A short course of lectures
«Acing the interview»
Can you relocate either now or in the future? Describe how you make decisions. Do you object to honesty or psychological testing? How would you describe your personal character? Interview with a non-hiring authority is different. How These Things Affect YouBe aggressive. The job you are interviewing for requires you to "wear a lot of different hats." You have never done some of these functions, so how do we know that you are going to be able to do them? Why do you want to leave where you are? Or, why did you leave your last position? Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision in your last job. How do you make it? In your present or last jobs, were there any problems that you discovered that had been previously overlooked? How did you deal with them? What do you like and dislike about your present boss? When would you like to fill the position? If you could, what would you change about the position you're interviewing for? What can you do for us that someone else cannot do? What happened to the last person in the job? Why should I hire you? Describe a difficult business problem that you had to deal with and how you did it. How will my success be measured in this job? Describe a time when an internal customer tried your patience. Have I done my research on the company? Please describe the working environment. What do you like most about this position? And what you like least about this position? Recognize and use metaphors and analogies to your advantage. What Today's Job Seekers Need to Know About Today's Hiring Authorities and Their CompaniesWe sometimes run into a person who makes unreasonable demands of us. Tell me about a time when this happened to you. What is the least relevant job that you had? What is your management style? Sometimes taking on the style of the interviewer does work. Questions to Ask in a Group Interview Beyond the Initial InterviewIf you were me, what question should I ask that you really don't want to answer? If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently? When will this person get back to you with feedback? How often is the turnover in the job I'm discussing with you? How do you stack/rank the candidates? Am I your strongest one? Are you going to recommend me as the best candidate to your superior? You are awfully young for this position, aren't you? Can I articulate my unique features, advantages, and benefits for this position or the company based on what I know about it? Are there any members of the staff or staffs that should be let go?How long have you been looking for a person? What have you learned from the jobs that you held? What are one or two things your present or previous co-workers dislike about you? Putting Yourself in ContextBeing a True, Supportive CoachWhen do you plan on retiring? What kind of people have you hired and what you look for in those people? We all have to deal with "power struggles" or resolve win/lose situations. Tell me about the last time you were involved in such a situation. What do you know about the position you are applying for? First impressions are critical. On a personal level, what would your previous boss or present boss say about you? How did you get your last job? Explain your hiring procedure. Supporters: Great Assets or Your Worst NightmareAs a manager, how have you promoted diversity? How many people is this person going to interview? How much do you know about the duties or responsibilities of the managers or superiors two levels below you? If you inherited a lot of money, say or million, what would you do? How do you motivate your subordinates? Questions to Ask Yourself After Each InterviewWhat have you told him or her about me? Do you know when to lead and when to follow? What do people like most about you? What do they like least? Who is your greatest personal mentor? If a personal commitment conflicts with a business emergency, what do you do? Does this company have any glaring problems that I should know about? How This Affects YouDescribe the most difficult problem you had to deal with. Where have you made difficult decisions before and what were they about? What makes you think you can handle this position? Questions to Ask in Interviews Beyond the Initial InterviewHow This Affects YouWhat do you think of your current/last boss? How do you handle criticism? How many levels of management have you had to communicate with? If I get two to three years of experience with this company, will having worked there have been of any value? What are you looking for in a job? Questions to Ask in a "Marathon" Interview SessionWhat are the things that you find most difficult to do? And how did you deal with them? Top Five Mistakes Candidates Make in Answering Interview QuestionsWhy are there no internal candidates for this job? Have prepared questions. I see you are working on your MBA/graduate degree. What are you going to do when you get it? How Do You Handle Difficult Situations?Have you ever had to carry out unpopular policies or decisions? Knowing what you know about the job you are interviewing for, what are the things that you're going to dislike the most? What is the next step in this process? The most qualified candidate does not always get the job. Final Question in the Initial InterviewCan you work under pressure? Tell me about the most pressure situation you were in. Do you want to move into management? Is there anything in my background or experience that needs to be clarified? How much time did you take off last year? We play a lot of poker (golf, tennis, bowling, etc.) are around here. Are you any good at it? How many people have you interviewed for this job? What are some of the things in your last job that you didn't like?Can you describe the ideal candidate? Taking on the same style as the interviewer doesn't work. Have