Sunday, November 30, 2008

Interview Questions - Part 1

Free job interview question # 115

“Are you competitive? Is that good or bad?”

Sample Answer(s)

I’m quite a competitive person, but not overly so. I’d say the person I compete with most is myself. I work hard to achieve the goals and targets I set myself.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

This is a difficult question to answer as competitiveness is a trait that can be both positive and negative. Almost all people that achieve success - in any field - will extol the virtues of a healthy amount of competitiveness. Do the same in your answer without getting carried away. Over-competitive employees sometimes have difficulty getting along with their colleagues.

“What do you know about this organization?”

Sample Answer(s)

I know that XYZ Corp. has been in existence for four years. It was founded by John Rush in his garage and he has built it into the third largest office supplies firm in the state with aspirations to make it number one within two years. It’s renowned as an ambitious and highly progressive company and I believe it has a very bright future. I also like the fact that XYZ Corp isn’t a company that rests on its laurels.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

The interviewer wants to know how hungry you are for this job. If you haven’t even prepared for the interview, by doing the most basic research, then the chances of you getting the job are close to zero. You can be sure that other candidates will have done their research.

Check out the firm’s website (if they have one) and business directories in your local library. You should also contact the firm itself, through their Public Relations department.

“Can you work in a team?”

Sample Answer(s)

Absolutely. I feel very comfortable working in a team. I feel I have the necessary skills to communicate my own ideas and also to illicit contributions from my fellow team members. It’s hard to imagine a project I’ve worked on where teamwork has not been key.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

There is only one answer to this question - Yes. If you’re not a team player, it will be difficult to land the job. If you tell the interviewer that you’re not a team player, it will be impossible to land the job. Take this opportunity to explain what makes you a great team player.

“What challenges do you think you’ll face in this job?
What problems do you think you’ll face in this job?”

Sample Answer(s)

Having worked in a similar role at ABC & Co, I expect that this job will present regular deadlines to meet, strains on resource availability, conflicting priorities, and budgetary concerns to name but a few issues. These are challenges that I’ve successfully tackled in the past and I’m sure that record would continue here. I relish a challenge and there’s nothing that I’ve seen in this job that intimidates me in any way.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

The interviewer is trying to extract your real fears and apprehensions about the problems you would face in this role. Demonstrate confidence in your own abilities and anticipation rather than apprehension for the job in question.

“How do you define ‘success’?”

Sample Answer(s)

That’s very easy. For me, success is achieved if you attain the goals you have set for yourself or the goals that have been set for you. I believe that’s true whether you’re talking about a student, a managing director or even a large corporation. I know that ABC Corp has set itself the target of being the number one telecoms firm in the country within five years. If the firm achieves that goal, it will most certainly be judged ‘a success’.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

There is a subtle difference between this question and How do you measure ‘success’? The former asks what it means to you for something to be successful. The latter asks what you use to measure your own personal success.
Success means different things to different people. If you’ve done your homework, you can impress the interviewer by referring to the company mission statement (or corporate goals etc) in your response.

“What is the most difficult challenge you’ve faced? How did you resolve it?”

Sample Answer(s)

When I assumed the role of Regional Development Manager at ABC Corp, team morale was low, users were dissatisfied, and deadlines were repeatedly being missed. The first step I took was to set a realistic timeline for improving the situation. I knew that creating unrealistic expectations would only increase the chances of failure and exacerbate the situation. Next, I re-organized the team structure to improve customer and product focus. I also worked with the business users to prioritize the work schedule. This allowed us to reduce the number of products we were developing, which in turn enabled us to better focus on our core deliverables. Six months later the business users were happy and the team was happy.

Advice from the recruitment consultant

This is a terrific opportunity to shine. You should certainly prepare an answer to this question prior to the interview. If your mind goes blank during the interview you will give an impression of inadequate interview preparation and hint at a lack of challenging experience in your past.



Hit Counters


Web Site Hit Counter

No comments: