You’ve booked an interview based on your superior job search skills and your resume and cover letter! Now, you’ll have to answer a few interview questions…
In addition to standard questions about your experience and skills, during an interview you may receive some behavioral or situational questions in an interview…”tell me about a time when”. Here are 10 examples of challenging questions you may receive and strategies on developing great answers. Remember, when answering a question about a past experience or a tough situation, make sure your answers are objective and try your best to relate them to the job you’re interviewing for.
1) Tell me about a time when had a conflict with a co-worker, how did you resolve it?
Focus here on your role in resolving an issue and what you learned. Try to raise a concern that could be generalized to any work environment (scheduling, group work contributions) rather than something about you or a unique situation you may not be in again. Though you may have had an experience in the past that was a real crisis, take caution in raising these special situations. For example, drawing attention to a time when HR had to get involved is a very risky move!
2) Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a supervisor, how did you resolve it?
As with the previous, raise a concern that is common to many employee/supervisor relationships, such as prioritizing work or a time when a supervisor taught you something. This is a good time to show that you value direction and can be managed easily, rather than a time to display your independent streak.
3) How would you handle a situation in which a co-worker did not do their fair share of work?
Show your sense of cooperation here: clearly explain how you assessed that a co-worker was not contributing fairly and explain whether you managed this issue directly with your colleague, with management, or both and why.
4) Give me an example of a time when you misjudged someone.
This is an occasion to show modesty (that you may have judged someone unfairly) and also flexibility (that you changed your thinking). Focus on actions and outcomes here rather than personality traits.
5) Have you ever worked with someone you did not like? How did you handle it?
This is where objectivity really counts. Try to explain what you have learned about cooperation in the workplace, focus on the positive.
6) Tell me about a time you failed.
Here, the interviewer is seeking to understand your problem solving, planning or time management skills. Provide a simple example where you know what went wrong and how you would change your actions the next time around. You may have had some catastrophic failures in your career, but save these harrowing tales for your friends!
7) Tell me about a time when you made the wrong decision.
This question is a little different than discussing a time that you failed. Here, you should display your understanding of decision making and the steps involved in getting from point A to B. Explain a time that making a different choice could have changed the outcome of a project or presented new opportunities for growth for your team or company.
8) How do you manage conflicting priorities?
Priorities in the workplace can be determined in many ways, for example, by timelines, budgets or management/executive decisions and priorities. Describe how you assign priority to tasks given these restrictions and how you adjust to changing priorities.
9) Have you ever started something from scratch?
The interviewer may pose this question to learn more about your interests, motivations or learning styles. Start with any of these, but ensure that you reference a skill that can be used in the job you are applying to.
10) How many lifeboats were on the Titanic?
Questions like this are posed to learn about your problem solving skills, you don’t have to have the right answer, just explain how you would get to one!
In a couple of days, we’ll talk about questions you may ask in an interview, check it out!