to see if you’re settling for this position, using it merely as a stopover
until something better comes along. Or
they could be trying to gauge your level of ambition.
someday hope to win, you’ll sound presumptuous.
If you’re too vague, you’ll seem rudderless.
to make a long-term commitment…that this position entails exactly what you’re
looking to do and what you do extremely well.
As for your future, you believe that if you perform each job at hand
with excellence, future opportunities will take care of themselves.
long-term commitment to my next position.
Judging by what you’ve told me about this position, it’s exactly what
I’m looking for and what I am very well qualified to do. In terms of my future career path, I’m
confident that if I do my work with excellence, opportunities will inevitable
open up for me. It’s always been that
way in my career, and I’m confident I’ll have similar opportunities here.”
interviewer who thinks you may be overqualified, but knows better than to show
his hand by posing his objection directly.
So he’ll use this question instead, which often gets a candidate to
reveal that, indeed, he or she is looking for something other than the position
this company is offering, being sure to make your answer believable with
specific reasons, stated with sincerity, why each quality represented by this
opportunity is attractive to you.
leader in its field or from a glamorous or much admired company, industry, city
or position, your interviewer and his company may well have an “Avis”
complex. That is, they may feel a bit
defensive about being “second best” to the place you’re coming from, worried
that you may consider them bush league.
nothing to inspire it. You must go out of your way to assuage such anxiety,
even if it’s not expressed, by putting their
virtues high on the list of exactly what you’re looking for, providing credible
reason for wanting these qualities.
culture, location, industry, etc., you may fail to answer this “Avis” complex
objection and, as a result, leave the interviewer suspecting that a hot shot
like you, coming from a Fortune 500 company in New York, just wouldn’t be happy at an
unknown manufacturer based in Topeka,
homework about the firm. If you haven’t,
you lose. If you have, you win big.
ball out of the park, thanks to the in-depth research you should do before any
contacts you know at the company or its suppliers, advertisements, articles
about the company in the trade press.
how you can position yourself as a desired commodity. If you are still working, describe the
possibilities at your present firm and why, though you’re greatly appreciated
there, you’re looking for something more (challenge, money, responsibility,
etc.). Also mention that you’re
seriously exploring opportunities with one or two other firms.
possibilities you’re actually exploring.
But do this with a light touch, speaking only in general terms. You don’t want to seem manipulative or coy.
a long time. You don’t want to seem like
prolonged your job search by your own choice.
job was terminated, I made a conscious decision not to jump on the first
opportunities to come along. In my life,
I’ve found out that you can always turn a negative into a positive IF you try
hard enough. This is what I determined to do.
I decided to take whatever time I needed to think through what I do
best, what I most want to do, where I’d like to do it…and then identify those
companies that could offer such an opportunity.”
(consolidation, stabilization, etc.) in the (banking, financial services,
manufacturing, advertising, etc.) industry.”
industry downsizing, the process has taken time. But in the end, I’m convinced that when I do
find the right match, all that careful evaluation from both sides of the desk
will have been well worthwhile for both the company that hires me and myself.
(company, management team, etc.)…
irresistible to open up and air a little dirty laundry from your previous
charmingly you’re invited to be critical.
boss. He wants to find out how loyal and
positive you are, and whether you’ll criticize him behind his back if pressed
to do so by someone in this own company.
This question is your opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to those
you work with.
fake familiarity you don’t have. Yet you
don’t want to seem like a dullard who hasn’t read a book since Tom Sawyer.
or as book critic for The New York Times,
you’re not expected to be a literary lion.
But it wouldn’t hurt to have read a handful of the most recent and
influential books in your profession and on management.
on a few of these leading books. But
make sure they are quality books that
reflect favorably upon you, nothing that could even remotely be considered
superficial. Finally, add a recently
published bestselling work of fiction by a world-class author and you’ll pass
this question with flying colors.
clever and subtle way to get you to admit to a weakness. You can’t dodge it by pretending you’ve never
been criticized. Everybody has
been. Yet it can be quite damaging to
start admitting potential faults and failures that you’d just as soon leave
criticism and direction.
feedback you’ve gotten throughout your career and (if it’s true) that your
performance reviews have been uniformly excellent.
suggestions on how to improve your performance.
Then, give an example of a not-too-damaging learning experience from early in your career and relate the ways
this lesson has since helped you. This
demonstrates that you learned from the experience and the lesson is now one of
the strongest breastplates in your suit of armor.
trivial that in no way is essential to your successful performance. Add that you’ve learned from this, too, and
over the past several years/months, it’s no longer an area of concern because
you now make it a regular practice to…etc.
your intention to broaden your master of an area of growing importance in your
field. For example, this might be a
computer program you’ve been meaning to sit down and learn… a new management
technique you’ve read about…or perhaps attending a seminar on some cutting-edge
branch of your profession.
another dimension to your already impressive knowledge base.