you done the best work you are capable of doing? What are the biggest problems in the department? Paradox of InterviewingAll You Need to Know About Money NegotiationsCan You Do the Job?May I speak with the person who has left or is leaving the job? What is the most important professional lesson that you have learned from the jobs that you have had? How many hours in your previous jobs did you have to work each week to get the job done? In what areas could your boss do a better job? What would be your ideal work group? Tell stories. Are You Management Material? What Kind of Manager Are You?Warm CallsGenerational DNAYour Emotional StateWhen do you expect a promotion? How do you approach doing things that you really don't like to do?How long do you think it will take for you to make a meaningful contribution to our organization? How do you manage to interview while still employed? Describe the best job that you've ever had and why was it so much better than other ones you have had. You are selling yourself. It isn't a "two way-street." Successful Technique No. 2What kind of reports am I going to be responsible for? Are they internal, company reports, or governmental ones? Did I get a copy of the job description before the interview? Have you ever had to fire someone? Describe the circumstances?Some Important Lists for Job HuntersAre You a Risk?Have you ever been asked in any of your jobs to do something unethical? How did you handle it? Give me an example of your past job experience that highlights your ability to build action plans or create programs that support management's strategic goals and direction. Questions to Ask in the Initial InterviewIllegal QuestionsHave you ever gotten personally involved or socially close to anyone at your work? Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Look for a Job if You Are Looking Full TimeTop Ten Mistakes Candidates Make When They Are Told They Are Going to Get an OfferHave you ever had to overcome any personal hardships? How long have you been looking for another position? The Immediate E-MailHow do you deal with people whom you don't like and who don't like you in the workplace? What made you choose to become a_? Don't talk too much or too little. What type of turnover have you had as a manager? What makes this company good—or not so good? Tell me about yourself and your last few jobs. What is the most money that you have ever made? How would you describe my potential peers? How many people have been in this job in the last five years? Where are they now? How you deal with disgruntled employees/subordinates? The Uncertain Attitude of the U.S. WorkerHow many candidates have you interviewed? How Much of a Liability Might You Be?Top Twelve Interview Mistakes Entry-Level Candidates MakeHighlight your experience in dealing with interpersonal conflict disagreements by recalling a difficult situation that you were involved in. Tell me about a time when you practiced diplomacy when communicating with another person or group. How long will you stay with us if you are hired? Or, how do I know that you will stay with us for a reasonable period of time to be effective? Where do you see yourself five years from now? Or how does this job fit into your career goals? How would others at your present or previous jobs rate you on a scale of one to ten? Important Reminders About InterviewsExactly how much travel is involved with the job? Tell me about a time when your team fell apart. Why did it happen? What did you do? You have been making $XXX,XXX, and the money that is associated with this position is significantly less. How do we know that you will be happy? What do you think about_(any controversial issue, i.e., politics, religion, anything in news that might be controversial)?What have you done in the past that has demonstrated a high level of personal integrity? How did your boss or previous bosses get the best out of you? Time is your enemy. Describe a situation where you demonstrated a high level of commitment to an organization where you worked. Ending the Initial InterviewIf you were offered this job, how long will it take you to decide? Why have people in the past failed to do well at this job? How has he or she felt about other candidates that you have sent?Questions to Ask the Hiring Authority at the Time of an OfferMay I speak with the staff I will be managing? Walk me through a day in your current or most recent job. Leaving VoicemailsQuestions to Ask in Interviews with Potential PeersHow are the people in the department going to react to an outsider as a manager? Questions to Ask When the Position Involves ManagementWhy do you want to hire me? What did I demonstrate to you that the other candidates didn't? What is your role in the interviewing process? All you can do is all you can do. What has been the most difficult challenge in finding the right candidate? How do you keep updated and informed in a professional sense?You will be older than anyone else here. How does that make you feel? Watch your body language. Why did you leave your last job so abruptly? Or why do you want to leave your current job? How do I know you won't do the same here?What Today's Job Seekers Need to Know About Themselves and Their CompetitionDo you have personal and professional goals? Tell me about the last time one of your subordinates made a big mistake. What did you do? Personality Styles and the Individuals You Will MeetFear of Making a Hiring MistakeTop Five Mistakes Candidates Make When They Think They Have Been Eliminated After an InterviewSuccessful Technique No. 1What are your three greatest strengths? Three greatest weaknesses?Do you like me as a person? Why didn't you hire from within? What was the most difficult part of your last two jobs? What do I know about the company I'm speaking with? If I were to accept this offer, what can I do when I