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How to Interview - Questions and Answers

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Denny Crane View Post
    5) They may test your thinking ability - For example, How many gas stations are in texas? - go through the logic of figuring that out....so many people, so many cars, so many miles trips to the gas station, etc.
    Does anyone have any more examples, and responses to questions that test a candidates thinking ability?

    I've run into "Approximate how many Seven-11's there are in Southern California." and "About how many cars pass through the area on the 101 Freeway in a given day."

    I always feel caught off-guard with these questions and general answers don't seem satisfactory. On the job were I looking to answer a question of this nature I'd been digging for information from additional sources, but in the interview an on the spot answer is encouraged.

    I feel as though reading through some more of this type of question, along with sample responses, would help me to tune in and strengthen my interviewing.

    Comment


    • #47
      I've still yet to figure out the point of those kinds of questions. If it's to test your reasoning skills, I can think of better ways to go about it and get a better idea. If it's to test how you'd approach a problem where there's unknowns, ... OK, I sort of get that - but I still can think of better ways to do that.

      Example: I remember a question from an interview where I was given a scenario involving a coffee shop that I hypothetically ran, and how Starbucks decides to set up across the street - and the question was, "what do you do?" The way it was framed, it was a fantastic question because it lets you explain how you'd handle adversity and approach a problem - and, if you're an "out of the box" thinker, it gives you a chance to show that. It's a solid, practical example that could easily be translated to something you might have to do on the job.
      "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

      http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

      Comment


      • #48
        Copied from elsewhere [spelling errors are not the fault of the poster - figure out what it should be, treat accordingly] ...

        So, in essence, here is the “teacher’s manual” for the 20 basic Interview questions:

        1. Tell me about yourself.
        Most people get tongue-tied on this one. For one thing, they don’t know where to start. Should you go back to childhood? Should you discuss your personal life? Should you give dates? Here use the rule of thumb, “Stick to business,” and emphasize anything pertinent to the particular Job you’re interviewing for. Consider this appropriate answer (but make sure yours matches your situation!): “I am dependable and a quick learner, I have two-years’ experience as an analyst I’m looking for a company that will give me an opportunity to use my skills while helping the company achieve its goals.”

        2. Where do you see yourself one year from now? or what are your career goals?
        Most people will respond with an honest answer such as, “I want to grow and advance with the company. I’m ambitious and eventually want to be in management, moving up the corporate ladder.” That sounds OK, until you put yourself in the employer’s position. He or she is thinking, “This person wants to advance too quickly,” or, “This person wants my job.” Or perhaps, “This person is not willing to do the job for which we are interviewing for as long as we need them in that position.” Employ this rule of thumb: Be honest, but be generic. Consider: “After a year with the company, I’ll probably be looking for additional responsibility because I’m a person who enjoys a challenge. I would like to be paid accordingly for that responsibility but most importantly. I’m looking for a company I can be with for years to come.”

        3. What do you expect from a job?
        Be honest, but remember that growth and advancement are taboo. “I expect to be given respect as an employee and as a person. I like to feel appreciated when a job is well done.”

        4. What is your best quality? or what is your greatest asset?
        Use a quality that would be beneficial to the employer for this job. For instance, if it’s a management position, your best quality could be “motivating others,” “delegating” or “being fair.” If you’re applying for a receptionist position, your answer could be “my telephone skills” or “a warm and patient personality.”

        5. What is a quality you need to develop? or what is your worst quality?
        This question calls for a positive negative: “I’m a perfectionist. I always want things done perfectly, although I realize I have to allow others to make mistakes.” Or, “I’m always early for appointments instead of just being on time, and sometimes people aren’t prepared.”

        6. What would you consider an ideal job for you?
        If possible, be general. The moment you get specific, you limit yourself. Take, for example, a specific answer such as, “I would be working independently with numbers and learning a new computer system.” A safer answer would be: “My ideal job would be a position where I feel I am contributing and productive, and where I’d be learning new things about my job and the company.”

        7. Give two reasons why I should hire you.
        Employers want to hear words such as “loyal,” “dependable,” “team player,” “efficient,” “workaholic,” “dedicated, “organized,” “effective.” Be careful, however, to only use words that truly apply. Otherwise you start off on the wrong foot, trying to be something you are not. You can become more specific when your qualities or technical abilities match the position: “I could increase company profit and productivity in six months with my production scheduling experience and management skills.”

