical information to a nontechnical audience.
The Interviewer wants to know how you relate to people outside your area of expertise.
While I worked for Mr. Smith in the accounting department, I was selected to explain the financial section of the employee's paycheck to all new hires. After my first two sessions, I realized I needed to reframe my information so the new hires would have an accurate understanding of the impact of their decisions as it related to their pay. I worked with colleagues in human resources and marketing, and developed a training outline that was implemented at the other locations throughout the company.

Tell me about a time that you worked with data, interpreting data, and presenting data.
If you are in a non-technical profession, this question is designed to see if you are comfortable with information not directly related to your position.
While at the GHI corporation, one of my job assignments was to work with the IT department to prepare the annual meeting brochure complete with financial data, graphs and related SEC requirements. I became proficient at designing graphs that gave an accurate picture of the financial data, as well as editing the legal information into a more readable format.

Why do you think you will be successful at this job?
The interviewer is concerned as to whether you see this as a career move, or stop-gap employment.
As my resume reflects, I have been successful at each of my previous places of employment. My research of your company, the job description outlined, and the information we've exchanged today, lead me to believe I have the skills and experience for which you are looking; and I'm eager to be a contributing employee.

Tell me about a time that you participated in a team, what was your role?
Companies, for the most part, do not want "Lone-Rangers" - - they are looking for employees who will adapt to the company culture and get along with others.
In high school, I enjoyed playing soccer and performing with the marching band. Each required a different kind of team play, but the overall goal of learning to be a member of a group was invaluable. I continued to grow as team member while on my sorority's debate team and through my advanced marketing class where we had numerous team assignments.


Personal questions about you
When the questions are "personal", about you, it can be a very slippery slope. The answers below are guidelines so you can write out your answers long before you go to the interview. Then, when the question is asked, you can take the few seconds (expected by the interviewer) to think about the question and how you will frame your answer (which you already know).
What would you do differently if you could start your working life over?
The interviewer is looking for a detour that continues to be a professional block in your career.
Looking back over my career, I would have returned to school much earlier to complete my Masters degree. Even though I got my degree later than I had originally anticipated, I never lost sight of the goal.

How do you balance life and work?
The interviewer wonders if you've made arrangements for the days when your child is too sick to go to school and/or daycare or if you're "out of there" as soon as it's quitting time.
Best Answer: Being organized helps me balance my professional life and personal life. Consequently, I can be fully engaged while I'm at work. For those unexpected times, I have a good back-up system of child care for my children.

What is your preferred way to communicate?
This is a good opportunity to show you understand the importance of adjusting your preferences when necessary.
At home, I enjoy talking on the phone and emails. At work, I follow the established pattern. Each of my bosses, in the past, has had a preferred method I've followed their lead.

Do you check voicemail and email when on vacation?
The interviewer is wondering whether they will always be able to find you.
Best Answer: While on vacation, I can be reached for emergencies; however, I also know the people with whom I work are very capable of making good decisions while I'm away. I understand the importance of recharging my battery.

What is your favorite book? How about your favorite movie?
The interviewer wants to know whether you read to stay current and if you will you fit into the company culture.
Best Answer (include your personal favorites): I read many different kinds of books. My current "favorite" book is The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. My favorite movie? Miracle on Ice.

What historical figure do you admire and why?
The interviewer wants to know whether you are well read and what characteristics you admire.
Best Answer (include historical figures you personally admire): Personally, I most admire Abigail Adams, John Adam's wife; professionally I admired the leadership style of Ronald Reagan.

What did you do during this six month gap in employment?
Everyone, at some point, will probably have a gap in employment. Do not "waste it".
Best Answer: For the first month, I worked on my "to do list" at home and accomplished a great deal. Then I began building a plan to reenter the workplace. While it took a little longer than I'd anticipated, I've learned a great deal about myself, am rested and looking forward to new challenges in the workplace.

