Archive for August, 2007

Is an internal network vital for job success?

How important is an internal network of contacts for job success?

In your opinion, what type of contacts would be most important to success?

  • Decision makers?
  • Those with influence?
  • Those that the boss listens to?
  • Those that have technical ability?
  • others?
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The worst 25 interview questions and how to answer them

Below are 25 of the most common interview questions, together with some advice.

1. Tell me about yourself:
This is probably the most often asked question at an interviews. It requires short statement answer previously rehearsed. It’s best to restrict the time to under four of five minutes (So as not to bore the interviewer) Be careful that it does not sound
too rehearsed. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Always present a positive aspect to the answer, Refrain from talking about problems with management and never speak ill of the previous organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad.

3. Do you consider yourself successful in your career?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. Talk about how you have set goals, those that you have met and those that you expect to achieve in the future.

4. What would your team say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from team members.

5. What do you know about this organization?
This question is designed to see if you have undertaken research into the business. Failure to do so can lose a job. I know of one interviewing panel for a drinks firm thast asked “How much is our pint of ***** beer charged in bars? Only one candidate was able to answer and he got the job!

6. What have you done to improve your knowledge or skills in the last year?
Include activities that relate to the job.

7. Why do you want to work for us?
This is a similar question to no5 and can only be based on the
depth of the research you have done. It’s best to relate your answer to your long-term
career goals.

8. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
However, also specify that you are also a self-starter and self-motivated.

9. Have you ever had to dismiss anyone? How did you feel about that?
Don’t make a joke when answering this question. The point to stress here is that when it comes to the organization versus the individual you will always protect the
organization. It’s also beat to emphasise that the correct HR procedures were followed and that the individual that was fired felt fairly treated. (If that was the case)

10. Have you ever been asked to leave a job?
If you have be honest, be brief.

11. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
If this question isn’t asked directly then think of a way of answering it anyway by including the information as part of your answer to another question. It gives you a chance to highlight the talent that the organisation wants to hire.

12. Why should we hire you?
See Q 11

13. What irritates you about co-workers, subordinates or a boss?
This is a trap question. Don’t be tempted to answer. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. “I seem to be able to see other peoples actions and opinions as being their best efforts to get the job done.

14. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers should be included in your answer. A few good examples:
An ability to manage tasks, problem-solving skills, ability
to work under pressure, leadership skills, positive attitude

15. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
This is similar to Q14. and again there are endless good answers:
Loyalty, Energy, Problem solver , Leadership qualities, Team player, Technical skills,
Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity.

16. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
deepest of all holes you will dig if you answer. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of
your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former
boss, you may as well say “goodbye” to the job there and then. Develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

17. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

18. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest. If you have family commitments then it’s best to say so now.

19. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if
you think there is a chance it may come up. Be honest and save yourself
future grief.

20. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid management jargon. Say that you prefer to manage according to the
situation, instead of a one size fits all model.

21. Do you have any weaknesses?
Another trick question. If you know about any weknesses they should be very minor ones or positive ones. (I tend to take work home too often)

22. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Talk about the qualities that all bosses claim to posess. A sense of
humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and someone who works to high standards.

23. What position do you prefer on a project team?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles then say so.

24. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to
get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

25. What’s been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control.

The Final Question . Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared that reinforce your strenghts.