Posts Tagged ‘Interview questions’

7 Questions you MUST ASK in your job interview

April 28, 2010 1 comment

    One of the top reasons given for not hiring a job candidate is that they didn’t ask enough (or any) questions in the job interview. This is absolutely crucial for so many reasons:

  • It demonstrates an interest in the position and company,
  • It engages the interviewer, and
  • Basic psychology says that if you can get the other person to talk about themselves they will end up liking you more.

    What is the biggest difficulty that others have had in this position?
    This will give you an idea of the company’s pain point at this position – use this to your advantage during follow-up interviews (or a thank-you letter if this will be the only interview).

    What are the top three priorities that you would like to see accomplished by someone in this position?
    If you don’t know what the main objectives of the position are then you don’t really know if the position is a fit for you. Asking this question will demonstrate that you really want to find out if the position is a good fit…which will separate you from those that are just looking for any short-term job to pay the bills.

    What are the advancement opportunities for a person who is successful in this position?
    This demonstrates that you are ambitious and focused on long-term growth within the company. It’s also good information for you to know to make sure that the company is a fit for your short and long-term objectives for your career.

    What are this company’s short-term goals?
    What are this company’s long-term goals?

    These questions not only demonstrate an interest in the company, but also will help you decide if the company is a good fit for you.

    What do you see as the biggest challenges in meeting these goals?
    This demonstrates that you are a problem solver. The first step in problem solving is to identify the main challenge. Unless you’re interviewing with Google, the company will definitely have problems and challenges.

    I noticed on your website that your mission statement is (summarize company’s mission); how is this mission statement significant in today’s economy?
    No hiring manager got to where they’re at without being passionate about the company’s mission statement. Get the interviewer to open up and talk about something that they are passionate about, and you will have them instantly engaged for the rest of the interview. In addition, there’s a story behind every mission statement, so it’s always good to hear this from the managers that truly believe in it.

    Obviously feel free to alter these accordingly. Also, this may sound obvious, but add questions that come to mind based on their answers. This shows active listening and will turn the experience into more of a conversation than an interview. If you have a bigger problem answering questions than asking them, then make sure to check out 3 words that will help you answer any job interview question.

    Do you have a story about a question that you asked in a job interview that you wish you hadn’t? Please leave a comment below with your story.



3 words that will help you answer ANY job interview question

March 31, 2010 3 comments


"U.S. Americans could learn something from this blog"

We’ve all been there:

You’re acing your job interview, regurgitating all the BS that you’ve read on how each question should be answered, and then all of the sudden you are hit with it!  “It” could be a curveball, a question that you’ve never prepared for, or just a question that you know how to answer but for some reason are just blanking on.  No matter what the situation is, or how tough the job interview question is, there are three words that can always save you.

    What are those three words?

    “Just be attractive”?  Nope.  Just ask Miss South Carolina Teen USA.  It didn’t work for her. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about you owe it to yourself to check out this video)

    “Use the bathroom”?  An interesting strategy.  Excuse yourself in mid-questioning, giving additional time to come up with a well thought-out answer.  Although I have never field-tested it, I’m gonna have to say no.

    The three words that you need to know are “tell a story”.  The truth is that if 10 people are asked why the company should hire them, often 8-9 of them will simply recite a list of ideal qualities for the position.  Even a bad story will make for a better answer than that.  Let me give you an example:

    Answer 1: “Well, I’m an extremely hard-worker.  I graduated with honors at Syracuse.  My old boss said that I was the most creative person that she had ever worked with.  And I’m extremely detail-oriented, some even call me a perfectionist.”  Blah, blah, blah.

    Answer 2: “It’s funny that you should ask that.  My boss at my last job started off the interview with the exact same question.  I didn’t really know how to answer since I had just gotten out of college and lacked the experience that the position required.  But he saw something in me and took a chance.  I felt a constant pressure to validate his choice, so I would take online courses at home to teach me the skills that I needed to excel in the position.  My hard work paid off after a couple of years, and I was promoted to an advanced position where I gained even more valuable experience.  But even after my promotion I always continued my efforts to advance my knowledge whenever possible, knowing that one day it would give me the advantage over others in instances like this.”

    It isn’t the best answer ever, but it demonstrates the difference that a story can make.  If you can apply the story to the position or company that you are applying for, even better – but let’s just focus on baby steps for now.

    The bottom line is that a story is much more engaging than a list of qualities.  You have to tell it from the heart though.  While I’m definitely a huge supporter of embellishment, people rarely tell a story with the same passion if it’s one that is completely fabricated.  But if you happen to be a person that can fake this, maybe you should be at an audition in Hollywood instead of a job interview.  Or in law school.

    What’s the toughest job interview question that you have ever been asked?  Please share your story below.