When you walk into a job interview, you may be asked questions that are designed to test you - truly tough interview questions. Your ability to confidently give answers to these questions without hesitation will reassure the interviewer of your ability.
Some questions will challenge your basic skills and your motivations to determine whether you are full of hot air or whether you really have what it takes. The bluntness of these questions may surprise you. When you encounter these questions, just take them in stride. Here are a couple of these questions with some guidance on how to craft your answers.
How are your time management skills?
"I am a self-starter who conscientiously manages my time to get the job done. If I am concerned that a project will take longer than expected, I try to communicate this to my boss as soon as I can." This is like being asked, "Are you smart?" Just check the box "yes," and move on.
Are you a fast learner?
"Yes. In my previous job, I learned to do A..., B..., C... in a very short time frame."
How would you describe your relationship with your old boss?
Tell me about the worst boss you ever had.
No matter what your boss was like, you should give the same response, "My boss and I had a great professional relationship, and I liked him/her as person. I also learned a lot from working with him/her and am grateful for having had that opportunity."
Overall, how do you feel about your past company?
"I feel that it's an excellent company that I valued being a part of."
Did you ever have difficulty with a supervisor (co-worker)? How did you resolve the conflict?
What do you do when you disagree with a manger?
How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
"I have always gotten along well with my managers (co-workers). I work hard to create open communication between my manager (team members) and myself. In general, I feel that people are people, and that if a disagreement comes up, it's best to sit down, explain differences, find common ground, and move forward."
Other questions may address whether or not you are a chronic job switcher who will spend company time looking for a new job from the day they get there, or whether you are someone who acts decisively, stands by his/her decisions, and takes control of his/her own destiny. One of the questions you may encounter is this one:
How long have you been looking for a new job?
If you have a job, let them know it, and keep the time frame relatively short. You want to appear decisive, and not as a chronic job swapper. "Over the past couple of months, I've realized that I was ready for greater challenges and new responsibility. I have been looking in earnest for a new position only recently." If you have been unemployed for several months or more, you will need a more careful answer.
There are many varieties of tough interview questions and answers you may encounter. As you prepare for your upcoming interview, know that when you hit one of these difficult questions, responding with confidence will have a big impact on your interviewer. If you have already seen the question coming and know the answer, you will put yourself in a position to stand out from the other candidates.
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