It’s unfair to provide you with an encyclopedia of interview questions and expect you to become proficient in their use without overloading you with information. This is not productive, particularly when our objective is to get you to adapt to interviewers and a range of interview questions.
It’s unlikely that memorising answers to 100 interview questions will get you through the interview process. At interviews, you must be able to think clearly and adapt and modify your responses quickly rather than respond verbatim.
The following sample questions will assist you in answering a range of generic interview questions that are not necessarily behaviour based. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and it is likely you will encounter questions not mentioned in this book. The point is that authors of books that detail every question conceivable are doing you a disservice. I am more concerned about your ability to think on your feet, to expect the unexpected, and then to be able to answer that question to the best of your ability.
I know this is easier said than done because it requires composure, confidence, a rational thought process and experience of interviews. However, this can be managed with practice and interview experience. Seek to attend as many interviews as possible to practice your responses and to learn from them each time. You will find that you will grow in confidence with each occasion and become more adaptable at interviews. Practice with friends and family if possible.
Here are 10 killer questions to get you started;
1. What have you been criticised for in the past four years?
Reply: Provide an answer that is not so serious or trivial that it will disqualify you.
‘I offered some ideas I thought were constructive but was told not to rock the boat.’
2. Did you agree or disagree with the criticism and why?
Reply: ‘Agreeing with some of the criticism is a better response than agreeing with none of it at all.’
3. Where would you like to be in five years?
Reply: ‘I’d like to be in your job.’
4. How do you expect to get there?
Reply: Be clear and specific as to how you will meet the requirements and responsibilities to your career plan. Avoid common answers like ‘hard work’ and ‘attending courses’.
5. What would you like to change in this job to make it ideal?
Reply: ‘I don’t think it should be changed, I do think it has to be mastered and that is a challenging and exciting opportunity.’
6. How would you describe the most or least ideal boss you worked for?
Reply: ‘I can adapt to any style, particularly to someone who can give me enough directions, so I have a specific idea of what’s expected from me and then enough restraint not to hover over me every step of the way.’
7. What activities in your position do you enjoy most?
Reply: This question is designed to reveal your dislikes. The interviewer will make reference to the opposite of your answer when describing the activities you enjoy most. The best way to answer this question is think about how the activities you enjoy most can reveal your dislikes. You can do this by simply applying the opposite to your answer. For example, the opposite of ‘being part of a team’ is ‘bad morale’.
8. How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Reply: Combine your answer to convey strengths in both ability and personality such as: determined, likable, and successful.
9. How would your subordinates and peers describe you with three adjectives?
Reply: Answer with the same as for question 8 and smile.
10. What would you do if you detected a peer falsifying expense records?
Reply: ‘Report it’.
In my next article I will unleash the next 10 killer questions that will knock you out for six during the interview…