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A short course of lectures
«Acing the interview»





Rate yourself on the scale of one to ten. Leaving VoicemailsIs there relocation now or down the road? Why do you want to work here? The Nature of CompaniesWhat are your professional and personal expectations of me? Tell me about a time when you practiced diplomacy when communicating with another person or group. What is the most money that you have ever made? How do you stack/rank the candidates? Am I your strongest one? Are you going to recommend me as the best candidate to your superior? What kind of personal experience, outside of work, do you have for this job? What are the worst aspects of the job? How do you keep updated and informed in a professional sense?Is there anything in my background or experience that needs to be clarified? How long have you (or you all) been with the company? What was your background before you got here? What percentage of your week or month was devoted to the different functions of your job? Can You Do the Job?Follow-Up Phone CallHow These Things Affect YouGive me an example of when you were refused or told "no" by your company or supervisors. What is the turnover in this department? How do we know that you will be successful at this job? In what areas could your boss do a better job? Based on our interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job? I understand we are here to discuss an offer, correct? What do you think about_(any controversial issue, i.e., politics, religion, anything in news that might be controversial)?Are there any difficult personalities on the staff that I will be supervising? What is the next person (or groups of persons) I will be interviewing with like? How old is he or she (i.e., what generation in the workforce?) What are the traits you see in me that are good for this job and made you want to hire me? What do you know about the position you are applying for? If you could choose any organization to work for, whom would you go to? The Follow-Up ActivityDescribe a situation where you had to make a "seat of the pants" decision without a company policy as a model. "No" is the second best answer you can get. Have prepared questions. As a manager, how have you promoted diversity? Is this organization consistent with the things that I've done in the past? Are you a leader or follower? What makes you better than any other candidate I can hire? Describe a very difficult person that you had to work with and how you handled it. Why do you want to hire me? What did I demonstrate to you that the other candidates didn't? What is the most recent business lesson you have learned and how did you learn it? What Kind of Worker Will You Be?What would you do when you have a great deal of work to accomplish in a short time span? How have you reacted? Can you relocate either now or in the future? Questions to Ask Yourself Even Before the Interviewing ProcessKeep RecordsTop Five Mistakes Candidates Make in Answering Interview QuestionsWhen faced with a very difficult business decision, what do you do?Questions to Ask When the Interviewer Is the Hiring AuthorityHow would you describe my potential peers? If you were offered this job, how long will it take you to decide? Have you ever had personal financial difficulties? Why haven't they hired anyone yet? Are you creative? What will your boss say when you resign? Will he or she be upset?Focus on the process of interviewing and don't worry about the result. We play a lot of poker (golf, tennis, bowling, etc.) are around here. Are you any good at it? How are the people in the department going to react to an outsider as a manager? This job and this company are real big risks. We don't know how long we're going to be able to make it. What do you think? Who are the "problem" employees? Walk me through a day in your current or most recent job. How would you describe the philosophy of the company as well as your personal philosophy? If I have budgetary responsibility, how large is the budget? Has the department been above or below budget, presently and in the recent past? You have moved up in the management ladder rapidly, but it seems like you've leveled off. Why? Tell me about a situation where you were disappointed in your own performance. When do you expect a promotion? Questions to Ask in a Group Interview Beyond the Initial InterviewWhy have people in the past failed to do well at this job? Analysis of the ScriptWhat kind of reports am I going to be responsible for? Are they internal, company reports, or governmental ones? What special problems do you have with the day-to-day management of your staff? Being a True, Supportive CoachHave you ever gotten personally involved or socially close to anyone at your work? If you knew then what you know now, how would you change your life or your career? If you were to invite three famous people to dinner, whom would you invite? What are the biggest problems in the department? This position with our company requires a college degree and I noticed on your resume you only state that you attended college but it didn't say you graduated? Why did you quit? What have you done that shows initiative? If you were me, what question should I ask that you really don't want to answer? Recognize and use metaphors and analogies to your advantage. Tell me about an experience that illustrates your preference to be proactive in speaking to and maintaining contact with others or to wait for others to speak first or contact you. Describe a situation where you demonstrated a high level of commitment to an organization where you worked. Does the company have any present or pending legal issues? Describe a major project that you have worked on and how it contributed to the overall good of your employer. Questions You Can Ask at the Time of an OfferDo you want to move