Thursday, May 08, 2014

Job interview questions

Back in November I wrote about getting interviews but for some reason no job offer. I have no way of knowing how that happens and granted an interview is no guarantee of a job. So far my only feedback with regards to my interview has been not getting the job and no easy way of attempting to find out the rationale for that decision.

This post will look at some of the questions I was asked during some of these interviews. I focus on the unusual ones and the very good ones I had been asked. My responses are in some of them and the point is to be very honest about my responses and how they could be different for the next go-around.

To start the questions you see below were asked in my most recent interview. These were asked by HR reps for a grocery chain and had some high expectations. One of those questions I'm sure may have cut my chances of getting hired. These were certainly questions I didn't even expect, however, under the circumstances you can only do the best you can.
  • What are/were your accomplishments? I've always theorized that this is easiest to consider in a management capacity and I've never been a manager. My answer to this question was only to discuss mainly what I have learned in my last two jobs. At the same time if I had held a job where I could truly quantify my accomplishments with numbers this would be an easier question to answer. Hopefully the answer wouldn't have been seen as b-s. All the same with this question, what was the interviewer looking for?
  • What frustrates you? Seriously? Could such a question be used only to hang yourself? Again this probably wasn't answered very well by me, besides if you're already/easily frustrated this could easily bring it out. Of course there is always an "artful" way of answering this without being frustrated or  showing that you're learning to deal with it turning it into a positive.
Those two were from my recent interview but from past interviews I've ran into these questions that caused me to really consider my response as much as the earlier questions.
  •  Likes/Dislikes? For this question you would have to choose your response wisely. Likes should be an easy answer and allows you to stay positive. Dislikes could hang you depending upon the response. Perhaps an answer to that is to mention a dislike and describe how you can overcome it.
  • Are you willing to sell? When I was asked  near the end of one interview my answer was definitely botched because the answer to that question for me should've been YES. I bs'd and attempted to be "artful" when it should've just been a yes and needless to say I didn't get the job. If you're taking a job where selling is what you're expected to do and this surely includes certain retail positions give a solid yes and then add willing to learn to the response.
  • Your greatest accomplishment so far? My best answer to this was getting my degree although I'm not certain if this answer holds me back since most of my interviews have been for jobs that doesn't require a college degree. Perhaps this is one question - depending upon the interview - which needs a new answer that should be job/career focused.
  • Where do you see yourself in the future? Great question and the two occasions it was asked my response was to be in a supervisory/management capacity. Again not certain if that response was the deal breaker, however, perhaps this is an answer that could use something of an explanation such as why this is something I'd be interested in.
The next two questions were out of that interview for a management position. I wrote some background on this story which provides an update on what happened to that company. Besides to remain optimistic there's always a chance I could find myself interviewing for a management position in the future!
  • What would you change here? Well at one point in that interview I mentioned there was a separate food area from the theater concessions that was rarely open and there needed to be a way to utilize it more. In addition to that I came up with superficial changes that may have been necessary but definitely not exactly what you need in a manager even a possibly "green" one as I'd have been.
  • Are you interested? Again the answer to this question should simply have been YES. I attempted to give an "artful" answer and decided to go "all in" with saying I wouldn't accept being in the same position I already was. This could certainly be a situation where I may well have given the interviewer a reason to not give me the job.
Well these are my experiences, but I hope that you may have some answers of your own to some of these questions. Indeed you may have addition interviewer questions to be asked. Still it's great to know that there are places to go where you can find out how job hunters answer the many questions asked by employers during interviews.

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