What led you to this point in your life?
The interviewer wants to know if you are unhappy, frustrated, or lost?
My "road of life" has been interesting, sometimes challenging and always rewarding. The steps along the way that have led to this point in my life are, in some ways, very different than I had imagined; however, I like who I am today in part because of my past. An example is when the second company on my resume suddenly closed their doors during a down-turn in the economy. For a very brief time, the road ahead was unknown; however, I discovered I had previously untapped strengths such as perseverance.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:11 AM   #15
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Why do you want this job?
Why do you want this job? Are you prepared to answer this question in an interview? Career expert and author, Joyce Lain Kennedy, shares her best job interview answers to the question "Why do you want this job?"
Joyce Lain Kennedy is the nation's first syndicated careers columnist. Her work is distributed by Tribune Media Services and appears in more than 100 newspapers and web sites. In addition, Joyce is author of eight career-related books including Job Interviews for Dummies, where you can read additional excellent interview advice, Cover Letters for Dummies and Resumes for Dummies.
Keep in mind that you can customize these answers to fit your particular circumstances and the job you are applying for.
Joyce Lain Kennedy's sample answers to the interview question "Why do you want this job?"
This is not only a fine opportunity, but this company is a place where my qualifications can make a difference. As a finance executive well versed in the new stock options law, I see this position as made to order. It contains the challenge to keep me on my toes. That's the kind of job I like to anticipate every morning.
· I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies, which include sales and marketing. As I said earlier, in a previous position I created an annual growth rate of 22 percent in a flat industry. Additionally, the team I would work with looks terrific.
· I well understand that this is a company on the way up. Your Web site says the launch of several new products is imminent. I want be a part of this business as it grows.
· Having worked through a college business major building decks and porches for neighbors, this entry-level job for the area's most respected home builder has my name on it.
· As a dedicated technician, I like doing essential research. Being part of a breakthrough team is an experience I'd love to repeat.
· This job is a good fit for what I've been interested in throughout my career. It offers a nice mix of short- and long-term activities. My short-term achievements keep me cranked up and the long-term accomplishments make me feel like a billion bucks.
· I want this job selling theater tickets because I'd be good at it. I'm good at speaking to people and handling cash. I would like a job with regular hours and I'm always on time.
· Although some companies are replacing Americans with imported low-wage workers, you are standing tall. This company's successful strategies, good reputation and values make it heads and shoulders above its competition.
· I'd fit right in as a counter clerk in your fine drycleaners. I have observed that the counter clerk position requires competence at handling several activities in quick order -- customer service, payments, bagging and phones. I like multitasking and, as a homemaker, I have a lot of practice in keeping all the balls in the air.
· The work I find most stimulating allows me to use both my creative and research skills. The buzz on this company is that it rewards people who deliver solutions to substantial problems.

Why should we hire you?
A typical interview question, asked to get your opinion, or to validate the interviewer's opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position, is "Why should we hire you?"
The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

What do you know about this company?
A typical job interview question, asked to find out how much company research you have conducted, is "What do you know about this company?"
Prepare in advance, and in a word, research, so, you can provide relevant and current information about your prospective employer to the interviewer. Start by researching the company online. Review the "About Us" section of the company web site. Google the company, read blogs that mention it, and check Discussion Boards and social networking sites.
If you're a college graduate check with the Career Office at your school to see if you can get a list of alumni who work for the company. That's an ideal way to get an insider's view of the employer, and to get information that might not be available elsewhere.
Use the information you have gathered to create a bulleted list of relevant information that you can easily remember during the interview. Taking the time to research will help you make a good impression with how much you know about the company.

Why do you want to work here?
A typical interview question, asked to ensure that you are seriously interested in the job and the company, and to find out how much you know about the company, is "Why do you want to work here?"
The best way to answer this question is, first of all, to be prepared and knowledgeable about the company. Spend some time researching the company (the About Us section of the web site is a good place to start) so you can talk about the benefits of working for this employer.
Compare your goals with objectives of the company and the position, then reiterate why you would be an asset to the employer. Let the interviewer know what you can do for the company, if you get a job offer.
Even though the question is about why you want to work here, you still need to convince the interviewer that hiring you will benefit the company.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:12 AM   #16
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What are you looking for in your next job?
You can begin your answer with this question: Tell me, Mr./Ms. Interviewer, what is a typical career path at OPL for someone with my skills and experience?
(Based on the answer you can then respond to the original question using the phrases from the answer to frame your response).
What is important to you? Two things are very important to me. One is my professionalism at work; the second is my family life.