into management? Can We Work the Money Out?What are you looking for that you haven't found in the candidates you have interviewed? How do you define success? What are the trends in your industry? How long would you expect to be at this position if you got it? You are awfully young for this position, aren't you? Are there any members of the staff or staffs that should be let go?Initial Interview Question MistakesHave you ever "failed" in a job? Questions to Ask When Working with an External RecruiterAre there any of the staff members who are in line for a promotion? Did any of them apply for this job? If you could, what would you change about the position you're interviewing for? Knowing what you know about the job you are interviewing for, what are the things that you're going to dislike the most? Some Important Lists for Job HuntersMay I speak with the person who has left or is leaving the job? Do I have a list of good questions to ask the interviewer based on the research I have done? What is his or her role in the company? What is his or her role in the interviewing process? What was your background before you got here? What reservations might you have about working here? Top Ten Mistakes Candidates Make in an Initial InterviewWhy did you leave your last job so abruptly? Or why do you want to leave your current job? How do I know you won't do the same here?Warm CallsGive clear explanations. What is it like to work here? Tell me about a time when your team fell apart. Why did it happen? What did you do? Why didn't you hire from within? An Open Letter to SupportersWhat kinds of decisions are most difficult for you? What are your hobbies? Outside interests? Books you've read recently? The Immediate E-MailYour Emotional StateTell me about yourself and your last few jobs. Top Ten Mistakes Candidates Make When They Are Told They Are Going to Get an OfferYour Next (Possible) Employer's Generational DNAHave you ever doubted your decision about firing someone? Describe a time when an external customer tried your patience or tried to get something from you or your company that he or she didn't deserve—maybe not outright cheat, but close to it. How did you handle it and what did you do? How This Affects YouQuestions to Ask in a Telephone "Screening" InterviewHow Much of a Liability Might You Be?What are the company's major strengths and weaknesses? Illegal QuestionsDescribe how you make decisions. Top Ten Mistakes That Candidates Make When They Are Invited Back for Subsequent InterviewsWhat makes you mad? Acing the Initial InterviewHighlight your experience in dealing with interpersonal conflict disagreements by recalling a difficult situation that you were involved in. How you deal with disgruntled employees/subordinates? How involved is this person (or group) in the day-to-day function of the job? WOW . . . your grades are really low. What happened? What are your personal strengths and weaknesses? Why have you not been promoted sooner? If you're so good, why haven't you been promoted? PerspectiveYou need to sell your particular "features, advantages, and benefits." What area of your skills/professional development you want to improve at this time? It's a numbers game. Do You Work Well with Others?How many levels of management have you had to communicate with? Describe the situation where you had to work with a very difficult person. How did you handle it? What can you do for us that someone else cannot do? What Today's Job Seekers Need to Know About Today's Hiring Authorities and Their CompaniesHow This Affects YouQuestions You Must Ask Yourself When You Get an OfferHow Do Your Skills and Experience Fit?On a personal level, what would your previous boss or present boss say about you? The InternetAre You Going to Be a Long-Term Employee or Will You Leave Quickly?Give us an example of how you got your staff to support an unpopular decision. We all have times when we are very proud of what we've accomplished but sometimes we don't receive the recognition we think we should. Tell me about a time that this has happened to you and how you dealt with it. How do you deal with people whom you don't like and who don't like you in the workplace? Businesses That Can Help You Get an InterviewHave you done the best work you are capable of doing? What do you look for in a job? Watch your body language. What are your three greatest strengths? Three greatest weaknesses?Sometimes taking on the style of the interviewer does work. How long have you been looking for a person? Where have you made difficult decisions before and what were they about? What makes you think you can handle this position? Working with RecruitersQuestions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Look for a Job if You Are Looking Full TimeTell me about the last time one of your subordinates made a big mistake. What did you do? After I get to know you, what will annoy me about you? Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Strengths and WeaknessesDescribe a situation in your last one or two jobs where you made a mistake. What was the mistake and how did you rectify it? Explain your hiring procedure. Can you work under pressure? Tell me about the most pressure situation you were in. Taking on the same style as the interviewer doesn't work. If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently? Describe a difficult business problem that you had to deal with and how you did it. Do I know anyone in the company? In what way has your present job prepared you to take on greater responsibilities? What kind of benefits are you expecting? We sometimes run into a person who makes unreasonable demands of us. Tell me about a time when this happened to you. What do you like and dislike about your present boss? This position is one or two levels below the ones you have had in the past. How do we know we won't hire you and