10 Questions And Sample Answers
- Have you been a good employee?
Answer: Yes. For me a good employee is one who acts in the best interest of the company and always gives his/her 100%. Going by my past employment record I have always proven to be a gainful member for my employer.
- Tell me of a problem you faced with your manager and how you resolved it.
TIP: This simple question is loaded – you are judged on what you find challenging, your ability to handle pressure and your approach
Answer: I look at problems as challenges that teach me how to succeed in the future. One major challenge that I have faced is working with a micro manager. While I understand the necessity of correct direction and guidance, I could not handle every email being reviewed before I sent it. The problem began when my former manager moved on to a different profile and was replaced by a new one. I started facing issues within the first week; I spent that weekend analyzing whether my work was inaccurate and needed excessive supervision. When I was convinced that I was not at fault, I requested my manager for feedback on my work. We mapped out his expectations to my deliverables and came up with a plan of action. The cause of the problem was that my manager was new and was not confident of the team; when I gave him background of my work and my skills, he was convinced of my abilities as a professional.
It is important to show yourself as an asset to the employer – showcase your most ‘sell-able’ experiences.
- Tell me of a mistake that you made and how you learned from it.
TIP: Don’t defend something you call a mistake; show what you learned
Answer: At one of my previous employers I was managing a division for which we had hired a vendor to do a certain activity. The vendor gave us timelines that I committed to senior management. Once the activity began, the vendor realized that some tasks would take longer than planned – this delayed timelines. As I did not have subject matter expertise for the activity myself, I had trusted the vendor completely but have since learned always to get requirements validated from a second source.
- What did you like least about your previous job?
TIP: Always look at the glass half full
Answer: I always look for opportunities to learn and I often volunteered for additional tasks. With time these voluntary activities got added to my existing responsibilities and became difficult to manage in the limited time. While I appreciated the opportunity to learn, I wasn’t very happy about the added work.
- What would your team / colleagues say about you?
TIP: Positive feedback with modesty
Answer: I consider myself fortunate to have worked with extremely talented individuals in the past. I assume my colleagues would think of me as a positive contributor and an effective team player. As a manager I try to be understanding and accommodating to guide individuals in their best interests. Just last year I was voted among the top 10 managers of the year within my firm.
- Tell me of a time you did not meet your goal. What did you learn from it?
TIP: Accept failure as a reality and improve
Answer: During one of my previous employments one of my goals was to evaluate the performance of all the sales offices of the organization. I knew that evaluating 865 offices would be a difficult task and wanted to give precise data
requirements to the offices. While my list was accurate I had not anticipated the time offices would take to give the information. Whether it was done purposely to delay fact finding or it genuinely took 7 weeks to furnish data I will never know but the delay overshot my goal by 4 weeks.
I learnt that I should have started engaging the offices sooner and started collating partial data instead of all at once. Another key learning for me is that I should have more governance for external dependencies that are out of my control.
- Can you handle pressure? Tell me of one such instance.
TIP: Every job has some amount of pressure associated with it
Answer: Yes I can handle pressure well. In the past I have successfully passed through stressful situations. One such scenario was when we were preparing the budget for deployment of a new application; the budget had to be approved by the Board and due to some reason the meeting was pre-poned by a week. We were only informed a couple of days in advance and I had to reach out to all departments and collate their requirements. Post this I discussed a tentative budget with two short listed vendors. I remember praying for a couple of extra hands so I could make more phone calls, but in the end we made the presentation in time.
- What would you term as your greatest accomplishment?
TIP: Keep it work related or showcase a key skill
Answer: Last year I was given my first independent marketing campaign where I was responsible for launching a new product – a cell phone. I managed the launch event along with pre launch and post launch marketing for television, online, outdoor and print. The response was fantastic with a 10% increase in overall revenue for the firm in the quarter. I was personally invited for a meeting with the CEO who appreciated my efforts and helped me get other campaigns for the company.
- What would your supervisor say if you told him you were quitting?
TIP: A good employee is always missed
Answer: I have been performing well and am a high contributor in my team; I would like to believe that my supervisor will miss me in the team. When I speak to her, I will tell her my reasons for switching and knowing her, she will wish the best for me. On my part I will ensure that I properly train the person who will take over my responsibilities.
- I know your supervisor, can I talk to her about your performance?
TIP: You should be the first to tell your supervisor; don’t sound as if you have something to hide
Answer: I am confident that my supervisor will give you a positive feedback on my performance. However, I would request you to not talk to her until the details of my offer are final; I have included the details of other references that you can speak to.