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Tough Interview Questions

 General Questions

Tell me about you!
Keep your answer to one or two minutes; don't ramble. Use your resume summary as a base to start.

What do you know about our company?
Do your homework before the interview! Spend some time online or at the library researching the company. Find out as much as you can, including products, size, income, reputation, image, management talent, people, skills, history and philosophy. Project an informed interest; let the interviewer tell you about the company.

Why do you want to work for us?
Don't talk about what you want; first, talk about their needs: You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve a company problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.


What would you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can't?
Relate past experiences that show you've had success in solving previous employer problem(s) that may be similar to those of the prospective employer.


What about the job offered do you find the most attractive? Least attractive?
List three or more attractive factors and only one minor unattractive factor.

Why should we hire you?
Because of your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills.


What do you look for in a job?
An opportunity to use your skills, to perform and be recognized.


Please give me your definition of a .... (The position for which you are being interviewed).
Keep it brief -- give an actions- and results-oriented definition.

How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?
Not long at all -- you expect only a brief period of adjustment to the learning curve.


How long would you stay with us?
As long as we both feel I'm contributing, achieving, growing, etc.

Experience and Management Questions

You may be overqualified for the position we have to offer.
Strong companies need strong people. A growing, energetic company is rarely unable to use its people talents. Emphasize your interest in a long-term association, pointing out that the employer will get a faster return on investment because you have more experience than required.

What is your management style?
(If you've never thought about this, it's high time you did.) "Open-door management" is best ... And you get the job done on time or inform your management.

Are you a good manager? Give an example. Why do you feel you have top managerial potential?
Keep your answer achievement- and task-oriented; emphasize management skills -- planning, organizing, controlling, interpersonal, etc.

What do you look for when you hire people?
Skills, initiative, adaptability

Did you ever fire anyone? If so, what were the reasons and how did you handle it?
You have had experience with this and it worked out well.

What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?
Getting things planned and done on time within the budget.

What do your subordinates think of you?
Be honest and positive ... they can check your responses easily.

What is your biggest weakness as a manager?
Be honest and end on a positive note, e.g. "I don't enjoy reprimanding people, so I try to begin with something positive first."


 Quantifying Your Experience, Accomplishments

 

Have you helped increase sales? Profits? How?
Describe in some detail.


Have you helped reduce costs? How?
Describe in some detail.


How much money did you account for?

Be specific.

How many people did you supervise on your last job?
Be specific.


Do you like working with figures more than words?

Be honest but positive.


In your current or last position, what features did you like the most? Least?

Be honest but positive.


In your current or last position, what are or were your five most significant accomplishments?

Refer to the key accomplishments already identified on your resume.


Salary Questions

How much are you looking for? 
Answer with a question, i.e., "What is the salary range for similar jobs in your company?" If they don't answer, then give a range of what you understand you are worth in the marketplace

What do you know about our company?
Do your homework before the interview! Spend some time online or at the library researching the company. Find out as much as you can, including products, size, income, reputation, image, management talent, people, skills, history and philosophy. Project an informed interest; let the interviewer tell you about the company.


How much do you expect, if we offer this position to you?

Be careful; the market value of the job may be the key answer, e.g., "My understanding is that a job like the one you're describing may be in the range of $______."

What kind of salary are you worth?
Have a specific figure in mind ... don't be hesitant.


Personality Questions


Do you generally speak to people before they speak to you?

Depends on the circumstances.


What was the last book you read? Movie you saw? Sporting event you attended?
Talk about books, sports or films to show that you have balance in your life.


What is the toughest part of a job for you?

Be honest; remember, not everyone can do everything


Are you creative?

Yes. Give examples


How would you describe your own personality?

Balanced.


Are you a leader?

Yes. Give examples.


What are your future goals?

Avoid, "I would like the job you advertised." Instead, give long-range goals.


What are your strong points?

Present at least three and relate them to the company and job you are interviewing for.


What are your weak points?

Don't say you have none. Try not to cite personal characteristics as weaknesses, but be ready to have one if the interviewer presses. Turn a negative into a positive answer: "I am sometimes intent on completing an assignment and get too deeply involved when we are late."

 


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