then in six or seven months someone calls you with a position like that and you leave? May I speak with the staff I will be managing? Fear of Making a Hiring MistakeWhat do you consider most valuable: a high salary, job recognition, or advancement? If you inherited a lot of money, say or million, what would you do? Describe the biggest mistake you made in hiring. What do people like most about you? What do they like least? Tell me about a time when you faced resistance or rejection to your ideas or actions. What did you do? In your present or last jobs, were there any problems that you discovered that had been previously overlooked? How did you deal with them? How do you make your opinions known when you disagree with management or your boss? What is the most recent skill you have learned? Why did you apply to our company? How would you describe your personal character? How Do You Handle Difficult Situations?When will this person get back to you with feedback? How These Things Affect YouYou are selling yourself. It isn't a "two way-street." How is the department perceived by the rest of the company? What is your definition of success? Of failure? And how do you rate yourself in these two categories? How would you define your job as a manager? Have you ever been asked in any of your jobs to do something unethical? How did you handle it? You have been making $XXX,XXX, and the money that is associated with this position is significantly less. How do we know that you will be happy? Do you have personal and professional goals? How many people have been in this job in the last five years? Where are they now? Will You Be a Fit with Us?Delivery is important. Who are the "stars" that can help my transition go smoothly? Questions to Ask an Internal Recruiter, Human Resources Representative, or Third-Party Internal "Screener"I don't think with your experience and background you are capable of doing this job. What do you think? What are the reasons for your success in this profession? Who will be doing the initial interviewing? Take notes. Don't talk too much or too little. Prepare by researching for interviews. Have I done my research on the company? What do you know about the position for which you are applying?Perspective on What Recruiters Can and Can't Do for YouHow often have you had to fire someone? When would you like to fill the position? Successful Technique No. 2Describe a situation where you personally or professionally failed.How long have you been here? Questions to Ask in a "Marathon" Interview SessionDo you object to honesty or psychological testing? How many hours in your previous jobs did you have to work each week to get the job done? What interests you most about this job? Can you explain the organizational structure of the company and of the department? What was the most difficult part of your last two jobs? How and with Whom to Get an InterviewWhat are one or two things you wished you had accomplished in your present or last job and the job before that? Do you know when to lead and when to follow? Interview with a non-hiring authority is different. How did you feel about your workload at that company? And how did you divide your time on your major areas of responsibility? I see you are working on your MBA/graduate degree. What are you going to do when you get it? Close for the next interview. What are the major problems facing the company and this department? How This Affects YouHow many candidates have you interviewed? Features, Advantages, and BenefitsScript AnalysisPersonality Styles and the Individuals You Will MeetWhen do you plan on retiring? Please describe the working environment. What is your management style? Is the company planning any layoffs or downsizings? What is the greatest opportunity facing the company? Its greatest challenge? Supporters: Great Assets or Your Worst NightmareTell me a joke. EpilogueWhat do you like most about this position? And what you like least about this position? Ending the Initial InterviewQuestions Regarding Your FeelingsDescribe the best job that you've ever had and why was it so much better than other ones you have had. Important Reminders About InterviewsWhat have you done in the past that has demonstrated a high level of personal integrity? How This Affects YouWho is your greatest personal mentor? What were the most important/difficult decisions that you made in your present, last job, or even your job before that? Is the company seeking to grow? How? How many candidates have you interviewed? How has he or she felt about other candidates that you have sent?How do you approach doing things that you really don't like to do?About the AuthorWhat are some of the things in your last job that you didn't like?If I get two to three years of experience with this company, will having worked there have been of any value? Why do you like working here? Why do you want to leave where you are? Or, why did you leave your last position? Can you identify the critical needs in a situation, deal with them, and put the others on the back burner? Exactly how much travel is involved with the job? Has there ever been a situation where your work was criticized? How long will you stay with us if you are hired? Or, how do I know that you will stay with us for a reasonable period of time to be effective? Sometimes people stretch the truth or don't tell the truth in order to protect themselves or their organization. Have you ever found it necessary to do this? What are the things that you find most difficult to do? And how did you deal with them? How long do you plan to be in your position? With the company? Do you prefer to delegate or be a "hands-on" employee? What kind of money would you like to earn? Final Question in the Initial InterviewGee whiz, you have sure stayed short periods of time in your last three jobs. What's wrong? What was the last thing