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September 19, 2014, 04:51:40 PM
HireScores.com Recruitment ForumRecruiters, Employers & Suppliers CentreGeneral employer topics (Moderators: HireScores.com admin, HireScoresMark)Interview questions
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Author Topic: Interview questions  (Read 3561 times)
Serious
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« on: March 15, 2007, 08:59:48 PM »

I would like to understand a bit about employers approaches to interviewing and in particular interview questions and answers.  For example, when you ask a question do you have a right answer in mind.  Do you operate a 'three wrong answers and you are out' sort of approach?
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Lisette
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007, 09:05:26 PM »

Hi serious

Good question.  I will have a go at answering from my point of view and then perhaps you might get some others as well.

In my experience there is no 'right answer' that has been pre decided.  I guess the only exception to this is if someone is looking for some particular skills and experience and you either have them or you do not.  Much of the time the questions are there to find out how you think and how you go about things.  Therefore the structure to your answer, its completeness etc are all important.  Answering the question is also quite important.  In my experience some recruiters equate the failure to answer a question as potentially 'shifty' as opposed to someone who is just disorganised and/or with poor listening skills Smiley

When using a structured interview technique interview guides will give the interviewer some idea of what are positive indicators and contra indicators for that particular competency that is being sought.  But this is in behavioural terms rather than the 'answer'

I hope this helps!
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HRManager
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2007, 11:24:54 PM »

I would pretty much agree with what Lisette said when it comes to trained interviewers.  I guess one of the risks might be when you are interviewed by someone who is less skilled - they might have some sort of 'pet' favourite answer.  But if this is the case there is not much you can do so you may as well play it straight and answer the question honestly.  Trying to guess the right answer is fraught with danger.   
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2007, 11:29:41 PM »

you might also like to check out an article in the main HireScores.com site about questions asked at interviews.  I hope that this link works! 
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freeform
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 02:10:49 PM »

On the odd occasion when I'm interviewing I'm looking for the candidates ability to think on their feet and put across their personality - both vital to the kinds of marketing work we do.

It may be specific to the industry I'm in but I want to know how a person thinks and what they'd be like to work with.

Having said that, if I ask a direct question, I don't want the waffle I want a direct answer.
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Mark Nagurski
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2007, 08:35:23 AM »

Job Interviews can be very stressful.  Its important to make a good first impression.  You need to make good eye contact and have a positive attitude during the interview.  Sometimes I think the questions they ask during an interview can be tricky, such as "tell me what some of your weaknesses are".  To myself I want to say, "I like chocolate cake and I don't exercise", but I know this is not what they want to hear. Your suppose to give them an answer where your weakness turns out to be something positive, such as "I'm a perfectionist and work long hours until the job is done right". That the winning answer! I personally think job interviews are a psychological game.  The best approach to a job interview is to believe in yourself.  You have skills and expertise that will help make the company sucessful and profitable. When the interview is over, they should be the ones begging you to work for them!
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freeform
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 12:18:45 PM »

I'm not too sure about the weaknesses question - the answer lava suggested is what I'd expect to hear but an honest appraisal - followed by how you solve that weakness - would impress me more

ex.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?
A: Organisation, so I go out of my way to work by simple lists. I break everything I need to do down into checklists and then work to those - that solves the problem.

Nobody's perfect and I wouldn't want to hire anyone who thought they were.
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Mark Nagurski
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2007, 09:11:37 PM »

That's a nice way to tackle that question.  I am perhaps a bit organised and list oriented so I can't use this particular one.  Got any others, Freeform?
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 11:01:29 PM »

Or - 'well, one thing I struggeld with up till recently was...so I decided to...and the result was...' works well.

Interviews are stressful, so I recommend clients create a number of scenarios in their minds well before the event and get so clear on what they did that was valuable, that they aren't stumped by tricky questions.

Putting a positive spin on answers is a tactic that can be learnt and is way better than learning actual 'right' answers.

Regards
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 11:11:32 PM by mphcoach » Report to moderator   Logged

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Lisette
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 11:07:32 PM »

I think this is an excellent steer.  I worry that people will practice answers so much that they are wooden and insincere and this is probably the worst thing you can do.  A bit like the movie 'Green Card' when he says, 'this is the one I always forget ...' with disasterous consequences (although my husband was able to console me with the assurance that she moved to France to be with him). 

Sorry, back to the topic - this is the idea that you are so busy trying to remember what you practiced which means that you almost do not listed to what is being said.

I think that thinking about things from a positive point of view is a good way to prepare.  It is like pre-exercise stretches - not the exercise itself but critical for success - and sort of gets you in the frame of mind for the interview.
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2007, 11:19:50 PM »

I'm right in the process of listing my third e-book, "How To Win At Assessment Centers" and as an inside about preparing yourself for the interview phase, the following is what I know works well and provides great awareness, very naturally.

Quote
S"cenarios are little experiences you have had in the past, that you can use to score against competency measures, if you have them, and demonstrate your expertise in a particular area of the role in question.

So, the key to this is to create a ?story? of an experience you have had in your workplace or indeed anywhere, which you ?tweak?, honestly, to bring out as many of your competencies as possible.

And you need 6 ? 8 of these scenarios demonstrating as wide a range of the competencies that are part of the new job.

Now you will, likely as not, be quite lucky in that a couple of experiences will have all of your competencies, in some useable way as part of the ?story?.

Some will be less strong, and there are things you can do to extend these too.

And it is these stories you will recall, very naturally, when asked a question at interview, or asked a follow-up question during a presentation, or form part of an answer in a written exercise.

They are very valuable indeed."

(c) 2007 How To Win At Assessment Centers - Martin Haworth.

BTW, the website of the product is up and running, but you can't actually buy it - yet! http://www.howtowinatassessmentcenters.com
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Lisette
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2007, 11:26:12 PM »

Interesting, one of the articles I have been asked to write is about assessment/development centres. I will not look at your website until after I have written it, in case I inadvertently poach some of your ideas!
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MaryG
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2007, 04:21:32 PM »

I can only speak from my experience but I've not looked for a right answer when I am interviewing candidates. Rather I am more interested in whether the candidate knows his field, is able to answer creatively and in an articulate manner. Obviously, some questions are very straightforward and only have one answer, such as "Do you have training in XYZ" but most are more to get a feel for the candidate and how they would fit in the position. Personally, I am always a little bit wary of someone who has the "right" answer for all questions, so I try hard to ask for examples/experiences of situations or what  s/he would do in a situation so I can get a better sense of the ability to problem solve. One of the people who impressed me most in an interview actually said to me "I don't know and have never some across that before but I am eager to learn how your company would handle that situation". I liked that he wasn't shy about admitting to a skill he lacked but also that he was willing to learn about something new.
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freeform
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2007, 10:33:34 AM »

I agree

A friend recently landed a job in much the same way.

She was asked if she had experience in Sage (although it wasn't key to the post it was listed as an advantage). She simply said that 'No, but I'd be excited to learn about it and would be happy to do a nightcourse on my own time"

I think honesty and simple direct answers usually bring out the best responses - in interviews or any other walk of life
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Mark Nagurski
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