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CAREER TRANSITION

Examples of "Tough" Interview Questions 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) Tell me about yourself. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How much money do you want to be making by that time? Why do you want to work here? Aren't you overqualified for this position? How do I know you can grow with this job? What is pressure to you? How do you work under pressure? Tell me about a time when your boss imposed an unreasonable deadline on you. What did you do? Have you been satisfied with your salary to date?

10) Describe an instance in which you were able to persuade an important person over to a new way of thinking. 11) What did you like most about your last job? 12) Describe a situation that unmotivated you. 13) Tell me about something you planned to do that did not work out. 14) What was your most serious problem in the last year? 15) What are your strengths? 16) What did you accomplish that you felt was important? 17) What are two weaknesses you feel about yourself? 18) Who has been instrumental in helping you develop your performance over the last few years? In what way? 19) In your last performance reviews, what were identified as areas needing improvement? 20) What type of decisions did you make on your last job? 21) Tell me about your departure from your last company. 22) How do you feel about what happened to you? 23) Tell me about your previous manager and company. 24) What characteristics do you desire in your boss? How did your last one measure up? 25) In what ways did you and your boss disagree? If I asked him or her about that, would he/she know how you really felt? 26) Describe a situation in which your work or an idea was criticized. 27) How long have you been looking for another position? Why has it taken so long? 28) Why have you changed jobs so frequently?

CAREER TRANSITION
29) What does success mean to you? 30) Did you set professional goals for yourself last year? If so, what were the major ones and did you meet them? What kept you from achieving the other goals? 31) Tell me about your educational background. 32) What kind of people do you find it difficult to work with? 33) Describe your reputation within your last organization. 34) What are some of the things you find difficult to do? 35) How would you describe your leadership style? 36) Who is your hero/heroine? 37) What interests you most about this job? 38) Since you have been in a large company environment for so many years, won't you find it difficult to work at a small company such as ours? 39) What are some of your values? 40) Do you think you will fit in here? 41)Why should I hire you? 42)What else should I know about you?

CAREER TRANSITION

Examples of "Tough" Interview Answers 1) Give your 30-second commercial highlighting your qualifications, strengths and personal attributes. 2) An increasingly responsible position within the company where you can be regarded as a professional and a team player; ask what opportunities you could look forward to. You could state that you do not have a specific title in mind, but you want to continue growing professionally and be certain to stay ahead in your field. 3) An amount that would compensate you for the value of your services. 4) From your research of the company, concisely explain your admiration, what appeals to you and why you think there is a good match between you and the company. Tell them how this will allow you to be a productive, contributing employee. 5) First, validate whether or not you are overqualified by asking what prompted their concern. Listen for concerns around salary, age, inflexibility, impatience to grow, and address that issue. If indeed it is not a good fit, ask what other areas in the company might benefit from your experience. If you wish to pursue this position, point out that companies need strong people with the right experience to deal with their current problems immediately. State that your interest in the company is long-term and that through your accomplishments, this will lead to growth opportunities for you. 6) Respond with how you learned to handle new assignments and responsibilities successfully and that you are confident in your judgment and abilities to take on such challenges. 7) Honestly describe what pressure would be for you and give a specific plan of action in coping with it. Back it up with a situation where you effectively dealt with pressure. 8) Communicate what actions are necessary in order to meet this deadline and identify what tradeoffs need to be made to achieve this. Ask what should be the priority. Cite a particular example of how you did this. 9) Answer positively that you feel that you have been fairly compensated and that your contributions have justified the salary your received. If you feel that you were lagging due to conditions in your last company that minimized wages, or if wages are frozen, mention this fact. 10)Talk about how you developed and formatted a plan, emphasizing the benefits of the proposed action. Describe how you presented this information and successfully made your case. 11)Emphasize honestly the positive aspect(s) of your prior work and relate it to the current position for which you are interviewing. 12)Describe a non-personal circumstance such as a project cancellation that was disappointing. Emphasize that you quickly "bounced back" and describe how you gained valuable experience. 13)Discuss a failed situation and how you turned it around for yourself. Focus on what you learned/gained as a result of the experience.

