Job Interview Questions and Answers is presented here as a result of a telephone interview I recently engaged with a Technical recruiter. Hopefully, you can study and use some of these answers with your own job-interview.
Although it is impossible to anticipate the specific questions a Hiring manager may ask, it doesn't hurt to prepare.
As I learned from my 20 years of Military Service, Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!
Stick around for the following job interview questions and answers soon to follow...
The following job interview questions and answers came from a standard format as published on the company website for job candidates.
About My Qualifications:
Q1: Tell me about Yourself:
After enjoying successful 20 year career as a Military Non-Commissioned Officer, coupled with a 12 year entrepreneurial career within the Retail grocery/banking/insurance sector, I find myself longing to return to a science-based, cognitive & analytical application of my academic as well as my professional experiences.
Moreover, the aspect of performance psychology enhancement within a tactical military environment sounds quite appealing. My greatest contribution to the Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty will be my real-world experience as a both a professional soldier and entrepreneur. I speak the language of both soldiers as well as academia.
Q2: Why should we hire you?
Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty is a People-owned company for professional people. Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty doesn’t want persons that are simply looking for a job plus a paycheck.
Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty wants innovators, performance-based entrepreneurial professionals that can contribute to overall team objectives. If it makes sense..if it benefits the research objective and protocol, if it promotes and excels the company, then that individual belongs Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty.
--For Job Requisition 142338, I AM that Professional!--
Q3: How has your education and your employment prepared you for this position?
I have spoke previously about my military experience. Yet, my academic training in psychology left me questioning its relevance. Particularly within the areas of substance abuse counseling and mental health services.
The ‘Aha’ moment came once I realized that my graduate work was working for me in a subconscious fashion…below the surface. Science, Academic theory, and Statistical conclusion must be validated with applied methodology.
--More job interview questions and answers to follow--
Simply, the data has to be extracted from the laboratory and applied throughout the field. My work with Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty will benefit our Military Clients because I seek a 360 degree perspective. Again, the question in my mind, is always, Does this Make Sense to and for the Troops?
Q4: Talk about an accomplishment from the past year that you are most proud of and Why?
I am very interested in communication models. My Clients were measured for response and feedback frequency with regard to product solicitation. Mediums included electronic mail messages (emails), website Banner add click response, USPS mailed letters, and finally random telephone approaches (cold calls).
Utilizing a simplistic likert scale measurement, clients overwhelmingly preferred email marketing messages submitted twice-monthly. Further, I abandoned alternative mediums to focus exclusively on email marketing. The results strongly correlated with a 25% increase in customer product purchases over a rolling 12 month period.
Q5: Talk about one of your failures and what you learned from it.
Using a small group train the trainer model, I led a group of 5 persons within a collaborative learning forum. The forum members were intelligent, yet were not academics. I assigned reading assignments and outside learning activities.
The participants did not completed the assigned tasks; I assumed that motivation factors were key. To my amazement, a group member revealed (in confidence), that I intimidated the group. Group members felt as though I were talking OVER them rather than with them. The experience forced me to reexamine my leadership skillsets. Collaborative leadership is as much an Art as well as a Science.
Q6: Which one of your positions did you like the best? The Least? Why?
I did not enjoy retail grocery business management. The business model dictates optimum productivity of staff, with limited human resources, in order to meet stringent profit margins.
I found myself that most complete with the Mental Health Services field. Specifically, the sense of accomplishment of employing established methodology, treatment plans, yet customizing the protocol for the individual client-patient was an emotional highpoint. Yes, the successes were not always apparent, yet the thought that I was making a difference was quite exhilarating.
Q7: Describe your communication skills.
I have a passion for delivering career enhancement workshops for high school and community college students. Many of my workshops were videotaped and posted on YouTube.
To engage and command my audience’s attention, I limit my use of PowerPoint. My preference is project Topic headers, provide bulleted talking points handouts, and expand the ideas via verbal delivery.
Moreover, my writing style is termed with the acronym, BLUF (Bottom-Line Up Front). When presenting, I follow the Military Speaking model. 1) Tell Them; 2) Show Them; 3) Tell Them what you Showed Them.
Q8: Give an example of something you did that saved your employer time or money.
To accelerate growth, my employer grappled with the decision to house customer data via an in-house software program versus a software-as-a-service (SAS) model. Issues such as data protection and privacy, future upgrade requirements, and ownership of proprietary intellectual property were of great concern.
Without a specific mandate, I began to research Best Practice Models. Using the internet search engines, professional trade magazines, telephone interviews, job interview questions and answers as well as reviewing of industry white papers. I submitted the following conclusions to management.