What are your goals for the future?
The best way to respond to the interview question "What are your goals for the future?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" is to refer to the position and the company you are interviewing with.
Don't discuss your goals for returning to school or having a family, they are not relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. Rather, you want to connect your answer to the job you are applying for. Examples of good responses include:
· My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can.
· I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization, like this one. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in (related) professional associations.
· Once I gain additional experience, I would like to move on from a technical position to management.
· In the XYZ Corporation, what is a typical career path for someone with my skills and experiences?
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:12 AM   #17
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50 common interview questions and answers
1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It
is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term
career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a
benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your
professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:13 AM   #18
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23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities: Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include: Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are: Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures: You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success. Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself future grief.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:16 AM   #19
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37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute betweenothers.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? Are examples.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:16 AM   #20
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10 tough interview questions and answers for college grads

1. Tell me about yourself.
It seems like an easy interview question. Its open ended. I can talk about whatever I want from the birth canal forward. Right?
Wrong. What the hiring manager really wants is a quick, two- to three-minute snapshot of who you are and why youre the best candidate for this position.
So as you answer this question, talk about what youve done to prepare yourself to be the very best candidate for the position. Use an example or two to back it up. Then ask if they would like more details. If they do, keep giving them example after example of your background and experience. Always point back to an example when you have the opportunity.
Tell me about yourself does not mean tell me everything. Just tell me what makes you the best.
2. Why should I hire you?
The easy answer is that you are the best person for the job. And dont be afraid to say so. But then back it up with what specifically differentiates you.
For example: You should hire me because Im the best person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me the best person for the job--my passion for excellence. I am passionately committed to producing truly world class results. For example . . .
Are you the best person for the job? Show it by your passionate examples.
3. What is your long-range objective?
Make my job easy for me. Make me want to hire you.
The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives.
For example: Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel Ill be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what Im presently doing to prepare myself . . .
Then go on to show by your examples what you are doing to reach your goals and objectives.
4. How has your education prepared you for your career?
This is a broad question and you need to focus on the behavioral examples in your educational background which specifically align to the required competencies for the career.
An example: My education has focused on not only the learning the fundamentals, but also on the practical application of the information learned within those classes. For example, I played a lead role in a class project where we gathered and analyzed best practice data from this industry. Let me tell you more about the results . . .
Focus on behavioral examples supporting the key competencies for the career. Then ask if they would like to hear more examples.
5. Are you a team player?
Almost everyone says yes to this question. But it is not just a yes/no question. You need to provide behavioral examples to back up your answer.
A sample answer: Yes, Im very much a team player. In fact, Ive had opportunities in my work, school and athletics to develop my skills as a team player. For example, on a recent project . . .
Emphasize teamwork behavioral examples and focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. Talk about the strength of the team above the individual. And note that this question may be used as a lead in to questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared.
6. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?
Note that if you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it.
For example: Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I've found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other persons perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, then I seek to work out a collaborative solution. For example . . .
Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively.
7. What is your greatest weakness?
Most career books tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such as: I work too much. I just work and work and work. Wrong. First of all, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question.
You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome. For example: I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, Im now taking steps to correct this. I just started using a pocket planner . . . then show them your planner and how you are using it.
Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it.
8. If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?
This is a threat of reference check question. Do not wait for the interview to know the answer. Ask any prior bosses or professors in advance. And if theyre willing to provide a positive reference, ask them for a letter of recommendation.
Then you can answer the question like this:
I believe she would say I'm a very energetic person, that Im results oriented and one of the best people she has ever worked with. Actually, I know she would say that, because those are her very words. May I show you her letter of recommendation?
So be prepared in advance with your letters of recommendation.
What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
Focus on two words: leadership and vision.
Here is a sample of how to respond: The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership--the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities. I'd like to tell you about a person whom I consider to be a true leader . . .
Then give an example of someone who has touched your life and how their impact has helped in your personal development.
9. If you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Focus on a key turning point in your life or missed opportunity. Yet also tie it forward to what you are doing to still seek to make that change.
For example: Although Im overall very happy with where Im at in my life, the one aspect I likely would have changed would be focusing earlier on my chosen career. I had a great internship this past year and look forward to more experience in the field. I simply wish I would have focused here earlier. For example, I learned on my recent internship… …then provide examples.

