HR Interview-1

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

General Guidelines
in Answering Interview Questions
Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you’ll do
much better. Remember also that it’s difficult for the interviewer as well.
In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative.
Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight.
Don’t try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide
only, and don’t be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember
key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your
answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.
As you will read in the accompanying report, the single most important strategy in
interviewing, as in all phases of your job search, is what we call: “The Greatest
Executive Job Finding Secret.” And that is…
Find out what people want, than show them how you can help them get it.
Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you
meet those qualifications.
In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must
sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your
answers, you must find out what the buyer is buying… what he is looking for. And the
best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.
You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this
report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above
all: before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer
wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as
the perfect “key” that fits the “lock” of that position.
· Other important interview strategies:
· Turn weaknesses into strengths (You’ll see how to do this in a few moments.)
· Think before you answer. A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a
thoughtful person.
As a daily exercise, practice being more optimistic. For example, try putting a positive
spin on events and situations you would normally regard as negative. This is not meant
to turn you into a Pollyanna, but to sharpen your selling skills. The best salespeople, as
well as the best liked interview candidates, come off as being naturally optimistic, “can
do” people. You will dramatically raise your level of attractiveness by daily practicing to
be more optimistic.
Be honest…never lie.

Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview note what you did right, what could
have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then
take those steps. Don’t be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on
something, but never do.
About the 64 questions…
You might feel that the answers to the following questions are “canned”, and that they
will seldom match up with the exact way you are asked the questions in actual
interviews. The questions and answers are designed to be as specific and realistic as
possible. But no preparation can anticipate thousands of possible variations on these
questions. What’s important is that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the main
strategies behind each answer. And it will be invaluable to you if you commit to memory
a few key words that let you instantly call to mind your best answer to the various
questions. If you do this, and follow the principles of successful interviewing presented
here, you’re going to do very well.
Good luck…and good job-hunting!


Question 1 Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS: Beware, about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many
candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping
their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters.
BEST ANSWER: Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the
position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your
qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the
buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.
So, before you answer this or any question it’s imperative that you try to uncover your
interviewer’s greatest need, want, problem or goal.
To do so, make you take these two steps:
1. Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person’s wants
and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
2. As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what
the position entails. You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I’d like
to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk
directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the
most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the
recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his
needs even more. Surprisingly, it’s usually this second or third question that unearths
what the interviewer is most looking for.
You might ask simply, “And in addition to that?…” or, “Is there anything else you see as
essential to success in this position?:
This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer
questions, but only if you uncover the employer’s wants and needs will your answers
make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers,
the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job
candidates you’re competing with.
After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job
bear striking parallels to tasks you’ve succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with
specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which
are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.

Question 2 What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS: This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don’t want to
come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER: You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer’s
greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know
how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest
strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each
strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.
You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from
your achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after
being shaken awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs, you can choose
those achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their
employees are:
1. A proven track record as an achiever…especially if your achievements match
up with the employer’s greatest wants and needs.
2. Intelligence…management “savvy”.
3. Honesty…integrity…a decent human being.
4. Good fit with corporate culture…someone to feel comfortable with…a team
player who meshes well with interviewer’s team.
5. Likeability…positive attitude…sense of humor.
6. Good communication skills.
7. Dedication…willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8. Definiteness of purpose…clear goals.
9. Enthusiasm…high level of motivation.
10. Confident…healthy…a leader.


Question 3 What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS: Beware – this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list.
Any admission of a weakness or fault will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the
PASSABLE ANSWER: Disguise a strength as a weakness.
Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency
and everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”
Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it’s so widely used, it istransparent to any experienced interviewer.BEST ANSWER: (and another reason it’s so important to get a thorough description of
your interviewer’s needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you
can think of nothing that would stand in the way of your performing in this position with
excellence. Then, quickly review you strongest qualifications.
Example: “Nobody’s perfect, but based on what you’ve told me about this position, I
believe I’ d make an outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two
things most of all. Do they have the qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation
to do it well? Everything in my background shows I have both the qualifications and a
strong desire to achieve excellence in whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that
I see nothing that would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong
desire to perform this job with excellence.”
Alternate strategy (if you don’t yet know enough about the position to talk about such a
perfect fit):
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making
sure that what you like most matches up with the most important qualification for
success in the position, and what you like least is not essential.
Example: Let’s say you’re applying for a teaching position. “If given a choice, I like to
spend as much time as possible in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling
paperwork back at the office. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of filing
paperwork properly, and I do it conscientiously. But what I really love to do is sell (if your
interviewer were a sales manager, this should be music to his ears.)


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