Why Are We Giving You The Answers To These Job Interview Questions?
We all know that job interviews are tricky situations to be in. People will tell you that interview preparation is key to passing the job interview, it is but you can only do so much job interview preparation without knowing the interview questions. Even with a list of interview questions, you can’t really make a real impact in terms of influencing the job interview until you know how to structure your interview answers or until you have areal insight to why the interviewer is asking you said question.
Below you find a list of questions, the reason why the interviewer is asking the question and an example answer; taken from the best selling interview e-book Tricky Questions, Killer Answers
Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
Be truthful, employers will find out when they ask for a reference. If you have give a brief answer and stay away from giving any negatives about the company you worked for.
If the answer is no, Say “No, never” “Once, several years ago, once I had left university I had a part time job, the role didn’t suit me as I enjoy being kept busy. I think the manager knew I was going to be moving on”
Why should we hire you?
A great question for selling yourself, if you have already talked about your skills and qualities, give a brief answer around your relevant experience-keep this general, as an example add up the amount of years experience you have rather than giving individual dates. This answer should highlight the benefits you will bring to the organisation. Think-what makes me stick out from the other candidates?
“I have over 8 years experience in this industry and I have always achieved my target, by hiring me you will get both my experience and my large client base. In my current role I have achieved year on year profits since starting their 3 years ago”
What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Start by explaining how you get on well with everyone, and then stop to think. Carry on by saying you would not want to work with someone who was violent or someone who was lazy.
“I always get on well everyone I meet, I am often told how friendly and approachable I am. I like to give everyone a chance but I wouldn’t like to work with someone who is violent or lazy” Have you ever had a problem with a supervisor? This could be a trap-they want to see if you will speak ill of a pass employer. Start by explaining that “you have always worked well with your supervisors”, if they push this question, continue by giving an answer along the lines of this: “The only thing I can think off is when I was asked by a supervisor to complete a task, and I already had a task that needed completing by a certain deadline. My supervisor was a little stressed but we prioritised the work and got both jobs done on time”
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Common asked question in project management jobs, keep this answer short (it is easy to give a long winded answer to this type of question) and demonstrate how you plan, prepare and approach projects –use an example if possible
“I recently completed a highly valuable project; to start with a look at the outcome of the project and work backwards, I work out what resources I need to complete the project on time and write an action plan to follow adding cost, timings and a contingency plan”
What has disappointment you about a previous job?
Again we always need to stay away from any negative answers. Start with a positive and follow this up with why you looking for a new role. This keeps your answer positive.
“I have enjoyed all my jobs and with every new job I gain new skills and confidence. Currently I am looking for a new role, not because I’m disappointment but more because I want a bigger challenge, more responsibility, etc” Can you work under pressure?
Be honest, if you can’t work under pressure and this is a pressured job role, is it really for you? If you can work under pressure give a real experience for an answer.
“Yes I actually enjoy it. One of my strengths is that I can start several tasks at the same time while working to deadlines, I don’t get flustered I keep a clam head and ensure the task get prioritised in order of importance”
How do you know when you have been successful with a task?
When have you been successful? How did you know? As this will be your best answer. You have been successful when:
- The job has been completed on time
- The task has been completed to a good standard
- When your customers walk away happy
- When you employer tells you
- When you have job satisfaction
“Recently the company I work or was putting together a bid for a new contract, the whole team was involved in gaining information and quotes for the bid. It was a big job and we worked late for several nights, it was worth it though as we recently gain confirmation that the company has won the new contract”
Do you learn from mistakes?
Everyone makes mistakes; the people who learn from mistakes are the type of people who will always move forward. Employers want to know that if you make a mistake, the mistake will not hold you back but can be useful if you learn from it. Explain this in your answer and then follow it up with an example of how you have learnt from a mistake. “Yes, I think everyone makes mistakes and the secret is learning form them. In my first job role, many years ago I was asked to into a meeting to get a “tea” order. I did and as I went to the kitchen and forgot half the orders. Next time I took a notepad and pencil in with me”
Do you have any blind spots?