you disagreed with your company about? What is the least relevant job that you had? How often is the turnover in the job I'm discussing with you? The most qualified candidate does not always get the job. In your current/last position, state your five most significant accomplishments. Why did you get hired here? What did you do to get the job? How will my success be measured in this job? Is this an addition or a replacement? Why? Why should I hire an outsider when I could fill the job with someone inside the company? How would you describe your own personality? Asking Your Own Questions of Yourself, Your Recruiter, and Your Potential EmployerWhat is your management style? What is the management style of your boss and the company? We're a very aggressive organization here. You seem to be a fairly laid-back, rather quiet person. How do you get along with very aggressive folks? Why should I hire you? Tell me about a time when you had to "get your hands dirty" by doing a job that was one or two steps below you. How do you motivate your subordinates? What are you currently earning? Or, what have you been earning most recently? Can this type of organization help me down the line? Questions to Ask Before the Initial InterviewQuestions to Ask in the Initial InterviewIs this an addition or a replacement? What are the circumstances?If I get two to three years of experience in this job, how have I enhanced my experience for the future? What have you done to implement improvements in your work group organization? Today's Hiring Authority and YouWhat kind of job are you looking for? Generational DNAFor what have you been most frequently criticized? Tell me about a business experience where you had to decide to either lead or to follow. What choice did you make and how did it turn out? Being the NightmareYou've been the president of a firm (or the owner of your own firm). How do we know that you know how to work for someone else and that you will take direction? How did your boss or previous bosses get the best out of you? Questions to Ask Related to Subsequent InterviewsWhat is your role in the interviewing process? Were you fired? And, why were you fired? How would you describe the culture and values of the company? Are You a Risk?Have you ever been involved in long-range planning? What do you think of your current/last boss? CustomizationWhat Today's Job Seekers Need to Know About Themselves and Their CompetitionWhat was the last creative idea that you came up with that affected the group or company that you now work for? How did you come up with the idea? How many people is this person going to interview? What is the most important professional lesson that you have learned from the jobs that you have had? What do you think are the most difficult aspects of the job I'm interviewing for? What has been the most difficult challenge in finding the right candidate? PrologueWhat do I know about the person I am interviewing with? Is he or she the hiring authority or an intermediary? Did I "Google" all the individuals? What do I know about them personally? Did I get a copy of the job description before the interview? Successful Technique No. 1Can you work overtime or on weekends? Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit? Business or personal?Reference Checking Your Next EmployerQuestions to Ask in One-on-One InterviewsWhat are the most difficult aspects of working here or the job itself?Top Twelve Interview Mistakes Entry-Level Candidates MakeAre there written goals for the department? Who sets them? If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently? Where do you see yourself five years from now? Or how does this job fit into your career goals? How does our position compare with the other opportunities you are currently interviewing for? What made you choose to become a_? How do you organize yourself for day-to-day activities? What kind of people do you hang out with? What do you know about our business? What would be my access to you? Daily, weekly, monthly? What are your personal plans with the company? Questions to Ask in Interviews Beyond the Initial InterviewHow would others at your present or previous jobs rate you on a scale of one to ten? What do you think makes the position you are interviewing for is different from the jobs you've had or the other positions you are interviewing for? What is this person going to like or dislike about my experience or background? How long do you think it will take for you to make a meaningful contribution to our organization? We all have to deal with "power struggles" or resolve win/lose situations. Tell me about the last time you were involved in such a situation. I understand that the company is considering a merger (acquisition, buyout, etc.). How do you think it will affect the company? What would be your ideal work group? You don't have as much experience in some of the aspects of this job. How do we know if you can do it? How long have you been here at the company? 