Saturday, May 11, 2024

What Questions They Ask In An Interview

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Now that you have a complete overview of the best interview questions to ask, theres one last thing to do: be prepared to answer common questions from candidates. Theyre interviewing you too, after all. That way, candidates can also get useful insight on whether your company is a good fit for their skillset and motivations and hopefully, youll get to convince the best among them to join your team. Happy interviewing!

Tell Me About Yourself/your Work Experience

Begin your answer with an overview of your highest qualification then run through the jobs you’ve held so far in your career.

You can follow the same structure as your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t go into too much detail – your interviewer will ask you to expand on any areas where they’d like more information.

What Kind Of Work Environment Do You Like Best

Maybe you love working alone, but if the job you’re interviewing for is in a call center, that answer will do you no good.

So take a step back and think about the job you’re applying for and the company’s culture . If a flexible schedule is important to you, but the company doesn’t offer one, focus on something else. If you like constant direction and support and the company expects employees to self-manage, focus on something else.

Find ways to highlight how the company’s environment will work well for you — and if you can’t find ways, don’t take the job, because you’ll be miserable.

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Culture Fit Interview Questions

Building on the idea that hiring for personality is at least as important as hiring for experience , hiring an employee that fits in with the culture you are trying to establish is extremely important.

The right answer to many of these questions will depend on the culture of your business, or the culture you would like to build. What does your company look like, and what does ideal company culture look like for you? If youre just starting out, get a sense of how to answer these questions for yourself first, before you begin asking candidates.

For example, if you strive to create a company culture where employees are like family, and routinely grab a meal or a round of drinks after work, a job candidate who expresses distaste for workplace functions and social gatherings might not be a great fit.

Look out for areas where your style of running an office and their preferred work environment overlap, and where they clash. This can be the hardest thing to get right, because while someone may be a great employee on paper, the two of you also need to share a similar philosophy about what makes a place great to work for.

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Hopefully nice things! Everyone wants to be thought highly of by their friends, family and colleagues, but if a candidate has significant drive and ambition it’s possible that not everyone was her biggest fan at her last company.

Most candidates will probably answer this awkwardly, it’s an uncomfortable idea, but the best responses will be balanced. Something like: “my colleagues would probably say that I’m pretty passionate about my work but that I can occasionally overlook small details”.

If everything goes to plan, your new hire will be at your company for many years to come. With that in mind, you should ask a few interview questions that give you an idea of how candidates see their career evolving and how they handle strategic decisions.

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Can You Tell Me About A Stressful Work Situation And How You Overcame It

Keep in mind that stories are more memorable than facts and figures. This is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your human side and how you’re willing to take the initiative without being asked.

Example:It was the first day of my boss’s two-week vacation. Our agency’s highest-paying client threatened to leave because he didn’t feel he was getting the personalized service we promised him. I spent my lunch hour on the phone with him, talking through his concerns. We even brainstormed ideas for his next campaign. He was so grateful for the personal attention that he signed another six-month contract before my boss even returned from her trip.

Why Did You Decide To Leave Your Previous/current Job

When asking this question, the interviewer wants to learn:

  • Did you have a good reason for leaving your last job? The HR manager doesnt want someone that just jumps ship the moment things go bad.

Incorrect Example:

Oh, well, the company started bleeding cash and was on its way to bankruptcy.

Correct Example:

I felt like it was time – I got to a point where everything I was doing felt monotonous. I learned as much as I could at this position while delivering amazing results. It was, however, time to switch to something new.

  • Did you leave on good terms? Meaning, did you go through the offboarding process, instructing your coworkers on how to take up your responsibilities? Or did you just say Adios and stopped showing up at work?

Incorrect Example:

Things started to get really boring, and the boss man was kind of mean. I totally deserve better, so I just ghosted them and now Im looking for a new company. Hi!

Correct Example:

I didnt feel like the companys values coincide with mine. The management was too controlling and micromanaging. I prefer to have some control over my work, and being able to contribute by going above and beyond my requirements.

Of course, I went through the off-boarding properly. Meaning, gave a timely resignation notice, and transferred all the essential company knowledge to my replacement.

  • Did you leave voluntarily, or were you fired?

