Interview Questions to Ask

Interview Questions to Ask :

Describe a difficult problem you’ve had to deal with.

This is a favourite tough question. It is designed to probe your professional profile - specifically, your analytical skills…. ‘Well, I always follow a five-step format with a difficult problem. One, I stand back and examine the problem. Two, I recognise the problem as the symptom of other, perhaps hidden, factors. Three, I make a list of possible solutions to the problem. Four, I weigh both the consequences and cost of each solution and determine the best solution. And five, I go to my boss, outline the problem, make my recommendation and ask for my superior’s advice and approval.’

Then give an example of a problem and your solution. For example…. ‘When I joined my present company, I filled the shoes of a manager who had been fired. Staff turnover was very high. My job was to reduce the turnover, improve morale and increase sales. Sales of our new copier had slumped for the fourth quarter in a row. The new employer was very concerned and he even gave me permission to replace all the staff. The cause of the problem? The sales team had never had any sales training. All my people needed was an intensive sales training course.

My boss gave me permission to join the Institute of Training and Development which cost £70. With what I learned there, I turned the department around. Sales continued to slump in my first quarter. Then they skyrocketed. Management was pleased with the sales. My boss was pleased because the solution was effective and cheap. I only had to replace two salespeople.’

How do you handle tension?

This question is different from …Can you handle pressure? - It asks how you handle it. You could reply. Tension is caused when you let things pile up. It is usually caused by letting other areas of responsibility slip by for an extended period. For instance, if you have a difficult presentation coming up, you may procrastinate in your preparations for it. I’ve seen lots of people do things like that - a task seems so overwhelming they don't know where to begin. I find that if you break those overwhelming tasks into little pieces. They aren’t so overwhelming any more. So I suppose I don’t so much handle tension as handle the causes of it, by not letting things slip in other areas that can give rise to it.

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