Job Interview Questions and Answers
The best job interview questions and answers get you talking about real situations you've encountered in the workplace. They dive into your role, your motivations and your actions, and then look for the outcome you achieved. That's why it's important to know what's on your resume. We will try to get you thinking below the surface as you work on your answers to these interview questions. Framing your experience in a positive light is always important. But, you don't want to mislead or misrepresent what you've done. Think about situations you've been in, and projects you've worked on as you formulate your answers to the questions that follow.
TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN A PROJECT YOU WERE SPEARHEADING DIDN'T GO WELL. WHAT DID YOU DO TO TROUBLESHOOT? IN HINDSIGHT, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
Projects always run into problems, so if you claim that you've never managed a project that ran into issues, you'll lack credibility. Often times the best people to hire are those who are able to solve problems. Did you ever work with someone who was good at laying the problem at your door, but failed to bring any solutions? Good project managers are typically good problem solvers. In fact, they thrive on meeting the challenges inherent in large, complex endeavors.
That being said, I would not offer up a situation that failed miserably. I would pick a portion of a project that faltered and elaborate on the problems, what was done to solve the problems -- and reflect on what could have been done to avoid the problems you encountered.
Think in terms of the team again in answering this question. You might have been the leader, driving the solution. But don't take all the credit for getting the project back on track.
TELL ME ABOUT A DIFFICULT PROBLEM THAT YOU SOLVED.
Bosses love problem solvers. Over the years, my best employees have been people who sat in my office and told me that something went wrong, but here's what we're doing to fix it...solving problems is a part of any job experience. Pick one or two that you can talk about that are interesting and that illustrate strong interpersonal skills and team work in getting them solved when you answer this interview question.
DESCRIBE A RECENT SITUATION THAT REQUIRED YOU TO PERSUADE A GROUP OF PEOPLE TO SEE THINGS YOUR WAY.
We have a need to sell our ideas all the time, whether it's to a client in a direct sales situation, or to a group of senior managers who are looking for a new strategy. How persuasive are you in getting your point across?
This job interview question and answer specifically sets up a scenario that suggests people were not in agreement and you were required to change some minds. Make sure that you pick an appropriate example to answer the question. Take the interviewer through how you made your case -- for example: set up the scenario, consider the alternatives, get input, form a conclusion or recommendation and then speak to the expected outcome. This could be a tough sales presentation or getting a project team on the same page; maybe persuading senior management that a product launch should be delayed. The important point when dealing with job interview questions and answers like this is to tell a story about how you convinced people to get on board with you.
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