50 Tough Interview Questions
You and Your Accomplishments
1. Tell me a little about yourself. Because this is often the opening question, be careful that you don’t run off at the mouth. Keep your answer to a minute or two, and consider four topics: • Early Years • Education • Work History • Recent Career Experience
2. What can you do for us that some else can’t? Here you have every right and perhaps obligation to toot your own horn and be a bit egotistical. • Talk about your record of getting things done. • Mention specifics from your resume or inventory of accomplishments • Say that your skills and interests, combined with history of getting things done, makes you valuable. • Mention ability to set priorities, identify problems, and use your experience and ability to solve them.
3. Why should we hire you? Create your answer by thinking in terms of your ability, your experience, and your energy. See Question 2 for more detail.
4. What do you look for in a job? Keep you answer oriented toward the opportunities at the organization. • Talk about desire to perform and be recognized for contributions • Orient your answer toward opportunities rather than personal security
5. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm? Be realistic. • Say that, while you would expect to meet pressing demands and pull your own weight from the first day, it might take six months to a year before you could expect to know the organization and its needs enough to make a major contribution.
6. Did you change the nature of your job? Tell how you improved it.
7. Can you work under pressure and deal with deadlines? Observe that both are facts of business life. • Take examples from your list of accomplishments to show how you have dealt successfully with pressure and deadlines in the past.
8. In your present (last) position, what problems did you identify that had previously been overlooked? Be brief and don’t brag. Indicate the positive changes your suggestions or leadership resulting in.
9. If you could start your career over again what would you do differently? The best answer is, “Not a thing.” • You should try to present yourself as a person who is happy with his or her life. • You’ve enjoyed its ups and learned from its downs. • You would not, as a result, want to change things that brought you to where you are today. • Mention that it is the past, after all, that has prepared you for this position.
10. What career options do you have at this moment? You should try to identify three areas of interest, one of which includes this company and job. • The other two should be in related fields.
11. How would you define success? Think in terms of a sense of well-being. • Consider opportunity and responsibility as components of success.
12. How successful do you think you’ve been so far? Say that, all in all, you’re happy with the way you career has progressed. • Given the normal ups and downs of life, you feel that you’ve done quite well and expect to continue to succeed in the future. • Present a positive and confident picture of yourself, but don’t overstate your case. An answer like, “Everything is wonderful; I’m overjoyed!” is likely to make an interviewer wonder whether you’re trying to fool him or yourself. The most convincing confidence is quiet confidence.
13. What do you know about our organization? You should be able to discuss the following: • Production Services • Revenues • Reputation • Image • • • • Goals Management Style People History and Philosophy
However, don’t act as if you know everything about the place. • Let answers show that you have taken the time to do some research, but don’t overwhelm the interviewer. • Make it clear that you wish to learn more. • Give answers in a positive tone. Don’t say, “Well, everyone tells me the company’s in a heap of trouble, and that’s why I’m here” – even if it is why you’re there.
14. Tell us why you want to...
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