Your career goals and how they fit with the interviewing company's mission are important points that interest interviewers.
Question 40. Recall a time when you made a difficult career move.
situation: When Time Media Corporation merged with Media Elite, I was offered a promotion. Unfortunately, the acquisition meant that the organization became a publicly owned company. As such, I recognized that, with the union of both companies, the corporate culture would change from being customer-centric to investor-centric. Though I understood the value of a public company, my preference is to work for a privately held organization where there is more freedom to take business aspirations to the next level while simultaneously enhancing the client experience.
action: As a result, I resigned from the company. That said, to ensure that I assisted in the transition period, I agreed to stay on until a replacement was found.
result: After three months of recruitment and training efforts, a qualified candidate took over my responsibilities. And soon after that, I accepted a position with another organization where I was a better fit.
Question 41. Describe a time when a company you worked for invested in you professionally.
situation: When I worked for Steel Mandates, company policy stated that after a year of employment, employees could pursue their master's degree on the owner's dime.
action: I took advantage of the program. In fact, I was only one of two in the company's history to take advantage of the generous policy.
result: Though there was no requirement that I stay working for Steel once I graduated, I have a strong sense of loyalty and I stayed with the company to assist in its market growth. I remained employed by the company until the owner passed away, and the business was sold.
Question 42. Tell me about a time when you accepted a position that you regretted.
situation: Straight out of college, I was offered two positions—one as a case manager for a group home that serviced teenagers, and the other as a patient advocate for a hospital. Owing to student loans, I took the patient advocate position because the pay was $5,000 more a year. However, within a month of employment, I realized that I preferred to work with teenagers than with patients in a hospital.
action: Since I made a commitment to the hospital, I stayed for a year, and I managed my caseload with care. I received many letters from patients and their families that highlighted the compassion and kindness I demonstrated on a daily basis.
result: Once the year was up, I searched for a position I could be passionate about and gave my two weeks' notice. I have focused my career on working with adolescents ever since.
Question 43. Give an example of a situation in which you took specific steps to meet your career goals.
situation: Right after high school, I went to work for a retail store. There I moved up the ladder as far as I could without a college degree.
action: At the age of thirty-nine, while still employed full time at the store, I enrolled in a four-year business administration program at a local college.
result: Upon graduating, and based on my work experience, the retail store offered me a position in the accounting department, where I was charged with account-receivable functions.
Question 44. Describe a time when you asked management for direct feedback.
situation: When I was a junior staff member for Scottish Patches, I petitioned to join the team slated to deliver a high-impact presentation to a
Fortune Ten company. I wrote a proposal outlining the reasons I would be an asset to the team. The head of the department was impressed by my initiative, and agreed to let me serve on the team.
action: I took great care in researching and putting together my part of the presentation. Since this was the first of its kind that I had participated in, I ran a few notes by the team leader for his constructive feedback.
result: He added his thoughts on how to make the presentation even stronger, but overall, I was on the right track.