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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?

Something along the lines of "even though my primary functions were _and_, in most of my positions I have worn a number of hats." Then provide examples of where you performed a number of diverse activities.

Describe a situation where you had to make a "seat of the pants" decision without a company policy as a model.

You may not get this question very often, but you need to have an answer. Think about two or three situations where you made off-the-cuff decisions and how they wound up being very good decisions. You can tie these decisions to a "working" philosophy of integrity, character, and "do the right thing" approach if you really want to look good.

Describe the situation where you had to work with a very difficult person. How did you handle it?

This is somewhat of a trick question because a hiring authority is trying to find out your definition of what a difficult person might be. Whatever you do, don't vilify, criticize, or present that person in a bad light. Describe the difficulties that the person caused you and everyone else in the organization in objective ways, then describe how you dealt with the situation. But present the person as a "positive" for you. "He or she was difficult to work with/for, but I found a way and learned so much from him or her. In the end, it turned out to be a great learning experience, even though painful at times."

Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision in your last job. How do you make it?

Be prepared for this kind of question and have one or two stories about situations where you made quick decisions, and they turned out to be good ones.

Have you ever had to carry out unpopular policies or decisions?

Describe one or two situations where you were responsible for carrying out unpopular decisions that affected a lot of people. Be ready to describe the story of how you handled it and the outcome.

In your present or last jobs, were there any problems that you discovered that had been previously overlooked? How did you deal with them?

Be ready to communicate stories about problems that you initially discovered and what role you played in solving them.

How do you approach doing things that you really don't like to do?

A great answer is, "Well, attitude is everything. I have found that no matter how much I don't like any particular aspect of my job, if I take the right attitude toward it, I've been very successful. I try to break the particular job down into smaller steps and accomplish them a little at a time. I find that, along with my attitude, to be the major reason I'm successful in taking on parts of my job that I really don't like."

When faced with a very difficult business decision, what do you do?

Make sure that you communicate that you go through a number of processes that communicate wisdom. Do not say things like, "Well, I simply follow my gut instinct." You might want to say something like, "Experience has taught me to think long and hard about the decisions I make. I 'think' on paper by writing out all the issues, then see how they appear to me over a period of time. I seek the opinions of others who are both close to the situation as well as removed. I have two or three mentors that I have developed over the years whose opinions I respect, and I seek their counsel. Once I have exhausted all of the processes that I might go through, I then follow my gut instinct. Once

I have made the decision, I become committed to it 110% and throw myself behind it. Once I am sure of the best thing to do, unless there is a drastic change in the facts, I am unwavering about the decision."

 
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