Monday, November 22, 2010

Q & A

I changed jobs recently. It was not an easy decision or an easy process. I had almost 10 years tenure at my job, and I soon realized that I had little concept anymore of what it was like to be on the other side of the desk during an interview. Interviewing candidates had become second nature for me, and I wrongly assumed that interviewer skills meant that I had interviewee skills. I needed to prepare to be interviewed.

Part of my preparation was practicing questions that I might get during an interview. For my loyal readers who may be looking, or may find themselves looking for employment in the future, I have listed the questions that I prepared for. Some are standard, some a bit more in depth. I knew that if I had answers for these, I would be prepared for just about anything that might come my way.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What have you learned in your last job?
  • What is your management philosophy?
  • What is your human resources philosophy? Can you give examples of how you applied that philosophy in your workplace?
  • Give me an example of a mistake that you made, and how you corrected it.
  • Give me an example of a project you led from inception to completion.
  • Give me an example of how you have adapted to changing circumstances at work.
  • Tell me about a vendor negotiation that you have had, and how it turned out.
  • Describe your ideal supervisor.
  • Describe your ideal employee.
  • Tell me about someone that you developed in the profession.
  • In what area do you need the most development?
  • In what area are you the strongest?
  • How have you managed change within your workplace? Examples?
  • Describe your personal brand.
In 1987 during an interview, I responded to a question with the classic line, “I like working with people.” The interviewer (Megan Lord, for those that remember that name) threw it right back in my face. She said, “Everyone tells me that, but what does it mean?”

Good question. Confidence destroyed, thank you. I learned from that interview, though. First, NEVER answer any interview question with “I like working with people.” It’s a dumb answer. Second, be prepared. I hope some of these questions help you to be prepared when it’s your turn on the other side of the desk.

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