CAREER TRANSITION
14)Cite a specific challenge you faced and describe what actions you took to successfully overcome it. 15)Re-emphasize the attributes brought out in your 30-second commercial and relate them to the position. 16)This is an opportunity to elaborate on 2-3 key achievements that are relevant for this position. 17)Be honest about limitations, but state what actions you have taken to prevent problems. (e.g. "numbers are not my strength, therefore I have another person check my work for accuracy; I find I learn much faster if I talk over a new task with someone first - in fact, I can save considerable time by getting this information in advance; I tend to take on too much work so I have developed a system of planning my schedule and regularly evaluating what I got accomplished to help me calibrate.") 18)Identify a mentor and describe how he/she has had a positive impact on you. Focus on the improvements. 19)Be up-front and non-defensive, objectively stating the issues and how you resolved them. 20)Provide information that indicates that your decisions were all based on the appropriate level of responsibilities and authority for this position. Take the opportunity to bring up achievements in decision-making. 21)Briefly and objectively state the business reason (e.g. company restructuring) and that your position was impacted. If you chose to leave, consider the following: Challenge: You were not able to grow professionally in that position. Location: The commute was unreasonably long. Advancement: There were no other opportunities for you within the company. Pride or prestige: You wanted to be with a growing company. 22)Talk about how it was a disappointment because you enjoyed working there, but you realize it was a business decision. 23)Be positive and don't complain; give a short concise statement of what you learned or admired about your manager and the company. 24)Be honest and point out those key attainable attributes you look for in a manager. Keep your evaluation non-critical and professional, focusing on the areas your manager did meet. 25)It is safest to state that you did not disagree; however, you could choose a situation which is not a major, critical issue and that you consistently kept good communication channels with your manager. 26)Describe a poor idea that was criticized, not poor work, since that can cost the company money. End it with how you positively handled the criticism without being defensive. 27)Be forthright in telling how long your search has been and the challenges to find the right fit. If it has been a long one, indicate that finding the right job takes time and careful evaluation. You have been selective in the opportunities you have

CAREER TRANSITION
considered. Also mention that you have learned from the search - from classes, reading, time with family, reflection, etc. Make the interim experience sound positive. 28)A reason could be that you chose to take on the different positions to gain a broad experience. With this diverse background you are more clear and focused on what you want to do and what you can contribute to a new employer. 29)Relate this to your work values and then give an example of how you met these goals in the past. 30)Think of the objectives you had that aligned with the company's goals and how you productively accomplished them. Explain factors which prevented you from meeting any others (e.g. functions were reorganized, project cancellation); emphasize what you did learn in the process. 31)Concisely present your formal schooling and current training relevant for the job. Don't apologize for lack of education. Concentrate on your" hands on" experience and work-related training. 32)Any activity that goes against the best interests of your employer is difficult to do. If it is regarding a job function, answer in the past tense; that way, you show that you recognize the difficulty, but that you handle it well. 33)People who aren't team players; those who don't follow procedures, don't put in their share of work or have a bad attitude. Add on how you successfully worked with these types of people. 34)Highlight the strengths you had on the job, focusing on the positive aspects of what you feel people recognized in you. 35)Package a message that conveys how to create an overall vision for the firm and your efforts in implementing key strategies. It shouldalso include how you motivate employees and engender loyalty and commitment to the organization's principles. 36)State who that is for you and give a succinct statement of why you respect and admire this person. 37)Make sure you have adequate information about the position to answer this question. The response should be slanted toward what is of greatest benefit to the department and to the company. Include the personality traits and experience that support your statements. You could also correlate how this position would meet your work values. 38)Relate how your organization was similar to a small company and talk about your ability to deal effectively with constant change and demand for multitasking. Emphasize your hands-on tendencies, that you do not need a lot of people, resources and equipment to get your work done. 39)Be direct and tell 3 - 4 work satisfiers that are important for you on the job. Some examples are: work with others or alone, power and authority, influence people, change and variety, or creativity. By meeting most of your values, you will not only be happy but also a productive employee. 40)From what you have learned about the organization, its objectives, and the people you have met, you feel confident that you will fit well with the team. Emphasize situations from the past in which you have transitioned successfully.

CAREER TRANSITION
41)Correlate their needs and your specific strengths in dealing with those needs as reasons to hire you. 42)This will be your last opportunity to bring forth your added value for this position and your desire to make the organization successful.