Incorrect Example:

I got fired for missing work for a week without an excuse.

Correct Example:

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How To Answer Interview Questions

  • Speak clearly and vary your tone to show youre interested and enthusiastic.
  • Take time to think about each question before answering so you can give a good response.
  • Listen to questions carefully and let the interviewer lead the conversation. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be explained or repeated.
  • If youve had a job before dont criticise previous employers or co-workers.
  • Give examples from your experience that demonstrate your knowledge and skills.
  • Show confidence in your skills and be positive about what you have done. For example, instead of using phrases such as “I only have…” or “I don’t have” tell the employer what you do have to offer.

Questions about your experience

When you answer interview questions about something youve done its best to use the STAR method .

  • Situation describe what the situation was.
  • Task describe the task you had to do.
  • Action describe what you did to achieve the task.
  • Result describe the final result.

For example:

When I was an assistant manager at Sallys Sandals we hosted a VIP sales event for our loyalty card customers, and I was in charge of organising it. I needed to make sure that the store was decorated, we had food and drink for the customers, and we had enough staff members to work that evening. The event went very smoothly and we exceeded our sales targets for the evening by 50 percent.

Conducting The Volunteer Interview

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Your volunteers have made it this far. Now its time to conduct the interview. When possible, we recommend that you interview in person. Its the most natural way of communicating, and youre more likely to make a fair judgement about the applicant when theyre standing before you .

But before you ask your volunteer interview questions:

You dont need to jump right into your Q& A. Instead, take some time to introduce yourself and your organization. Clarify your programs mission and describe the role and responsibilities of the volunteer. Then, discuss the benefits of volunteering with your organization. Remember, the interview is also a chance for the candidate to decide whether the volunteer opportunity is right for them. In fact, many candidates will make this decision during or immediately following the interview process.

Whats the bottom line?

The volunteer interview should be a conversation, not an interrogation. Invite candidates to elaborate and ask questions in return, so that you can come to a collaborative decision about the best course of action moving forward.

Youre probably still wondering:

What about the volunteer interview questions? How do I ask the right ones?

Asking the Right Volunteer Interview Questions

Whats your goal for the volunteer interview?

Volunteer interviews are just one part of a the volunteer recruitment process.Learn how you can automate volunteer recruitment and organization in a free demo of Get Connected volunteer management software!

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What’s Your Management Style

Obviously this question is only applicable to people that you’re interviewing for senior or management roles.

Bad management techniques can kill company culture and employee happiness in the blink of an eye, you need to know that anyone you hire isn’t going to f*ck up the culture

Ask candidates about specific examples of times when they feel like the displayed positive a positive management style, as well as times when they got things wrong.

Good traits to look out for include a willingness to take feedback and make time for employees, a clear indicator of this are a manager running monthly one-on-one sessions with their team.

Youve Been Given An Elephant You Cant Give It Away Or Sell It What Would You Do With The Elephant

This ConnectWise question helps you get a better sense for your candidate’s reasoning skills. Of course, there’s no “right” answer to this funny question, but it allows you to get insight into how your candidate thinks, prioritizes, and problem-solves. Additionally, it can loosen the candidate up and allow her to show you a more authentic side.

Your candidate might say, “Since I don’t have a place to put an elephant, I’d probably send it on vacation”, or “I would feed it, and then ride it to work.”

It’s important to note, you aren’t looking for a specific answer here — you’re determining how your candidate thinks on her feet, and how she handles herself in unexpected situations.

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You Disagree With The Way Your Manager And Supervisor Say To Handle A Problem What Would You Do

Why employers ask this: Employers want to find out how you handle confrontation, Shepard explains. Are you someone who is argumentative, or do you stay silent? Or perhaps you are someone who calmly states your case and offers alternatives in a constructive way, accepting that not everyone will agree with your point of view.

How to respond well: This type of behavioural question is best answered using an example, Shepard says. He recommends working through the example like this: This was a time I didnt agree with my boss, this is how I handled it, this was the outcome and this is what I learned. Of course, its best to pick an example where the disagreement was resolved well.

Its natural to be nervous in the lead up to an interview, but preparing your answers to these common questions can help you to feel more confident and at ease, and ready to show what you can bring to the role.

