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5 Interview Questions Everyone Should Be Prepared To Answer

5 Interview Questions Everyone Should Be Prepared To Answer

Some of the most difficult interview questions might appear to be easy. But if you are not prepared and ready with specific examples before you head into that interview room, you could be in trouble.

1. Questions About You and the Team

What they’re asking: Can you play well with others? Get good work done as a team? When you prepare answers to these kinds of questions, think about how to mention conflict resolution, high-pressure situations, and what you do when personalities disagree.

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How They’ll Ask

  • Tell me about a situation with a colleague that you wish you had handled differently.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality differed significantly from yours.
  • Tell me about a conflict you had to handle, and what steps you took to find a resolution.

2. Questions About You and the Client

What they’re asking: Are you going to represent the company well, and keep the clients happy? Can you handle difficult and demanding people with grace and poise?

How They’ll Ask

  • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a client.
  • Describe a time when you had to face a very picky and unreasonable client, and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake with a client, and how you fixed the situation.

3. Questions About How You Handle Curveballs

What they’re asking: How do you hold up under pressure and in crisis situations? No matter how organized you are, the workplace will always come up with crises and fires to be put out. Are you able to adapt, to think fast on your feet, and fix things?

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How They’ll Ask

  • Tell me about a time when you were under a great deal of pressure and you had to face a crisis; how did you handle yourself?
  • Tell me about your first job; how quickly and well were you able to learn the ropes?
  • Tell me about a time you messed up, and how you made up for your mistake.

4. Questions About Your Time Management Skills

What they’re asking: Can you multitask? Juggle multiple projects and responsibilities? Manage your own time? Or will your new boss need to micromanage you to make sure you get things done?

How They’ll Ask

  • Tell us about a long-term project you handled, how you got it done while still taking care of all your smaller daily duties.
  • Describe your method of prioritizing projects on your task list.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to juggle multiple, urgent deadlines.

5. Questions About You

What they’re asking: This is the tricky one. These questions can seem borderline irrelevant, but they aren’t! Your interviewer is just trying to get a sense of who you are as a person, and what you value. Are you trustworthy? Upbeat? Kind?

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How They’ll Ask

  • Tell me about a time when you felt you did not do your best, and what you did differently after that.
  • Tell me about a time you saw a problem and decided to handle it yourself, rather than wait for something else.
  • How would you react if you saw a colleague breaking a rule?

Remember, every question in the interview has an angle to it. Your interviewer wants to get as much information from you as possible, so prepare answers that carry a lot of weight and make it easy for her. Write down your answers with specific examples, then practice answering these questions with your friends or family. Job hunting stresses people out more than getting root canal. But if you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

What Are Analytical Skills?

According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

Visualization

Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

Critical Thinking

Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

Computing

Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

Problem-Solving

Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

Resource Management

Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

Below are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Ideate Business Ideas

Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

2. Leverage Analytical Tools

Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

3. Have a Personal Learning Library

Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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4. Participate in Online Communities

The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

5. Seek Mental Stimulation

To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

6. Keep a Personal Journal

Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

Bottom Line

As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

More Success Skillset

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
[2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
[3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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