HR Interview-3…Continued

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Question 9 Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TRAPS: One reason interviewers ask this question is to see if you’re settling for this
position, using it merely as a stopover until something better comes along. Or they
could be trying to gauge your level of ambition.
If you’re too specific, i.e., naming the promotions you someday hope to win, you’ll sound
presumptuous. If you’re too vague, you’ll seem rudderless.
BEST ANSWER: Reassure your interviewer that you’re looking to make a long-term
commitment…that this position entails exactly what you’re looking to do and what you do
extremely well. As for your future, you believe that if you perform each job at hand with
excellence, future opportunities will take care of themselves.
Example: “I am definitely interested in making a long-term commitment to my next
position. Judging by what you’ve told me about this position, it’s exactly what I’m looking
for and what I am very well qualified to do. In terms of my future career path, I’m
confident that if I do my work with excellence, opportunities will inevitable open up for
me. It’s always been that way in my career, and I’m confident I’ll have similar
opportunities here.”

Question 10 Describe your ideal company, location and job.
TRAPS: This is often asked by an experienced interviewer who thinks you may be
overqualified, but knows better than to show his hand by posing his objection directly.
So he’ll use this question instead, which often gets a candidate to reveal that, indeed, he
or she is looking for something other than the position at hand.
BEST ANSWER: The only right answer is to describe what this company is offering,
being sure to make your answer believable with specific reasons, stated with sincerity,
why each quality represented by this opportunity is attractive to you.
Remember that if you’re coming from a company that’s the leader in its field or from a
glamorous or much admired company, industry, city or position, your interviewer and his
company may well have an “Avis” complex. That is, they may feel a bit defensive about
being “second best” to the place you’re coming from, worried that you may consider
them bush league.
This anxiety could well be there even though you’ve done nothing to inspire it. You must
go out of your way to assuage such anxiety, even if it’s not expressed, by putting their
virtues high on the list of exactly what you’re looking for, providing credible reason for
wanting these qualities.
If you do not express genuine enthusiasm for the firm, its culture, location, industry, etc.,
you may fail to answer this “Avis” complex objection and, as a result, leave the
interviewer suspecting that a hot shot like you, coming from a Fortune 500 company in
New York, just wouldn’t be happy at an unknown manufacturer based in Topeka,
Kansas.

Question 11 Why do you want to work at our company?
TRAPS: This question tests whether you’ve done any homework about the firm. If you
haven’t, you lose. If you have, you win big.
BEST ANSWER: This question is your opportunity to hit the ball out of the park, thanks
to the in-depth research you should do before any interview.
Best sources for researching your target company: annual reports, the corporate
newsletter, contacts you know at the company or its suppliers, advertisements, articles
about the company in the trade press.

Question 12 What are your career options right now?
TRAPS: The interviewer is trying to find out, “How desperate are you?”
BEST ANSWER: Prepare for this question by thinking of how you can position yourself
as a desired commodity. If you are still working, describe the possibilities at your
present firm and why, though you’re greatly appreciated there, you’re looking for
something more (challenge, money, responsibility, etc.). Also mention that you’re
seriously exploring opportunities with one or two other firms.If you’re not working, you can talk about other employment possibilities you’re actually
exploring. But do this with a light touch, speaking only in general terms. You don’t want
to seem manipulative or coy.
Question 13 Why have you been out of work so long?
TRAPS: A tough question if you’ve been on the beach a long time. You don’t want to
seem like damaged goods.
BEST ANSWER: You want to emphasize factors which have prolonged your job search
by your own choice.
Example: “After my job was terminated, I made a conscious decision not to jump on the
first opportunities to come along. In my life, I’ve found out that you can always turn a
negative into a positive IF you try hard enough. This is what I determined to do. I
decided to take whatever time I needed to think through what I do best, what I most want
to do, where I’d like to do it…and then identify those companies that could offer such an
opportunity.”
“Also, in all honesty, you have to factor in the recession (consolidation, stabilization, etc.)
in the (banking, financial services, manufacturing, advertising, etc.) industry.”
“So between my being selective and the companies in our industry downsizing, the
process has taken time. But in the end, I’m convinced that when I do find the right
match, all that careful evaluation from both sides of the desk will have been well
worthwhile for both the company that hires me and myself.

Question 14 Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak
points of your boss (company, management team,
etc.)…
TRAPS: Skillfull interviewers sometimes make it almost irresistible to open up and air a
little dirty laundry from your previous position. DON’T
BEST ANSWER: Remember the rule: Never be negative. Stress only the good points,
no matter how charmingly you’re invited to be critical.
Your interviewer doesn’t care a whit about your previous boss. He wants to find out how
loyal and positive you are, and whether you’ll criticize him behind his back if pressed to
do so by someone in this own company. This question is your opportunity to
demonstrate your loyalty to those you work with.

 

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