What Do You Plan To Do If
Every business faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends. There’s rarely one of Warren Buffett’s moats protecting a small business.
So while some candidates may see your company as a stepping-stone, they still hope for growth and advancement. If they do eventually leave, they want it to be on their terms, not because you were forced out of business.
Say I’m interviewing for a position at your ski shop. Another store is opening less than a mile away: How do you plan to deal with the competition? Or you run a poultry farm : What will you do to deal with rising feed costs?
Great candidates don’t just want to know what you think they want to know what you plan to do — and how they will fit into those plans.
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Why Should We Hire You
What’s in it for you? Hiring is ultimately a one-sided game, if a candidate isn’t going to add value you shouldn’t bring them onboard. This might be a slightly intimidating question for candidates so be wary about how you use it – it’s best used towards the end of an interview when you can tell a candidate is comfortable.
If deployed correctly though, it can be a great one to separate the men from the boys. The best answers will cover three key bases. Candidates should articulate that they can not only do the work, but can deliver great results and fit in with the team and culture
The 5 Most Common Interview Questions
Wouldnt it be great if you knew exactly what potential employers were going to ask you in a job interview? Well prepared and confident, you could then knock hiring managers dead, wowing them with your wit, experience, and charm.
The thing is, we already know what theyre going to ask you. Sure, every job interview has its own rhythms and quirks, its job-specific questions and themes, but there are a fairly standard set of questions that hiring managers almost always lean on . By preparing yourself, you can feel more relaxed whenever these questions are fired in your direction.
And on that note
Here are the five most common interview questions, and how you can answer them like a boss:
Tell me about yourself?
Just about every job interview starts with an ice breaker that is meant to get you talking. Its a chance for you to introduce yourself. The thing is, its not really about you. Its about your candidacy. Yes, they want to know if your personality is a good fit for their company, but more than anything, they want to know that you can handle the job.
Your answer, therefore, should focus on your professional experience and interests, and anything that shows you are the right candidate for the role. Its not, however, the time to recite your CV. Think of it as a quick recap of who you are in a professional sense an elevator pitch of your career. Yeah, it might be interesting if your hobbies include leathercraft and Brazilian martial arts, but this isnt relevant here.
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Are You Applying For Other Jobs
Interviewers want to know if youre genuinely interested in this position or if its just one of your many options. Simply, they want to know if youre their top choice. Honesty is the best policy. If youre applying for other jobs, say so. You dont have to necessarily say where youre applying unless you have another offer. But they might want to know where in the hiring process you are with other companies. You can also mention that youre actively looking for offers if your interviewer asks.
Example: Ive applied to a couple of other firms, but this role is really the one Im most excited about right now because
Best Hypothetical Interview Questions
via: Unsplash / Amy Hirschi
With hypothetical questions, you can put the interviewee in any situation and find out how they’d deal with it. In that way, they’re really the person interview questions, since you can work through any potential work issue.
Here are the 6 best hypothetical interview questions:
28. Describe a situation where you weren’t satisfied with your job. What could have made it better?
Can they solve their own work problems?
29. Its Thursday, were staffing you on a telecommunications project in Calgary, Canada on Monday. Your flight and hotel are booked your visa is ready. What are the top five things you do before you leave?
Find out how organized they can be on the fly.
30. If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?
See how adaptable and creative they are.
31. How would you find the words that became obsolete in the English language between 16th and 17th centuries? You may use a search engine.
You’re testing how resourceful they are outside their area of expertise.
32. Describe a time when you had too many to-do items on your list. How did you solve the problem?
It’s bound to happen on this job, so how are they going to deal with it?
33. Describe a situation where you adapt new environment easily. You find that your mailbox has 1000 emails on Monday morning and you have time to answer only 200 of them, which ones would you answer first?
Setting priorities is the first step to success.
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Tell Me About A Time You Strongly Disagreed With Your Manager What Did You Do To Convince Him Or Her That You Were Right What Ultimately Happened
When we surveyed our network of thoughtful founders and operators, several mentioned this as their favorite interview question. Since they each had different points of emphasis and takeaways, weve combined a few perspectives here to highlight why this question packs such a punch.
