They'll ask you about lengthy projects you've been involved in — how your role evolved, how you handled deadlines, how you handled pressures and difficult personalities. They are going to be testing you. — Are you ready for their tough questions?
What you are about to discover here are over 177 MODERN, TRUST-BUILDING, FAITH-GENERATING, TOTALLY PERSUASIVE Job Interview Answers designed for today's savvy Hiring Managers and complex business world. Ready to learn more?
- How to "Package & Spin" your work experience so it's the perfect fit for the job.
- Be more likeable and more confident. Easily calm nerves or fear.
- Use professional words and phrases that will impress them.
- Ask the right questions to show them you're smart and engaged.
- Tell them exactly what they want to hear — so you GET HIRED!
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- Why did you leave your last job?
- Have you ever been fired or forced to resign?
- Why have you had so many jobs in such a short period of time?
- Can you explain this gap in your employment history?
- Exactly why do you want to work here?
- Why should we hire YOU? What can you do for us that someone else can not?
- Have you ever had problems with a supervisor or a coworker? ... Describe the situation.
- Describe some times when you were not very satisfied with your own performance.
- Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
- Give me an example of an important goal you had to set, and tell me about your progress in reaching that goal. — What steps did you take?
- What was your role in your department's most recent success?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your biggest weakness?
- What have you learned from your mistakes?
- Describe a time when you were faced with unreasonable deadlines at work. — What did you do? What was the outcome?
- How do you deal with competition? Are you a competitive person?
- What are your long-range career objectives, and what steps have you taken toward obtaining them?
- Describe a situation when working with a team produced more successful results than if you had completed the project on your own.
- What do you do when people disagree with your ideas?
- Describe a situation where you had to deal with someone who didn't like you as a person.
- Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's opinion.
- Can you tell me about an important written document you were required to complete?
- What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job?
- Describe a situation where you messed up, or your results were not up to your supervisor's expectations. What action did you take?
- Give me an example of a time when you tried to accomplish something and failed. Were you discouraged by this? What did you do about it?
- What do you really want to do in life? What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
- What does it mean to be successful? ... According to your definition, how successful have you been so far?
- What is the best decision you have ever made?
- What is the most creative thing you have ever done?
- You don't have the right kind of experience.
- You may be overqualified or too experienced for the position.
- What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
- How much $$$ do you expect if we offer this position to you?
Each and every one of these questions is answered in this Guide ... You'll have the perfect seasoned and intelligent answer to every question!
✔ About me: My name is Bob Firestone, and I care. I really care. I WANT you to get hired. I've been continuously improving these answers and these strategies since 2004. I believe that this is the smartest, best interview prep material on the internet and I've put all of my years of experience and feedback from readers into helping you be more likeable, more confident are more able to communicate with persuasive, professional business language why you should be hired.
I've also made it so simple to use quickly and easily. Every interview question in the Guide begins with a discussion, and offers a strategy on how to best formulate your winning answer — based on YOUR personal experience and type of job. Have a look:
✔ Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
STRATEGY: This is a problem solving question that tests your critical thinking skills. This is a great question for showing that you are a creative and capable problem solver. The problem you select to use as an example should be as similar as possible to a problem that you are likely to face at the job you are interviewing for.
1) LISTEN for their "pain points," 2) give an example of your experience where you solved something similar, then 3) get them to agree with you that such experience would be beneficial to the company.
Here's the formula:
"Sure, at my last job we had a problem where the situation was "X" ... the action I took was "Y" ... and the positive outcome was "Z" ... I was commended by Susan in Accounting for solving the problem and getting the project back on track. I think that's the type of experience you are looking to bring to your team ... isn't it?"
"When facing problems on the job I try to take a systematic approach. I think it's important to clarify the problem first before you start coming up with possible solutions, or wasting other people's time. I also try to think about the best possible outcome, or what I want the result to be. FOR EXAMPLE, when I was at Job "X" ... (use one of your S.T.A.R. Statements here) ... What kinds of challenges are YOU currently facing in your department? ... What could the ideal candidate do to help solve this problem in their first couple months on the job?"
... then get them to agree with you:
"You would agree that having this type of experience would probably help me succeed in this position, wouldn't you?"
"Would that type of problem-solving experience be relevant to this job?"
✔ What did you like best and least about your previous job?
STRATEGY: This question reveals a lot about you. You want to indicate that what you liked best about your last job are things that will appeal to the Hiring Manager. Show that your last job allowed you to demonstrate many of the positive and desirable Behavioral Competencies that are discussed at the beginning of this Guide. Give specific examples of how your last job allowed you to flex your skills and show your maturity. Never make statements like "I like that my last company gave me a lot of vacation days," or something similar. When answering about what you liked least, keep it short and do not be negative.
"What I liked about my last job was the fact that there was good on the job training. I was able to really develop my "X" skills, which I know will help me succeed here if I am fortunate enough to be able to join your team. What are the qualities and skills of the people who have been most successful at this company?"
"One thing I liked about my last job was that it allowed me to develop my project management skills ... FOR EXAMPLE, I was put in charge of a project where I had to earn the "buy-in" of people from multiple different departments — and I had all the responsibility for getting this project completed on time, even though I had no real authority over my teammates since they did not report to me. I was successful because I first created a project vision statement that the team agreed on, and then day-to-day I made sure that each team member completed their work on time. I did this in most cases by appealing to my teammates' own self-interests. FOR EXAMPLE ... "
"Did I answer that question to your satisfaction?"
