Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to Answer Hard Interview Questions

How to Answer Hard Interview Questions

I like to thank all those who have directly or indirectly contributed to this book by inspiring the questions, giving both great and terrible answers when I asked them, or have simply been supportive during the creative process that means you Julie Fry, to whom this book is dedicated.

We are now living in a world where changing jobs is considered a natural thing to do. Only a generation ago, my father being a prime example, it was common for people to clock up 20, 30, 40+ years of service with the one organisation. Most of us cannot conceive of remaining with the one employer for the vast majority of our working lives. It is a combination of the increase in individual aspirations and the nature of commerce which has brought about this change. The consequence is that practically all of us, whether by choice or circumstance, will be required to seek employment elsewhere and will need to go through the whole process of job seeking, applying and then being scrutinised in some way the interview still being the most common example, before we can actually spend that first pay cheque.

it getting on for twenty years now that I have been fortunate enough some might say unfortunate enough to be on the side of the desk where sits that scariest of dragons: the interviewer. During that time I have seen candidates who have inspired me to almost offer them the job there and then and not let them leave the building until they signed a contract. I seen candidates excuse themselves to go and throw up due to nerves. I seen candidates who have tried to convince me that they were doing me the greatest favour in the world by deigning to come for interview. I seen candidates whom I thought were mute, such was their reticence. I seen candidates whose vocabulary ranged all the way from to I seen candidates who gave me such detailed answers to my questions that I was on the verge of losing the will to live.

The sheer variation of quality in the performance of interviewees has prompted me to distil what I learned into one manageable body of advice which, I hope, will give you the edge when it comes to getting that job.

What follows are my tips on how to prepare for the interview itself, how to conduct yourself at the interview and, most crucially perhaps, examples of the kind of answers we interviewers REALLY want to hear. These are grouped into categories known as as the approach most modern organisations take these days is the interview. After all, we, as professional managers, are trying, on behalf of our organisations to secure the services of the most wonderful, motivated, efficient and productive employee, while trying to show how clever we are at recruitment at the same time!

The interviewers are never the enemy. They may use methods which you think are in turn obvious, brutal or downright devious, but remember it is all in the cause of getting the right person for the job who will fit in because of their skill set, personality and attitude for cultural fit is really important in terms of the likely longevity of their term in post. One day you may very well be sitting where they are and I bet you will be able to justify your approach for the cause!

Finally, if you have been asked a particular question in the past that stumped you, or you are anticipating a question that I haven covered in this edition, you are welcome to email me your question and I will personally give you a considered response. Send your question to: email protected

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