After each interview question there is a concern or an additional question. Your responsibility is to process the inquiry thinking about what the interviewer’s concern might be. In other words, why is the interviewer asking you this question?
Q1 – How long have you been looking for a job? (Concern – is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?)
A1 – “After I was let go from my previous job, I took the break to take a little time to assess my career goals and where I was going with my life. I have just begun my search in the previous few weeks. I have a definite objective in mind and have been selective concerning the positions I contemplate. Your business and this situation are of significant interest to me.”
Q2 – How did you get ready for this career job interview? (Concern – are you interested enough to do a little research, or are you planning to “wing it”?)
A2 – “When I found this position posted on the net (monster.com) I was instantaneously attracted. I checked out the company site as well as the mission statement, looked at the bios of company founders and executives, and was impressed. After I had the job interview appointment, I talked with associates and acquaintances in the industry. Also, I’m sure I’ll find a lot more during today’s meetings.”
Q3 – What is your salary expectation for this job? (Concern – Can we manage to pay for you? Can we get you for less than budgeted?)
A3 – “I’ll want more information with reference to the job as well as the responsibilities involved before discussing salary. Can you provide me an idea of the range budgeted intended for this position?”
Q4 – How do you keep current and knowledgeable about your job and the industries that you have worked in? (Concern – Once you get the job do you continue to learn and develop – stay challenged and motivated?)
A4 – “I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in my trade. I do a lot of reading – the business section of the newspapers and magazines. I belong to a couple of professional organizations and network with colleagues at the conferences. I take classes and seminars whenever they are of importance, or offer fresh information or technology.”
Q5 – Tell me about a time when you had to set up and coordinate a project from start to end. (Concern – behavioral questions – looking for an instance of certain past behavior)
A5 – ” I headed up a project which involved client service personnel and technicians. I organized a meeting to get everybody together to brainstorm and get his or her input. From this business meeting I drew up a design, taking the best of the ideas. I prepared groups, balancing the mixture of specialized and non-technical people. We had a deadline to meet, so I did periodic checks with the groups. After three weeks, we ended up exceeding expectations, and were able to begin implementation of the strategy. It was a enormous team effort, and a huge achievement. I was commended by management on behalf of my leadership, but I was most proud of the team determination and cooperation which it took to pull it off.”
Q6 – What types of individuals do you have difficulties working with? (Concern – ability to be flexible and work in a diverse atmosphere?)
A6 – “In my previous three jobs I have worked with men and women from vastly diverse backgrounds and cultures. The single instance I had trouble was with people who were being dishonest about work issues. I worked with one lady who was taking recognition for work that her group completed. I had an occasion to chat with her one day and explained how she was upsetting the morale. She became incredibly distressed that some others saw her that way, and believed she was unaware of her conduct or the reactions of other people. Her actions changed following our conversation. What I learned as a result of that occurrence is that from time to time what we perceive regarding other people is not always the case if we check it out.”
Q7 – We expect managers to work more than 8 hours a day. Do you have a problem with that? (Concern – are you a work-aholic or a person who requires balance?)
A7 – “I have no trouble working lengthy hours. I have worked 12 or 14 hour days. What I have found works for me is to work smarter, not necessarily for a longer time. My target is to get the job completed, whatever that calls for, in the most efficient manner.”
Q8 – When have you been most pleased in your career? (Concern – what motivates you? Or demotivates you?)
A8 – “The job prior to the one I am currently at, was my most satisfying experience for me. I worked in a wonderful team setting. There was a lot of camaraderie. I worked with a group of four people and we did some truly creative thinking. It is that style of setting I would like to be involved in again.”
Q9 – Why do you want this job? (Concern – are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you in fact realize what you desire?)
A9 – “I’ve been especially careful about the organizations where I have applied. As soon as I saw the advertisement for this opportunity, I recognized I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of knowledge, and knowledge of the industry, along with my ability to connect and create customer relationships. That, along with my versatility and organizational competencies, makes me a perfect match for this opportunity. I perceive a few challenges in the future of me here, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.”
Q10 – We are ready to put together an offer. Are you prepared to accept today? (Concern – we do not desire you to go away and deliberate about it and change your mind – we desire you.)
A10 – “Based on my research and the information I have gathered throughout the job interview process, I feel I am in a place to consider an offer. I do, nevertheless, have a personal policy that I give myself at least 24 hours to make key life decisions. I could let you know by tomorrow.”
There is no way you can precisely predict the questions that will be asked in a job interview, however you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the points that might concern an interviewer or employer before the interview.
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