HR Interview-6…Continued

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Question 32 I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience
as we’d like in…
TRAPS: This could be a make-or-break question. The interviewer mostly likes what he
sees, but has doubts over one key area. If you can assure him on this point, the job may
be yours.
BEST ANSWER: This question is related to “The Fatal Flaw” (Question 18), but here
the concern is not that you are totally missing some qualifications, such as CPA
certification, but rather that your experience is light in one area.
Before going into any interview, try to identify the weakest aspects of your candidacy
from this company’s point of view. Then prepare the best answer you possible can to
shore up your defenses.
To get past this question with flying colors, you are going to rely on your master strategy
of uncovering the employer’s greatest wants and needs and then matching them with
your strengths. Since you already know how to do this from Question 1, you are in a
much stronger position.More specifically, when the interviewer poses as objection like this, you should…
1. Agree on the importance of this qualification.
2. Explain that your strength may be indeed be greater than your resume
indicates because…
3. When this strength is added to your other strengths, it’s really your
combination of qualifications that’s most important.
Then review the areas of your greatest strengths that match up most favorably with the
company’s most urgently-felt wants and needs.
This is powerful way to handle this question for two reasons. First, you’re giving your
interviewer more ammunition in the area of his concern. But more importantly, you’re
shifting his focus away from this one, isolated area and putting it on the unique
combination of strengths you offer, strengths which tie in perfectly with his greatest

Question 33 How do you feel about working nights and weekends?
TRAPS: Blurt out “no way, Jose” and you can kiss the job offer goodbye. But what if
you have a family and want to work a reasonably normal schedule? Is there a way to
get both the job and the schedule you want?
BEST ANSWER: First, if you’re a confirmed workaholic, this question is a softball lob.
Whack it out of the park on the first swing by saying this kind of schedule is just your
style. Add that your family understands it. Indeed, they’re happy for you, as they know
you get your greatest satisfaction from your work.
If however, you prefer a more balanced lifestyle, answer this question with another:
“What’s the norm for your best people here?”
If the hours still sound unrealistic for you, ask, “Do you have any top people who perform
exceptionally for you, but who also have families and like to get home in time to see
them at night?” Chances are this company does, and this associates you with this other
“top-performers-who-leave-not-later-than-six” group.
Depending on the answer, be honest about how you would fit into the picture. If all
those extra hours make you uncomfortable, say so, but phrase your response positively.
Example: “I love my work and do it exceptionally well. I think the results speak for
themselves, especially in …(mention your two or three qualifications of greater interest
to the employer. Remember, this is what he wants most, not a workaholic with weak
credentials). Not only would I bring these qualities, but I’ve built my whole career on
working not just hard, but smart. I think you’ll find me one of the most productive people
I do have a family who likes to see me after work and on weekends. They add balance
and richness to my life, which in turn helps me be happy and productive at work. If I
could handle some of the extra work at home in the evenings or on weekends, that
64 Toughest Questions Page 23
would be ideal. You’d be getting a person of exceptional productivity who meets your
needs with strong credentials. And I’d be able to handle some of the heavy workload at
home where I can be under the same roof as my family. Everybody would win.”

Question 34 Are you willing to relocate or travel?
TRAPS: Answer with a flat “no” and you may slam the door shut on this opportunity.
But what if you’d really prefer not to relocate or travel, yet wouldn’t want to lose the job
offer over it?
BEST ANSWER: First find out where you may have to relocate and how much travel
may be involved. Then respond to the question.
If there’s no problem, say so enthusiastically.
If you do have a reservation, there are two schools of thought on how to handle it.
One advises you to keep your options open and your reservations to yourself in the early
going, by saying, “no problem”. You strategy here is to get the best offer you can, then
make a judgment whether it’s worth it to you to relocate or travel.
Also, by the time the offer comes through, you may have other offers and can make a
more informed decision. Why kill of this opportunity before it has chance to blossom into
something really special? And if you’re a little more desperate three months from now,
you might wish you hadn’t slammed the door on relocating or traveling.
The second way to handle this question is to voice a reservation, but assert that you’d
be open to relocating (or traveling) for the right opportunity.
The answering strategy you choose depends on how eager you are for the job. If you
want to take no chances, choose the first approach.
If you want to play a little harder-to-get in hopes of generating a more enticing offer,
choose the second.

Question 35 Do you have the stomach to fire people? Have you
had experience firing many people?
TRAPS: This “innocent” question could be a trap door which sends you down a chute
and lands you in a heap of dust outside the front door. Why? Because its real intent is
not just to see if you’ve got the stomach to fire, but also to uncover poor judgment in
hiring which has caused you to fire so many. Also, if you fire so often, you could be a
So don’t rise to the bait by boasting how many you’ve fired, unless you’ve prepared to
explain why it was beyond your control, and not the result of your poor hiring procedures
or foul temperament.

BEST ANSWER: Describe the rational and sensible management process you follow
in both hiring and firing.
Example: “My whole management approach is to hire the best people I can find, train
them thoroughly and well, get them excited and proud to be part of our team, and then
work with them to achieve our goals together. If you do all of that right, especially hiring
the right people, I’ve found you don’t have to fire very often.
“So with me, firing is a last resort. But when it’s got to be done, it’s got to be done, and
the faster and cleaner, the better. A poor employee can wreak terrible damage in
undermining the morale of an entire team of good people. When there’s no other way,
I’ve found it’s better for all concerned to act decisively in getting rid of offenders who
won’t change their ways.”


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