I got this emailed to me and it’s got some good points….
TWENTY GOOD ANSWERS TO HELP YOU MASTER EVEN THE MOST GRUELING EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW
Most people make two devastating mistakes when they are being questioned in an interview. First, they fail to listen to the question. They proceed to annoy the interviewer either by answering a question that wasn’t asked, or by giving out a lot of superfluous information.
Second, and more important, they attempt to answer questions with virtually no preparation. The glibbest person on earth, even the most skilled debater, cannot answer questions off the cuff
without damaging the chances for success.
What follows are twenty questions that various surveys have indicated are asked most often, regardless of the job classification. Study them carefully, develop strong responses, and your candidacy will receive prime consideration.
Why do you want to work here?
Because you have done your homework on the company, you know exactly why you want to work there. Just organize your reasons into several short hard-hitting sentences like “You make the best product on the market today. Your management is farsighted enough to reinvest the company’s profits so that you will soon be the leader in this category”.
Why should I hire you?
The interviewer does not want a lengthy regurgitation of your resume. They do not want a barrage of facts and figures. They are interested in testing your poise and confidence. So give a short, generalized summary like “I have the qualifications to do the job that needs to be done and my track record proves it”.
What interests you most about this position?
Give a truthful-but-brief answer like “The challenge” or “The future”, “The environment” or “The competitiveness”. This response will force the interviewer to ask you to explain, giving you yet another opportunity to demonstrate your profound knowledge of the company.
Would you like to have your boss’s job?
By all means, “Yes!”. Ambitious, hungry people are always preferred over those who would settle for a safe routine. If you sense that this answer may threaten your interviewer’s security, you might want to add, “when I am judged qualified” or “should an opening develop in several years”.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Keep your answer job related. If you exaggerate contributions to major projects you will be accused of suffering from “coffee-machine syndrome”, the afflictions of the junior clerk who claimed success for an Apollo space mission based on his relationships with certain scientists, established at the coffee machine. You might begin your reply with “Although I feel my biggest achievements are still ahead of me, I am proud of my involvement with…..I made my contribution as part of that team and learned a lot in the process. We did it with hard work, concentration and an eye for the bottom line”.
6. What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you?
Be human and admit that not everything comes easily. But be careful about what you do admit. “I find it difficult to decide which of two good employees must be let go”. Or “ It is difficult for me to tell a client when he’s running his business badly.”
7. How do you feel about your progress to date?
Never apologize for yourself. “I think I’ve done well, but I need new challenges and opportunities”. This is a good time to drop hero stories. “No one in my company has advanced as fast as I have. I think you’ll agree that I’ve accomplished quite a bit in the last five years”.
- How long will you stay with the company?
A reasonable response would be, “As long as I continue to learn and grow in my field”
- Have you done the best work you are capable of doing?
This is best answered with some degree of self-effacement. “I would be lying if I told you I was perfect, but I have always tackled assignments with all my energy and talents”.
- What would you like to be doing five years from now?
To answer this question, make sure you know exactly what can or cannot be accomplished by the ideal candidate in your shoes. Too many job-hunters butcher this question because they have not done their homework and have no idea where their career will lead them. If you see yourself at another company or in another department of the company you are interviewing with, the tread lightly. You can’t afford to tell your interviewer that you think you’ll be more successful than they will.
- What training/qualifications do you have for a job like this?
Deliver a short, fact-filled summary of your two or three most important qualifications. “I have a background in accounting. I’ve demonstrated proven selling skills. I’m capable of handling several projects simultaneously”.
- Why do you want to change jobs?
This is one of the first questions interviewers ask. Be sure you are ready to answer it satisfactorily. If you are currently in a dead-end position, locked out of advancement opportunities, explain this. The interviewer will understand. If your job has become routine, and void of learning ex
periences, say so. If you feel your present employer is losing ground to competition through no fault of yours, the interviewer will also accept that. If you say that you hate your boss, you might also end up hating the interviewer. If you say you are bored, they’ll view as a just another job-hopper. Be careful.
- What is your energy level like? Describe a typical day.
You must demonstrate good use of your time, that you believe in planning your day beforehand, and that when it is over, you review your own performance to make sure you are reaching the desired goals. No one wants a part-time employee, so you should sell your energy level. For example, your answer might end with: “At the end of the day when I’m ready to go home, I make a rule always to type one more letter (make on more call, etc.) and clear my desk for the next day”.
Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
This question is crucial. In fact, an unsatisfactory answer to this one is among the top reasons why candidates fail to get the jobs they want. Convince the interviewer that your job-hopping days is over. If you feel it was a mistake leaving previous jobs so soon, say so, and at the same time remind the interviewer that your performance was never in question. Honesty is appreciated. If something in your personal or business life has recently changed and would affect your future stability, come right out with the facts.
What is your greatest strength?
Isolate high points from your background and build in a couple of the key value profiles from different categories. You will want to demonstrate pride; reliability and the ability to stick with a difficult task yet change course rapidly when required. You can rearrange the previous answer here. Your answer in part might be: “I believe in planning and proper management of my time. And yet I can still work under pressure”.
How have you helped sales/profits/cost reductions?
Have your hero stories ready and be willing to prove that you have made significant contributions in one or more of these basic areas. Keep your explanations short and try to include specific dollar amounts.
Why aren’t you earning more at your age?
This is a current favorite, which can frighten the wits out of an unsuspecting candidate. One of the following responses should cover your situation: “I have been willing to sacrifice short-term earnings in order to gain valuable experience”, or “I have received (been promised) company stock (or other benefits) in lieu of a salary increase” or “I was reluctant to gain a reputation as a job-hopper, preferring instead to build my career on solid, long-term achievement”. These work.
How many people have you supervised?
Similar to the “hired/fired” question, the interviewer is trying to determine the depth f your experience. Do not exaggerate!
What are the reasons for your success?
It is best to keep this answer very general, permitting the interviewer to probe more deeply. Offer a short list of positive character traits that describe YOU> “I like to work hard”. “I get along with all kinds of people” and I know how to listen>” or “I pay close attention to details, I know how to watch costs and I can keep difficult customers smiling.”
What kind of experience do you have for this job?
Summarize four or five key areas of experience, which you know you can bring to your new job. Demonstrate how each one will help the interviewer’s company solve their problems. For example, “My experience in new product introductions will be very helpful to your entire marketing effort”, or “My industrial design background will strengthen your sales-force capability in dealing with large clients”.
THE KEYS TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS
There are 20 universally admired key personality traits; they are your passports to success at any interview. Use them for reference as you customize your answers to these tough questions.
The interviewer searches for personal profile keys to determine what type of person you really are. The presence of these keys in your answers tells the company representative how you feel about yourself, your chosen career, and what you would be like to work with. Few of them will arise from direct questions-your-future employer will search for them in your answers to specific job-performance probe. The following words and phrases are those you will project as part of your successful, healthy personal profile.
Chemistry: The company representative is looking for someone who does not get rattled, wears a smile, is confident without self-importance, gets along with others-who is, in short, a team player.
Confidence: No braggadocio. Poise. Friendly, honest, and open to employees high or low. Not intimidated by the big enchiladas, nor overly familiar.
All companies seek employees who respect their profession and employer. Projecting these professional traits will identify you as loyal, reliable, and trustworthy.
Projecting your business profile is important on those occasions when you cannot demonstrate ways you have made money, saved money, or saved time for previous employers. These keys demonstrate you are always on the lookout for opportunities to contribute, and that you keep your boss informed when an opportunity arises.
Procedures: Procedures exist to keep the company profitable. Don’t’ work around them. That also means keeping your boss informed. You tell you boss about problems or good ideas, not his or her boss. Follow the chain of command. Do not implement your own “improved” procedures or organize others to do so.
As the requirements of the job are unfolded for you at the interview, meet them point-by-point with your qualifications. If your experience is limited, stress the appropriate key profile traits (such as energy, determination, and motivation), your relevant interests, and your desire to learn. If you are weak in just one particular area, keep your mouth shut-perhaps that dimension will not arise. If the area is probed, be prepared to handle and overcome the negative by stressing skills that compensate and/or demonstrate that you will experience a fast learning curve. Do not show discouragement if the interview appears to be going poorly. You have nothing to gain by showing defeat, and it could merely be a stress interview tactic to test your self-confidence.
If for any reason you get flustered or lost, keep a straight face and posture; gain time to marshal your thoughts by asking “Could you help me with that?” or, “Would you run that by me again?” or, “That’s a good question; I want to be sure I understand. Could you please explain it again?”