Friday, February 20, 2009

General Interview Questions

So, tell me something about yourself?
Remember, this question is totally job-related. It is designed for the interviewer to hear you talk and see how you express yourself. Don't talk long about your marital status, your hobbies or go through your whole resume. Instead, you need to summarize your response and talk about key accomplishments in your career: " These are the things I am good at ..., these are the things I can do for the company ..." You can briefly show your professional identity, and what you are looking for (professionally).

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities of yours.
Positive qualities: get along with people, high motivation to learn, never give up facing a problem , responsibility
(at least not switching jobs in the middle of the project) etc.
Negative: Hey, nobody is perfect. You have to give something.But don't go too far, you don't want to look as a bad person either.

Where do you see yourself professionally, in 3-5 years?
Some people talk about their professional development.
It is a good idea to tell if you want to take any particular classes or explore any particular areas in the professional environment.

What is the most exciting and boring part of your job?
There is no 100% exciting job. Every job has it's boring part.

Do you prefer team work or individual?
Be carefull. If you say "individual" - it may sound like you are not a team player, if you say you prefer team work - it means you can't work alone.

What is the most significant responsibility you have ever had in your life?
Peter M. said he was asked this question on his interview recently.

You are assigned to work on an important project containing 7 design modules and you are short of time.
By the end of the month all you can do is either to have 3 modules accomplished or to have all 7 modules started in parallel but not finished. What strategy will you choose?

You definitely want to have at least part of your work finished.You can demonstrate it, explain your problems and ask some more time to complete the project.

Why do you want to leave your present job?
Do not blame your company,your job,managers. The interviewer may think you are not getting along with your supervisor or coworkers. In this case you are not someone they would want to hire. Instead, you can say it is a time for you to move on, try yourself in the new area, etc

What do you know about our company?
You have to do some homework before the interview. At least look at the company's WEB page.

I am looking for suggestion on answering an interview question regarding handeling routine engineering in positive answer.
This and the next question we received from Wayne. Your comments are welcome.

How to answer a question regarding solving a problem in which there appeared to be no answer?
Your comments are welcome.

What particularly would you like to work on?
Some people say:"What ever you want me to do!" In most cases this answer will not be appreciated, especially in start up companies.
It may sound like you have no any other interest in this job but money.

Tell us about one of the technical problems you had to solve recently
Bill Benson, technical recruter from Silicon Valley, says this question is quite frequent on interviews. Don't miss this chance ! Tell how good you are in solving technical problems.

Tell me about a conflict you encountered and how you handled it.
HINT : This is one of the toughest interview questions of all. It's sort of a trick question, as a matter of fact. Never speak negatively about anyone. The ability to successfully resolve conflicts is important for all members of a team. It may be the most important factor if you're working in a service environment, such as a large consulting firm that deals with outside clients. The answer you give here could go a long way toward getting you a job offer. Managers want to see that you are mature and unselfish. The answer should involve proof of your maturity level. They are looking for your ability to handle conflict. Compromise and working it out without external intervention are the keys. A disgruntled person is not going to be productive, and tends to bring down coworkers' morale as well.

What changes have you made in your life that you are most proud of?
HINT : This tells the manager more about your ability to take control of your life. It illustrates your leadership potential, and suggests just how promotable you might be. After all, if he produces a star, he looks good.

What are your salary requirements?
HINT : The use of the word "offer" is critical. It's a subliminal message that an actual job offer is what you are discussing, not just your salary needs in general.
A : "Salary is not my primary consideration. Of course, I have to pay the bills. I'd be open to any reasonable offer." Pause and maintain direct eye contact, even if it seems like forever. Do not be the first one to flinch. Do not over-talk. Be prepared for a long silence. Let the manager be the first to present a figure. It will give you power and control.
If forced to give a specific number, never give a broad range -- you will usually be offered the low end. Instead, be as precise as possible: "I'd be open to something in the low-fifties (or mid-forties, high-seventies, whatever)." Giving such a specific number presumes you've researched the local job market and know what people with your skills are making.

Are you interviewing at any other companies?
HINT : You want the manager to know that you're extremely interested in his opportunity, but are keeping your options open.
A : "Yes, Mr. X, but at this point XYZ is my first choice."

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