**MISSING 10** I have no idea where it went. I'll add in later.
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:18 AM   #21
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Few more questions and answers!
Q#1 – How long have you been looking for a job? (Concern – is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?)
A#1 – “After I was laid off from my last job, I took the opportunity to take some time out to examine my career goals and where I was going with my life. I have just begun my search in the last few weeks. I have a definite goal in mind and have been selective about the positions I consider. Your company and this position are of great interest to me.”

Q#2 – How did you prepare for this interview? (Concern – are you interested enough to do some research, or are you going to “wing it”?)
A#2 – “When I found this position posted on the internet (monster.com) I was immediately interested. I checked out the company website and mission statement, looked at the bios of company founders and executives, and was impressed. Once I had the interview appointment, I talked with friends and acquaintances in the industry. And, I’m sure I’ll find out a lot more in today’s meetings.”

Q#3 – What is your salary expectation for this job? (Concern – Can we afford you? Can we get you for less than budgeted?)
A#3 – “I’ll need more information about the job and the responsibilities involved before we can begin to discuss salary. Can you give me an idea of the range budgeted for this position?”

Q#4 – How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industries that you have worked in? (Concern – Once you get the job do you continue to learn and grow – stay challenged and motivated?)
A#4 – “I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in my industry. I do a lot of reading – the business section of the newspapers and magazines. I belong to a couple of professional organizations and network with colleagues at the meetings. I take classes and seminars whenever they are of interest, or offer new information or technology.

Q#5 – Tell me about a time when you had to plan and coordinate a project from start to finish. (Concern – behavioral questions – seeking an example of specific past behavior)
A#5 – ” I headed up a project which involved customer service personnel and technicians. I organized a meeting to get everyone together to brainstorm and get his or her input. From this meeting I drew up a plan, taking the best of the ideas. I organized teams, balancing the mixture of technical and non-technical people. We had a deadline to meet, so I did periodic checks with the teams. After three weeks, we were exceeding expectations, and were able to begin implementation of the plan. It was a great team effort, and a big success. I was commended by management for my leadership, but I was most proud of the team spirit and cooperation which it took to pull it off.”

Q#6 – What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with? (Concern – ability to be flexible and work in a diverse environment?)
A#6 – “In my last three jobs I have worked with men and women from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. The only time I had difficulty was with people who were dishonest about work issues. I worked with one woman who was taking credit for work that her team accomplished. I had an opportunity to talk with her one day and explained how she was affecting the morale. She became very upset that others saw her that way, and said she was unaware of her behavior or the reactions of others. Her behavior changed after our talk. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes what we perceive about others is not always the case if we check it out.”

Q#7 – We expect managers to work more than 8 hours a day. Do you have a problem with that? (Concern – are you a work-aholic or a person who requires balance?)
A#7 – “I have no problem working long hours. I have worked 12 or 14 hour days. What I have found works for me is to work smarter, not necessarily longer. My goal is to get the job done, whatever that takes, in the most efficient manner.”

Q#8 – When have you been most satisfied in your career? (Concern – what motivates you? Or demotivates you?)
A#8 – “The job before the one I am currently at, was my most rewarding experience for me. I worked in a wonderful team environment. There was a lot of camaraderie. I worked with a team of four people and we did some really original thinking. It is that kind of environment I want to be involved in again.”

Q#9 – Why do you want this job? (Concern – are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you really know what you want?)
A#9 – “I’ve been very careful about the companies where I have applied. When I saw the ad for this position, I knew I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of experience, and knowledge of the industry, plus my ability to communicate and build customer relationships. That, along with my flexibility and organizational skills, makes me a perfect match for this position. I see some challenges ahead of me here, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.”

Q#10 – We are ready to make an offer. Are you ready to accept today? (Concern – we don’t want you to go away and think about it and change your mind – we want you.)
A#10 – “Based on my research and the information I have gathered during the interview process, I feel I am in a position to consider an offer. I do, however, have a personal policy that I give myself at least 24 hours to make major life decisions. I could let you know by tomorrow.”
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:19 AM   #22
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2nd (or 3rd, or 4th) interview
Your objectives are to:
1. Obtain more information about the company and position to determine if you are interested in pursuing the job further
2. Impress the interviewer(s) and receive a job offer (not that you will necessarily accept it!)

