Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Those dreaded interview questions ...

If you've been busy sending out resumes, networking, going to job fairs, putting it out there that you are actively looking for work -- then chances are, you've got a few interviews lined up.

And you know that you need to perform well in what is often seen as a "stress inducing" situation.

But, how do you prepare for an interview?

May I suggest, you need to think like a Boy Scout and "Be Prepared".

There are some pretty standard interview questions that you will most likely face.

Yesterday, I shared information about what it takes to answer the "Tell me a little about yourself" question that most often is the first question you'll hear.

And, the day before, I shared a way to use stories and the SOAR teachnique to answer questions. (SOAR = Situation-Obstacles-Action-Results).

Now, I am going to give you a list of 23of the most commonly asked questions you'll face in an interview.  Use the techniques I have given you and write out your answers to the questions. Tell stories. SOAR. Practice. And you'll be able to walk into an interview prepared and ready for a conversation with a person who may be able to give you a job.

Good Hunting!

:)  Dana

Here are your questions:

1.   Tell me a little about yourself?
(This is the place to respond with your 1-minute commercial.)

2.  Why are you interested in this position?
(Looking for new challenge, enjoy working as part of a team, have a lot to offer – then be prepared to say what you have to offer.)

3.  What do you think are the most important functions of the job?
(Focus on technical aspects, your ability to stay focused and complete assignment and take directions; your ability to listen and learn and communicate effectively with others, etc.)

4.   What strengths do you bring that would help a team function efficiently?  Can you give a specific example of a positive team environment you have worked in?  How about a situation where the team did not work well together and why?
(Respect for other members of the team; recognition that everyone on the team has strengths and weaknesses; clear directions from leader and ability to ask questions when the directions are not understood or the team has not been fully trained; etc.)

5.   Describe some of your most successful work related accomplishments to date; and then describe some of your greatest work related disappointments to date.

6.   Assume you disliked a work assignment or disagreed with an order given to you by your supervisor.  What action would you take?
(Your answer should be similar to the following. "Everyone has to do a task they dislike from time to time. If it’s not a safety issue, I would do it. If I disagreed with an order I would ask to discuss it with my supervisor.  If it doesn’t cause a safety concern and it was something we could not agree on, I would do the job as assigned.”)

7.  Tell us about your work background and qualifications as they relate to this position and what particular strengths do you have that would make you an ideal candidate for this position?

8.   What is a safe and healthy work environment?  What responsibility do employers and employees have with regard to safety?

9.  Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds.

10. When you have a number of tasks to do, how do you prioritize your work?

11. What are 2 or 3 examples of tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing?  How do you remain motivated to complete those tasks?

12. Describe a time when you had to adapt to people with different working styles and tell us how you maintained your own working style and level of productivity?

13. Please describe a project you have worked on in which a conflict developed.  What was the conflict?  What did you do to overcome it?

14. What would your co-workers say about your work style.  How would they describe you?

15. Describe a situation when your work was criticized.  How did you respond to the criticism?

16. Describe a time when your work situation and/or working conditions were not ideal. How did you deal with the situation?

17. Think about a time when you had to make a decision under pressure.  Briefly describe the    situation and how you were able to decide what to do.

18. If you felt you had a good idea for improving the way a procedure is done, how would you determine if your idea would work and how would you present it to your supervisor?

19.  What do you do when you are having trouble with your job?

20.  Tell me about the last change which occurred in your last job.  How did you handle it?

21.  What strategies do you use to resolve issues with a co-worker?  What would you do if you felt you were carrying more than your fair share of the load?

22.  Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

23.  Do you have any questions for us?

Stay tuned -- tomorrow, I'll share some ideas about how to answer question 23.

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