Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Why do most people hate being interviewed? Even in the best of circumstances, interviewing makes us feel like there is a big bright spotlight shining directly in our face. We tend to forget the simplest of answers. Preparation is the key to combating that feeling and avoiding the “deer in the headlights” look. Here are more answers to top difficult interview questions.
Have you ever had a disagreement with your supervisor?
This can be a tricky question. If you answer “yes”, an instant red flag is raised that you may be a troublemaker. If you answer “no”, you may be considered not assertive enough. Step into the “safe” zone when answering this question. Most employees and supervisors have had an occasional disagreement. Provide a brief synopsis of the disagreement. Next, explain how you were able to work as a team to come to a conclusion that worked best for the unit and the company. Always try to end the answer on a positive note.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
The interviewer is not looking for a play by play of your childhood, family or friends. Keep the answer comfortable, but work related. Talk about your work experiences, accomplishments at work and your qualifications for the job. If you are doing volunteer work that is applicable to the position, share that as well.
What do you know about our company?
Hopefully before you went to the interview, you took a look at the company website or called the Chamber of Commerce. The information you want to talk about includes the company size, key products or services, competitors and its reputation. It would also help to know some of the key players in the organization.
Tell me about a major conflict that you faced and how you handled it.
You should always be ready to provide examples. Have a situation in mind before the interview. Tell the conflict as though it were a short story, but be sure to provide details. The hiring manager wants to see how you: define a situation as a problem, identify available options, decide on a course of action, handle obstacles and solve the situation.
Too many times, interviewees are unable to provide an example so try to compensate by giving vague answers. Remember, the hiring manager is trying to determine how well you will be able to do the job.
How do you feel about the fact that you were laid off from your previous employer?
This may be a difficult question especially if you’ve been unemployed for awhile. It’s important, however, to keep your answer positive. So often, as a period of unemployment grows into months, most people tend to lose their positive outlook and become very jaded on the interview process. Hiring managers can sense this and quite frankly they don’t want to see it. Explain that the lay off was a business decision that was beyond your control. It is alright to state that the layoff was a surprise but assure the interviewer that you are ready to move on with your career.