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? Do you set goals for yourself? What have you learned from the jobs that you held? Give me an example of your past job experience that highlights your ability to build action plans or create programs that support management's strategic goals and direction. How do you manage to interview while still employed? What is the biggest personal mistake you have ever made? Who should you get an interview with? What makes this company good—or not so good? If I were to accept this offer, what can I do when I start to be most effective and contribute to alleviating your biggest problem? Why did you come to work here? What is your energy level like? Describe one of your typical days. What specifically have you learned from the jobs that you held most recently? How do you handle criticism? What do I know about the company I'm speaking with? What is the next step in this process? Questions to Ask Yourself After Each InterviewYou live a long way from here. It will take you 45 (or 1 hour or 1.5 hours) minutes to get to work one way. With the price of gas, as well as your time, after a while you might lose enthusiasm for the job. Dress professionally. What are one or two things your present or previous co-workers dislike about you? Sometimes we have to bring conflict out into the open and other times we avoid it or sacrifice our own needs in order to placate others. Tell me about when you've had to make a choice like this. Time is your enemy. I'm sure that there were some policies in your previous companies that you didn't agree with. . . . How did you handle those? What are you looking for in a job? How much time did you take off last year? How much authority will I have in running the department (the group, the facility, etc.?) What This Means to YouAre you a good employee/manager/engineer/accountant/sales person/administrative support person/etc.? How do you know? Priorities constantly change in our firm. Recurring challenges and limitations to resources push us really hard. Often it is hard to maintain a positive attitude, and the department gets emotionally down. Has this ever happened to you and how would you deal with it? How is your performance measured? How often? How does that relate to the job I'm considering? How would you describe your personality? First impressions are critical. How These Things Affect YouParadox of InterviewingWhat can you contribute most to our organization? You really don't have as much experience as we would like; why should we hire you? What makes this a good company to work for? Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision in your last job. How do you make it? The Four Types of Qualifying QuestionsTell stories. How many people have you interviewed for this job? Are You Management Material? What Kind of Manager Are You?Are there any internal candidates? How did you get your last job? Have you ever had to overcome any personal hardships? Describe in detail your last two positions. Describe a time when an internal customer tried your patience. Do you ever lie? Recruiters' Biggest Challenge with CandidatesPutting Yourself in ContextWhat is the percentage of turnover in the company? What type of turnover have you had as a manager? Top Five Mistakes Candidates Make When They Think They Have Been Eliminated After an InterviewWhat is the most difficult part of the job? Why are there no internal candidates for this job? Have you ever had to carry out unpopular policies or decisions? Questions to Ask When the Position Involves ManagementWhat is your greatest accomplishment in each of your last three jobs? Does this company have any glaring problems that I should know about? Do you like me as a person? Can you describe the ideal candidate? I would like to speak to peers about the position that I am interviewing for. Can we arrange that? What have you told him or her about me? Have I taken good notes about the company to refer to during the interview? All you can do is all you can do. What condition is morale in and why? Warm Call ScriptAll You Need to Know About Money NegotiationsWhat are people's greatest misperceptions about you? Can I articulate my unique features, advantages, and benefits for this position or the company based on what I know about it? Have you ever had to fire someone? Describe the circumstances?Do I/We Like You?Questions to Ask in Interviews with Potential PeersHow long have you been looking for another position? What aspects of the job or the company am I going to be surprised about? What to SayYou don't have anything until you have an offer. You will be older than anyone else here. How does that make you feel? How do you rank yourself personally and professionally among your peers? Describe the most difficult problem you had to deal with. Your resume shows that you been with one company a long time without any appreciable increase in rank or salary. Tell me about this.Be aggressive. What kind of people have you hired and what you look for in those people? Recruiters' Biggest Challenge with Hiring OrganizationsDoes he or she usually agree with your opinions? What happened to the last person in the job? You are awfully young for this position, aren't you? I'm afraid that, in building your career, you would only stay with us for a short period of time. How This Affects YouGive me an example of a new or innovative idea that you came up with or implemented. How well did you feel your boss rated your performance? Tell me how you moved up through the organization. How the Internet Can Help YouHow you handle dishonesty? The Uncertain Attitude of the U.S. WorkerQuestions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin to Look for a Job if You Are EmployedHow much do you know about the duties or responsibilities of the managers or superiors two levels below you? What was it like for you growing up? Do you have budgetary responsibility? How large was your budget? Did you have any problems staying within budget? What do you do in your spare time? Does the company plan to make any immediate acquisitions or be acquired or change in any way that might affect the job we are discussing? Based on what you know of me, what might my weaknesses be in light of this job? If a personal commitment conflicts with a business emergency, what do you do? What do you think about yourself is most important to us? Questions to Ask the Hiring Authority at the Time of an OfferYou will be younger than anyone else here. How does that make you feel? Do you communicate best with written or oral communications? Were you ever denied a pay raise, got a poor performance review, or were passed up for a promotion? What did you do?
 
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