start to be most effective and contribute to alleviating your biggest problem? Are You Going to Be a Long-Term Employee or Will You Leave Quickly?An Open Letter to SupportersAre there any difficult personalities on the staff that I will be supervising? Have you ever had personal financial difficulties? What interests you most about this job? Who are the "stars" that can help my transition go smoothly? What kind of personal experience, outside of work, do you have for this job? What This Means to YouWere you fired? And, why were you fired? How do you make your opinions known when you disagree with management or your boss? When faced with a very difficult business decision, what do you do?How do you organize yourself for day-to-day activities? What is your management style? If I get two to three years of experience in this job, how have I enhanced my experience for the future? Can you work overtime or on weekends? If I have budgetary responsibility, how large is the budget? Has the department been above or below budget, presently and in the recent past? Questions to Ask in a Telephone "Screening" InterviewQuestions to Ask Yourself About Your Strengths and WeaknessesQuestions to Ask When the Interviewer Is the Hiring AuthorityQuestions You Must Ask Yourself When You Get an OfferGive me an example of when you were refused or told "no" by your company or supervisors. Does the company plan to make any immediate acquisitions or be acquired or change in any way that might affect the job we are discussing? Who are the "problem" employees? What are you looking for that you haven't found in the candidates you have interviewed? I'm sure that there were some policies in your previous companies that you didn't agree with. . . . How did you handle those? We all have times when we are very proud of what we've accomplished but sometimes we don't receive the recognition we think we should. Tell me about a time that this has happened to you and how you dealt with it. What makes you better than any other candidate I can hire? What do I know about the person I am interviewing with? Is he or she the hiring authority or an intermediary? Did I "Google" all the individuals? What do I know about them personally? Tell me about a time when you had to "get your hands dirty" by doing a job that was one or two steps below you. Are you a good employee/manager/engineer/accountant/sales person/administrative support person/etc.? How do you know? Are you a leader or follower? Are there any of the staff members who are in line for a promotion? Did any of them apply for this job? What kind of benefits are you expecting? Questions to Ask an Internal Recruiter, Human Resources Representative, or Third-Party Internal "Screener"Why haven't they hired anyone yet? Can We Work the Money Out?What is the next person (or groups of persons) I will be interviewing with like? How old is he or she (i.e., what generation in the workforce?) WOW . . . your grades are really low. What happened? Sometimes people stretch the truth or don't tell the truth in order to protect themselves or their organization. Have you ever found it necessary to do this? The Follow-Up ActivityQuestions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin to Look for a Job if You Are EmployedWhat specifically have you learned from the jobs that you held most recently? What is the management style of your boss and the company? Are you creative? How This Affects YouDress professionally. After I get to know you, what will annoy me about you? How many candidates have you interviewed? For what have you been most frequently criticized? What are the most difficult aspects of working here or the job itself?How do we know that you will be successful at this job? Has there ever been a situation where your work was criticized? How would you describe your personality? In what way has your present job prepared you to take on greater responsibilities? You don't have anything until you have an offer. What can you contribute most to our organization? What is your definition of success? Of failure? And how do you rate yourself in these two categories? How do you define success? How This Affects YouHow involved is this person (or group) in the day-to-day function of the job? How well did you feel your boss rated your performance? Have you ever "failed" in a job? Describe a situation in your last one or two jobs where you made a mistake. What was the mistake and how did you rectify it? How is the department perceived by the rest of the company? In your current/last position, state your five most significant accomplishments. You need to sell your particular "features, advantages, and benefits." We're a very aggressive organization here. You seem to be a fairly laid-back, rather quiet person. How do you get along with very aggressive folks? What was the last thing you disagreed with your company about? What do you do in your spare time? What is it like to work here? How does our position compare with the other opportunities you are currently interviewing for? What is your energy level like? Describe one of your typical days. What aspects of the job or the company am I going to be surprised about? Do you ever lie? Who will be doing the initial interviewing? What is your greatest accomplishment in each of your last three jobs? Describe a situation where you had to make a "seat of the pants" decision without a company policy as a model. What do you look for in a job? This job and this company are real big risks. We don't know how long we're going to be able to make it. What do you think? The InternetCan you explain the organizational structure of the company and of the department? Questions You Can Ask at the Time of an OfferWhat do you know about our business? Why do you like working here? Is there relocation now or down the road? You will be younger than anyone else here. How