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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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    Published on March 20, 2019

    How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

    How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

    Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

    As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

    While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

    What is a Mission Statement?

    Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

    In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

    “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

    In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

    Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

    While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

    First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

    While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

    While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

    “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

    This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

    What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

    When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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    Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

    When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

    • What we do?
    • How we do it?
    • Whom do we do it for?
    • What value are we bringing?

    Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

    After all, that did check off all the boxes:

    What we do? Provide widgets.

    How we do it? Online.

    Who do we do it for? The consumer.

    What value we bring? The best widgets.

    The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

    Compare that mission statement to this one:

    “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

    What’s the difference?

    Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

    Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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    You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

    A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

    Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

    1. Keep It Brief

    Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

    You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

    2. Have a Purpose

    A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

    Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

    3. Include a “How”

    Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

    How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

    4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

    This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

    Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

    5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

    It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

    Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

    6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

    Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

    7. Think Long Term

    A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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    8. Get Feedback

    This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

    Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

    9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

    You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

    First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

    And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

    For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

    The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

    It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

    First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

    If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

    Strategic Planning

    A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

    Measuring Performance

    By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

    Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

    Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

    Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

    As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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    Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

    To Hold Management Accountable

    By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

    So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

    If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

    To Serve as an Example

    This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

    After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

    Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

    Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

    Final Thoughts

    Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

    Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

    That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

    By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

    More Resources About Achieving Business Success

    Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
    [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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