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Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers - Jobs/Vacancies - Nairaland

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Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by chosenone4(m): 9:34pm On Feb 23, 2008

Mental fear of the unknown is often what produces the physical symptoms of nervousness. In addition to preparing yourself physically, you need to prepare yourself mentally. The best way to prepare mentally is to know what may be coming. Fear of the unknown can only exist when there is an unknown. Take the time to understand some of the “standards” when it comes to interviewing questions.

The following are some of the most difficult questions you will face in the course of your job interviews. Some questions may seem rather simple on the surface—such as “Tell me about yourself”—but these questions can have a variety of answers. The more open ended the question, the wider the variation in the answers. Once you have become practiced in your interviewing skills, you will find that you can use almost any question as a launching pad for a particular topic or compelling story.

Others are classic interview questions, such as “What is your greatest weakness?” Questions most people answer improperly. In this case, the standard textbook answer for the “greatest weakness” question is to provide a veiled positive such as: “I work too much. I just work and work and work.” Wrong. Either you are lying or, worse yet, you are telling the truth, in which case you define working too much as a weakness and really do not want to work much at all.

The following answers are provided to give you a new perspective on how to answer tough interview questions. They are not there for you to lift from the page and insert into your next interview. They are provided for you to use as the basic structure for formulating your own answers. While the specifics of each reply may not apply to you, try to follow the basic structure of the answer from the perspective of the interviewer. Answer the questions behaviorally, with specific examples that show that clear evidence backs up what you are saying about yourself. Always provide information that shows you want to become the very best _____ for the company and that you have specifically prepared yourself to become exactly that. They want to be sold. They are waiting to be sold. Don’t disappoint them!

Tell me about yourself.
It seems like an easy interview question. It’s open ended. I can talk about whatever I want from the birth canal forward. Right?

Wrong. What the hiring manager really wants is a quick, two- to three-minute snapshot of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for this position.

So as you answer this question, talk about what you’ve done to prepare yourself to be the very best candidate for the position. Use an example or two to back it up. Then ask if they would like more details. If they do, keep giving them example after example of your background and experience. Always point back to an example when you have the opportunity.

“Tell me about yourself” does not mean tell me everything. Just tell me what makes you the best.

Why should I hire you?
The easy answer is that you are the best person for the job. And don’t be afraid to say so. But then back it up with what specifically differentiates you.

For example: “You should hire me because I’m the best person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me the best person for the job--my passion for excellence. I am passionately committed to producing truly world class results. For example . . .”

Are you the best person for the job? Show it by your passionate examples.

What is your long-range objective? Make my job easy for me. Make me want to hire you.
The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives.

For example: “Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I’ll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what I’m presently doing to prepare myself . . .”

Then go on to show by your examples what you are doing to reach your goals and objectives.

How has your education prepared you for your career?

This is a broad question and you need to focus on the behavioral examples in your educational background which specifically align to the required competencies for the career.

An example: “My education has focused on not only the learning the fundamentals, but also on the practical application of the information learned within those classes. For example, I played a lead role in a class project where we gathered and analyzed best practice data from this industry. Let me tell you more about the results . . .”

Focus on behavioral examples supporting the key competencies for the career. Then ask if they would like to hear more examples.

Are you a team player?

Almost everyone says yes to this question. But it is not just a yes/no question. You need to provide behavioral examples to back up your answer.

A sample answer: “Yes, I’m very much a team player. In fact, I’ve had opportunities in my work, school and athletics to develop my skills as a team player. For example, on a recent project . . .”

Emphasize teamwork behavioral examples and focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. Talk about the strength of the team above the individual. And note that this question may be used as a lead in to questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared.

Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?

Note that if you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it.

For example: “Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I've found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other person’s perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, then I seek to work out a collaborative solution. For example . . .”

Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively.

What is your greatest weakness?

Most career books tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such as: “I work too much. I just work and work and work.” Wrong. First of all, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question.

You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome. For example: “I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I’m now taking steps to correct this. I just started using a pocket planner . . .” then show them your planner and how you are using it.

Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it.

If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?

This is a threat of reference check question. Do not wait for the interview to know the answer. Ask any prior bosses or professors in advance. And if they’re willing to provide a positive reference, ask them for a letter of recommendation.

Then you can answer the question like this:

“I believe she would say I'm a very energetic person, that I’m results oriented and one of the best people she has ever worked with. Actually, I know she would say that, because those are her very words. May I show you her letter of recommendation?”

So be prepared in advance with your letters of recommendation.

What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

Focus on two words: leadership and vision.

Here is a sample of how to respond: “The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership--the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities. I'd like to tell you about a person whom I consider to be a true leader . . .”

Then give an example of someone who has touched your life and how their impact has helped in your personal development.

If you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

Focus on a key turning point in your life or missed opportunity. Yet also tie it forward to what you are doing to still seek to make that change.

For example: “Although I’m overall very happy with where I’m at in my life, the one aspect I likely would have changed would be focusing earlier on my chosen career. I had a great internship this past year and look forward to more experience in the field. I simply wish I would have focused here earlier. For example, I learned on my recent internship…” …then provide examples.

Stay focused on positive direction in your life and back it up with examples.

In reviewing these responses, please remember that they are only to be viewed samples. Please do not rehearse them verbatim or adopt them as your own. They are meant to stir your creative juices and get you thinking about how to properly answer the broader range of questions that you will face.

NB:Culled from 101 'Job INterview Question And Answers.