If you know about blind spots, then they are not blind. Employers use question like this to see if you will tell them any weaknesses-let them work it out for themselves, answer
“Not that I know off, if I ever discover a weakness I quickly do something to improve it”
Do you think you have enough experience?
If you’re asked this, then the interviewer does not believe you have enough experience. If you have you need to make this clear, explain about your previous experiences and give detail to the parts that are relevant to this new job role. If you do not have the experience they need, you need to show the employer you have the skills, qualities and knowledge that will make you equal to people with experience but not necessary the skills. It is also good to add how quick you can pick up the routine of a new job role.
“All together I have 8 years experience in this industry, in my current role as a manger I spend a large amount of time auditing accounts as we worked on government contracts and all expenditure had to be accounted for. I use all the relevant computer packages and understand the importance of double checking the figures. I have always had an eye for detail and an able to find errors easily, allowing me to be pro-active rather than re-active”
What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Use a generic answer and stay positive, “A boss who is knowledgeable, fair, loyal” Remember the skills needed a the job specification, if they require someone who is creative (or any other job criteria) say “A manger who will allow me to be creative (criteria) ..” Have you ever resolved a dispute between others? If you haven’t, explain what you would do. If you have discuss what you did and how you found out what the dispute was about, you gained everyone’s side of the story and how you resolved the dispute. This will highlight your people and communication skills.
“I recently walked in on two people arguing at work, there was a big deadline due and everyone was feeling the pressure. When I came into the room and asked both people to take a minute and to sit down. This automatically calmed the situation. I asked each person to tell me there side of the story without the other person interrupting. In the end both people wanted the same result, but was coming at from a different angle and didn’t realise the other person had the same goal.”
What is your role when working in a team?
You will find that in different teams your roles changes. This is a good way to answer this question, unless you are applying for a management job when you need to be the team leader.
“In different teams and in different projects I think we all have different roles, as different team members will have different strengths and experiences depending on the team’s goal. One of my roles in a team is to ensure everyone has a say and is listened to, as some of the quieter team members will have a good idea and may not have the confidence to mention it.”
What is your biggest achievement?
We have all achieved many things throughout our lives, from losing weight to passing a driving test. If you make your answer relevant to the job you are applying for. Talk about how you had a goal you initially thought you couldn’t achieve and then through working hard you achieved your goal.
“I was once asked to give a presentation, at first I thought I wouldn’t be able to deliver it without embarrassing myself. I wrote the presentation and practiced it in front of small groups, until I had the confidence to deliver it to a large group. I was really pleased with the result on the day and I was good feedback from my line manager.”
Why did you choice this career? We all have a different story to tell, some us “fall” into a career, while others had a career goal from an early age. Use this question to highlight your passion for your career and add in information on your experiences. Passion + experience = a good employee.
“I have always wanted a job “helping” people, after university I took any job I could take and ended up working a an Male Hostel, 10 years later I am still in the same industry, I just love that my work helps others improve their lives. I have learnt so much over these 10 years that helps me quickly move people forward.”
Tell me about the most fun you have had at work
This question can sometimes catch some people out, explain the good feeling you get when you and your team has achieved or accomplished a goal.
“Recently, my team has been working on a project; we had a large amount of work to do. It was all worth it, as we achieved our goal and we were all really happy with the result.”
Can you tell me about your Gap Year, recorded on your CV? Many of us take a gap year after university, when asked this question the employer is looking if you “bummed” around or did something “interesting” explain how your gap year gave you new skills you can use in your job.
“After completing my accountancy degree I took a gap year and travelled and work in Asia, it was a great personal experience and a gain a lot of “life lessons” from the experience. It was also beneficial in my last role, as we had several clients in Asia and was able to use my experience to build up company relationships”
Do you have any questions? Most interviewers ask this question and generally towards the end of the interview. Remember to prepare for this, as asking questions will be a great end to an excellent interview. Don’t ask about salaries or holidays etc until you have been offer a job position.
- “Do you have any future plans to expand the company?”
- “Does your team work well together?”
- “Have you put in any new bids for any new contracts?”
- “What is the company’s policy on personal development and training?”
- “Where do you see the company being in 5 years time”
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