does that make you feel? Will You Be a Fit with Us?Have you ever doubted your decision about firing someone? Describe a time when an external customer tried your patience or tried to get something from you or your company that he or she didn't deserve—maybe not outright cheat, but close to it. How did you handle it and what did you do? Do you set goals for yourself? What are people's greatest misperceptions about you? How often have you had to fire someone? This position with our company requires a college degree and I noticed on your resume you only state that you attended college but it didn't say you graduated? Why did you quit? What percentage of your week or month was devoted to the different functions of your job? Features, Advantages, and BenefitsHow would you describe the philosophy of the company as well as your personal philosophy? What is the most recent business lesson you have learned and how did you learn it? Do You Work Well with Others?What would be my access to you? Daily, weekly, monthly? How the Internet Can Help YouFollow-Up Phone CallHow is your performance measured? How often? How does that relate to the job I'm considering? Are there any internal candidates? What are you currently earning? Or, what have you been earning most recently? "No" is the second best answer you can get. Is this organization consistent with the things that I've done in the past? Why did you get hired here? What did you do to get the job? What were the most important/difficult decisions that you made in your present, last job, or even your job before that? Questions to Ask Related to Subsequent InterviewsPerspectiveWhat have you done to implement improvements in your work group organization? What area of your skills/professional development you want to improve at this time? Who should you get an interview with? Can you identify the critical needs in a situation, deal with them, and put the others on the back burner? This position is one or two levels below the ones you have had in the past. How do we know we won't hire you and then in six or seven months someone calls you with a position like that and you leave? What is the most difficult part of the job? Perspective on What Recruiters Can and Can't Do for YouDo you prefer to delegate or be a "hands-on" employee? Your Next (Possible) Employer's Generational DNAScript AnalysisDescribe the situation where you had to work with a very difficult person. How did you handle it? CustomizationHow would you describe the culture and values of the company? Initial Interview Question MistakesWarm Call ScriptIs the company seeking to grow? How? Gee whiz, you have sure stayed short periods of time in your last three jobs. What's wrong? Questions to Ask in One-on-One InterviewsYou have moved up in the management ladder rapidly, but it seems like you've leveled off. Why? How long would you expect to be at this position if you got it? How long have you been here at the company? Were you ever denied a pay raise, got a poor performance review, or were passed up for a promotion? What did you do? What special problems do you have with the day-to-day management of your staff? What is the turnover in this department? Recruiters' Biggest Challenge with CandidatesSometimes we have to bring conflict out into the open and other times we avoid it or sacrifice our own needs in order to placate others. Tell me about when you've had to make a choice like this. If you were to invite three famous people to dinner, whom would you invite? Based on our interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job? Reference Checking Your Next EmployerDo I know anyone in the company? Questions Regarding Your FeelingsWhy did you apply to our company? What are your personal plans with the company? Keep RecordsDoes he or she usually agree with your opinions? Give us an example of how you got your staff to support an unpopular decision. How and with Whom to Get an InterviewWhat are the traits you see in me that are good for this job and made you want to hire me? Does the company have any present or pending legal issues? What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you? Can this type of organization help me down the line? What kind of people do you hang out with? Prepare by researching for interviews. How Do Your Skills and Experience Fit?Delivery is important. What would you do when you have a great deal of work to accomplish in a short time span? How have you reacted? How would you describe your own personality? Being the NightmareAnalysis of the ScriptHave you ever been involved in a lawsuit? Business or personal?Recruiters' Biggest Challenge with Hiring OrganizationsTell me how you moved up through the organization. You live a long way from here. It will take you 45 (or 1 hour or 1.5 hours) minutes to get to work one way. With the price of gas, as well as your time, after a while you might lose enthusiasm for the job. What are the reasons for your success in this profession? If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently? Why do you want to work here? How long have you been here? Priorities constantly change in our firm. Recurring challenges and limitations to resources push us really hard. Often it is hard to maintain a positive attitude, and the department gets emotionally down. Has this ever happened to you and how would you deal with it? What do you think makes the position you are interviewing for is different from the jobs you've had or the other positions you are interviewing for? I understand we are here to discuss an offer, correct? What do you know about the position for which you are applying?Do I have a list of good questions to ask the interviewer based on the research I have done? Why did you come to work here? Your resume shows that you been with one company a long time without any appreciable increase in rank or salary. Tell me