104 Likes 28 Shares

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by waladis(m): 11:53pm On Sep 18, 2009
Excellent ***** smiley

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by bizay7(m): 2:15pm On Sep 19, 2009
Good one!

2 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by preshlysoundz(m): 10:26am On Feb 04, 2013
Simply excellent....Thanks

1 Like

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Nobody: 3:16pm On Feb 04, 2013
whenever i see a long writeup like this, i get discouraged to read. why don't u guys for once make things brief! lipsrsealed

11 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Aafulenu(f): 7:19pm On Feb 04, 2013
what happened to itemization

2 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by 1forall: 8:23pm On Feb 04, 2013
On the same topic, some are commending the OP while others are complaining it's too much to read.

For the same reason many shall attend interview, some shall emerge positive and expectant while others shall again complain it was too hard.

If you can't help yourself, who will?

71 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Nobody: 10:01pm On Feb 04, 2013
ngoziliz: whenever i see a long writeup like this, i get discouraged to read. why don't u guys for once make things brief! lipsrsealed
abi o!
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Nobody: 2:44pm On Feb 05, 2013
1forall: On the same topic, some are commending the OP while others are complaining it's too much to read.

For the same reason many shall attend interview, some shall emerge positive and expectant while others shall again complain it's too hard.

If you can't help yourself, who will?
shut ur trash
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by 1forall: 4:20pm On Feb 05, 2013
^ Shut trash
Please what does that mean in English?
tongue

23 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by fxdee: 6:54am On Feb 06, 2013
ngoziliz: whenever i see a long writeup like this, i get discouraged to read. why don't u guys for once make things brief! lipsrsealed
...

If you call youself a graduate and this is too much for you to read then you need to work on ursef!

39 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by comm: 8:00am On Feb 06, 2013
ngoziliz: whenever i see a long writeup like this, i get discouraged to read. why don't u guys for once make things brief! lipsrsealed
I couldn't even make it half way, summary please
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Lifted1(m): 12:45pm On Feb 06, 2013
my broda i tire oo, smh ppl funny sha, and u expect to emerge the best candidate for a position like serzly ?..smbdy takes out his very precious time to put up a prob two-paged writeup to help u ace interviews n ure sitting on ur lazy asssses whining and complaining about the length of it
dt tells a few things about u str8 up-
(1) ure lazy
(2) ure ungrateful
(3) u cnt handle a serz position especially whn attention to detail and meticulousness are required.

Thanks @ OP nice piece.
1forall: On the same topic, some are commending the OP while others are complaining it's too much to read.

For the same reason many shall attend interview, some shall emerge positive and expectant while others shall again complain it's too hard.

If you can't help yourself, who will?

27 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Nobody: 8:44am On Feb 08, 2013
1forall: ^ Shut trash
Please what does that mean in English?
tongue
make your research. take it as an assignment from me
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Nobody: 8:51am On Feb 08, 2013
fxdee: ...

If you call youself a graduate and this is too much for you to read then you need to work on ursef!
i ve got a lot of fishes to fry and these days i am rarely enthusiastic about lenghty details. used to be when i was in school and i can boldly say u cant beat me to it.

1 Like

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by babasewen: 11:55am On Feb 08, 2013
Gud 1, tnks a lot
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by toygod2: 5:34am On Oct 05, 2014
nice
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by yorex2011: 8:03am On Oct 05, 2014
This is nice. I suggest this goes to front page not minding the age of the thread.

1 Like

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by KillerBeauty(f): 12:43pm On Oct 05, 2014
Awesome info.
What I understand from the points is
Back up every answer you give in an interview with examples.
In other words tell the interviewers story
Ok

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by berbs112(m): 9:54pm On Oct 11, 2014
Very nice...

1 Like

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by echobee(f): 6:43am On Oct 13, 2014
Lovely. Thanks ops. God bless
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by jamanuka: 10:53am On May 13, 2015
I can't pick these tips without saying thank you to the OP.That will be ungrateful of me...Thanks man

2 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Ologunjude(m): 10:50am On May 17, 2015
Very interesting and good point to take home.
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by siegfried99(m): 1:21pm On May 17, 2015
Nice one OP
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by malachytochukwu(m): 8:54pm On May 18, 2015
Good write up here. Thanks
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by hasdan(m): 9:34pm On Jun 04, 2015
pls wat are the job description of an administrative officer and d necessary skills?

1 Like

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by mumbasa: 11:41am On Jun 05, 2015
If you don't have a job and you cannot read this write up entirely, you will never get a job

3 Likes

Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by ethicalUser(m): 12:45am On Jul 08, 2015
Cc Lalasticlala pls this topic should be on front page.
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by Drsheddy(m): 8:37am On Jul 08, 2015
K
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by msmon(m): 8:37am On Jul 08, 2015
Good one @OP. Imagine, someone in SSS1 as at the time u created this thread will benefit from it as regards his/her job search. ©MON33
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by richardjemedafe1(m): 8:38am On Jul 08, 2015
On na sPace boOKING BRING ME COME HERE oh.....

But before i 4get!!! I want to appriciete all those who wish me journey mercy from Jos to Delta state...

I arived warri@10pm yesternight... Presently at oboriko inside my fatherz shIrine praying for nIGERIA AND ALL NAIRALANDERZ.
Re: Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers by lekjons(m): 8:38am On Jul 08, 2015
well dunno what to write, but lemme blend in...........ah! nice one op, very correct, perfect!!

2 Likes

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