Lets start with Cristina Cordova. She joined Stripe as the 28th employee and first business development hire. In addition to joining First Rounds Angel Track program, shes since led multiple teams across Business Development, Financial Partnerships, Partner Engineering and Diversity & Inclusion functions which means shes done her fair share of hiring.
And this question has become her go-to in interviews for a few reasons. It shows me how far someone will go in order to do what they believe is right, says Cordova. The way candidates choose to unpack the anecdote also shows me how they convince others in the face of obstacles. Do they use data? Do they gather support from others? Asking about what ultimately happened is also particularly illustrative. How they speak about not getting their way tells you a lot about whether they’re willing to disagree and commit to execution, she says.
Curtis probes deeper into the topic with targeted follow-ups that really get into the weeds of how the disagreement with their boss went down:
What was your managers reasoning?
What arguments did you find compelling in favor of the decision?
What was your reasoning and most compelling arguments against?
Describe A Difficult Work Situation And What You Did To Overcome It
This is one of those pesky behavioral interview questions and is one of the most common. You need to have a success story ready to go for this. Relate a story where you dealt with a problem successfully. The key here is to pick a success story that shows you exhibiting the qualities/skills required at the job and company you are interviewing for.
- Pick an example that shows you tackling a problem that could arise at the new company youre interviewing for. This shows your value.
- Be specific and fairly concise.
- Use the S.T.A.R. Method
- Dont bash anyone in your success story.
- Dont ramble.
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What Do You Look For In A Boss
When an interviewer asks this question, theyâre probably trying to gauge how youâll fit in with the company culture and current leaders. The best path? Be honest without getting too specific you never know what type of leaders youâll be working with. Stick with traits that are universally positive such as fairness, good listener, capable, intelligent, etc. Most managers like to think they embody these traits, so thereâs no risk of alienating your potential boss.
What Single Project Or Task Would You Consider Your Most Significant Career Accomplishment To Date Walk Me Through The Plan How You Managed It How You Measured Success And What The Biggest Mistakes You Made Were
Lou Adler, one of the world’s foremost recruiting thinkers, has made no secret of his 10 year search for the perfect interview question. After all his research, this is the question that he landed upon. He believes it’s the best indicator of whether you should, or shouldn’t hire someone.
Interview questions like this are the whole package. Candidates have an opportunity to give you a behind the scenes tour of the professional accomplishment that they’re most proud of. You’ll get insights into how they plan and run projects, as well as how the bar they set for success.
Top candidates will also use the “biggest mistakes” part of the question to display a sense of ownership for any weak points in the project.
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Questions About Your Work Habits And Preferences
What They Want to Know: Interviewers are trying to predict which of their candidates will be most likely to adapt easily to their workplace, their current teams, and their way of doing things.
How to Respond: While you should be honest in your answers, try to research the company before your interview to learn how they do business. Is good teamwork critical to their productivity? Or do they expect their staff to work independently? Is overtime or occasional weekend work required? Ideally, your responses to these questions will show that your work habits dovetail well with their own practices, expectations, and requirements.
11. Describe your work style. – Best Answers
12. Do you take work home with you? – Best Answers
13. How would you describe the pace at which you work? – Best Answers
14. Is there a type of work environment you prefer? – Best Answers
15. What interests you about this job? – Best Answers
16. What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? – Best Answers
17. Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager? – Best Answers
18. Have you gotten angry at work? What happened? – Best Answers
19. How would you handle it if your boss was wrong? – Best Answers
20. Are you overqualified for this job? – Best Answers
Tell Me How You Think Other People Would Describe You
I hate this question. It’s a total throwaway. But I did ask it once, and got an answer I really liked.
“I think people would say that what you see is what you get,” the candidate said. “If I say I will do something, I do it. If I say I will help, I help. I’m not sure that everyone likes me, but they all know they can count on what I say and how hard I work.”
Can’t beat that.
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How Could I Impress You In The First Three Months
This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview because it shows potential employers that you’re eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.
Pay close attention to the recruiter’s response as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.
Can You Tell Me More About The Team I Would Be Working In
This will help you understand the way the company is structured, who you’ll report to and the department the role sits within. These are the people you’ll work most closely with, so it’s worth trying to find out about the team dynamic and working methods.