        8. What do you know about our company? What can you do for us?
        Do your homework. Quite often the local library or Better Business Bureau can provide valuable information about a company. But do make an effort, even if you have to do it in the waiting room by asking the receptionist questions such as, “How many employees does the company have?” “How long has the company been in business?” “Are there other companies with similar goals?” Employers are impressed when you care enough to check them out. They then know you are sincere about looking for a permanent home for yourself. Then you can respond to this question intelligently: “I’m eager to learn more, but I do know the company was founded in 1946 by the Saunders family, that you now have three divisions in two states, that you have more than 6,000 employees, and that you pride yourselves on service. Providing top-notch service is certainly part of my philosophy, and that’s one of the reasons I feel I will fit in well here.”

        9. What kind of salary are you looking for?
        This is the most dreaded question of all and yet one of the most important. There are two good responses:
        -- I have been interviewing for positions ranging between $_________ and $_____. However, finding the right company is really most important to me because I plan to be with that company a long time.”
        -- Or: “I’m currently at $______, so I’d like to at least make a lateral move. Finding the right company for my future, however, is what is most important to me.”
        Both of these responses give a figure, but they also show some flexibility so you don’t lose out on an opportunity because of miscommunication. Your goal is to get the offer. You can always accept or reject it, but without an offer, you don’t have a decision.

        10. Would you consider less?
        Respond with a question.
        -- “When are your salary reviews?”
        -- “What figure did you have in mind?”
        -- “A lot depends on your benefit package. Could you explain that to me?”
        Notice how asking a question gets you out of the “hot seat” and back in control.

        11. What have you done that shows initiative?
        Choose something that will exhibit an ability you’d use in the position you are interviewing for, such as: “I read the computer tutorial and documentation at home and taught myself the new software package the company just purchased.”

        12. Who has influenced your life?
        Be prepared with the name of your mentor or idol and the reason their influence has made a difference so you aren’t caught off guard. For example: “Armand Hammer, the industrialist, has set an example for me. He not only made a fortune through brilliant business deals, he also influenced our world through, diplomacy, I didn’t always agree with his beliefs, but I do admire the way he worked to make the world a better place for all people.”

        13. How do you define success?
        You may have your own answer for this one but if not, here are a couple that are sincere and to the point:
        -- “Success to me is doing exactly what makes me happy.”
        -- “Success is feeling good about myself”
        -- “Success is setting personal goals and attaining them.”

        14. What major problems have you faced in your career, and how have you solved them?
        Once again, if you have had a major problem, try to be general. For Instance, if you had trouble with your boss and finally quit, you might say: “I worked with someone who had different principles and standards, and I learned that sometimes you have to walk away from a situation in order to grow personally. This was especially tough for me, because I’m usually persistent and very loyal”

        15. Which is more important to you: the money or the type of job?
        Straddle this one: “Both, to a degree. If I’m not happy doing a particular job, then no amount of money would be sufficient. If, however, the money is right but I’m bored or just not feeling good about myself, then the money doesn’t matter in the long run.”

        16. Why have you held so many (or so few) jobs in the past six years?
        If this applies, be prepared. If you’ve moved or been transferred, your situation might be obvious, but the potential instability could cost you the job. So, whatever the reason for job hopping, reassure the employer that your No. 1 goal at this time is stability. “I know it may look like I’m a job hopper, but there were a lot of circumstances beyond my control. The most important thing for me right now professionally is stability in both the company and my position.”

        17. What did you like most about your last job?
        This answer should fit the job for which you’re applying. In other words, don’t say, “a Fortune 500 atmosphere” if interviewing with a small company. Or, don’t say, “interaction with co-workers” If the job requires you to work alone, try something such as: “I enjoy paying attention to detail, the fast pace and the team atmosphere.”

        Least?
        When answering the second part of this question, don’t say, “managers,” “my boss,” “my co-workers” or anything else that puts down the company. The interviewer will immediately picture you saying something similar about this company the next time you’re in the job market, so once again say something such as:
        -- “It’s more than 20 miles from my home.”
        Or:
        -- “There wasn’t enough work to keep me busy.”

        18. What did you like most about your last manager?
        Again, be careful about being negative. For the first part of the question, consider: “She was very challenging.”

        Least?
        “I would have liked more feedback on the job I was doing.”

        19. Why did you leave?
        Be truthful, but if it’s too negative, such as you had a personality conflict, think of another way to say it. “I felt I had stagnated professionally and, after discussing the situation with my boss, we both felt I would have more opportunity with another company, it was a mutual parting.” If you quit or were terminated and there was new management, you could also mention that there was a lot of turnover at that time.

