Simple interview questions part 4


 Part 4

Question 25        What makes you angry?
TRAPS:  You don’t want to come across either as a
hothead or a wimp.
BEST ANSWER:    Give an answer that’s suited to both your
personality and the management style of the firm.  Here, the homework you’ve done about the
company and its style can help in your choice of words.
Examples:  If you are a reserved person and/or the
corporate culture is coolly professional:
“I’m an even-tempered and positive person by nature, and I
believe this helps me a great deal in keeping my department running smoothly,
harmoniously and with a genuine esprit de
corps.
  I believe in communicating
clearly what’s expected, getting people’s commitment to those goals, and then
following up continuously to check progress.”
“If anyone or anything is going off track, I want to know
about it early.  If, after that kind of
open communication and follow up, someone isn’t getting the job done, I’ll want
to know why.  If there’s no good reason,
then I’ll get impatient and angry…and take appropriate steps from there.  But if you hire good people, motivate them to
strive for excellence and then follow up constantly, it almost never gets to
that state.”
If you are feisty by
nature and/or the position calls for a tough straw boss.
“You know what makes me angry?  People who (the fill in the blanks with the
most objectionable traits for this type of position)…people who don’t pull
their own weight, who are negative, people who lie…etc.”
Question 26        Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career?
TRAPS:  You don’t want to give the impression that
money is not important to you, yet you want to explain why your salary may be a
little below industry standards.
BEST ANSWER:  You like to make money, but other factors are
even more important.
Example:  “Making money is very important to me, and
one reason I’m here is because I’m looking to make more.  Throughout my career, what’s been even more
important to me is doing work I really like to do at the kind of company I like
and respect.
(Then be prepared to be specific about what your ideal
position and company would be like, matching them as closely as possible to the
opportunity at hand.
Question 27        Who has inspired you in your life and why?
TRAPS:  The two traps here are unpreparedness and
irrelevance.  If you grope for an answer,
it seems you’ve never been inspired.  If
you ramble about your high school basketball coach, you’ve wasted an
opportunity to present qualities of great value to the company.
BEST ANSWER:  Have a few heroes in mind, from your mental
“Board of Directors” – Leaders in your industry, from history or anyone else
who has been your mentor.
Be prepared to give examples of how their words, actions or
teachings have helped inspire your achievements.  As always, prepare an answer which highlights
qualities that would be highly valuable in the position you are seeking.
Question 28        What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?
TRAPS:  Giving an unprepared or irrelevant answer.
BEST ANSWER:  Be prepared with a good example, explaining
why the decision was difficult…the process you followed in reaching it…the
courageous or effective way you carried it out…and the beneficial results.
Question 29        Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had.
TRAPS:  You give a very memorable description of a
very boring job.  Result?  You become associated with this boring job in
the interviewer’s mind.
BEST ANSWER:  You have never allowed yourself to grow bored
with a job and you can’t understand it when others let themselves fall into
that rut.
Example:  “Perhaps I’ve been fortunate, but that
I’ve never found myself bored with any job I have ever held.  I’ve always enjoyed hard work.  As with actors who feel there are no small
parts, I also believe that in every company or department there are exciting
challenges and intriguing problems crying out for energetic and enthusiastic
solutions.  If you’re bored, it’s
probably because you’re not challenging yourself to tackle those problems right
under your nose.”
Question 30        Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous
position?
TRAPS:  If you’ve had a problem, you can’t lie.  You could easily be found out.  Yet admitting an attendance problem could
raise many flags.
BEST ANSWER:  If you have had no problem, emphasize your excellent and consistent attendance
record throughout your career.
Also describe how important you believe such consistent
attendance is for a key executive…why it’s up to you to set an example of
dedication…and why there’s just no substitute for being there with your people
to keep the operation running smoothly, answer questions and handle problems
and crises as they arise.
If you do have a
past attendance problem, you want to minimize it, making it clear that it was
an exceptional circumstance and that it’s cause has been corrected.
To do this, give the same answer as above but preface it
with something like, “Other that being out last year (or whenever) because of
(your reason, which is now in the past), I have never had a problem and have
enjoyed an excellent attendance record throughout my career.  Furthermore, I believe, consistent attendance
is important because…”  (Pick up the rest
of the answer as outlined above.).
Question 31        What changes would you make if you came on board?
TRAPS:  Watch out! 
This question can derail your candidacy faster than a bomb on the tracks
– and just as you are about to be hired.
Reason:  No matter how bright you are, you cannot know
the right actions to take in a position before you settle in and get to know
the operation’s strengths, weaknesses key people, financial condition, methods
of operation, etc.  If you lunge at this
temptingly baited question, you will probably be seen as someone who shoots
from the hip.
Moreover, no matter how comfortable you may feel with your
interviewer, you are still an outsider.  No one, including your interviewer, likes to
think that a know-it-all outsider is going to come in, turn the place upside
down and with sweeping, grand gestures, promptly demonstrate what jerks
everybody’s been for years.
BEST ANSWER:  You, of course, will want to take a good hard
look at everything the company is doing before making any recommendations.
Example:  “Well, I wouldn’t be a very good doctor if I
gave my diagnosis before the
examination.  Should you hire me, as I
hope you will, I’d want to take a good hard look at everything you’re doing and
understand why it’s being done that way. 
I’d like to have in-depth meetings with you and the other key people to
get a deeper grasp of what you feel you’re doing right and what could be
improved.
“From what you’ve told me so far, the areas of greatest
concern to you are…” (name them.  Then do
two things.  First, ask if these are in
fact his major concerns.  If so then
reaffirm how your experience in meeting similar needs elsewhere might prove
very helpful).
Question 32        I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience as we’d like in…
TRAPS:  This could be a make-or-break question.  The interviewer mostly likes what he sees, but has doubts over one key area.  If you can assure him on this point, the job
may be yours.
BEST ANSWER:   This question is related to “The Fatal Flaw” (Question
18), but here the concern is not that you are totally missing some qualifications, such as CPA certification, but
rather that your experience is light
in one area.
Before going into any interview, try to identify the weakest
aspects of your candidacy from this company’s point of view.  Then prepare the best answer you possible can
to shore up your defenses.
To get past this question with flying colors, you are going
to rely on your master strategy of uncovering
the employer’s greatest wants and needs and then matching them with your
strengths.
  Since you already know
how to do this from Question 1, you are in a much stronger position.
More specifically, when the interviewer poses as objection
like this, you should…
1.                  
Agree on the importance of this qualification.
2.                  
Explain that your strength may be indeed be
greater than your resume indicates because…
3.                  
When this strength is added to your other
strengths, it’s really your combination
of qualifications that’s most important.
Then review the areas of your greatest strengths that match
up most favorably with the company’s most urgently-felt wants and needs.
This is powerful way to handle this question for two
reasons.  First, you’re giving your
interviewer more ammunition in the area of his concern.  But more importantly, you’re shifting his
focus away from this one, isolated
area and putting it on the unique
combination
of strengths you offer, strengths which tie in perfectly with
his greatest wants.

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Jeffry is a Mechanical Engineer by education and an aspiring writer and blogger. After working hard for around 12 hours a day on his core job, he spends his remaining time in blogging and reading articles online. And he loves to make poor jokes, so be prepared.

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