LETS GET HIRED….Part2

What do you think of the last company you worked for?

You should stress the positive aspects of your last company saying that they were a good company to work for. Tell them about the training you received or the work related experience you gained.

Why did you join your previous company? Did they live up to your expectations? Why are you leaving now?

Always be positive about your reasons for joining and leaving a company. Be very careful that you do not say anything negative about your present employer. If you do, the new company will wonder what you will say about them when you leave. You might want to stress that you are looking for a new challenge and that you feel that the company who is interviewing you fits the bill!

Explain the organisational structure in your last company and how you fitted into it?

This sort of question may be used to find out whether your old job is at a comparable level to your new job. If the new job being discussed would be a step up the ladder you will need to show that you are ready for a more demanding position. You may be able to show that you have already had many of the responsibilities and the necessary skills which would be required for the next step.

How long have you been looking for a new job?

If you have been unemployed for a long time this may be a rather tricky question to answer. But be honest. If you have been away on holiday or done some voluntary work you could mention this.

Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?

Remember where you are! If the company interviewing you is a small to medium sized company say that you enjoy a close atmosphere with a good team spirit. At a large company say that you enjoy the stability of working for a large and established company.

What are you looking for in a new job?

Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones.

What would your ideal job be?

Again, remember where you are! Describe the job in terms of the criteria they have used to describe their job. An ideal job might include things like challenging work, a fair rate of pay for the job, nice colleagues, good career prospects, good team atmosphere, opportunity to learn new skills, apply old skills, etc.

Are you considering any other positions at the moment?

If you are say so, but do not give too many details away – it will weaken your negotiating position later. If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you have a few irons in the fire.

What did you think of your manager/supervisor?

Say that he/she was the sort of person you could learn from and you communicated well, which meant that the task in hand was completed on time.

What did you do on a day to day basis?

Stress the positive things you did including your achievements. Even if some or much of it was paperwork, you can still show your interest in the way it was tackled.

Did you increase sales or profits in your last job?

This question is only relevant for senior managers or sales people. If you have increased sales and/or profit then do not be afraid to shout about it. If you have not increased sales say why not, e.g. general downturn in the market, etc. It might then be a good idea to mention an achievement in a previous job if your performance was better there.

How would you describe yourself? / How would others describe you?

Pick your best attributes and achievements from your career.

Do you consider yourself successful?

You should say you do. Pick some work related achievements that are in line with the position that you are discussing.

What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?

You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs.

What has been your biggest failure?

Try to pick a failure which you were later able to correct or something that is not really important. 

How could you improve yourself?

Do not mention anything negative about yourself – the interviewer is looking for a chink in your armour.

Did you feel you progressed satisfactorily in your last job?

If you progressed faster than normal you should say so. If growth was not as good as expected then be careful how you phrase this.

Are you a leader?

State how you have successfully acted as a leader, giving examples of your successes.

How do you handle criticism?

Your answer should be along the following lines: “I always think that it is important to get feedback on how I am performing so that I can improve any areas which my manager/supervisor highlights. Do you have regular staff appraisals and a staff development plan?”

What sort of manager are you? / What makes a good manager?

You should say that it is someone who listens to other people and can delegate whilst maintaining overall control of the task at hand, bringing in the project on time and to budget. Good planning skills are essential.

Do you work well with others? Or are you a loner?

Some jobs mean that you have to work very closely with other people whilst other jobs mean that you are largely working on your own, so you need to say that you are happy in both situations.

Do you need other people around to stimulate you or are you self-motivated?

You need to say that you are self-motivated.

Are you accepted into a team quickly?

Hopefully you can answer a resounding “Yes” to this question.

Can you act on your own initiative?

You should say that you can. You could ask how much responsibility you would have

How do you run a meeting?

You could say that you must start with an agenda and stick to it. You could add that you would try to get the views and ideas from everyone present, working in an air of co-operation. If people moved off at a tangent you would bring them back to the item being discussed.

What motivates you?

Our suggestions are career growth, opportunity to learn new skills, good co-workers, etc.

What management style gets the best results out of you?

Try and think about how you have reacted to different managers and which factors have motivated you. Do not say too much in reply to this question, because if your answer is contrary to the management style of the company they will not be keen to employ you!

Do you know how to motivate other people?

Hopefully you can say “Yes”, and say that you have to find out what motivates a person and give them recognition for a job well done. You should always give them encouragement and help them when required.

Are you competitive?

Your answer depends on the sort of job you are doing. If you will be working as part of a team you will need to show that you can work in the best interests of the team and not just for your own benefit.

Are you aggressive?

If you mean by this someone who gets things done, then the answer is “Yes”. You need to defuse the implications of this question.

What do you dislike doing?

Say that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done well and on time and try to do disagreeable things first to get them out of the way rather than putting them off.

What problems did you encounter in your last job? What annoyed you about your last job?

Stick to the problems that you were able to solve, i.e. “I had problem X, which I later managed to resolve by doing Y”. Show that you are a person who can solve problems rather than someone who lets things get on top of them.

What would you like to avoid in your next job?

You need to be positive here and say that there is nothing in particular that you would like to avoid.

Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?

Show how you have progressed throughout your life and how you have accepted and taken on responsibility for the actions of yourself and others. If you have not really had many work related responsibilities you can mention other responsibilities you have had outside work.

Can you work under pressure?

You need to say that you can. You could ask how much pressure the job involves.

How many hours are you prepared to work?

You would be prepared to work the necessary hours to get the job done on time.

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