1)The industry was trending toward SAS server-based applications. 2) Data ownership is retained per contractual language. 3) An In-house data program will fail to provide adequate functionality with 6 months.
Moreover, systems must maintain compatibility with operating systems, applications, and sychonicity with Customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
Q9: Think about a Large Task you organized. Describe the steps you followed.
Although, there are several project management models available (i.e mind-mapping, franklin-covey, STAR, etc.) I prefer my military task training. 1) Identify the Problem; 2) Gather Resources; 3) Select Courses of Action, 4) Implement, 5) Solicit Feedback, 6) Make Adjustments as necessary.
I have recently joined University of Phoenix as an Adjunct Psychology Instructor. My challenge was to make a 10 minute presentation to fellow instructors of an area of interest. The presentation was to include PowerPoint, Lecture, and Handouts. I spoke of Viktor Frankl’s Logo therapy and Meaning-Psychology.
The time factor was the concern; how does one condense a 45 minute lecture into a 10 minute program. I concluded by selecting a single subtopic of the Frankl protocol. That being the identification of the catalyst that stimulate Frankl to conceive of Logotherapy.
Q10: Do you consider yourself a leader? Why?
Reverting back to my military experience, I recall the adage: Lead, Follow, or Get Out the Way! Having said that, I recall my board participation with both Habitat for Humanity as my church (2002-2005).
My decisions to either lead of committee or project versus working as a Team member were always based upon self-assessment of “Is there anyone present who’s skillsets are best suited to lead this task. I found myself leading many projects, yet the Greatest Leaders (historically) are Servant-Leaders. Why, because nothing happens without teams.
Great leaders are effective by drawing upon the strengths of the teams and tapping into those individual strengths and attributes.
--More job interview questions and answers to follow--
Q11: Please describe a situation where you used your creativity to solve a problem.
As of Year 2008, I decided to promote my own brand awareness. My professional skills as a speaker and applied psychologist needed promotion and marketing. The question was how?
Taking a curiosity with social media, I felt that a frontal assault via Internet would be of the greatest benefit. Taking a page from S.T.A.R. playbook, I sought to understand the medium through close examination of the practices of other successful social media personalities.
I learned that websites/blogs/forums, while being essentially free, were not easily manipulated. Adopting a targeted approach, I committed to working with niche webportals that matched my passions and interests. LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter have yeilded the most fruitful results. My goals were to achieve recognition via a long term approach; I dismissed an instant gratification results mindset.
Q12: What are your greatest strengths?
I see all possible arguments, positions, ideas, and solutions from all sides…a 360 degree approach. I appreciate opposing viewpoints; respect for ideas contrary to my own, shape me to grow as an effective Leader, Psychologist, Problem-solver, and Human Being.
Q13: What is your greatest weakness?
In an effort to intimately identify with opposing viewpoints, I infrequently ignore my intuition and frame of reference. Intuition is one of an individual’s greatest resources; it serves us. Without fail, my ignoring my own inner intuition to join an opposing view, has created less than optimum outcomes.
Q14: Talk about your customer experience.
Both my academic as well as military service background has not contributed to my customer service expertise. Retail, Retail, Retail is where I learned the most about serving the public. My retail experiences, within grocery, banking, and insurance provided me with a Customer Service Psychology that was impossible to gain through academia.
I stress Retail because a Customer will either withhold or advance their money based upon their perceptions of cost benefit value as well as an emotional tie-in to the vendor. Another word for this could be construed simply as TRUST. -Continue reading for more job interview question and answers scenarios-
Q15. Describe a situation where you have gathered and analyzed facts to arrive at a decision.
I’ve touched on this subject within one of my previous answers; so I’ll approach this question from a personal experience.
I decided to purchase a sports car in Year 2007. Perusing trade magazines, websites, blogs, and visiting the public library, I learned that a vehicle will depreciate 10-15% immediate after customer purchase.
Moreover, vehicles typically depreciate 25% of value after the initial first year. Second, I queried safety features and consumer reports of various models while cross-referencing American-made vs international vehicle branded models. The aforementioned variables were then correlated with pricing ranges.
Once I had boiled down the data, I had a picture of the vehicle that I desired. Applying my preferences to the internet websites, I located an automobile dealership less than 50 miles from my residence. The vehicle’s retail prce was posted to the webpage.
After securing a telephone appointment, I traveled to the dealership, interviewed the sales professional and the vehicle. CarFax provided a detailed history; I believed that the retail value exceeded the offering price. I purchased the vehicle based upon the research. My spouse really enjoys the vehicle; I appreciate the safety features and well as the relative low maintenance costs. Win-Win!
Q16: How do you prioritize your work to meet deadlines?
Utilizing a project management software program or planner, I select the top value tasks. I call these tasks, High Priority/Big Bang Musts.