        20. Why did you move?
        Instead of saying, divorce, death or sortie other negative that reveals your personal life (which is no one’s business), it’s best to say:
        -- “I felt there are more opportunities here,”
        Or:
        -- “I was seeking better weather,”
        Or:
        -- “I wanted to be closer to family members.”
        Or:
        -- “I was seeking a more dynamic community.”

        It helps to go through these questions with someone else or even alone just so you get used to hearing your voice. You’ll learn to articulate the questions you seem to fumble over, and you’ll become much more comfortable with them—and yourself. When you’re preparing for and finally in the interview, keep in mind that there are many different ways to ask the same question. If, however, you are prepared with the basic responses and realize that both parties want the same things (appreciation, stability, team orientation, dependability and loyalty), you will do very well on your interview.
        "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

        http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

        Comment


        • #49
          I also still have a question concerning GPA, because we don't have it in Belgium. Also the percentages which you get here opposed to Belgium are very different. How should I address this if I get a question concerning GPA?

          Comment


          • #50
            Do your best to translate your grade system to the U.S. system. What would be considered 'A' work [generally 90-100%], what would be considered 'B' work [generally 80-89%], and 'C' work [70-79%]? That will help prospective employers understand.
            "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

            http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

            Comment


            • #51
              Thank you for the information.

              Comment


              • #52
                Hello, I am still preparing my interview. I have some difficulties with looking for a correct answer for the following question.
                What do you think the biggest challenge will be in this job?

                Comment


                • #53
                  There's 2 ways to answer this: one is from your viewpoint, one is from the viewpoint of the position.

                  Preferred answer: take it from your viewpoint. "Since I'm coming in at entry-level, there's a lot of things I'll have to learn that will come naturally to everyone else. I'll have to get comfortable with programs, terminology and processes - but once I do that, I'd like to be able to build upon how things are done and look for ways to improve and streamline so that I can be an asset to co-workers, my department, and the company going forward."
                  "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

                  http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    How to answer these two questions:
                    "What's your favorite class?" and "What's your least favorite class?"
                    I've been asked about these two questions all the time, but I am not sure if there are some secrets or tricks behind these two questions. What do you guys think?

                    also, "what is your favorite book (or non-textbook)?"

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by psp-fifa-fan View Post
                      How to answer these two questions:
                      "What's your favorite class?" and "What's your least favorite class?"
                      I've been asked about these two questions all the time, but I am not sure if there are some secrets or tricks behind these two questions. What do you guys think?

                      also, "what is your favorite book (or non-textbook)?"
                      Stop thinking about every question being a trick. Those questions (non-technical ones) are meant to be a reflection of your personality and the person conducting the interview is just trying to see if you would be a good fit. A lot of people can do the technical works, pass exams, etc. That pool is lessened when you bring personality into the mix.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Here are some questions I remember from a phone interview.

                        1. Tell me about yourself.

                        2. Why do you like about (current job in resume)

                        3. What are your short and long term goals?

                        4. How would you fit in (insert city you wish to relocate)

                        5. How many times did you take this exam?

                        6. How are you doing in your study for the exams?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          First Phone Interview

                          This thread provides useful information on face-to-face interviews but what should I expect (in general) during an initial call?

                          I am preparing for my first phone interview in a few days. I am excited but very nervous. I have reviewed the job description, company website, and some Excel formulas. What else can I do to prepare?

                          Thanks in advance!

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Justified View Post
                            This thread provides useful information on face-to-face interviews but what should I expect (in general) during an initial call?

                            I am preparing for my first phone interview in a few days. I am excited but very nervous. I have reviewed the job description, company website, and some Excel formulas. What else can I do to prepare?

                            Thanks in advance!
                            Keep practicing sample questions with a friend or relative. I choked on one question, but just stay calm. He asked,

                            "What do you do in your free time when you are not working or studying for your exams?"

                            I didn't know if this was a trick question or not. Does anyone know how to properly answer this? I would assume some "bad" answers would be: playing video games, watching TV, etc.

                            Any insight would really help.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              For the guys, here's a hint when you have a face-to-face interview: when you shake hands with someone, give a solid, firm handshake. You don't have to squeeze my hand off with some Herculean grip, but for me [and a lot of people I know] nothing screams "I have no confidence and almost certainly need to be told how to do everything" than shaking a guy's hand and feeling like I'm squeezing a wet newspaper.
                              "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

                              http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

                              Comment

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