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Understanding interview questions

A simple recipe: “Sincerity is the secret of success. If you can pretend even this, you are a made man.” Who can play a role really well can turn into a superb marketing manager, or an actor, maybe a politician. Then you do not have to go regularly to job interviews. Most people play roles badly. It is necessary to tell the truth possibly in everything. If the applicant wants to say something in another way, he has to plan it in advance. The most important thing is that it cannot be a role-play because it leads to stiffness.

You must not forget that the position interview is a two-way street. The interviewer tries to sell the firm, and the applicant can say at the end that he thanks for the opportunity but he does not want to make the best of it.

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There are interviewers who lead the interview in a friendly manner, but even they may ask some tough questions. Tough question is everything that we do not expect but there is the employer’s motivation behind each of them.

Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?

They are looking for long-term employees so you should mark aims that the firm you have applied for can provide. You have to cut the answer to suit the firm. For example “I would like to be a colleague of a big firm with steady background, in a position that provides professional challenges. (Another one is ”And how much time would you like to stay with us?” “I am interested in an opportunity to have a long-term career with you. Of course, until the time both me and your company feel that our co-operation is successful and with perspectives.”)

Why should we employ just you?

It is necessary to talk about strengths and results.

You seem to be too-qualified for this position, don’t you think?

You are interested in a long-term position, you need a strong team to be a strong and successful company.

Who do you want to leave (why have you left) your previous position?

You must not mention anything bad, nothing about your personal conflicts. “There were not any challenges, any opportunities to develop”.

How much do you earn/ how much did you earn at your previous workplace? Why do not you earn more at your age?

If the applicant is out of work: “How can such a good specialist you consider yourself be out of work?”

For a career starter: “How can a so well-educated, even if he is a career starter still be out of work?”

A good answer to all of above: “I am looking for a position that not only suits my qualification, but means challenges and I have chances to develop myself.”

What do you think of your previous boss?

It is necessary to speak about him in a positive sense. “He lets the employees work individually but helps them when they need it. He tries to take the employees’ claims into consideration”. (Even if your boss is really very bad.)

Which features of your present/previous job do you like the best? Which features do you like the least?

Tell more good ones than bad ones and do not mention personal problems.

How much do you feel the need to change your job? Does it mean enough benefit to leave a position for another one?

You feel the need but not at all costs. You are willing to take some risk to find the most suitable position.

What do you know about our firm?/Why would you like to work for us?

You have to make some investigations.

Do you consider your career/course of life successful until now?

Moderate self-confidence.

What would your colleagues say about you?

Quotations, strengths, focusing on results.

Can you work under pressure?

Yes, with a concrete example.

Why do you think that you would be successful in this job?

You should refer to results. Success you have achieved up to now.

What was your largest professional failure?

You have to mention a failure the reason of which fell outside your control.

For managerial positions:

What is your management’s style like?

Generally participative is the good reply.

Are you a good manager?

Mention a result.

What kind of question is it possible to bring up?

For example:

Is further study possible? Does the company support this?

What kind of actual tasks do I have to perform?