Whats The Salary Budget For This Role

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When to ask about compensation can be a tricky path to tread. While it might feel too brusque to ask upfront, it can sometimes save a lot of time for everyone involved.

As a job seeker, you dont want to going on several rounds of interviews only to find out at the end that the pay is below your expectations, Salemi says. Interviewers also don’t want to pour time and energy to fall head over heels for you only to find out theyre not on the same page with salary at the end of the process.

If youve been given a range that fits your requirements, then its appropriate to wait to discuss exact pay until after youve received an offer, when youre hammering out the details to negotiate a salary. If you have no ballpark whatsoever, asking upfront for at least a range can be helpful so that no one wastes their time.

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How Do You Feel About Working Weekends Or Late Hours

Youre gonna get asked this question in one of the following 2 cases:

1) Youre applying for a job that requires working odd hours.

In this case, your answer is pretty straightforward – since youre applying for such a job, you probably dont have any problems working odd hours.

Sample answer:

Sure! Im OK with working late hours or weekends, as long as you let me know about it at least a few days in advance.

2) Youre applying for just about any other type of job.

Now, you should look at this as a red flag. Is the employer just checking your dedication, or are they looking for someone thats going to work 24/7 with no overtime pay?

In this case, ask them to clarify what they mean.

Sample answer:

Given enough warning, sure. Is that something Ill be required to do often? Do you offer overtime pay for this kind of situation?

What Does Work/life Balance Look Like At Your Company

Are you the kind of person that doesnt mind checking emails at home or do you really want to disconnect when you leave the office? Asking this question lets candidates decide if they want to be in an always-on kind of environment. If the interviewers response indicates an overbearing workload and a messy internal processes, consider looking for a better work/life balance elsewhere.

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Whats Something That Would Only Happen Here But Wouldnt At Other Organizations

This one comes from Adam Grant, bestselling author, podcast host and professor at The Wharton School. In fact, this question of his is such a hit that we got multiple submissions of it from folks other than Grant, citing him as the inspiration likely due to the opinion piece he penned it for The New York Times: The culture of a workplace an organizations values, norms and practices has a huge impact on our happiness and success, he says. Values are the principles people say are important and, more crucially, the principles people show are important through their actions.

Liz Fosslien, Head of Content at Humu, is also a big fan of this question: Grant says its the best way to instantly learn about the companys culture. In my experience, hes absolutely right,” she says. “Ive found people tend to either get an Oh no look on their face, or they light up at the memory that pops into their head. Both reactions are strong signals about what it might be like to work there.

Interview Questions About Yourself

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When an interviewer ask questions about you they are trying to determine how good a fit your are for the company. Is your personality a match for the company culture? Are your goals and job expectations a match for what your role in the company will be if you’re hired? How will you fit in with the current team?

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Questions You Can Ask

What type of work will you be doing?

  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of this position?
  • What would a day in the life of a _____ with your organisation look like?
  • What challenges will I have in this job?

What training and progression opportunities are there?

  • What kind of induction or training programme will I complete when I begin the job?
  • Will there be opportunities for increased responsibility?
  • Is there a regular performance review? How is this organised?

What are the people like?

  • Can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
  • How big is the team I will work with?
  • Does the team work closely with other teams?

Whats the organisation like?

  • What is the culture of the organisation like?
  • What are the biggest challenges and opportunities the organisation is facing right now?
  • Where do you see the organisation headed in the next few years?

What Are Your Salary Requirements

What They Want to Know: Questions about salary can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what the job pays. One approach to answering this question is to say you’re flexible, based upon the entire compensation package including benefits.

I average around $39K annually, and I know from online salary calculators that the approximate salary here for professionals with my experience ranges from $38K to $40K. But Im open to negotiation, depending upon your benefits package.

More Answers: Salary Negotiation Tips

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Tell Me About A Time You Messed Up

This one is pops up in many of the most popular interview playbooks and guides, it’s a great test of humility and self awareness. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is what happens next.

Does the candidate learn a valuable lesson and use it as a motivation for self improvement, or do they point the finger and blame colleagues.

The answer to this question should show whether a person is willing to take ownership of their work or will be quick to shirk responsibility when the going gets tough.

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