The interviewer's objectives are to:
1. Introduce you to other people to see if there is a fit between you and the company
2. Probe further into any areas where they want more information (NOTE: You may actually go through 3, 4 or more rounds of interviews prior to receiving any job offer)

When you are asked back for a second interview it means that you are considered a viable candidate for the position and you are qualified to do the job. Second interviews vary with each company. Since you are going to meet with different people, you can expect to be asked some of the same questions, beginning with Tell me about yourself, or Walk me through your resume.
They know you have the skills by now, and will be looking to see personality and cultural fit. You will be measured against other candidates who have applied for the same position. It is important that you leave the interviewer with something to make you remembered. Think of five strengths you have and pick the one that you feel differentiates you from the pack. An example would be a technical person who has great customer service skills.
Questions for the 2nd interview can also center around the particular challenges of the company (and, of course, you can talk about how you would proceed to assist in meeting their goals-be of benefit to them!)The questions you ask will be determined by what was covered in the first interview. Information that you need to know, so that if you are offered the position, you can make a good choice for you, is:- Exact specifications of the job -- what will you be doing? (Then ask yourself “IS that what I want to do?”)
- The expectations the company has for the person they hire. (Then ask “Are they realistic?” and “Do I think I can (or want to) meet those expectations?”)
You'll want to know more specifics about your supervisors, how your past experience fits in with the work position and opportunities for growth. Who will you be working with and how closely, what territories does the company cover, and does the company have plans for expansion are also things you will want to know about, in addition to whether you will be responsible for doing any of the development. What strategies have they used in the past, what worked and did not and any analysis about why would be especially useful now.
Other subjects may come up in this interview such as salary requirements and benefits. Prepare by doing some research on salary and some thinking about your benefits requirements. You cannot negotiate a salary until you have an offer, but you can prepare by knowing the going rate for your position -- salary.com. You should also do a budget sheet of your expenses and figure out what it costs you to live each month - your salary needs. You should know your walk away number, when you cannot afford to take the job.

Questions to ask at the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) interview
Possible Questions to Ask
1. Can you please tell me how your career has developed at Happy Corp. and would someone entering the company today have similar opportunities?
2. I read the career section and your recruiting literature, so I have some familiarity with career paths at Happy Corp. Based on the history of people you hired five years ago, if I work hard and prove my value to the firm, where might I be in five years?
3. I read in your literature that your training program is comprised of three (3) six month rotations. Does the employee have any input into where s/he will go at the end of each rotation? How do you evaluate the employee's performance during the training period?
4. I read in Business Week that a major competitor, Eager Corp., is increasing its market share in your main market. What plans does your firm have to regain its lost market share?
5. Can you describe for me what a work week is really like as a salesperson for Tasty Pops? For example, about how many sales calls do you make in a week, about how much time do you spend on paper work, and how far in advance do you set up your calendar?
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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:19 AM   #23
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10 tips to boost your interview IQ
Practice Good Nonverbal Communication
It's about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a good, firm handshake. That first impression can be a great beginning -- or quick ending -- to your interview.

Dress for the Job or Company
Today's casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as "they" do when you interview. It is important to look professional and well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

Listen
From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

Don't Talk Too Much
Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may tend to ramble, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position's requirements and relating only that information.

Don't Be Too Familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer's demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

Use Appropriate Language
It's a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation -- these topics could send you out the door very quickly.

Don't Be Cocky
Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism and modesty. Even if you're putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.

Take Care to Answer the Questions
When an interviewer asks for an example of a time when you did something, he is seeking a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don't answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills.

Ask Questions
When asked if they have any questions, most candidates answer, "No." Wrong answer. It is extremely important to ask questions to demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what is asked during the interview and asking for additional information.

Don't Appear Desperate
When you interview with the "please, please hire me" approach, you appear desperate and less confident. Maintain the three C's during the interview: cool, calm and confident. You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too.
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