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20 Impressive Answers To Any Tough Interview Questions

20 Impressive Answers To Any Tough Interview Questions

Tough interview questions shouldn’t keep you from getting the job. The resume got you in, now all you have to do is rehearse and prepare for the interview. Brush up on the company’s business through a little internet research. Interviewers will be impressed that you took the time and initiative to get to know more about the company on your own. Use the following questions and answers to rehearse before the big day.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

Keep your answer short and to the point. Highlight career accomplishment and relate these accomplishments to what you can do for the company. Memorize and provide a brief synopsis of your resume. Be sure to tailor your responses to the job description. Describe how you are the best candidate to fulfill the company’s needs.

2. What Is Your Long Range Objective?

Provide examples of what you see yourself doing within the company. Tailor your answers to the job at hand and focus on how your objectives fit with the companies’ long term goals. Review the objectives of the job description as a guide to how you should answer this question, as well.

3.  Are You A Team Player?

Don’t choke on this question and simply nod or say yes. Provide examples of successful team interaction. Specifically talk about how being on a team was beneficial to you and ultimately the company. Read up on the company beforehand to get a sense of the internal culture of the company. Offer ideas as to how a team can come together and do what is best for the company.

4. Have You Ever Had A Conflict With A Boss? How Did You Resolve The Problem?

This question is very much geared to how you negotiate positively with people. Focus on how the problem was resolved, rather than the conflict itself. Emphasize your ability to understand both sides of the conflict. Talk about how you maintained a professional demeanor and did not allow the conflict to get personal. Finally, share how both parties resolved the difficulty.

5. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

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Of all the tough question, this one by far is the most difficult. Talk about the weakness, whatever it may be, impatience, disorganization, or poor planning. However, end on a positive. Tell the interviewer that you recognize your own weakness, but are working to correct the problem. For example, you may be disorganized yet you are making an effort to organize.

6. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

Explain to the interviewer that the company you left was not the best possible fit for you. You decided that you could and have done better elsewhere. Refrain from saying anything negative about your former company. Perhaps the last company did not have opportunities for advancement as this new company does.

7. How Would Others Describe You?

This is a great way to introduce your communication skills. For example, you can emphasize that not only do you listen but that you engage in active listening. Tell the interviewer about how friends and colleagues have come to think of you as a problem solver.

8. Why Should I Hire You?

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    Now is the time to let the interviewer know that you are the best fit for the job. Let him or her know that you are the problem-solver the company has been looking for. This is where the research into the company will be a big help. You will be able to tell exactly how and why you are a good fit for the company.

    9. What Relevant Experience Do You Have?

    This is where the job description will really come into play at the interview. Highlight all relevant experience and be sure to include volunteer work as well. It helps to make a side-by-side list relating your job skills next to the ones that are in the job description.

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    10. How Do You Plan To Add Value To This Organization?

    Describe the value that only you can bring to the role. Your relevant experience and acquired job skills both come into play here. This is your chance to let the interviewer know how you best fit into the job and the organization as a whole.

    11. Why Do You Want To Work For This Company?

    This is where your research into the company before the interview is useful. Know the company’s mission statement and tell the interviewer that you have similar goals in mind. Check out the company’s website, so you can really stand out above the competition when answering this question.

    12. Why Should I Hire You?

    Provide real-world examples of how your work ethic aligns with the company mission and culture. This is your chance to prove you are the best candidate for the job. Again, use the job description to align your experience and skills exactly to the company’s needs.

    13. What Are Some Problems In The Workplace You Have Overcome?

    Provide concrete examples of the means and ways you have in mediating and your ability to problem solve.Explain how you took the initiative of the problem at hand and were able to come up with a solution. Emphasize your ability to ‘think outside of the box’ and overcame the problem.

    14. What Interests You About This Job?

    Simply plug your skills in alongside the job description. You now have the opportunity to now accentuate your skills and accomplishments with the job you are seeking. Show the interviewer exactly how your skills and accomplishments are exactly what the company is seeking and has found in your abilities.

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    15. Is There A Type Of Work Environment You Prefer?

    Tell the interviewer that you are entirely flexible in answer to this question. Say that you work well both independently and in a team environment. Let the interviewer know that you are able to adjust and work as the company requires.

    16. What Are You Passionate About?

    In this case you may relate something personal about yourself. For example, you could sure that you volunteer to help people who are in need. In other words, you could share that you are people-oriented and that your passion lies in giving your time to others.

    17. How Much Do You Expect To Get Paid?

    This point really does take some study before the interview ever takes place. Look up the company’s websites to find comparable salaries to the job you want to win. That way when this question comes up you will have a median range in mind when asked.

    18. How Do You Handle Pressure?

    Let the interviewer know that you are aware of both good stress and bad stress. Good stress can be exemplified through working in a challenging environment or meeting deadlines. As for bad stress, an interviewee could emphasize how exercise helps keep a balance between good and bad stress.

    19. Describe Your Work Pace

    Answer by telling the interviewer that you work to accomplish goals and deadlines at a steady pace. That you are cognizant about deadlines and habitually meet deadlines on time. Discuss how well you are motivated to get the job done is a timely fashion.

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    20. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

    Keep in mind a particular list of what you want to ask the interviewer. Ask about the work environment. Another suitable question is to ask what happened to the person who left the job.  Was the former employee promoted, did they quit, or were fired?  You may want to inquire as to how long has the position been vacant or if this is a new position.

     

    Featured photo credit: bpsusf via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on July 15, 2019

    10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

    10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

    This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

    This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

    Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

    But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

    1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

    If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

    In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

    “The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

    Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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    Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

    2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

    Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

    Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

    So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

    3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

    The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

    Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

    Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

    4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

    Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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    However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

    5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

    Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

    Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

    6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

    Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

    If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

    7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

    When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

    A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

    A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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    8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

    They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

    “Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

    Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

    9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

    Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

    Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

    Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

    10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

    Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

    Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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    If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

    The Bottom Line

    Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

    Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

    To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

    In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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