How to Prepare and Answer Those Tough Interview Questions

The big secret about job interviews, isn’t really a secret at all, it’s just common sense – be as prepared as you possibly can. This is the most basic and most important piece of advice about going into an interview, but there are of course those very tricky questions that interviewers like to ask; firstly to see how you handle yourself and second to hear what you have to say. As you will have prepared for the job interview, the only thing that you still have left to fear is the unknowable aspect – what are they going to ask? What tough questions are they going to ask? Here are some of the tougher questions that employers have asked – it should give you a better idea of what to expect and give you the possibility of preparing to answer them.

Question: Take me through your decision to change jobs.

This is a tough question because it is assessing the kind of person you are. If you take this question as a reason to go on a rant about how terrible your last company was, you will get nowhere. There are smart responses to this question such as, ‘It was a long commute.’ ‘I have advanced as much as I can within the company.’ ‘The company couldn’t offer job security.’ ‘I felt I was being underpaid for the work required of me.’

These answers demonstrate that you take your job, and your job progression seriously, and that you operate in a professional manner.

Question: What aspect of this job do you find least interesting?

This question might seem like a mine field but it really isn’t that bad. Be honest about the aspect that you find least interesting, but then go on to explain why it is important that it gets done, and how you plan on incorporating it into your work schedule. No matter what the job is, there will be at least one thing that you don’t like doing, take this as an opportunity to show how you are task orientated, and can get on with what needs to be done.

Question: What can you offer the company that another person can’t?

You have no way of knowing what other candidates will bring to the position, so this question is more about explaining what it is that makes you the best person for the job and the best person to fit into the working environment. Emphasize on your ability to finish projects, to take and give instructions and then turn the question around and ask how your qualities fit into what the company expects or needs.

Question: What decisions are difficult for you to make?

With this question you want to show that while you are not afraid to make difficult decisions, you will think them through with the appropriate criteria. You need to show that you will consider the consequences of the decisions you make, how they will affect other parts of the company, the finances etc. This is a chance for you to show that you know how to assess decisions and decision making processes.

Question: Are you expecting a promotion, and if so, when?

Use this question to your advantage by showing that you know what the criteria of promotion might be. Explain that you know that any promotion is based on how well you perform, but that you also hope that if you do prove yourself that there is sufficient growth opportunity for you in the company.

Richard McMunn is a writer for How2become; a leading career and recruitment specialist for public sector careers. For the last 8 years How2become has helped numerous people prepare for and pass tough recruitment processes and assessment centers in order to secure their dream job. You can also connect with How2become on Google Plus

6 Ways to Woo A Hiring Mananger

Reposted from:  An inside look at jobs & companies

Author: Vickie Elmer

Some people want to work for Google more than anything. Others are smitten with 72 and Sunny or Leo Burnett and some are gunning to get a job at Glassdoor or Quora.

Anyone with just two or three employers on their A-list of targets needs a smart strategy to show they’re sweet on those companies. Whether you’re first connecting around Valentine’s Day, Cinco de Mayo or Labor Day, you may woo an employer, hiring manager or recruiter for months or sometimes years. So persistence and professionalism must fit in with inventiveness in your campaign.

Perhaps you will send the hiring manager or recruiter chocolates with a note saying, “I’d really love to work for you just before Valentine’s Day.” That could get some attention, especially if she’s a chocoholic. “But some people might get creeped out” by that, said Laura Laser, an executive recruiter in the advertising world and president of Laser Talent Group in Los Angeles.

Before you start your campaign, check out the person’s online profiles and presence to find out as much as you can about her or him. Discover their hobbies and interests and check on Amazon or Goodreads to see if you share an appreciation for a particular kind of books, said Laser.

Her all-time favorite way a client connected with her involves her little dog, Livvy, who sometimes comes to work and shows up on her profile photo.  She was in the middle of a Skype interview with a creative director / job candidate when the pooch decided to join in. Livvy jumped into her lap and the job seeker used Skype to take a photo of them. Then he painted the dog’s picture and sent it to the recruiter.

“It was just amazing that he did that,” Laser said. “How could I not love that guy?” She’s told other recruiters about him and shares the story regularly as an example of the “thoughtful extra things” that can really create a bond or make you stand out.

Even if you couldn’t paint a wall, you still can show your targeted recruiters and managers that you’re sweet on them. Here’s six ways:

1. Be a Standout. Use humor or say something clever in your email subject line – or both. Recruiters receive a lot of email each day. Laser remembered one that was funny and “real’ starting with the subject: “Recruiting you to recruit me.” The person mentioned he had trekked through Peru and ended the note with, “If you like what you see, please contact me and we can talk more. If you don’t like what you see, contact me and we can talk more.”

2. Get Introduced by Someone. “Ask a mutual connection to make a recommendation on your behalf,” she suggests.

3. Retweet Their Best.  Follow the recruiter, hiring manager and the company on Twitter. Then, find something worthwhile to retweet occasionally, in hopes that that will lead them to your profile. (Make sure your online profile conveys your professionalism and brand, and while you’re at it, check your Facebook page so it’s squeaky clean.)

4. Share Relevant Ideas.  This can work well if the company targeted has some widely known growth plans or a problem it is grappling with. You will need to invest some time and analysis to offer something of value, and then present it succinctly, perhaps via a SlideShare or PowerPoint, Laser said.

5. Bring Them Coffee and Cookies. This works well at career fairs or corporate events, where a recruiter may be stuck in a chair all day long. Just learn ahead of time whether they’re vegan or dieting; this often can be discerned by their Facebook or MeetUps.

6. Persist Politely.  It may take three or more emails, notes and connections before they recognize your name and your value. Your dedication to the company and to regular connections could be part of what shows your appreciation and your talent.

Make sure you don’t cross over into annoying or ridiculous. Nor do you want to come off as a stalker by showing up at the school play where the recruiter’s children are performing – unless of course, your niece is also in the cast.