"What I liked least about my last job was that the management style was pretty hands off, and this was fine for me because I am self-motivated and work hard to achieve. But the lack of structure sometimes allowed some of my teammates to slack off from time to time — and I often ended up having to pick up the extra work. I would not mind that SOMETIMES, but it got old after a while. I had to constructively approach my manager and let her know what was going on WITHOUT creating any friction between me and the slacker teammates, who I actually liked as people. In the end, it worked out well, because I was pro-active. Have you ever run into that type of situation as a manager?"
✔ What have you learned from your mistakes?
STRATEGY: Show that you are able to learn from your mistakes, but don't offer up any negative examples concerning your past performance. Show that you have been successful, but that you have the maturity it takes to examine your own behavior so that you can learn and grow and be a better employee. Be brief.
"Good question. Well, I have been successful at every job I have had, but I have had the normal ups and downs. I'd say that I do actively try to monitor my work habits and the quality of my work so that I can constantly be improving myself. FOR EXAMPLE, I have had one or two hiccups with customers where their satisfaction was not where I thought it was. I learned that I have to really monitor certain difficult customers closely and "take their temperature" so I can keep their satisfaction level as high as possible. Have YOU had any customers like that here?"
✔ Describe a situation when working with a team produced more successful results than if you had completed the project on your own.
STRATEGY: This is a "behavioral interviewing" style of question. The Hiring Manager wants to learn more about your thought process, and how well you can form examples to answer this teamwork related question. You will want to show your ability to solicit ideas from others, listen carefully, and persuade people to your point of view.
"Working with others allows you data-mine other people's skills and experiences, and get perspectives and ideas that you would not have on your own, AND check the quality of your own work before it goes out the door. FOR EXAMPLE, at Job "X" I worked with many great people. I was able to "pick their brains" — so to speak — about the effectiveness of various techniques, and get estimates on how long it would take to get various things done, etc. — I would not have been able to do my job as effectively without them."
"Would that type of experience be relevant to this job? ... Great! So when do I start?" (don't be afraid so throw some humor in if it's going well!)
"Well, I have worked both independently and as a member of team, throughout my career. I enjoy both, and I can do both equally well. I will have to say, though, that working with others has often yielded great results for projects I have worked on — specifically when it comes to brainstorming. When it's appropriate, I try to get the key stakeholders involved in coming up with new solutions. I did that a lot at Job 'ABC'. FOR EXAMPLE ... and the OUTCOME was a roughly 30% increase in cost-savings for the company, and a significant decrease in the time it took to get that process done."
✔ Tell me about a time when you were faced with problems or stresses at work that tested your coping skills. What did you do?
STRATEGY: Workplace stress is an issue for everyone. Don't pretend that you never get stressed out. You want to show that you can deal with stress and cope with difficult situations. Show that you are calm under pressure, and know how to avoid stress in the first place through planning and time management.
"Well I think it's important to remember that stress effects everyone, and it's inevitable that sometimes people are going to have bad days. But what I do personally is plan ahead and try to manage my time as best as possible. If something happens, I try to control my response to a situation. You can't always control what happens to you, but you CAN control your own response. What I try to do is lengthen the time between the stressful situation and my response ... Would you say it is a stressful environment here? ... I see. I'm sure I can handle it. I have been tested like that before ... FOR EXAMPLE ...."
"For example, on several occasions I have had to deal with very irate customers who actually yelled at me. What I did was stay calm and not let them get under my skin. I really tried to listen and decide exactly what it was that was at the root of their problem. Then I provided solutions that could be completed within a specific time-frame. I always find that it is best to face those types of situations head-on and be objective about them. I do my best to be professional and not get my emotions involved. Does that make sense? ... I hope I've answered that question to your satisfaction?"
✔ What was your role in your department's most recent success?
STRATEGY: You'll want to be very specific here, and frame your answer in terms of how you saved time and money. The Hiring Manager is looking for a pattern of success, and you need to describe your recent successes in detail. Use the S.T.A.R. Statement formula (page 11 in the Guide) for your examples. Be prepared with at least three examples concerning your recent successes, and make sure at least one of them relates to teamwork and something you accomplished as part of a group. Make sure you address how your work made other people FEEL, as well as the time you saved and the revenue or cost-savings you generated.
"I guess that would be a recent project for client "X." I handled all of the communication with the client for our last project. It was a three month long project where my team had to build a custom package based on the needs of client. I was instrumental in translating the client's business needs into detailed product features. I had to make sure that my team understood what the client wanted, and then check the quality to make sure that we were delivering a quality product with the features that the client was expecting."
"Well, it was an ongoing process that required a lot of communication and teamwork with my team as well as the client. I think my role really was to clarify the scope of the project, and then "manage the client's expectations." We were able to deliver on time, and the client was thrilled! I was able to make sure no time was wasted on adding unnecessary features, and since we were working on a fixed bid price, we saved my company time and money. My manager and everybody on my team felt great because the project went so smoothly ... Is that the kind of experience that would help me be successful here?"
It's packed with specific tricks and tips!