about this.PrologueWhat are the worst aspects of the job? What do you think about yourself is most important to us? Describe in detail your last two positions. What kind of job are you looking for? What is the most recent skill you have learned? What will your boss say when you resign? Will he or she be upset?I understand that the company is considering a merger (acquisition, buyout, etc.). How do you think it will affect the company? Describe the biggest mistake you made in hiring. Why have you not been promoted sooner? If you're so good, why haven't you been promoted? Give me an example of a new or innovative idea that you came up with or implemented. Is this an addition or a replacement? What are the circumstances?Why should I hire an outsider when I could fill the job with someone inside the company? Today's Hiring Authority and YouIt's a numbers game. What is the percentage of turnover in the company? Working with RecruitersHave you ever been involved in long-range planning? Businesses That Can Help You Get an InterviewWhat is this person going to like or dislike about my experience or background? Questions to Ask Yourself Even Before the Interviewing ProcessHow These Things Affect YouHow you handle dishonesty? What makes you mad? Is the company planning any layoffs or downsizings? Do you communicate best with written or oral communications? What is the biggest personal mistake you have ever made? Focus on the process of interviewing and don't worry about the result. What is his or her role in the company? What is his or her role in the interviewing process? Tell me about a situation where you were disappointed in your own performance. Take notes. What condition is morale in and why? Describe a major project that you have worked on and how it contributed to the overall good of your employer. You don't have as much experience in some of the aspects of this job. How do we know if you can do it? I would like to speak to peers about the position that I am interviewing for. Can we arrange that? What kind of money would you like to earn? Is this an addition or a replacement? Why? What are your hobbies? Outside interests? Books you've read recently? How long do you plan to be in your position? With the company? EpilogueWhat was it like for you growing up? Do I/We Like You?Have I taken good notes about the company to refer to during the interview? Top Ten Mistakes Candidates Make in an Initial InterviewWhat are your professional and personal expectations of me? What makes this a good company to work for? You really don't have as much experience as we would like; why should we hire you? Are there written goals for the department? Who sets them? Tell me a joke. Based on what you know of me, what might my weaknesses be in light of this job? How do you rank yourself personally and professionally among your peers? Tell me about an experience that illustrates your preference to be proactive in speaking to and maintaining contact with others or to wait for others to speak first or contact you. If you could choose any organization to work for, whom would you go to? What are your personal strengths and weaknesses? What are the major problems facing the company and this department? How did you feel about your workload at that company? And how did you divide your time on your major areas of responsibility? How much authority will I have in running the department (the group, the facility, etc.?) Close for the next interview. How These Things Affect YouGive clear explanations. Acing the Initial InterviewWhat was your background before you got here? Do you have budgetary responsibility? How large was your budget? Did you have any problems staying within budget? What was the last creative idea that you came up with that affected the group or company that you now work for? How did you come up with the idea? If you knew then what you know now, how would you change your life or your career? The Nature of CompaniesQuestions to Ask When Working with an External RecruiterWhat are one or two things you wished you had accomplished in your present or last job and the job before that? What are the company's major strengths and weaknesses? You've been the president of a firm (or the owner of your own firm). How do we know that you know how to work for someone else and that you will take direction? Asking Your Own Questions of Yourself, Your Recruiter, and Your Potential EmployerWhat to SayTell me about a business experience where you had to decide to either lead or to follow. What choice did you make and how did it turn out? What are the trends in your industry? Top Ten Mistakes That Candidates Make When They Are Invited Back for Subsequent InterviewsHow This Affects YouTell me about a time when you faced resistance or rejection to your ideas or actions. What did you do? What reservations might you have about working here? What Kind of Worker Will You Be?The Four Types of Qualifying QuestionsQuestions to Ask Before the Initial InterviewDescribe a very difficult person that you had to work with and how you handled it. About the AuthorYou are awfully young for this position, aren't you? I'm afraid that, in building your career, you would only stay with us for a short period of time. Describe a situation where you personally or professionally failed.How long have you (or you all) been with the company? What was your background before you got here? What do you consider most valuable: a high salary, job recognition, or advancement? Rate yourself on the scale of one to ten. What is the greatest opportunity facing the company? Its greatest challenge? I don't think with your experience and background you are capable of doing this job. What do you think? What do you think are the most difficult aspects of the job I'm interviewing for? What have you done that shows initiative? How would you define your job as a manager?