Generally, High Priority tasks require a great deal of cognitive dedicated resource. I disagree with Multi-tasking; it doesn’t work. Professional can accomplish more…quickly and more effectively, by SINGLE-TASKING. I do one thing at a time. Complete that one task, and then move on to the next High Priority Task.
Q17: Why did you leave your last position?
I am currently employed; my tenure with this company exceeds 8 years. I voluntarily resigned from the Grocery business because I was a ‘Fish out of Water.’ It was an ill fit. Great Company, Fantastic Compensation; yet after 3 years, I realized that I wasn’t living my passion. I could be “Good at My Job,” but I Couldn’t be Great!
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-- Job interview questions and answers --
About Your Style & Personality
Q18: How would your friends (mentor, teacher, supervisor) describe you?
My Friends would describe me as a Thinker; "he ponders every thought before speaking." My Priest would describe me as a person with a Big Heart. My supervisor (of course NOT sharing that I am practicing my job interview questions and answers in order to...) would suggest that I could be out of balance with work/life; he may say that I tend to “Take My Work Home.” My spouse would say that I can generate a 2 hour speech about something as insignificant as a marble.
Q19: What motivates your best work?
People connection. If I know, in advance, that a certain demographic of person(s) will directly benefit from my research/talk/plan/workshop, I literally “throw myself” at the project. Also, if I am learning a new skill in the process, all the better.
Q20: How do you keep track of things you need to do?
I love electronic gadgets. A simple, non-blackberry, mobile telephone has a very functional organizer. I use to alarm function to alert me to upcoming suspenses. When solutions, ideas, and professional thoughts come into the forefront of my awareness, I record them on my mobile telephone.
In many instances, I will transmit an email to my work email account. My non-electronic task tracker is my “Git-R-Done” list. I write out my Top 6 taks that Must be accomplished. My goal isn’t to complete ALL 6 tasks, but to work to successfully finish one task…then the other. Tasks that are not completed, are simply added to the next day’s workload.
-- Job interview questions and answers --
Q21: Would you rather write a report or give it verbally? Why?
I’d rather give an oral presentation; my personality is extroverted. Yet, written reports work best. Written reports not only provide a organized template for both the sender and receiver, but it also serves as an anchor for future works/studies/project. Oral presentations serve to deepen the audience’s understanding of the subject matter.
Q22: Give an example of a high pressure situation you faced this past year and how you resolved it.
Year 2008: Insurance Client experienced a horrific claim; water damage to flooring. Client questioned the legal language of the insurance policy. After review, it was discovered that he claim was legitimate.
I referred him to the Texas Department of Insurance. After an inquiry, I was asked to submit a statement. I answered truthfully; liability was against the insurance company. My saving grace was that I obeyed my intuition. I had mailed a letter to his residence, 12 months prior. The letter documented various deficiencies within his policy.
Further, he was compensated $20,000 for his claim. It was not standard operating procedure to mail letters to clients with regard to liability omissions. Yet, I followed my intuition; that action saved both my client relationship as well as protected my licensure from disciplinary action.
About Your Interest & Commitment
Q23: Why are you interested in working for Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty?
With regard to Military contractors, Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty is Best of Breed. $8.9 billion in revenue and contracts, a +40 year history, and an emphasis on employee-ownership are all qualities that are high desirable.
Further, Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty places a premium on scientific expertise, continued learning, and entrepreneurial passion within a Team environment.
Q24: Why did you choose your major?
Psychology is the study of humankind’s window into the soul. My fascination with the Why? Why do workers have an abundance of and/or a lack thereof for motivation. What is the measurement of performance; how is it achieveable. Moreover, what is the payoff for the participant.
Q25: If you could choose a school or major again, what would you change?
I wish that I had a passion for vocations that command a higher pay…Yet, I’m bored with those areas. I Love Psychology. My wish is that the education system had the resources that are available today. eBooks, online collaboration, conference call, and social media learning portals. Alas, these resources were in their infancy during my degree pursuant years.
Q26: How do you deal with stress?
Check it at the Door! I focus on awareness of the present moment. Do what I can now; pursue the unfinished at the latter appropriate time. My Stress relievers include meditation, prayer, aerobic exercise, and intellectual research on topics of interest.
Q27: What aspect of this position would be the most difficult for you?
The initial learning curve of the Corporate Team Performance Enhancement Specialty way of doing things vs the Command & Control expectations of the Field Commanders.
Balancing the academic with the practical. The perfectionistic desire to “always get it right.” My greatest challenge is to remember that the work experience is a journey, not a destination. This philosophy also applies to job interview questions and answers strategies.
--End of Job Interview Questions and Answers sample--
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