Depending on the response, it may also give you the opportunity to mention any experience or success you’ve had working in similar teams – just to give the employer one final example of how well you’ll fit in if you get the job.
Other useful questions to ask at interview include those about:
- performance appraisals
- opportunities or challenges facing the department/company
- company-specific projects or campaigns.
If the employer doesn’t give an indication of what happens next then a good way to wrap up the interview is by asking about the next steps and when you can expect to hear from them.
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What Do You Consider To Be Your Biggest Professional Achievement
Here’s an interview question that definitely requires an answer relevant to the job. If you say your biggest achievement was improving throughput by 18 percent in six months but you’re interviewing for a leadership role in human resources, that answer is interesting but ultimately irrelevant.
Instead, talk about an underperforming employee you “rescued,” or how you overcame infighting between departments, or how so many of your direct reports have been promoted.
The goal is to share achievements that let the interviewer imagine you in the position — and see you succeeding.
Questions About Your Personality And Self
What They Want to Know: Most employers hope to hire employees who not only have the professional skills to do the job, but also have personality traits and a level of self-awareness that will allow them to work well with their supervisors, peers, and / or clients.
How To Respond: Take the middle road as you answer these questions: you dont want to appear overly cocky or full of yourself, but neither do you want to be self-deprecating or hide your light under a bushel. The best tone to use is one of quiet confidence. If you are asked a trick question about your weaknesses or mistakes you have made in the past, own up to a minor failing but then explain how you learned to remediate the issue.
31. Describe yourself. – Best Answers
32. Are you the best person for this job? Why? – Best Answers
33. How do you measure success? – Best Answers
34. How would you describe yourself? – Best Answers
35. Why should we hire you? – Best Answers
36. Tell me about yourself. – Best Answers
37. What are you passionate about? – Best Answers
38. What have you learned from your mistakes? – Best Answers
39. What is your greatest strength? – Best Answers
40. What is your greatest weakness? – Best Answers
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How Would Your Boss Describe You
This may give you a sense of the candidates relationship with previous managers. Reliable? Prompt? Efficient? Keep in mind, though, who youre asking. The answer will be simply their opinion of what the boss might have said. Thats why its still critical to check references. Request a list of contacts and give former employers a call to hear how their impressions align with the candidates.
Unique But Weird Interview Questions
Get a little strange with weird interview questions because weird team members are crucial to company culture.
Here are 4 unique but weird interview questions:
89. Why should I not hire you?
It’s powerful when the same reason not to hire you is the same reason you hire them.
90. Name 5 uses for a stapler other than stapling.
DIY crafts anyone?
91. How would you pitch this company to a friend?
Have they been all up and down the company website?
92. Do you think zombies should be slow or fast? Why?
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Questions About Your Success In The Position
5. What are you hoping this person will accomplish in their first six months and in their first year?
This query can give you a sense of what kind of learning curve youre supposed to meet and the pace of the team and organization. If youre expected to have major achievements under your belt after only a few months, that tells you that they likely wont give you a lot of ramp-up time. Which might be fine if youre coming in with a lot of experience, but it might be worrisome otherwise. On the flip side, if youre someone who likes to jump right in and start getting things done, you might not be thrilled to hear that most of your first six months will be spent in training.
This question can also draw out information about key projects that you wouldnt otherwise have heard about.
6. Thinking back to people youve seen do this work previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it?
Plus, the answer to this question can give you much more nuanced insight into what itll take to truly excel in the job and whatever the answer is, you can think about whether or not its something youre likely able to do.
What Are Your Goals For The Future
Hiring managers often ask about your future goals to determine whether or not youre looking to stay with the company long-term. Additionally, this question is used to gauge your ambition, expectations for your career and ability to plan ahead. The best way to handle this question is to examine your current career trajectory and how this role helps you reach your long-term goals.
Example answer:I would like to continue developing my marketing expertise over the next several years. One of the reasons Im interested in working for a fast-growing startup company is that Ill have the ability to wear many hats and collaborate with many different departments. I believe this experience will serve me well in achieving my ultimate goal of someday leading a marketing department.
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